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Hi All

I'm lusting after a steel frame and due to my slighty odd body measurements (I'm 6'3" and ride a 55cm as its the best fit I can get) have decided on a custom build. I've pretty much fallen in love with the design of the Pegoretti Luigino but also have been have a serious look at the IF Crown Jewel. I also like the company ethos of IF.

Its a classic case of th heart says one thing and the head the other. Any suggestions or stone cold facts why I should go for one over the other?

Thanks all and happy riding.

Danny B
 

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merckxman
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Tough decision....

...they are so diverse.

Since you are 6,3 and you ride what I think would be a small frame at 55cm I think being able to work more closely on your fit requirements would be a big positive in my decision.
 

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55cm????

I'm 5'10" and have a 53.5cm Pegoretti Marcelo. How are you measuring 55cm? Is it centre to centre or centre to top? Either way on a conventional level top tubed frame they are bothe somewhat on the small side. I don't see a head/heart choice. Both are built bu master craftsmen. Dario does all except paint, IF are a little bigger and a fair bit younger. Dario's handiwork has been good enough for Big Mig, Lemond, Delgado, Riis & Ullrich. He pioneered Deda's tubing development for years & brought TIG welded steel frames to the road market. IF are as good on quality & innovation, but this is where the heart comes in. It swings it to Pegoretti for me. I may be getting a 953 IF but my Marcelo will always stay.
 

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eminence grease
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Vastly different bikes - Luigino - old school lugged steel, Crown Jewel - state of the art TIG'd racer.

Not that the differences in connecting methodologies are going to make them ride any differently. But......

Pegoretti custom is not the same as IF or Seven or Serotta custom or any other stateside custom - you send your measurement and you get a frame in 6 months. Not much interaction. IF of course will spend the entire day on the phone with you if you so desire. Plus $2850 for what I consider to be one of the more overrated brands in cycling.

IF - almost $1000 less for frame/fork. Every owner seem to love them and you might get more personal attention from your local dealer in dialing it in the way you want.

In the end it's going to boil down to a) whether you're craving an old-school lugged frame b) how long you want to wait and c) how much you want to pay.

In that price range though, and with the caveat of wishing to go custom, you have dozens of choices including Serotta, Seven and dozens of smaller builders like Strong, Kirk et al.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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merckxman said:
...they are so diverse.

Since you are 6,3 and you ride what I think would be a small frame at 55cm I think being able to work more closely on your fit requirements would be a big positive in my decision.
I agree! I'm 6'3" & I ride a 60cm. Natch, it depends a lot on your build & body type. All my height is in my body. My inseam is almost exactly the same as my 5'9" wife; 32". When I buy, I look for a long top tube. The DeRosa I currently have has a 59cm top tube, & I'm using a 140mm stem.

I'd think you could much better looking for a "production" frame. The only real need, (IMHO), to look for a custom frame is if your proportions are really unusual, or maybe just because youwant a custom frame. I've had a couple of customs. They're nice because you can spec materials, colors, etc. But in the end, I didn't like them more than the bikes I have now.
 

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Plus $2850 for what I consider to be one of the more overrated brands in cycling.
And what do you base that on? It's an imported frame from Europe. Unfortunately for you the exchange rate means that it costs. Compare the Pegoretti to Pinarello, De Rosa or Conago ( all massed produced) and it's a fairer cost comparison.

But Pegoretti was TIG'ing before IF even existed. He was developing Dynalite tubing in the 80's & most of the Dedacciai range of recent years. In between he found time to build frames for many of the Tour winners of the 90's (Indurain never rode a Pinarello road frame!) and introduced TIG welded steel to the road racing world!
 

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eminence grease
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ultimobici said:
And what do you base that on? It's an imported frame from Europe. Unfortunately for you the exchange rate means that it costs. Compare the Pegoretti to Pinarello, De Rosa or Conago ( all massed produced) and it's a fairer cost comparison.

