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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new aluminum frame...

    I've decided to get back into racing. Specifically, crit racing. I went to the local crit over the past weekend and got hooked all over again.

    My main bike is carbon, but I want to build up a bike just for racing. I want to go with aluminum because of its ability to withstand the inevitable crashes that I know will happen.

    I'm looking for a good, stiff aluminum frame. I would like to buy new if at all possible, just so I don't have to worry about the history of the frame. The problem is that most companies aren't making aluminum frames any more, and if they are, it's hard to get just the frame.

    So, I'm looking for suggestions as to places to get a frame. I probably won't need custom sizes, and I don't care about custom paint.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dfritch's Avatar
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    I just picked up a Cannondale Caad 10, awesome bike!!!!

    Found this on ebay.

    http://compare.ebay.com/like/2208071...Types&var=sbar

    $999.00 for the frame.

  3. #3
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Neuvation Cycling's F100 frameset might be just the ticket at $395. John Nugent's stuff gets some great reviews. I just got a set of backup wheels from him, and so far his service has been fantastic.

    They say you should never buy a bike/frame that's so expensive you can't walk away from a crash without crying about it. I'd guess that applies double to racing, at least of the self-funded type.
    Last edited by CraigB; 07-06-11 at 10:11 AM.
    Craig in Indy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sundance89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    I've decided to get back into racing. Specifically, crit racing. I went to the local crit over the past weekend and got hooked all over again.

    My main bike is carbon, but I want to build up a bike just for racing. I want to go with aluminum because of its ability to withstand the inevitable crashes that I know will happen.

    I'm looking for a good, stiff aluminum frame. I would like to buy new if at all possible, just so I don't have to worry about the history of the frame. The problem is that most companies aren't making aluminum frames any more, and if they are, it's hard to get just the frame.

    So, I'm looking for suggestions as to places to get a frame. I probably won't need custom sizes, and I don't care about custom paint.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.
    I would suggest buying a bike of your choice from Bikes Direct and then selling the groupset. You will certainly be very close to breaking even, at the least getting a new frame for close to nothing. Even better, if you could be proactive and strike a deal with someone for whatever particular groupset they want and then order that particular model. It's a win win if you can sell them a new groupset for substantially less than they could ever get it for online, and you wouldn't have to worry about the history of a frame and it would be in the right size for you.

    And yes, there's that much room to navigate with BD's discounted prices. Strips and take offs are done all the time, although usually in reverse that I am suggesting to you. Shimano is a lot easier sell than say a Motobecane frame even though the common sense, informed folk know that MOST of these frames are coming from the same 3 factories anyway.
    Last edited by Sundance89; 07-06-11 at 10:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Neuvation Cycling's F100 frameset might be just the ticket at $395. John Nugent's stuff gets some great reviews. I just got a set of backup wheels from him, and so far his service has been fantastic.

    They say you should never buy a bike/frame that's so expensive you can't walk away from a crash without crying about it. I'd guess that applies double to racing, at least of the self-funded type.
    Yeah, I need to check his bikes out. I'm using his wheels right now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sundance89 View Post
    I would suggest buying a bike of your choice from Bikes Direct and then selling the groupset. You will certainly be very close to breaking even, at the least getting a new frame for close to nothing. Even better, if you could be proactive and strike a deal with someone for whatever particular groupset they want and then order that particular model. It's a win win if you can sell them a new groupset for substantially less than they could ever get it for online, and you wouldn't have to worry about the history of a frame and it would be in the right size for you.

    And yes, there's that much room to navigate with BD's discounted prices. Strips and take offs are done all the time, although usually in reverse that I am suggesting to you. Shimano is a lot easier sell than say a Motobecane frame even though the common sense, informed folk know that MOST of these frames are coming from the same 3 factories anyway.
    Hmm.... never thought of doing that. That is a pretty good ideal...

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    would the ascent frame from performance be a good 'crit' bike?

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400332

    $150 seems pretty good to me.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt. - surlyblog

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    I was just asking the same question last month at my LBS. The Ridley Icarus was the only aluminum road frame+fork they could get from their line of bikes (Orbea, Rocky mountain, Ridley, BMC). It was sub $600.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sundance89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgsatl View Post
    would the ascent frame from performance be a good 'crit' bike?

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400332

    $150 seems pretty good to me.
    +1

    Nashbar frames too for that matter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgsatl View Post
    would the ascent frame from performance be a good 'crit' bike?

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400332

    $150 seems pretty good to me.
    It looks a little flimsy to me. I've never ridden one so I can't say for sure, but the tube sizes and bottom bracket junction look too small to me. However, for $150 it may be worth a look...

