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Thread: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    I had two. I bought both of them used. They were good, but not great bikes for me. There were things I liked about them and things I didn't. I sold them both. They have made some fantastic bikes. They have made some awful ones. If you don't know what you want and like, relying on their fitter network is kind of like ordering a mail order bride. The framesets also cost too much. They always have in my opinion and that doesn't work in today's world.
     
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I'm sure Alexi Grewal would like to go back to when he had teeth also.
    Oh mare meva!
     
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chaba View Post
    Serotta was a highly respected brand that began to accomodate requests for stupid custom bikes. At some point along the descent, they lost their reputation as being primarily a builder of great bikes and became primarily known for building the whack jobs....fasterbackwards, if you will. At the same time they WAY overestimated how much their target customer was willing to spend for the brand's ever decreasing cache. Their challenge now is to get realistic about product, pricing and customer....and the fact that we are in a major recession is no help whatsoever.
    Ha. You said in fewer words what I was trying to put together. I do think that the bikes they make that are failures are more spectacular because the fit system is sold to be superior but it's only as good as the fit tech plus the fit cycle doesn't have wheels on it. I've seen Giants that made me want to gouge out my eyes ridden by very fit people, put Serotta on it and it'd just reinforce the image.

    I own two of the bikes they made but in each case I bought the bike down the line a bit - used to be the top but now the top's getting the premium price and that just ain't worth it.

    It's a vicious cycle - you need money to sponsor a team and get younger riders interested in your badge but if you're struggling that won't happen. The older people are, frankly, getting older and when times are tough they get nervous about dropping big coin on a bicycle. Pretty soon they age out of the market and what's left?
     
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    I lost interest when they seemed to abandon stock geometry tables. Their heritage, and the fact that it would be captured in geometries proven by legendary cyclists, was compelling to me. I want to know my frame is starting from some basis other than my silly ideas.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    here is one data point. a national caliber lightweight rower got fit for a serotta and had a frame built. he was new to the sport of cycle racing but had some cash and went in head first. his objective was to cross train on his new bicycle and then begin some cycle racing in the summer. the machine that serotta built him had the bars above the saddle height. he may well have been pushing a shopping cart down isle 7. i saw it with my own eyes. it was mad painful to watch this kid ride his new $$$$$ machine. i've got other stories but you get the point.....maybe.
    Thanks for that, it helps to have a concrete example and that is perfect and far beyond what I could have imagined based upon Serotta's reputation for fitting. I am a terrible athlete with poor flexibility and I still have some saddle to bar drop so this helps me understand where you are coming from.
     
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    In terms of Serotta, my experience was great in terms of product and customer service. I still have my Legend, love it and ride it.

    Cost is certainly an issue, but that also holds for Parlee. I think the Z1 I bought through Hampco would now be something like $7500 frame only? My new Hampsten, Peg were well under that fully built and specc'd with very nice parts. Given that there are not a huge amount of dealers here, I see more fasterbackwards Seven's than Seotta's but that is sample size.

    I hope they get back to making bikes that folks want and that ride great.
     
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    I don't know their sales figures or the others for that matter. i do know that the other companies I mention are held in equally high regard using carbon and titanium. Getting a Parlee Z1 for thousands cheaper than a Meivici isn't a step down.

    -
    Just for reference current MSRP for a Meivici is $8595 and a Z1 is $7900. Not that big of a gap.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    I've seen my fair share of them too. I will say that the shop I worked at (Rotations in Southampton) did put out some nice race machines as well. That's what convinced me to get one instead of the other bikes the shop carried at the time. Buddy of mine had a pair of Ottrotts that were awesome. If I were the only data point here, it wouldn't be fair to say all their bikes go out like shopping carts. Could be locale specific.

    -
    oh, i know they put out proper machines too. i've seen yours and it is proper. saab's too.
     
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    72gmc makes a point that is very relevant for me. I have an older CSI that used the standard road geo specified back then for a 62cm frame. I use the geo that Serotta specified for their Rapid Tour frames on almost all of the custom frames I order, but from other builders. These geos were routinely specified in their old catalogues around 1998 to 2000 or so and provided the basis for a well fitting frame that handled and rode well and I am 6'3''.
     
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    i'm going to come right out and say it. in the past dozen years or so i've seen some wacky serotta's on the road around here. fasterbackwards, fastersideways, everything but fasterforward. when i say this, i'm not talking about folks who may be well past their prime and are trying to squeeze a few more miles out of their body before they buy the farm. i'm takling about fit athletes who had a serotta fit and a made-to-measure machine for racing. it is pm to witness. i began to lose confidence in serotta after this. this tells me that either: their fit protocol is wack, the individuals who do the fit are wack or both. however, i think the most damaging aspect of all this is that serotta would BUILD these machines. any builder worth the gas in his/her tank would not move forward with some of the builds i've seen. long live the 7-11 serottas!
    Agreed: if Serotta dies it will be because they diluted their brand when they lost the ability to say "no," thereby becoming a magnet for every dentist that thought bikes were stools.

