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'08 Trek Madone 5.5 v.s. BottecchiaUSA BZ78 Team

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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

'08 Trek Madone 5.5 v.s. BottecchiaUSA BZ78 Team

Old 10-08-07, 10:30 PM
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'08 Trek Madone 5.5 v.s. BottecchiaUSA BZ78 Team (Long)

Ok, well maybe not yet....

After reading all the opinions on here about purchasing a bike online from either Bikes Direct or Bottecchia USA, I decided to find out myself what was up with these bikes and possibly purchase one and do a side by side comparo with my 2008 Trek Madone 5.5 (Performance fit version). Before I go any further, I must admit I was very apprehensive about considering one of these bikes, based on comments I've read here. I just sold my Trek Madone on ebay (My ebay handle is ZXiMan2 if you want to look at it) and needed to find a replacement, preferably something cheap with good components to hold me over during the offseason. I've pretty much been a Trek guy over the last couple of years (I have excellent relationships with two of the largest local bike shops in my area... Bicycles Inc and Richardson Bike Mart) and I get awesome deals on Treks. Since September of 2005, I've owned a Trek Pilot 2.1 (my first road bike), Trek Pilot 5.0, Trek Pilot 5.2 "Project One", 2005 Lance Armstrong Edition Madone 5.9 SL, 2007 Trek Madone 5.5 "Project One" and then this 2008 Trek madone 5.5 with the all new frame. I've also ridden Specialized, Cannondale, Orbea, Colnago, Bianchi, Guru and a few other exotic brands.

I live in the DFW area and headed to Cycle Spectrum in Plano,Texas. I got a chance to look at the Fuji, Motobecane, Windsor and Mercier bikes. Their website states they carry the Bottecchia line, which is really what I wanted to look at up close. Unfortunately they didn't have any and said they've never recieved any. That was a bit of a disappointment, but I was glad to actually be able to *see* some of these others in person.

After looking at these bikes closely.... my opinion is:

The Fujis looked cheap (something about the frame and forks made them look cheap/generic) and came with lesser component groups (Shimano 105/Ultegra mix) for the same price as a 90% full Dura-Ace bike from Bikes Direct or BottecchiaUSA. Needless to say, I wasn't really impressed with the Fujis. I looked at a few Motobecanes and they "look" much better in person than online. The Mercier, and Dawes looked nice too and had superb component groups. Cycle Spectrum didn't have my size or I might have gone for the carbon Mercier (That and it was Ultegra). The Motobecane LeChampion SL was EXREMELY light. They are right on in their advertised weight on that particular bike. I would have been interested in that bike had it not been made out of aluminum. I don't really want an aluminum framed bike, unless it will be permanently connected to my Cycle-Ops trainer.

But make no mistake about it. These are nice, quality bikes. Say what you want about Mike and his marketing strategies, his web page or whatever but they do build some nice QUALITY stuff. The frames look and feel good and the component selection is excellent, especially for the price.

I decided after visiting with the Plano store I'd take a chance on the Bottecchia and contacted Dave @ Cycle Spectrum in Houston, Texas. I told him what I wanted... The top of the line Bottecchia Sprint CZ78 Team. This bike comes with a Kenesis carbon fiber frame (built in Taiwan), carbon fiber fork, Dura-Ace front and rear derailer, Dura-Ace 12-25 cassette, Dura-Ace chain, FSA SL-K carbon crank with 50/34 compact gearing (which I don't prefer but oh well. I will start looking for a Dura-Ace 53/39 crankset and bottom bracket on ebay soon). I figured worst case scenario I would go down there, take a look at the bike and if I wasn't 100% sold on it, I wouldn't buy one but even if I did, I'd just take all the components off and find a new frame.

