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Best riding carbon bike - C64, Aethos, R5... what else?

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Best riding carbon bike - C64, Aethos, R5... what else?

Old 05-17-21, 12:15 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Interesting that they are quite different concepts. Definitely get the one that most excites you! It's all just for fun.
So here's my thinking: with my aero bike, I focused on performance. With this purchase, a really nice bike to indulge myself, i want something that is *different*: not different compared to what others ride, but something different about the bike itself, compared to others. The C64 has the romanticized history as well as the very unique construction. The Aethos is a marvel of engineering and also lets me build a sub-7kg bike relatively easily. So that kinda sets them apart from the Foils, Addicts, TCRs, Emondas, SL7s, etc of the world. Obviously, all this is in addition to the bike meeting my performance requirements.

It isnt the most logical/rational of approaches, but as you say, this is what would excite me the most. The most rational thing for me to do would be to buy an Allez Sprint frameset, but where is the fun in that?

As of now, i am leaning towards the Aethos, because i have heard nothing but great things about its stiffness, whereas with the C64, given its construction, i am not sure how stiff it would be. The R5 remains a candidate as well, though, provided Cervelo comes up with a decent paint job for it.
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Old 05-17-21, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Crumpton
/thread
Hadnt heard of them - checked them out. They do look nice... but lord they are pricey. And honestly, it seems a big part of that cost is going to the "handmade in the US" part, neither aspect of which is something that i feel strongly about one way or the other, or want to pay extra for. About the only time i would pay extra for a maker would be for a Colnago, purely for their history in the sport. For the rest, i am more intrigued by technology or manufacturing competence.
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Old 05-17-21, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
it seems a big part of that cost is going to the "handmade in the US" part, neither aspect of which is something that i feel strongly about one way or the other, or want to pay extra for.
Interesting perspective; I would have thought the "custom designed expressly for your body type and riding style" would be the more obvious takeaway from what Crumpton offers. I don't believe any of the other brands mentioned in this thread do that, except for some of the Parlee models. But yes, I'm sure that also contributes to the higher cost of ownership. The "Made In USA" thing is just gravy.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:38 PM
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Another bike that interests me is the Orbea Orca OMX. Looks like a nice design and you can customise the paint job for free. Don't see many around either and well priced. Still prefer the Factor Ostro though.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:03 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
So here's my thinking: ... With this purchase, a really nice bike to indulge myself, i want something that is *different*: not different compared to what others ride, but something different about the bike itself, compared to others. .
Here you go..... Twmpa Cycles ...


You will not find this just tooling around. Frame only is not really all that expensive either...

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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.




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Old 05-18-21, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Interesting perspective; I would have thought the "custom designed expressly for your body type and riding style" would be the more obvious takeaway from what Crumpton offers. I don't believe any of the other brands mentioned in this thread do that, except for some of the Parlee models.
Ha, yeah, fair point. I also collect watches - and there, hand-finished is a big aspect of what appeals to me. However, with bikes, it isnt *purely* about soft stuff like brand, history, etc - while i care about that, performance, engineering, etc are probably a little more important. The soft stuff would be the tiebreaker. And custom geometry doesnt reallly do much for me - can fit into stock geometries just fine. Also, rightly or wrongly, I dont think an individual builder can customize ride characteristics (stiffness, etc) the same way a big company with a team of engineers can. In other words, i think brands like Spesh, Trek, Giant etc can make better engineered bikes than individual builders.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:33 AM
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One of the things I like about Factor is their experience of composite engineering derived from the motorsport world - which was a pioneering industry here in the UK, both in composite design and manufacture. Itís not often you see that level of expertise applied to bikes. Being an ex F1 engineer, thatís a big draw for me.
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Old 05-18-21, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
i think brands like Spesh, Trek, Giant etc can make better engineered bikes than individual builders.
Having spent a lot of time reading articles (blogs, white papers, and websites) by carbon builders Nic Crumpton, Carl Strong, and Bob Parlee, I'm not sure I'd agree...or at least, I'm not sure any of the engineering that the Big Companies are developing is so proprietary that it's not also (eventually) available to Nic and Carl and Bob. (Windtunnels notwithstanding.)

