Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
simonhill
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby simonhill » 5 Jan 2017, 10:15am

I would aim for buying new wheels when you have worn (out?) the original ones. You say you want to ride fairly light and unless you weigh a ton, I am sure they will do the job, especially after a tune up.

I think people can get too fixated on always having the best (or the best advice). I'd save your money for high quality camping gear.

About 15 years ago I bought a cheap steel framed MTB with 32 spoke wheels. My LBS retensioned the wheels and I rode it many thou kms all over Asia with no problems. My current bike was built for me so I specified Sputniks with 36 spokes, again tens of thou kms with no problems.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Ivor Tingting » 8 Jan 2017, 12:56am

reohn2 wrote:
overlander wrote:It gets even worse, they have "upgraded" the panorama to disc brakes. What a disaster this will be for them, the panorama has been a great value tourer for years. All I can think off is they have hired someone who has never done a tour in their life and let them spec the bike. I am now going to look for the final touring panorama 2016 model and buy it.


TBH there are far more fundamental issues with that model than disc brakes,steep seatube angles and cheap end hubs to name two,not to mention the external BB chainset :? .
There's pros and cons for any brake system but IME discs and specifically cable discs are better stoppers in all weathers than V's on a tourer.
Of course there's a risk of bending a rotor if the bike's being handled by others,but they're easily straightened and a spare rotor(or even two) weighs little and is safe slid down the stiffened back of a pannier should you worry about a one get really bent out of shape.I have a friend who simply removes his disc rotors when flying and has replaced the torx bolts with SS allen bolts.
There's much talk of harsh stiff forks on disc equipped bikes but TBH any fork on a tourer capable of taking front pannier are more than likely to be stiff anyway.
The pluses of discs far out weigh rim brakes every time on a tourer IMO.


Have to wholeheartedly agree. Having to replace split cracked worn out rims as rim brake pads have worn through the braking surface means a new wheel or set of wheels which is very costly and inconvenient, not to mention finding some one locally who you know nothing of to build you a new wheel which won't fall apart within 30 miles down the road, track, path. Disc brakes are far superior by a massive margin in all departments. If you ride lots of miles every day whether commuting or just getting about or you are partaking on a long tour i.e. RTW you don't want to have to be trying to get a new wheel where ever you are broken down. It could prove very inconvenient expensive and a very long walk home. So wheels with disc brakes do not suffer worn out rims and are far superior in terms of performance. Carrying several replacement sets of disc brake pads or indeed a spare rotor takes up very little space. In any case most bike shops around the world stock Shimano so will have replacement Shimano disc brake pads and rotors so you could even leave your spares at home.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

simonhill
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby simonhill » 8 Jan 2017, 11:06am

I'd like to question the assumption that you constantly need to replace your rims when using rim brakes. A slight exaggeration, I think.

I have Sputniks on my LHT and have just replaced the rear wheel after 4 and bit years. I reckon between 15 and 20 thousand kms touring, mainly in Asia plus about 10 thousand local stuff in the UK.

I just swapped wheels with another bike, so haven't had the old one rebuilt yet, but the rim is about £20, the hub and maybe the spokes are reusable and my LBS hardly charge for a rebuild if I buy the bits from them. Hardly an arm and a leg to pay out.

Like any bit of touring gear, always check for wear before you go. If you are daft enough to set out on a long tour with a well worn rim, then yes you will need to replace. Same goes for tyres, chain, etc.

I have nothing against discs. Just like I don't have anything against Rolhoff gears, but I remember when we were being regularly told that by spending xxx hundred pounds on a gear hub, we could save on all those costly chains and cassettes.

reohn2
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby reohn2 » 8 Jan 2017, 11:54am

simonhill wrote:I'd like to question the assumption that you constantly need to replace you rims when using rim brakes. A slight exaggeration, I think.

