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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all:

I've narrowed my frame options down to the BMC SLT 01 and the Cervelo R3. I know, the geometries are different. But, both fit well when kitted out with the right stem, spacers, etc.

That said, what would you do? My initial thinking.

Cervelo
  • great weight
  • cache of pro-level
  • bad reputation with finish
  • can be had for $250 cheaper than SLT 01
  • geometry may be too agressive for everyday, all day

BMC
  • felt stiffer (maybe it's just me)
  • weight penalty
  • better finish
  • better color scheme (personal, I know)

Again, these are my subjective thoughts. What does everyone else think?



Peter
 

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With CSC as strong as they are now, in the next few years, a Cervelo may become the new Trek... it wont be long before the R3 may lose some of it's character.
Both of them are beautiful frames, I personally would lean towards the BMC due to having more spunk and originality. The weight difference shouldn't be a big issue (although I don't know how big of a difference it is), you may never be completely satisfied if you don't get the right frame because the other is 150g lighter.. real world, it doesn't make much of a difference.

Go with your gut instinct; I'm sure you'll be happy either way
 

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geometry...

In addition to differences in the geometry affecting the fit, there are dfferences in the geometry that affects handling. The head tube angle is more slack on the BMC, so it won't steer as quickly, depending on the exact fork offset.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PRODUCT&PRODUCT.ID=1834

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PRODUCT&PRODUCT.ID=1945

Watch the sizing closely, paying attention to the differences in the seat tube angle, TT length and the head tube length. For me, I would ride a 51cm Cervelo but only a 47cm BMC.
 

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Based on my experience with the Cervelo R2.5, I wont buy another carbon product from them for a long time. Also, I find the Cervelo sizing strange in that every size uses a 73 degree seat tube angle. My choice would be the BMC.
 

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73 degree STA...

I've got a 51cm R3 ordered. I'll be interested to see if it really has a 73 degree STA. If you read the Cervelo literature carefully, it says that the actual STA may not be 73, but the geometry charts are corrected to that value for all frames, for easy comparison.

The only thing a given STA does is dictate a range of seat post setback that is useable. For example, I have one frame with a 72.5 STA and another with a 74.5. Thye both fit the same (becasue the TT lengths differ by 2.5cm) and both have the saddle nearly centered on the seatpost. The frame with the 72.5 STA requires a straight-up post and the 74.5 requires at least 2cm more setback.

I may encounter a problem, if the 51cm has a 73 degree STA with the Cervelo-supplied setback seatpost. I don't want my saddle shoved all the way forward. If that happens, then I'll probably be swapping to a straight-up post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks For The Input - Keep it Coming

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts. It's hard to get a feel for some things during a short test, but so far, the input matches up pretty well with what I've been thinking.

  • BMC should be more relaxed (less twitchy, less responsive - spin it how you will )
  • BMC offers a little more flexibility in terms of sizing options (a 53cm matches the top tube of my current ride) and taller head tube
  • Weight is something we obsess on, but I can probably use to lose a pound or two
  • R3 will maintain caché of being a "pro bike" but BMC will remain caché of being unique

Keep up the input to let me know what I'm missing.

Thanks.



Peter
 

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Aren't those BMC frames built in the far east and come with a short (3yr?) warranty? Seems ridiculous for a $2500 frame. I think the SLC is awesome, but the SLT shouldve dropped in price this year... and in either case, the warranty should be better.
 

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MarvinK said:
Aren't those BMC frames built in the far east and come with a short (3yr?) warranty? Seems ridiculous for a $2500 frame. I think the SLC is awesome, but the SLT shouldve dropped in price this year... and in either case, the warranty should be better.
ZOMG, A CARBON FRAME FROM ASIA??!?!?!?!?

Seriously, just about everyone's bikes are coming out of house these days. Personally, if China or Taiwan has the shops with the bad-A equipment, I'd be more than happy to buy a carbon frame from there! Even Trek is hoping on that bandwagon of out-of-house carbon.

With that said, I will agree with your argument about the 3 year warranty. If you make me a plastic bike, you better ensure it for life.
 

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I think it depends on the company & the track record.
Believe me for some companies a lifetime warranty is no comfort.
Aside form the down time as you constantly return inferior products there is the real threat of their inferior product taking you out of the sport you love so much.
I say judge a company by its track record.
 

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I can tell you about my SLT01

velo-blue said:
Thanks to everyone for the thoughts. It's hard to get a feel for some things during a short test, but so far, the input matches up pretty well with what I've been thinking.

  • BMC should be more relaxed (less twitchy, less responsive - spin it how you will )
  • BMC offers a little more flexibility in terms of sizing options (a 53cm matches the top tube of my current ride) and taller head tube
  • Weight is something we obsess on, but I can probably use to lose a pound or two
  • R3 will maintain caché of being a "pro bike" but BMC will remain caché of being unique

Keep up the input to let me know what I'm missing.

Thanks.



