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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am
Posts: 4
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


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:20 am
Posts: 103
Location: ny,ny USA
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 .


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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:56 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 3180
Location: New Zealand
Pics please, Bob :)

_________________
Used to race....got too wrinkly and old ;) Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
Edit: HAD a decent race! 16/08/2014 :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am
Posts: 4
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.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am
Posts: 378
I hope for your sake that you didn't sell that C40....


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am
Posts: 4
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?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am
Posts: 378
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!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:59 am
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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!)


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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:58 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm
Posts: 1402
Use an free online media hosting site such as http://imageshack.us/


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