Other than looking really nice, the Matrix F-35 is one interesting looking bike. I don’t know anything about the manufacturer, but I might visit the factory and check out this bike.
I’ve spent a bit of time researching Taiwanese OEM bike companies in order to find a great deal. I’ve actually found a 860 gr frame from Neo Cycles that would be a great training bike. It costs about $1,300 and is designed by the same people who made the Fascenario for Storck. It improves on that model with a thicker downtube for more stiffness and stability. The Fascenario 0.7 is a top-end bike. Pinarellos were also made there. Unlike most OEM bike frames, it’s BB30 and the owner of the “brand” will give me other deals on second-hand parts, like Fulcrum Racing Zeros and an ’08 Campagnolo Record 10 speed gruppo. He told me that his frame works better with 10 speeds than 11. The second-hand Record is cheaper than a new or second-hand SRAM Red gruppo, which is the one that I’d want to get. Unless I find a better deal on components in the second-hand market, I’ll just get Record. I’ll wait about a week before ordering it. This frame hasn’t been reviewed by others yet, but the lower-end frame, the Neo Exile, has been. It’s received great comments from bike riders. I’m also getting a bunch of stuff extra for almost nothing, which is really cool.
I want to get this frame in raw carbon fiber with a clear coat. The decals will be black, so they won’t show. It makes this a kind of stealth frame, which is what I want. I don’t want anything flashy. Good carbon fiber frames can be had new in Taiwan for about $700.
The new Pinarello Dogma frame costs about $4.500 here. That’s not a bad deal since it’s made here, exported to Italy, then re-imported for sale. The Prince will come down in price. I expect it to cost about $3,000-3,500. I still have to confirm that, but that would be a sweet racing bike to get. It’s between those two models and a TIME RXR Ulteam, which is a bit cheaper than the Dogma and about the same price as the Prince at $3,400. I wonder if I’ll be able to get that bike before Christmas. The main difference is that the TIME is a lugged CF frame while the Prince and Dogma are monocoque CF frames. I prefer monocoques, but the TIME really interests me.
Here is part of my research including links and comments on some OEM bike companies.
Made in the same factory as Look (used to be made?) and Kestrels, some of their models are re-badged Axman’s. Their factory is in China. BTW, Look frames are made in Tunisia.
I strongly suspect that the Axman frames are re-badged BH frames. A quick note that Axman is just an assembler, so their frames will be fetch a higher price that buying direct from the factory. Made in China.
An interesting bike company whose bikes are made in the same factory as Storcks. It turns out that Carbotec actually designed the Fascenario. They are behind the Neo Exile and Exile Ultimate. The weave and carbon fiber is the same that’s used in the Fascenarios. The Ultimate is a BB30 frame that weighs 860gr and costs $1,300. This includes a fork and headset. Good deals on extra components thanks to Patrick Wu. While it’s important to mention that the same factory can make drastically different frames.
Marudean trading company brand that also makes Edge branded products. They have no relation at all to Edge Composites in the USA. They are connected to several European brands.
Makes a cheap scandium frame that some bikers use as a training bike. Sells for about $800. Bike racers like to use them because their are quite resistant to damage. Racers like to use scandium or titanium frames as training bikes because of that reason.
Made by the same people who make Wiliers and Fondriests. Frames and products come from several factories in China and Taiwan.
Backed with a lifetime guarantee, I think that these are Orbeas, with improvements. They are also quite lighter, sub-900 gr. The 890SL weighs 800 gr but it has been discontinued due to problems with the frame. Ditec is actually a Spanish company that designs and engineers frames. They are made and finished in Taiwan, which is why they can be had here cheaply. The Ditec designs are original and they are not a Taiwanese brand. They are quite popular Spanish brand with little market presence outside of Spain. While someone mentioned that they aren’t Orbeas, I am still unsure of this statement, as these frames cannot be shipped to Spain or Portugal, which leads me to believe that they are connected to Orbea. Maybe not.
I haven’t yet figured out for which companies they make components and bikes, but they made a sweet looking aero frame that weighs 990gr¹.
I don’t know much, but these frames are pretty easy to buy online. They make a carbon and titanium frame which sells for $1,400 and an ISP carbon fiber frame for $1,000. The Millennium has a carbon fiber fork and a full titanium frame weighs 1.25 kgs and should be a great training frame. The owner of the brand informed me that the Millennium is made more for long distance riding than training, though I kind of think that training involves long distances!
Update: Post has been updated with new information.
[¹] It’s pictured above. It’s strange how good this looks. Usually, OEM frames are not nicely painted. The paint jobs actually suck, which is why most people just go for no decals and raw carbon fiber with a clear coat.