    Yet, I'd say they've kept going this long because they do some things right. We all know that they can build good bikes when the proper contact points come through the door attached to a check that clears. Their competency as fabricators isn't in question. And, I think the biggest thing they offer is the ability to reliably deliver product. They don't take unannounced breaks, vacations, or sabbaticals. If a customer goes to a Serotta dealer, develops a set of contact points, and Serotta gets final plans with payment, Serotta will deliver a bike. They don't disappear with deposits or have materials shortages or take the summer off. They just plain deliver, and that's why I think they've stayed in business for so long.

    As for customers having a hard time getting in touch with Serotta directly, I don't know exactly what to say. Serotta gives 30-40% of its margin to its dealer network to avoid dealing with customers directly. They want customers to talk to their LBS, not to the factory - that's their model. I guess I don't see it as a damning fault when they aren't that concerned about answering customer emails. It's sort of like sending an email off to Trek asking for an explanation of the different Madone models, then complaining when they tell you to look at the website or go down the street to your LBS. Trek doesn't do sales, its agents do. Serotta is the same model, so I don't see why a lack of communication with consumers is that big of a deal.
     
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    After getting an idea of the flavor of posts I went back and tried to figure out what you were wanting out of Serotta. I think you could take the other tack: sell the bike, as nice as it may be, or relegate it to being a second bike, and buy something of a different ilk that does agree with you. To me it seems that brands/institutions seem to find a mind of their own for better or worse... seems shallow to care to that degree but I can admit I do care about such things.
     
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    it would be great to see serotta sponsoring a solid pro team again. pair that with a marketing campaign to exploit and they would be going in the right direction i think. doctors and lawyers (sorry for the stereotype) want bikes the pros ride on, not the bikes other doctors and lawyers ride on.

    speculation about their numbers and business decisions on the internet does not seem very fair to me however.

    let's hope they grow stronger in time.
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    perfectly said.

    for the record i hated my previous dentist, but if he had a bike it'd likely be more expensive than the most expensive serotta made. hopefully he bought a bike from an independent builder who stole his deposit...

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Agreed: if Serotta dies it will be because they diluted their brand when they lost the ability to say "no," thereby becoming a magnet for every dentist that thought bikes were stools.

    Yet, I'd say they've kept going this long because they do some things right. We all know that they can build good bikes when the proper contact points come through the door attached to a check that clears. Their competency as fabricators isn't in question. And, I think the biggest thing they offer is the ability to reliably deliver product. They don't take unannounced breaks, vacations, or sabbaticals. If a customer goes to a Serotta dealer, develops a set of contact points, and Serotta gets final plans with payment, Serotta will deliver a bike. They don't disappear with deposits or have materials shortages or take the summer off. They just plain deliver, and that's why I think they've stayed in business for so long.

    As for customers having a hard time getting in touch with Serotta directly, I don't know exactly what to say. Serotta gives 30-40% of its margin to its dealer network to avoid dealing with customers directly. They want customers to talk to their LBS, not to the factory - that's their model. I guess I don't see it as a damning fault when they aren't that concerned about answering customer emails. It's sort of like sending an email off to Trek asking for an explanation of the different Madone models, then complaining when they tell you to look at the website or go down the street to your LBS. Trek doesn't do sales, its agents do. Serotta is the same model, so I don't see why a lack of communication with consumers is that big of a deal.
     
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    When the Meivici was announced along with its price I remember reading somebody's post on one forum or another, "Somewhere somebody's kid just got a set of braces that he didn't need".....
     
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Serotta builds some damned fine bikes. They have at times suffered from allowing others to fit them and spec them. Virtually all of the odd looking Serottas have been designed by and built for dealers who ordered them badly. This was a poor model for Serotta and has all but been eliminated.

    As to the price, No one can build the kind of rider specific details that Serotta can into a frame, particularly carbon. Serotta has the ability to build each tube to a nearly infinite range of specs. As such, if they are fitted by a master, no one can more precisely engineer a bike to meet the needs of a cyclist. Is this needed? Many would say "no" But I happen to know that some of the builders here spec every tube individually to meet the needs of their clients. Imagine what they could do if they could spec the exact details of the tube''s dampening, rigidity, etc.

    There are no other custom builders to the best of my knowledge who own the carbon factory or for that matter can swage tubes in titanium of any spec.

    I own two of them. A Legend and a Mevieci. Each of them was fit for me by a master. The are very different bikes built for very different purposes. Each suits the purpose magnificently. To buy a used custom Serotta is allot like buying a used custom suit. It may be a good suit, but all of the value of having it built for you is lost.

