The big 4

by kenong   April 28, 2014  

Curse my indecisiveness... After selling my bike, I am stuck in a rut now, deciding on the 4 Italian bikes here:

1. Bianchi Intenso - Looks good with the celeste. It's a C2C bike, meaning it caters towards long distance cycling. Exposed RD cable beneath the chain stay, takes some points off my list. Price wise, I can get the Wilier with 11 speed Ultegra by topping slightly a bit more...

2. Wilier GTR - Beautiful color scheme, a stand out among these 4 bikes. The carbon fork looks bland. Great cable routing, making it looks even better. IMO, the color may be a bit too loud for my taste...

3. Colnago AC-R - Love that black-white colored model. Really lousy wheels to start with. Brake calipers that is half-resin, half alu, doesn't inspire confidence on descent. External cable routing on top tube, this puts me off a lot, as well as the external cable routing beneath the chain stay after the BB. Cheapest bike among these 4, good price to value imo.

4. Pinarello Razha K - Always wanted to try out a Pinarello frame, now that it comes in an entry level carbon that doesn't cost 1 arm, 2 legs and a couple of kidneys, it sure looks like a good buy. The slanted(?) chain stay puts me off a lot. Doesn't give the same feel as the Razha which imitates the Dogma. The FD is clamped on the seat tube instead of brazed-on, this minus more marks on my list. Fully internal cable routing ensures a clean looking bike and easy to polish. Most expensive here.

Overall, Wilier seems like the best choice here but price wise, it is the second most expensive compared to the Pinarello. Next, if I go for the Colnago, I got some cash left and I was thinking of quick selling the wheels off and installing a cheap, made-in-Taiwan light carbon wheels.

I climb most of the time on my bike during the weekends. Short spins during the working weekday nights.

So what are the opinions?

AttachmentSize
Bianchi Intenso.jpg115.27 KB
Wilier GTR.jpeg155.4 KB
Colnago AC-R.jpg148.07 KB
Pinarello Razha K.jpg157.66 KB

25 user comments

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Not much point in me replying then Wink

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
28th April 2014 - 18:22

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If it were me, it'd be the Bianchi. Decent grumpy (gruppo, but I liked the autocorrect)

Nice classical colour, classy looking all round.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
28th April 2014 - 18:58

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colnago with campag ... job done Big Grin

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [682 posts]
28th April 2014 - 21:12

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get the pina you know it makes sense ! mind you I am biased Laughing

posted by trevisotart [11 posts]
28th April 2014 - 21:35

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The Colnago would look great with an upgraded wheelset

posted by daddyELVIS [384 posts]
28th April 2014 - 21:53

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On looks alone, the Bianchi and Pinarello are spoilt by that god awful chainset from the worlds leading manufacturer of angling equipment.

Colnago and a few upgrades would be my choice of the 4.

As you have your heart set on Italian, why not go with an Italian groupset too?

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [490 posts]
28th April 2014 - 23:29

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I think the willier is prettiest, followed by the Colnago. But with these frame you always get substandard kit I feel, premium is for ItalianBrand. I would definitely put Campagnolo on it though, the lines just match better

Specialized Allez 2009, Campagnolo Centaur 10, Campagnolo Shamal Wheels. 8.3kg

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posted by Miles253 [195 posts]
29th April 2014 - 2:03

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Super Domestique wrote:
Not much point in me replying then Wink

Smile Just couldn't make that decision... At Wits End

Anyway, budget wise, Colnago is the best bet and seems like it's leading the pack now according to the replies here. Much thanks Big Grin

posted by kenong [16 posts]
29th April 2014 - 2:16

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Based purely on looks Willier or Colnago.

posted by smiley_boy2501 [26 posts]
29th April 2014 - 8:13

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Oh go on then Big Grin

Pina or if not then the Willier.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
29th April 2014 - 9:02

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Normally say Wilier, but that Colnago is really nice..... mmmmmm

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posted by fukawitribe [297 posts]
29th April 2014 - 9:50

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Based just on looks, Colnago then Bianchi. However, the reality is that every one of these bikes will be good, but if you can get to ride them all, that will tell you which one to buy.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [2962 posts]
29th April 2014 - 10:01

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notfastenough wrote:
but if you can get to ride them all, that will tell you which one to buy.

..and you get to ride them all, which is not a bad way to spend the time.

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posted by fukawitribe [297 posts]
29th April 2014 - 11:23

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I got the Bianchi it's an amazing frame, comfortable, stiff and light, and the kevlar inserts really seem to dampen out bumps from the forks and stays.

And it looks stunning too as paintwork is a pearlessent celest. Most people stop and comment on it.

It's let down by the components i think, I'm in the process of removing the FSA brakes and campy Veloce shifters and replacing with a silver Athena groupset and some Shamal Ultra wheels, plus super logic stem, bars and post when I can afford.

