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Experiences with Serotta and Seven

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Experiences with Serotta and Seven

Old 06-13-06, 09:33 PM
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Thomill
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Experiences with Serotta and Seven

Hey gang,

I am considering the purchase of a custom Serotta or Seven bike this summer. I have sold my Cervelo Soloist Carbon - it just was not the bike for me - but will probably reuse some of the componentry and the wheelset. I am in no rush and would like to hear from folks who have gone through the process of being fitted and ordered from either company. I am planning on going back to a dealer I know well and trust (Alberto's in Highland Park, Illinois), but I would like to know more about how the process went for people who have purchased frames or complete bikes from either company. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

Thanks very much and take care,
T
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Old 06-13-06, 09:48 PM
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Here's a link to a thread I posted in another forum asking basically the same question. http://www.serotta.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16310

I wound up with a Spectrum (currently on order), as I was able to be fitted by the frame designer himself. It's also a little less expensive than either Seven or Serotta for a comparable frameset (butted Ti with full custom geometry, full custom paint and an Alpha Q fork for $3,000).
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Old 06-13-06, 09:53 PM
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after searching long and hard, I went with Independent Fabrication.
I felt more comfortable with them as a company and I love their bikes, I now have 2.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:04 PM
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Ben Serotta was very nice when I spoke with him and I very much enjoyed my test ride. I very much enjoyed pulling a bush out of a record rd upon crashing the bike in a wash

I think seven styling is a bit nicer..

I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you chose.

cheers on buying the best bike you'll ever own
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Old 06-14-06, 05:06 AM
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my brother has owned 4 serotta's through the years all steel csi.
he sold all of them but the latest steel csi he bought two years ago.
He is currently in the process of buying a serotta Couer d" Acier, tig weld as they discontinued the steel CSI lugged weld
a devout fan and says their is none better than a serotta
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Old 06-14-06, 05:47 AM
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I started out looking for a new bike almost two years ago. I spent the better part of a year test riding all sorts of bikes. It was really an eye opening experience because I felt firsthand the subtle differences in materials, geometry, wheels etc.

I started off looking at combined CF/Ti that included Serotta Ottrott and Seven Elium along with Merlin and some others. Then I switched to all CF, Al, Al/CF including farmes like Pinnarello Dogma. I ultimately ended up with all TI and went with Seven.

I had fittings using both the Serotta device and Seven. Both gave identical results. Thde one thing I liked about Seven is the process seemed to give more consideration to the riders/buyers riding styles. They were more tuned in to making characteristics from varying tube thicknesses.

You can't go wroung with any of the farmes mentioned - Seven, Serotta, or IF. If you can, do like I did and try them all out. There are many good shops in your area so combine local trips, vacations, long weekends, travel, etc., with some test rides.

Have a good time doing it and deciding.
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Old 06-17-06, 04:04 PM
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Serotta Nove

I did a lot of research when getting my new bike. Given that I don't fit well on an "off the rack" bike, I looked at Serotta, Seven, IF and some smaller custom makers (Strong, etc.). I ended up getting the Serotta Nove with Dura Ace. For some reason, this carbon/ti bike is the same price as the ti bikes from the other makers. I love it. It truly rides like a dream. I am a pretty harsh critic, ride 4 times per week, and have owned multiple giants, specialized, etc. This bike is just head and shoulders above everything else I have ridden.
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Old 06-17-06, 05:01 PM
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Nothing is more amusing to me than these 'what's better a Serotta or a Seven or a IF' threads to me. For several reasons.

• I started with an off the rack lugged CF Trek in 1989, went to a Ti Spectrum in 1991 (a Merlin truth be told, Spectrum just puts his decals on the bike), an Ibis Ti Road in 1996 (still riding that bike daily) and an off the rack Cannondale Six13 about 8 months ago.

• The best of the bunch (in most respects) is the Cannondale. Don't have an aneurism road nazis.

• This notion that you can't buy an outstanding off the rack bike from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized - particularly in comparison with the offerings from high end custom bike makers - that used to be very true. Ten years ago. Not really the case any longer in my opinion.

• This other notion that you need some custom fit job from Seven, Serotta etc. - let's put it this way: 90% of you weenies can get an off the rack bike to fit with the right stem. Cannondale makes that Six13 in TWELVE frame sizes. Are there cases where a custom bike is necessary? Yeah, OK, sure. How much you want to bet 80% of the custom sizes could have been replicated with stock bikes - and half of them don't fit so great any way.