I have Sputniks on my LHT and have just replaced the rear wheel after 4 and bit years. I reckon between 15 and 20 thousand kms touring, mainly in Asia plus about 10 thousand local stuff in the UK.

I just swapped wheels with another bike, so haven't had the old one rebuilt yet, but the rim is about £20, the hub and maybe the spokes are reusable and my LBS hardly charge for a rebuild if I buy the bits from them. Hardly an arm and a leg to pay out.

Like any bit of touring gear, always check for wear before you go. If you are daft enough to set out on a long tour with a well worn rim, then yes you will need to replace. Same goes for tyres, chain, etc.

I think there's pros and cons to any system,it's what works best for the individual.
In the case of rim brakes you have the most robust heavy duty touring rims on the market with a braking surface thickness of approx 1.9mm and weigh 670g,and are are designed for heavy fully loaded 'expedition' touring.
Some people however prefer a lighter rim and lighter loads,to pick a middle of the road rim(forgetting price for the moment)Mavic 719's have a brake surface thickness of 1.4mm and weigh 570g.
I've found the safe margin for changing touring rims is between 0.9 and 1.0mm,so that 0.5mm difference in wall thickness between a standard touring such as the 719 and a heavy duty Sputnik equates to around 15k Km by your Sputnik lifespan(which I agree with BTW as I've found 16 to 20k miles(approx 30k Km) to be about right for Sputniks when I used them for heavier touring).
But one thing that initially sold me on discs was all weather stopping which is a constant wet or dry discs perform the same ie ;blo@@y good.Add to that no rim wear,pad wear is far less than rim pad wear,especially in UK winter weather conditions,a cleaner bike in bad/wet/mucky conditions and disc brake ability to just keep on keeping on,all of which adds up to less maintenance.
I'm not going to go into the stiff fork debate as a fork on a touring capable of carrying front panniers is as stiff as a disc brake fork anyway and TBH it's only lightweight forks that have any give in them anyway,big supple tyres run at low TP's take care of front end comfort and narrow HP tyres aren't in my remit any longer.
The vulnerable side of discs are the rotors but has stated up thread they weigh and cost very little,so carrying a spare or even two won't weigh you down,plus unless your in the back of beyond(dare I mention Outer Mongolia :shock: ) rotors are available at any LBS that sells MTB stuff,even Halfords stock them :) .


I have nothing against discs. Just like I don't have anything against Rolhoff gears, but I remember when we were being regularly told that by spending xxx hundred pounds on a gear hub, we could save on all those costly chains and cassettes.

It's what suits the indivdual :)
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Ivor Tingting
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Ivor Tingting » 8 Jan 2017, 2:35pm

reohn2 wrote:
simonhill wrote:I'd like to question the assumption that you constantly need to replace you rims when using rim brakes. A slight exaggeration, I think.

I have Sputniks on my LHT and have just replaced the rear wheel after 4 and bit years. I reckon between 15 and 20 thousand kms touring, mainly in Asia plus about 10 thousand local stuff in the UK.

I just swapped wheels with another bike, so haven't had the old one rebuilt yet, but the rim is about £20, the hub and maybe the spokes are reusable and my LBS hardly charge for a rebuild if I buy the bits from them. Hardly an arm and a leg to pay out.

Like any bit of touring gear, always check for wear before you go. If you are daft enough to set out on a long tour with a well worn rim, then yes you will need to replace. Same goes for tyres, chain, etc.

