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  1. #1
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    C50HM vs. Prez vs. Carbonissimo.. (Long Post)

    Long, long post. So, don't read if you don't like long posts. Don't read if you don't like bikes that cost more than $1K.

    This is my first post here and I am an overweight old timer (well, not *that* old) that has been sedentary for the past decade. Between the job, the kids and other time obligations, I found enough excuses not to ride (beyond the occassional "cruise"). 25 pounds and 20 cholestrol points later, I have been strongly advised to do something. I was quite offended that my doctor looked surprised when I mentioned that I used to be quite a cyclist

    So. Now I got my wife all convinced that I cannot possibly ride a bike built around a 12 year old frame I have an old school Rominger-style Carbitubo (no, it has not cracked yet.. so no wisecracks ;) I dunno, it looked cool back then) and a Master Olympic/Master Light. I also have a Super and a Raleigh Team (my very first "racing" bike), but those are more like eye-candy museum babies to me. Now, how can I get a good workout unless I have the latest 15 pound wonder?

    I am partial to Colnagos but I admit my eyes have been straying lately. Even then, I am so spellbound by the old man that I unconciously find myself looking at Colnagos over and over again. I am also partial to a certain brand of components, but that's a different matter/debate/battle. Oh yes, I am often viewed by college-aged kids as the consummate Fred. Am I not allowed to appreciate good equipment and apparel without being mocked? Do I have to ride furiously fast all the time?

    The presence of the C50HM, President and Carbonissimo makes a consumer's choice quite confusing. It is difficult to define which is the marque's top model. I have developed some perceptions but I am sure I have some ill-informed notions.

    It seems to me that the C50HM is built to be a lightweight and more compliant long distance frame. Now that there is a HM model, why would I want a HP model, except to save money?

    It seems to me that the Carbonissimo is built to be aerodynamic, weighs more and is stiff as heck. I don't like the "loudness" of the CF3 yellow Ferrari model and the CF1 model (which looks much better in red) comes with older components. If I were to buy this, I would want to buy the frame only and build it up myself. Adding "Ferrari" to a bike only adds to my propensity to be ridiculed.

    The President is very nice and seems like a compromise between the C50HM and the Carbonissimo. As much as I like the paintjob, I am going to pass on the LdV, which does nothing but accentuate my inherent Fred-ness Anyway, the LdV comes with "only" Eurus wheels and not Boras or Lightweights

    I can't seem to get proper intelligent advice about which to get. I have always like Colnagos because of the crisp handling, stiff ride and aggressive geometry. Most folks suggest that, being close to 50, my best days are over and I should settle on the gentle-on-the-butt compliant frames. There is some truth to that, but I have no intention of riding a wet noodle. Besides, how else am I going to deal with my mid-life crisis unless I use the latest all-carbon way-too-sexy SLR saddle and ride on murderously uncomfortable geometry?

    Forget my LBS. They pimp only Madones and CAAD 7s. There are no shortages of Litespeeds and Sevens in my 'hood but those bore me to tears. Then, there is the crowd that suggest that Italian frames are garbage compared to the custom Parlee/Calfees of this world. Those frames *are* beautiful, and I am sure they ride well, but I am sorry that my heart doesn't skip a beat when I look at them. On the other hand, when I look at an Italian bike...

    As "competitors" to the Colnagos I mentioned, I am also looking at the DeRosa XLight (which I will have to import from the UK... damn the US distributor), the Pinarello Dogma (which I'm kinda apprehensive because its supposed to ride like an Aluminum frame) and the Fondriest Top Carbon. I find the Fondriest stunning, but I must admit I have never seen one in person. Well, neither have I seen the Colnago President, much less ride one to get an informed opinion. I am actually willing to fly out to another city just to test ride the bikes, but very few stores carry all the top brands (in my eyes) at once, and even fewer would allow a customer to ride those very expensive frames before buying. I find it puzzling that I can walk into a car dealership and test drive without an appointment, but I cannot test ride a bicycle frame, especially when the car costs 10, 20, 30 times more.

