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  1. #1
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    Pls Help Me Choose Between These 4 Mid-level Frames

    Hi friends, first post here. I've been riding fixed gears recreationally for a decade but now want to get into actual track racing (2 velodromes within 1.5h of me). I want to get an intermediate-level frame (probably alum) that will serve me well for a while and that I'll only upgrade from next year electively.

    Also for the drivetrain, I want something reliably solid and bulletproof even if it comes with a bit of a weight penalty. I'm thinking 167.5 since I'm 172.5 on the road, but might go to 170 since I prefer to mash more than spin (I just came in 3rd place for singlespeed in the Tour Divide mountain bike race on a 32x18, which was among the taller setups out there). Any BBs to stay away from? Square taper or nah?

    Ok, so here's the shortlist that I'd love opinions on re head to head value:

    Cervelo T1
    Bianchi Super Pista
    Look 464
    Argon 18 Electron

    Do DA and Omnium cranksets go equally well with all of these?

    So yeah, any guidance here would be much appreciated. I've ready through all the stickies and more here and have been learning a ton. I've done the lugged steel route and am now running my old Cervelo Soloist fixed with an eccentric hub, which is... interesting but unsustainable.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    Oh and the '14 Langster Pro might have to be on the short list as well after seeing it at my LBS just now (on their intranet or some such). Can't tell if the fork rake is still 45 deg but it looks nice, esp at $600 for the Pro frame.

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohbejoyful View Post
    Hi friends, first post here. I've been riding fixed gears recreationally for a decade but now want to get into actual track racing (2 velodromes within 1.5h of me). I want to get an intermediate-level frame (probably alum) that will serve me well for a while and that I'll only upgrade from next year electively.

    Also for the drivetrain, I want something reliably solid and bulletproof even if it comes with a bit of a weight penalty. I'm thinking 167.5 since I'm 172.5 on the road, but might go to 170 since I prefer to mash more than spin (I just came in 3rd place for singlespeed in the Tour Divide mountain bike race on a 32x18, which was among the taller setups out there). Any BBs to stay away from? Square taper or nah?

    Ok, so here's the shortlist that I'd love opinions on re head to head value:

    Cervelo T1
    Bianchi Super Pista
    Look 464
    Argon 18 Electron

    Do DA and Omnium cranksets go equally well with all of these?

    So yeah, any guidance here would be much appreciated. I've ready through all the stickies and more here and have been learning a ton. I've done the lugged steel route and am now running my old Cervelo Soloist fixed with an eccentric hub, which is... interesting but unsustainable.

    Thanks for your time.
    The LOOK uses a 43mm offset road type fork. It should be fine, but I prefer less than 40mm of offset. Cervelo doesn't list the offset of their fork. Other than that, they are all very similar.

    Fork offset isn't a big deal unless you become really particular about such things. Some don't notice the difference. I'd go for the one that gets you excited. Consider the Felt TK2 as well. We have 2 threads on the subject:

    - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Complete-Bikes
    - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...k-Racing-Bikes (this is 2012, but many offerings are pretty much the same, if not exactly the same for 2013)

    Regarding cranks: The popular cranksets are: Sugino 75, Dura Ace, SRAM Omnium, and Campy Pista (not as popular as the others). The only one that sometimes has issues clearing chainstays is the SRAM Omnium because the crank spider is so beefy. That being said, I haven't heard of Omniums posing issues with the frames that you've listed. I'd google the frame name and Omnium together to see if people have them installed and/or to read of people griping because they can't install it.

  4. #4
    A little North of Hell
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    check yer clearance, Clarence.

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Regarding cranks: The popular cranksets are: Sugino 75, Dura Ace, SRAM Omnium, and Campy Pista (not as popular as the others).
    The only one that sometimes has issues clearing chainstays is the SRAM Omnium because the crank spider is so beefy.
    That being said, I haven't heard of Omniums posing issues with the frames that you've listed.
    This crank/frame combo was not mentioned but, has clearance issues.
    Jamis sonic and FSA Carbon track.

