Since I’m currently in the market for a high-end frame. I have the following choices: Orbea Orca, Giant TCR Advanced SL, Kuota Kom, Wilier Cento. The Pinarello Prince, Time RXR Ulteam, Colnago EPS & EP and De Rosa King 3 are out of the running. Mostly because they are out of my price range.
The Wilier is a good option if I can get it for around $2,000 because the Cento Uno was released this year and it retails around $3,000. $2K is around the price you’ll pay for it in the US. The frame is made in Taiwan, so it should be cheaper to buy here. The Giant SL frame is about $2,400, but I’ve heard that it doesn’t handle too smoothly around corners, which is almost a deal breaker for me. I saw last year’s model for about $1,600.
The Kuota Kom is a great climber and does descents really well. I’ve heard great comments about this frame. It’s also about $2,300. These are the prices in Taiwan. The Orbea is also around the same price ($2,200).
All of these frames are in the 900gr range. The Kom actually weighs 875g. The SL and the Kom have an integrated seatmast. The Cento, since its design is from 2006, has a normal seat post, as does the Orbea. Interestingly enough, the new Cento Uno does have a seatmast.
After the research I’ve done, it comes down to the Kom or the Cento. I have a lot more leeway in negotiating for the Cento since they have it in stock at the store and that the frame is from last year. The Kom will have to be ordered and I can only try out a Kharma in my size, Kebel or Kredo Ultra, both in size S. I found a place that got a few Kuota frames in stock. I’ll check it out next week.
It’s also looking good for me to get a carbon fiber training bike. Initially though, I don’t mind riding the frame I get daily. It won’t have great components, but that won’t matter. The Orbea Onix ($1,500), Kuota Kharma ($1K) or Kebel ($1,700) frames would both be good ideas as training frames. They aren’t too expensive and they are well made. If I can get a cheap Giant frame I will, but I think that I’d have to settle for a Giant Defy frame. I don’t know about that. I’d rather try Orbea or Kuota.
As for total bike porn, it would be a Pinarello Prince, Colnago EPS, or Time RXR Ulteam. I really like the Time, though I’d have to test out all of these bikes before making any sort of decision. Anyway, that will happen sometime next year, so I’ve got the time.
I’ve been reading up on Campy Super Record and based on the research I’ve done, I wouldn’t buy it. My first choice would be SRAM followed by Shimano. It will take a bit of time before I get SRAM Red.