Carbon HighEnd Frameset Quality this days...

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
3Pio
Posts: 1279
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

I just discover this channel of Luescher Teknik where he cut up framesets and discuss build quality...

I always had impression that Look Bikes are HighQuality stuff and i was a bit shocked to realize that there is not so precision work on this frameset he cup up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdghAAmjyLs

So let's first discuss what is higher vs lower quality of frameset? Since we are paying very high prices, what is the determined quality that we shall pay for, and what is just marketing?

For me quality is:

1. Modeling ride charateristic and achive something that is stiff when u push, but beeing comfortable in same time and to dont beat u up...

2. Calculating strength but in same time to dont be heavy. Or to be light but in same time to dont be compromised on longevity and durability

3. Quality Control and scaning of as much as possible (not just one peace per 1000000).. While other points can be copied from chinese brands, maybe this point is the only difference between high end brands vs chinese.. Or maybe they just have marketing that they have better QC...

4. Modeling handling and geometry for purpose

5. High precision tolerances regarding BB, Headset, and whole assembly lines/angles....




So what are ur opinios on all this? What are ur opinions on cut out Look Frameset here quality (and also others). Is this just final cosmetic not important at all for overal safety, quality of ride, longevity etc, or this compromise overall quality and is nothing better then chinese brands/framesets this days? Not talking just for Look, but overall (if u see more videos, not too good to other brands as well)

ichobi
Posts: 971
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

You are mixing ride quality with qc into one broad definition. You could have a very well finished and beautifully made frame from inside and outside yet lacks stiffness or be awfully harsh. It is not uncommon.

Many brands that lack the resource for R&D often frame their product along the line of better 'craftmanship'. for example, I rode a Independent Fabrication frame for a time. They are probably the most well made and most beautiful frame I have seen and ridden yet their performance (stiffness, responsiveness, climbing, handling) is noticeably behind a modern monocoque frame. The Tarmac SL6 for example just performs better (for performance riding).

The Indy Fab frame is not just as balanced. Now I am not saying the Indy Fab is a terrible frame. It's really good for the intended purpose it doesn't perform as well as well researched monocoque frame (not all monocoque frames perforrms well! ). They certainly aim at entirely different market segment. I would call them both high quality product. One is a quality racing bike, the other is a quality boutique bike. They perform differently.

Good ride quality comes from better engineering. Good QC is more to do with factory process and attention to detail. You can have both in the same frame but you can also have one without the other. You can also have neither of them as shown in cheap Chinese knock off.

I once demo'ed a mid range Giant TCR and from the first few pedal strokes it's already apparent that it performs much better than some very expensive European crafted frame. (Cipopllini comes to mind). I rode both for a good period and I like the mid range TCR characteristic much better. It was quite a revelation really. I know Giant made one of the best bike in the market but when you get to compared some bikes with same spec back to back, you really do learn a lot. Unless I am passionate about the brand story or liek the look of it, I would never choose the Cipollini over the top end TCR for example. However, performance is not all we paid for. I am willing to pay for a Festka just because I like the brand and what they are doing, without the expectation that they have to perform as well the Tour de France-raced frames.
Last edited by ichobi on Thu May 30, 2019 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

by Weenie


mag
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:23 pm

by mag

As for Look - they do a very good R&D job, the initial frame samples are manufactured at a high quality, however once they start mass production, the quality drops and can also vary quite a lot. Still the results of the R&D phase do translate into the ride.

User avatar
Lewn777
Posts: 863
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I've been subscribed to Luchner's channel for at least a year or two. There's so much to be taken into account here.

-You've got durability and you have ride quality.
-Then you have internal beauty and external beauty.
-You have R&D and QC.
-Should you trust companies that do recalls? Are they making bad bikes? Or should you not trust companies that don't do recalls? Are they covering up defects?
-Should we care about the location of manufacture? Will a bike made in Tunisia by Look and designed by Look in France be better than an Italian designed and manufactured Colnago that's been built from Chinese or Taiwanse tubing and butting? Or should we just go with volume? Is something made in China intrinsically bad? Is any frameset still even made in Taiwan? Quest Composites in Dongguan (China) and Giant Manufacturing in Shanghai make thousands of bikes with very few upset and unhappy customers, would it be easier to buy one of them?

IMHO be rational, go with volume, get a Trek, Specialized or Giant. Well designed and manufactured good, QC, very few customer complaints, tour proven good customer support and warranties. In some ways I dislike my own rationality, becuase this puts all the power and money in the hands of just a few companies that can easily collude together, but logically for a comsumer this makes sense. If any of these big companies make a bad bike it will quickly be highlighted by owners. My heart says get something like an Orbea, Colnago, Bianchi etc but my head says buy Giant, Trek or Spec.