Anyways, apon arriving, I met and talked to Dave, and looked at the bikes. Dave didn't try to snowball me or convince me that these bikes were something they weren't. He was 100% upfront and honest. Dave must sell ALOT of these "Bottecchia" badged bikes. He had at least 100 bikes in boxes in the back and had three boxed up on the showroom ready to be shipped. They had at least 20 units on the floor (along with yes, you guessed it, Motobecanes et al).

Dave brought out my 55cm bike and I gave it a good once over. I was very impressed with the build quality and attention to details. I was however, just a tad bit disappointed when I picked it up. In "stock" form, the bike felt like it was about an 18 or 19 pound bike (there's a reason for this and I will explain later). Though heavy, it is a VERY solid bike. I immediately began looking for areas for improvement. There are some pretty substantial compromises here (as there has to be considering the price point). The groupset is excellent (maybe minus the crankset and ISIS BB). It comes with Cane Creek SCR-5 brakes front and rear. Not sure about the quality there (I'm used to Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra brakes). The handlebars, stem, seat and seat post are XRP (think house brand), as well as the wheels XRP Vuelta Pros. The tires are Kenda Koncept. Really nice looking, but definately not top of the line.

So... ok, the bike retails for $1,650.00

Nevertheless, I think it's an awesome deal, especially for someone just getting into the sport (because this bike has ALOT of room for a novice to grow into) or for people like myself who like to make modifications and customize to my liking.

I put my Look Keo carbon pedals on and weighed the bike. 18.9 pounds on my scale. I took the bike out and rode it approximately 5 miles. It rides really nice, but I notice the heft (especially considering my 5.5 weighes a paltry 15.9 pounds with cages and pedals. As far as the frame is concerned, I am VERY VERY impressed with the stock ride. Very smooth and compliant, stiff but not jaring. In fact, I thought it might be somewhat more of a comfortable ride than my Madone if I dare say and this is the same NEW Madone OCLV "black" frame that Alberto Contador won the TDF on. The Dura-Ace stuff is real Shimano, not fake stuff as some people might believe.

So now the fun begins. If you are like me and like to modify your bikes, you might have some nice high end components laying around. I immediately pulled the XRP stem off and weighed it... 168g. I installed a Ritchey Pro WCS 4-axis 100mm stem that weighed 106g (flipped of course and removed a spacer). I replaced the stem cap with a 2g lighter carbon one and a titanium bolt and saved another 6g. The XRP Vuelta wheels w/Kenda tires are very HEAVY. I replaced the stock wheels and tires with a set of '05 Bontrager Race X Lite wheels w/Continental 4000S tires. The front wheel/tire inflated to 120psi is 372g lighter than the XRP front! I haven't weighed the rear yet. Oh, and I almost forgot.. the skewers for the XRP Vueltas weighed 177g. I replaced them with 80g titanium ones. I then pulled off the Bottecchia seat which weighed 266g and replaced it with a Selle Italia gel SLR which is 171g. But before I did that, I pulled the seat post and clamp and weighed them. Holy Toledo Bat-Man!!! The XRP seat post is aluminum and it is quite hefty at 301g. Very meaty, very heavy. The seat post clamp was only 22g which is lighter than what my '07 Trek Madone 5.5 SL came with (27g). I replaced the seat post with a Bontrager Race XXX Lite which weighed 145g on my scale. I haven't gotten a chance to pull the handlebars off and weigh them but suffice to say I bet they are heavy. I have a set of Leopard carbon fiber bars that weigh 200g that I will install soon. After that I will weigh it again on my hanging scale. I can already tell a HUGE difference just lifting the bike with one hand under the top tube!

I am more than impressed with the geometry, fit, feel and ride of the Kenesis high modulas monoque frame. It is light and stiff and performs well. For you guys thinking about getting in on the BD group buy on this frame, you will not be dissapointed.

And before you flame me, I fully realize these are not the real italian spec Bottecchia bikes. I know that Dave builds these in a wharehouse somewhere. But that doesn't matter to me. The frame is absolutely fabulous to look at! The carbon/paint fade is top notch and the decals look very nice glossed over with clear coat. Excellent paint... perhaps a notch (or two) above the Motobecanes. The fit and finish of the "build" is as good as ANY manufacturer out there and in some cases better than some exotics I have seen.

