Well, glad to get some agreement from UK, Kevin. In mentioning a number of American framebuilders I think are as great as Confente, I didn't mean to slight the British builders. I'd also place Ron Cooper, Norman Taylor, Les Ephgrave, Harry Quinn and a lot of other British builders on the same level. I too love many things Italian, including food, but I too find the Italian bike thing a bit boring. I have several Italian bikes, but most are atypical in some way, like a Legnano with the iconic seat cluster, an aluminum ALAN, or a couple of Gianni Mottas, which like their maker are a "little diiferent". I will confess I do have a Bianchi TSX/UL in celeste with Campy C-Record, my one concession to the stereotypical Italian bike, as no bike collection seems complete without a celeste Bianchi or a white and black Peugeot.
I must say a Confente cannot quite be compared to the Bianchi you speak of, as every Confente frame I've seen in person or in photos is flawless in appearance and I'd expect the alignment is always spot one. But that doesn't keep one being a bit bored with the style.
I think the thing about Italian bikes that bores those of us not counted among the True Believers is that the range of cycles one has usually seen from Italy is extremely limited. Nearly all Italian bikes seem to be either racing bikes or city bikes, with very little in between. One rarely sees an Italian bike one would describe as Sport Touring or Touring or Randonneur. It seems in Italy one is either interested in racing, or at least posing as a racer, or one is puttering around town collecting the groceries. The idea of lightweight high performance touring bikes fully equipped with racks, bags, mudguards, and lights but still very light and fast for all that simply does seem to exist in Italy in the way it does in France or in UK. I think that US framebuilding for some years suffered from the same limited range, as for many years most US buyers demanded racing frames and US framebuilders supplied them, often in the Italian style. But there was always, at least isnce the 60's, some US interest in cyclotouring and some machines being supplied to meet this, although quite often the machines came from France or UK. And in more recent years many US framebuilders have been building an increasing percentage of touring frames.
Big Spring, Texas, USA
> From: kevin sayles <firstname.lastname@example.org>
\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR]Re; confente is worth it ???
\r?\n> To: email@example.com
\r?\n> Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 8:12 AM
\r?\n> I can think of many UK framebuilders that have also
\r?\n> 'gone beyond where Mario
\r?\n> left off'...........dare I say myself.......but
\r?\n> that's for others to judge!
\r?\n> This 'Italian thing' is something non Italian
\r?\n> framebulders have had to put
\r?\n> up with over the years, and I'm sure I speak for many
\r?\n> when I say it gets a
\r?\n> bit boring, for some reason cyclists seem drawn to the
\r?\n> Italian mystique,
\r?\n> maybe it's the Italian sounding names, be funny if
\r?\n> 'Colnago' was the
\r?\n> equevelant of Smith [no offense to anyone called
\r?\n> Smith!]........don't get me
\r?\n> wrong, I too love Italy and its many delights, [Iv'e
\r?\n> just had a bowl of
\r?\n> pasta after my mid morninng ride] but in my trade it seems
\r?\n> we are always
\r?\n> playing second fiddle to what the Italians do, even if we
\r?\n> actually produce a
\r?\n> better product.
\r?\n> I can relate to a sittuation many years ago whilst working
\r?\n> for Woodrup's, we
\r?\n> had a customer, a nice chap actually, but he was totally
\r?\n> obsessed with the
\r?\n> Italian thing and ordered a 62cm Bianchi lugged steel
\r?\n> frame, which came in
\r?\n> the gorgeous celeste, anyway we had to build it into a bike
\r?\n> and in doing do
\r?\n> I had cause to check over the frame..........the first
\r?\n> thing I noticed was
\r?\n> how untidy the brazing was around the lugs, really
\r?\n> untidy......I wouldn't
\r?\n> have let one of mine go out like that, and when I came to
\r?\n> check the
\r?\n> I said to Steve Woodrup, we ought to build Trevor a frame
\r?\n> and have it
\r?\n> sprayed up as a Bianchi, but we never did.
\r?\n> Anyway the point I'm trying to make is, I agree with
\r?\n> whoever mentioned that
\r?\n> nowadays the quality and standards of framebuilding,
\r?\n> whether in the US or
\r?\n> elswhere is far better than it's ever been, even
\r?\n> better than the original
\r?\n> classics that we all strive to obtain.....however, I guess
\r?\n> there is still
\r?\n> something unique about owning a true period classic though
\r?\n> by virtue of its
\r?\n> age and heritage.
\r?\n> It makes me wish I could return in a 100 years on to see
\r?\n> how 'todays
\r?\n> classics' are comparing...............
\r?\n> sorry if this sounds like a bit of a rant, but it's a
\r?\n> subject close to my
\r?\n> Kevin Sayles [now topped up with Pasta]
\r?\n> Bridgwater Somerset UK
\r?\n> ---- Original Message -----
\r?\n> From: "Bill Talbot"
\r?\n> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
\r?\n> Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 12:03 PM
\r?\n> Subject: [CR]Re; confente is worth it ???
\r?\n> > CRers,
\r?\n> > It must be a SoCal thing because I can think of many
\r?\n> current American
\r?\n> > build
\r?\n> > ers that I believe have gone way beyond where Mario
\r?\n> left off. Nothing
\r?\n> > again
\r?\n> > st him but the craft has progressed. This is pure
\r?\n> nostalga, which of
\r?\n> > course
\r?\n> > is a large part of our hobby in the first place. But
\r?\n> if you're looking for
\r?\n> > something to actually ride and I don't mean the
\r?\n> parking lot at Cirque.....
\r?\n> > well I'll be looking elsewhere.
\r?\n> > Bill Talbot
\r?\n> > New Hartford, CT US of A
\r?\n> > --
\r?\n> > Powered By Outblaze