Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Stradalli Frame Weight Limits: Cause for Concern or stating a hidden truth?

Notices
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

Stradalli Frame Weight Limits: Cause for Concern or stating a hidden truth?

Old 07-03-23, 11:06 AM
  #1  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Stradalli Frame Weight Limits: Cause for Concern or stating a hidden truth?

(p.s. I did do a search before creating this thread, and didn't find an in-depth enough discussion to satisfy this question, either here or on the broader inter-webs).

Stradalli is a Miami-based company that sells carbon frame bikes that are both a) cheap and b) very light. Sounds too good to be true, but perhaps their direct-to-consumer business model + streamlined manufacturing means they can pass enormous savings on to the consumer.

One thing that has come up among people who have used Stradalli (or have thought purchasing Stradalli) is that they have a recommended rider weight limit on their frames. For instance, the RD17 has an approximately 175 lb. weight limit. Which seems quite light for many riders.

I looked up their explanation on the warranty, and here's what Stradalli says:
Weight Limits: Carbon Material use is optimized to deliver both light weight and specific performance. You must understand that these types of bikes are intended to give an aggressive racer or competitive cyclist a performance advantage over a relatively short product life; a less aggressive rider will enjoy longer frame life. Choosing a lightweight carbon frame you are choosing a light weight (shorter frame life) over more frame weight, more dent resistant, rugged frame with a longer frame life.

Most Lightweight Carbon frames are designed to support 180lbs of rider weight. Carbon wheels and bars rated up to 250lbs. All frames that are very light need frequent inspection. These frames are likely to be damaged or broken in a crash.
Source: https://stradalli.com/warranty

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen this kind of a warning about lightweight frames from other manufacturers. But it got me wondering: is there an unstated weight limit about other lightweight carbon frames from other companies, that Stradalli is simply being upfront about (as their wording seems to imply), or is it simply that Stradalli's frames are lightweight by thinning the carbon more than other companies, making up for not the most advanced fabrication techniques by simply shedding material?

In the case of the former, this seems like an industry wide safety issue. In the case of the latter, it makes me wonder if I should consider Stradalli frames safe at all, even at a svelte 140 lb and well within their recommended weight limit.

What do you think?
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 11:53 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,816
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1593 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,027 Times in 576 Posts
In general, I think weight limits are over cautious CYA statements from the manufacturer.

But a company that essentially says 'these are cheap frames that aren't intended to last' would be enough to scare me off.
jon c. is offline  
Likes For jon c.:
Old 07-03-23, 11:56 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 8,867
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4639 Post(s)
Liked 5,170 Times in 3,197 Posts
Specialized have a weight limit of 275 lbs on their Aethos frame.
Canyon have a 265 lb limit on their Ultimate CFR
Factor have a 198 lb limit on their O2 VAM

I would avoid this company.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 07-03-23, 12:21 PM
  #4  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Specialized have a weight limit of 275 lbs on their Aethos frame.
Canyon have a 265 lb limit on their Ultimate CFR
Factor have a 198 lb limit on their O2 VAM

I would avoid this company.
Thanks, I did not know the other weight limits from other companies. It makes sense that companies would specify a max weight limit on frames, but Stradalli's low weight limit of 180 lbs. makes me think I'd add a few hundred grams of weight for the confidence that the fork won't explode on a descent.
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 12:22 PM
  #5  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by jon c.
In general, I think weight limits are over cautious CYA statements from the manufacturer.

But a company that essentially says 'these are cheap frames that aren't intended to last' would be enough to scare me off.
Scares me off too, but I appreciate the honesty...I guess.
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 12:24 PM
  #6  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
Either they are honest to the point of recklessness, or they are introducing an escape clause to prevent having to service their warranties on a product they recognize is inferior.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 12:41 PM
  #7  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Either they are honest to the point of recklessness, or they are introducing an escape clause to prevent having to service their warranties on a product they recognize is inferior.
Right, that's sort of what I'm wondering too. Turns out other company's frames have weight limits (so this part is not crazy), but it seems like these weight limits may not be communicated clearly. So it's nice in some sense that Stradalli is being relatively up-front about it (recklessness notwithstanding).