I think a cool trick to discover the real quality of R&D and build quality is to go to the fork and pull out the expander plug. Is it a generic Chinese part or something special? Long or short? Cheaply or well made? Also the BB and headset quality are real giveaways as to quality, but not something you can ever really get away with pulling out if it's not your bike. :lol:

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

Lewn777 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 12:42 pm
My heart says get something like an Orbea, Colnago, Bianchi etc but my head says buy Giant, Trek or Spec.
I have no idea about the QC on my Bianchis. But you know what? Whenever I look at them (as I am doing right now since they are on my wall in front of my desk), or whenever I hop on one for a ride, at least for a second I'm reminded of Pantani, Coppi, the Giro, Italy, Milan...THAT is priceless :)
Bianchi Oltre XR4
Celeste Matte
Campy SR 11spd mechanical
Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani Edition
Campy SR / Chorus 11spd mechanical
Fulcrum Racing Speed 35 tubs
FSA / Deda bits and parts

romanmoser
Posts: 318
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 8:30 pm

by romanmoser

Bianchi like most modern brands that produce in high quantity has QC issues
Example : Bottle holder holes not centered

Some smaller carbon frame builders have also issues ( FIlament bottom bracket not as requested perfectly )
Others have very good reputations but are out of reach ( or used ) for most because they don't earn enough or do'nt want to spend that much ( crumpton, argonaut , pursuit ) Etc

I don't see myself paying full retail price and more than 2500 3000 at best € for a big brand frameset

mag
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:23 pm

by mag

Re Bianchi: AFAIK at least some Binachis are (or at least recently like 2 years ago were) made by Merida in China (don't know if they have their own factories in China or if they contract 3rd parties for the job).

Monocoque frames are more difficult to produce cleanly without many manufacturing related glitches, Colnago C-series built mostly from tubes & lugs tend to be of better quality in this regard, however connections between tubes & lugs are critical here.

User avatar
wheelsONfire
Posts: 2989
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

It's a can of worms. If you'd like to be assured, you should have each frame and fork CT-scanned. What's best, a new age carbon yuppie frame or a big brand (but) Asian (built) low wage frame?
I feel the same way for my Ax Vial EVO Race as when i got it. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. But i would gladly have a second bike.
What annoys me to a degree is that almost all framesets are built in Asia and the mark up is probably horrendous.
I'd feel a bit better knowing that it's built somewhere costs on labour etc is more on par with what i pay for the frameset.

Let's think about it, what if Specialized, Trek, Pinarello, Bianchi etc were built in house with full controll of QC from get go to the boxing.
What do you expect those framesets had cost?

Atleast LW came out and told their frameset had cost about 12000 Euro. That says alot on the mark up on their wheels.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

bremerradkurier
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:18 pm

by bremerradkurier

wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:01 pm
It's a can of worms. If you'd like to be assured, you should have each frame and fork CT-scanned. What's best, a new age carbon yuppie frame or a big brand (but) Asian (built) low wage frame?
I feel the same way for my Ax Vial EVO Race as when i got it. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. But i would gladly have a second bike.
What annoys me to a degree is that almost all framesets are built in Asia and the mark up is probably horrendous.
I'd feel a bit better knowing that it's built somewhere costs on labour etc is more on par with what i pay for the frameset.

Let's think about it, what if Specialized, Trek, Pinarello, Bianchi etc were built in house with full controll of QC from get go to the boxing.
What do you expect those framesets had cost?

Atleast LW came out and told their frameset had cost about 12000 Euro. That says alot on the mark up on their wheels.
Trek's higher end carbon frames are still US made.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/stor ... bon_story/

MyM3Coupe
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:32 pm

by MyM3Coupe

IMO Time makes one of the best products in the business. They machined the BB30 insert perfectly on my NXS as evidenced by 4 years of "creak free" riding.
I'm baffled by people paying $5K USD for say a Pinarello, that's just a cheaply made Taiwanese mold frame with a short warranty.

RussellS
Posts: 875
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

bremerradkurier wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:46 pm
Trek's higher end carbon frames are still US made.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/stor ... bon_story/
Maybe. Not sure I believe what the Trek marketing department puts on their website. Some do though. Below is a quote from the end of the webpage you linked to:

“I often get asked: why does Trek continue to build frames here when the entire industry has moved offshore, including, to be honest, a good percentage of Trek frames?"

So at least there is some honesty on that website. Which higher end carbon frames are made in the USA? How many? Just the ones going to the Trek Tour de France team?

rollinslow
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:25 am

by rollinslow

MyM3Coupe wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 4:47 pm
IMO Time makes one of the best products in the business. They machined the BB30 insert perfectly on my NXS as evidenced by 4 years of "creak free" riding.
I'm baffled by people paying $5K USD for say a Pinarello, that's just a cheaply made Taiwanese mold frame with a short warranty.

FWIW, I briefly had a Pinarello Paris from 2011. I had saved and planned for that bike but once I started riding the problems began. The headset would crackle with turning the bars and the inside of the frame had lots of loose carbon/bladder etc. I returned it actually and got a store credit. Not sure I could ever throw down for a dogma after this experience even if this was just a dud.

