Help me find a frame to build.

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:35 pm

by Sykes

I am looking to start a new project bike. I currently have an 09 Madone 4.5 (H2 geometry, the more relaxed geo). I'm trying to be weight conscious and budget friendly. I guess the first thing I need to source a frame. What I'd like in a frame, bar the obvious weight consideration, is:

- Budget of $1500 including fork and headset, but might go slightly higher for something very nice.
- Similar or slightly more aggressive geometry than Trek's H2.
- Medium-harsh ride IE not soft nor bone crushingly hard.

I intend to use a few very un-weight weenie items, but I would still like to end up with a slender bike. Ultegra Di2 shifters, derailleurs and a crank power meter (not sure which one yet)

I'm leaning towards an online manufacture like Planet X or Velovie, but am open to looking on craigslist for a used frame too. I've read a little about the Chinese frames but just don't know enough about that option yet, though I do think having someone US based could be easier for support. I also think that light weight frames from my LBS would be beyond my budget.

With all of that being said, could I ask for any tips, both in general terms or specific manufactures or informative links that I should check out?

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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:46 pm

by deermatt

for 1500, Id get a lightly used cannondale evo on craigslist. Sometimes you can even find parlee z5s in that range.Or you could save a bunch of money, spend 700 on a FM066SL like I did. I really like the frame, feels like my supersix.

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by OrPe

I second the craigslist/Ebay suggestion.
For 1500 you can get a Parlee Z4 (even Z5...), Look's (586/595/585), ... slightly used.
Prolly much better than the 700$ chinese / etc stuff (not bashing the Chinese... Z4/5 are Chinese...)

Had a Z4 and it is a fabulous frame-set.


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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:18 am
Location: Arizona

by kevhogaz

For $1500 you should be able to get something pretty nice, on Ebay.

Competitive Cyclist was selling a Ridley Damocles for $1100 just recently. I'd check out their sale section, and see what they have discounted right now.

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by savechief

I will second the Parlee Z5 suggestion. There is a new Z5 SL for sale on eBay for just under $2k, so you should definitely be able to find a non-SL for $1500.

If you have the patience, keep an eye out for a Look 585 Optimum or what I have, a Time VXRS Ulteam. My very barely used frame and fork were well under your $1500 budget. It's not the lightest, but is a very nice ride. If you really are looking for light weight, stick with the Z5.

Other thoughts....
Ridley Helium (CC has them new for $1800)
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)

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Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:35 pm

by Sykes

First thanks for the great tips. A few follow up points:

- With the big manufactures (Trek, Specialized, etc.) they made bikes by model year. Every year tweaking the paint or including some minor trickle down tech. Brilliant in terms of marketing, but when looking at Parlee it seems there are some older Z1s for sale which are from the mid 2000s. So it begs the question, does Parlee change their bike frames or is a Z1 a Z1, and a Z5 a Z5 in terms of carbon, tech, geometry, etc. If they do make changes, is there a year that would would set as your entry point, IE nothing before XXXX?

- It is hard to resist the idea of an 800g frame for $700

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

PedalForce is a US based reseller of Chinese frames. They have good support but of course their frames cost more than direct from China.

I have one of theirs that is 6 years old, and a FM066SL I got from DengFu in China.

Where would you get an 800g frame for $700?

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