But perhaps the emerging concern isn't that their frames have a weight limit, but that it's so low when compared to their competitors. I can't help but feel like they're making a frame less safe for the goal of weight-shaving.

That being said, I can see someone reasonably grabbing one of these frames and stripping it down as much as possible as a climbing bike and going QOM/KOM hunting with it. Seems like a relatively safe and reasonable use of such a frame. So it's not an all-purpose bike, but a bike when the explicit goal is a targeted climb.
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 12:45 PM
  #8  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
To a reasonable approximation, you get what you pay for. The big names have lifetime warranties on their frames.

Most of Trek, for example, has a weight limit of around 275 for rider+bike+etc., and a lifetime warranty.

The result is that many of the bikes are no lighter than aluminum or sometimes even steel. Even more so with Santa Cruz bikes.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 12:46 PM
  #9  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
That being said, I can see someone reasonably grabbing one of these frames and stripping it down as much as possible as a climbing bike and going QOM/KOM hunting with it. Seems like a relatively safe and reasonable use of such a frame. So it's not an all-purpose bike, but a bike when the explicit goal is a targeted climb.
You could save more weight by leaving your water bottles at home.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 01:14 PM
  #10  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
You could save more weight by leaving your water bottles at home.
Sure, but climbers do whatever they can to shave weight. Just look at Andrew Feather's no handlebar tape setup.
(I'm not saying I or pretty much anyone else is Andrew Feather, but people are looking for any advantage they can get, and that's legitimate. You do you, and people should be free of judgment for doing so)
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 01:15 PM
  #11  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
I would have to do a lot more than change my last name to Feather to become a fast climber. Losing 5 lbs of fat is a lot less expensive and easier than losing 5 lbs of bike frame.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 01:25 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 8,867
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4639 Post(s)
Liked 5,170 Times in 3,197 Posts
Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
Right, that's sort of what I'm wondering too. Turns out other company's frames have weight limits (so this part is not crazy), but it seems like these weight limits may not be communicated clearly. So it's nice in some sense that Stradalli is being relatively up-front about it (recklessness notwithstanding).

But perhaps the emerging concern isn't that their frames have a weight limit, but that it's so low when compared to their competitors. I can't help but feel like they're making a frame less safe for the goal of weight-shaving.

That being said, I can see someone reasonably grabbing one of these frames and stripping it down as much as possible as a climbing bike and going QOM/KOM hunting with it. Seems like a relatively safe and reasonable use of such a frame. So it's not an all-purpose bike, but a bike when the explicit goal is a targeted climb.
Depends if you want to safely descend the hill you just climbed. Given the very low rider weight limit, these frames are also probably not very stiff either. Cheap and light usually means not very strong.

Where are these frames actually manufactured? I suspect some low tier Chinese catalogue frame if they are so cheap from a US company.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 01:37 PM
  #13  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Depends if you want to safely descend the hill you just climbed. Given the very low rider weight limit, these frames are also probably not very stiff either. Cheap and light usually means not very strong.

Where are these frames actually manufactured? I suspect some low tier Chinese catalogue frame if they are so cheap from a US company.
I think they're probably made in China (can't immediately find any verification, but signs point to this). That being said, I would voice this opinion: Chinese-made != bad necessarily. All frames (and I would argue, people) deserve to be evaluated on their merits, rather than their point of origin.

So one thing I'd like to push back against in this thread is the "oh they're cheap and Asian made they must be junk" narrative, particularly if one hasn't used or ridden the frame before, or even held one in their hands. Will I buy one sight unseen? No. But I also won't trash one prematurely over the internet.
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 01:39 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 5,670
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2651 Post(s)
Liked 3,206 Times in 1,829 Posts
The brochures that Columbus distributed to frame builders in the 1980s specified weight limits - SL's weight limit was the equivalent of 180 lbs.

