Fondriest Carbon Frame?
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  1. #1
    I love my Fondriest
    Reputation: Kiwi Rider's Avatar
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    Question Fondriest Carbon Frame?

    Hello. Fans of Fondriest, do any of you have experience with their carbon frames? I'm thinking of the Magister (see www.fondriestbici.com). Also the alternative is the Giant TCR Composite. Both frames are 'within my reach' plus the rest of the bike (Centaur or Chorus, another thread, another time).
    Are the Fondriests worth it, apart from the name. My LBS says better quality in the Fondriest, and is handmade, also the Domino is in between the two frame price-wise. I currently have a TCR2 (2001) but roads are awfull in NZ and the ride is really harsh. Which would be more comfortable?

    Thanks for any suggestions,

    Kiwi Rider
    Kiwi Rider
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    Auckland, New Zealand



  2. #2
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    While I can’t provide much info specific to the Carbon Magister, I will vouch for the build quality of the Fondriest Carbon frames. A couple weeks back, I had the opportunity to closely inspect a Top Carbon as it was being built up. A truly impressive frameset.

    These are two of the bikes in the stable at this moment and they are keepers, proven worthy over several thousand miles between the pair. The P4 Carbon is based on the Dedacciai tubeset that other builders have based frames upon, though Fondriest used U2 lugs along with their own rear triangle and fork. A well finished frameset that is a pretty stiff ride.



    To this point I’ve been skeptical of the compact frame genre. But if there was any builder in whose frames I was confident of the quality, it is Fondriest. So I set aside the skepticism, built up this one and have about 2k miles on it so far. Even with the ‘Affordable’ tag, the Domino has been a pleasant surprise. The Domino is pretty stiff through the driveline and well dampened up through the saddle, doubtless due to having about three times as much seat post exposed as on any of the conventional geometry frames. Neither of these bikes has hiccupped once….

    Please excuse the Xmas decor hanging from the saddle, long since removed....


  3. #3
    I love my Fondriest
    Reputation: Kiwi Rider's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks a lot, I have seen that Fondriest Domino on this sight often . Since I already use a compact frame, it's nothing new (Giant TCR2 2001). The Magister still is compact, but with much less of a drop (2cm I think). My LBS is the sole distributor/seller of Fondriests in NZ. They currently have a Top Carbon, Carbon Lex and Carbon Magister frames built up. I am looking only at the Magister because the rest are out of the price range out are not needed (Lex and TF1 built with full Record carbon, Lex with Neutrons, TF1 with Hyperons). Ultimately I will get the Magister with Chorus (as built) but will probably end up with Centaur if it turns out cheaper/better value.
    Those frames look sweet, especially the P4
    Thanks again, I will update once final decision is made.

    Kiwi Rider
    Kiwi Rider
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    Auckland, New Zealand



  4. #4
    rock n rolling resistance
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    Talking Bixe, u take some nice pix...

    of your bikes; they are almost catalog quality

    What wheelset is that on your P4?

    BTW you have some nice bikes.... Thanks for making me feel better about my purchases.... Ummm what should put on my list next... C50 or a Fondy? ;)

  5. #5
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    Thanks....

    Thanks. Cleaning up the bike, setting up a couple lights and a camera is a rainy day activity. Haven’t had one of those days in awhile and those pix are well traveled by now….

    The P4 wheels are HED Alps. I prefer riding the Eurus.

    Fondriest or ‘Nago? Isn't there always The Next Bike?

  6. #6

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    Bixe, tell me about the HED Alps

    [QUOTE=Bixe - "The P4 wheels are HED Alps. I prefer riding the Eurus".

    I'm curious about the Alps. What do you think of them? Pro's and con's please.

    Thanks,

    - spyboy

  7. #7
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    Alps

    The Hed Alps are quality wheels, however: They are lighter than the Eurus, and don’t seem quite as stiff when I stand on ‘em on the climbs. The front spokes are 6/4 ti and the back steel. When the road traffic blows by in close proximity, the 50mm profile can make for some entertaining handling. Big bling, even for this guy who doesn’t wince at US$40 carbon cages. After all that, I've not had any problems with them though there's not a lot of miles on them. FWIW, they are not convertible between Shimano & Campy; the dish is different between the two.

    Race day wheels perhaps, certainly not everyday riders. If you are interested in time trial wheels, aren’t a big rider and don’t care how much they cost….

  8. #8
    I love my Fondriest
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    Cool It's official...