I think there's pros and cons to any system,it's what works best for the individual.
In the case of rim brakes you have the most robust heavy duty touring rims on the market with a braking surface thickness of approx 1.9mm and weigh 670g,and are are designed for heavy fully loaded 'expedition' touring.
Some people however prefer a lighter rim and lighter loads,to pick a middle of the road rim(forgetting price for the moment)Mavic 719's have a brake surface thickness of 1.4mm and weigh 570g.
I've found the safe margin for changing touring rims is between 0.9 and 1.0mm,so that 0.5mm difference in wall thickness between a standard touring such as the 719 and a heavy duty Sputnik equates to around 15k Km by your Sputnik lifespan(which I agree with BTW as I've found 16 to 20k miles(approx 30k Km) to be about right for Sputniks when I used them for heavier touring).
But one thing that initially sold me on discs was all weather stopping which is a constant wet or dry discs perform the same ie ;blo@@y good.Add to that no rim wear,pad wear is far less than rim pad wear,especially in UK winter weather conditions,a cleaner bike in bad/wet/mucky conditions and disc brake ability to just keep on keeping on,all of which adds up to less maintenance.
I'm not going to go into the stiff fork debate as a fork on a touring capable of carrying front panniers is as stiff as a disc brake fork anyway and TBH it's only lightweight forks that have any give in them anyway,big supple tyres run at low TP's take care of front end comfort and narrow HP tyres aren't in my remit any longer.
The vulnerable side of discs are the rotors but has stated up thread they weigh and cost very little,so carrying a spare or even two won't weigh you down,plus unless your in the back of beyond(dare I mention Outer Mongolia :shock: ) rotors are available at any LBS that sells MTB stuff,even Halfords stock them :) .


I have nothing against discs. Just like I don't have anything against Rolhoff gears, but I remember when we were being regularly told that by spending xxx hundred pounds on a gear hub, we could save on all those costly chains and cassettes.

It's what suits the indivdual :)


^^^^^^ Wot he said.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

geoffb
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby geoffb » 11 Jan 2017, 1:27pm

Thanks again for advice given. I have not yet decided what to do, but immediately have returned the bike because it was fractionally too large ( groin was rubbing against cross bar when dismouted ) and Dales have agreed to replace the XL with L. I had it boxed by a local bike shop who were great.

SJS Cyles reply included : 'We could build you a very tough rear wheel for touring use for around £125 using the Andra 210 rim an XT disc rear hub and DT stainless spokes' which prima facie seems reassuring and good value, given the overall costs I am incurring.

Reg dynamo hubs advice included :

'Schmidt hubs are always our recommended choice. Yes they cost the most, but they are the best quality dynamo hubs in production.
They’re made to the highest quality in Germany, use the best bearings and are the only hubs to be fitted with a pressure compensation system to better prevent the ingress of water through condensation.
They have a 5-year warranty and are the only hubs on the market which can be serviced should a fault develop. If a fault develops after 5-years they can still go back to Germany for servicing, and any repair work carried out is covered by a new 2-year guarantee.'

'The SP hubs are the next-best option in our eyes. They are priced lower than the Supernova hub, despite being the same thing just in a different shell
They use cartride bearings of good quality and seem to run pretty smoothly. They have a 2-year warranty, but aren’t serviceable (even for just a bearing change) so if you have any issues after 2-years a replacement hub will be required'

'The Sturmey Archer hub also has sealed cartridge bearings, but has a less popular threaded axles, and only carries a 1 year warranty. It also only has a 2.4w output so would struggle if you were planning on running a charging device'.

So decisions to be made or not to be made. Over the years I have spent a lot of time making photographs ( www.geoffreybillettphotography.co.uk ) and am used to buying only the best photo equipment. It is a painful lesson to learn that buying cheaply invariably leads to frustration and compromise. Although new to the cycling world, I guess I am bringing the same basic set of principles to that world and orient myself quickly to quality gear. I may have to entirely rely on that gear sometimes ( though not always ) in difficult situations; I need to have confidence the gear will work. It seems false economy to me to spend a little less when by spending a little more I attain reassurance that an item shall support me through whatever I may encounter, not just this year but for the forseeable future.

If I were in a position to start again, with the proximity of SJS Cycles to me I would approach them to buy a Sherpa. This is all now a bit of a compromise; but by buying quality parts I am also rationalising that they may eventually be swappable with perhaps a stronger frame.

