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Giant v Colnago

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Mar 10, 2009
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Some retraction

I have been contemplating this thread since I am stoopid over Colnago bikes.
It took nearly 11 years of insane lust until I bought a Master Olympic in 1997. Until that day I owned a lot of CCM, 1 Bianchi, 2 Marinoni, and a Vitus. Each bike had its quality and some did a few things really poorly but I loved each one.
The Colnago changed my experience of cycling and changed how every other bike was perceived. That Master Olympic was quantifiably different than anything I had ridden before and I realized a dream come true. Over the years the upgrades came and the first was a Carbon fork, from 8 speed to 10 speed. It has had its chrome straight blade fork restored.
I am not a person to realize a dream and quit dreamong either. I started to lust for a C-40. Good fortune came and I had 1. It is a great bike, like the Vitus in comfort and a little like the Marinoni in stiffness. No speed wobbles on this bike for sure but not really the match for the Master Olympic in the stiffness department but a winner in comfort and the lightness was intoxicating. The Master got fenders! Not a good thing for her.
At the end of the 2007 season I had a great opportunity to get a C-50 built up almost exactly as I wanted. A stem and bar swap and a new set of Nokon cables and I am back in perfect bike heaven. Colnago had reproduced the magic in Carbon. I could have had an Extreme Power but it was actually stiffer than the Master and the Master is plenty stiff enough so I chose the slightly more compliant C-50.
In referencing this thread I am a Colnago Evangelist. I love them and I am aware of the truth in Pietro's story of frame builders in Italy.
How Many C-50, EPS, Ferrari Bikes, Ex power does Ernesto have built each season? 2000? 5000? How long does it take to make 1 and how many can Colnago make at a time? These Carbon frames are not made 1 at a time but they don't make more than 10 at a time. from the video posted it would appear that 6 or so can be baked at a time. I can't recall how long each frame gets cooked but given the alignment table (jig) the number of ovens and a few other things required, I don't believe that the number of Carbon bikes that Colnago makes in Italy can be done piecework in a couple of months. Colnago makes a lot of bikes and I am sure some might be done as piece work. Colnago got into business building wheels at home and he did weld frames piecwork too.
I have known for a long time that many bikes that are made in Italy are done in batches by sub contractors. from a guy who welds 6 dozen frames a day to the artisan that makes only 2 or 3.
I said early in this thread that Colnago gets its carbon from Ferrari and that is not correct. They did the engineering with Ferrari.
Colnago is an ISO 9000 manufacturer and the controls necessary to maintain that rating are hard to meet without a lot of control over the manufacturing process. If Colnago makes their Carbon bikes (except CX1) out of Ernesto's control I would be very surprised. Contracting out is very common for low end and even some high end bikes but it is not the way all Italian bikes are built.
My first good race bike was built by Marinoni who learned frame building doing piecework and apprenticing to one of the big Italian builders so I am familiar with the Italian Method. I don't think Marinoni brazed my frame and I am sure that Earnesto does not work in the frame shop either.
I expect the only places where there are large bicycle factories is Taiwan and China. All the evidence and stories about Colnago I have heard or read says he is in control of the manufacturing of his Carbon bikes in a facility under his direction using his tooling, His spec tubing made in Italy and his spec lugs.
Since Pietro is so sure that most Carbon bikes are made in Taiwan and almost none are made in Italy then it can be assumed that most of those Carbon bikes in the video are destined for the Colnago warehouse which brings me back to the main point. Colnago makes enough Carbon bikes that they could be employed directly by Colnago. I think there is at least 10 months of work there in the batch sizes that factory is working.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Master50 said:
Since Pietro is so sure that most Carbon bikes are made in Taiwan and almost none are made in Italy then it can be assumed that most of those Carbon bikes in the video are destined for the Colnago warehouse