But the fact remains, no matter how advanced the engineering behind a Specialized bike, you're still getting a compromise on the design; any given frame is designed for the Average Of All Possible Riders In This Size. If I had a bunch of very specific goals that a hypothetical new bike needed to achieve, I'd rather bring that specific list to a builder who can build a frame designed from the ground up to check off all those boxes.

Of course, I also appreciate having a personal relationship with the builder, and I recognize that's an extrinsic appeal that has very little directly to do with how well the bike performs. And the high end carbon Trek and Giant bikes I've ridden were excellent performers, so I'm not dismissing the notion that they build excellent product. At a certain pricepoint anyone who's managed to stay in business has already passed the bar.
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Old 05-18-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Having spent a lot of time reading articles (blogs, white papers, and websites) If I had a bunch of very specific goals that a hypothetical new bike needed to achieve, I'd rather bring that specific list to a builder who can build a frame designed from the ground up to check off all those boxes.
The trouble is knowing what you actually want to achieve. I might ride an "off-the-peg" bike that exceeds my expectations or changes my view on what I originally thought I wanted. There are some very desirable bikes out there with very little compromise at the premium end. I think I would only go for a bespoke build if I had major trouble fitting on any standard production frame.
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Old 05-18-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
The trouble is knowing what you actually want to achieve.
Oh, I agree completely; the main reason I mentioned "a bunch of very specific goals that a hypothetical new bike needed to achieve" is because OP appeared to have a bunch of very specific goals that a hypothetical new bike needed to achieve.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
In other words, i think brands like Spesh, Trek, Giant etc can make better engineered bikes than individual builders.
As an engineer myself I would tend to agree with this. The USP of boutique individual builders is really in the special bespoke customer experience and after sales support. So it comes down to what you value the most. The latest and greatest tech and engineering prowess or being treated like a King during the sales and after-sales service. In many ways the latter is more appealing given that the resultant bike will likely ride pretty much as well as anything from the big name brands and fit perfectly. Also be more unique if that matters to you. But personally I simply wouldn't want to go through all the fuss (and additional expense) of a bespoke frame build. I do like the idea of something a bit more unique than a Specialized or Trek, but doesn't have to be totally obscure either. Factor is the brand that keeps coming into my head and a factory fit and build would tick some of the custom build boxes too. Obviously a factory fit is only an option in the UK.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
the C64, given its construction, i am not sure how stiff it would be.
If the C64 is anything like its predecessors, it's going to be stiff. A friend of mine owns a fairly impressive fleet of high-end carbon bikes - Colnago C60, Time Skylon, Parlee, Cervelo R3...and something else I'm forgetting. The C60 is the least comfortable ride of his bikes, but is an improvement over the very-harsh C59 he had previously. The most comfortable ride is the Cervelo, followed by the Time. I've known a few people who have owned both Colnago C-series and TIme bikes. Every one of them has said Time was a better quality ride. My own old Time is still an excellent ride - smooth, stable, and precise - but doesn't have the lateral stiffness of more modern CF frames.
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Old 05-18-21, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post

The C64 is also 2-4 months waitlist, so i am resigned to a long wait.


I am pushing a year now.....................

It will get here when it gets here. I do check in periodically to see if I am still on the "list". If you want a Colnago, order sooner than later.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Having spent a lot of time reading articles (blogs, white papers, and websites) by carbon builders Nic Crumpton, Carl Strong, and Bob Parlee, I'm not sure I'd agree...or at least, I'm not sure any of the engineering that the Big Companies are developing is so proprietary that it's not also (eventually) available to Nic and Carl and Bob. (Windtunnels notwithstanding.)

But the fact remains, no matter how advanced the engineering behind a Specialized bike, you're still getting a compromise on the design; any given frame is designed for the Average Of All Possible Riders In This Size. If I had a bunch of very specific goals that a hypothetical new bike needed to achieve, I'd rather bring that specific list to a builder who can build a frame designed from the ground up to check off all those boxes.

