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Thread: Fondriest ??

  1. #1
    Man, I need a shower !
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    Fondriest ?? Bianchi ??

    Fondriest---does anyone know the recent history of this company and its bikes? I've only really looked at this brand recently, but I'm very interesting in buying one of their CF frames. They appear to be very high quality construction and are beautifully finished. However, their extremely limited dealer network concerns me. I've also come across a few shops around the country that did carry the brand, but no longer do so. I wonder if there's some financial issues here with the company, and why those other shops no longer have the brand. Does anyone have any insight to the quality of the frames, perhaps one what's going on with their dealer system or other issues I should be concerned about?

    Bianchi--they also have an interesting CF frame. Any one have info on this? I bet DougSloan would. I've never considered a Bianchi in the past after I test roade one of their AL bikes, but I am considering the CF model.

    I really have no interest in the more common brands - definitely not Trek, Giant, etc. I like something different from the masses....
    Last edited by fasteddie; 04-08-2004 at 07:55 AM. Reason: added Bianchi question

  2. #2
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    try this site...

    Check out www.fondriestbici.com. Fondriest was created in 1991. Starting this year, all of their frames are carbon. The Al and steel frames at the US warehouse in Denver are all leftovers, now on closeout.

    I've got a low-level Madonna di Campiglio and the workmanship is good for the price.

    Fondriest geometry produces a fast handling bike. They won't reveal the head tube angle, so it's impossible to calculate the trail, but it's on the low side. Mine steers quicker than anything else I've owned, but it's rock solid in a high speed descent. It can be a bit twitchy in a strong crosswind.
    Last edited by C-40; 04-08-2004 at 01:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Fondriest and Dealers

    Quote Originally Posted by fasteddie
    However, their extremely limited dealer network concerns me. I've also come across a few shops around the country that did carry the brand, but no longer do so. I wonder if there's some financial issues here with the company, and why those other shops no longer have the brand.
    Fondriest USA sells direct and competes with their dealers. So, not many shop are going to bother with a company like that. The frames are good looking for sure, and they have all of the latest marketing gizmos and doo-dads. That doesn't necessarily make them a better frame than anyone else, but if it is what turns you on, then you should go for it.
    Todd Kuzma
    Heron Bicycles
    Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
    LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
    http://www.heronbicycles.com
    http://www.tullios.com

  4. #4
    eminence grease
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    Early last year they cut loose their dealer network and went to direct sales. They still have a pretty big "service agent" network comprised of LBSs in most of the major cities. Just received an email from them yesterday announcing a further enlargement of that network.

    Lots of opinions on why they decided to go to direct sales, but mostly it seemed that they were not happy with how their product was being pushed. There are no problems with the company that led to this, it was a marketing decision.

    I have a Top Level, and it's a great bike - one of my favorites. The purchase from P4 (their direct sale agent in Denver) was absolutely spot on. They're interested in selling the right bike to the right person and my purchase was one of my best by far and away.

    Assume you have this link, if not here it is. You can find their link of local agents here on the "Store" page:

    http://www.fondriest-usa.com/fondrie...?section=store

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fasteddie
    Fondriest---does anyone know the recent history of this company and its bikes? I've only really looked at this brand recently, but I'm very interesting in buying one of their CF frames. They appear to be very high quality construction and are beautifully finished. However, their extremely limited dealer network concerns me. I've also come across a few shops around the country that did carry the brand, but no longer do so. I wonder if there's some financial issues here with the company, and why those other shops no longer have the brand. Does anyone have any insight to the quality of the frames, perhaps one what's going on with their dealer system or other issues I should be concerned about?

    Bianchi--they also have an interesting CF frame. Any one have info on this? I bet DougSloan would. I've never considered a Bianchi in the past after I test roade one of their AL bikes, but I am considering the CF model.

    I really have no interest in the more common brands - definitely not Trek, Giant, etc. I like something different from the masses....
    Got my Fondriest 3 weeks ago and it's one the best handling bikes I have, very stable. I went thru one of their dealers here in the SF bay area. Got the same price thru the dealer, that shows online.
    Good luck
    Rick
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fondriest ??-dsc00264.jpg   Fondriest ??-dsc00261.jpg  

  6. #6
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    There may be some former Fondriest dealers who are p-o'd at the way Fondriest went about their switch to direct sales. When this happened, I remember Competitive Cyclist posting serious complaints on their site: they had been (or so they claimed) the US's biggest Fondriest dealer, but were informed of Fondriest USA's move to direct sales only by a batch e-mail.

  7. #7
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    I bought a P4 Carbon last summer. Had a weird thing with a seatstay breaking maybe the third time I rode the bike, but they sent me another one. No problems since, and I've raced it several times.
    They no longer make the P4 Carbon (I got mine on closeout from Colorado Cyclist). The story I got was that they expected an exclusive from Deda on the tubes, but when Deda explained that that was not the case, they dropped the model. The P4 is an alu lugged CF bike. It is a stiff race bike, not a Sunday go to meeting bike. It is very solid. Not the lightest thing on the block, but certainly no pig, either. Quick handling. Never felt scary in any situation. Nicely finished. I like it.

  8. #8
    eminence grease
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    Yessir - the local dealer here in town still speaks in ugly tones about the way he was let go.

    Conversely though, I can't say enough nice things about my dealings with P4. They're the best. (And frankly, I never would've bought on in the first place if I had to do it through the local dealer.)

  9. #9
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    Just took possession of a Fondriest Carbon Lex last week. The carbon finish, graphics, and alignment are excellent. Delivery is typically Italian style however. For instance, BB and derailleur hanger threads have to be chased and dropouts sanded, in order to get rid of the clear coat over-spray.

  10. #10
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    haven't ridden the one i bought used over the winter yet, but have been really impressed with their customer service. the latest was that, even though i bought the bike used and the fork wasn't under warranty, they offered to send me a cut, used fork for the cost of shipping. granted, a cut and used fork is worthless to them, but they didn't need to offer anything.

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