In stock form, the Trek looks "more expensive" and weighes considerably less. However, if you replace the steering stem, handlebars, seat post, seat, wheels and tires, the BottecchiaUSA bike looks and feels just as good. Who leaves all that stock stuff on their bikes anyways?

The bottom line is that you are paying for the frame and high end drivetrain components. It's easy to see where the manufacturer is cutting costs in the build up process. That is the compromise when buying one of the BottecchiaUSA bikes (and possibly the Motobecane et al brand bikes as well). You won't find another Dura-Ace or Ultegra bike for the same money anywhere else, PERIOD. And it doesn't hurt that the quality is well above what I expected and the service is top notch too.

If you're looking for a great starting point for a project bike this is THE way to go in my opinion. Especially if you are looking for a bargain! If you are relatively new to the sport and looking for a definate UPGRADE, you can't go wrong with the BottecchiaUSA line.

I'll post up some pics as soon as I'm finished with the build.

I know I probably sound like a "shill" or a "troll", but if you do a search under my username you will find posts about the other bikes I have owned and parts I've had for sale. I actually bought one of these bikes and I love it. That's just my opinion. Feel free to ask any questions you might have....

Last edited by ZXiMan; 10-09-07 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:14 PM
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Meh. Too much weight weenying for me. Find a bike you like and ride it to death.

My only beef with BD is the names they use. It's a bait and switch swindle, nothing more, nothing less. Yes... I know that other companies, such as whoever owns Schwinn, for example, do the same thing; it doesn't make it more right. But what can I say. My first new road bike was a Univega. No, not THAT Univega; the more modern one which is in name only. It was cheap, what can I say. I still ride it; I bought it 9 years ago, and I just replaced it this year. It's a rain bike now.

The entry level market will always have a need for these generic, retread named bicycles. If they are sufficient, it's good enough. But I respect a company more who creates a name from scratch and then builds a solid reputation on that name. It takes more work than those companies who just buy some generic frames from Taiwan, slap a retreaded name on the downtube, and ship them out the door. I respect the work it takes to create value in a company by developing a unique product. I don't really respect the companies who just ship things in through one door and out the other. There's no value added to that. If the person who started BD wanted to sell his company, he'd get $2 for it is all. Why? What he does can be done with any o'l person with a UPS account, a phone and a website.

Anyhoo... It's not the name on the down tube which ultimately gives a bike character. It's the rider which makes the bicycle special; whether it's the modifications made to it by the owner over the years or just the shear maintainance work going into it. Or perhaps it's just it's worn saddle and bar tape and the nicks and wear on the pedals. Riding the bike is what gives it character.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:37 PM
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Great post... very informative. Thanks!
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Old 10-08-07, 11:44 PM
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I am looking at 2 bikes right now, the Motobecane Immortal Spirit and the other is the Carbon Fiber Bottecchia the one you purchased. Have you road both of these bikes? How do these 2 frames compare to one another? Is one stiffer than the other? Is one lighter than the other? they seem like the sma ebike to me buy I have not seem them in person.

thanks
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Old 10-08-07, 11:54 PM
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I understand the branding thing completely. However, I'm a bit spoiled having ridden high end bikes the last two years and I had to sell my Trek to pay some bills. I needed a cheap but comparible (if not promising replacement). And while the bikes may be "entry" level, they are only so in "price". These are much better "entry" level bikes than the known name brands then when you consider what you get for your money. That's just a fact. This is especially true if you live close to a retailer that sells them (you get free lifetime service and adjustment). To me it just doesn't make any sense to go out and buy a bike (no matter what brand it says on the frame) and spend twice as much for essentially the same thing. Especially since I have all the parts to make this a "not so entry" level bike for very little investment.

