I actually don’t know if this can be called an OEM bike. I think that it falls into that category since it can’t be a boutique bike. One of the models has been sold at least 40 times and all of the comments I’ve seen are very positive. This bike was designed by the same people behind the Storck Fascenario, and uses the same carbon fiber weave.
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.
I went by the bike shop today to meet up with someone selling his Giant ’07 OCR C1. It had few miles on it and it was a size L. Edward from the Giant shop inspected it for me and told me that it was worth $1,200, no more. That confirmed what I had thought. My guess was that it wasn’t worth more than $1,000. Sure it hadn’t been ridden much, but the new equivalent bikes from Giant were going for the same price that he wanted for his 3-year old bike.
Anyway, this was beside the point, since when I tried it out, it felt too big. I usually ride M sized frames. This was an L. It was too big. I told him that for the price that he wanted for his old bike, I could snag up a top-of-the-line ’09 Kuota KOM frame with about 1,000 km on it and fit it out with crap components which I could upgrade over time.
The Cento range gets the Cento Uno SL, a lighter and refined version of the Cento Uno. It was ridden by Team Lampré this year on the Tour de France. The SL is supposed to be 130 gr lighter than the Cento Uno. It weighs in at 920 gr. Cento Uno weight is 1050 gr. There is a special Di2 version to go with Shimano’s electronic Dura Ace component group, featuring internal cable routing. I don’t know about that. I’d prefer monocoque bikes to have no holes in the frame. Preserves structural integrity and stiffness. I count four different Cento Uno models.