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 Post subject: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:36 pm
Posts: 126
My Road Bike Action mag showed up this weekend and I saw the article on the Kanan. I have seen the original Franco, which looked very nice, but didn't think too much about it as a full modern "race" geometry will not be my next bike.

I think this bike fits a need and likely would be a better fit for a large percentage of road riders today. I have not ridden the bike, but am going off my experience testing the Scott CR1 and owning riding and racing half a dozen bikes in the same amount of years.

I ride a traditional size 52 italian road geometry, some consider this a crit geometry with a 75 degree seat tube on a 535 mm top tube. So outside of the higher headtubes of the new CR1 and the Kanan, both bikes have geometry that is nearly identical to an italian road geometry. The industry can call whatever it likes race geometry, because they are trying to deal with all the larger north american athletes and week end warriors, but guys the size of CAV and the last italian World Champ - Giro winner are closer to my size and both have had alot of success on similar bikes.

Also, I have had nek issues, probably from years of lifting weights as a near world class 800 meter runner, and am now much faster on a bike with raised handlebars and a longer reach. In fact I can now ride at speeds up to 100 miles that previously I was sapped at 60 or 70 with a greater drop and or on a stiffer bike.

With a slight slacker seat tube and 5mm more TT than the CR1, the Franco looks like a real interesting ride for someone in my position. Also, I was looking at the Gaulzetti in a December Mag and he seems to have a similar, italian crit with a higher bar approach in the smaller sizes...and I am fairly certain this is a race bike.

All the bashing of this brand and frame seems misplaced to me. Who cares if a factory is producing similar looking frames. What is important is the quality and quality control of the frame ( are they using the materials they say they are and how is the frame finished ). If the manufacturer is a high quality manufacturer using the highest quality materials and workmanship THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW DOES THE BIKE RIDE AND WHAT TYPE OF DURABILITY WILL IT HAVE. Whether or not someone can save a few hundred dollars on something else is immaterial to somone who can really ride or really wants to ride. If you find the right fit and it is a quality frame, nothing else really matters.

Also, on Taiwan, I have sourced manufacturing there myself in a different high tech industry and relationship is everything. They can get things done, like molds, supper cheap if they want to for you, especially if there is industry underutilization like after the 2008 financial crisis. So Franco could clearly be doing their own domestic contract engineering and design, sending the factory the files to do custom molds. If the factory uses a similar mold or even the same mold with lesser quality materials...WHO CARES. Again, the higher quality frame and experience is much more important. Letting the factory make some marginal revenue when it didn't cost you half a million dollars to design a new bike is a fair trade off. Like I said, relationship. If the factory is happy with you, you are going to be happy with the quality job the floor managers make sure the hands on workers complete.

My other point is that the right fit is also likely your best race fit no matter how high the head tube. There are plenty of track racers running a flipped up stem.

I have not seen a test write up on the Kanan that talks about how it handles down hill at speed cutting into corners at 40 plus miles per hour. If the shaped TT and forward geometry handle the force without that scary soft feeling than this bike will fit alot of riders, like me, that are just as fast as the guy riding the brand new EVO etc. but don't want to have surgery in a few years.


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:38 pm
Posts: 243
You may be opening a nasty can of worms here if this goes the way of either of the other threads on Franco bikes. Lets hope it stays at least fair if not civil.

Previous thread didn't have a lot of luck finding ride reports as is still small brand. Hopefully you have more luck as I would love to see some ride reports not just unsubstantiated finger pointing crap.


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:38 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm
Posts: 1402
kruk wrote:


Who cares if a factory is producing similar looking framesLot's of people believe it or not. What is important is the quality and quality control of the frame ( are they using the materials they say they are and how is the frame finished )How does the end user know for sure what materials are being used?. If the manufacturer is a high quality manufacturer using the highest quality materials and workmanship THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW DOES THE BIKE RIDE AND WHAT TYPE OF DURABILITY WILL IT HAVE.Along with why couldn't that same manufacturer make just as good a frame and sell it as a different, or cheaper brand or out the back door seeing as that it seems perfectly fine to all that are involved to do so? Whether or not someone can save a few hundred dollars on something else is immaterial to somone who can really ride or really wants to rideTry telling that to a young racer struggling to pay his bills+costs of cycling. Talent doesn't automatically come with a money is no object mentality. If you find the right fit and it is a quality frame, nothing else really matters.

If the factory uses a similar mold or even the same mold with lesser quality materials...WHO CARESHow do you know they're using lesser quality materials?. Again, the higher quality frame and experience is much more importantAgain, how did you decide on which was higher quality? Also, it's the same people building both bikes, so the experience doesn't differ.. Letting the factory make some marginal revenue when it didn't cost you half a million dollars to design a new bike is a fair trade offOK, but it also comes with the perception that the same frame can be had much cheaper which is a consequence from not protecting intellectual property.

