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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-23-12, 08:58 PM   #1
truebenny
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Colossi custom framing

hello,

I am interested in Colossi frames. any riders here have had any experiences with their bikes in action? in addition, has anybody got a custom frame done by them, and if so, what kind of process you have gone through?

thank you.
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Old 01-03-13, 10:05 PM   #2
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Custom Colossi

I recently purchased a custom lugged steel (KVA) road frame and CroMo fork from Colossi. Process was painful and took far too long; 6 months. Who you deal with will depend on whether or not they have dealer close to you. I am in HK and assumed incorrectly that I could visit their factory and deal directly with frame designer. Instead I was sent to Rodafixa, a fixie retailer. I visited their shop and found it messy with their tools a pile on the floor, they were not going to touch my new frame. Also their contact could not advise on frame geometry and options, completely reactive. I again requested ability to deal directly with Colossi but was turned back to Rodafixa.
Below is a chronological summary of issues that have occurred during the process of ordering a Colossi custom frame which led to an other than satisfactory experience with both Colossi and Rodafixa.
  1. Request to visit factory in Shenzhen to sit with frame designer and confirm all aspects of the frame rejected. Instructed to contact Rodafixa instead.
  2. There was no comprehensive interview conducted nor Custom Frame Questionnaire provided. In the absence of anything, I provided my own version but it appears to have not been referenced during the design process. A check with various custom frame builders on the internet reveals that all take the process of confirming customer’s needs very seriously via interview process and use of thorough questionnaire. Neither Colossi nor Rodafixa have anything in place.
  3. Rodafixa could not advise on frame dimensions or geometry despite insistence to the contrary by Colossi. I resorted to visiting a competitors’ shop and paid for a Fit Report (HK$300) that was sent to Rodafixa and Colossi, and used as basis for the final geometry.
  4. Time from making downpayment to approval of set of drawings for build was 10 weeks and required issuance of 3 sets of drawings. Revisions to sets 2 and 3 failed to incorporate clear instruction and comments made on previous drawings.
  5. Price increased between time of quotation (but prior to downpayment) and final invoice without any notification of price increase. I did not lear of the increase in price until receiving the final invoice. Dealer should have advised of price increase at time of downpayment.
  6. One of original colors (Nissan automotive paint readily available from any dealer or automotive paint store) specified was rejected because Colossi was ‘too busy to pick up’; not the response one expects to hear from a custom frame builder. Offer to purchase in HK for shipment to Shenzhen rejected by Rodafixa as too difficult to accomplish; not the response one expects to hear from a full service bicycle shop selling custom bicycles & frames. Purchased paint (HK$300) myself and shipped back with frame / fork as per item 8 below.
  7. Detail of tip of seat stay as approved was not as built.
  1. Location of front derailleur tab incorrectly placed requiring return of frame for relocation & repainting. There was no QAQC process in place to insure that drawings and fabrication was as specified and agreed to.
  2. Rodafixa rejected request for partial return of final payment pending rectification of front derailleur issue. Had I completely unwrapped the frame at Rodafixa’s shop and noticed the misplaced DR tab, the frame would have been rejected outright and Rodafixa would have received no funds. Request for partial refund was not unreasonable.
  3. Frame received with corrected derailleur tab and original color (paint supplied by myself) but missing the nice Kole signature on the left chain stay. Turnaround time required was additional 4½ weeks. Shipping cost of HK$700 to customer account but reversed upon complaint.

Bottom line; stay away from Rodafixa if you happen to be in HK. Your local dealer will make or break the experience with Colossi. Colossi principally manufactures frames for many others and this is their main source of business; custom frames are more a sideline and they do not demonstrate full commitment to what that means, at least yet and compared to other custom frame builders. Unless your dealer is squared away and knowledgeable, Colossi will not offer any suggestions on geometry, material, options, etc. That is entirely up to you to provide so come prepared.

Still building up the project, need another couple of months for parts to come in. Frame with KVA is super light and I look forward to riding it. Quality of construction is fine with exception of the above mentioned seat stay cap which will piss me off every time I look at it. Total cost was US$1,860 for 2 color KVA lugged frame & CroMo fork. Still a very good price but the bait & switch price increase and 6 months process negate most of the price savings when compared to other frame builders I could have gone with.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:59 AM   #3
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I can't believe you continued to deal with them after they seemed totally uninterested in building your frame the way you wanted it
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Old 01-04-13, 11:04 AM   #4
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People do silly things. Personally, I wouldn't have dealt with it past step #1.
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Old 01-04-13, 11:07 AM   #5
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Recently I've heard and read nothing but horror stories regarding custom frames.