The motherload of carbon tubes that Colnago uses is scourced from Taiwan, there's no argument there. But the claim that Colnago is using the shop just to put on a show for marketing and press purposes a few times a year is quite frankly, a bit over the top. Can't even remember who said that, not that it matters anyway. Even though Colnago is essentially out of the pro peloton, doesn't mean he makes overhyped, overrated, or technologically behind the times frames. Colnago has been the benchmark for all the current builders, or designers for decades, so when your at the top of your game for so long, people are going to take shots, but to all the haters out there keep in mind that if it wasn't for guys like Ernesto, the current crop of racing frames would be a decade or more behind from where we are now.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Colnago has been the benchmark for all the current builders, or designers for decades, so when your at the top of your game for so long, people are going to take shots, but to all the haters out there keep in mind that if it wasn't for guys like Ernesto, the current crop of racing frames would be a decade or more behind from where we are now.

I respectfully disagree. I would say Giant with the ONCE sloping top tube model in 2000 really changed the frames. It was lighter & more responsive than the litespeed Ultimate of that time. I know a pro who swapped out his litespeed for a giant at his own expense. Other companies realized you could lighten the bike since a shortened sloping top tube used less material and made a tighter frame.

Not to trash Colnago but i would argue that Ugo DeRosa and Masi were better. Next to my Giant the Derosa was the best bike i have ever ridden.
I had steel Faggins, early Landshark, early GTs, Medici, Paramount, Trek
nothing was close to that DeRosa. the only steel bike i would ever want to own again.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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runninboy said:
Ugo DeRosa and Masi were better. Next to my Giant the Derosa was the best bike i have ever ridden.

Ugo and Faliero never had anything to do with designing modern carbon race frames, Ernesto did and still does. Remember the Carbitubo circa '94 or something?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Speaking of Masi.... 1974 Gran Criterium with a twin plate fork crown, rear drops possibly milled by Confente (the jury is still out on that one, but the Masi experts are saying it's quite possible). All I need is a period correct Record crankset and BB, build up some Martanos and it will make mortal men weep. I'm certain of it.

DSC03612.JPG
 
Jun 16, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Ugo and Faliero never had anything to do with designing modern carbon race frames, Ernesto did and still does. Remember the Carbitubo circa '94 or something?

You are absolutely correct. My feeling was that Giant really shook things up and has come to the forefront and since the OP was Colnago vs Giant .
As far as DeRosa & Masi, I thought they deserved a mention as great master builders. As far as innovation My Derosa came with a Maganese fork, pretty innovative for the time. And how do you mention Ernesto without crediting the man he apprenticed for?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Speaking of Masi.... 1974 Gran Criterium with a twin plate fork crown, rear drops possibly milled by Confente (the jury is still out on that one, but the Masi experts are saying it's quite possible). All I need is a period correct Record crankset and BB, build up some Martanos and it will make mortal men weep. I'm certain of it.

