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  1. #1
    meaculpa
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    replacing my broken frame...decisions decisions

    This past Friday, I discovered my right chainstay broke at the point where it tapers into the dropout. I've been informed that the frame (a 2006 Bianchi Volpe: my year-round commuter & sometimes touring bike) is under warranty. The shop which sold me the frame 5 yrs ago is sending it back to the manufacturer for replacement, minus all the components. Most likely it will be the current model of the frame according to the shop mechanic. The whole exchange could take a few weeks I've been told.

    Under tight budget constraints (unemployed and changing careers), I'm planning the rebuild. Prior to the broken chainstay, I'd already ordered new drivetrain components and a new rear wheel (through another LBS) as these items had degraded to necessitate replacing sometime soon.

    It occurs to me that I can buy a different frame (Soma, Salsa, Surly, etc...) and sell the replacement though I've not determined the cost of a new Volpe frame.

    I guess I'm looking for thoughts or ideas from people who've experienced this sort of thing. Basically, I really liked the frame that I had. But the new version may have a different feel and not be as satisfying. Frankly, I don't know what to expect.
    Last edited by meaculpa; 07-31-11 at 05:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Tight budget. Be sure to make it clear that you don't want the components placed on the new frame. There may be a $50-$75 fee for the component swap and labor. You know some shops assume then try to charge you.

  3. #3
    Banned.
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    I don't believe you will find a new Steel bike to be all that different from the older one. If you were replacing something that they no longer make it might be different. There is a difference between a Giant OCR and the new Defy so that might be harder on some but easier on others. Still if you liked the old ride there is no reason to suspect you won't like the new frame.

  4. #4
    meaculpa
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    Yes, I told the shop doing the exchange that all I want is to pick up the frame and do the rebuild myself...in truth I'm taking it to my regular LBS. I want to avoid insulting these guys by implying they're not good enough to do the work or something.

  5. #5
    meaculpa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    I don't believe you will find a new Steel bike to be all that different from the older one. If you were replacing something that they no longer make it might be different. There is a difference between a Giant OCR and the new Defy so that might be harder on some but easier on others. Still if you liked the old ride there is no reason to suspect you won't like the new frame.
    RF - I test rode 4-5 bikes (Jamis Aurora, Cross Check, Tricross, others) before I settled on the Volpe. It was the best feeling ride of the bunch, climbed hills the best & was, frankly, one of the two best looking (the 06 Aurora had #1 with its retro style paint job). My worry is that the latest version will somehow 'feel different', i.e. not as good. So subjectively speaking, not all steel frames are exactly alike.

  6. #6
    Banned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
    RF - I test rode 4-5 bikes (Jamis Aurora, Cross Check, Tricross, others) before I settled on the Volpe. It was the best feeling ride of the bunch, climbed hills the best & was, frankly, one of the two best looking (the 06 Aurora had #1 with its retro style paint job). My worry is that the latest version will somehow 'feel different', i.e. not as good. So subjectively speaking, not all steel frames are exactly alike.
    I didn't say they were. But the new Volpe isn't much different from the old one from what I can see in the specs. When you put that new drive train on it then it will feel different. If you bought a better wheel it will absolutly feel different. But the frame should be about the same. Bianchi is owned by Cycleurope and they have several different brands. All of their steel bikes are built on a jig and made exactly the same way depending on size. I don't know if Giant, Hodaka, or Fairly built the Volpe but there should be no noticeable difference in the frame.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I think that the best thing to do is to just have the Volpe rebuilt. If you are worried that the new Volpe frame will feel different then test ride some new ones. If you are planning on selling the new Volpe frame it would be best not to build it up prior to selling it, once it is built up it cannot be sold as new.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  8. #8
    meaculpa
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    RF & 2000- Thanks for educating me on the frame question, I do feel more assured in that respect. The persisting dilemma then just boils down to curiosity over other similar frames/builds I've read or heard about and this maybe being the moment to consider those options...and then I remember that my GF would basically kill or dump me if I spend limited $ on ride-improving hand-built wheels, custom frames or even a modest upgrade on my component mix. These sorts of indulgences will just have to wait for better times. So I'll continue with the very satisfactory volpe frame (minus the cool sage green w/ red lettering color scheme, sigh).
    Last edited by meaculpa; 08-01-11 at 08:32 AM.

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