And yeah, I'd probably be a bit happier if I could pull off the Bottecchia stickers and have a plain frame. Unfortunately I can't.

I had a limited budget to replace my Madone (approximately HALF of what I got for my Madone on ebay which was $3232.00). Everything else I looked at in the same price range was full Shimano 105 and or with an aluminum frame. I wanted at least Ultegra and a CF frame... I couldn't get that any other way other than stealing someones bike...

As far as the weight weenie thing, everyone and their dog wants to know how much a particular bike weighs. I wanted to see how heavy all the cheapy components were and see what effect it would have on the bike and frame by replacing them with higher end components. I don't know too many accomplished riders/racers that just buy a bike and don't make changes. I just used my experiences as an example of what is possible with this particular platform. Besides that, making those changes didn't just make my bike a BUNCH lighter. It is alot more responsive, accelerates better, climbs better and absorbs more vibration and harshness on the road. Clearly a much better bike with choice aftermarket upgrades, albeit not available at $1,650 but if you have certain parts just lying around like I do, makes a really big and noticeable difference in EVERY aspect of the way the bike rides and handles (and looks even better too).

I think these companies are getting "manufacturers" pricing on components such as FSA and Shimano. This makes them much cheaper than what resellers can get them, hence how they can possibly sell the bikes so cheap and still make a profit. I don't think the frames are junk and they are using top of the line drivetrain minus maybe the Cane Creek SCR-5 brakes and FSA cranks.



Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Meh. Too much weight weenying for me. Find a bike you like and ride it to death.

My only beef with BD is the names they use. It's a bait and switch swindle, nothing more, nothing less. Yes... I know that other companies, such as whoever owns Schwinn, for example, do the same thing; it doesn't make it more right. But what can I say. My first new road bike was a Univega. No, not THAT Univega; the more modern one which is in name only. It was cheap, what can I say. I still ride it; I bought it 9 years ago, and I just replaced it this year. It's a rain bike now.

The entry level market will always have a need for these generic, retread named bicycles. If they are sufficient, it's good enough. But I respect a company more who creates a name from scratch and then builds a solid reputation on that name. It takes more work than those companies who just buy some generic frames from Taiwan, slap a retreaded name on the downtube, and ship them out the door. I respect the work it takes to create value in a company by developing a unique product. I don't really respect the companies who just ship things in through one door and out the other. There's no value added to that. If the person who started BD wanted to sell his company, he'd get $2 for it is all. Why? What he does can be done with any o'l person with a UPS account, a phone and a website.

Anyhoo... It's not the name on the down tube which ultimately gives a bike character. It's the rider which makes the bicycle special; whether it's the modifications made to it by the owner over the years or just the shear maintainance work going into it. Or perhaps it's just it's worn saddle and bar tape and the nicks and wear on the pedals. Riding the bike is what gives it character.

Last edited by ZXiMan; 10-09-07 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:03 AM
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I had/have a $100 deposit on the Motobecane Immortal Spirit for the BD '07 July run. Somehow my credit card wouldn't process when it came time to ship and I was out of town, so I didn't get one. I haven't ridden the Immortal Spirit. I have ridden the Bottecchia Sprint CZ78 team which is actually the model I have (not what I put in the initial post).

I do know this... I MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer the styling of the Bottecchia over the Immortal Spirit (especially the frame). I also think you will be pleasantly surprised by the Bottecchia as far as quality and performance for the money spent. I can't compare the two as far as anything else because I don't own the Motobecane and opinions are subjective.



