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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the hunt for a traditional geo ,full carbon. I'm considering the Tetra Pro or the Look 555. I have seen the Look in my size, 53cm, and the TT slope is very slight. My goal is a 17lb , stiff and very snappy ride. I'll be hanging Chorus on it. I'm not looking for a long haul trucker.

I've been reading great feedback on the Calfee's and have traded a few emails with Craig, which is a nice indicator of service ,but might have to go custom which pushes the price up. Plus I have to add a fork. Thats close to the $3k range and the Crumpton's sure look sweet.

If you have real world experience with either, I sure would appreciate you chiming in. The tax refund is burning a hole quickly!
 

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BS the DC
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Bubba said:
In the hunt for a traditional geo ,full carbon. I'm considering the Tetra Pro or the Look 555. I have seen the Look in my size, 53cm, and the TT slope is very slight. My goal is a 17lb , stiff and very snappy ride. I'll be hanging Chorus on it. I'm not looking for a long haul trucker.

I've been reading great feedback on the Calfee's and have traded a few emails with Craig, which is a nice indicator of service ,but might have to go custom which pushes the price up. Plus I have to add a fork. Thats close to the $3k range and the Crumpton's sure look sweet.

If you have real world experience with either, I sure would appreciate you chiming in. The tax refund is burning a hole quickly!
Compairing a Calfee to a Look is like compairing a Corvette to a ... well, the Frenchies don't have a decent sports car. Just go American, go Calfee. The only thing French that I'll purchase are fries.
 

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Hmmm, you have over a thousand posts, and if the last one is any indication of the quality of them, you may be the sewer of roadbikereview, bsdc.

Look and Time make some of the best frames on earth.
If you're deciding between Calfee and Look, you need to ride both of them and see which fits you better. You're spending a lot of money. You need to make the most informed decision possible. I've heard nothing but good things about either.

Just curious though, why are you limiting yourself to just these 2 brands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lbs

I want to work locally with my LBS and desire a frame thats a bit unique. Problem is finding a shop that has either built for test rides. I'm basically working off of subjective feedback and industry tech talk at this point. Kinda scary when your dropping this much coin. Calfee's warranty is very appealing compared to Looks. There is an 05 Look 555 on ebay that I'm considering.
 

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Ignore the xenophobic French remarks. Look makes excellent frames that give up nothing to Calfee. You should see if your LBS can get Crumpton or Parlee. Parlee has off the shelf frames that aren't priced too bad. Time is another great choice. Go over to Weight Weenies and search under Look, Time, Calfee. Weight Weenies is a pretty critical place, and if something has a flaw or weakness, it's usually pointed out quickly. Things over there are looked at a bit more technically than here at RBR, and they certainly don't have the yahoos with stupid french fry comments.
 

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BS the DC
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Pardon me. I stand corrected. I withdraw my negative French remarks. It's a fine country, with fine people, who make fine products.

While I haven't ridden both bikes I have read a lot about them. The general sense I get is that Look leans a little towards comfort and some don't find them quite as snappy as other brands. Calfees are generally neutral, having a good balance between stiffness and smoothness. Both companies make fine frames. I think most of us would have a difficult time noticing any real differences. I think these choices really come down to feelings. Which bike will you feel better riding? To me, Look has the appearance of a more finely finished product. It's more of a production bike. Calfee has that handmade look and appeal. Either one will make you a great bike.
 

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In stock form both French and US manufacturers tend to produce frames with low torsional/head tube stiffness. If you prefer stiff I recommend you go custom Calfee and specify that for your build.

BTW, there's no such thing as an American sports car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Traditional Geometry

Again, one of my criteria is a level top tube so that narrows my choices. I thank all for chiming in but was really hoping for a real life experience and response. I've been spending time at bikefanclub.com under the Calfee and Look forums which has helped but no info on the 555.
 

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the 555...

I've owned two Colnago C-40's, a LOOK 461 and a 381. The 555 is an updated version of the 461. Of all these frames, the 461 is probably my favorite - it fits perfectly and it's very comfortable. The handling is as perfect as anything I've owned. The finish on a LOOK is a good as you'll find on a production bike. For $2000 it's a pretty good value.

What am I buying next? A LOOK 585 in the special edition red/red color. All black carbon is just too plain for my tastes.
 

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Hey Bubba,

I'm on my second full-custom Calfee Tetra Pro (The first one was stolen around labor day last year, and that's a different story). What I can tell you that in a Calfee bike you get exactly what you want as far as stiffness and handling. My first bike was a fast-responder due to the amount of trail I had because I have a short torso compared to my leg length. I had toe overlap with that bike. Toe overlap generally is not an issue because if you have it, you get used to it. The handling is great on a bike that has the optimum trail. Not too twitchy, not too stable.

My second bike I repurposed it, and went for a full commuter, but go-fast bike. I also wanted no toe overlap since I went with fenders and a rear rack. Being full-custom, Craig had to hand-wrap the head tube at a slacker angle than his molds can accomodate. The bike has a bit more trail than my previous one as a result. (Go to www.calfeedesign.com and read Craig's explanation of the characteristics of bike handling so you understand how trail is influenced by head tube angle, fork rake and wheel size) I am more happy with the slightly (to me, noticeable, but more pleasant) stable handling of the bike.