    Really appreciate your help. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    eminence grease
    Reputation: terry b's Avatar
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    If I was shopping as you are, I'd probably buy the C50 HM.

    Why - well I already have a C50 HP so that one is ruled out. I'd reject the Carbonissimo out of hand simply because I think it's a gimick and I don't like bikes that are gimicks. I'm sure it's wonderful, but it's simply too too for me.

    Now, I have not ridden the HM, and I won't bother to spit out what little I now about it. It seems to be pushed as a lighter alternative and if that 1/2 pound is important to you, well then it might be the choice. However, that doesn't speak to the ride which is something I know nothing about. Whether or not the extra $400 is important is also a personal thing. If I didn't own the HP, I'd probably also go for the HM simply because I'm a soft touch for the latest/greatest and the HM fits that bill.

    As far as my HP goes, it is one fine riding bicycle. No complaints whatsoever. Light, quick, perhaps the worst thing I can say is that the paint scheme doesn't grab me like the paint on my other two Colnagos (GEO and AD10.) But, the black and silver scheme is very elegant and I think that is exactly how a C50 should be painted.

    In comparison to the other brands you mentioned - I also have a Calfee Tetra Pro and I greatly prefer the ride of the C50 to it. Don't ask me why, it's visceral and if I had to pick which one to keep it would be the Colnago. But then I really like Colnagos. Relative to the Fondriest - I have an aluminum Top Level and it's my favorite aluminum bike. I've seen the CF frames and while they are beautiful, they're not Colnagos. And, I have this nagging feeling that CF Fondriests are overpriced. Not a data based feeling, just an impression.

    Summary of all this wandering - I think you'll be happy with either the HM or the HP. Your heart will skip a beat just looking at either and if you're serious about getting back on the road, neither will be relegated to hanging upside down in the garage.

  3. #3
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    Terry_B,

    Thank you very much for your honest recommendation. No, the 1/2 pound of difference between the HM and HP matters not to me, and neither does the $400. I am, after all, being enough of an idiot to hunt for a who-know-how-much bike when my steel bike ought to suffice. After all, I haven't ridden over 50 miles in one sitting since Reagan was President! I know I kid around a little too much. I am cheap, but not when it comes to "toys" and I haven't bought a new bike since 1993. So, I want to "do it right."

    Once again, it isn't as though I cannot get a great workout on a steel bike that was perhaps at the pinnacle of steel bikes at that time, complete with all the bells and whistles and gizmos of that era. Gotta love the first generation Ergolevers with the thumb levers that build thumb strength and the first generation dual pivot brakes that would throw you over the handlebars if you were not careful. How about the aluminum alloy freewheel that lasted all of 1,000 miles to.. *gasp* save weight on a 20 pound bike?

    Its all about my heart "skipping a beat." How would I live with an expensive bike that is technically superior but which doesn't keep me excited? That is basically the crux of the conversation I rountinely have with my LBS which wants me to out-Lance the Lance bike, complete with Bontrager wheels Don't get me started with the components.

    A lot about Colnago is marketing and frankly a lot seems like gimmick. But then, who am I to pass judgment when I haven't ridden on anything new lately.

    The Colnago vs. Calfee thing. I wouldn't have know that. That is great information! The price on the Fondriest Top Carbon makes the Colnagos seem like they are sold at Wal-Mart. Holy cow. At $5K per frame, they better be good! They are overpriced, but then when have I ever rationalized that Record is essentially more expensive Chorus, and that Chorus is a much smarter buy?

    Many thanks for the C50 recommendation. I will post pictures of my steel and carbon rides later. I don't want to flood this forum with my dribble

  4. #4
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    You really do need to ride a few of your candidate frames before deciding - for example the Dogma handles much quicker than the C50 HM. So if you do crits or tricky technical descents, then the Dogma is probably a better choice (and it rides pretty comfortably as well). In any event, you should first consider which frame best suits your intended application. The bling factor is probably a bit higher with C50 HM though.

