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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Location: Bay Area
I owned an SL4 and agree with parts of your review, minus the handling part. Mine was very surefooted and not twitchy at all. The internal cable routing on that frame is poorly thought out- mainly the bb guide and rear brake cable. Really shows they didn't engineer the fine points and that really detracted me from believing that they did their homework on all aspects. Having to run a goofy liner with donuts so the rear brake cable doesn't rub the TT is horrible and leads to a spongy feel no matter what you do. The bb guide is a junk catcher so you're forced to run liners if you ever want to ride in somewhat dirty conditions/weather and that weird guide for the rear derailleur loop definitely increases friction. Would be a top level frame if they had just sorted these kind of details out.

I've owned a 2008 S-Works, an SL2, an SL3, and an SL4. The SL3 was definitely not that jarring, but the SL4 was somehow worlds smoother, however, my CAAD10 doesn't feel all that different.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Somewhat agree, but I guess they had to compromise somewhat to produce a frame that would suit mechanical cabling as well as electronic systems.

I don't find the rear brake spongy at all... I also don't notice much of a big deal with the rear derailleur and friction.

Not saying I disagree with you, but rather that my experience is different, that's all.

Cheers.

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Posted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:54 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:48 am 
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khdroberts- I live few minutes away from Beach road. So my weeklies include NR/Frankston/Two Bays. Weekends vary a bit, I try to get out to the hills or some club racing.
(depending on how far my Mrs's leash stretches :(

What's your riding schedule is like? Do you live nearby?


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:01 am 
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Vladt: At the moment my ride schedule is all late night trainer! Work is a little full on at preset!

But yes, I live in St Kilda now, so close to Beach RD. a little tired of it though, pref King Lake loop these days... but finding the time is an increasing challenge!

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:48 am 
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khdroberts - I can totally understand the work commitments, but never let work get in the way of a good ride ah :lol:
Kinglake loops sound really good, I am bit sick of the Beach road and haven't been to King Lake since october last year.
Let me know when you going there next time around... (vladtsyrlin@gmail.com)

cheers
Vlad


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:27 am 
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Vladt: DONE! :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:46 am 
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Location: Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
I've heard reports from teams using SL4s that the front end can wash out quite easily on corners, possibly due to the stiffness? (speculation on my part).

I never really warmed to my SL3 pro and I don't miss it, but rode a SL4 for 300m and it felt better even in that short time, which isn't really a true indication.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:30 am 
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Location: belgium
In your blog:

...If you thought that was harsh, you should hear my opinion of Pinarello and Colnago. But they escape my view, being Italian bikes and produced by makers who appear to think that human life stops at 5 foot 10 inches....

end quote.

I don't get it when I look at geometry charts of the C59 and the Dogma, compared to the SL4 in 61... :noidea:
Can you explain?

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBC ... cname=Road" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.colnago.com/c59-italia/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... BRAND.ID=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Well, it goes like this:

I wouldn't ride a Dogma if I was paid to ride one.

Reason: it's a $400 frame set cost to produce (that figure is from the horses mouth) and Pinarello want how many thousands for the frame set?

I know that frame set costs are in the hundreds for MOST companies who choose to make in the far East, and understand that what I'm paying for is the R&D that went into the design etc. I also know that far East carbon has come a long, long way (Parlee manufacture their Z5 range in the far East, Giant manufacture there (and manufacture some frames for Colnago - yeah, yeah, I've heard the whole 'Colnago have their own factory in Asia' BS too - Giant make them. End of story), Specialized, Cannondale, Trek etc, etc. I accept that all the big makers pay hundreds for their frame sets and mark them up to the thousands - BUT I refuse to be utterly bent over and raped simply because PInarello appear to think being an Italian brand means they can. There is, after all, a difference between 'mark up' and 'rip off'. I'm also not particularly impressed with the whole 'Made In Italy' deal - where you can do everything except put the decals on the frame in Asia, ship it to Italy, slap on a couple of decals and stamp 'Made In Italy' all over it - and it's legal to do so.

