New bike advice

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diggers
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New bike advice

Post by diggers » 24 Feb 2013 11:23

So the day has come to acknowledge that the Dawes Galaxy might not be the best summer, club run bike ...and I'm ready to sink some cash on a lean, mean carbon machine. Mainly I'll want it for club runs, audax/sportive rides of 100 miles - i.e. endurance not racing (!) - but I want it to feel discernibly more responsive that my current steed.
I'm thinking about one of the TreK Madone or Trek Domane bikes (they come in WSD sizing if that is what fits better - and I am drawn to the reviews which talk about comfort!).

http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/ro ... h2_compact

http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/ro ... sd_compact


I was also thinking about the Specialized Roubaix/Ruby but bike shop person told me they were awful (even though they sell them). So I don't know what to think. They are going to let me have a trial ride on a few Treks and a Specialized Tarmac but I'm not confident I'll know any better because riding a lightweight/skinny tyred bike is going to feel totally odd to me - irrespective of how good it is!

A few questions to you very knowledgeable people
a) Anyone got any of these bikes and can offer an opinion?
b) Shimano 105 vs Ultegra?
c) Does a compact or triple really make any difference if I'm not bothered about additional weight? (I have seen the lengthy thread on this issue on the board) I have a triple on my Dawes for touring purposes but the granny ring is used to get up the steep hills even without panniers!
d) Is there anything else that I should be considering that I'm not?

Many thanks, Claire

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 24 Feb 2013 12:32

Claire

You may not appreciate my advice but here it is:

I strongly counsel you against buying any Trek products off the peg. Bontrager wheels are the default Trek wheels - they are quite appalling and not recommended. At one point, mine were failing every 200 miles. The replacement sets were not much better either. Fellow Beaconites have also experienced similar issues with Bontrager wheels including split nipples and loss of profile. Trek are a typical mass manufacturer that celebrate their frames but provide poorly performing and cheaply manufactured wheel sets. When purchasing a bike, the wheels are equally as important as the frame, ignoring the former may prove to be a false economy.

In terms of distance or 'endurance rides', most people are fine using a race geometry for ride up to 200km/130 miles in length. Over that distance and you will need to consider something specific to endurance distances. Some so-called sportive bikes have a softer geometry. Another consideration may be an audax bike but avoid steel versions which often weigh a tonne. I would recommend something like the Moda Nocturne or a Van Nicholas titanium frame.

You will also need to ensure that you are not palmed off with a man's spec by a lazy shop salesperson Check that seller is qualified to provide bike-fitting.

I would recommend that you take time to visit shops such as Cultracing, Echelon or Epic Cycles - all of which are good.

As for Shimano gearing; Ultegra is better than 105. I have used the latter and had two replace the shifters twice.

As for triple v compacts, opinion is usually divided and you will receive strong opinions in favour or against. If you are not a strong climber on steep gradients then I would advice triples. If you are reasonably strong then I would recommend compacts with a 11/28 on the rear.

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Post by Johnnyc » 24 Feb 2013 12:47

The most important thing is to be comfortable on the bike, and that means having the correct fit. Whoever you purchase the bike from should be able to offer you a comprehensive fitting service as part of the purchase.

If you are not particularly bothered about weight, then the 105 should be fine.

Regarding the gear ratios, it's really about what you feel comfortable with. A compact can be paired with a wide ranging cassette e.g. a 12-27 or 11-28, this may be alright for some people, but it's a personal choice.

If you want the additional gears of a triple then go for it. However, it may be the case a triple won't be necessary because you will be on a lighter bike and not carrying panniers. It'll probably be best to test ride the bikes other some decent hills to get a better idea whether the gears are suitable or not (if the shop will allow that).

One more thing to throw into the mix, you do have options for other frame materials e.g. steel or titanium. I only mention this because these materials can offer a little more ride comfort as compared to carbon - but that's another whole can of worms to open up...

£2000 will give you a lot of flexibility, in terms of choice - so take your time!

I was always advised to get a decent frame and the best wheels you could afford, then build up from there. Some of the wheels which come as standard aren't really going to add much to the quality of the ride.

Good Luck

:D

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Post by John Sanderson » 24 Feb 2013 13:34

I'd second the comments about Bontrager, I'd never buy their wheels again.

