2012 Fondriest SF2 lugged steel road bike handbuilt in Italy

Fondriest has a new modern-retro take on road bikes with their SF2 steel lugged frame. Each one is handmade in Italy, and the attention to detail is up there. Here’s the fluffy, pretty description from their U.S. rep:

The meticulously finished, gorgeous pearl-white and chrome lugged steel machine turned heads throughout the week.  Made 100 percent  in Italy, the SF2 harkens back to cycling’s earlier days, when brazed, lugged construction was de rigueur. The SF2 is made from Columbus tubing and features marvelous detail work. As “hand-built” bikes continue to gain popularity in the U.S., the SF2 demonstrates that Fondriest can match the best of them.

Make the jump for detail pics, they’re quite attractive…

2012 Fondriest SF2 lugged steel road bike handbuilt in Italy

Frame, fork, headset and seatpost will retail for $2,200 USD.

2012 Fondriest SF2 lugged steel road bike handbuilt in Italy

2012 Fondriest SF2 lugged steel road bike handbuilt in Italy

2012 Fondriest SF2 lugged steel road bike handbuilt in Italy


  1. Rivendell Roadeo frames are built by Waterford, in Waterford, Wisconsin. At least that’s what is stated on Rivendell’s website.

  2. I’m not sure why they’d build it with a threadless-style stem for publicity photos, but at least it turns out to be a threaded fork after the jump. It makes me a little ill when companies build a “retro-style” frame with a 1 1/8″ headtube and threadless fork.

  3. @ted: It’s hardly a niche market. As stated above the handbuilt market in the US is quite healthy as proven by the overwhelming success of the NAHBS.
    As far as the shout out for Rivendell, they make nice bikes too. But I frankly get turned off by their oldschool is better rhetoric.
    Ride what you like, like what you ride. Even if that’s a “retro” frame with a 1-1/8″ headtube/fork.

  4. First, Rivendell don’t make bikes. They design them. BIG difference. I’ve had two Rivendells, both Waterford made prototypes made with Reynolds 753 tubing purchased directly from Grant’s living room during the early days of Rivendell. Great bikes but totally different than what Fondriest are selling. The Fondriest looks to be a pretty standard racing bike whereas a Rivendell is designed more for all day riding on mixed terrain.

    As for Made In Italy, that’s more about marketing and romance. In terms of actual build quality I think most Italian bikes are at best over rated. I say this having spent many years working in shops and building up my fair share of Colnago, DeRosa, Bianchia, Tommasini (the best in terms of quality), Pinarello, Basso, etc. frames. Most of the time these top of the line Italian made steel bikes required more prep work than Japanese and Taiwanese frames costing 1/2-1/3 the price. Facing head tubes/BB shells, chasing threads clogged with paint, straightening crooked rear triangles, etc., etc. Reality is you don’t buy an Italian bike for quality, you buy it for chrome, paint and style – and there’s ***NOTHING*** wrong with that!! Indeed my favorite bike to ride is my ’96 Colnago. While I love riding that bike it required several hours of prep work before I could even start hanging parts on it. By comparison my made in Taiwan cross bike was good to go straight out of the box. When it comes to quality the American builders are the best followed by the Asians. However in terms of style it’s hard to beat an Italian bike! I’ve owned 2 Tommasini bikes, 3 Colnago bikes (1 steel, 1 titanium, 1 alloy), a Pinarello, a Bianchi, a Somec, a Paletti and a Motta. None were perfectly built, all were a blast to own and I plan to keep buying Italian bikes as the budget permits.

    I think the challenge for a bike like the Fondriest is why would someone pay top dollar for an off the shelf steel bike when for almost the same money they could probably get a fully custom made frame?

  5. What an interesting theory: classifying quality of a product by where it was produced. Wow. I’m sure that theory will hold up against the most rigorous tests and is not at all a generalization, an opinion based on personal bias and a relatively small sample set. Hmmmm.

  6. Forget the Rivendell. For that price you could get a cielo, with Chris King BB and headset! I guess you’d lose the shiney lugs, but not much lost in the way of style…

  7. As someone who OWNS a (Waterford-built) Rivendell Roadeo, I can vouch for it being a wonderful and beautiful bike, and a great deal for the price (comparable to the Fondriest). Rivendell works hard to design bikes that work for the purpose they are intended for, and while most of their bikes are stable, heavy-duty touring rigs, the Roadeo is fast, light, and a blast to ride. It doesn’t turn in like a crit bike (i.e. like my Pegoretti does), but it delivers fantastic overall performance for a fast all-around road bike.

    The Fondriest retrobike is cute, but if I wanted an Italian steel masterpiece with that chromed je ne sais quoi, I’d hunt around for an 80’s Masi or Ciocc – must cooler.

  8. Seriously, Patrick? You’d pay $2200 for a frame with a 1″ headtube and threaded headset? I have a Soma Stanyan which looks pretty similar to this, but has a 1 1/8″ headtube. Why bother buying a new old-school frame if it means you have to deal with the old school threaded gear, especially the horrid stems and having to unfit one side of the bar to get them out…

    Practicality does have its place.

  9. yep another one for the cool kids, i dont understand any of this, pick up a nice steel frame from your hero from back in the day, send it to a paint shop and youll have something for half price, and has for italian quality any bike mechanic will confirm that any taiwanese frame is better finished, reamed out threads and seatpost, they still want the business more that the italians…
    ill stick with my merckx mx leader in molteni !!(-;
    nice but not 2200 dollar nice

  10. 2012 Breezer Venturi steel road bike – Wow, I saw it first hand, what an incredible steel frame, so many details in it, it is miles ahead of the old Venturi with was elegant and amazing to ride in its own right. Integrated, ultra light and strong billet steel head tube, a bottom bracket like has never been designed into a road bike that i am aware of, simply stunning! I cant wait to ride one… i want to own one!

  11. Guys, just so you know, this frame is available in full custom geometries.
    And there is no price difference for that service.
    6 week delivery time.
    I love American made steel too, but this bike is a beauty in person.
    – Mike

  12. if you look closely at the first picture, it’s got a threaded headset, with a quill adaptor, you can see the two nuts on the headset !

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