DSC03612.JPG

Now you are talking!:D
hubba hubba:eek:
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Master50 said:
I have been contemplating this thread since I am stoopid over Colnago bikes.
It took nearly 11 years of insane lust until I bought a Master Olympic in 1997. Until that day I owned a lot of CCM, 1 Bianchi, 2 Marinoni, and a Vitus. Each bike had its quality and some did a few things really poorly but I loved each one.
The Colnago changed my experience of cycling and changed how every other bike was perceived. That Master Olympic was quantifiably different than anything I had ridden before and I realized a dream come true. Over the years the upgrades came and the first was a Carbon fork, from 8 speed to 10 speed. It has had its chrome straight blade fork restored.
I am not a person to realize a dream and quit dreamong either. I started to lust for a C-40. Good fortune came and I had 1. It is a great bike, like the Vitus in comfort and a little like the Marinoni in stiffness. No speed wobbles on this bike for sure but not really the match for the Master Olympic in the stiffness department but a winner in comfort and the lightness was intoxicating. The Master got fenders! Not a good thing for her.
At the end of the 2007 season I had a great opportunity to get a C-50 built up almost exactly as I wanted. A stem and bar swap and a new set of Nokon cables and I am back in perfect bike heaven. Colnago had reproduced the magic in Carbon. I could have had an Extreme Power but it was actually stiffer than the Master and the Master is plenty stiff enough so I chose the slightly more compliant C-50.
In referencing this thread I am a Colnago Evangelist. I love them and I am aware of the truth in Pietro's story of frame builders in Italy.
How Many C-50, EPS, Ferrari Bikes, Ex power does Ernesto have built each season? 2000? 5000? How long does it take to make 1 and how many can Colnago make at a time? These Carbon frames are not made 1 at a time but they don't make more than 10 at a time. from the video posted it would appear that 6 or so can be baked at a time. I can't recall how long each frame gets cooked but given the alignment table (jig) the number of ovens and a few other things required, I don't believe that the number of Carbon bikes that Colnago makes in Italy can be done piecework in a couple of months. Colnago makes a lot of bikes and I am sure some might be done as piece work. Colnago got into business building wheels at home and he did weld frames piecwork too.
I have known for a long time that many bikes that are made in Italy are done in batches by sub contractors. from a guy who welds 6 dozen frames a day to the artisan that makes only 2 or 3.
I said early in this thread that Colnago gets its carbon from Ferrari and that is not correct. They did the engineering with Ferrari.
Colnago is an ISO 9000 manufacturer and the controls necessary to maintain that rating are hard to meet without a lot of control over the manufacturing process. If Colnago makes their Carbon bikes (except CX1) out of Ernesto's control I would be very surprised. Contracting out is very common for low end and even some high end bikes but it is not the way all Italian bikes are built.
My first good race bike was built by Marinoni who learned frame building doing piecework and apprenticing to one of the big Italian builders so I am familiar with the Italian Method. I don't think Marinoni brazed my frame and I am sure that Earnesto does not work in the frame shop either.
I expect the only places where there are large bicycle factories is Taiwan and China. All the evidence and stories about Colnago I have heard or read says he is in control of the manufacturing of his Carbon bikes in a facility under his direction using his tooling, His spec tubing made in Italy and his spec lugs.
Since Pietro is so sure that most Carbon bikes are made in Taiwan and almost none are made in Italy then it can be assumed that most of those Carbon bikes in the video are destined for the Colnago warehouse which brings me back to the main point. Colnago makes enough Carbon bikes that they could be employed directly by Colnago. I think there is at least 10 months of work there in the batch sizes that factory is working.

Check the posts please. I am NOT the one insisting that 'most carbon bikes are made', ANYWHERE. I NEVER mentioned Taiwan or Asia in this thread.

I said that there are no Colnago 'Factorys', all I said. I never mentioned Italy or Asia or insisted anything.

Thank you-I'm outta this here thread.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
No, not at all. I was just stereotyping with a deflection in my voice that you can't hear on a forum. No harm intended. Not to mention I have plenty of dork friends that are really into the custom steel set, two of which are custom frame builders!!!. We give each other plenty of sh!t, and don't take ourselves so seriously. Come to think of it, I'll even be at NAHBS in Feb. Watch out all you trendy biaches!!! Hell, I wouldn't mind custom steel 'eurocross' from Ben Steelman, just don't have that Silicone Valley kinda loot to afford one. 10 years ago you could get one for $1200, now about $3K!!!

My Asian made factory direct carbon F & F just arrived today. NOT A COLNAGO!!! Unfortunately. :)
L1020142.JPG

It's a Merckx!(less decals)

http://www2.eddymerckx.be

LXM
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Pietro said:
Check the posts please. I am NOT the one insisting that 'most carbon bikes are made', ANYWHERE. I NEVER mentioned Taiwan or Asia in this thread.

I said that there are no Colnago 'Factorys', all I said. I never mentioned Italy or Asia or insisted anything.

Thank you-I'm outta this here thread.