I would recommend 105 though, used it for years with no complaints.
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Post by Dave Cox » 24 Feb 2013 22:37

I'm a bit surprised that the "expert" in the bike shop was running down the Specialised Roubaix. It gets good reviews and two club members seem happy with them. I dont know the female specific version but the bike I ride in the States is a Specialised Secteur (much cheaper but similar geometry) and I like that. Seems to me that the Tarmac is much more racing orientated, the Roubaix is more comfortable, upright and designed for day rides, audaxes and sportifs. And for those of us who are less flexible and athletic. Most manufactures (inc Ribble) seem to include a carbon frame with this use in mind but the Roubaix pioneered it.

Currently I am very happy with an Enigma Etape titanium frame, Ultegra group set with triple and Hope + Mavic wheels from Ben at Venture Bikes.

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Post by HAZBRO » 24 Feb 2013 23:18

its all about the paint job!

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Post by Dave Cox » 25 Feb 2013 15:54

Met someone today who is delighted with her Specialized Ruby

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Post by Andy Terry » 25 Feb 2013 16:32

I can recommend Echelon cycles, titanium frames, and Shimano 105.

In my opinion Trek are overpriced and I second what others have said about Bontrager wheels.

And a friend of mine has been happy with his Roubaix.

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Post by diggers » 25 Feb 2013 20:40

Thank you all for taking the time to reply and offer food for thought. I was secretly hoping for corroboration for my Trek inclination to make life easy - but alas that was not to be! Trek wheels have got a right bashing from you guys. I'm a bit surprised as I've scoured the net for reviews on forums/magazines etc. and there has been nothing but praise for these Trek models (despite the disgraced Lance connection!). Bike of the year blah blah. I guess it will come down to the test rides and what feels the best but I will definitely have a go on the Specialized - I too was suprised that he trashed the roubaix/ruby. I'll also check out some of the bike shops suggested to see if any other makes and models seem to fit the bill - including titanium frames which hadn't even occurred to me. This will take longer than I thought...so the trusty Dawes it will be for the Mad March Hare next weekend :D

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Post by Philmondo » 25 Feb 2013 21:07

A brief word in defence of Trek - I had a Trek 1000 with a triple chainset as a do-it-all bike, and it served me brilliantly for years (was still going strong when it got nicked). It was only entry-level with Shimano Sora, but for the money I thought the bike, and especially the frame, were excellent (aluminium with carbon forks). If you're worried about the wheels any bike comes with, you'll probably find most shops will do a deal of some kind on a wheel upgrade anyway. That's what I did, and got Fulcrum Racing 7's instead of the Bontrager wheels. So just to complicate your decision, I wouldn't write Trek off out of hand...
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Post by Clive » 25 Feb 2013 22:47

I too am thinking of buying another/better bike, so have been following this discussion with interest. I will look at Titanium and carbon frames, and would be interested in what people think that have moved from steel to Titanium. I may get one custom made or buy a frame and build my own, not sure yet.

I ride a Dawes Audax supreme 2008 at the moment. Reynolds steel frame, and came with Shimano 105 drive train which I've been very happy with; compact 50/34 chain rings and I've changed the cassette from 12/25 to 12/27 and that suits me just fine. The wheel rims(Alex) disintegrated within 2 years, so I've upgraded to Hope hubs with Mavic open pro rims which seem to be bomb proof.

I think Phillips post is pertinent. I bought my Dawes online for the 20% discount and it arrived in a box for me to assemble myself (fine, that's what I signed up for) . With hindsight and having looked in to my retrospectoscope I would have visited several shops and tried many models and would have had a professional fitting which is offered free at the likes of Epic cycles and Echelon if you make a purchase. Although my Dawes was marketed as their top of the range audax bike, it came with many cheap and inferior components (even the inner tubes failed within a month with the valves parting from the tube - cheap Chinese tat) pedals, saddle, wheel rims all needed replacing fairly quickly. I kick myself for not doing more research, but I bought it in a hurry.

Also, buying online I had problems getting redress for warranty issues. To put it at its politest I struggled to get a satisfactory level of customer service, to the point I was about to file papers in the small claims court. I feel if I had bought locally, I could have spoken face to face and resolved issues far more easily.

