On 05/05/2014 11:11 PM, Tom wrote:
I'm hoping you can help me. I"m 48 and I'd like to do a lot more cycling (I was never a serious cyclist) and I've narrowed it down to 3 possibilities:
1. Marinoni 40th anniversary steel (http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/html/40SL.html). I love lugged steel bikes, but it seems there are very few being made at reasonable prices and I thought this might be a good (and unique) option, but I really don't know anything about Marinoni or this particular frame (can't find any reviews)
2. Bianchi Intenso 105 (http://www.bianchicanada.com/intenso105c.html). Bike shops are steering me towards carbon. I'm not going to be racing, but I would like to be able to keep up if I start riding in groups and the bike shops and other friends with carbon bikes are telling me that riding steel will make it tough to keep up (If I understand correctly, the real advantage of carbon is the stiffness not the lower weight, but I"m not sure).
3. Buy the Bianchi and then take my time finding a nice vintage steel bike, hopefully through you. So basically I'm struggling with a) the carbon vs. steel decision. And b) if I go steel, I thought it would be nice to get a brand new steel bike that might become a nice, classic vintage bike someday. Would the Marinoni be a good choice?
Or would you be able to help find me a better vintage bike? (Buying both the Bianchi and the Marinoni would be more that what I was planning to spend at this time.) I really enjoyed reading your website, and would appreciate your opinion.
(Here by the way is a link to Rob Penn's excerpt on Steel frames.)
I heard the Marinoni 40th frame mentioned the other day, during my wednesday AM group ride.
I don't know much about Marinoni either. well, that is to say I know all about them as one of the prestige Canadian frame builders, and a member of our vintage bike club is an absolute fanatic for Marinonis. But I've never owned one.
It looks like a beautiful bike. and I am sure it is.
I think I heard that it is about $1400 for the frameset only. (do you know if that is correct?)
Here's my two cents.
1. Marinoni is revered in Canada, but is virtually unknown elsewhere. That doesn't diminish it's value. thats just a fact. though if you never plan on selling the bike, it's value to anyone else is irrelevant.
2. These 40th frames do not appear to be custom made. At $1400 you could commission a custom made frame (like Rob Penn does in his book). by the time you get this built up you'll be in for $3-4000 I expect. (which is ok, but it's quite an investment.)
3. In my opinion, (and not to take anything away from Marinonis) but my sense on the street is that they are a bit
common. You see them locked up on the street everywhere. But I expect there were ranges of Marinonis - Top, upper and middle (there were probably no low end Marinonis).
You can get a good condition used Pinarello or Colnago or other prestige Italian brand frameset for ... $500 to $700. So, is a Marinoni worth $1400?
re: the Bianchi
Hmmm, this is a long story. But I may as well write up my thoughts for future reference.
This Intenso seems to be the bottom of the Bianchi road lineup, below Oltre, Sempre, and Infinito. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But you will be paying full price primarily for the Bianchi name. (and the price -- at least at la Bicicletta -- seems to be about $2600 plus tax.... which puts you at $2935 or so.)
It has 105. Which is perfectly serviceable. I ride 105 stuff. But I wouldn't pay a lot of it. (many riders cut off at Ultegra, but that is mostly pride talking on one side and their pocket book talking on the other. In reality they would like to be riding Dura Ace and they would be perfectly happy on 105)
The cassette I see is Tiagra, which again, is fine, but this is where they save money. (A Dura Ace cassette alone would add.. $200 to the price. Just for the cassette.)
The place bike dealers save money is in the wheels. and the wheels are the one place you want to invest. I cannot find a weight reference but I expect these Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels are relatively heavy. (I'll ask La Bicicletta and I have emailed Fulcrum directly.) If they are over 2000 grams, then they are cheap wheels that will hold you back.
a pair of Fulcrum Racing 7s weigh 1750g ( the #1s are the lightest, best and most expensive, then they go up in weight and down in cost to 3, 5,7 etc. )
the 1s weigh 1465g,
and when you are talking about a carbon bike in the 7500 to 8500g range, that 300 g makes a difference.
I expect the Sport weighs more than the 7s
My concern with many big bike brands these days (Bianchi, Specialized, Trek, Giant, ... you name is) in general these days is that they make sooo many models that the public has no idea if they are buying good stuff or cheap stuff made to look good. (the same dynamic is at work in the ski market, and probably tennis racquets. Rossignol makes probably only 3 models of skis that are their top stuff, that professionals would use. And the other 99 are lower end gear, with the Rossignol name on it, but the stuff that you get in a ski rental shop. A good skier wouldn't ski on rental skis.)
Bianchi for years has slowly debased their name. for decades they have had low end Japanese made bikes out there. Perfectly fine bikes, just not really a prestige bike.
That said, a lower end bike will function perfectly well.
The other problem with the Bianchi is that the resale value will be low. For one, because people will know that the Intenso it is not a prestige Bianchi model. And 2, because people will be confused with all the thousands of Bianchis out there and so will not ascribe as much value to the brand name.
Otherwise, if you are still thinking carbon (and I kind of understand. I feel a bit silly and old fashioned showing up on vintage steel on group rides where everyone else is on the latest and greatest carbon) You might look at the Ridley's at MEC.
Or, if one of these fits, you should consider one of my Times. These VXRS models ARE the top of the line from Time, what the pros actually ride. and wIth top top end Campagnolo Record and excellent, lightweight wheels, at $2950 they are incredible machines that would be $6000-7000 at la Bicicletta.
What size frame to you ride or think you need? that would focus the discussions.
sorry to go on so long.
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