    I'm getting the Fondriest Carbon Magister . I'm so happy. Went to LBS on Sat morning, chose cages/computer to go on (in exchange of the Elite gold bottle cage that came with it).
    Will get set up Thurs evening, and take it home to ride next day. Very excited. I got to ride it for about 5mins on Sat morning, and was much nicer than my old Giant, even without cycling clothes! Shifting is different, as expected, and brakes are the opposite to my Giant, but it makes more sense (legally the LBS has to sell bikes with right lever to front brake, left to rear brake). When I do get it, I can't post pics because I have no digital camera, sorry ;) .

    The bike's specs are:
    Frame: '04 Carbon Magister
    Forks: Top Carbon
    Headset: FSA
    Derailleurs: '04 Chorus
    Crankset: '04 Record Alloy
    Bottom Bracket: '04 Chorus
    Shifters: '04 Chorus
    Chain: '04 Record 10 (Not Ultra)
    Cassette: '04 Chorus
    Tyres: Some kind of Hand-made (sub brand of Vittoria)
    Brakes: '04 Chorus
    Pedals '03 Record
    Stem: Deda Newton 26.0
    Handle Bars: Deda 215 (black)
    Seat Post: Selcof Carbon
    Saddle: Golden Renaix 88 (Don't know much about it, it has Fondriest symbol on it)
    Bar Tap: Deda white cork
    Cables/Cassings: Campagnolo
    Computer: Cateye Astrole? (w/cadence)
    Wheelset: Fir Zenith rims/'04 Chorus hubs (don't know about spokes?)

    I want to get another wheelset for racing, probably either Eurus or Zondas, but I may have to earn a few bucks before I buy anything else!
    Kiwi Rider
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    Auckland, New Zealand



  9. #9

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    Smile

    hey guys.

    I had a fondriest status back in 1998 and i loved it. I had a trek madone but i thought i should sell it, i dunno its nice and all but i wanted something special. I wanted a compact frame to because actually it makes sense for me because my torso is a little longer than my legs. The trks top tube was 57.2 and the fondriest is 57 while the stand over is 31 and my inseam is 32.5. It made more sense then. I dont care of t-mobile rides them or not. I dont think that giant could possible take the same care in making a frame as fondriest would. I have a giant touring bike which is great but this is something differnt and Ill argue anyone that fondriest is just as bit as nice if not better than colnago after all ive learned this week although alot of people will fight me there too! I found out that colnago c-50s are going to sloping next year, so why should i buy one now and then later it be reduced in value..
    I thought perhaps i should think of colnago but i think thier geometry is a bit werid in thier standard frame, perhaps this is another reason to go to sloping for them. For me to get the same measurement on a colngo id have to get a 140 stem on a frame with a 55 top tube, i think a long stem makes the front end sloppy, but im sure others will say no. Anyway I couldnt afford the top carbon, and i wanted nice as i could so i timed my sale of my madone with the tour and it sold thanks to armstrong himself.
    I am getting a LEX and its going to have all dura ace on it, a selcof carbon pst AND stem san marco sadle and deda 215 anatomical bars.
    The fondrierst i had in 98 was fantastic but at the time i really wanted a carbon bike, now i feel as if ive come home almost. When i get the pics ill post it, any other fondriest admires out there feel free to chat me up
    Damian

  10. #10

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    Just make sure your shop knows how to prep a frame properly or that you have an extensive tool set in order to do it yourself. However pretty looking (better than TF1 IMO) this is not a frameset that will go together by itself.

  11. #11
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    Divve, can you be more specific? I also ordered a Lex (Medium size) and it should be here at the end of the week. I am very excited. I was planning on getting the BB chased and faced-should I have the head tube reamed? What other preps do I need?

  12. #12

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    The BB probably doesn't need to be faced but chasing is almost certainly necessary. The head tube should be fine as it contains separately bonded in alloy cups. If they are messed up I don't think there's much room for correction.

    On my frame definitely the hardest thing to deal with was the clear coat over-spray in the drop out axle seat area. It was laid on very thick and rock hard. I couldn't even get a wheel in there. It took quite some time and finesse with a Dremel tool using various sanding bits to completely remove. I also had to rework those areas in order for the rear wheel to align properly.
    Purely by coincidence while cutting the BB threads I found a trick to easily remove the rest of the clear coat on the dropout faces and BB face afterward. Apparently it releases quite willingly once the loose edges have been soaked in (cutting) oil for a few minutes. It will peel off from the blank metal areas without much hassle using a thin blade exacto type of knife to lift under it. Take it slow however as you want the clear coat to release almost by itself right along black lacquer border and not take anything with it. I also had to chase the derailleur hanger threads and Dremel some paint off from the back of the derailleur hanger in order for the derailleur spring detent to mount over it and rotate freely.