Incidentally, I was speaking with someone at the Sunrise that had bought a titanium "own brand" audax bike from the same company and was having problems in that the frame is a Chinese import and badly made and doesn't ride true (apparently one rear drop out is 3 mm out of true to the opposite side {based on the findings and opinions of mechanics and a frame builder}). He too is considering going down the route of court action to get redress.

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Post by AlanW » 26 Feb 2013 06:29

Take a trip up to Brian Rourkes, Stoke on Trent and have a chat with Brain, its well worth the trip, but ring in advance and book an appointment.

HERE

And my personal opinion would be to go for Ultegra, although to be fair 105 is very good, the Ultregra group set will serve you better in the long term.
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 26 Feb 2013 09:20

Clive, for your type of riding the answer is simple: Van Nicholas Yukon. I would advise against steel unless you wish to ride something that has the weight of a battleship. Saying that, Alan is right about Rourke building excellent steel bikes, you'll simply need deep pockets.

Clare, Phil F is correct about swapping the wheels for those constructed by a different manufacturer. You will probably need to pay a balance though.

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Post by Neil Compton » 26 Feb 2013 09:33

My road bike is also the Trek 1000 that Phil F had and it's still going strong. For the money it has been a great bike. I didn't have Bontrager wheels with mine though, i upgraded to Mavic Aksiums and they have been great too.

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Post by AlanW » 26 Feb 2013 09:53

Philip Whiteman wrote: I would advise against steel unless you wish to ride something that has the weight of a battleship.
As a a point of interest, but my Rourkie Reynolds 853 bike is lighter than my Ridley aluminum bike.
Philip Whiteman wrote:...you'll simply need deep pockets.
As is the case with most things in life, quality doesnt come cheap and when compared with stock bikes of a similar specification the price you pay for a custom made frame isnt really that bad.
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Post by laurence_cooley » 26 Feb 2013 09:55

If you can get to Epic Cycles in Ludlow, most of their bikes come with upgraded wheels for the RRP of the bike, or sometimes a little more. I can highly recommend them in terms of customer service, too.

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 26 Feb 2013 09:57

AlanW wrote:
Philip Whiteman wrote: I would advise against steel unless you wish to ride something that has the weight of a battleship.
As a a point of interest, but my Rourkie Reynolds 853 bike is lighter than my Ridley aluminum bike.
Yes, I had your Rourke in mind as an exception to the rule on heavy steel frames. After seeing your mean machine, I did consider the option of purchasing something similar for myself. I'm not sure that helps Diggers though.

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Post by Clive » 26 Feb 2013 10:52

AlanW wrote:
As a a point of interest, but my Rourkie Reynolds 853 bike is lighter than my Ridley aluminum bike.
What does your Rourkie weigh?

My Dawes audax weighs 13.2 Kg - that's for the road complete with rear rack, lights, computer, pump. Is that heavy, about average, I don't really know?

I see the van Nicholas Yukon weighs 8.34Kg, plus adds ons I guess.

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 26 Feb 2013 11:00

To be honest, I have not actually weighed the bike in total although the frame weight is correct. If you are riding the New Cheltenham Flyer, you will be able to see for yourself. I have used Ksyrium SL wheels for strength and weight. So, it is not to bad. The unnecessary weight comes with the extra gubbins of a seat pack and a light weight pannier rack for use on super-randonee. It's profile is ideal for distance in excess of 200km, though it does have some poke when required, eg. at an average speed of 40kph over 15km when riding like a lunatic to visit A&E.

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Post by AlanW » 26 Feb 2013 11:24

Clive wrote:
AlanW wrote:
As a a point of interest, but my Rourkie Reynolds 853 bike is lighter than my Ridley aluminum bike.
What does your Rourkie weigh?
In truth I cannot remember exactly, but 10 Kg (22lb) seems to ring about true, thats with proper mudguards, pump, set pack (2 x tubes/levers) and GPS
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Post by Martin Sketchley » 26 Feb 2013 12:07

I bought a Cannondale Synapse 105 (aluminium) just over a year ago as my first road bike. Can't fault it. A comfortable ride and takes mudguards for the winter. The only thing I've upgraded from the original spec so far is the tyres.