It also all depends on how much I will enjoy cycling.

reohn2
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby reohn2 » 11 Jan 2017, 1:45pm

geoffb wrote:.........SJS Cyles reply included : 'We could build you a very tough rear wheel for touring use for around £125 using the Andra 210 rim an XT disc rear hub and DT stainless spokes' which prima facie seems reassuring and good value, given the overall costs I am incurring.....


I'd be careful which XT hub you choose the later XT M770 and M780 hubs use aluminium axles,smaller bearings for lightness and are inferior products to earlier M756 model hubs,which have Cro Mo steel axles and much bigger bearings and are based on the bombproof traditional Shimano cassette hub.
Indeed Shimano Deore M525 six bolt rear hub is a better hub than the XT M770/780 alu axle hubs.
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PH
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby PH » 11 Jan 2017, 2:22pm

geoffb wrote:'The SP hubs are the next-best option in our eyes. They are priced lower than the Supernova hub, despite being the same thing just in a different shellThey use cartride bearings of good quality and seem to run pretty smoothly. They have a 2-year warranty, but aren’t serviceable (even for just a bearing change) so if you have any issues after 2-years a replacement hub will be required'

Careful of that comparison, I'm pretty sure the Supernova shell includes better seals, it isn't just cosmetic.
I have two SON hubs (The ones now called Klassic) and would buy the same again, not least because the 15 year old one still polishes up like new. But it's hard to justify on economic grounds, the Shimano sports versions are almost identical performance wise and the cost of replacement about the same as having a SON serviced.
eventually be swappable with perhaps a stronger frame.

I doubt you're ever going to need a stronger frame, or that the Sherpa is. Though I may have chosen it for other reasons.
It also all depends on how much I will enjoy cycling.

It's easy to get caught up in equipment enthusiasm and nothing wrong with that, but the enjoyment of cycling has little to do with it once you're past a certain level and the Ridgeback is already well beyond that.
Much like photography…or probably any other hobby.

geoffb
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby geoffb » 11 Jan 2017, 3:11pm

Thank you again for your feedback. Making these decisions is clearly not straightforward - there are many variations and recommendations from 'experts' seem also to open to debate. The notion of GAS ( gear aquisition syndrome ) or gear lust is interesting too. Cyclng, although expensive, does not appear to be cripplingly so. Initial costs are high but there are few recurring significant expenses. I see my future use as being a combination of long distance cycling as well as supporting extended trips to locations in Asia and Africa, where conditions will not be ideal. Although I envisage no offroad cyclng, urban cycling will be demanding, unpredictable and often filthy. A hardy bike would get me from temple to temple, or something similar. My maximum stay in locations has been up to 3 months, and has involved comprehensively exploring those locations.

Equipment has rarely been acquired for its own sake; I carry 3 prime lenses for the bodies of the cameras I use. Each piece of equipment is functional; bought for a purpose/reason which accords with my creative view and interpretation of photography. The cost of one of my lenses ( Nikon 35mm 1.4 G ) would buy a well specced bike on its own. My intention is only to buy a bike which would equally satisfy my physical needs on any trip as well as positively contributing to the lifestyle I wish to live and creative vision I wish to develop ie buying into a shared lifesyle vision.

My knowledge is still very minimal regarding cycling equipment. I want a sturdy, well built machine, perhaps overly strong, so I do not have to worry whilst I am away. My lifestyle may be described as a 'hobby' but I am living it, enjoy it and wish to continue living it.

I'll wait for the return of the Ridgeback before making further decisions. Thank you again - I will consider every contributuion.

simonhill
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby simonhill » 11 Jan 2017, 4:45pm

While we are on the camera analogy.

About 20 years ago I bought a small compact 35mm camera. I kept looking at different specs and eventually got pretty much a top of the range one. After a while I realised that I only ever used it in auto mode. It was clever enough to take good pictures and I rarely had time to fiddle with all the multitude of options I thought so essential when I bought it.

