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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another which one thread question, hope you can help me to pick one...

A friend of mine has a fondriest carb level bike and it looks incredible in person. That prompts me actively hunting one for my self. Few days ago, I came across this Fondriest Fly Sat Limited Edition U107 2003 frame for sale and its size fits me exactly (since I and my friend are the same size)



The bike is in prestige condition 9.9/10 according to the seller and he wants $880 for it. I know it's a bit pricey for 2003 frame but is it worth it? For the same money (I guess since pricing for CAAD9 7 with lower components for around $900 right?), I can get this year CAAD9, which is another forums favorite, especially it's the last America made this year.

So my question is should I get the last great Italian made or the last great America made? I only rode my friend bike briefly and like it but haven't tried a CAAD9 yet. Thanks!
 

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Carb Level!!

If that Fondriest fits you, buy it! Try to talk down the price if you can, but it is a true classic. You'll need to get an Italian bottom bracket for it, but it will ride like a dream. I have a Top Level (all aluminum) from about that same vintage and the handling on that bike is truly sublime. My frame is an XL, much bigger than this one, but it is so stable. 50 mph downhills are no problem, and tracking at 10mph is as straight as anything.

I would love to hear your thoughts a month after you buy this. I think you'll be happy with it. They are also as beautiful as any Colnago out there.

Thom
 

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Agree with palu.

IMO, those aluminum front-carbon rear frames are sort of gimmicky products of marketing tactics and they might begin to look dated in a smirky kind of way soon (remember vinyl tops?) But that may not matter to you and, of course, there's nothing wrong with those frames functionally. Didn't know that frame was Italian-made, you sure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wim said:
Agree with palu.

IMO, those aluminum front-carbon rear frames are sort of gimmicky products of marketing tactics and they might begin to look dated in a smirky kind of way soon (remember vinyl tops?) But that may not matter to you and, of course, there's nothing wrong with those frames functionally. Didn't know that frame was Italian-made, you sure?
I did some research on this frame and it looks like 2003 was the last Italian made. Though I'm not 100% sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tv_vt said:
If that Fondriest fits you, buy it! Try to talk down the price if you can, but it is a true classic. You'll need to get an Italian bottom bracket for it, but it will ride like a dream. I have a Top Level (all aluminum) from about that same vintage and the handling on that bike is truly sublime. My frame is an XL, much bigger than this one, but it is so stable. 50 mph downhills are no problem, and tracking at 10mph is as straight as anything.

I would love to hear your thoughts a month after you buy this. I think you'll be happy with it. They are also as beautiful as any Colnago out there.

Thom
Thanks Thom for your encouraged words! Things I'd like about this frame is its ride and its paint job. Right now, my heart says go for it while my mind still hesitates about its price
 

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Some info.

rockon said:
Thanks Thom for your encouraged words!
Face it, your mind is already made up. :D

FYI, eBay 'completed auctions' shows that a Fondriest Carb Level U107 w/Mizuno fork, CF seat stays (not full carbon rear), headset and DA-7800 Italian BB went for $261 on April 19 with 10 bids. Minor blems and no manufacturing date provided, so it's just a rough guide. Italian BB does point to the fact that the frame was Italian-made.
 

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The Wanderer
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rockon said:
I did some research on this frame and it looks like 2003 was the last Italian made. Though I'm not 100% sure.
I had a '05 Carb Level Plus EVO SAT U107 that was made in Italy. I believe when Torpado bought out Fondriest back in 2006 is when some frames started being manufactured outside of Italy.

BTW, that frame ('05 Fondriest) was probably the best all around frame that I've owned and should have kept it. It climbed great, very stable on fast descents and comfortable enough to ride +200km. I was just feeling out of place not racing a full carbon frame like everybody else and thought I had to have one. So, I got rid of it:blush2:

I'd go with the Fondriest over the CAAD9. $880 is a bit steep but you have to consider that this frame was being sold for over $2,500 new. R&A Cycles has them new for $1,500 at the moment http://www.racycles.com/sales-center/road-bikes/framesets/fondriest/fondriest-carb-level-plus-2003-frame.aspx As a rule of thumb when buying something used (even if slightly) I normally won't pay over half of the price of what I can get it new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
kyler2001 said:
I had a '05 Carb Level Plus EVO SAT U107 that was made in Italy. I believe when Torpado bought out Fondriest back in 2006 is when some frames started being manufactured outside of Italy.

BTW, that frame ('05 Fondriest) was probably the best all around frame that I've owned and should have kept it. It climbed great, very stable on fast descents and comfortable enough to ride +200km. I was just feeling out of place not racing a full carbon frame like everybody else and thought I had to have one. So, I got rid of it:blush2:

I'd go with the Fondriest over the CAAD9. $880 is a bit steep but you have to consider that this frame was being sold for over $2,500 new. R&A Cycles has them new for $1,500 at the moment http://www.racycles.com/sales-center/road-bikes/framesets/fondriest/fondriest-carb-level-plus-2003-frame.aspx As a rule of thumb when buying something used (even if slightly) I normally won't pay over half of the price of what I can get it new.
Thanks Kyler for your advice! I saw that frame from racycles but the only size they list is 54cm. I emailed them and asked if they have a 52cm but got no response. I'm negotiating the price with the seller and see if he's willing to come down a little bit.
 

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I have the same frame as Kyler, except mine is the "Monumental SAT" and I bought it new, unbuilt, off Ebay in 2007 from Cobblestone Bikes, a former Fondriest dealer, that was selling out all its stock. I got it for less than $650, so the price you are being asked to pay for a used frame does seem a bit steep. That said, my Carb Level Plus is probably my second most favorite bike and that's compared to my 2005 Fondriest Domino Plus, which I will ride till it explodes underneath me. If you can swing the deal for the Carb Level, you won't be sorry.
 

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eminence grease
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That frame was close to $2000 new, so I think $880 for a 6 year old is a bit steep.

I own a Fondriest Top Level, same tube set but without the CF stays. It is one fantastically fun frame to ride. I love it and have since the 1st time I took it out. It's well beneath the status of everything else I own, yet I keep picking it up and riding it. I think you'll hear the same thing from just about everyone who happened to pick one up in the 2001-2004 timeframe.

CAAD9 - a decent bike and you might like it. But I bet it's not a Fondriest.
 

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Id go CAAD personally but that fondriest is a great looking frame... seems pricey tough for the year and such, if you can talk it down over 50% id give it some thought.
 

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Fondriest...best handling bike i've ridden. Haven't owned a CAAD9 but have demoed the system six and super six pretty extensively (interbike demo 2 years ago) and prefer the fondriest hands down...

wayne
 

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I've got an '02 Carb Level with the CF seatstay (not CF chainstays) and it is so far the best frame I've ridden. That being said, I don't have the experience of Terry B or TMB or the dozen or so other buys on this forum that has 20 something bikes. My only in-depth experience is with a '05 Colnago Mix, '06 Kestrel Talon, '01 Klein Quantum Race, and a few older 1980's era steel frames. The Carb Level is my favorite and I will ride it till the day it craps out on me. I always wished I would have gotten a Top Carbon when they were made. Was a dream bike for me at one time.
 

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I have a Top Level, P4 and Carb Lex.

They are all smoother than my CAAD 7, but not quite as stiff.

Given the age, I think you can get a better price.

Hell, I'd sell my P4 for less than that, but it isn't new.

Can't really go wrong...for straight racing, go C'Dale, for regular riding, go Fondy!
 
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