User avatar
Lewn777
Posts: 863
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

bremerradkurier wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:46 pm
wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:01 pm
It's a can of worms. If you'd like to be assured, you should have each frame and fork CT-scanned. What's best, a new age carbon yuppie frame or a big brand (but) Asian (built) low wage frame?
I feel the same way for my Ax Vial EVO Race as when i got it. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. But i would gladly have a second bike.
What annoys me to a degree is that almost all framesets are built in Asia and the mark up is probably horrendous.
I'd feel a bit better knowing that it's built somewhere costs on labour etc is more on par with what i pay for the frameset.

Let's think about it, what if Specialized, Trek, Pinarello, Bianchi etc were built in house with full controll of QC from get go to the boxing.
What do you expect those framesets had cost?

Atleast LW came out and told their frameset had cost about 12000 Euro. That says alot on the mark up on their wheels.
Trek's higher end carbon frames are still US made.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/stor ... bon_story/
I think you're being deliberately misled.
I'm pretty certain what they are making in that factory are prototypes and not available to tge average person.
It's been a common industry trick to highlight a R&D department and mislead people to think this is where things are made. Having an onshore home R&D is something to be proud of anyway, lots of companies farm everything out.

I'll bet most Trek bikes are made by Quest composites in Dongguan China, and probably a few other factories depending on cf type or alloy.

User avatar
Stendhal
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

Lewn777 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:52 am
bremerradkurier wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:46 pm
wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:01 pm
It's a can of worms. If you'd like to be assured, you should have each frame and fork CT-scanned. What's best, a new age carbon yuppie frame or a big brand (but) Asian (built) low wage frame?
I feel the same way for my Ax Vial EVO Race as when i got it. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. But i would gladly have a second bike.
What annoys me to a degree is that almost all framesets are built in Asia and the mark up is probably horrendous.
I'd feel a bit better knowing that it's built somewhere costs on labour etc is more on par with what i pay for the frameset.

Let's think about it, what if Specialized, Trek, Pinarello, Bianchi etc were built in house with full controll of QC from get go to the boxing.
What do you expect those framesets had cost?

Atleast LW came out and told their frameset had cost about 12000 Euro. That says alot on the mark up on their wheels.
Trek's higher end carbon frames are still US made.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/stor ... bon_story/
I think you're being deliberately misled.
I'm pretty certain what they are making in that factory are prototypes and not available to tge average person.
It's been a common industry trick to highlight a R&D department and mislead people to think this is where things are made. Having an onshore home R&D is something to be proud of anyway, lots of companies farm everything out.

I'll bet most Trek bikes are made by Quest composites in Dongguan China, and probably a few other factories depending on cf type or alloy.
I believe I read about two years ago that the top end, 700 series carbon frames used to be made in the USA (for security reasons, of all things), but that is no longer the case. I may be wrong but I don’t think Trek claims otherwise any more, so there is no deception.
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 (6.39 kg), Cervelo Aspero (7.87)
Retired: LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10 \ F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2, R3, R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

User avatar
Stendhal
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

Stendhal wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 am
Lewn777 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:52 am
bremerradkurier wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:46 pm
wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:01 pm
It's a can of worms. If you'd like to be assured, you should have each frame and fork CT-scanned. What's best, a new age carbon yuppie frame or a big brand (but) Asian (built) low wage frame?
I feel the same way for my Ax Vial EVO Race as when i got it. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. But i would gladly have a second bike.
What annoys me to a degree is that almost all framesets are built in Asia and the mark up is probably horrendous.
I'd feel a bit better knowing that it's built somewhere costs on labour etc is more on par with what i pay for the frameset.

Let's think about it, what if Specialized, Trek, Pinarello, Bianchi etc were built in house with full controll of QC from get go to the boxing.
What do you expect those framesets had cost?

Atleast LW came out and told their frameset had cost about 12000 Euro. That says alot on the mark up on their wheels.
Trek's higher end carbon frames are still US made.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/stor ... bon_story/
I think you're being deliberately misled.
I'm pretty certain what they are making in that factory are prototypes and not available to tge average person.
It's been a common industry trick to highlight a R&D department and mislead people to think this is where things are made. Having an onshore home R&D is something to be proud of anyway, lots of companies farm everything out.

I'll bet most Trek bikes are made by Quest composites in Dongguan China, and probably a few other factories depending on cf type or alloy.
I believe I read about two years ago that the top end, 700 series carbon frames used to be made in the USA (for security reasons, of all things), but that is no longer the case. I may be wrong but I don’t think Trek claims otherwise any more, so there is no deception.
“Clever” article in the link. If you read it closely, all it says is that mold making and prototyping is done in Waterloo (and that a third party US supplier makes the carbon fiber).
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 (6.39 kg), Cervelo Aspero (7.87)
Retired: LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10 \ F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2, R3, R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

by Weenie


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post