Alternative to Galaxy

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
johnnyhamster
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Alternative to Galaxy

Postby johnnyhamster » 2 Oct 2012, 1:30pm

I've hankered after a Dawes Galaxy for over thirty years, and finally find myself financially able to afford one. However, still being a complete tightwad, I'm trying to find a bike I can purchase on my workplaces bike purchase scheme which has an upper limit of £1000. Discounts not allowed, the Galaxy currently goes for £1200 mrp but my bike shop is reluctant to let me pay the difference in cash as they've had problems with this in the past, as with the Cycle Purchase Scheme you're effectively leasing the bike for a year before becoming the owner. On the plus side, it works out at a discount of over 30%.

Can anyone suggest an alternative to a Galaxy that's under a grand full price ? The bike shop have suggested a Horizon Plus at £900 which is a possible, but would be interested to know what else is out there. Of course I could just pay the full £1200 out of my own pocket, but I'm a Yorkshireman - enough said!
In the past I've ridden a Claud Butler Majestic until it got stolen ten years ago, I'm now riding a Dawes Stirling Tour alloy frame with butterfly bars(don't really like them tbh). My typical usage daily 20 minute commute plus weekend outings of up to 50-60 miles. Possibly overnight camping with small tent next summer. I'm 49 and 6ft tall, Hampshire based for what it's worth.

Thanks in anticipation :-)

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honesty
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby honesty » 2 Oct 2012, 1:44pm

The most obvious ones to me are the Claud Butler Dalesman, the Ridgeback Panorama, and the Raleigh Sojourn. These range from £1100 to £1300 but you will probably be able to pick up last years model (the 2012 model, as most manufacturers will be or have already bought out their 2013 range) with a big discount on it and still get them on the cycle scheme. There are other ones from other manufacturers but these are the ones that come to mind. All of these companies do versions of their bikes that come in at under a grand as well, Dawes do the Horizon plus (and others), Claud Bulter do the Regent, Ridgeback is the Voyage, and Raheigh its the Royal. These bikes range from £500 to £900.

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georgew
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby georgew » 2 Oct 2012, 4:26pm

In my opinion, and I've owned many Dawes touring bikes as well as custom-made tourers, you would do better looking at the Surly LHT.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Brooks-Imperial ... =Froogle02

This bike comes in at under £1000 and has a frame which is altogether better designed for touring. The wheels too I've found have been built to a good standard and I would recommend the bike as an ideal touring machine.

broadway
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby broadway » 2 Oct 2012, 4:46pm

georgew wrote:In my opinion, and I've owned many Dawes touring bikes as well as custom-made tourers, you would do better looking at the Surly LHT.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Brooks-Imperial ... =Froogle02

This bike comes in at under £1000 and has a frame which is altogether better designed for touring. The wheels too I've found have been built to a good standard and I would recommend the bike as an ideal touring machine.


Maybe some insght into why you think the LHT is better would assist the OP.

johnnyhamster
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby johnnyhamster » 2 Oct 2012, 6:15pm

Thanks to all who've responded so far. The Surly is indeed a nice looking bike so any more info on the LHT would be most welcome.
I've never heard of them, one reason I posted on this forum was find out what's out there - most bike shops round me tend not to stock much in the way of traditional tourers.

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honesty
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby honesty » 2 Oct 2012, 6:49pm

The ones I've put above are the ones you're more likely to find in a shop in the uk but there are others. Cube for example, or Genesis. Having talked about the cycle scheme with my local shop (I run the one for work) the shop is happier to give a big discount on a bike and have people pay for it (or even go on finance) than going through cycle schemes as they pay a big (10%?) fee on any bike bought through It. May be worth looking into...

Big T
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby Big T » 2 Oct 2012, 7:40pm

http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/b ... ring-bikes

A few there within your budget. Kona Sutra seems to get good reviews. Evans do interest free credit, so on a sale bike you are getting almsot as good a deal as with the CTW scheme. I have a Ridgeback Panorama, which is a nice bike but outside your price range. My wife has a Dawes Horizon, which is also a nice bike but a bit on the heavy side. It's a couple of pounds heavier than my Panorama, mainly due to a heavier frame - Reynolds 520 v 725.
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Gearoidmuar
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby Gearoidmuar » 2 Oct 2012, 8:48pm

You've hankered after a Galaxy, but a Galaxy, which I had for 13 years is just a bike. Mine eventually cracked at the rear driveside dropout. I'd done a lot of touring on it. They are strong stable bikes but are no better than what you have. If you don't like the bars you can change them! I like bullhorn bars best for touring.
I've had 5 touring bikes in my time as well as three MTBs which I've adapted for touring. The setup of the bike and the strength of the rear wheel are FAR more important than the make of the bike.
Save your money!

vjosullivan
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby vjosullivan » 2 Oct 2012, 9:34pm

johnnyhamster wrote:I've hankered after a Dawes Galaxy for over thirty years, and finally find myself financially able to afford one. However, still being a complete tightwad...

