Franco Balcom Road Review

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Post Reply
BobR
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am

by BobR

I recently purchased and received a Franco Balcom Road (endurance) 54cm from Julian at Franco bikes. I know there has been a lot of "chatter" on this site concerning the bike and Julian's business model and thought I'd relay my impressions and experiences so far. The short answer (and I'll go in to greater detail) is that the performance of the bike, customer service and overall experience has been FANTASTIC!

Details:

I'm a 50 year old rider that rides approximately 4000 miles per year out here in the rolling countryside west of Philadelphia. I was looking for a new bike (old bike:Colnago C40 HP/Campy Record10/Reynolds Assault/17 pounds) and as much as any other bike geek i checked out, rode, and read reviews on ten different models extensively. I started reading good things about Franco. I checked out their web-site, impressed by their DTC biz model and gave Julian a call. We spoke for 45 minutes and (as with other people that have posted) I was impressed with his industry/tech knowledge. Julian asked many questions about my riding history and style, and came across with a lot of passion for his product and would back it up. I was convinced that his DTC model does save money on a very quality frame. After several more emails and conversations with Julian, I decided to pull the trigger and place an order. From that initial conversation till I received the bike the high level of customer service was 100% positive. One of the many things I enjoyed was that it seemed that Julian was trying to tailor fit a bike to me (similar to a tailor made suit) versus trying to sell me something off the rack left in inventory which is sometimes the experience at your local LBS.

The ride: Balcom Road Endurance/2012 SRAM Red/Zipp 404/Zipp service course SL, stem, post, bar/Keo Max2, 15.2 pounds.

Although I only have 150 miles so far on the bike it has been everything as advertised:light/responsive/stiff/great climber. I'm really enjoying riding it. Beautiful bike. The guys I ride with for years have noticed with the Balcom how my pulls in the group are longer and faster, and I'm hammering everyone on the hills. Definitely a faster bike than my C40. Right now no negatives, but as I put more miles on it I'll post if anything comes up. The Retul fitting was also a great experience, really "dialing in" the best fit I've ever had. Special kudos to Rob at Orange Street Velo in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who did the fitting. A very knowledgeable guy with a great shop. If you're in that part of PA, I highly recommend Rob and Orange Street Velo.

Bottom line: Great bike, great customer service. completely satisfied and highly reccomend Franco.

Let me know if anyone had any questions.

Thanks,

Bob

by Weenie


sorin
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:20 am
Location: ny,ny USA

by sorin

Sounds to me due to the bike fitting this results came as such.a proper bike fit is extremely imp. ....good also b just a placebo effect of having a new "toy".anway enjoy the ride !btw-I know I sound negative regarding your post but you mentioned the bike fit that was just right finally..and that has a lot to do with the woooow effect .

User avatar
theremery
Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:56 am
Location: New Zealand

by theremery

Pics please, Bob :)
Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
Edit: 2015: darn near won the best South Island series (got second in age
-group)..woo hoo Racy Theremery is back!!

BobR
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am

by BobR

Pictures of my Balcom to come! I think that the Balcom is comparable in quality and performance to the Madone, S-Works. But because direct to consumer, far less money.As we all know, there are a lot of great, awesome frames out there. Quite frankly I believe the engineering and designs have all converged, where the performance/quality differences are subtle. With three kids, I couldn't justify dropping $9k-$12k on a Colnago, Dogma, Cervelo, Scott Foil, etc. but for just below $7k I got a great bike with all the bells and whistles. And the confidence that if I have any problems with my Balcom, Julian is only a phone call away and will make it good. We all under regard customer service until we get a crack in the frame. Franco's customer satisfaction must be high amongst all owners of Balcom's.

andyindo
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

I hope for your sake that you didn't sell that C40....

BobR
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am

by BobR

Still have the C40, classic bike, never get rid of it. In fact, sent it out to Calfee last year to get refurbished, they did a great job. Plush ride on the C40, but liking the Franco better, all around. Why do you say that? A market out there for old Colnago's?

andyindo
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

BobR wrote:Still have the C40, classic bike, never get rid of it. In fact, sent it out to Calfee last year to get refurbished, they did a great job. Plush ride on the C40, but liking the Franco better, all around. Why do you say that? A market out there for old Colnago's?


There'll always be a market for them. I almost sold mine a few times. Now having ridden a few top end modern carbon bikes, I'm very happy I wasn't successful in selling it!

BobR
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am

by BobR

I'm trying to upload photos of my Franco Balcom from my IPad to this post, but having problems. Anyone know how?? (you can tell I'm getting to be an old guy......technology is passing me by!)

bricky21
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm

by bricky21

Use an free online media hosting site such as http://imageshack.us/

by Weenie


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post