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Thread: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

  1. #1
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    Default Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    I love a steel race bikes as much as the next guy (or girl) and every time I ride one baby unicorns sing and whatever. But there are many among us including myself that when times get tough we turn to the "bad boy" or frame materials. Also I'm bating Craig into writing more insightful prose on the material that I hold so near and dear.

    Lets keep it to five as eight is too many bikes (five is too many LOL).

    1. Spooky Skeletor
    2. Pegoretti Love #3
    3. Gaulzetti Corsa
    4. Rock Lobster CX
    5. 3D racing hardtail

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    ......oh shit and a Merckx Team SC. Scandium and all it's cousins are fair game too.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    1. Eddy Merckx SC 7000 - one of the most desired aluminium ever
    2. Ridley Scandium - praised by the jerk himself
    3. Colnago Dream Altec 2 - ultra-stiff tubeset
    4. Gaulzetti Corsa - the perfect blend
    5. Spooky Skeletor - the perfect no-nonsense, affordable race bike
    6. Zanconato - for the attention of detail and level of mastery

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    I think we'll see a lot of repeats on this list. Mine should be pretty obvious since they're the two Alu bikes I have. Gaulzetti Corsa and Spooky Skeletor (mine's a HavocStaff for extra badassness). If I could even remotely justify another alu bike I'd be real tempted to try alu counterparts to my steel Rock Lobster and Zanconato. On the production side I'd say Ridley and any number of solid CAADs from over the years.

    Like mattsbeers, I'm a big fan of the "bad boy" frame material and would love another treatise from jerk.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    How could I forget to mention Cannondale is beyond me

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Cannondale CAAD (pick a number)
    Specialized E5
    Klein Stage (early 90's memories)

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Matt - I think I'd struggle to make a list of nice alum race rigs you *haven't* had?

    anyway, the list starts to get complicated for me, as there have been some truly incredible production-line alum bikes as well as custom. For example, a Pegoretti or Zanc is obviously amazing - but a Ridley Scandium is also incredible - totally different demographic though.

    Production: (somewhat in order - but only sorta)
    Gaulzetti (Wheels/Saddle/Handlebars in the right place)
    Merckx Scandium (W stated progenitor of the above IIRC)
    Cannondale Caad (Legend. any of them, all have been great for their era)
    Ridley Scandium (racer's dream - stiff and "go-go-go" all day)
    Allez E5 (new or old, incredible value and performance - both)
    ZEN fab alum rocket sled (cheated and went 6 deep, ZEN is making killer stuff)

    Lower volume, usually custom - in no particular order as they vary based on design:
    Pegoretti - (no comment)
    Tiemeyer - (less common on the road, but super stellar - I've got one and it's lights-out. I got lucky and found one w/ custom geo that happened to be spot-on for me - bummed I was poor for a while and didn't get my track bike order submitted in time)
    JTW welded race bike (I'd say "Spooky" but I've seen enough Spookys that were non-JTW and either had alignment issues, barrel adjuster issues, or quirks that I'm skittish to just say Spooky, that said, Mickey is a MF'ing-G)
    Zanc - just plain works.
    Primus Mootry (sad to see them go before I got an order in)
    Rock Lobster (I said this list wasn't in order, right?)

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    They're hard to come by, and weren't that common even in their day, but Fondriest Top Level/Carb Level frames were great AL frames 10 or so years ago. Great geometry, rode like a rocket sled - only way I can describe it. Still keep my eyes out for an XL/60cm, but never see them.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Enjoy my Primus Mootry Kluisberg quite a bit for crits and have a cheapie C'Dale track frame that does the job just fine.

