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Fratello or Rourke, or...?

tenortenor Posts: 278
edited January 2009 in Workshop
I am due a new bike that will take mud guards and will be in use for most of the year for general riding including commuting. Current options include a fully built up Condor Fratello (centaur build works out at about £1150) or a frameset from Brian Rourke in 853 pro - team (about £650 - 700 depending on fork choice) and build myself (I've done this once before). Alternatively, I am drawn to a Ti option from Justin Burls (about £1050 for an Audax type frameset) Not sure that Ti would be overkill for commuting, though.
Any feedback?

Posts

  • pliptrotpliptrot Posts: 582
    MY experience is that 853 is probably the best as it builds into a -and here the term is justified- bomb-proof frame. Titanium, of course, has the advantage of corrosion resistance but I've found that a little light cleaning and an annual spray inside the frame with something like JP Weigle (sp?) framesaver keeps steel in good shape.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    For $675 Xi'an / Tilon Titanium in China will build you a custom titanium frameset - to your specification and geometry and all the fittings and mounts you like. They're decent quality frames - many are sold under various OEM brands in the US/Europe for about £800 upwards. OK, you don't get a warranty and post-sales support is non-existent, but you wanted a good deal?
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    Feedback

    I don't think a Ti bike is OTT for commuting-if you're going to spend time on it every day, why not get something that is a joy to ride?

    OK putting mudguards and luggage on it will change the ride, but it'll stlll be nice. With an Audax style bike, take the m/gs and rack off, and you've a decent enough road bike

    If security is an issue as you're out and about, or at your place of work. that may have a a bearing on what you choose

    The frame material doesn't always give the ride you might expect. I've ridden 853 bikes that were harsh, and some that were whippy. I own two Ti bikes-the Airborne CD, and a Litespeed Classic-the CD is a dream to ride (check out it's successor, the Van Nicholas Amazon-many variations) and the Litespeed is as stiff as a sprinters bike

    You sound as if you know what you're about, but just in case you haven't already done it, ride lots of bikes similar to the one you want to buy
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,063
    Justin will build you a great steel frame if you don't want Ti. I've got a Burls steel TT bike and Condor road bike (Acciao). Both are lovely bikes. If you go to a small custom builder you get to chose colour.
  • SupergooseSupergoose Posts: 1,089
    Ken Night wrote:
    Feedback

    I don't think a Ti bike is OTT for commuting-if you're going to spend time on it every day, why not get something that is a joy to ride?

    I agree with this. I have a Ti, a Litespeed Siena road bike and I love it, I may well buy another for commuting. The enigma audax framset is what Im looking at next.
    Rock 'n' Roule
  • tenortenor Posts: 278
    Thanks for the replies.
    I am also considering an Enigma Etape frame, although the standard headtube is a couple of centimeters too short for my liking and the custom option adds £100, which is a little strange given Monty's observation on the flexibility of Asian manufacturers. Enigma Ti prices are to rise in January, of course. Their newly introduced fillet brazed steel Ethos frame looks nice and would allow a custom fit and colour.
    Both Burls and Zero Four offer a fully custom Ti frame for about £900, which at just 150 more than the steel Ethos looks good value.
    As an aside, Justin's wife is Russian and has helped him to develop a manufacturing base in Russia - the same manufacturer that used to supply Enigma, apparently!
    The Condor frames are made in northern Italy by Benotto and look great value.
    One of the appeals of the Rourkie is the fabled experience of getting sized up by Brian himself - a real bikie legend. His son, Jason, now makes the frames and they always get great reviews in CW.
    Great to have choices - hard to make decisions..!
  • tenortenor Posts: 278
    Thanks for the replies.
    I am also considering an Enigma Etape frame, although the standard headtube is a couple of centimeters too short for my liking and the custom option adds £100, which is a little strange given Monty's observation on the flexibility of Asian manufacturers. Enigma Ti prices are to rise in January, of course. Their newly introduced fillet brazed steel Ethos frame looks nice and would allow a custom fit and colour.
    Both Burls and Zero Four offer a fully custom Ti frame for about £900, which at just 150 more than the steel Ethos looks good value.
    As an aside, Justin's wife is Russian and has helped him to develop a manufacturing base in Russia - the same manufacturer that used to supply Enigma, apparently!
    The Condor frames are made in northern Italy by Benotto and look great value.
    One of the appeals of the Rourkie is the fabled experience of getting sized up by Brian himself - a real bikie legend. His son, Jason, now makes the frames and they always get great reviews in CW.
    Great to have choices - hard to make decisions..!
  • tenortenor Posts: 278
    Correction to my last post; Condor frames are made under licence by Billato, not Benotto.
  • JC.152JC.152 Posts: 645
    rourke frames are really good.
    I only borrowed one for their cat and fiddle sportive which was really good of them cos I managed to snap some cables inside my levers but it was very smooth and comfy as well as being able to climb well when attackin :D
  • Bern.Bern. Posts: 58
    Sorry to correct you tenor, but our frames are not built by Billato. They are made in Italy though. Cheers.
    BERNIN RUBBER
  • tenortenor Posts: 278
    Thanks for the correction, Bern, but the Billato name was given to me by one of your sales staff!
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Been looking at this type of frame for a while now.

    Just be aware that the Enigma Etape is a single butted ti frame and the Planet X Sportive is double butted. But there again, Enigma do custom colours for an extra charge which is nice to personalise imo. Price wise, I'm sure everyone's prices are going up to nothing new there.

    Not sure what Burls could offer, apart from the custom option. Not to be sniffed at of course.

    The Condor Fratello has to be the cheapest option really, very well regarded as well.
  • Bern.Bern. Posts: 58
    Thanks for the info Tenor, I will tell them not to give out false information.
    Cheers
    Bern.
    BERNIN RUBBER
  • Ride between 5 and 6K miles a year and still can't tell the difference between steel, aluminium and carbon frames. Never tried a Ti one. My vote goes to steel purely for aesthetic reasons. No other frame looks so classy
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Save a bit more and get the Rourke 953... :D
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