But Pegoretti was TIG'ing before IF even existed. He was developing Dynalite tubing in the 80's & most of the Dedacciai range of recent years. In between he found time to build frames for many of the Tour winners of the 90's (Indurain never rode a Pinarello road frame!) and introduced TIG welded steel to the road racing world!
I base it on the experience I have with the one I own. I have a Fina with a couple of thousand miles on it and while it's a very nice piece of eye candy, there is absolutely nothing special about it. It's a nice, run of the mill aluminum bike with a great paint job. Despite all the glowing internet reviews about how it rides like steel and is light as a feather and how that Scandium in the tubeset turns it into a magic carpet. The best thing about it is that I paid far less than 1/2 of retail for a brand new frame.

Pegoretti's history is certainly impressive, but I'm not the kind of guy that buys bikes because the builder built for some Tour winner back in the dark ages. If I was that kind of consumer, well, I imagine I'd be riding a Madone. It doesn't matter a whit that he's been TIG welding since the 17th century, the welds on my Fina are huge, uneven and nothing to write home about.

And yes, while the exchange rate is high, his prices greatly pre-date the fall of the dollar. He gets those prices because groupies like me and you are willing to pay them for the exclusivity of the name and the paint job. Truly, if it weren't for the zealots on some internet forums, no one would be drooling over Pegorettis. For the money, I'd rather have a Colnago MxL - but wait, that frame is $500 less than a stock Luigino. Didn't Colnago build all those bikes for that other Tour winner with the initials EM?

Don't get me wrong, I think he builds very pretty bikes. Which is precisely why I own one. I just don't think they're special enough to command the prices they do and the whole Pegoretti cult drives me nuts. He does some very interesting things with tubing shapes and materials, none of which of course apply to the lugged steel model we're talking about. My opinion to the OP was simply that - for the money it all depends on what you want. Lugged steel classic - sure, drop $2850 on a Luigino. TIG'd road rocket - IF, hands down. Far better deal for the price.
 

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For the money, I'd rather have a Colnago MxL - but wait, that frame is $500 less than a stock Luigino.
Because it isn't made to order. Try getting made to measure or any deviation from their standard specs - it won't happen!
Didn't Colnago build all those bikes for that other Tour winner with the initials EM?
Nope, Ugo De Rosa built them and set up the Merckx factory.

The Fina Estampa is one of the first scandium frames. It dates back nearly 7 years.

The main reason Pegoretti stopped building for Pinarello was because he branched out under his own name and Fausto Pinarello was pissed off. Before that he was his best man at his wedding, but they don't talk any more.
 

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eminence grease
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ultimobici said:
Because it isn't made to order. Try getting made to measure or any deviation from their standard specs - it won't happen!
Nope, Ugo De Rosa built them and set up the Merckx factory.

The Fina Estampa is one of the first scandium frames. It dates back nearly 7 years.

The main reason Pegoretti stopped building for Pinarello was because he branched out under his own name and Fausto Pinarello was pissed off. Before that he was his best man at his wedding, but they don't talk any more.
Point 1 - Yes, I know the MxL is standard, that's why I quoted the $500 price difference and not the $750 price differential.

Point 2 - Colnago built many of EM's bikes - they had an entire reunion last year and showed off the drawings while Ernesto and Eddy hugged. Colnago used to have a history section on their website with all of EM's frame drawings.

Point 3 - The Fina is NOT a Scandium tubeset. That's one of the biggest internet urban myths cycling myths ever perpetrated by the Peg cult and is used by legions of uneducated Fina riders to explain its magical riding properties. I suppose that's because no one can admit they spent $2500 on an aluminum frame that builds up into a 20 pound bike. It doesn't date back 7 years, it was introduced at either the 02 or 03 Interbike, and believe it or not, the frame I own is that exact frame. And besides, even if it was 7 years old, I thought everything Dario did was brilliant?

Look, no point in indulging in a religious argument. I think they're unspecial and overpriced, you think they're wonderful. Let's just leave it at that. The OP can decide if he wants to pay that kind of coin for a lugged steel bike independent of our catfight.
 

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My vote is for the IF

While Terry B certainly doesn't need my help defending him, I do agree. In my opinion, Pegs are the flavor of the day. If I was buying a new frame today I would head to an American builder. Strong for tig and David Kirk for lugs.
I don't believe Dario has a magic wand,secret sizing formula, uses magic tubing,mitres or welds better than many others. And his prices are high.
 