I suspect you are heading this way with your bike extras.

It is too easy to be seduced by the need for higher and higher specs.

geoffb
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby geoffb » 11 Jan 2017, 6:21pm

Yes those cameras can be overkill, agreed. I just do not want to break down when potentially vulnerable, wherever that may be. Earlier entries in this thread suggest that stronger wheels maybe necessary. For the inconsiderable sum of £125 I can have a rear wheel which is stronger than the one I have, though the hubs recommended are causing concern and others suggested. Charging devices options seem equally varied and diffused. Perhaps there is no 'best spec'.

All overkill? - perhaps. I need to ride the bike, all of this is academic so far. My knowledge base is greater than before so thank you all again.

bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby bretonbikes » 6 Feb 2017, 2:33pm

simonhill wrote:I've no idea how good the wheels are, but they are probably factory built (maybe Breton can confirm). If you want to lessen the risk of breaking spokes, it may be worth getting a good wheel-builder to re-tension the spokes.

Hi - please call me Geoff;-)

Yes they will be machine built at that price but apart from a couple of tweeks there's nothing wrong in that. However my experience, even with tandems running 36-hole rims, is that it take hell of a lot to break a spoke on a 26" wheel. I've had spokes fail on the fleet bikes when a spoke has been damaged by the chain coming off into the wheel, and a couple failed over the last couple of years from what I can only think were faulty spokes (one was a front wheel, the other the non-freehub side) but other than that they've been 100% reliable for years. There's a bit of my usual waffle on the subject here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/homepage/cyc ... 700c-vs-26
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

Davidwd
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Davidwd » 10 Feb 2017, 9:14am

That looks like a great touring bike, I always go for flat bars on my Touring bikes and a fairly upright position. I think its not how much you spend on a bike its all about the adventures it takes you on.
The more you spend on a bike the more of a target you are to thieves. I bought a Kona Dew Deluxe Stubby when chain reaction were selling them off for £329 a couple of years ago I have done several thousand miles on it including caen to montpellier with absolutely no breakdowns.
I put marathon tyres, a brooks B17 saddle, ergo grips and ortlieb panniers with racks.
I still worry about it getting stolen but not as much as if it were something like a Koga Signature at £5k. I read an an article I think it may have been on this forum where a guy will only spend £120 on a bike if it breaks down or gets stolen he goes to the nearest bike shop and buys another. To replace a wheel on a Koga signature would cost more than that!
But you've written a great review on the ridgeback, I look forward to reading the next update and its certainly is a bike I would consider due to the riding position.
Cube have just produced a great looking touring bike with dynamo for £799 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cube ... prod154594. Could be worth look I think they do a Derraileur version also.
D

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Sweep
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Sweep » 10 Feb 2017, 9:56am

That's certainly a good price david but i note that like the "improved" ridgeback expedition it has hydraulic brakes. It is also aluminium which would personally put me off. I see also that they describe it as a city bike.
Congrats on your kona - i have always liked the look of some of their old school frames.

By the by, fingers crossed, i may have secured myself one of the last ridgeback expedition 2016s in the country.
Sweep

Davidwd
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Davidwd » 10 Feb 2017, 11:08am

Sweep wrote:That's certainly a good price david but i note that like the "improved" ridgeback expedition it has hydraulic brakes. It is also aluminium which would personally put me off. I see also that they describe it as a city bike.
Congrats on your kona - i have always liked the look of some of their old school frames.

By the by, fingers crossed, i may have secured myself one of the last ridgeback expedition 2016s in the country.



Hi Sweep,

Why would aluminium put you off? I noticed Koga use Alu on their top expedition bikes, I never really understood which material was best, I just avoid Carbon for some reason.

The other thing I like about my Kona over the Ridgedack is the panniers sit further forward over the rear axle balancing the bike better uphill.

what did you think about the Nexus gears? Do they give a good enough range? I think I read somewhere the range is 11 - 38.teeth.