SPEEDVAGEN - SUPERLIGHT ROAD Frame

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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michel2
Posts: 1172
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:47 am
Location: somewere floating between here and the other side

by michel2

I've seen some shocking welding on stinner frames and on more than one frame ! two company's that build in steel and are consistently good are 44 bikes and firefly, with saying that I'm not sure if 44 would take on a roadbike. but thas okay because from a mechanical point I don't thik it gets much better than a firefly xcr.

in regards to value for money, road cycling has overtaken golf a long time ago each to their own (-:

cassard
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:31 am

by cassard

Firefly does mainly Titanium bikes btw. Unless you ask by email, it's not even on their website that they do steel.

I guess I'm lucky to have perfect a beautiful weldings on my stinner.

by Weenie


morrisond
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:34 pm

by morrisond

You can't really option Stinner's up to $8,000-9,000 USD either - at that level Welds should be perfect.

At $2,000-$3,000 you shouldn't expect perfection. I have seen some Stinners with not Perfect welds - but they are no worse than SV.

Broady
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:02 pm

by Broady

I dunno, for 3k I'd personally expect pretty close to perfection. I'm an OK welder and I've seen very expensive frames with welding visually on my level and worse yet I wouldn't even consider making a frame for sale.

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euan
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:20 am

by euan

I mean they are still decent welds, just always appears to me at certain points in the beads it ends up looking lumpy, I'm assuming where the weld is stop/starting.

I've seen SV's with ground smooth welds.

What I'd be more worried about on a $3k frame is the amount of fine orange peel I can see in the hard to polish areas, or even head tubes.
"Step forward the climber and all those who worship at the altar of lightness" - R. Millar

Robbyville
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

Imaking20 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:28 pm
Yeah, I read that. What's your point?

Their bikes are already priced a bit ridiculous. If they keep their costing flat (or lower it) - I'll happily eat my words. Until then...
FWIW they have indeed kept their pricing flat, in fact they also reduced the prices on some of their groups (so feel free to munch some words :)). Of course they no longer sell framesets only. To be fair, by the time they add some OG1’s and special releases (like last year’s urban racer), they will probably be back to the more annual 200 number.

I went in for a fitting last November and got what was probably one of the last frames even though it was built in 2018 prior to the new guidebook. I built the bike up to my own specs and it came in at just under 7.4kg including bottle cages and tool pouch.

My welds and paint were perfect thankfully and the fitting was different from others I’ve had. The bike performs beautifully although I only have a few thousand km’s On it so far, it is my only bike.

I upgraded to the DI2 internal wiring set up, carbon seat tube, envy seat post, and integrated bar/stem painted to match. From a price point when all was said and done including my flight to Portland and hotel for the night the bike came in at just over what a similarly set up Pinarello F10 would be. Although I would probably never admit to not liking the finished product I can say that it’s been well worth it for me.

I respect and understand that the bike does not make me a lick faster than I was on my previous Domane, but from a goal standpoint, I had been wanting a SV for over 4 years. I scrimped and saved, sold other items and finally got everything I wanted in what will most probably be my last bike. Are they worth it... for me sure, but bikes are my only guilty pleasure
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853guy
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

Robbyville wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:07 pm
FWIW they have indeed kept their pricing flat, in fact they also reduced the prices on some of their groups (so feel free to munch some words :)). Of course they no longer sell framesets only. To be fair, by the time they add some OG1’s and special releases (like last year’s urban racer), they will probably be back to the more annual 200 number.

I went in for a fitting last November and got what was probably one of the last frames even though it was built in 2018 prior to the new guidebook. I built the bike up to my own specs and it came in at just under 7.4kg including bottle cages and tool pouch.

My welds and paint were perfect thankfully and the fitting was different from others I’ve had. The bike performs beautifully although I only have a few thousand km’s On it so far, it is my only bike.

I upgraded to the DI2 internal wiring set up, carbon seat tube, envy seat post, and integrated bar/stem painted to match. From a price point when all was said and done including my flight to Portland and hotel for the night the bike came in at just over what a similarly set up Pinarello F10 would be. Although I would probably never admit to not liking the finished product I can say that it’s been well worth it for me.

I respect and understand that the bike does not make me a lick faster than I was on my previous Domane, but from a goal standpoint, I had been wanting a SV for over 4 years. I scrimped and saved, sold other items and finally got everything I wanted in what will most probably be my last bike. Are they worth it... for me sure, but bikes are my only guilty pleasure
Congrats Robbyville. Enjoyment is often a difficult to quantify and equally difficult to justify experience, but I believe it plays a significant and important part in making decisions for purchases of diminishing returns.

