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DengFu R01 / R02 - I bought and built one

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

DengFu R01 / R02 - I bought and built one

Old 04-11-17, 10:50 PM
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67stang
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DengFu R01 / R02 - I bought and built one

I figured I'd start a thread to chronicle my DengFu R01 buy, build, ride experience.
I spent a bit of time beforehand searching online, reading forums, etc before I pulled the trigger, so I feel I may as well add to the knowledge base.

A bit of backstory...to answer the question "why?"....
I ride/race competitively in the SF Bay Area. I have a owned various Specialized bikes, and most recently ride a BH G6 - which I find is a great crit bike, but quite stiff for long rides/rough roads.
I cracked my Spec. SL4 Tarmac a couple years back and ever since then have missed having an all around bike. I didn't want to spend another $2500 on a frameset at the moment.

The chinese open mold stuff intrigues me, and at sub $700, I am perfectly Ok with taking the risk.

I looked at a few different brands (HongFu, PlanetX, etc) and for no reason in particular I emailed DengFu in early March... they replied almost within hours and the conversation began. I asked about the differences in their various framesets, and eventually honed in on the R02 and R01 (the R05/06 and R308 were too "aero" like my BH; and the FM098 and FM208 frankly just didn't suit my aesthetic taste...dont like the curved top tube, I am vain like that.)

The R01 is a lighter version (850g) but same geometry as the R02 (950g)... since it was only $100 more, I went for it.
I also inquired about custom paint, and they said "$55" and sent me a Pantone paint chart... so in about 15 minutes of pondering I chose cool gray, matte... and off we went. Here is the final quote with some spacers and an extra hanger plus shipping to the US

Code:
Pls check quotation as follows:
R01 SL 54cm BB30 paint PT Cool gray 7C matte finish: $605 ($550+$55 painting cost), include frame, fork and seatpost)
A headset for R01: $14
A extra rear hanger: $3
Carbon spacers (5/10/15/20mm) in 3k glossy finish: $10
Shipping cost to USA by EMS: $80

4.2% Paypal fee is $30, so the total cost is $742.

That was on March 3rd, I paid by pay pal. They said if I sent payment as friends/family I could save the fee...so basically I was at $710 all in.


On March 12th they emailed me a status update with a picture (I has asked they do this.)
-see attached.

On March 14th they send me the freight info. I figured since it was coming from China, it would be 6 weeks at best.

But, on March 21, 7 days later, the box was on my doorstep... I was impressed at the delivery time.

I posted this "unboxing" video on YouTube, since that is apparently the cool thing to do



I inspected the frame - looked as good as any other frame I've bought or built. Paint quality was 8 out of 10...I wasn't happy with my matte gray choice, it looks like primer. I think gloss would have been better. But who cares...I didn't want another black-out bike like errybody else.

My plan was to build it with pretty much all spare parts I had in my garage, Ultegra Di2... and so I began.


.....Will continue the build in a reply....
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Old 04-11-17, 11:12 PM
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DengFu R01 build - continued

I did weigh the frameset and it was spot on at 870 grams; (the fork was 350 I think.)
I ordered a 54cm frameset, I am 5'11 and 160lbs. BB30 bottom bracket...they offer others but this add to the lead time. I think I got lucky in that the frame size and spec I wanted was already built; the sticker on the frame suggested it had been build in early Jan 2017.

The only hiccup I had in building the bike was running the Di2 wire to the rear derailleur. I could not get the wire through the chainstay more than 2" past the bb shell. I was able to shine a light through a see the passage was closed off with a glob of resin. The hole was about as thick as a 18-gauge wire, and while a cable may have fit the end of a di2 connector would not. I spent hours trying to feed it through, and finally emailed them. They were responsive but I could tell they did not really know how to deal with this...never once did they suggest they could exchange the frame - I think there is very little expectation on their part that they will warranty a frame... but that is true for me too...unless there was a major issue, I wouldn't waste the time over getting a $700 frameset back to China. It's a risk I was well satisfied in taking.

Fortunately the glob of resin was no big deal...I broke through it by jabbing at it with a stiff wire. It was just resin and they acknowlegeded apologetically that it should have been caught in the QC process. No big deal in my opinion, I have heard similar minor issues in builds of name brand bikes.