Unless you're actually racing, it seems hardly worth the pain, frustration, and expense.
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Old 01-04-13, 11:14 AM   #6
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I'm beyond happy with my entire experience with Dodici.
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Old 01-04-13, 11:26 AM   #7
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when I was 'kicking the tires' with Dodici they were extremely awesome as well. I ended up not going with them, but really an excellent service dept
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Old 01-04-13, 11:48 AM   #8
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Same with Pelizzoli, they are very passionate and helpfull but they are kinda slow to answer you.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:08 PM   #9
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Old 01-04-13, 01:13 PM   #10
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being an italian citizen I approve of this post
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Old 01-05-13, 01:58 AM   #11
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I've nothing but praise for Paul Hillbrick from Hillbrick Bicycles.

He discussed everything with me at length. Made suggestions to make the build more effective or efficient. My concept was not a standard or common one yet he asked enough questions to enable him to understand what it was I wanted and then ensured that I got it. His workmanship is excellent and two years on, the bike still looks brand new. Highly recommended.

As for the cost, you don't go the custom route to build a cheap bike, though Paul also does frames that are a lot cheaper ( and more expensive) than mine. The final bill, though hefty, was perfectly reasonable for what I got. You won't buy a bike like mine in any shop but the price I paid would get me a bike of similar quality.

A custom made bike is not just for racers, they are for anyone who knows what they want and can't find it in the shops, as well as those who just want something special. The caveat is that you have to pay for it but consider this, you are ( or should be) paying a craftsman to do the work, not a production line.
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Old 01-05-13, 11:11 AM   #12
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People do silly things. Personally, I wouldn't have dealt with it past step #1.
I wouldn't have dealt with it past the name of the shop. Rodafixa?
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Old 01-05-13, 11:15 AM   #13
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Old 01-05-13, 11:16 AM   #14
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I wouldn't have dealt with it past the name of the shop. Rodafixa?
Seriously.
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Old 01-05-13, 03:06 PM   #15
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Anyone have something bad to say about their Stock frame? I'm about to pull the trigger on one!
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Old 01-05-13, 03:23 PM   #16
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Where do you live? Find a good custom builder that you can talk to in person, and some one that can measure you.
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Old 01-06-13, 07:58 PM   #17
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Custom Colossi

Well that is disappointing. I didn't really expect to be flamed by likes of Scrodzilla and Bat56 for sharing my experience on purchasing a custom Colossi road frame. But hindsight, even if 3rd party, is always perfect isn't it? I see that Scrodzilla is in Massachusetts with probably 20 frame builders within a 200 mile radius. I don't have that luxury here in HK and Colossi appears to be the only custom fabricator available in southern China. Personal circumstances limited my options for custom frame builder if I wanted one within close geographic proximity and anticipated some face to face but as mentioned, Colossi did not want to deal with me directly as it turned out. If you visit their website and Flicker photostream, they do large number of custom frames, presumably those dealers are bit more switched on than Rodafixa or they were able to go directly to Colossi for lack of any dealer locally. Don't know. I am just responding to a plea for experience with Colossi. The price was also very attractive as well as ability to have a KVA frame so I trusted his dealer, Rodafixa.
I am a long time cyclist with over 35 yrs of serious cycling behind me, the formative years in Boulder on training rides with members of the 7-11 pro team and few other US Olympians. My first bike was a 64cm Pog which lasted 17 yrs before a accident in Japan rendered it scrap. Followed up with a custom 64cm Zinn which lasted another 17 yrs or so before I decided to upgrade and take advantage of the leaps in technology for frame material as well as components. Needless to say, for 64cm frame, a custom frame is more necessity than luxury but I still think custom frame is worth the effort if one finds a good builder. My experience with Jan Kole of Colossi is just mine, others no doubt have had much better one and are very satisfied customers. As for me, I am on the fence. Quality of the finished frame is good, just the process I went through was unnecessarily painful.
Some shots of my frame / fork can be found here;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/91937064@N05/
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Old 01-06-13, 08:52 PM   #18
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How did I "flame" you in any way? All I said was that I wouldn't have made it past step one. You obviously made a weird decision long after you should have realized it was weird.

If I contacted Geekhouse to build me a frame and they told me to call Superb (a ****ty "boutique" shop here for those who may not know) to hammer out the details, I would have been all set with them.