Would you be willing to share how tall you are, and the geometry you selected?

Cheers,

853guy

Robbyville
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

Sure thing,

I'm a titch over 170cm tall (5'7"), the geometry was fairly different from what I had prior but that was by design. Egotistically, I was hoping to not have a severly sloped top tube, in the end it's a mild 3 degrees, but I also wanted a more aggressive profile on the bike. Top tube ended up at about 53.5cm or thereabouts. The fitting as mentioned was quite different from others I've done, probably because they were building the bike around me vs. fitting after purchase by use of stems, bar reach, set back, etc. By this I mean that Sacha spent probably 40 minutes simply having me doing exercises on the bike to determine my balance between the two wheels along with the usual measurements. I only have a 2mm spacer under the stem, head tube I think came in at around 110mm or slightly higher. Overall the geometry is pretty in line with what most of us would associate with a race bike designed for longer days in the saddle, 74.5 degree angles, etc. I'm not shaped particularly different from others in my height range so I think the geometry is mildly different from many 52cm bikes off the shelf.

It had been probably since 1994 since I was last on a steel bike (Derosa with SLX Tubing way too stiff for me), I was incredibly surprised by how smooth this bike feels even compared to my previous Domane which of course is built to be comfortable. I think it's funny how things have changed over the years. When Titanium and Carbon entered the market place it was under the pretense of absorbing road vibration and comfort as compared to steel and oversized aluminum. Now the mantra is "Steel is real" and much more comfortable than most carbon bikes. We all know it boils down to how you build the bike with the materials, you can make an insanely harsh riding carbon bike just as you can a smooth one. I was also surprised at how such a tiny (ok, normal for steel) bottom bracket juncture could be as stiff as my huge carbon one. Either way this bike rides very differently than my last still as lovely though!

Imaking20
Posts: 1615
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:19 am

by Imaking20

Robbyville wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:07 pm
Imaking20 wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:28 pm
Yeah, I read that. What's your point?

Their bikes are already priced a bit ridiculous. If they keep their costing flat (or lower it) - I'll happily eat my words. Until then...
FWIW they have indeed kept their pricing flat, in fact they also reduced the prices on some of their groups (so feel free to munch some words :)). Of course they no longer sell framesets only. To be fair, by the time they add some OG1’s and special releases (like last year’s urban racer), they will probably be back to the more annual 200 number.
Neat that they didn't raise prices. I'll withhold my celebration about a $2225 DA9100 group though.
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Robbyville
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

Well see that’s simply not fair :). Can’t change the rules once established. People deserve to earn their keep. SV or Vanilla employs roughly 12 ppl designers, fabricators, painters, etc. reasonable mark ups for labor intensive work to a small number of purchasers...
Last edited by Robbyville on Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wookski
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

I respect Sacha for building a strong brand, desired by many and the envy of his competitors. The love/ hate responses I’ve read here only confirm that he is definitely not trying to be everything to everyone. The few guys I know that own SV’s absolutely love them.

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853guy
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

Robbyville wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:54 pm
Sure thing,

I'm a titch over 170cm tall (5'7"), the geometry was fairly different from what I had prior but that was by design. Egotistically, I was hoping to not have a severly sloped top tube, in the end it's a mild 3 degrees, but I also wanted a more aggressive profile on the bike. Top tube ended up at about 53.5cm or thereabouts. The fitting as mentioned was quite different from others I've done, probably because they were building the bike around me vs. fitting after purchase by use of stems, bar reach, set back, etc. By this I mean that Sacha spent probably 40 minutes simply having me doing exercises on the bike to determine my balance between the two wheels along with the usual measurements. I only have a 2mm spacer under the stem, head tube I think came in at around 110mm or slightly higher. Overall the geometry is pretty in line with what most of us would associate with a race bike designed for longer days in the saddle, 74.5 degree angles, etc. I'm not shaped particularly different from others in my height range so I think the geometry is mildly different from many 52cm bikes off the shelf.

It had been probably since 1994 since I was last on a steel bike (Derosa with SLX Tubing way too stiff for me), I was incredibly surprised by how smooth this bike feels even compared to my previous Domane which of course is built to be comfortable. I think it's funny how things have changed over the years. When Titanium and Carbon entered the market place it was under the pretense of absorbing road vibration and comfort as compared to steel and oversized aluminum. Now the mantra is "Steel is real" and much more comfortable than most carbon bikes. We all know it boils down to how you build the bike with the materials, you can make an insanely harsh riding carbon bike just as you can a smooth one. I was also surprised at how such a tiny (ok, normal for steel) bottom bracket juncture could be as stiff as my huge carbon one. Either way this bike rides very differently than my last still as lovely though!
Hi Robbyville,

Cool, thanks for all that. I'm a little shorter than you, but I completely share your preference for non-severely-sloping top tubes. Three degrees if pretty great for a frame of that size. I'm hoping for similar geometry for my as-yet-to-be-decided custom build, but I need to be realisitc.