Of course, I also appreciate having a personal relationship with the builder, and I recognize that's an extrinsic appeal that has very little directly to do with how well the bike performs. And the high end carbon Trek and Giant bikes I've ridden were excellent performers, so I'm not dismissing the notion that they build excellent product. At a certain pricepoint anyone who's managed to stay in business has already passed the bar.
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
As an engineer myself I would tend to agree with this. The USP of boutique individual builders is really in the special bespoke customer experience and after sales support. So it comes down to what you value the most. The latest and greatest tech and engineering prowess or being treated like a King during the sales and after-sales service. In many ways the latter is more appealing given that the resultant bike will likely ride pretty much as well as anything from the big name brands and fit perfectly. Also be more unique if that matters to you. But personally I simply wouldn't want to go through all the fuss (and additional expense) of a bespoke frame build. I do like the idea of something a bit more unique than a Specialized or Trek, but doesn't have to be totally obscure either. Factor is the brand that keeps coming into my head and a factory fit and build would tick some of the custom build boxes too. Obviously a factory fit is only an option in the UK.
I think we can all agree - there wont be a meaningful difference in the performance of the bike. It all boils down to small differences in ride feel and also perceptions - and here, I reckon that placebo and confirmation bias also play a big role. In the end, I find the manufacturing prowess of the big brands to have more appeal than the custom/unique part. I freely admit this isnt rational in any way shape or form but here we are.

Factor also definitely fits the bill. In fact, that's one of the reasons i picked the Factor LS as my all-road/2nd bike and it's been a very solid and sensible purchase. A fairly reasonably priced frame - as far as these things go these days - and it does everything really well, with no weaknesses. I did consider the O2 VAM, but it's about $1700 more for the frameset than the Aethos, and i am not convinced there is much of a meaningful difference between the two.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
If the C64 is anything like its predecessors, it's going to be stiff. A friend of mine owns a fairly impressive fleet of high-end carbon bikes - Colnago C60, Time Skylon, Parlee, Cervelo R3...and something else I'm forgetting. The C60 is the least comfortable ride of his bikes, but is an improvement over the very-harsh C59 he had previously. The most comfortable ride is the Cervelo, followed by the Time. I've known a few people who have owned both Colnago C-series and TIme bikes. Every one of them has said Time was a better quality ride. My own old Time is still an excellent ride - smooth, stable, and precise - but doesn't have the lateral stiffness of more modern CF frames.
Harsh in what sense, may i ask? If it is along the forks, thats pretty brutal. If it is the rear triangle, that doesnt bother me too much. I am lucky enough to have really nice roads around these parts, and can ride a 100km without hitting a pothole. So comfort isnt that big an issue - and i always have my gravel bike for when i am riding not-so-good roads.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post

I am pushing a year now.....................
It will get here when it gets here. I do check in periodically to see if I am still on the "list". If you want a Colnago, order sooner than later.
Well, sheeeiit. Atleast there's a good chance i may be able to buy a groupset in the market while waiting for the frame
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Old 05-18-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Harsh in what sense, may i ask? If it is along the forks, thats pretty brutal. If it is the rear triangle, that doesnt bother me too much. I am lucky enough to have really nice roads around these parts, and can ride a 100km without hitting a pothole. So comfort isnt that big an issue - and i always have my gravel bike for when i am riding not-so-good roads.
From my friend's description it was a lot about how it transmitted road buzz and imperfections. I didn't ride it myself, so I can only go by his characterizations from the one time we talked about it. We both agreed that our Times (both of different eras) felt confident and sure-footed while cornering on imperfect pavement. His Colnagos felt less-so, in his opinion.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post

Factor also definitely fits the bill. In fact, that's one of the reasons i picked the Factor LS as my all-road/2nd bike and it's been a very solid and sensible purchase. A fairly reasonably priced frame - as far as these things go these days - and it does everything really well, with no weaknesses. I did consider the O2 VAM, but it's about $1700 more for the frameset than the Aethos, and i am not convinced there is much of a meaningful difference between the two.
At least here in the UK, Factor seem like better value as fully built bikes rather than a frameset. The O2 VAM frameset is £5,200 and a complete Force ETAP build is around £7,500. So more or less the same price as an Aethos Pro build with same groupset and equivalent carbon wheels. The Aethos frameset comes in at £4,500 but doesn't include the integrated bars and stem.
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Old 05-18-21, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Well, sheeeiit. Atleast there's a good chance i may be able to buy a groupset in the market while waiting for the frame
Haha. That is exactly what I did. I have a Campagnolo Super Record groupset complete (took months to acquire), so all I have left to get is a saddle, chain, and bars.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
From my friend's description it was a lot about how it transmitted road buzz and imperfections. I didn't ride it myself, so I can only go by his characterizations from the one time we , talked about it. We both agreed that our Times (both of different eras) felt confident and sure-footed while cornering on imperfect pavement. His Colnagos felt less-so, in his opinion.
Yeah, if i had to guess, i'd say the LS does transmit a little more road buzz than the R5 (it has the same cockpit and wheels), but not enough to really be bothersome, atleast not to me.