    Carbon spider hits chainstay and will not take a large chainring. fyi



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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soil_Sampler View Post
    This crank/frame combo was not mentioned but, has clearance issues.
    Jamis sonic and FSA Carbon track.

    Carbon spider hits chainstay and will not take a large chainring. fyi...
    ?????
    My 2009 Jamis Sonik came with the FSA Carbon crankset. The spider doesnt hit the chainstays at all.
    What's a large chainring? 52 teeth isn't a problem on the Sonik with the FSA cranks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Cervelo doesn't list the offset of their fork.
    They do but it's pretty hidden in their side.

    http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...us-father.html

    there's a chart at the bottom, the short answer is 35mm.

  7. #7
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    I have a Cervelo T1, it's a very very nice frameset but TBH, for the price and knowing what I know today I would have bought a Dolan DF3 or a Tiemeyer.

  8. #8
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    Oh, also regarding the Omnium cranks, the chaniring bolts are crappy aluminium ones and you can't use normal (without using loctite or something like that) ones if you need to replace it because of the thickness of the chainring and spider arm. That being said it is a good crank for the price.

  9. #9
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    So Tiemeyers are pretty much ebay/craigslist only at this point, right? And are the DF3s available from anywhere domestically?

    For the crankset I think I'm leaning towards the Sugino 75 as plan B if I'm not able to swing the DA. It looks like the Super Lap is the go-to BB with the Sugino 75, but for DA are most folks running the 7700 octalink or 7600 square taper rigs?

    Thanks guys, helpful stuff here.

  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohbejoyful View Post
    So Tiemeyers are pretty much ebay/craigslist only at this point, right? And are the DF3s available from anywhere domestically?
    Yeah, Tiemeyer retired earlier this year. No more new Tiemeyers. You can order a DF3 directly from Dolan UK for around $1,400-1,500 USD shipped (I'm estimating).

    I like the DF3. I had one for a while. Great geometry. It's a world-class frame at an affordable price. Chris Hoy used to race it before the British started making custom super bikes. Many DF3s in international competition.

    For the crankset I think I'm leaning towards the Sugino 75 as plan B if I'm not able to swing the DA. It looks like the Super Lap is the go-to BB with the Sugino 75, but for DA are most folks running the 7700 octalink or 7600 square taper rigs?
    Older Dura Ace cranks were square taper. Modern are Octalink. Go for Octalink.

    The regular Sugino 75 BB is fine. You don't need to spend the extra $$ on the Superlap.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8bits View Post
    I have a Cervelo T1, it's a very very nice frameset but TBH, for the price and knowing what I know today I would have bought a Dolan DF3 or a Tiemeyer.
    Can I ask why? Considering a T1 myself at the moment and not 100% set on it over the DF3.

  12. #12
    Member dudeyagnarbro's Avatar
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    What's your budget for the total build?

  13. #13
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murakami View Post
    Can I ask why? Considering a T1 myself at the moment and not 100% set on it over the DF3.
    I'm not 8Bits, but basically, the T1 is a basic aluminum track frame. Nothing particularly special about it. It's not worth the MSRP of $1,250. It's worth around $700 (give or take). That's what a comparable frame from another manufacturer would cost. You are paying extra for the Cervelo name.

  14. #14
    A little North of Hell
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    Sonik

    Quote Originally Posted by Tman1965 View Post
    My 2009 Jamis Sonik came with the FSA Carbon crankset.
    The spider doesnt hit the chainstays at all.
    Check to see if there is a spacer behind the D/S cup on the BB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I'm not 8Bits, but basically, the T1 is a basic aluminum track frame. Nothing particularly special about it. It's not worth the MSRP of $1,250. It's worth around $700 (give or take). That's what a comparable frame from another manufacturer would cost. You are paying extra for the Cervelo name.
    Ah, ok thanks, I ridden a P2T and was really impressed with it compared to my Track Champ. There are a few shops out there selling them at a discount, but I may save a bit more and get the DF3. Anyway, I'm hijacking the thread, thanks again.

  16. #16
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    For a sealed BB with the Sugino 75s how about these? http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...5990eb27c6d102

    Re budget, I'd like to stay under 1k for the frame and am leaning towards the Bianchi at this point. Can't tell if I'd be a 55 or 57 (and LBS doesn't have a SP on hand) but I'm thinking 57 is closest to the geo of my 56 Tarmac?

