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Old 08-20-10, 02:32 AM   #1
oxp
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Best in class carbon frame brands?

Hello,

I am a novice when it comes to cycling. As part of a market study I am doing on the bicycle industry I am trying to determine the best in class carbon frame brands (e.g. those in tournaments such as Tour de France, Ironman etc). I would very much appreciate any input you can share.

Thank you!

/oxp
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Old 08-20-10, 03:55 AM   #2
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I'm afraid you'll have to define your terms. Best at what?

And you should also be aware that most of the "brands" don't make their own frames. Giant do, from scratch, spinning their own carbon fibre. They supply many other bicycle brands with frames, but those frames will differ markedly in specification, price, geometry and so on. And then there are many other generic manufacturers, especially in the Far East, who supply frames to bike makers all over the world. And there are a number of highly sophisticated, low volume, custom builders. Here is an informative article on the subject.

As far as the bikes used by pro teams in the Tour de France is concerned, here's a review of ten of them. Once you've read those accounts, you'll realise that the question "which is the best" has no sensible answer.
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Old 08-20-10, 08:18 AM   #3
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Hello chasm54,

Thank you for the links and the info.

By best-in-class I mean brands that are well reputed, trusted and build quality frames.

/oxp
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Old 08-20-10, 08:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Once you've read those accounts, you'll realise that the question "which is the best" has no sensible answer.
And because there's nothing to differentiate the different brands/models, the riders in the TdF don't give a monkey's what they ride AS LONG AS IT FITS. Even if they did care, they would have to ride the sponsors/team bike, so it's not like Guiseppe d'Italiancylist chooses what he rides. The TdF is a marketplace, the bikes you see are from the makers with the money to support the teams - not necessarily the best, but usually the biggest. So don't choose a bike just because Lance 'chooses' to ride one... remember, he gets paid to use that bike, you don't.

Welcome to the Forum by the way!

PS. Just read your 2nd post OP. I think the above still applies, but when you're doing your study, don't confuse reputation in carbon frame building with reputation in cycle design and building per se. What I mean is that there are some brands who have a great history, but have not moved into carbon and those that have, will almost certainly outsource the manufacture to just three or four factories in the far east. I'd challenge the premise of your thesis and say that 'best in class' is not necessarily defined by quality of product as it is by the power of the brand.

Last edited by Monkey Face; 08-20-10 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 08-20-10, 03:17 PM   #5
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Here's a clip from an online interview with Chrissie Wellington and her sponsorship. This will give you a glimpse of what goes on, if you can read between the lines.

http://www.chrissiewellington.org/me...her-canondale/

But there�s a connection between Lance and his Treks; Zabriskie aboard his (then) Cervelo and perhaps his (now) Felt; Normann aboard his (then) Kuota and perhaps his (now) Scott; that not all companies and their athletes enjoy.

Has that rare connection been there for anyone aboard a Cannondale Slice? I don�t think so. Will Ms. Wellington do for Cannondale and its Slice what Merckx did for Colnago? Who knows? Maybe her answers below will tell us whether there�s chemistry a-brewing.

SLOWTWITCH
In keeping with today�s theme, that is, the advent of a new bike sponsor, I have five or six questions, and most revolve around you and Cannondale. I have had occasion to fit some of the Team TBB gals aboard their tri bikes, but they�re usually a bit shy about that fact getting out. Brett, they�ve told me, is in general uncomfortable with other folks fitting his gals aboard their bikes. Who fitted you aboard your Cervelo previously? Brett? Or one of the guys at Bike Boutique? And who is responsible for your fit aboard your Cannondale Slice?

CHRISSIE
First I�d like to talk about Cervelo. I really enjoyed my time on the Soloist and the P2, they were great bikes, and it is a great company. My move to Cannondale had to do in part with the bike, which I love, and I test rode a lot of bikes over the past two months. I entertained several offers. Cannondale represents both a bike and a relationship. I can ride a bike aboard which I�m comfortable, and powerful, and that handles really well. I also sense that I�m able to run fast off this bike. And, I can be with a company that is responsive, and requests and respects my input. That�s why I made this decision.

About fit: The Soloist I set up myself. I got the P2 five weeks before Hawaii. I was set up on it by Ben Distel [a F.I.S.T.-trained fitter from The Bike Boutique] but I�d never been on a tri bike before, so I was tweaking that bike right up to Kona. Afterward, but prior to this year, I was doing my own set up, but with Brett as an advisor. It was a partnership, a shared responsibility.

SLOWTWITCH
Okay, now, let�s talk about your position aboard your Slice.

CHRISSIE
I got the Slice, it�s a 54cm, same as the Cervelo, Simon [Lessing, Chrissie's new coach] and I set it up, almost the same measurements as the P2, at Colorado Multisport in Boulder. So it wasn�t a totally new bike fit, mostly moving the P2 coordinates over. Having said that, I�m slightly lower in the front on the Slice, but I�m still comfortable and powerful. It�s super comfortable. The position was worked out with Simon, and [Colorado Multisports F.I.S.T.-trained fitter] Ryan Ignatz.
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Old 08-20-10, 04:31 PM   #6
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the Pro race teams strike deals with the manufacturer's of their gear
and the bikes are part of the manufacturer's promotional and product development budget,
as millions of people watch the races, then go out and buy the brands their heroes ride.

For a market survey , check with the Bicycle Dealers association, (USA)
and see if there is sales data that they collect .

on a bike list like this you get opinions , to do a market survey, you need numbers ..
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Old 08-23-10, 02:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by oxp View Post
Hello chasm54,

Thank you for the links and the info.

By best-in-class I mean brands that are well reputed, trusted and build quality frames.

/oxp
If you had read the links you'd know that most of the brands that are "well-reputed" and "trusted" don't build their own frames. That was the point.
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