Originally Posted by roy harley
I am looking at 2 bikes right now, the Motobecane Immortal Spirit and the other is the Carbon Fiber Bottecchia the one you purchased. Have you road both of these bikes? How do these 2 frames compare to one another? Is one stiffer than the other? Is one lighter than the other? they seem like the sma ebike to me buy I have not seem them in person.

thanks

Last edited by ZXiMan; 10-09-07 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:19 AM
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The words, the words.
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Old 10-09-07, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gabdy
The words, the words.
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Old 10-17-07, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ZXiMan
I understand the branding thing completely. However, I'm a bit spoiled having ridden high end bikes the last two years and I had to sell my Trek to pay some bills. I needed a cheap but comparible (if not promising replacement). And while the bikes may be "entry" level, they are only so in "price". These are much better "entry" level bikes than the known name brands then when you consider what you get for your money. That's just a fact. <snip>

And yeah, I'd probably be a bit happier if I could pull off the Bottecchia stickers and have a plain frame. Unfortunately I can't.
I was looking at (drooling over) a 2008 Madone, but the price scares me away. I simply could not afford something like that anytime soon. So I picked up the Bottecchia CF group buy. I kept some of the same components, but did upgrade the cranks and derailleurs. The bike was a Jamis Quest before, with Easton Vista wheels. I may upgrade the wheelset later, but wanted to upgrade the frame and cranks first.

Now it's like having a brand new bike. The carbon frame is MUCH stiffer, and is more comfortable than my steel frame/carbon fork ride was before the upgrade. I left the decals off, so it's just a naked black carbon frame, and getting lots of good comments from other riders. I've also been able to pick up the pace a bit on the new frame, which is lighter and stiffer and sized up one size to fit me better. Earlier this week, I clocked my standard TT morning ride at 0.8 MPH average pace faster than my best previous effort. I am loving this new ride!
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Old 10-17-07, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ZXiMan
I understand the branding thing completely. However, I'm a bit spoiled having ridden high end bikes the last two years and I had to sell my Trek to pay some bills. I needed a cheap but comparible (if not promising replacement). And while the bikes may be "entry" level, they are only so in "price". These are much better "entry" level bikes than the known name brands then when you consider what you get for your money. That's just a fact. This is especially true if you live close to a retailer that sells them (you get free lifetime service and adjustment). To me it just doesn't make any sense to go out and buy a bike (no matter what brand it says on the frame) and spend twice as much for essentially the same thing. Especially since I have all the parts to make this a "not so entry" level bike for very little investment.
Note to BD: they would get a lot more cred if they sold the bikes with chinese names and characters, stop trying to brand the bike with some fake Italian name. China has nothing to be ashamed of in high-end bikes.

The Trek looked impressive until I rode one and saw the rear deraileur hanger, which cannot be replaced after a minor fall. Makes you wonder if anyone at Trek even rides bikes anymore.
 
Old 10-17-07, 04:46 PM
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u shoulda just got the frame and fork...
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Old 10-17-07, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kk4df
I was looking at (drooling over) a 2008 Madone, but the price scares me away. I simply could not afford something like that anytime soon. So I picked up the Bottecchia CF group buy. I kept some of the same components, but did upgrade the cranks and derailleurs. The bike was a Jamis Quest before, with Easton Vista wheels. I may upgrade the wheelset later, but wanted to upgrade the frame and cranks first.

Now it's like having a brand new bike. The carbon frame is MUCH stiffer, and is more comfortable than my steel frame/carbon fork ride was before the upgrade. I left the decals off, so it's just a naked black carbon frame, and getting lots of good comments from other riders. I've also been able to pick up the pace a bit on the new frame, which is lighter and stiffer and sized up one size to fit me better. Earlier this week, I clocked my standard TT morning ride at 0.8 MPH average pace faster than my best previous effort. I am loving this new ride!
Did the bottechia group buy already happen? If it did I totally missed it. I was thinking about getting in on it.
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Old 10-17-07, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
Note to BD: they would get a lot more cred if they sold the bikes with chinese names and characters, stop trying to brand the bike with some fake Italian name. China has nothing to be ashamed of in high-end bikes.
These are actually out of Taiwan, not China, if it matters.
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Old 10-17-07, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
Did the bottechia group buy already happen? If it did I totally missed it. I was thinking about getting in on it.
Yes, it already happened. You can still get the frame (or frame/fork combo), but for about $50 more now. Here's mine:
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Old 10-17-07, 05:58 PM
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crap


where can you get them? I don't see them on bikes direct.
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Old 10-17-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
where can you get them? I don't see them on bikes direct.
Look at the first post in this thread:
https://www.bikeforums.net/trash/337930-now-bottecchia-cf-frame-group-buy.html