I got the bike built up, had a local shop cut my fork down, and have been riding it the last couple weeks. So far it rides as good as anything I've ever owned. I don't notice any noteworthy pros or cons...it's stiff enough as I recall my SL4 Tarmac was...I don't feel any flex when sprinting; it handles nicely, etc etc. As you see it, it weighs 14lbs on the nose. Ultegra Di2; alum stem / bars; FSA bb30 slk cranks; look pedals; roval wheels.

I'll post more the more I ride it....
Hope this helps....
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Old 04-12-17, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
4.2% Paypal fee is $30, so the total cost is $742.


That was on March 3rd, I paid by pay pal. They said if I sent payment as friends/family I could save the fee...
While the gesture sounds nice at face value, i believe doing this voids any recourse in case of transactional errors. The 30$ was basically insurance. win-win for them
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Old 04-12-17, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
So far it rides as good as anything I've ever owned. I don't notice any noteworthy pros or cons...it's stiff enough as I recall my SL4 Tarmac was...I don't feel any flex when sprinting; it handles nicely, etc etc.
my take and my experience as well
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Old 04-12-17, 04:00 AM
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Thanks very much for this.
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Old 04-12-17, 05:19 AM
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Is it just me or does that saddle look unusually small/short?
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Old 04-12-17, 05:39 AM
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Thank you for the thread. I am too looking at a frame from China... trying to decide a vendor with a frame that I like... I want mine in 3K Carbon Fiber Matte finish. No paint and no decals. But finding feedback on the vendor that carries the frame I like (I am a sucker for the looks of the frame) has been difficult.

Frame (Package includes - Frame, Fork, Seatpost, Clamp, Headset) - US$540.00 shipped
Shimano Ultegra 6800 Group Set- US$529.99
Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 Carbon SPD SL Road Pedals - US$96.49
Not sure on the saddle, but for budget purposes - US$150.00
Not sure on the wheels. Trying to decide between Shimano Ultegra Wheel Set - US289.49 or the Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c Racing Bike Wheel avail in Amazon - US$329.00
Schwalbe Marathon Plus HS 348 Road Bike Tire or the Continental Gator Hardshell DuraSkin - around US$85.00 for the pair.
Continental Race 28 700c x 20-25 Bike Tubes (5 Pack) - 60mm Presta Valve


Still researching/deciding on:
Handlebar
Handlebar Post
Handlebar Tape

Anyway, just wanted to say that it is encouraging seeing this thread.

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Old 04-12-17, 06:30 AM
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Very nice OP. I hope you can ride it safely and happily for a long time. I am puzzled how you got the weight that low without resorting to any really light components. Are there pedals attached for the quoted weight or not? I can't see in the picture.

My point is Ultegra doesn't come close to Red in weight, aluminum bars are usually heavier than carbon, the SL-K crank is light but not as much as a K-Force, etc. Are the wheels clinchers? I have cut all those corners and also have 1,000 g tubular wheels, alloy cassette, and Zero Gravity brakes with a similar weight frame and fork and come in at 13.5 including pedals, cages and computer.

Please forgive my extreme weight weenieness. It is a disease without a cure.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
While the gesture sounds nice at face value, i believe doing this voids any recourse in case of transactional errors. The 30$ was basically insurance. win-win for them
I was warned there'd be some really smart guys on the interwebs, but this is amazing.

LOL - first, I asked if I could pay that way, I wasn't interested in giving paypal a 5% commission.
secondly, if there were any "transactional errors" I'd go to my credit card company which is how I paid the PP invoice.
thirdly, I think you are confused on what a 'win win' means.... they made the same amount, I got the bike as you can see.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Very nice OP. I hope you can ride it safely and happily for a long time. I am puzzled how you got the weight that low without resorting to any really light components. Are there pedals attached for the quoted weight or not? I can't see in the picture.

My point is Ultegra doesn't come close to Red in weight, aluminum bars are usually heavier than carbon, the SL-K crank is light but not as much as a K-Force, etc. Are the wheels clinchers? I have cut all those corners and also have 1,000 g tubular wheels, alloy cassette, and Zero Gravity brakes with a similar weight frame and fork and come in at 13.5 including pedals, cages and computer.