There are many bike shops around but I'd certainly recommend On Your Bike in Digbeth. If you go there, tell them I sent you.

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Post by Clive » 26 Feb 2013 14:26

Philip Whiteman wrote:If you are riding the New Cheltenham Flyer, you will be able to see for yourself.

The unnecessary weight comes with the extra gubbins of a seat pack and a light weight pannier rack for use on super-randonee. It's profile is ideal for distance in excess of 200km, though it does have some poke when required, eg. at an average speed of 40kph over 15km when riding like a lunatic to visit A&E.
+1 for the New Cheltenham flyer

I need to review the extra weight I carry really. On long rides I carry an old pannier pack with spare tyre and chain which I've never used, chain tool, 3 inner tubes, tool kit, pump batteries, food, waterproofs, small first aid kit.

It's strange, when I started cycling I did so as a secondary sport/hobby to keep/get fit for mountaineering trips, and I used to carry extra weight in a rucksack. Now I'm looking to reduce weight to cycle better and faster.

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 26 Feb 2013 15:30

Clive wrote: It's strange, when I started cycling I did so as a secondary sport/hobby to keep/get fit for mountaineering trips, and I used to carry extra weight in a rucksack. Now I'm looking to reduce weight to cycle better and faster.
Are you sure about that or was it walking partners stashing granite boulders in your bag to slow you down? :wink: A good little trick assuming you can get away with it.

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Post by Clive » 26 Feb 2013 16:45

Philip Whiteman wrote: Are you sure about that or was it walking partners stashing granite boulders in your bag to slow you down? :wink: A good little trick assuming you can get away with it.
Yes I've had that done to me, but fair enough as I've done it to others.

I will add extra weight myself if training for a long, arduous or high altitude trip where packs have to be carried. containers of water are best for ascent training as they can be emptied prior to descent to save on knees. something not really done in cycling I guess?
Last edited by Clive on 26 Feb 2013 16:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by WorcsPhil » 26 Feb 2013 16:48

Many good recommendations here, and can back up the comments from Philip and Laurence in that Epic, Echelon and Cult Racing are good choices for this issue (Speeds not mentioned in this breath?...er...no).

Had test rides from Epic in Ludlow and Echelon in Pershore and decided on Epic, who undertook a 2 hour bike fit and had clear concerns to make sure the bike suited my needs...i.e. did not recommend a pro-fit bike for the sake of it.

Good luck, Diggers. If nothing else it's great fun testing out and deciding/researching new bikes.

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Post by AlanW » 26 Feb 2013 17:52

AlanW wrote: In truth I cannot remember exactly, but 10 Kg (22lb) seems to ring about true
Just looked in my little black book and I stand corrected, the Rourkie is actually a whisker over 20lb, with the Ridley at 21.25lb
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Post by Clive » 26 Feb 2013 19:18

20lb, about or just over 9.0Kg

That's really light for a steel bike, and really takes weight out of the equation when comparing steel vs titanium.

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Post by CakeStop » 26 Feb 2013 21:49

Generalising about frame materials is perhaps misleading especially when it comes to weight apart maybe from recognising that if you want the lightest possible frame it'll likely end up being carbon. There are plenty of reasonably priced light steel frames available these days, I don't think there's much difference in weight between my 725 steel frame (2kg) and my ti frame (never weighed) and any difference wouldn't be terribly significant once you've added another 7kg or so of other bits plus say 1.5kg spares, tools & water and of course you're own weight.

When buying a ti frame most people would have other things in mind such as a bike for life, maybe made to measure, comfort on long rides, a bit of light touring etc etc. You could also find all those things in steel. If on the other hand you want a lively, fun ride you're more likely to find that in carbon but that's not to say that a good carbon frame that fits well will be any less comfortable.
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Post by Pedlo Mudguardo » 27 Feb 2013 15:11

Hi Claire,

If you're passing pop in and see me at Bike Pro in Kings Heath. We mainly stock Giant who's carbon bikes generally have a very good reputation and now also a lifetime warranty on the frame.

Their women specific carbon bikes are called the Avail and there are six models available ranging from £1249 up to £4999. We have a long history as a Giant dealer and I can vouch for their excellent attitude to warranty and general quality.

There are certain bikes where I can arrange an extended test ride should that be useful.

