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Opinions of DiFalco Fabrications Custom Handbuilt Bicycle

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Opinions of DiFalco Fabrications Custom Handbuilt Bicycle

Old 05-02-21, 06:31 PM
  #1  
bfrasersmith
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Opinions of DiFalco Fabrications Custom Handbuilt Bicycle

Hey folks! Three days ago, I put this on the "What Is It Worth" forum, but I was hoping to get honest, unvarnished opinions about this bike from "experts" in custom and vintage bikes. I think the members of this forum certainly qualify, from what I have seen! I would appreciate any opinions you may have about this bike--good or bad. Thanks!

This was custom built for me by David DiFalco, a protege of Bruce Gordon in Petaluma, CA.
It was based on late 60's/early 70's French Constructeur style

Frame Construction: Lugged/silver
Frame Tubing Material: Columbus SL Cromoly double-butted (vintage)
Fork Brand and Material: DiFalco custom (Columbus blades/Campy dropouts)
Brakeset: Paul Component Engineering Neo-Retro brakes, Dia Compe Aero Gran Compe levers
Shift Levers: SunTour friction bar end
Front and Rear Derailleurs: Shimano Deore XTR (1994 vintage)
Crankset: Velo Orange Grand Cru 110 Fluted Triple (24x34x48t)
Pedals: White Industries Urban Platform with Bruce Gordon toe clips
Bottom Bracket: Velo Orange Grand Cru
Rear Cogs: Shimano Deore XT 8-speed, 11-32 teeth
Chain: Shimano Deore XT
Seatpost: SR LaPrade Fluted
Saddle: Brooks Swift Titanium
Handlebar: Velo Orange Grand Cru (copy of Nitto of Tokyo) with elk hide custom grips
Headset: Velo Orange with SunTour cable hanger
Hubs: White Industries titanium axle
Rims: Velo Orange RAID, 700c
Tires: Panaracer Pasela White 700x28c
Spoke Brand: Wheelsmith stainless steel double-butted
Spoke Nipples: Alloy nipples
Fenders: Velo Orange Zeppelin 52mm
Water Bottle Cages: King Cage Titanium
Custom paint job. Look carefully at the head and down tubes--those aren't decals!









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Old 05-02-21, 06:34 PM
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nlerner
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Other than horrific fenders lines (sorry, couldn't help myself), looks like a beautiful frame with a good choice of functional parts. However, given the amount of seatpost showing and the length of the stem, I wonder if it's too small for you.
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Old 05-02-21, 07:21 PM
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@bfrasersmith

This is beautiful, obviously a piece by piece, carefully selected build, painstakingly considered every component, at length from all angles and perspectives ad nauseam.

I did the exact same thing last year and it turned out fantastic by all accounts, especially mine.

The cost was astronomical and that was with many good bargains found including group, wheels, stem, bars, tires, saddle and more.

One off builds like these are never going to resell without a huge loss, just the way it is, many here hesitate to venture a guess, me included normally.

Being half in the same boat and knowing some about how this goes, no matter how much went into it I would imagine maybe $1500-2000 at the very most, part out could be more but I don't think the VO stuff holds its own in that arena.

Just my 2c so...

I went way deep in my frame so I am probably worse off but never plan to sell mine, it was planned and designed to take me down the road to the bitter end.

Here's mine,

The old and the new, the ying and the yang, the good, bad and the ugly, you decide.


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Old 05-02-21, 07:53 PM
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You did ask for "honest and unvarnished..."

I think once the fender lines are fixed it'll be a lovely bike, and hopefully it rides as nice as it looks. I greatly dislike the cruelty of fender line perfectionism, but these are just way too out there to ignore.

I hadn't hear of DiFalco, but the frame looks very nicely done. The head tube looks a little short for a 61cm frame, though?

But it doesn't have much visual connection to a French contructeur bike for me due to the lack of racks and lights. Integrating all of that is what I think of when I think of constructeur bikes. What I see here could easily be an American/British/Japanese touring frame, built with neo-retro silver components.