Please forgive my extreme weight weenieness. It is a disease without a cure.

Ya even when I had a SRAM-red SL4 Tarmac I could not crack 14lbs.
I will weigh this bike and post a pic, it is probably a touch over 14 to be honest since I weighed it without cages and bar tape the first time.
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Old 04-12-17, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Is it just me or does that saddle look unusually small/short?
yup
https://en.ciclimattio.com/s/pro-/st...=18923&m=29259
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Old 04-12-17, 11:02 AM
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I was wrong - just weight it, it is 15.1
Sorry! When I weighed it before it was without bartape, cages, di2 battery and also a different all-carbon saddle

Anyway, I think you are right, it is tough to get below 14.5 with the components I used.
But, I realized years ago a pound here or there makes no difference in my riding.





Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Very nice OP. I hope you can ride it safely and happily for a long time. I am puzzled how you got the weight that low without resorting to any really light components. Are there pedals attached for the quoted weight or not? I can't see in the picture.

My point is Ultegra doesn't come close to Red in weight, aluminum bars are usually heavier than carbon, the SL-K crank is light but not as much as a K-Force, etc. Are the wheels clinchers? I have cut all those corners and also have 1,000 g tubular wheels, alloy cassette, and Zero Gravity brakes with a similar weight frame and fork and come in at 13.5 including pedals, cages and computer.

Please forgive my extreme weight weenieness. It is a disease without a cure.
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Old 04-12-17, 11:16 AM
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what does that saddle weigh? I couldn't find a weight on their site.
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Old 04-12-17, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
what does that saddle weigh? I couldn't find a weight on their site.
no idea...didn't buy it for the weight. PRO is a Shimano brand, I'm sure you can find it on their site. This is not the carbon rail version fyi
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Old 04-12-17, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
I was warned there'd be some really smart guys on the interwebs, but this is amazing.

LOL - first, I asked if I could pay that way, I wasn't interested in giving paypal a 5% commission.
secondly, if there were any "transactional errors" I'd go to my credit card company which is how I paid the PP invoice.
thirdly, I think you are confused on what a 'win win' means.... they made the same amount, I got the bike as you can see.
put the rifle down, cowboy. how were your sensibilities offended?

here's win #1: you are satisfied with the frame. mr dengfu get kudos for helping you "save" money. internet point++

here's win #2: you are not satisfied with the frame. you file a claim with credit card. credit card goes to paypal (where money went) during mediation. paypal says "sorry, he didnt buy anything, he gifted the money to his 'friend/family' mister dengfu". mr dengfu keeps your money.

but that's what happens when you try to skirt intended paypal usage.

caveat emptor.
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Old 04-12-17, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
I was wrong - just weight it, it is 15.1 But, I realized years ago a pound here or there makes no difference in my riding.
15 pounds is plenty light unless you are one of them weight weenie weirdos I think you've beaten my build by a pound or two.

As you note, those extra ounces are only mathematically significant. I bet it's a blast to ride.

It looks an awful lot like my bike ... is it a Cervelo R5 copy?
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Old 04-12-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
I was wrong - just weight it, it is 15.1
Sorry! When I weighed it before it was without bartape, cages, di2 battery and also a different all-carbon saddle

Anyway, I think you are right, it is tough to get below 14.5 with the components I used.
But, I realized years ago a pound here or there makes no difference in my riding.
Thanks for taking the trouble. The Earth is once more spinning properly on its axis.
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Old 04-12-17, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
put the rifle down, cowboy. how were your sensibilities offended?

here's win #1: you are satisfied with the frame. mr dengfu get kudos for helping you "save" money. internet point++

here's win #2: you are not satisfied with the frame. you file a claim with credit card. credit card goes to paypal (where money went) during mediation. paypal says "sorry, he didnt buy anything, he gifted the money to his 'friend/family' mister dengfu". mr dengfu keeps your money.

but that's what happens when you try to skirt intended paypal usage.

caveat emptor.
Somebody has to pay if a credit card is involved, gift or not. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you only escape the fee if you pay cash. If you use a card, and the merchant doesn't pay the fee, you do. 3%. So you pay the fee and don't get the credit card guarantee. Lose-lose.
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Old 04-12-17, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Somebody has to pay if a credit card is involved, gift or not. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you only escape the fee if you pay cash. If you use a card, and the merchant doesn't pay the fee, you do. 3%. So you pay the fee and don't get the credit card guarantee. Lose-lose.
Yep. I believe transfers using existing balance and/or bank funding *can* be free.