If you want to pop in for a chat or just some advice you are more than welcome.

Nic.

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Post by laurence_cooley » 28 Feb 2013 08:34

There's a review of the Specialized Roubaix, as part of the Cycling Plus's 2013 Bike Of The Year feature, here.

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Post by Dave Cox » 28 Feb 2013 17:40

Good still want one although with Ultegra

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Post by diggers » 03 Mar 2013 18:23

Thanks Nic. I may well try the giant. Saw that the defy advanced 2 got bike of the year in cycling plus.

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Post by Jane Herrin » 04 Mar 2013 18:59

I'm with Alan.

I have just ordered a new Rourke which will be my third. I have found a custom built bike to be better than an off the peg one.

The cost is a little higher but I will have a bike that fits me and I have been able to choose all the components and have the frame finished in a colour scheme of my choice. It might even have my name on the top tube if I fancy it.

In my experience Brian will design a bike to suit the intended purpose and not try to sell an over specified machine and, when building a complete bike, he is able to supply components at a competative price giving very good overall value.

And, a trip up to Rourkies is always a pleasure (but check that Brian is going to be in the shop before you leap in the car to rush up there because he doesn't work every day).

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Post by Clive » 04 Mar 2013 19:24

I shall take a trip to Rourkies too. I'm genuinely interested because I will be buying a new bike next spring probably, given that Alan said his bike is only about 9Kg.

If you don't mind me asking, what roughly does a custom made bike cost? my Dawes, once I got rid of the junk and fitted decent wheels, saddle, pedals etc was close on £1400. I feel for that amount, or possibly a little more I could buy a custom made to measure pride and joy.

Also keen on looking at titanium frames, and will be off to Echelon later this week perhaps to look at Van Nicholas ones.

I was thinking about buying a Spa Cycles own brand titanium audax frame, but have had negative feedback from someone recently who is very disappointed with his.
Last edited by Clive on 05 Mar 2013 09:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dweben » 04 Mar 2013 19:35

Missed this thread! I got my new Spesh Roubaix last week and took for a whizz on Sunday. It's quite nice! Replaced the stock wheels as they weighed a ton. Don't think it's a rubbish bike despite what that shop said. :P

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Post by Pedlo Mudguardo » 04 Mar 2013 19:58

I hope you tightened that headset Paul, it's keeping me awake at night !

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Post by keith » 04 Mar 2013 22:38

One the same run I took my newly purchased Madone 4.7. It climbed to rays farm like a mountain goat. It does have the Bontrager wheels which I will up grade, but only because wheels on an off the peg job are never as good as the frame etc. But far from junking them they're going on my other bike for LEJOG this summer. Most people would say the it is better to spend money on better wheels rather than gears, However people change wheels all the time but many never get round to changing the group set. When reviewing the top 40 bikes Cycling plus did say there was not a bad bike amongst the lot.
For my part after my last frame broke I needed a new bike in a hurry just as well, as I fear I may of dithered for months. Good luck with your choice

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Post by Grogz » 05 Mar 2013 09:28

Clive wrote:...If you don't mind me asking, what roughly does a custom made bike cost? ...
Frameset prices here: http://www.rourke.biz/custom_framesets.php

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Post by laurence_cooley » 05 Mar 2013 09:38

Grogz wrote:Frameset prices here: http://www.rourke.biz/custom_framesets.php
Wow, Sean Kelly's Rourke is a sight for sore eyes. Very nice.

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Post by Ed Moss » 05 Mar 2013 11:00

One day I'll own a bike with chrome rear stays.....

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Post by keith » 05 Mar 2013 13:17

Grogz wrote:
Clive wrote:...If you don't mind me asking, what roughly does a custom made bike cost? ...
Frameset prices here: http://www.rourke.biz/custom_framesets.php
Now see what you've done! mind you the hooks that my bikes hang from come in packs of six,so i've got 2 left :roll:

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Post by HAZBRO » 05 Mar 2013 18:11

bloody hell do you lot get a new bike every year because i thought the country was in the mist of a recession crisis!

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Post by HAZBRO » 05 Mar 2013 18:13

dweben wrote:Missed this thread! I got my new Spesh Roubaix last week and took for a whizz on Sunday. It's quite nice! Replaced the stock wheels as they weighed a ton. Don't think it's a rubbish bike despite what that shop said. :P

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theres one thing I can guarentee paul, that handlebar tape wont be the same colour this time next year!