My other point is that the right fit is also likely your best race fit no matter how high the head tubeor how many spacers are under your stem or whether or not your stem is flipped.



All that and I still can't figure out why I'd buy one. I'm not knocking them. I'm sure they're just as lovely as everything else, but I don't know where they fit into the market, and what separates them from whatever else they're competing with, so why would I choose one? Problem is that all of the Franco threads turn into "why you shouldn't not buy a Franco rather than why you should" thread, or "thats just another open mold bike" thread(because visually that iswhat it looks like).

Julian came here and defended himself and his brand very well, and I for one believe him I have no reason not to, but the fact remains that those bikes scream cheap chinese open mold frame which as stated above I believe comes with not protecting intellectual property. Interestingly enough thats one of a few reasons were starting to see some manufacturers come back to the states, because it's so difficult and expensive to try and convince people that two nearly identical things are not nearly identical no matter what the price tag (or marketing) says.


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:36 pm
Posts: 126
I don't know why you would think about buying one, but I've been thinking about having this exact same geometry custom made, so yea, if I road this bike and it handled great and was still as comfortable as claimed I would be interested. It is fairly hard to find a traditional italian road race geometry in a size 52 with a 150mm head tube. I want the bike to be raceable and comfortable and this looks to be both. The CR1 seems to be a great fit to this bill but the fork seems to be a compromise. The fork on the Kanan looks to be well designed from my perspective and needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm
Posts: 1402
Cool!
Buy one and give us a review :)


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:28 pm
Posts: 3
I’ve been shopping around for a bike now about 6 months. I decided to go with a Franco over Cervelo R5 and Super Six. Mainly for 3 reasons: The way it rides, options and the service. I ended up going with the Franco Balcom S with the new SRAM Red group. I know this form is for the Kanan but I rode one last weekend. I previously had a Felt F series bike that got a crack in the frame back in January. Felt decided that the Frame wasn’t cracked enough so they won’t replace it until it gets worse. I’m not interested in being on it when that happens. After all that Julian gave me the option to ride the exact Kanan that was in Road Action Magazine for the Solvang Century last weekend since the Sram Red group isn’t here yet. I had other options to borrow bikes but Julian insisted I try it out.
http://www.roadbikeaction.com/bike-test ... Kanan.html
Needless to say I was ecstatic for the opportunity but worried that the bike would be a little odd for me to ride 100 miles on without any warm-up runs and the fact that I’m used to more of the Race Geometry versus the Endurance but I liked being able to try it out on a long ride. Julian spent about 30 minutes setting me up on the Kanan and off I went. It was a very comfortable ride and I must have been asked about the bike from about 30 people over the weekend. Both my Felt and this Kanan have Dura Ace. Honestly I didn’t expect to be faster and climb better on this bike. But after I plugged in my Garmin to Strava it showed how I compared to my previous attempts. I’ve ridden this exact route 4 times in Solvang and never did it as quick or had as much energy to go wine tasting after. This time I did and the only difference I can think of is the bike. My Father-in-Law had his new Franco Kanan with DI2 out last weekend also. He just got his last week and has nothing but positive things to say about Franco. I’ve ridden with him for about 4 years and I’ve never had him keep up with me as well as he did on this new bike. He couldn’t believe how responsive and comfortable his setup was. I’m happy I came across these guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Posts: 5071
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed
16bigern wrote:
My Father-in-Law had his new Franco Kanan with DI2 out last weekend also. He just got his last week and has nothing but positive things to say about Franco. I’ve ridden with him for about 4 years and I’ve never had him keep up with me as well as he did on this new bike. He couldn’t believe how responsive and comfortable his setup was. I’m happy I came across these guys.
I'm a little confused. Were you riding the Franco on the same ride(s) as your father-in-law was riding his Franco? If so, then you were both riding faster than previously, and therefore, his relative improvement from the Franco must have been greater than yours. Is that correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:19 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Franco Kanan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:28 pm
Posts: 3
Sorry I wasn't clear. We did not do the Century Ride together but we did ride together on the trip. I don't ride with him to race so I let him set the pace. He is now setting a faster pace on the flats but I noticed an improvement with his climbing more than anything. On a side note to the Franco the DI2 Ultegra was a great upgrade for him.
HammerTime2 wrote:
16bigern wrote:
My Father-in-Law had his new Franco Kanan with DI2 out last weekend also. He just got his last week and has nothing but positive things to say about Franco. I’ve ridden with him for about 4 years and I’ve never had him keep up with me as well as he did on this new bike. He couldn’t believe how responsive and comfortable his setup was. I’m happy I came across these guys.
I'm a little confused. Were you riding the Franco on the same ride(s) as your father-in-law was riding his Franco? If so, then you were both riding faster than previously, and therefore, his relative improvement from the Franco must have been greater than yours. Is that correct?


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