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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused

    I am looking for simple advice. I no longer have aspirations of a speed demon, now I am a 42 yr old that enjoys riding and still works on speed, distance and hills.
    Been cycling since 1986. My current ride is an old Trek 1000 Al bought new in 88 built up over time with relativeley modern day equip (except STI) Dura Ace and Ultegra. The thing is..
    I'm looking at new bikes. I have not seriously ridden anything other than my faithful 1000 since my Schwinn World Sport (wow thats a while ago) All the articles and debates between the various materials have me confused. I average 75-150 mi /wk in good weather, budget is around $1500. I still like my old faithful (smooth, stiff and green) but hey, new technology may offer better rides. I get lost in the details. So please, this is not what I need. I don't think it will seriously impact my riding or I likely will not notice the sublties. I'm not saying they are not important, I'm simply saying I probably can not appreciates the importance of them. Remember I'm not a speed demon, I'm a sport rec guy that wants good equipment.
    I cannot afford Ti, and am I really going to notice the steel from the new Al frames ? I like the Specialized Allez Comp, its Columbus "foco"...what is foco?

    I am 5'8" working toward 180 lbs
    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    RJ

  2. #2
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    Foco

    Quote Originally Posted by RJ Love
    I am looking for simple advice. I no longer have aspirations of a speed demon, now I am a 42 yr old that enjoys riding and still works on speed, distance and hills.
    Been cycling since 1986. My current ride is an old Trek 1000 Al bought new in 88 built up over time with relativeley modern day equip (except STI) Dura Ace and Ultegra. The thing is..
    I'm looking at new bikes. I have not seriously ridden anything other than my faithful 1000 since my Schwinn World Sport (wow thats a while ago) All the articles and debates between the various materials have me confused. I average 75-150 mi /wk in good weather, budget is around $1500. I still like my old faithful (smooth, stiff and green) but hey, new technology may offer better rides. I get lost in the details. So please, this is not what I need. I don't think it will seriously impact my riding or I likely will not notice the sublties. I'm not saying they are not important, I'm simply saying I probably can not appreciates the importance of them. Remember I'm not a speed demon, I'm a sport rec guy that wants good equipment.
    I cannot afford Ti, and am I really going to notice the steel from the new Al frames ? I like the Specialized Allez Comp, its Columbus "foco"...what is foco?

    I am 5'8" working toward 180 lbs
    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    RJ
    Foco is top shelf Columbus steel. Specialized makes a similar model in aluminum.Try them both.Minimum details to try and get head around.

  3. #3
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    Can o' worms

    The issue of frame materials is a big source of contention among riders on this site and everywhere else. Don'r worry about materials too much and try as many as you can.

    Those old bonded aluminum frames (1980s Trek 1000 -- I had one of those too) had a pretty nice ride in my opinion.

    That said, I'm a fan of steel. In your price range, the choices mostly will be steel or aluminum. Some higher end aluminum frames ride great but since you say you are in it for recreation more than absolute speed, steel would be my choice. And, by most accounts, the Specialized Cro-mo is a very nice frame at a great price. Anyway, teke some test rides and see what you think.

  4. #4
    Riding towards Delmarva.
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    "and am I really going to notice the steel from the new Al frames?"

    Simple answer: Most definitely, YES. I've had five aluminum bikes and one custom steel, the difference in ride quality is absolutely huge.

    How come bike companies never say..."rides like aluminum?"

    I would dig deep into your wallet, and get custom steel. It will be your last bike, ever. You will NEVER, EVER regret it. Just get the frame/fork and do what you have to do from there....

    RedRex.

  5. #5
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    Mostly a bunch of hype. Geometry and quality of design/construction are most important.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    http://www.soulcraftbikes.com/id45.htm

  6. #6
    AJS
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    RJ -

    Since you asked "what is foco?", here's a link to find out more about Columbus tubing, both Al and steel. The site is under construction, but there are several .pdf's to check out.

    http://www.columbustubi.com/

    I'm nearly the same age as you, get about the same mileage per week, had about the same budget, etc. I used to race a fair amount, but now only once or twice a year.

    One suggestion I'd make is a frame of Nivacrom Zona steel. Zona is not overly expensive, fairly light, strong, and yes, rides well. Geom and build-quality are certainly important, as Henry said.

    The frame/CF fork I have here was "as-new" when I bought it off eBay for $225., then I specced my own parts & wheels. Normally the frame/fork goes for around $600.-$800. Raleigh made them for just 2 years, '02 & '03, so they may be somewhat harder to find now. I know an LBS near me that has a new leftover one of these pre-built from Raleigh with Campy Chorus group (as pictured below) for either $1399. or $1499. I think the MSRP when it was new in '03 was $2200. or $2400. At 5'8", that 56cm frame at the LBS would probably be too large for you. (They made this in a 53cm which would be closer to your size) There are other frame mfg's that use Zona as well, such as Orbea.

    GVH Bikes had a few of these frames still, but they may be gone now. Check 'em out at http://www.gvhbikes.com/bikes.html They have lots of other frames that I'm sure they could help you with too.

    It is an excellent bike IMO. The geom fits me well, and handles and rides great. The paint and TIG welds are very good, and as pictured it weighs about 20 lbs. I don't think I could have found a more appropriate rig than this for myself at this time. YMMV!

    Top pics are my build, bottom pic is the OEM build. Good luck on your hunt!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused-raleigh-pro-black.jpg   Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused-pro002-copy.jpg   Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused-pro004-copy.jpg   Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused-pro005-copy.jpg  
    Last edited by AJS; 01-02-2005 at 11:25 PM.

  7. #7
    AJS
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    BTW - I forgot to mention that the above model is the "Professional", but Raleigh in '02/'03 also made another model called the "International", which is exactly the same Zona tubing and geom as the Pro. Only differences: the colors are different, and the Pro had the Chorus group where the Intnat'l had the Centaur group.

    So maybe you can find the Intnat'l instead. Here's the geom specs for both, and a pic of the Int.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cro Mo, Foco, Al, CF, Ti ?? confused-international-f.jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
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    Steel. Period.

    For that price range, go with steel. It will certainly ride better.

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