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  1. #1
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    Cool Info on Fondriest P4 Carbon '03

    Can anyone tell me about this bike. Weight, Climbing ability, Durability. I s it good for a larger rider 6'3" and 200lbs.
    Thanks,
    Chuck :

  2. #2
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    some info onP4....

    If you Google "Fondriest P4"; the first entry is an old review of the bike set up @ 15 1/2 or so lbs. with D/A and other ultra-light bits. The Mizuno MC full fork is about 365gr. uncut and is an excellent fork.The frame is likely in the 1.1 to 1.2 Kg range, but I am not sure.
    If you call up Will at Fondriest USA he may have full info on dimensions,weight,etc. The P4 uses the same CF as the newer Carbon Lex, but is contructed using Dedacci U2 tig welded aluminum lugs and seperate CF tubes. The P4 was used by a few of the team riders that year because the frames could be custom made to the riders' specs
    (as opposed to the ltd. sizing molds for the monocoque frames.)
    Having owned a couple of Fondriest frames, I could not imagine the P4 as being anything but very stiff and having a very smooth ride, but I have never ridden one.
    As far as durability; I would think that the bonding process is the same as the Aluminum frames w/carbon stays; and to my knowledge there has never been a problem with the carbon pieces or the interface. (I did ,however, hear of a guy 250lbs who cracked the top of the S.T. on a Fondriest Domino with a ton of seat tube showing and not enough insertion of the post; Fondriest USA promptly replaced the frame under warranty; BTW, the CF on the P4 is a significantly higher modulus composite)
    Recently, Maurizio Fondriest was emphasizing the benefits and advantages of the monocoque contruction, as opposed to CF lug frames at a euro bike show; but at $2799 for the Lex (on sale) and $5000 for the Top Carbon; I'm sure that a P4 in good condition for a good price would be worth it. Info on the P4 seems difficult to find, so hopefully someone your size who owns one will post a reply.
    Last edited by twelvepercent; 05-18-2005 at 06:37 PM. Reason: delete 1 item

  3. #3
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    Chuck,
    I am not your size but built more like a sprinter (5'10" 197 lbs) and own the Fondriest P4. Have had it for about two years with limited mileage since I like to keep the nice bike reserved for nice days (built with Record, Zipp 404s, ITM magnesium stem etc.). The bike has seem maybe 600-700 miles in those two years since it rains almost all the time here in the Chitown area.

    But on to my subjective review. The first thing you notice is that it indeed rides very smooth. So deceptively smooth that you begin to feel a little unsure about the stiffness...this all changes when you get off the saddle for either climbing duty/aggressive streetlight sprints. The P4 is stiff! It really supports the old cliche that carbon rides vertically compliant and laterally stiff. I have not had any bad experiences on rides varying from 20 miles to 74 miles. Road imperfections and minor potholes are comfortably absorbed (this can be said with Mavic Ksyrium SSC SLs, Campy Sciroccos, and the current Zipp 404s). Whatever wheel choice you make will only be further complemented by the ride of the P4. Additionally, Fondriest support has been absolutely wonderful. I have additional rear derailleur hangers and brake bolt screws sent to me ASAP. The guys over in the P4 group seem to really want to ensure the survival of the Fondriest line here in the USA.

    But alas, I will be selling my Fondriest because I have always wanted a Pinarello but could never justify their pricing for an aluminum frame...now that the F4:13 is out I gotta have it :-).

  4. #4
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    P4

    I agree with most of the above comments. I am 6'0"/ 170 lbs and less a sprinter than a spinner over longer distances. The P4 is plenty stiff enough, sufficiently comfortable for longer rides but the emphasis is more on the 'race bike' feel. I haven't really warmed up to that pinched top tube, but that's just esthetics. The Italians can take the occasional clumsy lunge at style....
    I would recommend giving it serious consideration. 8.4 on a 1-10 scale.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Info on Fondriest P4 Carbon '03-p4carbon.jpg  
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  5. #5
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    P4 looks good........
    The two things I like about it are: the long aluminum lugs that have alot of surface area to bond the aluminum to the carbon tubes, and the external headset design.

  6. #6
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    I have one. It's a nice bike. Smooth, stiff. Lot of that feel is in the fork, I think.
    I have to question a sub-16 lb build, though. I have mine built up with Record, with an Aliante saddle, and AmClassic 420's, and I've never really weighed it but I would be surprised if it's much of anything below 18 lbs.
    I've raced it in road races. Too chicken to race it in crits, although I know that it would be effective.
    I'm 5'8", about 160 lbs. More of a rolleur than a sprinter or climber.

  7. #7
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    I do have one more comment. I'd had the bike for maybe two rides. Nothing weird. I had hit a pothole or two, nothing too extreme, and one of the rear seatstays cracked horizontally mid-bend -- not in a joint or, really anywhere. I sent it back, fully expecting that they would be horrified and would replace it under warranty in a heartbeat, but there was much hemming and hawing and scratching of heads for about a week or two. They said that they couldn't figure out how I had done it. I said, me neither. They finally did replace it.