And thanks for the feedback on how the Colnago corners while on imperfect pavements. I have had 2 major crashes in the past decade - one on a downhill curve at 52kph, which savaged my right side, and one at 48kph going over a pothole, while threw me off the road into the ditch and broke my Venge. Cumulatively, that has made me a little more conservative when it comes to descending and cornering: weirdly enough, not so much to avoid getting injured but to avoid dealing with the recovery. At 48, recovery is a lot freaking harder. A bike that doesnt feel as sure-footed when cornering is likely something i would prefer to avoid. Will keep this data point in mind!
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Old 05-18-21, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
At least here in the UK, Factor seem like better value as fully built bikes rather than a frameset. The O2 VAM frameset is £5,200 and a complete Force ETAP build is around £7,500. So more or less the same price as an Aethos Pro build with same groupset and equivalent carbon wheels. The Aethos frameset comes in at £4,500 but doesn't include the integrated bars and stem.
That's interesting. Let me talk to my LBS and see what kinda deals they can do on a build. Someone i know wanted to get a sub-6kg O2 VAM build, and they quoted him an absurd $20k price for it. So I am not holding out great hopes. But worth checking, anyway.
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Old 05-19-21, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
And thanks for the feedback on how the Colnago corners while on imperfect pavements. I have had 2 major crashes in the past decade - one on a downhill curve at 52kph, which savaged my right side, and one at 48kph going over a pothole, while threw me off the road into the ditch and broke my Venge. Cumulatively, that has made me a little more conservative when it comes to descending and cornering: weirdly enough, not so much to avoid getting injured but to avoid dealing with the recovery. At 48, recovery is a lot freaking harder. A bike that doesnt feel as sure-footed when cornering is likely something i would prefer to avoid. Will keep this data point in mind!
I'm 52, I get it. I have patches on my shoulders where the freckles are still missing from crashes 15+ years ago, when I was strong, fast...and bullet-proof. I recently bought an '18 Storck Fascinario.3 Platinum. It's spectacular in almost every way - explosive, comfortable, and light. However, my old '03 Time handles better on twisty descents. It inspires more confidence to push corners harder. Talking to riders of newer Time bikes, this is pretty typical for the brand.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:13 AM
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You got me thinking of Time seriously now....

Edit - just checked: both it and the Look have a max tire clearance of 28mm. A bit too low - would prefer 30-32mm at max, even though i will mostly be riding with 28 WAM tires.

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Old 05-19-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
You got me thinking of Time seriously now....

Edit - just checked: both it and the Look have a max tire clearance of 28mm. A bit too low - would prefer 30-32mm at max, even though i will mostly be riding with 28 WAM tires.
Find what checks all the boxes for you. Good luck
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Old 05-19-21, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Yeah, if i had to guess, i'd say the LS does transmit a little more road buzz than the R5 (it has the same cockpit and wheels), but not enough to really be bothersome, atleast not to me.

And thanks for the feedback on how the Colnago corners while on imperfect pavements. I have had 2 major crashes in the past decade - one on a downhill curve at 52kph, which savaged my right side, and one at 48kph going over a pothole, while threw me off the road into the ditch and broke my Venge. Cumulatively, that has made me a little more conservative when it comes to descending and cornering: weirdly enough, not so much to avoid getting injured but to avoid dealing with the recovery. At 48, recovery is a lot freaking harder. A bike that doesnt feel as sure-footed when cornering is likely something i would prefer to avoid. Will keep this data point in mind!
If you are looking for confidence on descents, then something with a relatively slack head angle and longer wheelbase might be worth considering. Bikes like the Cervelo Caledonia-5 and Argon 18 Krypton Pro would fit the bill. They should be both rock solid on fast downhills. Actually that was my main concern about the Aethos (and the Factor Ostro) as they are both shorter and steeper than my current Giant Defy, which again is rock solid descending.
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