    Good call re the Cervelo premium (would still be tempted if I could find one used, potentially).

  17. #17
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    Most people go a size down from their road bike... I.E my Tarmac is a 56 too, but the Langster Pro I'm ordering (can't wait!) will be a 54. More aggressive position as it's being rode for shorter periods of time. So sizing up may not be the best option? Just my thoughts, probably best to find an actual measurement from BB center to top tube (most companies give details on their geometry/sizing). Different companies measure different parts of the top tube, some measure the centre, some the top and some the seat collar. Giving different size frames for the same 56cm.
    Epic/Tarmac/Langster Pro

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohbejoyful View Post
    For a sealed BB with the Sugino 75s how about these? http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...5990eb27c6d102
    Why not the Protype BB? http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...5990eb27c6d102
    If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Good call, thank you. I got nervous when I saw the word "prototype" in my initial searches but looks like it's solid and been out for a while (and positive experiences online) so that'll work for me.

    Lew, I'm still interested in the LPro as well, especially with the not terrible new America paint scheme. Because at this point deciding between ~$700 alum frames really just comes down to aesthetics and the excitement factor, as y'all have helpfully pointed out.

    Re geo, interestingly the BB to TT ST length is 550 for the 55 Bianchi but 530 for the 56 Tarmac. All that to say, surely a 53 Bianchi would be too small (I'm 5'11", 31" inseam) so it sounds like 55 is best. Will try a 54 LPro as well.

    Appreciate all!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murakami View Post
    Can I ask why? Considering a T1 myself at the moment and not 100% set on it over the DF3.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I'm not 8Bits, but basically, the T1 is a basic aluminum track frame. Nothing particularly special about it. It's not worth the MSRP of $1,250. It's worth around $700 (give or take). That's what a comparable frame from another manufacturer would cost. You are paying extra for the Cervelo name.
    I've ridden the Look 464, Felt TK3, Cinelli Vigorelli, Giant Omnium and the T1, I would say the T1 is above them in terms of frame aerodinamic shapes and in my personal opinion it felt the best one on the track too but that is not based on hard facts.

    As Carleton said, MRSP for the T1 is $1250 and I think it's too much for the frame, $900 would be fair by my accounts.
    Other annoying points on the T1 is that Cervelo didn't make the dropouts to be replaceable so if you happen to overtighten your wheel and crimp the dropout because of it (over a long period of course) it is annoying knowing that your only choice is to use a thug to keep your chain with the proper tension. The other annoying point is good and bad at the same time, the T1 have a proprietary aero carbon seatpost, it works like a charm and it doesn't slip BUT if you happen to be in a crash at the track and your post is damaged you are ****ed yet again, you need to resort to a cervelo dealer, wait for the part and pray that it doesn't cost a leg and an arm. The DF3 doesn't have none of these problems, it's a proven geometry/frame ridden by Hoy as Carleton mentioned before.

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    A most excellent and comprehensive reply, thank you!

  22. #22
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    What chain do you guys recommend - Izumi V Super Toughness or some such?

  23. #23
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    The KMC 710SL and the Devil 101 are my choice, never had problems with them

  24. #24
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    Thanks 8bits.

    Last question: how does one decide whether to go -5mm or -2.5mm from road crank length to track? Since contrary to my initial assumption "mash vs spin" preferences aren't actually relevant in the track context (rpms will be high regardless), I'm just curious what the factors would be here.

  25. #25
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Well, there are a lot of ways to decide.
    One is trial and error, plus feels.
    One is just using something that resembles logic to come up with a decision you're happy with.
    They're very, very small differences.

    I had 170 cranks for a minute; being in the drops always made me feel like I was going to knee myself in the chin. I was also new, and unflexible. Then I went to 165s. It was great! Much more comfortable! But then I got it in my head that I wanted a little bit more leverage or else I was losing out on, like, free power or something. So I got 167.5s.

    Does it matter?

    Probably not. But I feel okay about it.
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