As you can probably guess from my moniker, I've ridden steel most of my life, and only bought my first carbon frame last year. I was initially thinking of an XCr bike, then high-end tube-to-tube carbon, but am leaning more towards titanium. We'll see.

In any case, congrats again on a beautiful build.

Best,

853guy

Robbyville
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

853guy wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:12 pm
[
Hi Robbyville,

Cool, thanks for all that. I'm a little shorter than you, but I completely share your preference for non-severely-sloping top tubes. Three degrees if pretty great for a frame of that size. I'm hoping for similar geometry for my as-yet-to-be-decided custom build, but I need to be realisitc.

As you can probably guess from my moniker, I've ridden steel most of my life, and only bought my first carbon frame last year. I was initially thinking of an XCr bike, then high-end tube-to-tube carbon, but am leaning more towards titanium. We'll see.

In any case, congrats again on a beautiful build.

Best,

853guy
Thank you for the kind words! I had an 853 built bike back in the late 80's if memory serves builders actually had to be certified to use it but perhaps that's an aging memory or purely marketing hype from back in the day. So many fantastic titanium builders these days, I look forward to hearing about your progress!

KarlC
Posts: 731
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
Location: San Diego Ca USA

by KarlC

Wookski wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:09 pm
I respect Sacha for building a strong brand, desired by many and the envy of his competitors. The love/ hate responses I’ve read here only confirm that he is definitely not trying to be everything to everyone. The few guys I know that own SV’s absolutely love them.
So true, I can say the same every time I ride mine. :thumbup:

.

Denavelo
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:01 pm

by Denavelo

I bought my SV back in 2012 I would say... I had posted on VS forum that I wanted one and Sacha reached out to me via forum mail (Classy).
I purchased a CX bike first, and this was my first dive into the ISP somewhat. I had a Noah Ridley with ISP, but never built it up. So I didn't know how much post I needed.

Needless to say, the CX bike was too short and I ended up selling it after a repaint from Vanilla. Sacha then told me he was sitting on a Surprise Me 2011 frame if I were interested. I bought it! I still own this bike to this day and it's by far one of the best riding bikes I've ever owned. I've owned lots of bikes and the SV isn't going anywhere. I recently got a Firefly #419, and this bike is pure bliss.. Ever since I bought it, I haven't even looked at my Speedvagen... So last week, I tossed on my Schmolke 45 TLO wheels on the SV and took it for a spin. The first thing I noticed after a 6 month absence was, "Damn this bike is fast!" The speedvagen just rides on rails and it's a sensation I can't describe in words at the moment. I do a loop in LA (Big Tujunga Road), and it's mostly rollers with a few sustained short climbs. The speedvagen eats this loop up for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

This bike simply bangs on rollers with immense speed, and on long climbs it sustains a solid and planted feel the entire climb. I've had an 11lb BH Ultralight Evo and that thing could climb like a goat, but the SV didn't slack behind much.. Granted my SV is a few pounds heavier, the way it carries speed and maintains momentum is like no other bike I've owned. I was seriously nervous on how it would ride after riding my Firefly for 6 months, which weighs 12lbs... 5 miles into my ride on the SV last week, it was all smiles. Maybe it's the earlier years that have that special soul, but this one is a keep for sure. I think KarlC has one of the earlier SV bikes with the non Enve topper... Those frames are solid, but were way heavier than my year. The Ritchey topper was a solid piece of tank on the frame.

I never swalloed the Speedvagen pill that some people have, to assosciate the price of the bike with some sort of elitest attitude on the road. I don't see how this brand garnishes so much hate either. I personally know some of the people that work there, just from years of comunicating with them and my friend moved to OR to work there. All of the staff is first class and extremely cordial and professional. At least from my experiences with them. My frame is of the 2011 vintage. From my receollection, this was the era where Sacha and Mike Desalvo were the two individuals welding and doing the frames. A mutual friend designed the 2011 SM scheme, so it holds a special value in my heart. I'll never bash something I've never personally tried, or dislike someone I personally never met. It seems like the people who bash SV bikes, have never owned one or ridden one for an extended amount of time.

Just my 2¢

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Last edited by Denavelo on Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Speedvagen Road Machine "2011 Surprise me | Cannondale SuperSix Evo | Rob English "Mudfoot" 29er | Firefly Ti #419 | Kogswell 650b Rando | Crema Cycles "Duo"

by Weenie


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