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Big is relative
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This thread makes my brain hurt. I have a Fina and I knew that it was not scandium when I bought it. It is basically the same tubing as a Pinarello Prince minus the carbon rear. The Prince SL was scandium, I believe. I got my Fina on sale and pretty much moved the parts over from my MX Leader which I was retiring for a refinish and paint job. You can get a custom Pego according to the website for $200 which includes a paintjob of your choice. There is nothing magical about my Fina, it is a good solid bike that is stiff enough to climb and accelerate well but still feel steady on a fast descent. As a big rider, I will worry about light weight bikes when I am light weight.
 

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terry b said:
The Fina is NOT a Scandium tubeset. That's one of the biggest internet urban myths cycling myths ever perpetrated by the Peg cult and is used by legions of uneducated Fina riders to explain its magical riding properties. I suppose that's because no one can admit they spent $2500 on an aluminum frame that builds up into a 20 pound bike. It doesn't date back 7 years, it was introduced at either the 02 or 03 Interbike, and believe it or not, the frame I own is that exact frame. And besides, even if it was 7 years old, I thought everything Dario did was brilliant?
Try late 1999, that's when Rober Millar tested the Fina for Pro Cycling early 2000 in the UK. Apologies for the Scandium mistake.

Procycling March 2000
[ Print Page ]

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Hidden treasure

Pegoretti is a name many cycling fans would be hard-pressed to recognise. Yet the low key Italian frame builder has supported many winners. Robert Millar pays a visit Levico Terme in the Dolomites to test ride the unassuming modern day classic and to find out why it's the choice of champions.

Every racer wants a special bike. From the first year schoolboy to the number one man in a top professional team, there'll come a moment when they want to wheel out their secret weapon. It may be the latest in time-trial aero design, or the 'light' bike for the mountain stages in the big tours when the days results could be crucial to the race and sometimes their career.

For times like these you need the comfort, both mental and physical, that you have the equipment to equal or better your rivals. I've been on professional teams where the frames supplied haven't been what you would demand from a race bike. In these situations the riders would procure frames which, once equipped with a set of transfers and painted in the appropriate colours, looked identical to the standard issue. Sometimes the frame people turned a blind eye, but more often than not they were not best pleased, so the team mechanic had to bury the bikes in the back of the team truck and hide them when not being used. It never felt like a good way to do things but it was often the only solution to a problem, which shouldn't have existed in the first place.

Enter Dario Pegoretti, problem solver extraordinaire. Based in Levico Terme, a small Italian village in the midst of the Dolomite mountains, Dario pegoretti produces 500 frames a year - not alot compared to the likes of Colnago or DeRosa. Of these roughly 20 percent carry the Pegoretti logo, while the others are commissioned by some of the biggest names in Italian frame building and are destined to carry there trademark.



Stars in their files
Given the good relationships Pegoretti enjoys with his clients in terms of development and co-operation, he is not keen to divulge whom the sub-contarct work is for and cannot name some of the people who race or have raced with frames built in his small workshop. But suffice to say that, given the quality of riders present in the Pegoretti files, I was honored to see my name included. You couldn't fail to be impressed by the endless list of race winners from the past decade or so, ranging from the track pursuer to the road sprinter and including some of the biggest names. Levico Terme would be hallowed ground for cycling fans if only they knew....

Using only what he considers the best materials available, Pegoretti was the first in Italy to build frames using TIG methods and for the last 10 years has used TIG construction exclusively, believing it gives a better, lighter, longer lasting frame than any other process. Involved in Dedacciai development programme to produce and perfect steel tubing, Pegoretti has the distinction of giving the world the Radius and Dyna Lite designs. Now he is involved in a similar programme with the Italian firm's Aluminium tubing, which is also supplied to Carrera, DeRosa, Fondriest, Pinarello and Vinner

Italian manufactures enjoy a level of co-operation, which isn't the norm at this level of the business and, from listening to Dario and brother Gianni explain the reasoning behind alot of their work, the Pegoretti brothers seem to be at the center of future developments with steel and aluminium by Dedacciai, with nothing but total respect from their illustrious neighbours. The quiet village location allows them to work almost unnoticed by the out side world and if past experience is a guide to the future, they won't be shouting or bragging about what is coming next, either. It all seems very un-Italian in nature, but penetrate the workshop up the totally bizarre ladder - it's the only entrance, honest - and you discover a mess only the truly passionate can create.

