What rim brake frame?

As i am looking for a new bike in the next 12 months, what brands do actually still produce high end rim brake frames? Carbon, steel, alu…

Giant TCR:


Any custom frame builder will likely build a rim brake bicycle. I am planning for one in 2022.


Yeah, I bought myself a tcr SL frameset this year, because…

a) I like Giants. I’ve had several sexy “Italian” bikes, but I’d rather buy direct from an actual manufacturer, without paying the brand premium.
b) I thought I’d best get one soon (despite not really having the cash), because they’ll likely not do their top end frameset with rim brake/mechanical shifting options next time.

Very happy with it - I can get it down to uci weight limit (depending which wheels I stick on), in size xl. This is with Chorus 11 speed mechanical. And it rides beautifully.


Assuming new:

  • Giant TCR, as mentioned.
  • Basso sell most of their framesets in a rim, but I’m not sure about whole bikes.
  • Trek still sell the Emonda SLR frameset in rim.
  • Factor do the O2 in rim brake
  • Ridley Helium

Having said that, my inclination would actually to buy second hand; people are keen to offload rim brake bikes at the moment, so there are some real bargains to be had.

I’ve just put together a Ridley Helium SLA, with Chorus and Fulcrum carbon wheels for less than £2k all in, with everything either on sale new or vgc second hand, and I could have put together a Factor O2 with the same kit for about £3k. And while that’s still a lot of money, it’s a hell of a lot of bike, and less than most mid-range bikes with Ultegra and pretty ordinary wheelsets are going for.


If you are willing explore off the well beaten path, and can find a retailer near you, Casati makes some quite exquisite rim brake frames. Family owned and operated company for over 100 years, knowledge transferred from father to son. Lucky owner of a Casati Marte here, 100% custom, size as well as 100% custom paint design and colors, paired with whatever components you choose.

This bike is just a rocket whatever the terrain, be it flat, hilly or mountains. Stiff where it has to, but comfortable like no other road bike.


Pinarello is offering a rim brake version of the current Dogma F12.

I don’t know that I’d consider Ritchey to be high end, but they make very good frames. So, in that spirit, the Road Logic. Same with Gunnar Bikes, which is the production line of Waterford Bikes.

I think that if you want high end and rim brakes in 2021, you are making a statement. There’s nothing wrong with making a statement. In fact, why not amplify that statement with a full custom bike?

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I would look at some of teh large high-end shops like RACycles. I was looking for a replacement bike for someone and you can typically find some new, but 2 to 3 year-old rim brake bikes (NOS New-Old Stock) heavily discounted.

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No need for statements here. I have enough disc brake bikes, and in this case i am looking for a rim brake road bike. I have “normal” body measurements and fit nicely on standard sizing, so no need for custom.

Road logic, Canyon ultimate and TCR are on the list. Just started this thread to see if there was some nice bikes that have gone under my radar.

Absolutely. A lot of people with a lot of money and little mileage are going disc brake now.

Factor O2 AG2R, rim Brake, 54cm, AG2R, New (no fork) | eBay)

Not quite sure how you’d solve the fork problem, but this kind of thing perfectly sums up your/the point.

Factor were selling rim brake frames with a decent discount during Black Friday but I imagine those deals are gone now.

I’d agree with going second hand, something like a Supersix.

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If you can find one, a Cervelo R5 is a great bike. I found a 2018 rim brake version ‘new old stock’ at a great price.


Standert Bicycles


New rim brake framesets can still be had from any of the Italian manufacturers. I built up a new satin red Colnago V2-R rim brake frameset (the previous model) last year with mechanical Record 12 sp and components I had lying around for ~AUD$5500. I’ve since replaced the Campy DM brakes with eeBrakes. Along with the fact it was rim brake, the colour and the double-diamond front and rear triangles sold me.

Good luck with your searches. Let us know what you decide on.

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good luck on finding a bike! i was in a similar situation earlier this year and was able to find a great deal on a used c64 rim brake frame. i’ve slowly been picking up parts for the build and i’m almost there with the exception of the wheels.

trying to find a good set of wheels is challenging for me since it’s hard to see the brake tracks from the pictures people are posting. this might be the one thing i buy new for the bike if ever.

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I’m sure Bob Parlee would happily knock you up a Z whatever & if you can track him down Ted Ciamillo makes the most sublime rim brakes. I’ve no regrets .


Approx 1 million rim bikes available for sale used…

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If you read the threads on Weight Weenies … the charitable version is that he has had a lot of problems staying on top of business in the past, then he recovered, but then things took another downturn during COVID. I’m talking products paid for but not delivered. The less charitable version, you can guess. I don’t have a current dog in the fight; I bought a set of older Zero Gs from a dealer. If people want his brakes, I would go through a dealer rather than from him. Or go eeBrakes.

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I had read the same but took a chance. Ted’s comms we’re good & whilst there was a delay the brakes did arrive in the uk a few weeks later. Two things:
The bicycle industry is littered with the commercial gravestones of innovative & talented makers like Ted, some of whom are a little bit out there. We should celebrate their existence and do all we can to promote their survival, even if that means paying a premium for their products over the industry dominating corps.
Secondly, everyone knows you can mitigate the payment risk via the method by which you pay for the goods. But ultimately have a little faith and allow a little slack.