The links are still there, with "new" pricing. The lower pricing was only for those who pre-ordered. The offer lasted about four weeks, until the frames arrived in the U.S.
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Old 10-17-07, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
Note to BD: they would get a lot more cred if they sold the bikes with chinese names and characters, stop trying to brand the bike with some fake Italian name. China has nothing to be ashamed of in high-end bikes.

The Trek looked impressive until I rode one and saw the rear deraileur hanger, which cannot be replaced after a minor fall. Makes you wonder if anyone at Trek even rides bikes anymore.
BD could also use a website touch-up by a web developer. The site looks like some phishing scam page with the bold red letters and poorly edited photos.
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Old 10-18-07, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
Note to BD: they would get a lot more cred if they sold the bikes with chinese names and characters, stop trying to brand the bike with some fake Italian name. China has nothing to be ashamed of in high-end bikes.
Don't you read bikesdirect.com's posts? He strenuously denies these are are Chinese bikes. Taiwan, yes, mainland China, no. It looks like an older model Fuji to me, and those bikes had Made in Taiwan stickers on the headtube. And hey, look at it this way: those names had to be for sale before anyone could buy them. Blame the greedy sellers who sold their legacy to the highest (maybe only) bidder.

Originally Posted by DocRay
The Trek looked impressive until I rode one and saw the rear deraileur hanger, which cannot be replaced after a minor fall. Makes you wonder if anyone at Trek even rides bikes anymore.
Well I've sold quite a few of these, and I've yet to see one of these broken or even bent to the point it could not be gently realigned.

Trek says the reason they did this was two-fold. The alloys they are using in the dropouts are very strong and somewhat ductile. They can be realigned numerous times before there is any danger of it breaking. If you crash bad enough to break it, Trek can repair it.

Second, 10 speed drivetrains are sensitive to the slightest movement of the hanger. You are unlikely to ever have a bolt-on hanger be as rigid as a one piece.

Believe me, they test the crap out of their stuff. If they thought a replacable hanger was better, there would be one on the bike. But there isn't.
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Old 10-18-07, 06:56 PM
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Bikes: Bottecchia CF frame and fork, Ultegra 6603 crank and FD, DuraAce RD, Easton Vista wheels, Brooks B-17 saddle, Shimano 105 brakes, Michelin Pro2 Race tires

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Originally Posted by BikeWise1
Don't you read bikesdirect.com's posts? He strenuously denies these are are Chinese bikes. Taiwan, yes, mainland China, no.
They are from Taiwan, confirmed by the printing on the shipping box. Mike claims he's not ready to buy frames from China yet, although some of the big name bike makers are already in China.

Originally Posted by BikeWise1
Well I've sold quite a few of these, and I've yet to see one of these broken or even bent to the point it could not be gently realigned.
There is a replaceable hanger on the Bottecchia CF frame, if it matters.
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Old 11-18-07, 12:32 AM
  #20  
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Final weight?

Hey ZXiMan,

What is the final weight of your Bottecchia after all the mods? I am thinking about getting one as well and doing similar component swaps (wheelset, tires, seatpost, seat, stem, handlebars) before I get fitted. Come to think about it, all these mods can become rather expensive! Hmm ....
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Old 11-20-07, 12:55 PM
  #21  
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As of now, it weighes 16.0 pounds on my hanging scale.

