Which big, strong alu frameset?

by spicypedro   June 12, 2012  

I'll get the vital stats out of the way first. I'm 6'4" and 117kg (and losing weight. I was 127kg a few weeks ago).

Anyway. I've been riding my Trek 1.5 (58cm) for the last 3 years and it's developed a tremendously annoying creak. Eventual diagnosis is that the frame is actually too small for me and 3 years of putting so much leverage through the seat post has caused it to wear the inside of the seat tube where it now creaks with any shift of weigh in the saddle (pedalling, riding over gravel, etc.)

So I'm looking for a new frame. An upgrade. I don't want a whole new bike as I'd just bought a 105 group set for the Trek, so I'd like to take that with me.

I'm looking for something strong and fairly stiff (as my size/weight/powar! do seem to cause stresses on the bike) and that comes in a 60-61cm size. I have a max budget of £800 but if it comes in under that The Wife will be happier.

I'd initially fallen in love with a 2011 Cervelo S1 Soloist but when I called to buy it was sold out, and it's a discontinued frame.

I've been advised against certain brands by my LBS, but I can't say how financially skewed his motives may have been, which is fair enough.

So, your recommendations please for a good looking, ~60cm frameset that's reputedly pretty strong.

17 user comments

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Get an S1.

They're fricking insane.

Try Sprocket cycles, or Total cycling.com.

Or ring up somewhere that stocks it for 999.99 and ask for a price match.

Seriously worth it.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
12th June 2012 - 10:42

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Have a look at the Kinesis Granfondo SC - it's a super frame and they go up to 63cm, if you're 6'4" then the biggest size (592mm effective top tube) would probably be about right (he said, licking his finger and holding it to the breeze)

http://road.cc/content/review/45416-kinesis-racelight-gran-fondo-sc-fram...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7324 posts]
12th June 2012 - 10:54

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Total Cycling was where I saw the S1 in a 61cm in the first place but when I called they didn't have any.

I did find one other at £999 so I might give them a call.

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
12th June 2012 - 11:07

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The Kinesis Granfondo SC was my second choice. LBS guy recommended against that too, saying it was 'cheap rubbish'. I'm beginning to see a pattern in his tips now though.

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
12th June 2012 - 11:09

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Any thoughts on the Canyon Ultimate AL?

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
12th June 2012 - 13:20

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Looks alright, but not as Aero as the S1

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
12th June 2012 - 14:30

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Also, I seem to remember that you need the

Quote:
quads of a shire horse
to flex the beast (S1).

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
12th June 2012 - 18:41

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at 6' 4' and 117kg the aero benefit is going to be neglidagble. and no im not calling pedro fat. the canyon is a really good shout actually. really good write ups and known for dealing with the needs of the taller chaps

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
13th June 2012 - 8:25

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Yeah, I'm not 'fat' per se, but I am a big unit. The air has to make quite an effort to flow around my shoulders.

I ended up not being able to get an S1 in my size. Considered the Kinesis Granfondo but eventually ordered the Canyon Ultimate Al. I've got friends who rave about them and to be honest I'd fancied that frame since before I knew I needed a new one.

Happy with my order and hopefully I'll be happy with my frame when it arrives.

Thanks for your help, folks.

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
13th June 2012 - 9:45

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Out of interest, what size frame did you end up ordering? I'm 6'3" and am considering Canyon for my next frame, so will be interested in how you get on.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
13th June 2012 - 10:55

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I went for the 60cm (XL). The configuration thing came out with a 58, but my current bike is a 58 and too small. Looking at the numbers I decided to err on the larger side.

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
13th June 2012 - 11:01

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Ta, that's one of the reasons I asked, as it's suggested a 58 for me too. I'm pretty sure that would be too small though based on previous bikes. Let us know how you get on!

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
13th June 2012 - 11:21

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Yep, build report please!

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
13th June 2012 - 17:02

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indeed build report and some pics:)

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
14th June 2012 - 19:18

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Right. Update on this.

I ordered the Canyon Ultimate Al on June 12th. The estimated delivery time was 4 weeks from that date. I thought I'd drop them an email today just to see if I could gee them up a bit and get it sooner. Turns out the estimated delivery date is now the first week in August.

I'm not happy about that. In fact, I'm pretty cross. I've replied asking if they can fix it for me to be riding the bike before half the summer's gone.

If I don't get a favourable response I'm cancelling the order and getting back on the hunt for a frame.

What's your views on this Argon 18 (http://chuff.it/64) ?

It looks the business, comes up at the right size (in an XL) and there are favourable prices to be found on it.

posted by spicypedro [90 posts]
27th June 2012 - 21:44

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I've recently built up an Ultimate Al 9.0 as my winter bike using my old Shimano 6600 groupset and it's excellent. Miles better than my old summer bike (PX SL Pro CF). It is only 40g heavier than the PX frame but that's cancelled out by the forks which are lighter and stronger than the PX. I've fitted Crud Roadracer mudguards and a Tubus fly rack as I use it to ride to work.

The frame is incredibly stiff in a German way - think BMW - and yet riding around London it absorbs so much that the ride is smooth. The frame is very simple to look at so there must be some trickery in tube thicknesses and shaping, because it eats up road vibration nearly as well as a CF frame. Steering via the CF fork with its chunky tapered steerer is instictive, responding quickly to the tiniest inputs but never feeling twitchy. The supplied VCLS seatpost isn't the lightest, but eats up vibration too.

It's all been an absolute revelation as my last winter bike was a 10 year old Ridgeback Flight T3, a legend in its own time but now feeling heavy and flexy. Aluminium design has clearly made huge strides in recent years. I'm almost considering retiring my new summer bike (Bianchi Infinito) and sticking with the Canyon...

So I guess I'm saying, if you haven't got your Canyon yet, do wait!

posted by drmatthewhardy [305 posts]
3rd November 2012 - 14:02

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Should S1 it.

There's still time.

You could go into a stockist and walk out with one the very same day.

NO WORD OF A LIE.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
3rd November 2012 - 19:26

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