hello,,, out of interest i'm wondering on opinions of which classic italian frame makers who are known for their very nice steel frames (back in the day) still make very high level frames these days (both their new carbon and/ or steel frames). Particular interested to know more on new- Somec vs Ciocc, Carrera etc- do any of these brands stand out as a better level frame than the others with regards to their new frames? Any tips on modern classic brands who's modern bikes don't quite live up to the name (and should maybe be wary of)?
I couldn't afford those frames in the past, and I still can't today, so I have no first-hand experiences to offer. I do know I see a lot of new Colnagos around, and my LBS sells a lot of Pinarello Dogmas.
I was in the market for a nice new Italian steel frame and was pointed toward Pelizzoli. Turns out the Giovani Pelizzoli founded the Ciocc company years ago, and you know how successful they were in the 70's and 80's. So he eventually sold Ciocc and started up another company, Pelizzoli. I was able to scrape some money together and ordered a steel road frame (the Corsa GP in bright red with touches of chrome) from Pelizzoli, and received it a couple months ago. Then had the bike built up and I've been riding it since mid-October. I absolutely love it....plush, responsive, comfortable....the bike that I've been dreaming about since I was a teen in the 80's. And their price for the frame was incredibly low. Anyway, I've heard that they are changing their marketing approach and will be dealing more with distributors rather than individual buyers, which will probably mean a dramatic rise in the price of their frames. But you might want to go to their website and check it out. Alessandro there is fluent in english and will respond to e-mail inquiries.
For high end Italian steel still family owned, try Mondonico, Tommasini, Casati, Zullo, Pegoretti and the already mentioned Pelizzoli.
For carbon frames, I'd be suspect of anything monocoque as chances are good they are manufactured in the Far East.
IMO, at the 2-3k price point, it's probably Taiwan.
The only two for sure I know hand lay carbon are Pinarello and Casati, and maybe Tommasini, and only on the high end carbon frames, frames that can be ordered in custom sizes.
High end Italian carbon is often twice the price of high end steel.