It's nicely assembled, though only a few of the components are at the same quality level as the frame. That's not at all an issue in terms of how it looks (to me, anyway) or how it rides, but it does play a part in how much it might sell for. I'll save any more about that for the valuation thread.

I'd never ever clamp a frame like that on a frame tube. That's what seatposts are for.
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Old 05-02-21, 08:00 PM
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^^^^^
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Old 05-02-21, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb View Post
You did ask for "honest and unvarnished..."
I'd never ever clamp a frame like that on a frame tube. That's what seatposts are for.
No kidding and you've got plenty of post exposed! In terms of value, you might want to sell the Brooks ti saddle and White Industries pedals separately. These are personal items and together are worth around $400. What the bike goes for will depend a lot on aesthetics. It's a beautiful bike but the headtube really lacks visual appeal - orange on gray? Maybe the combo pops more in real life but the orange is not a strong color against the gray and just looks odd to me.

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Old 05-03-21, 06:24 PM
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Thank you for your replies

Thanks to all of you for your opinions. It really gives me a much better idea of what type of bike I have here. The builder, David DiFalco, was a protege of Bruce Gordon, but now devotes 100% of his time to restoring automobiles from WWII and before. From what I can observe as an amateur visiting his shop, he is extremely talented and sought-after!
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Old 05-03-21, 06:26 PM
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That is a beautiful bike, Merziac! Are you sure you want to ride that thing? It should be framed and put up on a wall! It's nice to see another tall man riding bikes. I'm guessing you are somewhere between 6'3" and 6'6" tall?
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Old 05-03-21, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bfrasersmith View Post
Thanks to all of you for your opinions. It really gives me a much better idea of what type of bike I have here. The builder, David DiFalco, was a protege of Bruce Gordon, but now devotes 100% of his time to restoring automobiles from WWII and before. From what I can observe as an amateur visiting his shop, he is extremely talented and sought-after!
You're welcome,

the sad thing is it may only be worth my guestimate if it was actually a Gordon regardless of how nice it is, name recognition can be key and with these I don't think it ever counts for enough.

I had never heard of Difalco and while its obvious what we're looking at to me, anyone that does not know of him or have a good understanding and appreciation of what they are looking at will never get to the place we would hope for $$$ wise.

I paid dearly for 2 of my Merz's and did so gladly, one, the frame was his he originally built for himself and one is almost completely original in fantastic shape ridden very little as it turned out to be a bit small for the original owner to ride paris brest paris, he scrambled to build a Davidson that he took instead with great results.

I gladly paid around $1200-1300 for each of these and many even here would think that too much but I have seen very few at all, let alone like these.



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Old 05-04-21, 12:50 PM
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Nice bike. Very individual build. Like the details like like the matching pin striping on the fenders.

the individual nature of the build would require a matching buyer if that is OP's intent.
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Old 05-04-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bfrasersmith View Post
That is a beautiful bike, Merziac! Are you sure you want to ride that thing? It should be framed and put up on a wall! It's nice to see another tall man riding bikes. I'm guessing you are somewhere between 6'3" and 6'6" tall?
Tx,

It was built and specced to ride to the end of the line, lots of fussing, hand wringing, planning, consulting , considering and of course $$$$$.

Plenty of sizing built in on purpose, It would have been bigger in the frame if it was only for the here and now.

It rides fantastic, home run from Dave Levy, wizard of TiCycles, can't imagine not riding it.

I'm only 6ft+ but have a 38in inseam so I come in at 64-66cm depending on the TT as my arms are long but not that long.

The fitting Dave did was very interesting and enlightening. It was key and he is an absolute expert in the whole process.
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Old 05-08-21, 02:50 PM
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Wow, you have super longs, merziac! I'm 6'4" with a 37 inch inseam...and I thought I had long legs. While racing road and mountain bikes for UC Santa Barbara from 1990-1993, I always tried to get away with a smaller frame for the weight and stiffness advantages for hill climbs and criteriums. Therefore, my road bike was 60cm and my mountain bike was 22 inches--both with super-long seatposts. Watching the Tour de France, I remember seeing 6'4" David Millar with the same type of setup.
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