There are certainly other bikes (both better and worse) but if, after thirty years, you do get one of them you'll never get rid of the nagging feeling that you should have gone for the Galaxy. In this case, I'd say to follow your heart not your head.
E25

dougie
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby dougie » 2 Oct 2012, 10:27pm

Is the Cycle to Work scheme a bit of a red herring here?

A bike like the Dawes Galaxy (a fine bike) will last for many years, surely the cost will average out to become very little over the lifespan of the bike?

Nearly there... one more thing... I can't remember the name but there is a small bike supplier in Shefford, Bedfordshire. He has a small number of models including a Galaxy type tourer, each one built to order and reasonably priced. I'm sure someone will be able to recall the name better than me. Might be worth checking out.

Hope that helps.

The Mechanic
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby The Mechanic » 3 Oct 2012, 8:23am

That is ByerCycles. Check them out on www.byercycles.co.uk

Their frames are called Aravis and you can get touring and audax versions. I have the audax version with a horizontal top tube. I believe they now have sloping top tubes. I have had mine for 5 years and it is a joy to ride. I have done lots of audaxes, toured with full camping kit and done LEJOG on it.
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georgew
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby georgew » 3 Oct 2012, 10:25am

broadway wrote:
georgew wrote:In my opinion, and I've owned many Dawes touring bikes as well as custom-made tourers, you would do better looking at the Surly LHT.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Brooks-Imperial ... =Froogle02

This bike comes in at under £1000 and has a frame which is altogether better designed for touring. The wheels too I've found have been built to a good standard and I would recommend the bike as an ideal touring machine.


Maybe some insght into why you think the LHT is better would assist the OP.


Fine.
When I say that the frame is better designed for touring I mean that it has a longer Head-tube and the frame angles seem to be perfect for loaded touring. The longer Head-tube brings the height of the bars up to the level of the seat (usually the preferred touring position) without the use of too many disfiguring stem spacers. The frame angles are I think, perfect for touring in that they provide a stable, secure and comfortable ride when the bike is loaded and would seem to follow the precepts articulated by Tony Oliver in his book about frame-building.
I've now built up two of these frames and can confirm that while no lightweights, (not a disadvantage in my view when talking about touring machines) they are well-made and come with the BB shell already faced and the head-tube reamed. The wheels supplied with the bike are of good quality and seemed to be strong and properly built, and this I see as important in that I regard the wheels as the most important part of a touring bike. The Surly LHT has for some time been regarded as the bench-mark for touring bikes in the USA and is seen as offering remarkable value for the price which seems to be modest when compared to the Dawes offerings.

As has been said, Byres cycles, while perhaps more expensive than the Surly, should be considered. Unlike the Surly and similar to most touring frames, they do appear to derive from road frame designs rather than being designed as a touring frame from the ground up (as does the Spa touring frame). These use the same frames as Hewitt's range and are very well constructed and are cheaper. The wheels are built in-house and are solidly made and the finished product is of high quality.

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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby 531colin » 3 Oct 2012, 11:49am

Tony Oliver......71 deg head 2 1/8" to 2 1/4" offset.
Spa ...............71 deg head 54mm offset
2012 Galaxy.....71 to 72 deg head 54mm offset (I didn't realise Dawes had gone back to changing the geometry with the size... :roll: ** )
I can't get on Surly's site just now, from memory the 700c Trucker is 72 deg head and 45mm offset

For a reference, Spa's Audax is 72 deg, 45mm offset.

** I'm sadder and wiser now!

EDIT....interesting.......Dawes site now (November) says all Galaxies have the same head angle??
Last edited by 531colin on 22 Nov 2012, 7:45am, edited 1 time in total.

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georgew
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby georgew » 3 Oct 2012, 3:06pm

The LHT is 72 deg head and 45mm offset so you're spot on. This is maintained throughout the sizes offered.
I have another build of one of these for a friend coming up shortly and am looking forward to it. There's something very satisfying in building a new bike even if it's not ones own.

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bigjim
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Re: Alternative to Galaxy

Postby bigjim » 3 Oct 2012, 6:03pm

The Dawes Galaxy you lusted after all those years ago is a very different animal today. There are a lot of tourers out there now and I think the Galaxy is overpriced and using it's excellent history and charisma to justify that.