Peter
Well, I can tell you after owning an SLT01 for a year now from at least a little experience. I haven't ridden everything, but I can tell you this is the stiffest frame laterally that I have ever ridden (This is coming from someone who has had a two Cannondale 2.8 frames). I just love how when I get out of the saddle on a hill, it just goes, and doesn't sway. Before I decided on this, I did ride a Six13, Madone 5.9, Lemond Ti/Carbon "spine", DeRosa Dual, Seven Alta, and some others I can't remember. I actually found the handling a tad quicker than the front end on my Cannondale 2.8, which really surprised me, given the geometry listed, and the Cannondale's reputation of being more of a "crit" bike. But after riding it for a while, I have gotten used to it, so I really don't think it is any "slower". I also have no hesitation at descending with it, in that way it isn't twitchy at all, its rock solid.

It is also one of the lightest frames I picked up last year. I know that this year there are sub 900g frames, but I can tell you from personal experience, this is NOT a heavy frame. To put things in perspective, your average bottle cage is about 50-70g. I doubt you could notice the difference between the weights of the frames, if you had two bottle cages difference, I don't think I could.

I haven't ridden a Cerevelo, but just judging by my experience, and the tubing shapes, I doubt it would be any stiffer laterally. The BMC is not as damp as a Madone, so you will get more road feel, and its less cushy. This can be good, and bad, just depends on your wants.

BTW, it is a Pro Bike, The SLT01 has been used by Phonak for the last 2 Seasons at least, the SLC01 was used by the upper end riders last year in TDF. Not sure if Phonak has gone completely to the SLC01 for the whole team, but the SLT01 is still an awesome frame either way.

I hadn't seen anything in my research to say that the frame is a Taiwanese made frame, so I can't say if those rumors are true or not. I can say that the finish work is as good as any other top notch frame, especially the blending between the CNC BB and carbon chainstays. It looks like its one piece, just gorgeous. The finish is every bit the equal of my friend's DeRosa Dual. So the quality is there, and BMC specifically makes bikes for the Phonak team, and I've heard has experience from manufacturing monocoque Formula 1 stuff, so I would say either the rumor is wrong, or the quality control is really tight, and manufactured to BMCs specs, not just some run of the mill Tawainese frame.
 

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It is really hard to pick up any information about where BMC stuff is built--except for the custom time trial bike which they go WAY out of their way to point out is made in Switzerland. Of course, I don't see any mention of warranty or manufacturing location on their website... or in last year's tiny catalog.

Having said that, the BMC bikes I've seen have been very high quality. I haven't seen many (in fact, I have only actually ever seen a single SLT bike in ANY bikeshop in WA state.. and a few on big rides).

I wish they'd step up and be more upfront about warranty and manufacturing. And it seems like they should at least warranty the expensive carbon frames as long as the cheap aluminum ones!
 

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I checked out the new Cervelo R3 frames at my local shop. My overall impression was the finish was very poor. Especially poor was the paint around the front derailleur. Seems like something put together in my back yard. I'm sure that the engineering is good though and I like the lifetime warranty. I'll give you the same advise that was given to me when I bought my motorcycle. When you open your garage door in the morning for your ride which bike do you want to see there? (Assuming they both fit)
 

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From PezCycling

Where Are The Hacksaw Marks?
Ten (10) ounces is weight you can feel when you lift the bike and that’s serious stuff. So how’d they do it? Simple, sort of - they redesigned the frame, eliminating the aluminum lugs, and replaced the whole thing with a 100% carbon fibre frame made by Easton with their CNT Composite technology. Easton believe their CNT is the lightest, strongest frame material available today.

One thing the guys at BMC do know, is that if they don’t know something themselves, they find someone who does. They’d already been working with carbon-meisters Easton with OEM spec of forks, bars, stems and seatposts, and knew firsthand the expertise the American partner could bring to the table. Easton has long been setting high standards for aluminum tubing used in all kinds of sports, from baseball and softball to hockey and archery and have been in the carbon component game for years, so it was natural to apply this mindset to creating carbon-fibre tube sets too.

Easton makes their carbon-fibre products at their own factory in Taiwan, (where much of the world’s best carbon fibre is made), and we’ve been impressed with their forks and handlebars, so why not a bike frame…?


http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3870

So. here we have it. Taiwan it is. but that is fine.

i'll take an SLC 01 or SLT01 anyday!..

www.letstalkbike.com
 

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I have a BMC SLC01, and I dig it. To make one point perfectly clear though, it's definitely a fast-handling, aggressive bike. You won't be taking your hands off the bars in a crosswind or bumpy road. Ever. If you want a mellow bike for long rides and rough roads, look elsewhere.

As for build quality, the point about Taiwan is in my opinion...laughable. BMC's frames are among the cleanest you'll find, in terms of craftsmanship. Besides. Colnago and Pinarello are making a lot of their bikes in Taiwan or China these days. Get over it.

BMC's close relationship with Easton gives them access to some of the most advanced carbon materials and construction available in the bike industry, and that whole 'nanotube' thing is not just the typical marketing spoof. And other than Look (who are not affiliated with Easton in any way), I don't think anyone else is using carbon nanotubes in bikes, but I could be wrong.
 
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