My bike is spec'd this way:

FSA K-wing carbon handlebars
'08 Bontrager Race X Lite stem
'08 Bontrager Race X Lite seat post
'05 Bontrager Race X Lite wheelset
Continental GP 4000 S tires
Selle Italia XC SLR saddle
Look Keo carbon pedals
32gram per pair Pro-Lite bottle cages
54gram per pair Ti bolt on skewers
Shimano Dura-Ace 12-25 cassette*
Shinamo Dura-Ace chain*

* = Came with the bike

Most of the above parts I sourced from my garage. I bought the saddle, tires and handlebars so minimal additional investment for me.

It "appears" that the FSA SL-K carbon crankset w/ISIS bottom bracket is a source of alot of girth. I'm thinking about trying the new Fulcrum Racing Torq RS 53/39 crankset. It's lighter and supposedly stiffer than Dura-Ace 7800 crank arms. Plus it comes with ceramic bearings.

I ebayed most of my XRP components that came with my Bottecchia USA bike and got back $400. That essentially paid for the FSA carbon handle bars and Selle Italia saddle.

The XRP Pro handlebars weighed 384 grams
The XRP Pro seat post weighed 296 grams
The XRP Pro stem weighed 160 grams
The XRP/Bottecchia saddle weighed 296 grams
The XRP Vuelta Pro wheelset weighed 1740 grams

Pretty heavy components.

Besides the new Fulcrum crankset, I plan on purchasing a set of Zero Gravity brake calipers (to replace the 320 gram Cane Creek SCR-5 calipers), the new black/red Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset and an 11-21 Dura-Ace cassette (to use with my current compact 50/34 crankset).

Still, even considering the "upgrades" You'd be hard pressed to find a similiarly equipped road bike for less than $4,000. Keep in mind that when you purchase parts outright v.s. when they come packaged on a new bike there is a considerable price difference (ie: the parts are always less when they come WITH the bike). Unless of course you find REALLY good deals on ebay.
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Last edited by ZXiMan; 11-20-07 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:10 AM
  #22  
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Well said! I just ordered the aluminum version of the bike from eBay (with the Dura-Ace group) and ordered the CF Bottecchia frame separately. The price difference after shipping is about $21.00 more vs buying the prebuilt CF version of it. This way I can have the bike without the decals applied. A local bike shop is willing to perform a frame swap for me for $100.00. Sure I may have spent $121.00 more in the end, but I also have a new aluminum frame to sell on eBay to hopefully recoup some of the cost and have no decals. I ordered a Karbona full carbon seatpost (177g) and have my trusty WTB Rocket V SLT Ti saddle (210g) on standby. I am also waiting on a deal on a set of HED3 tri spoke clinchers wheelset to go with this bike. That would make it look sweet in my opinion. I think the FSA cranks would do just fine and as long as those Cane Creeks stop my bike, I would probably use them until they break. This setup probably won't drop the weight as much, but it sure will make the bike look hell of a lot nicer than those $4000+ setup, that is for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the bike. You have helped me make the decision to jump on the Bottecchia bandwagon.

Last edited by neospazzy; 11-25-07 at 04:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-25-07, 08:10 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ZXiMan
As of now, it weighes 16.0 pounds on my hanging scale.

My bike is spec'd this way:
Originally Posted by ZXiMan
FSA K-wing carbon handlebars
'08 Bontrager Race X Lite stem
'08 Bontrager Race X Lite seat post
'05 Bontrager Race X Lite wheelset
Continental GP 4000 S tires
Selle Italia XC SLR saddle
Look Keo carbon pedals
32gram per pair Pro-Lite bottle cages
54gram per pair Ti bolt on skewers
Shimano Dura-Ace 12-25 cassette*
Shinamo Dura-Ace chain*

* = Came with the bike

Most of the above parts I sourced from my garage. I bought the saddle, tires and handlebars so minimal additional investment for me.

It "appears" that the FSA SL-K carbon crankset w/ISIS bottom bracket is a source of alot of girth. I'm thinking about trying the new Fulcrum Racing Torq RS 53/39 crankset. It's lighter and supposedly stiffer than Dura-Ace 7800 crank arms. Plus it comes with ceramic bearings.

