£800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
LollyKat
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby LollyKat » 16 Jul 2018, 10:26pm

Is there room to keep 2 bikes? If so your partner could continue using the MTB for everything except commuting, for which she could get something faster and nippier - I was going to say a "road" bike but I think she'll want mudguards for your part of the world. Look out for toe overlap.

If you can only have one bike, consider a tourer with two sets of wheels - light ones for the commute and heavier ones for roughstuff and touring. A well-designed steel touring frame built for rim brakes rather than discs can give a great ride both laden and unladen. And it doesn't need to weigh 15kg.

If money is an issue for whatever reason, have a look second-hand.

belgiangoth
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby belgiangoth » 17 Jul 2018, 12:19am

SPA Ti Audax, get (one of those monowheel) trailers for loaded touring. OR buy through cycle to work or second hand and get both; in fact the "two bikes" is the better approach, one £1,600 trying to do two very different jobs will not be as good as two £1,000 bikes that each specialise in one particular discipline. They can spread the cost by buying the one they will use most of the time and then buy the tourer before they go touring.

Your partner has the typical chicken and egg issue. It's not worth buying the more expensive bike if you don't ride it, but you're more likely to ride the better bike (and the cheaper bike will be a colossal waste of cash if it gets used enough to justify buying the more expensive one).
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

Tangled Metal
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Jul 2018, 8:36am

belgiangoth wrote:Your partner has the typical chicken and egg issue. It's not worth buying the more expensive bike if you don't ride it, but you're more likely to ride the better bike (and the cheaper bike will be a colossal waste of cash if it gets used enough to justify buying the more expensive one).

You've nailed her dilemma better than I have.

Add in that it's not worth buying a specialist touring bike when it's only used for loaded touring 2 weeks a year at the moment. Better to get a bike for 90% of her riding. Of course then you've got limitations touring. Perhaps the inappropriate bike for touring will affect your enjoyment of the tour.

Mind you a broken FD stuck in big ring didn't stop me enjoying a hilly tour once. The uphill bits were hard especially with an overloaded, single wheel trailer. I saw it as a challenge and I like them. Plus my commute times got a bit boost when I got home. Still haven't managed to beat them. My point is it can cope because a tour is about being there, wherever there is. Bike is compulsory but not the most important part of a tour.

I think a lot has to be said about older bikes were probably more generalist in what they suited. One bike for commuting, touring, racing and a bit of off road too. I guessing a proper touring bike is closest to that general bike than other bike categories. It's the same mentality as turning an old steel mtb rigid bike into a tourer. A tough bike does a lot more.

Brucey
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Brucey » 17 Jul 2018, 9:14am

cross-check will do everything you need.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alan O
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Alan O » 17 Jul 2018, 9:54am

Just a couple of thoughts...
Tangled Metal wrote:Better to get a bike for 90% of her riding. Of course then you've got limitations touring. Perhaps the inappropriate bike for touring will affect your enjoyment of the tour.

As it happens, for me, the kind of bike that suits 90% of my riding is a touring bike (even without actually any loaded touring) :)

Tangled Metal wrote:Mind you a broken FD stuck in big ring didn't stop me enjoying a hilly tour once.

On the off chance it should happen again and you can't adjust the limit screws to set it it for one specific chain ring, remove the FD and manually move the chain?

Tangled Metal
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Jul 2018, 10:03am

Good idea but tbh it's good exercise. Resistance training on the bike. Worked my legs and his cardio too. Not efficient cadence though.

Spa cycles, what is their steel tourer like without a load? There's an opinion tourers are happiest when loaded but not so good without load. I guess that's in responsiveness and handling. I really am not sure never having ridden a proper touring bike. How much slower than a 9kg road or 12kg hybrid bike? Does it feel more sluggish?

PH
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby PH » 17 Jul 2018, 10:35am

Tangled Metal wrote:Summer tours scuppers the simple road going hybrid bike that would probably suit most riding.

Can't you just take the two weeks a year touring out of the equation because the existing bike will cover it?
My partner has had an 8 year mtb that's been very reliable. Very comfortable.

Brucey
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Brucey » 17 Jul 2018, 10:42am

ahem; you can quite easily build up an all-rounder like the cross-check to be under 10kg and it isn't built in heavy-duty tubing so it rides well without a load on. However unlike a typical audax bike it will accept fatter tyres that are more suitable for touring on.

A '12kg tourer' is mostly heavier than a road bike because of the racks, mudguards, heavier tyres, heavy wheels etc etc etc. A touring frameset is typically only ~1lb heavier than an all-rounder (like the cross check) that is built in similar materials. It is bound to ride differently because it has different geometry.

I would quite happily load up an all rounder (esp in small sizes) with a middling load for a two week tour; sensible wheels (light enough to be nice to ride on unladen, strong enough to take a modest load) need only to be fitted with slightly heavier tyres.