    Doubt I'll add any more beer cans to the collection though.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Solid list so far, and I'll add:
    Klein Quantum Pro (those Gerolsteiner bikes...), plus Attitude/Adroit off road
    All the Cyfac alu frames hidden under other brands' pair (e.g.: Vandenbroucke & Millar's MBKs)
    Never ridden, but i like the look of those Stoempers
    Geoff used to race around on a Brodie Sovereign
    Geoff Morgan

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Schwinn Fastback Pro Limited 2001. Or the regular model.
    Since I build mine back up I wondered why I ever hang it's components on another frame.
    BTW; Carbon seatposts (without the proper coating?) will cold weld themselves in place on aluminum lugs.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    I raced crits on a Cannondale 2.8 in the 90's. It's primer gray now and clamped in a trainer.
    I had a Saeco CAAD 3 after that, meh.
    Got a Fina Estampa in 2003, great racing bike, never grew on me for just riding.
    If I decided to get back into racing, I'd probably get whatever the latest generation of CAAD was available.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    I had a cyfac alu frame I really loved. I only sold it because I lost confidence in a 15y old alu fork and the derailleur hanger thread was destroyed.



    I would recommend a modern alu cyfac to anyone.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Ok here goes:

    Team Gan Eddy Merckx Alu team. This was the precursor to the Team SC- The pearl white and blue paint was amazing. This was the thing that finally killed the MX Leader. It did everything nearly as well and was a lot lighter.

    Telekom Pinarello Paris: Looking at one of these things now, it seems almost slight and underbuilt- when Riis and Ullrich were riding them this thing looked like it was from another planet. From the Kevlar reinforced carbon forks (produced by Time) to the early hydroformed tubesets in custom geometry- this was the EPO of bikes.

    Cyfac Altec2: Cyfac back then was a very different company. They only did made to order custom frames for riders and other manufacturers. They were also a tubing developer for Colombus and helped develop this revolutionary tubeset. I had a Jean Delatour team bike built to measure back when and it remains the aluminum bike with the best finish and paint I have ever seen. Everything was perfect on it. t Even the Colombus Muscle fork was a revelation. This is the bike that VDB won Liege on. Enough said.

    Orbea Starship: The Colombus Starship tubeset was the stuff the best bikes in the world were made out of. I remember speaking years ago to a large American frame builder who told me they would love to build with this stuff but they did not have the technology to work with it nor heat treat it. Orbea's version of the Starship bikes were perfect for their riders. These things were the ultimate climbing bikes.

    De Rosa Merak: These things could be overpowered and the Sc 61.10 tubeset certainly didn't make for a "life time" bike, but they were great race tools and well designed in terms of geometry and handling charachteristics. It took Ugo De Rosa a while to abandon titanium for Aluminum and the Merak was the frame that convinced him he could acquiesce to the demands of his sponsored riders.

    Giant ONCE team OCR: I hated these bikes when they came out. I thought the sloping top tube looked ridiculous and that the sizing philosophy was absurd. Like the Trek OCLV this bike ushered in the era where the narrative changed- production bikes were good enough for the best riders in the world. At this point in time, this was kinda still just marketing. The ONCE boys were certainly on custom built frames designed to look like production Giants- but the bell couldn't be un-rung. Soon the complexity and manufacturing technique required to produce carbon frames would dictate that the pros had to ride stock frames for the most part. Anyway, these Giants were kind of cool and special one off versions like the 650c wheeled climbing bike for Jalabert or the overbuilt one that used a 42mm down tube for the top tube made for some pretty tough race bikes. The sloping top tube has also grown on me and i think it is really cool how Giant forced a complete change in the aesthetics of the pro road bike.

    Chocolade Jacques/Vlaanderen Eddy Merckx Premium. I'm not sure aluminum race bikes ever got better than this thing, although I honestly think my Corsas improve on these things. The Easton Scandium tubing made for a really snappy light powerful bike that was still able to be overbuilt enough not to feel "tinny" or harsh over mixed terrain. I learned an awful lot about what makes a bike ride right by looking at and exploring the details of both the Team SC and the Premium. To me this is the last real Merckx- built in Eddy's factory, made to measure and solely meant to be a tool for competition. Everyone who has ridden a Team SC or a Premium knows it's the best Merckx ever. Plus, no one has ever done pearl white as good as Eddy and the red white and blue team bikes were some of the best looking and most recognizable bikes in the peleton.