For the test ride I am accompanied by Martin Hawik, LiquiGas' neo-professionisti, the young west Berliner being one of Pegoretti's protege's since he first raced in Italy. There's not alot of scope around the region for a normal ride: it's either laps of Lake Caldonazzo or a long slog up an adjacent mountain, as the Giro d'Italia does for its final hard stage. Seeing as it's winter and the lake is frozen solid enough to skate on, the mountain climbing option is quickly dismissed. Since this is my race bike specification, supplied by fax a few weeks previously, I'm not surprised it fits.



Wake-up call
The flat start to the ride doesn't prepare me for the awakening I get from my traveller's sleepiness when we encounter a nice downhill section with lumps, bumps and a selection of sweeping curves and semi-hairpins. The bike reacts with the sharpness and a directness that only the PlayStation generation thought they enjoyed. Next lap it makes alot more sense when I've woken up and realised that the bike is using a 38mm rake of Mizuno forks and not the 42.5mm ones my bikes usually come with. Pegoretti probably knew we were going to do laps and supplied the criterium mode on purpose.

Ride impressions are good the Pegoretti handles with Red Arrows precision and reacts to the smallest input through the pedals or the handlebars but, strangley, it doesn't feel like an aluminium frame. But this is not meant to be a criticism:everything works as it should, there's no sloppiness, everything is direct and instant with no loss of power. I recognised the reactions as those of my race bike - or rather, how it used to be - but everyone of those reactions seemed quicker, sharper and lighter than I'd felt before, like I was experiencing the video game version of my favorite show. I still couldn't figure out the material characteristics because the little bobble over bumps that fat alloy tubes produce wasn't present. The mega-reinforced rear triangle felt like titanium but just a little lighter with more suppleness, and the front end enjoyed a directness normally associated with a carbon moulding. Only when I deliberately hit a big hole did the main frame give a hint of its alloy origins, but if no-one told you what it was made of you would be hard-pressed to tell by just riding. Up close you could see the TIG welding was more substantial than a steel frame from Pegoretti, but it wasn't a big clue. I don't remember any of the bikes I have previously raced having all the skills this frame enjoyed. Sure, some of them were close on certain aspects, but Dario seems to have taken the good bits from each and combined them into a coherent package which is destined to go fast and make it seem easy. It provided the ride comfort needed to do 250km without killing your back but at the same time give a frame stiff enough to deal with big gear power, while avoiding the slightly lifeless feel an over-engineered design can give when the rear triangle is too strong.



Flying high
Stability at high speed with sharp reactions is a hard act to get right, but it's all there, and the whole thing is light enough to get the UCI tutting during there afternoon tea sessions. After just 50km I'm convinced the Pegoretti rider has a quantifiable advantage, and when Gianni explains later that back in '93 they built some 1.1kg steel frames for certain riders I'm half miffed because I used to see those same riders from the rear - and only when I was on a really good day. Better ride with a better bike - life isn't always fair, but it's a simple equation and the Pegoretti brothers like things simple. There are no frills on there frames so aesthetically they make look ordinary, like a Boeing 737, but they function like an F-17 jet fighter. There are bits of interest when you look hard, like the specially machined alloy rear ends designed to give a larger welding surface for the square section chainstays and oversize seatstays, but the frame isn't made to catch the eye. I was more tempted by the steel frame in the workshop then by the test bike because they gave a hint of the craftsmanship present. The welds were beautifully executed and the frames looked almost delicate, screaming lightweight steel from every tube, promising something special. 'They're as strong as the Alloy frames but just not as fashionable at the moment' - the words are Gianni's, not mine

