Would you buy an unbranded bike

Joll
Joll Posts: 14
edited April 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

I'm after a bit of advice from you all about a new bike I'm thinking of buying. I've just got a new Cyclescheme voucher burning a hole in my pocket, so went to see my LBS.

He stocks all the big names, but was raving about some new frames he is importing from Italy and branding up as Vinci.

The frames are made in the same Italian factory that makes Wilier handmade frames (apparently they made the frame that Allesandro Ballan won the 2008 world championship on). He's building them up with a full Veloce groupset and a deda finishing kit, not sure which wheelset yet, but will have Veloce hubs. The bike will have a custom paint job and they can also put your name on the frame.

They will do a semi custom build to each customers requirements and fit and the bike comes in at around £1100.

I was just wondering whether to go for this, or to play it safe and opt for a brand name. I'm pretty new to road and currently ride a Planet x sl pro with an ultegra set up, which is a lovely fast bike, but I quite like the idea of having a hand built italian bike tailored to fit me.

What do you think?

Comments

  • coldash
    coldash Posts: 1
    I would check that you can get things like a replacement gear hanger first before buying. There is a huge number of different types of gear hangers (just look on-line) and my bike, a well known make, is off the road whilst the LBS tries to get a replacement for this particular frame (they even vary within the make).
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    edited April 2011
    Hmmmm. Sounds fishy to me! Sounds like a generic chinese carbon frame with a bit of paint. You sure it's custom? Never heard of Vinci...

    Unless he means Devinci? Not hand built though and bottom-middle range..
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    I've had this conversation with him already and he reckons that if anything happened to the frame, because of his relationship with the factory, he could just send the frame back to be repaired with a turnaround of about 6 weeks. We specifically spoke about the issues some people have with frame hangers and he didn't think it would be a problem at all.
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    Caveat Emptor is latin for 'Let the buyer beware'
    M.Rushton
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    He's launching the bikes as a new brand called vinci. It's a bit cheesy, but they look ok. They are being painted up by a company called performance race art who do Simon Richardsons mental paint jobs.
    I've had a quick chat to him about them and his quote was "Vinci bikes,honestly? simply mouth-watering. By far the best frames i've come across so far. No lie, Pure Italian craftsmanship."
  • Lillywhite
    Lillywhite Posts: 742
    Joll wrote:
    I've had a quick chat to him about them and his quote was "Vinci bikes,honestly? simply mouth-watering. By far the best frames i've come across so far. No lie, Pure Italian craftsmanship."

    Then why are you asking advice as to whether to buy in your opening post if you already have this advice? :shock:
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    because i'm not sure whether to go for something tried and tested or whether to take a punt on something new that could be either really good or a complete turkey. Plus I'd have to order the bike and get it built before I could try it out.
  • Lillywhite
    Lillywhite Posts: 742
    Joll wrote:
    because i'm not sure whether to go for something tried and tested or whether to take a punt on something new that could be either really good or a complete turkey. Plus I'd have to order the bike and get it built before I could try it out.

    Up to you then when nobody else so far has heard of this bike. Your money. :wink:
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    So the consensus is go for a brand name then? What should i be looking for with for around that price point then?
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    Depends, if the guy is telling the truth (and providing you aren't worried about reselling) then it could be a bargain, however, it could also be a cheap, chinese carbon frame.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Joll wrote:
    So the consensus is go for a brand name then? What should i be looking for with for around that price point then?

    There's probably nothing wrong with the frame you've been offered but to claim that you can build up a bike for £1100 with a frame that is made in Italy by hand from the best craftsmen in the world is a little more than far fetched.

    The only thing putting me off would be the bullsh1t coming out of this guys mouth.

    If he'd said, "I've got these great frames sourced direct from China where all the big names get there frames from" I would think differently but to claim they're something they're not . . . . I'd be asking questions.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Everyone's assuming it's a carbon frame?
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    it's an aluminium frame/carbon fork and the resale issue does bother me. It's a head v heart thing that's going on. Head says play it safe. heart says go for it.

    The guy who's importing the frames worked for Wilier some time ago and this is how he know's the frame builder. I can't really find another bike with the same spec and a custom fit for the same price and I like the idea of having something a little bit individual.

    On the other hand, no one has tried one of these bikes on the road and I won't be able to see it until it's pretty much bought and paid for.

    I know I could get a trek/spesh/bianchi/giant for similar money, but surely a big chunk of the price of the bike would be marketing costs.

    i'm just trying to gauge would you/wouldn't you opinion.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I don't think you'll find many Wilier frames come out of a factory in Italy, maybe a paintshop - most come from the Far East - so kinda undermines the 'story'.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    edited April 2011
    Joll wrote:
    it's an aluminium frame/carbon fork and the resale issue does bother me. It's a head v heart thing that's going on. Head says play it safe. heart says go for it.

    This changes everything. The guy may well be telling the truth. If you trust him and he'll do a bike fit then I'd say go for it.
  • graemeho
    graemeho Posts: 36
    :idea:

    me thinks the key is in the name!
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I don't think you'll find many Wilier frames come out of a factory in Italy, maybe a paintshop - most come from the Far East - so kinda undermines the 'story'.

    Taiwan I believe
  • Chip \'oyler
    Chip \'oyler Posts: 2,323
    TBH - there is a history of specialist factories in Italy making frames for other 'big' Italian brands in Italy. Some have gone under since the Far East started producing carbon and alu frames but there are still good ones producing great frames – Bilato for instance.

    So IMO I think the guy is telling the truth
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • Joll
    Joll Posts: 14
    i think I might have found some more info about where the frames come from

    here for a discussion
    http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... highlight=

    and here for the manufacturer
    http://www.univertelai.it/

    Not certain, but it's in the right area.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    I think it's wrong for a load of people on an internet forum to make this judgement for you. Initially everyone thought you were buying a cheap carbon frame that some guy was claiming to be hand made Italian hence the negative comments.

    If you think the guy is genuine and he knows his stuff then £1100 for a custom built bike with a decent frame, veloce groupset, a bike fit and LBS after service is a steal IMO
  • yaya
    yaya Posts: 411
    Looks like the big ones are paying attention: http://pinarello.com/eng/about_fake.php