    Gaulzetti Corsa: I don't mean this to come across as arrogant- but if I could buy a better race bike than my Corsa I wouldn't have to deal with this project and the resources, time and expense it takes. I want to build the best race bike in the world and I'm going to keep doing it. Everything I know about bikes informs this thing and it's a continually evolving project. I've had a lot of benchmarks for "perfection" and I think this bike surpasses them all. Part of that is just the nature of the industry. Pro Race Bikes need to first and foremost be saleable retail products and this means that no matter the resources the big companies put into developing them, they have compromises my bikes don't. The materials I am working with are better than what was available in the past- i can build an aluminum bike that is stronger and stiffer and more torsionally rigid along the top tube and between the wheels than any of these other bikes I mentioned. Part of this is the evolution of standards too- 44mm headtubes and tapered forks help- the new ergonomics offered by modern sti/ergo and double tap shifters along with changes to bar shape all make my bikes more ergonomically balanced. I'm lucky to be able to design around new standards and components. I also do build alot of Corsas without an ISP, but to me it plays a huge role in why my bikes feel the way they do. I'm able to keep the center of gravity low on my bikes but still allow a taller rider a strong consistent connection with the frame. When cornering hard in the saddle or rowing the bike across the road and especially when driving hard on mixed terrain- the ISP makes the whole thing feel like one piece- especially when paired with good wheels and a stiff stem and bar. For taller riders or anyone running a lot of drop this is important. Honestly, with the new shapes of levers and bars, coupled with 8" stems- race bikes need more drop to achieve proper bio-mechanics and classic efficient form on the bike. Modern bars have far less drop, hoods sit a lot higher on the bars and the amount of time a rider spends on the tops, in the hoods, in the hook and in the drops has changed. The vast majority of builders do not take this into account when designing their bikes. There's enough room to fake it with small bikes usually, but rarely with larger bikes. Hence the amount of -17' slammed stems without upper headset spacers on too small frames you see in the pro peleton. Again, this goes back as well to the frame needing to be a saleable retail product. Most enthusiasts are going to be far happier with a bike that sits too tall in the front end than one that sits too low- and the current philosophy is to take the amateur- account for his heavier weight, broader shoulders, lesser degree of flexibility and more casual and steady power output and rotate him back and up. This works for most cyclists- i am certainly privy to the way changes in fit in this manner have made most riders more comfortable and efficient on their bikes- but it doesn't work for me and I don't believe it works for most people who are riding their bikes in a spirited manner. But I don't build my bikes for everyone- they're kinda like these old aluminum race bikes- they're special.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

    www.summercycles.com

    www.gaulzetti.co

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    waiting for the carbon thread to pop up

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    start it.

    C40, C50, Dogma, Walser, BT Austrailian Federation Team Track, Trek 5900, Crumpton, Seven 622 SLX.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

    My name is Craig Gaulzetti.

    www.summercycles.com

    www.gaulzetti.co

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    1. Klein Q-Pro (own one) but any Klein will do.
    2. Colnago Dream with B stays
    3. Zancanato (only a matter of time)
    4. Cannondale System Six (would still like to find a nice one); a hybrid but still...
    5. Cannondale CAAD 8 RAW (should have bought when I had the chance)

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    I'm still in the honeymoon period with my Lobster, so I don't feel I can provide an answer that just isn't "Rock Lobster" five times in succession.

    Hell, now I need to get a Corsa for comparison.

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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Yep, not sure I need more than one alum bike because I have this one and it rocks like a lobster


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    Default Re: Which aluminium race bikes must one have?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattsbeers View Post
    ......oh shit and a Merckx Team SC. Scandium and all it's cousins are fair game too.
    Nuff said.
    Mythical Merckx by Elvis Merckx, on Flickr
    (But an Aluminum Zank Road32 will probably replace this someday)

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