My post got a little long and I am sure I was making lots of connections to previous posts but my point is that Colnago makes enough high end carbon bikes to keep more than 1 guy busy for a full year. There are not enough ovens and jigs to make 30 or 40 frames a day and they are plenty expensive enough to keep the number down. The place where these frames are built may be leased by Colnago or subcontracted by Colnago but they are not making frames for very many companies if Colnago takes all their production. A Carbon builder uses different tools and builds in a much cleaner environment than a shop building metal frames. There are just not that many shops capable of building those frames. So what manufacturer sets up a frame building shop for just 1 customer? I suppose if you make enough. I get a contract to build 5000 frames for Colnago and my little factory can make 7000 who am I building the other 2000 for?
I know that metal frames have been made this way in Italy for years but the high end carbon bikes don't fit this model simply because most of the carbon bike out there are made in Asia.
Unless you are living in Cambiagio and working for a sub contractor assembling and building frames for Colnago I think you are applying something you know about metal frames and believing it is true for Carbon. I have not been in the factory and I cannot absolutely refute your claim but it does not fit. I do admit it is possible but the economics don't fit for such a limited production of carbon frames.
I could easily believe the Masters and Dreams are built by sub contractors since they fit the model you describe.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
My Asian made factory direct carbon F & F just arrived today. NOT A COLNAGO!!! Unfortunately. :)
L1020142.JPG
Pietro said:
It's a Merckx!(less decals)

http://www2.eddymerckx.be

LXM

No, not a Merckx. Keen eye though Pietro, the profile is very close, but no cigar. As far as I know, there are 3 major brands that come from this factory, none of which are Merckx. I'm not sure that I have clearance to divulge the source, but It's based on a bike at the top of it's range, rather than the bottom, only difference really is the head tube is straight 1 1/8", and the 3k carbon weave that makes it look like a wicker basket. I believe the actual production bike that uses this same mold has a tapered head tube.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Exactly... And even the companies that build some of their bikes in the country of origin like Colnago, and countless outhers, source their tubes and front triangles from Asia anyway.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Exactly... And even the companies that build some of their bikes in the country of origin like Colnago, and countless others, source their tubes and front triangles from Asia anyway.
And except for the CLX, Colnago claims their carbon tubes and lugs are sourced from an Italian manufacturer. This manufacturer is also associated with Ferrari who is associated with Colnago who every year makes a couple of (500) Ferrari/ Colnago badged carbon bikes which this year is called the CF-7.
Giant were and probably are still one of the largest bike makers. Until they started badging bikes as Giant most of their bikes bore some other name according to who they built for. They may make good quality frames but they hold no romance for me and I have never been interested in their bikes.
A Corvette is a really good car and assuming I could afford the Ferrari or Aston Martin that even if it is a great car the Ferrari or Aston martin would be in my driveway. The difference in performance could even side with the Corvette but if you are going to buy an expensive sports car it should at least hold your heart too.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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OK speculation that Colnago high end frames (EPS) etc are made in Asia has been running on the internet for the past year.

Pezcycling review of the EPS says 'Made in Italy'

thewashingmachinepost.com review of EPS says 'Made in Italy'

BikeRadar video says 'Made in Italy'

Look at the the Head Tube of the EPS and it says 'Made in Italy'

Look at the badge near the bottom bracket of the EPS and it says 'Made in Italy'

Go to the official Colabgo website and it says.... nothing about where they make their bikes.

Colnago could clear this up one way or other tomorrow, unless they have something to hide.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Yeah, you're right. I was getting some other model confused with the EPS. I recall watching a You Tube vid with Ernesto saying that "the tubes may come from Taiwan, but...." Must have been for an entirely different model. ooops.:eek:
 
May 12, 2009
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As far as where the actual carbon fiber comes from...Boeing and other aerospace companies use the same Torayca stuff that the Taiwan manufacturers use. I'd imagine that it is at least as good as the ATR stuff.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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biker77 said:
Can someone explain why carbon fibre bike frames made in Italy are better than Asian frames?

It is about artisan creation and craftsmanship along with a passionate sense of style and quality.
You need to be able to understand or maybe feel Ferrari, espresso, Italian bikes, Campagnolo, Pasta and food in general. It is a philosophy of quality and form are as important as function. The inclusion of Art as a function of engineering.
Italian bikes are Soul food. I don't feel Asian bikes so how can they be as good? I know intelectually that the differences cannot be measured but neither can we measure your soul.
 

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