But its a matter of choice they are all fine bikes!

posted by Ayoub Al Djinn [1 posts]
30th April 2014 - 9:27

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I hate curved tubes, so I think the Bianchi is the best looking of the lot of them, although the crankset is minging. (I am a bit surprised by this. I normally hate celeste.) I don't understand why you would pay the Italian brand premium though. To put the size of that premium in context, you can get a Canyon Ultimate CF 9.0 (full ultegra 11 speed (mechanical), Ksyrium Elite S wheels) for £1899 or a Planet X N2A (full ultegra 6800, 50mm carbon clinchers) for $2k.

If you want an Italian brand on the outside of your Taiwanese (or mainland China) made carbon frame I guess it's worth it.

(I don't work for either Canyon or Planet X - although I've owned/own several bikes by both manufacturers. However, I've found that whenever I look at the price of a bike its useful to think "how much of a Canyon or PX would that amount of money buy me?".)

posted by surly_by_name [138 posts]
30th April 2014 - 18:03

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Dropped by a few lbs and had a thorough look through the bikes. This is what I found out: (based on my point of view, not everyone)

Pinarello Razha: The matt finishing is not that nice. The head tube is a big difference from the higher end frames. The external cable routing below the down tube is a big let down IMO. The bb is pf30 but looks like a downgraded version. The general look is fine, it has the Dogma feel to it. The rest of the components are nothing to shout about. It comes with a semi-compact crank, 52-36 combination.

Bianchi Intenso: Frame finishing is fine, it looks expensive. Cable routing is good. A nice choice but value wise, still weak compared to what Wilier can offer. The Wilier cost £55 more for 11 speed and better resale value for the components.

Wilier GTR: Color, finishing and overall looks good. The down tube, at the bottom part it is the tip of the triangle, would be better if it were flat and with some wordings or design. The down tube bottle cage screw area wasn't properly painted. Spotted the imperfection of the coloring on the 2 screw holes. Seems like this is on all the bikes (I only saw the lime-black version) Otherwise the frame looks clean and worth the price with the Ultegra 11 speed. Only the shifter, cassette, RD and FD are Ultegra. May not be easy to sell in the future since it's not a complete set but definitely holds a higher value compared to the other offerings.

Couldn't find the Colnago AC-R yet though...

Should I just settle for the Wilier GTR? It cost £275 more than the Colnago.

posted by kenong [16 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 14:16

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Have you test ridden any of them?

Remember the parts can be changed overtime so the ride and frame are most important.
FWIW I'd my heart on the Willer until I saw a Ridley Fenix and still the GTR is a nice looking bike.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [284 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 18:07

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Find the Bianchi with a campag gruppo on it! Best of both worlds then, you don't want fishing tackle on an Italian bike.

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posted by glynr36 [285 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 18:27

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What about the Razha K you were looking at?

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 19:17

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Personally, I'd be discounting all the comments from people who think buying Campagnolo gives them some kind of credibility over and above buying any other groupset.

When you've used a number of different groupsets, you can choose one you like, but all that silly one-upmanship based on something you can buy is a bit sad.

posted by crikey [106 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 19:30

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crikey wrote:
Personally, I'd be discounting all the comments from people who think buying Campagnolo gives them some kind of credibility over and above buying any other groupset.

When you've used a number of different groupsets, you can choose one you like, but all that silly one-upmanship based on something you can buy is a bit sad.

I think someones taking it all a little to seriously....

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posted by glynr36 [285 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 19:44

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Super Domestique wrote:
What about the Razha K you were looking at?

Couldn't find it anywhere and it's the same with the Colnago too. Guess I just have to be patience and wait.

posted by kenong [16 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 20:05

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glynr36 wrote:
Find the Bianchi with a campag gruppo on it! Best of both worlds then, you don't want fishing tackle on an Italian bike.

Don't know about their group sets , some of the fishing tackle is not up to scratch ! Laughing

posted by trevisotart [11 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 21:18

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kenong wrote:
Super Domestique wrote:
What about the Razha K you were looking at?

Couldn't find it anywhere and it's the same with the Colnago too. Guess I just have to be patience and wait.

Keep searching Cool

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 21:34

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Does anyone else get annoyed that the first piece of Ultegra to be omitted to cut costs is the crankset? And then the brake set, the two most well reviewed pieces of the group? Shifters probably being next in the list as a major change from 6700.

I think it takes away a lot of the value and performance of Ultegra, especially where brakes are concerned.

Specialized Allez 2009, Campagnolo Centaur 10, Campagnolo Shamal Wheels. 8.3kg

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posted by Miles253 [195 posts]
4th May 2014 - 4:37

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