Also, me living in Massachusetts isn't relevant at all considering I had an Italian company build my frame.
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Old 01-07-13, 12:23 PM   #19
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Here is what I am thinking: If your communication with your contacts is anything like your communication here, your requirements probably got lost in the immense volume of words that you use.
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Old 01-08-13, 03:52 PM   #20
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Well that is disappointing. I didn't really expect to be flamed by likes of Scrodzilla and Bat56 for sharing my experience on purchasing a custom Colossi road frame.
Oh BTW, when you get flamed by them...you will know it. He called you silly, thats about a .2 of 10 on his scale. I just dont come here cause im not hardcore enough and get points for who knows what.
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Old 01-08-13, 08:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ronin01 View Post
Well that is disappointing. I didn't really expect to be flamed by likes of Scrodzilla and Bat56 for sharing my experience on purchasing a custom Colossi road frame. But hindsight, even if 3rd party, is always perfect isn't it? I see that Scrodzilla is in Massachusetts with probably 20 frame builders within a 200 mile radius. I don't have that luxury here in HK and Colossi appears to be the only custom fabricator available in southern China. Personal circumstances limited my options for custom frame builder if I wanted one within close geographic proximity and anticipated some face to face but as mentioned, Colossi did not want to deal with me directly as it turned out. If you visit their website and Flicker photostream, they do large number of custom frames, presumably those dealers are bit more switched on than Rodafixa or they were able to go directly to Colossi for lack of any dealer locally. Don't know. I am just responding to a plea for experience with Colossi. The price was also very attractive as well as ability to have a KVA frame so I trusted his dealer, Rodafixa.
I am a long time cyclist with over 35 yrs of serious cycling behind me, the formative years in Boulder on training rides with members of the 7-11 pro team and few other US Olympians. My first bike was a 64cm Pog which lasted 17 yrs before a accident in Japan rendered it scrap. Followed up with a custom 64cm Zinn which lasted another 17 yrs or so before I decided to upgrade and take advantage of the leaps in technology for frame material as well as components. Needless to say, for 64cm frame, a custom frame is more necessity than luxury but I still think custom frame is worth the effort if one finds a good builder. My experience with Jan Kole of Colossi is just mine, others no doubt have had much better one and are very satisfied customers. As for me, I am on the fence. Quality of the finished frame is good, just the process I went through was unnecessarily painful.
Some shots of my frame / fork can be found here;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/91937064@N05/
I don't see where there is any flaming going on. Sounds like research should have been done before going forward. Always do your research before going custom.
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Old 01-09-13, 07:12 PM   #22
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Custom Colossi

Yeah, you are probably correct, I over-reacted a bit and Crandrew's flame-o-meter rating is probably about right.
I did of course research Colossi prior to engagement but there is precious little on the internet and bike forums. If you visit KVA Stainless, it is a short list of frame builders that work with KVA and Colossi is the only one in Asia (an hour from where I live). Next filter I applied was for frame builder offering lugged classic Italian geometry. The list of custom KVA frame builders got shorter. All indications for Colossi were good but it came off the rails once the downpayment was made. Again, not 100% happy, maybe 85%. The frame appears to be good quality, just not exactly detailed as I wanted and took more time and energy than it should/could have. I did not encounter the custom frame service culture one would expect. I think that if one gets one of Colossi's stock frames, one would be satisfied with both quality and price. But the opening question on this thread was about custom Colossi experience and I have provided truebenny and the forum with some relevant feed back. With Colossi, it will come down to the quality of the dealer one works with. Rodafixa added no value and was more of a post office than retailer / service provider. Of course, I could have walked from the non-refundable deposit and found another builder but that is a tough pill to swallow.
Colossi by the way is ex-Dutch pro that moved to Shenzhen, China about 10 years ago and set up Colossi (not an Italian frame builder). He also recently went through some sort of heart surgery following an heart attack. Maybe just bad timing on my part. As I said, his web site and Flicker shows lots of apparently satisfied customers with variety of creative and innovative custom frames. I am just not one of those customers and one of the few that has bothered to post anything for the benefit of any considering a Colossi.
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Old 01-09-13, 07:22 PM   #23
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It sucks that you got jerked around. As you siad maybe it was just bad timing and possible that Rodafixa botched it up with the details they gave to Colossi.
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Old 02-26-16, 04:14 AM   #24
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I have similar nagative experience with Colossi.

I ordered 2 frames, 2 forks and 3 stems, all steel.

1. Excessive amount of emails needed to clarify my wishes (thru-axle).
2. Promised production time of 2 weeks turned out to be 6 months.
3. Faulty placed disc mount on 2 frames which was correct on drawing.
Front fork was 110mm boost instead of 100mm thru-axle, mistake on drawing that i missed myself.
The 3 stems ordered were all faulty

I measured the frames, compared the drawing, took photo's of measurement as proof and sent email.

21 replies later it is still my fault

Probably de disc mount shifted during transport.........
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