Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

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

Postby bretonbikes » 10 Feb 2017, 11:28am

Davidwd wrote: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


Interesting, but straight forks and an aluminium frame would suggest it's going to be quite a hard ride.
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby Sweep » 10 Feb 2017, 12:37pm

simonhill wrote: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.
.

Can I ask which bike shop this is simon? Can't help but think that their builds must be pretty good if you are pleased with them. Let them take a bow.
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Sweep
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Sweep » 10 Feb 2017, 12:50pm

David, on the aluminium, it's only my opinion, and I don't claim to be an expert. But aluminium often seems to me, personally, to give a harsher ride. I had a very nice aluminium 'dale - they "corrected" the certain harshness with a short travel sguspension fork. It worked well but maintenance could be a fag and then became a real problem. I also had two issues with rivnuts twirling in the frame. Which has involved workarounds. These days I prefer to keep things simple - nice feel of a steel ride and suspension taken care of by appropriate tyres at an appropriate pressure.

Ps - many of the bits from that expensive dale are now on a steel 90s hybrid :)

Ps - i don't know enough (actually next to nothing) about nexus gears so can't comment. One for brucey perhaps.
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simonhill
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby simonhill » 10 Feb 2017, 1:49pm

Sweep wrote:Can I ask which bike shop this is simon? Can't help but think that their builds must be pretty good if you are pleased with them. Let them take a bow.


Richardsons in Leigh on Sea

They've built and or maintained my bikes for years.

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

Postby Sweep » 15 Feb 2017, 11:27pm

Well Breton bikes

As stated upthread I rode one of these thanks to the good offices of Balfes Bikes in East Dulwich.

But told them up front that my purchase was reliant on a life shift.

But spurred on by your "bad news" update I thought I had better grab one anyway.

As bike companies seem to be intent on "improving" bikes to the point of not-fit-for-purpose.

So have bought what is possibly the last remaining one in the country.

At a sale/discount price.

So, mr breton, I now have a tent recommended by you and a bike.

Care to go for a hattrick?

PS - not sure I'm too keen on the bars and their width in particular but, although the nice bikeshop offered to cut them for no charge, decided in the end to leave then as they are - take it slowly, feel my way, before trying to change things I may regret.

I must say that on my two test rides the bike has felt supremely comfortable.
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bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby bretonbikes » 16 Feb 2017, 8:23am

Sweep wrote:Well Breton bikes

As stated upthread I rode one of these thanks to the good offices of Balfes Bikes in East Dulwich.

But told them up front that my purchase was reliant on a life shift.

But spurred on by your "bad news" update I thought I had better grab one anyway.

As bike companies seem to be intent on "improving" bikes to the point of not-fit-for-purpose.

So have bought what is possibly the last remaining one in the country.

At a sale/discount price.

So, mr breton, I now have a tent recommended by you and a bike.

Care to go for a hattrick?

PS - not sure I'm too keen on the bars and their width in particular but, although the nice bikeshop offered to cut them for no charge, decided in the end to leave then as they are - take it slowly, feel my way, before trying to change things I may regret.

I must say that on my two test rides the bike has felt supremely comfortable.


I'm really glad it worked out - I've no doubt you'll get on just fine with the bike - now I expect you to rock up at our campsite some time;-)

As for the bars, if you go to a hardware store you can buy one of those little pipe cutter for about a tenner. They look like a sort of mini-vice with a cutting wheel (like this - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Large-Pipe-Tu ... Sw4DJYgjp4) - they cut alloy bars really easily so you can happily cut off an inch and see how you go - I personally found them too wide as well...

See you out there!
Cheers
Geoff
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby Sweep » 16 Feb 2017, 10:00am

Thanks for the encouragement breton.

The other thing I may change in time is the chainset.

To a square taper.

If you ever go that way on any of yours i'd be interested in what you fit.
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby JonRaleigh » 22 Feb 2017, 10:21pm

bretonbikes wrote:
horizon wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:Ho Hum...

Just been in touch with Ridgeback re 2017. They are very pleased with the reception for the Expedition and were proud to tell me they had upgraded it (cue sinking feeling).

Next year it will sport hydraulic disc brakes.

I know they are lovely to use, but suitable for expedition use they most certainly are not. Discs are bad enough news - so easy to bend on planes, trains, bike racks etc and then impossible to stop rubbing. But the chances of repairing or finding spares in the 'wilds' for hydraulic brake lines which are inevitably vulnerable on an 'expedition' type ride are zero.