I've told the story before about learning in the early '80's that Bianchi USA offered lifetime warranties on the frames they imported from Italy so that they could compete in the U.S. marketplace but Bianchi of Italy offered no such frame warranties.

Our shop's Bianchi sales rep said that the Italians thought that the idea of offering a warranty for high-end, lightweight steel racing frames was ludicrous. "Sure, we can sell you a frame with a warranty," one of the Italian Bianchi executives once said on a visit. "But it'll weigh over a kilogram more than it does now."

I admire the realistic approach that Stradalli is taking with respect to their warranty. They're no different from any other bike company, in the sense that their warranty policy is, like all others, a marketing tool.

Trek is calculating that their lifetime frame warranty will increase sales sufficiently to offset the costs of honoring warranty claims. Stradalli is calculating that enough people will be persuaded by other features of their frames - the light weight, the extensive size run - to take a chance in spite of the stated warranty limits.
Trakhak is online now  
Likes For Trakhak:
Old 07-03-23, 01:43 PM
  #15  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak
The brochures that Columbus distributed to frame builders in the 1980s specified weight limits - SL's weight limit was the equivalent of 180 lbs.

I've told the story before about learning in the early '80's that Bianchi USA offered lifetime warranties so that they could compete in the U.S. marketplace but Bianchi of Italy offered no such frame warranties. Our shop's Bianchi sales rep said that the Italians thought that the idea of offering a warranty for high-end, lightweight steel racing frames was ludicrous. "Sure, we can sell you a frame with a warranty," one of the Italian Bianchi executives once said on a visit. "But it'll weigh over a kilogram more than it does now."

I admire the realistic approach that Stradalli is taking with respect to their warranty. They're no different from any other bike company, in the sense that their warranty policy is, like all others, a marketing tool. Trek is calculating that their lifetime frame warranty will increase sales sufficiently to offset the costs of honoring warranty claims. Stradalli is calculating that enough people will be persuaded by other features of their frames - the light weight, the extensive size run - to take a chance in spite of the stated warranty limits.
I think GCN in a recent video said that Marco Pantani ran through something like 30 frames in a single racing season (now granted those weren't actual Bianchis, they were made by an Italian artisan craftsman under the Bianchi name, but still). The trade-off between lightweight and durable is real, and in some sense, Stradalli's warranty statement reflects this...
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Likes For sir_crash_alot:
Old 07-03-23, 02:03 PM
  #16  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
I also won't trash one prematurely over the internet.
I would be more worried about trashing one prematurely in situ.

I weigh about 185 now, after losing a bit. I (still) consider myself too fat for carbon.

Having said that, the only frame I ever broke in situ was a steel-framed Bianchi in about 1989. (I weighed about 180 then, and they did warranty the frame, but made me wait a year.)

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 07-03-23 at 02:28 PM. Reason: even more irrelevant detail
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 02:10 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 8,867
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4639 Post(s)
Liked 5,170 Times in 3,197 Posts
Originally Posted by sir_crash_alot
I think they're probably made in China (can't immediately find any verification, but signs point to this). That being said, I would voice this opinion: Chinese-made != bad necessarily. All frames (and I would argue, people) deserve to be evaluated on their merits, rather than their point of origin.

So one thing I'd like to push back against in this thread is the "oh they're cheap and Asian made they must be junk" narrative, particularly if one hasn't used or ridden the frame before, or even held one in their hands. Will I buy one sight unseen? No. But I also won't trash one prematurely over the internet.
Agreed, which is why I said low tier Chinese factory. I doubt you will be able to verify the quality of these frames. How much do they claim to weigh anyway?
PeteHski is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 03:46 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 8,867
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4639 Post(s)
Liked 5,170 Times in 3,197 Posts
Out of curiosity I just had a quick look at this RD17 frame on their website. I was expecting some ultralight climbing frame, but this is a dated looking aero frame with a thru’ axle fork and QR rear dropouts. The marketing blurb is mostly about disc brakes as if they are still cutting edge. I don’t see any mention of frame weight, but this is not going to be an ultra-light KOM chaser.