Hell, I see it constantly. People riding $6K + 'custom fit' bikes that don't appear to fit so well. Of course, I have my own idea of what good bike fit is - and that's from years of racing. I still ride with racers regularly, and that's how I want my road bike to fit. My postiion isn't as aggressive as some of the 28 year olds at the Giro, but it's pretty flat-back when I'm in the drops on both my bikes. And this whole notion that most of us can be 'bike fit' by somebody asking you questions about your 'riding style' strikes me as semi-preposterous. It's a shot in the dark weenies, let's face it. You get your new $6K+ 'custom fit' bicycle - and if you're lucky some part of your anatomy doesn't go into chronic pain after a month. But you won't really KNOW until you RIDE the thing. And how COULD you? It's all educated GUESSING. Selling this as a 'science' or an 'art' - even though there's some truth to that, the crap shoot factor is undeniable. Well, not to Serotta, but that doesn't change anything. It took me the better part of a decade to dial in my riding position - through educated guessing, and trial and error. But the trial and error part is key. And you can reduce that with the right fit, but you can NEVER really eliminate it completely.

But people who ride a fraction of the miles I've ridden (and still ride, 100K+ road miles and counting over 20 years, 12,000 miles per year currently) will jump up and down, call me a moron and generally protesteth WAY too much. But that's their bag. All I'm saying is take this 'come and buy a $8000 custom fit Serotta' stuff with a HUGE grain of salt. And go test ride a Cannondale, Trek or Giant. And if you've done all that and you're still in the IF/Seven Cycles camp - more power to you. But go in with your eyes WIDE open. And realize that you do NOT always get what you THINK you're paying for. Even if you wind up a happy customer (and who the hell wouldn't be happy with a brandy new shiny $7K Seven Cycles under their ass?).

Ten years ago I would have NEVER purchased a Cannondale at the bike shop. That's how I wound up with that Ibis Titanium Road - arguably similar to (or superior to I'd guess) than any Seven, IF, Serotta Ti road bike. You couldn't TOUCH a bike like that Ibis with offerings from Cannondale, Trek, etc. in 1996 (and anyone who recalls what was available back then would agree). And from an overall road bike value perspective- ride, quality, durability, - my Ibis is actually better than the Cannondale, and an IF/Serotta/Seven might be too in certain respects. But heads up, racing bike to racing bike the Cdale trumps the Ibis - and anything else I've ridden (this includes Serottas, Litespeeds, etc). On the other hand if I could only have one bike for life - it would probably be the Ibis. Better long-ride comfort, and you simply can't kill it. There's more of a 'race it for a few years and get another' factor with a Cannondale or a Giant. And a price to match of course.

Which is why I have TWO good racing bikes. It's really not that simple in my view. Not as easy a decision as it was in 1996 - when any serious bike racer/weenie I knew and respected was buying Serotta, Litespeed, Ibis, etc. That's no longer the case - some of these same guys are on main line manuracturer offerings from Trek/Cannondale/Giant et al today and are VERY satisfied. There are numerous reasons for this, but the extensive involvement of companies like Trek/Cdale/Specialized in UCI racing has certainly advanced their bike designs exponentially over the past decade. And yes, I do realize for many bike weenies, it's the 'one dream bike' thing. Just my two cents. Take it or leave it. But let's not turn this into a flame war.

Gentlemen, flick your bics.

Last edited by patentcad; 06-17-06 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 06-17-06, 05:15 PM
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Serotta also offers stock geometry for those who want to avoid the potential pitfalls of custom geo.
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Old 06-17-06, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Gentlemen, flick your bics.
I am not entirely certain with whom you are arguing, or concerned about inciting. In any case, as always, I appreciate your insights as well as those of the other folks who have responded to my inquiries in this thread.

Take care,
T
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Old 06-17-06, 05:24 PM
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pigmode, did you get your new frame yet?
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Old 06-17-06, 05:28 PM
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Thomill, I was looking at getting a Seven and ended up with a Serotta Concours

I think your best bet is to visit both their forums and speak with owners (ignore the kool-aid though)

good luck
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Old 06-17-06, 05:37 PM
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Again, nothing at all against Serotta, Seven Cycles, etc. GREAT bicycle makers. It just seems there is an intangible bull**** factor with some of these high end brands - some of which IS bull****, much of which IS for real, all of which would never fly without the 'gotta have it' bike weenie audience. Just like Porsche, Ferrari, etc. Nothing wrong with that.

Here's an automotive analogy: can you buy a $60K Corvette that can outperform a $150K+ Ferrari? Yes you can. Is the Ferrari better than the Corvette? Maybe not in pure test-track terms. But it's a FERRARI. And that's what the car weenies are paying for. So I fully understand the Serotta-bling factor. Not for me these days, but I totally get it. I just wonder how many of you high end bike owners realize that's what you REALLY paid for much of the time? Just admit it already, and be HAPPY. The Tour de France was won by a dude on a friggin TREK for 7 years. That alone should have given half of the bike snobs heart attacks by now. They're actually all too healthy because they ride their Serottas too much : ).
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Old 06-17-06, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Serpico
pigmode, did you get your new frame yet?

Yup, it fits and rides like a dream. I'll send you some pics when I get the chance.