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Post by laurence_cooley » 05 Mar 2013 18:17

HAZBRO wrote:theres one thing I can guarentee paul, that handlebar tape wont be the same colour this time next year!
It stands a better chance if you keep the bike rubber side down.

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Post by AlanW » 05 Mar 2013 18:23

Grogz wrote: Frameset prices here: http://www.rourke.biz/custom_framesets.php
If you go to the gallery section, then open up the 'Hot Out The Oven' folder, on lines 4 & 5 are five pictures of my frame!

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Post by deero83 » 20 Mar 2013 11:02

Oooooh, I too quite fancy the idea of a Rourke (especially being from Stoke originally myself).

Would someone who has bought one mind telling me how much extra I would be looking at for, say, a 105/Ultegra groupset and decent finishing kit (stem etc) on top of the frameset price? Or is it something I should be saving for really treating myself?!

My Charge Filter I am riding at the moment is driving me mad due to the front derailleur being utter rubbish - H screw has fallen out twice now of its own accord and have had trouble shifting the front cogs on and off since buying the thing. Having got it from Wiggle at a huge discount, their Ts & Cs said I couldnt send it back (now I know why!) and Northfield Cycles fobbed me off with a new bottom bracket for some reason which seems to really have made no difference. Oh and the brakes are rubbish cantilevers!

Having said that, I do like the steel frame the Charge has.

Because it's such a poor groupset on my Charge, I am slightly put off Shimano. Are Campag any good or should I stick with what I know?

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AlanW
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Post by AlanW » 20 Mar 2013 17:03

deero83 wrote: Would someone who has bought one mind telling me how much extra I would be looking at for, say, a 105/Ultegra groupset and decent finishing kit (stem etc) on top of the frameset price? Or is it something I should be saving for really treating myself?!
I seem to recall that mine came to around £2600 (?), the full spec:-

Frame material - Reynolds ‘853’ steel tubing.
Size – Custom made, seat tube 52.5cm (c to c), top tube 53.5cm (c to c)
Frame serial number – ****.
Colour - Red/white & titanium grey.
Headset – Cane Creek, S3, with S8 stainless steel bearings.
Forks – ITM 4ever, 1 1/8” carbon fibre c/w mudguard eyes.
Groupset – Shimano Ultegra 10sp, triple chainset, 30/39/52, 172.5mm cranks.
Bottom bracket – Hope, Ceramic, red.
Chain – Shimano Ultegra, 10sp.
Handlebars – Deda Newton 31, 31.8mm, 42cm (c to c.)
Handlebar stem – Deda Newton 31, 11cm.
Seatpost - Ritchey WCS, carbon fibre.
Saddle – Selle Italia, SLR Gel Flow, black.
Wheels – Shimano RS80.
Innertubes - Continental Race 28 Supersonic, 60mm valve, 700 x 18/25C.
Cassette – Shimano Ultegra, 12/23 or 12/25.
Tyres – Continental Grand Prix 4000S, 700 x 23mm.
Bottle cages – Elite, Ciussi Inox x 2.
Pedals – Shimano SPD A600 or Look Keo “Sprint”.
Mudguards – SKS, P35 c/w mudflap, black.
Pump – Lezyne Road Drive Mini ABS Pump, medium, white.
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deero83
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Post by deero83 » 20 Mar 2013 22:47

Hmm... Possibly about £1000 out of my price range for my next bike I think!

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Post by laurence_cooley » 20 Mar 2013 23:10

deero83 wrote:Hmm... Possibly about £1000 out of my price range for my next bike I think!
If you want a steel frame with 105 in that kind of price range, then I can highly recommend a Genesis Equilibrium.

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Post by Clive » 21 Mar 2013 13:20

£2600 seems very reasonable for a custom made bike of that spec with good quality components.

My "off the peg" Dawes 2008 audax with Shimano 105 gearing was £900, but once I had fitted a proper saddle, pedals, stem, seat post, BB, hand built wheel set, better tyres and tubes it was around £1600.

I'm going to go and look at Rourke for my next bike. still tied between Titanium and lightweight steel though.

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