Most other things are hit with fees.

Reputable eBay sellers and buyers on big ticket items don't play the game of falsifying the transaction and customs declaration...More risks that way...But of course people have different risk tolerances.
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Old 04-12-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
15 pounds is plenty light unless you are one of them weight weenie weirdos I think you've beaten my build by a pound or two.

As you note, those extra ounces are only mathematically significant. I bet it's a blast to ride.

It looks an awful lot like my bike ... is it a Cervelo R5 copy?

Ya that's what I've been told by some Cervelo knowledgable folks...its the R5 open mold
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Old 04-12-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
put the rifle down, cowboy. how were your sensibilities offended?

here's win #1: you are satisfied with the frame. mr dengfu get kudos for helping you "save" money. internet point++

here's win #2: you are not satisfied with the frame. you file a claim with credit card. credit card goes to paypal (where money went) during mediation. paypal says "sorry, he didnt buy anything, he gifted the money to his 'friend/family' mister dengfu". mr dengfu keeps your money.

but that's what happens when you try to skirt intended paypal usage.

caveat emptor.

Who said my sensibilities were offended, cowboy? This was a thread about building a bicycle, your contribution was to point out nuances in the paypal transaction? Ok...good job.

Your "win win" fails to contemplate the other side - what if I screw over "mr.dengfu" and since they accepted payment via a personal account they don't have any seller protection - which is what the fee is intended to be actually.


This all a bit moot don't you think...
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Old 04-12-17, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
Ya that's what I've been told by some Cervelo knowledgable folks...its the R5 open mold
I don't think so. As I understand it the frame has a BB30 bottom bracket, not BBright. And I bet the bottom bearing on the headset is 1 1/2", not 1 3/8". Without the BBright and 1 3/8" lower headset bearing it can't be just like the R3/R5. Those are some big differences. What "Cervelo open mold" means, I don't know. Old Cervelo molds that have been opened to the overall market? Cervelo molds never had the BB30 BB combined with a 1 1/2" lower bearing, so they could be open mold, but never had an actual involvement with Cervelo production.
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Old 04-12-17, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I don't think so. As I understand it the frame has a BB30 bottom bracket, not BBright. And I bet the bottom bearing on the headset is 1 1/2", not 1 3/8". Without the BBright and 1 3/8" lower headset bearing it can't be just like the R3/R5. Those are some big differences. What "Cervelo open mold" means, I don't know. Old Cervelo molds that have been opened to the overall market? Cervelo molds never had the BB30 BB combined with a 1 1/2" lower bearing, so they could be open mold, but never had an actual involvement with Cervelo production.

Ya I don't know. I don't think open mold necessarily means exact specs to a white-labeled frame. It seems many of the chinese frames can be spec'd with different bottom brackets. So I suspect this is configurable. It is possible that the high level frame design (geometry, tube shape, etc) is "open mold" but the things you pointed out are contractually proprietary to Cervelo. Who knows how these oem factory agreements are really structured. If you look at Canyon frames and new Willier frames, they look really similar except in a few areas....you see that with Pinarello and others as well.
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Old 04-12-17, 02:30 PM
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Whatever the details of the geometry and the pedigree it is a nice-looking build.
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Old 04-12-17, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 67stang View Post
Your "win win" fails to contemplate the other side - what if I screw over "mr.dengfu" and since they accepted payment via a personal account they don't have any seller protection - which is what the fee is intended to be actually.
They don't need seller protection.

On record, they didn't sell you anything.

You didn't send money as a purchase. You apparently proposed, and were happy, to transfer money across the Pacific as a personal payment. This entitled you to Z.E.R.O. purchase protection.

You can't "screw" them. Your money went into their account.

You didn't seek the advice, but it's free. No refunds.
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