Thomill,
Personally, I tend to be more impressed with Serottas experience in building frames for the euro peloton. Apparently they have sent not just a few unpainted frames to pro riders of various teams over the years.
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Old 06-17-06, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomill
[after quoting Patent Cad]

I am not entirely certain with whom you are arguing, or concerned about inciting. In any case, as always, I appreciate your insights as well as those of the other folks who have responded to my inquiries in this thread.

Take care,
T
Just another guy with over 2,000 posts who can't afford $25 to support the forum. And I thought I was cranky.
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Old 06-17-06, 05:44 PM
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$25 to support this place would be like paying .10 per flame. If that stops happening maybe I'll open my check book. So far the only person threatened with banishment from here has been ME. Yeah, OK. Oh no, what would I do then?

I'd have to RIDE MY BIKE MORE. But that wouldn't be possible, would it?
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Old 06-17-06, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
So far the only person threatened with banishment from here has been ME.
Hmmm. Yet you still post inflammatory crap like the above?
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Old 06-17-06, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by H1449-6
Hmmm. Yet you still post inflammatory crap like the above?
Write your congressman. Better yet, complain to the moderator and he'll ban me. Give the guy SOMETHING to do, since flame wars go on here all the time without anybody seeming to notice. That would be the key role of a 'moderator' by the way (to mitigate those flame wars). And if THAT ever happened this place might be worth a $25 donation.


No big chance of that ever happening from what I've seen. In fact this exchange is a perfect example. Somebody flames me (with an out of the blue off topic insult about how I'm too cheap to support this place, totally uncalled for,sophmoric, very typical of BF) and I respond- and it escalates - and NOBODY CARES!!!

And who can blame them? Would YOU want to wade through the amazing volume of post on this place and police all the bonehead sniping that goes on? Forget that.

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Old 06-17-06, 06:24 PM
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If at all possible I would avoid custom geometry. The potential for something funky happening is absolutely scarey. Any potential buyer of a custom frame should have a firm grasp of the basic frame demensions that will work for themselves. OTOH there are many, like myself, who have wacked body demensions and can benefit from minor tweaks.
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Old 06-17-06, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pigmode
If at all possible I would avoid custom geometry. The potential for something funky happening is absolutely scarey. Any potential buyer of a custom frame should have a firm grasp of the basic frame demensions that will work for themselves. OTOH there are many, like myself, who have wacked body demensions and can benefit from minor tweaks.

That's what my biggest concern would be. You spend all this dough on a custom geometry- only to find out later they GOT IT WRONG. Now WHAT? So the whole custom fit thing cuts both ways. And anybody that thinks that they always get it right every time - ummm... I don't think so.
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Old 06-17-06, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
That's what my biggest concern would be. You spend all this dough on a custom geometry- only to find out later they GOT IT WRONG. Now WHAT? So the whole custom fit thing cuts both ways. And anybody that thinks that they always get it right every time - ummm... I don't think so.
I think some of the risk can be ameliorated by not trying to go too far or do too much with custom demensions. I felt safer with asking for one tweak--a longer reach. The designer agreed with that tweak, then used his experience to intergrate it into the overall demensions of the frame.

We worked with pictures of me on my current bike, and the standard contact point and frame measurements of that setup. I specified seattube length, and he came up with his vision of a frame with an improved fit. Looking at the spec sheet before the build, I was able to verify that the frame would not be a radical departure. Its a standard race-style frame optimized for a longer than standard reach.
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Old 06-17-06, 07:19 PM
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I really don't want to go custom, but I must to get a bike that fits properly. What I really want is a CF Cervelo Soloist, but it doesn't fit. I am so whacked out a well known custom carbon bike maker cannot make on for me. I ended up going with a Serotta. I am sure it will be a fine bike, but I would be happier with the Cervelo.

Richard
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Old 06-17-06, 08:04 PM
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Patentcad great post

Patentcad I originally wrote a a long winded reply to your posts and just
decided instead to say you have managed in one post to enunciate the
exact same realization I have come to in the last couple of years.

So I for one will not be lighting my Bic.

Of course my opinion doesn't matter since I am also too cheap to pay
the $25.00 membership fee.
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Old 06-17-06, 08:05 PM
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Patentcad great post

Patentcad I originally wrote a a long winded reply to your posts and just
decided instead to say you have managed in one post to enunciate the
exact same realization I have come to in the last couple of years.

So I for one will not be lighting my Bic.

Of course my opinion doesn't matter since I am also too cheap to pay
the $25.00 membership fee.
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Old 06-17-06, 08:05 PM
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Patentcad great post

Patentcad I originally wrote a a long winded reply to your posts and just
decided instead to say you have managed in one post to enunciate the
exact same realization I have come to in the last couple of years.

So I for one will not be lighting my Bic.

Of course my opinion doesn't matter since I am also too cheap to pay
the $25.00 membership fee.
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