    Serotta has been through soem hard times in the past two years. They had a dip in demand right after investing heavily in infrastructure. The AE project was expensive and did not sell as well as hoped. Then when they were reeling from that, the demand went up and they fell behind. This is challenging for any company to recover from. Ben and his crew are doing a great job digging out from way behind. Their office staff is very lean but they are coming back.

    If you have never ridden one built for you and engineered by a master fitter, than you have never had the serotta experience. Many don't want this experience. This is good. More for me.
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chance Legstrong View Post
    Nostalgia: Coors Light team

    do that again. please.
    This is part of it. There are kids that can legally drink that were born after that team was formed. It ended it, what, 1994? That's 18 years ago. And they haven't had any bikes in the peloton since the Sierra Nevada days, AFAIK. This is the company that was billing itself as "the competition bicycle" not long ago...

    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    They need to get a real website considering their size. It's really outdated.
    that's a relatively new website (2010). LINK . My favorite part is when you click on "MSRP" for a model, it tells you to go to downloads, then click on a PDF file.

    I had a CRL and liked it ok. It wasn't nearly as good for me as my old Peg or my current Hampsten.
     
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhoff View Post
    Serotta builds some damned fine bikes. They have at times suffered from allowing others to fit them and spec them. Virtually all of the odd looking Serottas have been designed by and built for dealers who ordered them badly. This was a poor model for Serotta and has all but been eliminated.

    As to the price, No one can build the kind of rider specific details that Serotta can into a frame, particularly carbon. Serotta has the ability to build each tube to a nearly infinite range of specs. As such, if they are fitted by a master, no one can more precisely engineer a bike to meet the needs of a cyclist. Is this needed? Many would say "no" But I happen to know that some of the builders here spec every tube individually to meet the needs of their clients. Imagine what they could do if they could spec the exact details of the tube''s dampening, rigidity, etc.

    There are no other custom builders to the best of my knowledge who own the carbon factory or for that matter can swage tubes in titanium of any spec.

    I own two of them. A Legend and a Mevieci. Each of them was fit for me by a master. The are very different bikes built for very different purposes. Each suits the purpose magnificently. To buy a used custom Serotta is allot like buying a used custom suit. It may be a good suit, but all of the value of having it built for you is lost.

    Serotta has been through soem hard times in the past two years. They had a dip in demand right after investing heavily in infrastructure. The AE project was expensive and did not sell as well as hoped. Then when they were reeling from that, the demand went up and they fell behind. This is challenging for any company to recover from. Ben and his crew are doing a great job digging out from way behind. Their office staff is very lean but they are coming back.

    If you have never ridden one built for you and engineered by a master fitter, than you have never had the serotta experience. Many don't want this experience. This is good. More for me.
    this ^ is great and we've conversed about it all in private. i wish the brand well. but i have one question atmo: what is a master fitter? for most of my adult life, i have wondered why anyone who needs a fitter, or to "be fit", buys a bicycle like this. i really do not believe that people are that different from each other that someone has to design for them a special bicycle that is unlike a more conventional design in the same size and from the same brand. when i do try to wrap my head around it, i feel like i am making progress by thinking many folks are buying the wrong bicycle but simply want the personal service/concierge/Bijan experience when they don't even come to the table with a fitness level or flexibility or even a game plan to use the bicycle for exercise. that's the only reason i can surmise that some of the assembled bicycles end up looking like they do. i realize no one has a gun to the buyer's head (or the maker's) but when you see one of these units looking like they are the bicycle equivalent of something Dr. Scholl's would sell, it sends a red flag.

    most bicycle makers, especially those with backgrounds in or from the sport, know what goes where and don't need someone suggesting a better way to accomplish it. as i have written elsewhere, the bicycle has to fit, and it has to work. if you change too many things to accommodate the former, the latter will suffer immensely. this discussion can't ignore the fact that, since the end of the coor's light era, there's been a regular stream of units that look awkward. when the racing successes were broadcasted every monday, it could take your mind away from some of the other miscues. but when the liaisons ended and what's left are "just" pictures of some of these bicycles (you know the ones i mean...), it tends to re-brand the brand atmo.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    serotta can make great bikes and has made many great bikes.
    serotta is a small business facing challenges in very difficult economic times.
    i hope that they can work their way through and continue.
     
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    serotta can make great bikes and has made many great bikes.
    serotta is a small business facing challenges in very difficult economic times.
    i hope that they can work their way through and continue.
    that's like a haiku, but with more words atmo.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Can we talk about Serotta, please?

    well at least they'll smell nice.



    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    when i do try to wrap my head around it, i feel like i am making progress by thinking many folks are buying the wrong bicycle but simply want the personal service/concierge/Bijan experience when they don't even come to the table with a fitness level or flexibility or even a game plan to use the bicycle for exercise.
     
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