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    It looks a little flimsy to me. I've never ridden one so I can't say for sure, but the tube sizes and bottom bracket junction look too small to me. However, for $150 it may be worth a look...
    It's tubing proportions don't look much different from the Trek 1500 I've been riding for 20+ years. It just doesn't look the same as all the latest hydro-formed alloy bikes that everyone is used to seeing now.
    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Neuvation Cycling's F100 frameset might be just the ticket at $395. John Nugent's stuff gets some great reviews. I just got a set of backup wheels from him, and so far his service has been fantastic.
    Is the F100 frame UCI legal? The downtube looks pretty large in some of the pictures... Depending on the series the OP intends to race, this might make a difference.

    If I were going racing, I would take a long hard look at the Cannondale CAAD10!

  12. #12
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Is the F100 frame UCI legal?
    Beats the hell out of me. I only raced citizens' class.
    Craig in Indy

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Is the F100 frame UCI legal? The downtube looks pretty large in some of the pictures... Depending on the series the OP intends to race, this might make a difference.

    If I were going racing, I would take a long hard look at the Cannondale CAAD10!
    I don't know. But, considering bikes like the Cervelo are legal, I'm assuming the F100 would be too. I like the looks of the Caad10, but I'm not sure I'm willing to spend that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    It's tubing proportions don't look much different from the Trek 1500 I've been riding for 20+ years. It just doesn't look the same as all the latest hydro-formed alloy bikes that everyone is used to seeing now.
    That's the problem. I rode a similar bike for a while and I could flex it like it was made of rubber when standing or sprinting.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    I don't know. But, considering bikes like the Cervelo are legal, I'm assuming the F100 would be too.
    Which Cervelos are legal and which ones aren't? Honestly, I don't know these days...

  15. #15
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    No local Crit will fall under much UCI oversight. Mostly only National Racing Calendar Pro events and State championships are monitored that closely.

    As far as buying a complete BD bike goes, there is another option. Buy just a BD frame from yet another arm of BD.

    http://www.bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BK...Framesets-Road

    Free Shipping too.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    That's the problem. I rode a similar bike for a while and I could flex it like it was made of rubber when standing or sprinting.
    That small diameter tubing does look weak. I had a Lemond Tourmalet that is just about the same at the 1500 BB area. It flexed way too much under me so over a period of nearly 3 years, I RARELY stood on the pedals trying to avoid frame damage. It finally snapped during the 3rd year of gentle use.

    My Cannondale CAD3 looks more like that F100 and it was actually designed as a crit style race bike. Very stiff and it doesn't flex!

  17. #17
    Senior Member libero's Avatar
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    I've just ordered a new aluminum frame. It took me a while but there are still good makers in Europe working with aluminum.
    I first had a look at GVHbikes and realized this.
    I saw Canyon (German I believe) which looked quite good.
    The one I went with though was Viner (Italian), mainly because I've been riding a secondhand Viner for several years - this one will be custom made (it's being shipped any day now). The old and the newly-ordered are both aluminum.
    That's right - custom - and a little more expensive. There should be a few dealers in the US and more in Europe - not sure if any will be convenient for you. However I'd definitely give Viner the nod for having racing in their blood (and aluminum). Just read their blogs and talk to their reps. And if you're a Clyde, custom makes good sense - they're making mine a bit stronger than their normal build even though I'm usually under 200 lbs (clyde wanna-be?)
    None of these are really cheap, but you didn't mention a price. Definitely costs less than Carbon though. CAAD bikes are great too. If you go by wheelbase, the Viner is a bit smaller which might be the way to go in Crit racing.
    Good luck.

  18. #18
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    I ride a Nashbar aluminum frame that I got for $80 bucks (regularly $99 but wait for the 20% offs). It is short and tall, like track frame geometry, with 410mm chainstays. As to stiffnes, I had it on a computerized trainer two weeks back, with Easton EA50 wheels, could put out 309 watts average and 690 watts peak with very little frame flex. The thing is stiff as all get out. That was over 10km course and I absolutely killed myself doing it, but I wanted to compare it to cheap carbon frames.

  19. #19
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    I was hanging back on this one, as I'm in Aus with different choices, but the Euro flag has been waved so I'll chime in. Obviously there's cheap choices around but my advice would be to try the Cinelli Experience frameset. I ride a Cinelli track bike with virtually the same design (prior to the Vigorelli) and tubing and it's very stiff for alu and I really hammer the poor thing. I'm 120kg (265lb) in a strong build and I really punish this frame. I need to tighten up the handlebars on the stem every week or so as I practice standing starts a lot and the handlebars come loose as a result. I'm upgrading due to size issue (i'm also 6'5") and about the only way to go up is carbon for stiffness. If it's in your price range I'd say it's really worth a look.

  20. #20
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    I rode a similar bike for a while and I could flex it like it was made of rubber when standing or sprinting.
    I've only had one bike like that, a French steel bike from the mid-'80s. It was in the days of friction shifters, and the frame flexed so much under torque that it had a habit of up-shifting all by itself when I was climbing out of the saddle. Inconvenient, to say the least. I've never had that problem with the similarly-old Trek aluminum.
    Craig in Indy

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