It’s not my thing, but I expect you would get a much better frame direct from China via one of the known sellers on eBay or whatever. These guys are probably buying these frames in for peanuts.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 05:53 PM
  #19  
Noob Bee
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Da Yoop (northern Michigan)
Posts: 140

Bikes: Specialized Crux, Winspace SLC 2.0, Giant TCR Alliance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Agreed, which is why I said low tier Chinese factory. I doubt you will be able to verify the quality of these frames. How much do they claim to weigh anyway?
I couldn't find the weights for the San Remo or the RD17, but the older RD7 48cm w/ a Dura Ace rim brake setup has a claimed weight of 14.9 lbs (https://stradalli.com/r7-full-carbon...clinchers.html)

The claimed weight of their explicit climbing platform, the Bitonto, w/ a Dura Ace Di2 rim brake set up has an absurd claimed weight of 12.9 lbs (https://stradalli.com/stradalli-bito...-wheelset.html). That is absolutely not UCI legal, haha.

So if those are worth anything, you can probably bet that when Stradalli means light, they really mean it (for better or for worse).
sir_crash_alot is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 08:52 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,568
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8442 Post(s)
Liked 9,393 Times in 4,616 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
You could save more weight by leaving your water bottles at home.
You forgot take a dump first (an old BF standard answer in WW threads).
big john is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 08:58 PM
  #21  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
Originally Posted by big john
You forgot take a dump first (an old BF standard answer in WW threads).
I thought about that, but in my declining years I am beginning to become a bit more circumspect.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Likes For Polaris OBark:
Old 07-03-23, 09:09 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,568
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8442 Post(s)
Liked 9,393 Times in 4,616 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
I thought about that, but in my declining years I am beginning to become a bit more circumspect.
It was a standard answer, as if you weren't going to do that anyway. Usually paired with the suggestion to leave the bottle at home. Side benefit, dehydration will save even more weight!
big john is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 09:29 PM
  #23  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2306 Post(s)
Liked 3,548 Times in 1,870 Posts
I guess I re-invented the obvious cliché. Because of body build and steel bike collection, I haven't spent a lot of time on WeightWeanies.com. I definitely can't tell the difference between a full and empty water bottle, even when climbing a 20% grade.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 10:09 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,568
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8442 Post(s)
Liked 9,393 Times in 4,616 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
I guess I re-invented the obvious cliché. Because of body build and steel bike collection, I haven't spent a lot of time on WeightWeanies.com. I definitely can't tell the difference between a full and empty water bottle, even when climbing a 20% grade.
I'm down to 200 pounds, likely due to losing muscle. When I started riding club rides and centuries I was 220. Weight weenie stuff is a curiosity to me. I like to learn about it but I can't use it.
The two road bikes I ride now are about 18 pounds and 21 pounds. I can climb more easily on the lighter bike but I don't think the weight difference is the whole reason.
big john is offline  
Old 07-04-23, 05:31 AM
  #25  
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,645

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Fuji Tahoe, Scott Sub 35, Kona Rove, Trek Verve+2

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
Liked 733 Times in 374 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Either they are honest to the point of recklessness, or they are introducing an escape clause to prevent having to service their warranties on a product they recognize is inferior.
You don't think that charging the customer shipping and labour on all warranty work is enough to guarantee there will be no warranty work anyway?

The original owner shall pay all labor charges connected with the repair or replacement of all parts.
Under no circumstances does this Limited Warranty include the cost of travel or shipment to and from And from Stradalli Cycles LLC. Such costs, if any, shall be borne by the original owner.
znomit is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.