  5. #5
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    Ian Yeoh perhaps? The guy that trolled Cyclingnews forum years ago with the infamous "Rabobank only has one office" thread? The guy with the trophy wife, vineyard and stable of classic Colnagos?
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  6. #6
    Shirtcocker
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    you have another choice at the top end if that money is burning a hole in your pocket. Unfortunately I ride a 62cm so their 6 sizes won't work for me, but it looks like a really sweet ride:

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...RODUCT.ID=1250
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for your input.

  8. #8
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    In Europe there's just the C50 '04 and '05. I think reason for the "HM" distinction in the US is to maintain their pricing structure for prior models still in stock.

  9. #9
    aka Zonic Man
    Reputation: Jed Peters's Avatar
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    You DEFINATELY need this bike:

    http://www.serotta.com/pages/nove.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Peters
    You DEFINATELY need this bike:

    http://www.serotta.com/pages/nove.html

    Euch.

    Almost as good as your bottle cage screw advice Jed...

    CC

  11. #11
    eminence grease
    Reputation: terry b's Avatar
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    Jed, Jed, Jed,

    you're starting to remind me of the Socialist Workers that had an apartment across the street from mine when I lived in Buffalo.

  12. #12
    aka Zonic Man
    Reputation: Jed Peters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b
    Jed, Jed, Jed,

    you're starting to remind me of the Socialist Workers that had an apartment across the street from mine when I lived in Buffalo.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ce Cinquanta
    Euch.

    Almost as good as your bottle cage screw advice Jed...

    CC
    Thanks!

  13. #13
    eminence grease
    Reputation: terry b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Peters
    Why?



    Thanks!
    You know, hanging out on the corner lecturing people about spending their money and being tools of the Capitalist machine.

  14. #14
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    Sorry to interrupt the flaming but what is/are the difference between the Ottrott and the Nove? Maybe I'm really dim, but they look and sound like the same thing to me. Also, why is Serotta's "ST" stays considered a key feature but Colnago's "HP" stays are just a gimmick? And a C-50 is considered expensive at $4K, but an Ottrott ST at $5,500 is "worth it" ?!? Oh, I forgot: Serottas are customized.. but that price is without customization! Serottas are beautiful, but Colnagos are not exactly chopped liver. The same goes for Pinarellos, DeRosas, Fondriests, Perogettis, etc. There is a clear double standard that I definitely don't get!

    Oh yes. I definitely want a Trek Madone in USPS colors right now because the Discovery colors frame will be availble in 2006, probably after Lance retires. Plus, the Madone SSSSSSL x-special super-duper will probably not be available to me because I am not worthy to ride the same frame that Lance rides. But I can get the standard Lance frame painted in SSL colors (black flames) now if I choose so that I can imagine that I am flying up Mont Madone, but the Discovery colors are a no go I can get some matching Bontrager wheels, but only Lance has that special rim that I cannot possibly have because I'm a lamer

    If I choose, I can walk into my local Colnago dealer now and order the same frame ridden by Oscar Freire in the same exact size, built up with the exact same components. But then, Colnago is overpriced and overrated because "the experts" say so !!

  15. #15
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    Yes. Perhaps less of an interruption in the flaming, more a development...

    CC

    Able to spell 'definitely' and proud of it.

  16. #16
    aka Zonic Man
    Reputation: Jed Peters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ce Cinquanta

    Able to spell 'definitely' and proud of it.
    Hey, it's what a 150k education buys you nowadays....crappy spelling

  17. #17
    eminence grease
    Reputation: terry b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Peters
    Hey, it's what a 150k education buys you nowadays....crappy spelling
    Help is only $59.95 away. ;)

    http://www.hop.com/index.jhtml?cid=1541

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