I don't think that (unladen) folk are liable to be very much slower on a suitably equipped touring machine but it is arguably overkill for the needs described.

cheers
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Alan O
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Alan O » 17 Jul 2018, 10:43am

Tangled Metal wrote:Good idea but tbh it's good exercise. Resistance training on the bike. Worked my legs and his cardio too. Not efficient cadence though.

Spa cycles, what is their steel tourer like without a load? There's an opinion tourers are happiest when loaded but not so good without load. I guess that's in responsiveness and handling. I really am not sure never having ridden a proper touring bike. How much slower than a 9kg road or 12kg hybrid bike? Does it feel more sluggish?

If I were considering a new bike, the Spa steel tourer would be near the top of my list - but I've never ridden one, so I'll also be interested to hear from anyone who has.

Not sure my own experience is any help, and it is the experience of someone who weighs 90kg, but my main bike is a 1980s Raleigh Royal 531ST steel tourer. It has cantilever brakes and lugs for front and rear panniers, though I've only used it with rear panniers. I use it essentially for day rides of typically 40-70 miles, and it's usually lightly loaded with just a rear top bag (though there's usually a couple of kg of tools and food in it). I use 32mm tyres on it, currently Gatorskins (and I have a second pair of wheels with Marathons). I've ridden it with no bag too, and it's always felt good to me, even with relatively high tyre pressure on roads - 80/70 in the Gatorskins, which is probably on the high side for 32mm.

The only bike I can compare it with is my 531c steel road bike (which I've actually loaded up with panniers and fitted with fatter tyres and gone on short tours with before now). That weighs 10.1kg with skinny wheels and 25mm GP4000 tyres, and I usually ride it with just one 750ml water bottle and a small tool bag under the saddle. The 531c steel frame is lighter and feels more vibrant, and it definitely does feel a bit more responsive and I can accelerate a bit better - but really not by much.

Overall, especially for longer day rides, I prefer the feel of the tourer even when unladen. My body weight obviously means neither bike can ever be as unladen as one ridden by a lighter person, but I hope these thoughts might be useful.

LollyKat
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby LollyKat » 17 Jul 2018, 11:18am

Tangled Metal wrote:Spa cycles, what is their steel tourer like without a load? There's an opinion tourers are happiest when loaded but not so good without load.

I've just built up this frame with parts from an Audax bike and unloaded it is fantastic. See my review here. For heavy touring you could get some stronger wheels and still be well under £1600.

PH
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby PH » 17 Jul 2018, 11:32am

Brucey wrote:A '12kg tourer' is mostly heavier than a road bike because of the racks, mudguards, heavier tyres, heavy wheels etc etc etc. A touring frameset is typically only ~1lb heavier than an all-rounder (like the cross check) that is built in similar materials.
cheers

This and LollyKat's experience.
There was so little difference between my Hewitt Tourer and SOMA audax type bike (When built up comparably) that I sold one - Though it took me two years to decide which :oops:
It is bound to ride differently because it has different geometry.

That was also my experience of the above two bikes, the SOMA was lovely to ride and always felt faster, but the numbers said otherwise, there was rarely anything in it.

gxaustin
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby gxaustin » 29 Jul 2018, 9:53pm

"Hi, Can you tell me how much a complete Cross Check bicycle weighs?"
Asked by Victoria 10 days ago
Add your answer
Verified Reply - Graham
"A 54 Cross Check weighs approx 24.5 pounds" (or 11kg in the new money - without pedals?)

pwa
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby pwa » 29 Jul 2018, 10:55pm

£1600 isn't much for something that could last a decade or more. Compare that with what you would spend on a holiday and it seems quite reasonable. If you expect to be living with the bike for a long time spending a bit more makes sense. Upto about two grand. Beyond that it becomes a bit fetishy, with expensive options that don't add much to the ride.

Brucey
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Brucey » 29 Jul 2018, 10:59pm

~11kg is the standard Cross-check build from the factory.

Starting with a bare frame you can build lighter than that without a lot of effort, and still come in at a reasonable cost. The net result will probably be a bike that is a bit less versatile though.

cheers
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Alan O
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Re: £800 or £1600 bike, what will you notice really?

Postby Alan O » 30 Jul 2018, 9:29am

pwa wrote:£1600 isn't much for something that could last a decade or more. Compare that with what you would spend on a holiday and it seems quite reasonable. If you expect to be living with the bike for a long time spending a bit more makes sense. Upto about two grand. Beyond that it becomes a bit fetishy, with expensive options that don't add much to the ride.

I don't think the length of time something lasts is a good measure of its value - the complexity, the cost of materials and labour, etc, surely make the biggest difference. For example, I've still got some cutlery which belonged to my grandfather and must be at least 60 years old - but I wouldn't pay £1,600 for a spoon.