  8. #8
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    What is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bixe
    I agree with most of the above comments. I am 6'0"/ 170 lbs and less a sprinter than a spinner over longer distances. The P4 is plenty stiff enough, sufficiently comfortable for longer rides but the emphasis is more on the 'race bike' feel. I haven't really warmed up to that pinched top tube, but that's just esthetics. The Italians can take the occasional clumsy lunge at style....
    I would recommend giving it serious consideration. 8.4 on a 1-10 scale.
    Wonderful, Wonderful Bike. The pinched top tube looks interesting. Did Fondriest say why they put the pinch on the top tube?

    Oh also, it looks like something is hanging by a paperclip under the saddle. What is it? I'm just curious.

    Is it just me or is the front wheel deflated?

  9. #9
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    The cyclingnews.com test claims the 55cm @ 15.23 Lbs. w/o pedals; Zipp 303 tubulars and an 11-21 (91gr.) The test can be found by doing a Google search for "Fondriest P4"; and it is the first entry.....seems very light; but a chorus cassette, 150gr. stem and my 250gr. saddle would add a full pound.

  10. #10
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    How about 19.1 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by twelvepercent
    The cyclingnews.com test claims the 55cm @ 15.23 Lbs. w/o pedals; Zipp 303 tubulars and an 11-21 (91gr.) The test can be found by doing a Google search for "Fondriest P4"; and it is the first entry.....seems very light; but a chorus cassette, 150gr. stem and my 250gr. saddle would add a full pound.
    I have a friend that bought a P4 from Colorado Cyclist with full DA and some kind of Velomax wheels that I don't remember. It had prety generic saddle, bars and stem. With bottle cages and Speedplay pedals it weighed in at 19.1lbs. The frame was probably about a 60cm or so though.

  11. #11
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    The cyclingnews.com test claims the 55cm @ 15.23 Lbs. w/o pedals; Zipp 303 tubulars and an 11-21 (91gr.) The test can be found by doing a Google search for "Fondriest P4"; and it is the first entry.....seems very light; but a chorus cassette, 150gr. stem and my 250gr. saddle would add a full pound.
    I have to believe that Cyclingnews had some sort of prototype. Note the obvious differences in the tubing.
    My bike ain't no 16 lbs, I assure you. No how, no weigh.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/?id=...s/fondriest_P4

  12. #12
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    Yup......must be a prototype indeed, maybe they used the F-1 grade CF and different types of lugs and inserts. Anyhow, thanks for the clarifacation (B2 also...), I saw one used, but now may reconsider.....
    Also, thanks for the failure report on the PSA seat stay, may be worth having a warranty on my next Fondriest.

  13. #13
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    you know, though, depending on the price and what you want out of life, it's a cool bike. I have the Fondriest, a Pegoretti Marcelo, and a Douglas that I race, and it's a toss-up as to which of the two Italian bikes I like better. The Pegoretti has this feel of disappearing underneath you, but the Fondriest is a very nice, smooth bike.
    I wouldn't worry about longevity issues, either. I suspect that the production models were beefed up quite a bit from the prototype, and I have no qualms about beating mine up (despite my one little incident, which has to be a fluke). I slammed down on the thing in a panic stop to the point where the seat post (not the seat stay, but the post itself) broke a bit, but the frame was fine.

  14. #14
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    Answers....

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuesico
    Wonderful, Wonderful Bike. The pinched top tube looks interesting. Did Fondriest say why they put the pinch on the top tube?
    Fondriest hasn't said a word about what that top tube is all about. A lot of other riders have surmised that it's there for some practical reason, but I think they did it just because they could.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuesico
    Oh also, it looks like something is hanging by a paperclip under the saddle. What is it? I'm just curious.
    That's the tiniest cow bell I've ever seen. The tinkling drives the folks sitting on my wheel nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuesico
    Is it just me or is the front wheel deflated?
    The tires have settled a bit into a soft surface....

    Regarding weight discussion below: The bike above weighs in just at 17.2 lbs as you see it.
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  15. #15
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    Just to be clear

    Quote Originally Posted by twelvepercent
    Anyhow, thanks for the clarifacation (B2 also...), I saw one used, but now may reconsider.....
    My post had no intention of "putting down" the P4. The guy I know that owns one loves it and couldn't be happier he bought it. Colorado Cyclist had a pretty darn good price when they were closing them out so the he got a very good value for what he paid.

    Bryan

  16. #16
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    My only concern was with the weight for climbing.....having owned a couple of Fondriest frames, I'm sure the P4 is an incredible frame built to the highest standards, and I would buy one in a heartbeat for the right price.......

  17. #17
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    I have one as well. Here it is below. I absolutely love it. I had thought of selling it, but decided to keep it. With bottle cages and Wintech computer, it weighs 17.84 lbs. It's DA10 and Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL black wheels.

    Descending feels like a dream. I feel incredibly stable at 55 mph, although I do try to avoid that speed if possible, since I'm pretty chicken on descents.

    Anyway, here is mine:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Info on Fondriest P4 Carbon '03-p4-profile-2.jpg  

  18. #18
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    ....I sense a disturbance in the force

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