I don't like Pinarello bikes, I don't like their business practices and I don't even like their Australian distributor. I've never liked them and probably will never like them. We had a Dogma in the shop (frame set) that I had time to check out (along with a swag of built bikes that were left-over from the previous Italian loving manager (long story)) - we sold it to a guy in Sydney and you know what? The guy who bought it sent it back after a couple of months because the clear coat started to discolour in the sun. If you're retailing your frames for $9K then you better get the UV coating right - first time. That's just basic stuff. Not to mention the number of cracked frames we had come in that went back for warranty service.

Colnago: Different story. From everything I've seen they make very, very nice frames. Fit still feels off to me - maybe it's the angles or the Q factor; I don't know, it just doesn't feel the same as the same size S Works (and feels a whole world away from my Z1). I like the Colnago brand (yes, some of their frames are made in the far East and they're like all Italian companies when it comes to the 'made in italy' thing, but you'll get no argument from me about the ride (except that I just don't feel comfortable on them) - and that's more what I was getting at with the earlier comment re: harsh. BUT have you seen the weight of their largest frame sets? It doesn't stack up against units from Specialized, Cannondale, BMC etc.

While we're on Italian bikes that CAN fit me - what about the Passoni - something like their XX Ti? That can be custom made to fit. It's beautifully made, it's Italian... all good. BUT it's $24,000 RRP with Super Record and some brand name carbon tubulars!!! For my money the Moots Vamoots RSL is as well made and would come in AT LEAST $10,000 LESS than the Passoni! There's loving the design and having a passion for a culture and then there's blinkers. I can't afford blinkers that cost that much!

Besides, I don't want another bike I feel I have to treat with kid gloves, I want a bike I don't mind getting dirty, that I don't mind racing. For me that's the SL 4. My Parlee Z1 is about $22,500 retail and it's almost at the point where it's too valuable to ride. And that's a bit silly.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:35 pm 
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UPDATE:

Just installed the new SRAM Red 2013 groupset on the SL4. Shifting is far better, ride noise is MUCH improved, shifter ergonomics is better (for my hands at least) - the hoods have a more pronounced bump that allows for better grip on rough stretches of road. Front shifting is worlds apart from the original SRAM Red - as good as anything out there.

Installation is a mixed bag - crankset is super easy with the new pre-load adjuster, rear mech is as simple as ever, shifter install doesn't change (actually, that's not quite true - reach adjustment is now very simple - and external) front mech is a complete pain to get exactly right (but the old version was also a struggle at first) and the brake calliper install is tediously repetitive - self centring brakes with that require a 13mm open ended spanner and an allen key - you'll find out that cable length is critical in correctly installing these babies!

Lever feel and brake modulation is superior to old Red as is braking power.

I'll post some pics as soon as I get some free time.

One thing to note: I was using a black KMC chain when I first installed the new Red and boy, was that a mistake! Shifting was poor and very noisy. Took it off, swapped in the supplied SRAM unit and the change was night and day! This group is definitely made to work as a whole.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:53 am 
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Location: The 'Dena
I think Trek make their Madone 6 series in the USA.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:33 pm 
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And?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:58 am 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
So how does the New Red compare to the old? Does your Z1 have Super Record on it?
If so what would your choice be between the two and why?
I'm looking at a group upgrade on my Z5 and wondering which group would be the best bang for buck.
Fortunately run 2 sets of wheels with DT hubs so can easily swap freewheel hubs and not have compatibility issues

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:05 am 
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Hi Ozrider.

In all honesty, I still love the action and feel of Campy Super Record - it's less precise than the new SRAM Red but it has a more organic feel to it.

Bang for buck - new SRAM Red, no question. At the current RRP of around $2,700 (of course, you can probably get it cheaper by shopping around), that's substantially cheaper than Campy.

If you could get Super Record for the same price as new SRAM Red, then I'd go Campy. But that's a very personal thing - for racing, new SRAM is going to be faster shifting without a doubt.

As for longevity, I can't speak to how well the new SRAM Red will last, but Campy is known for it's ability to survive for years and years - I reckon you'd easily give the nod on longevity to Campy.

Hope that helps you out a little - will post more in-depth later when I have a little more time.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Posts: 59
I am wondering about your "Harsh" classification of the Cannondale Ssix Evo ride. I have one and I don't find it harsher than my previous bike which was a Specialized Roubaix. Maybe the wheels ?


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Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:58 pm 


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