I ebayed most of my XRP components that came with my Bottecchia USA bike and got back $400. That essentially paid for the FSA carbon handle bars and Selle Italia saddle.

The XRP Pro handlebars weighed 384 grams
The XRP Pro seat post weighed 296 grams
The XRP Pro stem weighed 160 grams
The XRP/Bottecchia saddle weighed 296 grams
The XRP Vuelta Pro wheelset weighed 1740 grams

Pretty heavy components.

Besides the new Fulcrum crankset,
I plan on purchasing a set of Zero Gravity brake calipers (to replace the 320 gram Cane Creek SCR-5 calipers), the new black/red Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset and an 11-21 Dura-Ace cassette (to use with my current compact 50/34 crankset).

Still, even considering the "upgrades" You'd be hard pressed to find a similiarly equipped road bike for less than $4,000. Keep in mind that when you purchase parts outright v.s. when they come packaged on a new bike there is a considerable price difference (ie: the parts are always less when they come WITH the bike). Unless of course you find REALLY good deals on ebay.


I still don't understand the cheepest frame possible and drape it in Dura Ace / Zero Gravity mentality.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:27 PM
  #24  
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Daytonian wrote: "I still don't understand the cheepest frame possible and drape it in Dura Ace / Zero Gravity mentality."

------------------------
Uhhh, maybe because it's a *MUCH* cheaper alternative... and the results are much the same?

And if you've never ridden said frame, then you have no idea how it performs or how comfortable it is... cheap or not.

Even though the frame weighes a couple ounces more than the brand names, there are other ways of scaling the weight down.

When compared to all the other bikes I've owned, this one is more comfortable, lighter (climbs better), more responsive (excellent acceleration), handles just as good or better than my previous three Madones, and I feel really comfortable sprinting and generating power at speed during sprints.

What I've ended up with is a great bike (more than enough for my level) with a good, compliant but stiff frame that has the best components money can buy at a FRACTION of the cost you "elitists" spend for essentially the "name". Nevermind that it weighes 14.8 pounds on a hanging scale with the Dura-Ace crankset and ceramic bearing BB...

It might not be the BEST CF frame available but it's as nice as any $1,000+ frame I've ridden and for all of those people who say you can't build a sub 15 pound bike using a 1200 gram frame is FOS!

I don't care who you are or what your cycling level is... you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between this frame and anything else out there when using "high end" components. I can say that because I've ridden alot of different high end bikes ($4k to $12k)and owned a few bikes that MSRP/sell for 6 or 7 times what it has cost me to build this one (the most being $10,000).

Last edited by ZXiMan; 11-25-07 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:36 PM
  #25  
Raptor Custom Bicycles
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Good luck with that project...

Be sure to post pictures when you are done!

Originally Posted by neo****zy
Well said! I just ordered the aluminum version of the bike from eBay (with the Dura-Ace group) and ordered the CF Bottecchia frame separately. The price difference after shipping is about $21.00 more vs buying the prebuilt CF version of it. This way I can have the bike without the decals applied. A local bike shop is willing to perform a frame swap for me for $100.00. Sure I may have spent $121.00 more in the end, but I also have a new aluminum frame to sell on eBay to hopefully recoup some of the cost and have no decals. I ordered a Karbona full carbon seatpost (177g) and have my trusty WTB Rocket V SLT Ti saddle (210g) on standby. I am also waiting on a deal on a set of HED3 tri spoke clinchers wheelset to go with this bike. That would make it look sweet in my opinion. I think the FSA cranks would do just fine and as long as those Cane Creeks stop my bike, I would probably use them until they break. This setup probably won't drop the weight as much, but it sure will make the bike look hell of a lot nicer than those $4000+ setup, that is for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the bike. You have helped me make the decision to jump on the Bottecchia bandwagon.
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