I haven't commented on the Mavic Mektronic groupset because the ride wasn't long enough to get used to the options. At first I played with the switches but soon forgot which was up and which was down, and got even more lost using the front changer, which also varies from the norm, so I stopped fiddling and only used when I had to. I'm waiting for a groupset to arrive to test the system properly, so I'll keep you posted. The Kysirium wheels are becoming one of my favorite wheelsets, with a nice chunky feel but enough give in the rim to make them an every day choice in the right environment. I hated the saddle and so did Martin, so that's a pass, but the contact points are a personal choice thing. Deda stems are good enough for US Postal this year, so they should be good enough for the rest of us, too. Veloflex rubber was fine in the dry and, as benefits a frame of this pedigree, came in tubular form

With this frame you have to look past the paint - red with yellow seems terribly '80's in the style stakes - and realise that you are buying the skill and craftsmanship of the Pegoretti brothers, which is more easily spotted with steel frames. They like plain finishes but the paint is applied by Zullo, which made a lovely marble effect for the TVM team bikes back in 1992, so something flasher and shinier is available - but if you don't tell them, they won't do it. Just to prove a point, Dario had a trendy single-speed town bike in his garage sporting an orange Aboriginal-style paint job which felt like rubber to the touch. My test bike was meant to be similar, but time dictated otherwise - shame, because it was nice.

These aren't the frames for fashion-conscious. The appeal of Pegoretti lies in the visually classic design combined with careful choice of materials. The end product represents the best of Italian handmade frame building where the traditions of craftsmanship and carefull design ensure a quality product. Exclusivity is almost guaranteed but that's not the reason to own one. It's a bit like joining a club where members don't show off or tell anyone they are in the know. It only makes sense when you have joined the club and seen the roll call of those who have gone before.

BIKE SPEC

Pegoretti Fina Estampa
Cost: from £ 1,080
Tubing: Dedacciai Scandium SC61.10A
Fork: Mizuno Carbon 1 1/8th carbon steerer
Groupset: Mavic Mektronic</font></td>
Bars: Deda 215
Stem: Deda Newton
Saddle: Vetta for Pegoretti
Seatpost: Selcof titanium
Pedals: Shimano SPD-R
Wheels: Mavic Kysirium
Tyres: Veloflex Criterium tubulars
Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi
Variations: Shimano Ultegra cranks, Coda chainrings, Cane Creak headset, Dura-Ace 12-23 cassette

Intresting points: 30mm x 20mm square section chainstays, 22mm round section seat stays. Milled aluminium rear ends with flat surfaces for maximum welding strength. External cable runs.


Stem: 115mm
Bars: 42cm
Head angle: 73
Seat angle: 72.7
Fork rake: 38mm

No it's no super light alloy frame, but it will outlast and ride better than most of the 1kg frames on the market today. It was never intended to be hyperlight, it's bullet-proof. The CCKMP was his lightest, but Dario likes his stuff to last more than a season.

I've seen what he can build in Levico Terme. Sub 3lb STEEL? But he won't sell frames that light because it isn't long lasting.
 

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bigbill said:
You can get a custom Pego according to the website for $200 which includes a paintjob of your choice.
Hope the $200 is for the paint only. Dario doesn't charge extra for custom built.
 

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terry b said:
Gee whiz, got me there.

But now I have to ask - what difference does it make if that bike is 7 years, 7 months or 7 days old?

Has he learned to weld better since 1999?
I was merely pointing out that it's an old design.

If you're that unimpressed sell it to someone who can appreciate it better and buy a aesthetically welded frame.
 

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ultimobici said:
Hope the $200 is for the paint only. Dario doesn't charge extra for custom built.
I read it just the opposite. You pay extra for the custom build and get to choose your paint since it wasn't a production frame.
 

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bigbill said:
I read it just the opposite. You pay extra for the custom build and get to choose your paint since it wasn't a production frame.
Shouldn't be that way. As far Dario is concerned all frames are one offs. Paint is the part that the cost varies according to the amount of work. He charges one price for frame, stock or custom geometry is the same price. Simple paint is standard. Special designs are extra, as is colour matching. At least it was while I was selling them for 4 years, and is where a friend sells them now. THat is in UK, so maybe US importer charges differently?
 
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