With a Look frame you get stock geometry. You can influence trail with the proper selection of a fork. With a Calfee, you get the handling you want by asking for it.

This is just my experience with a full-custom frame that fits my body like a glove. I happened to do a 58 mile ride on my bike yesterday with a friend I rode with for the first time. He made a comment that resonated with me. He noticed that I looked comfortable on the bike. That's what great fit is all about. The bike fits me. Could I have gotten that in a stock frame? In my case, no; in your case, you have to find out. I got fit at my local bike shop. Because of being fit properly, I knew, ahead of time, the handling I would have in the bike.

Bike handling is not something magic. It's understandable. Influenced by wheel weight, bottom bracket height, chainstay length and trail. It's not rocket science, it's engineering an ergonomic human-powered machine that is more efficient than any other machine made so far.
 

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bwana said:
How about the Panoz Esperante?
not to stray too far off topic (too late), but currently:

dodge viper (ugly, but still a sports car)
ford gt40
McLaren F1
<a href="http://www.saleen.com/">Saleen S7</a>
<a href="http://www.sscautos.com/">SSC Aero</a>
<a href="http://www.panoz.com/">previously mentioned Panoz</a>

And those are the 'easily obtainable' ones.

I've always liked the calfees, but not for any xenophobic reasons.

My apologies to original poster. I know this didn't help you at all.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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Bubba said:
In the hunt for a traditional geo ,full carbon. I'm considering the Tetra Pro or the Look 555. I have seen the Look in my size, 53cm, and the TT slope is very slight. My goal is a 17lb , stiff and very snappy ride. I'll be hanging Chorus on it. I'm not looking for a long haul trucker.

I've been reading great feedback on the Calfee's and have traded a few emails with Craig, which is a nice indicator of service ,but might have to go custom which pushes the price up. Plus I have to add a fork. Thats close to the $3k range and the Crumpton's sure look sweet.

If you have real world experience with either, I sure would appreciate you chiming in. The tax refund is burning a hole quickly!
If you like the seat tube angle of the frame to be in the range of what LOOK uses, you should also consider getting a Cyfac. Their frames tend to be on the livelier side than LOOK frames are. I've certainly been very happy with my trading a LOOK with a Cyfac!
 

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bsdc said:
Compairing a Calfee to a Look is like compairing a Corvette to a ... well, the Frenchies don't have a decent sports car. Just go American, go Calfee. The only thing French that I'll purchase are fries.

The Corvette is decent? Take away the engine and you have a floppy fibreglass body, an interior that looks like it was made from recycled shopping bags, and a suspension that rides on leaf springs. I've seen ox carts that were better built. Even the engine is a joke. The coupe has a 6-litre V8 that makes 400hp and the Z06 only squeezes 505hp out of a 7-litre engine. Meanwhile European builders get similar horspower figures out of engines under 5 litres.
 

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'05 555

In that price range I believe you are going to get a nice bike! I have read over and over to go with fit and where you'll get good service.
I have an '05 555 and I cannot imagine a better bike... imho! It is smooth, stiff, responsive, has a great ride, and all of my power seems to be transferred to the ground. I just finished the MS150 over the weekend where we did 161 miles in two days and then I did another 62 miles Tuesday and I can't wait to get on that bike for our ride tomorrow morning.
Also now, with a set of Ligero's 1376gm wheels that just came in, I imagine it's under 17lbs but I haven't weighed it -- super light HCS5 fork.
Take your time, keep reading and test riding, and good luck.
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great feedback

thanks to all:

Ironically I am riding a Cyfac today which is proving to be a good sturdy,all-purpose bike. It's the Proxidium with carbon stays. The reason I'm leaning towards the 53 cm 555 is that the geo is similar to my Cyfac but a bit longer in ST.

It appears that I would be able to lower my seat-bar drop since the seat tube on the 555 is longer with a similar lenght HT. But I want a more stiff, lighter platform. I have enjoyed over the past few years riding frames with tight rear ends, shorter stays, offering lots of snap. I'm not to picky about handling.

C-40 - take a look. The Cyfac is set up with a no set back Thompson, saddle middle of rails,10 cm Ritchey with 2.5 cm stack height. Could use more, reason for wanting a more traditional geo frame. I'm not comfortable in the drops. The Look will stretch me out just a hair more due to increase STA. Comments?

Cyfac- small
48 ST c-c
54 TT
73 STA
14 HT

Look- 53
51.0 ST c-c
54.0 TT
73.5 STA
14.3 HT
 

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Bubba said:
In the hunt for a traditional geo ,full carbon. I'm considering the Tetra Pro or the Look 555.
Buy a Calfee, but forget carbon:

http://www.calfeedesign.com/bamboo.htm

I just dig those so darn much.

Alright, alright, the Tetra Pro seems nice as well...

- FBB
 
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