    Finally the fork, again on my frameset I had to seat the race myself. After measurement with a digital caliper I found the interference fit was a little too tight. I had to sand some of the area down before I could safely seat the race using a Park race setter tool and suitable adapter. The front drop outs weren't 100% in the same plane either. I had to remove a tiny amount of material from the left side with a Dremel grinding bit for proper wheel alignment. Mind you the amount of material to be removed is minute, but it only takes very small amount of skewing at the axle for it to make a big difference at the rim level.

    BTW, in case your distributor of your frame didn't include a BB cable guide, I've found the plastic Campy one to work well but you'll need the longer bolt from the two hole Shimano guide to mount it properly. Also, use a short piece of Nokon inner teflon cable lining to guide the front derailleur cable through the frame. Otherwise it will be just bare cable against carbon contact. Not sure how long it would take but over time it's likely to cut a serious groove in your BB shell and the chainstay hole it goes through.

    BTW2, anyone else reading the above shouldn't be scared off by Fondriest. It's pretty standard type of stuff that goes hand in hand with many Italian frames....sometimes you do get lucky and there's less work required. If you'd rather stick to a no hassle hang your stuff on type of building better stay with main stream American brands. Their stuff is mostly prepped to perfection before it leaves the factory.

    ....that was about it and considering that I don't like wrenching on bikes this wasn't fun for me but I'm the only one who I trust to do the job right on my own equipment

    (see pics below showing some of the affected areas)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by divve; 08-06-2004 at 01:17 AM.

  13. #13

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    Chasing/Facing

    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    The BB probably doesn't need to be faced but chasing is almost certainly necessary. The head tube should be fine as it contains separately bonded in alloy cups. If they are messed up I don't think there's much room for correction.

    On my frame definitely the hardest thing to deal with was the clear coat over-spray in the drop out axle seat area. It was laid on very thick and rock hard. I couldn't even get a wheel in there. It took quite some time and finesse with a Dremel tool using various sanding bits to completely remove. I also had to rework those areas in order for the rear wheel to align properly.
    Purely by coincidence while cutting the BB threads I found a trick to easily remove the rest of the clear coat on the dropout faces and BB face afterward. Apparently it releases quite willingly once the loose edges have been soaked in (cutting) oil for a few minutes. It will peel off from the blank metal areas without much hassle using a thin blade exacto type of knife to lift under it. Take it slow however as you want the clear coat to release almost by itself right along black lacquer border and not take anything with it. I also had to chase the derailleur hanger threads and Dremel some paint off from the back of the derailleur hanger in order for the derailleur spring detent to mount over it and rotate freely.

    Finally the fork, again on my frameset I had to seat the race myself. After measurement with a digital caliper I found the inference fit was a little too tight. I had to sand some of the area down before I could safely seat the race using a Park race setter tool and suitable adapter. The front drop outs weren't 100% in the same plane either. I had to remove a tiny amount of material from the left side with a Dremel grinding bit for proper wheel alignment. Mind you the amount of material to be removed is minute, but it only takes very small amount of skewing at the axle for it to make a big difference at the rim level.

    BTW, in case your distributor of your frame didn't include a BB cable guide, I've found the plastic Campy one to work well but you'll need the longer bolt from the two hole Shimano guide to mount it properly. Also, use a short piece of Nokon inner teflon cable lining to guide the front derailleur cable through the frame. Otherwise it will be just bare cable against carbon contact. Not sure how long it would take but over time it's likely to cut a serious groove in your BB shell and the chainstay hole it goes through.

    BTW2, anyone else reading the above shouldn't be scared off by Fondriest. It's pretty standard type of stuff that goes hand in hand with many Italian frames....sometimes you do get lucky and there's less work required. If you'd rather stick to a no hassle hang your stuff on type of building better stay with main stream American brands. Their stuff is mostly prepped to perfection before it leaves the factory.

    ....that was about it and considering that I don't like wrenching on bikes this wasn't fun for me but I'm the only one who I trust to do the job right on my own equipment

    (see pics below showing some of the affected areas)
    Chasing/Facing........what does all of this mean?

  14. #14

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    Check out the below link for detailed BB chasing and facing info:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_bbtap.shtml

  15. #15

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    I've already posted this in another thread......but what the hey.....here's the result.....rides good


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