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

Oh I forgot - the new colour will be silver...


I think that's when you realise that these bikes are built for a market, not from any sense of what a bike really might be. Why don't you look at OBW - they at least seem to believe in what they do and I reckon that their budget model will price compare* with the Ridgeback:

http://www.oxfordbikeworks.co.uk/model-1e/

* well with bit of negotiating perhaps :) .


Well the Oxford is as near a copy of the Original BB Special I designed with Orbit 18 years ago as it's possible to get and I'd love to use them (now that my 25-year loyalty to Orbit has ceased) but the problem is that they are a shop selling direct to the public and naturally won't be able to supply at 'trade' prices - the same applies to Thorn and similar. It makes them around 60-70% more expensive for us than the Ridgeback. This and the fact that a bike that is good one year may be changed completely the next is why I went to the expense (and infinite hassle) of having bikes made specially to my spec. With that option now gone (unless someone out there has an alternative supplier) we were forced to look 'off-the-peg' - the Ridgeback was the answer to a maiden's prayer. Sadly no more...

That said it will probably still do-the-job for us, but it can no longer be my recommendation as an Expedition touring machine.


I have recently been searching for a Ridgeback Expedition 2016 Medium 54cm canti model which unfortunately now seem to be like hens teeth. One shop I contacted said I could buy the new 2017 model at the same discounted price as the still advertised but now unavailable 2016 edition! (I politely declined...discs on a bike like this are such a bad bad idea). Perhaps this unnecessary change to a previously fabulous bike, one I really want to own and use since I read the great Breton Bikes review, have not been well received by many potential buyers, this one included. I can only hope that Ridgeback will revert the Expedition bike back to the original specification in 2018 as it could be a classic bike that would bring them much kudos and regular income from a large section of the cycling community for decades. Fingers crossed. But in the meantime, would the Oxford Bike Works be a suitable alternative? or What about having canti braze on's retro fitted on a Expedition 2017 (perhaps cheaper than a custom frame even with the required re-spray). I realise this isn't an option for fleet use but may provide a suitable expedition bike one off in a world where such bikes seem rare under £1000.

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

Postby simonhill » 23 Feb 2017, 4:33am

I think the differences are more than just disc brakes.

However why not write to Ridgeback and complain. They may be sitting smugly thinking they have created the perfect bike. Shake 'em up a bit.

Get an address, list the detrimental changes and get people writing.

Personally I'm not too bothered as I'm a Surly man.

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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Sweep » 23 Feb 2017, 6:06am

As a new owner of the 2016 model (but haven't picked it up yet) I would be interested in feedback from the couple of people or so who bought one. How are things going folks?
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby Sweep » 23 Feb 2017, 6:15am

simonhill wrote:I think the differences are more than just disc brakes.

n.

Care to elaborate simon?
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Feb 2017, 8:18am

Sweep wrote:
simonhill wrote:I think the differences are more than just disc brakes.

n.

Care to elaborate simon?


From what I can see (by eye - I don't have a bike here so it's just pics on the net) the discs and heavier disc compatible fork + redesigned rear dropouts (again because of the disc) seem to be the main changes. Then there's the hideous colour... Pump now appears to be an under-top-tube job rather than the rear chainstay but that might just be the pictures.
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby kolb » 23 Feb 2017, 10:11pm

simonhill wrote:
Sweep wrote:Can I ask which bike shop this is simon? Can't help but think that their builds must be pretty good if you are pleased with them. Let them take a bow.


Richardsons in Leigh on Sea

They've built and or maintained my bikes for years.


+1 for Richardsons. Have had two sets of wheels built there (different bikes) and no problems after thousands of touring miles.

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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby JonRaleigh » 23 Feb 2017, 11:12pm

simonhill wrote:I think the differences are more than just disc brakes.

However why not write to Ridgeback and complain. They may be sitting smugly thinking they have created the perfect bike. Shake 'em up a bit.

Get an address, list the detrimental changes and get people writing.

Personally I'm not too bothered as I'm a Surly man.


Hello Simon, I have emailed Ridgeback and made my thoughts known. I have not received a reply although I will share any feedback that I receive on this thread.

For those amongst you who would like to do similar:

http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/contact

Your observations re frame are welcome and make me realise I will have to look elsewhere.

Regards

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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby reohn2 » 24 Feb 2017, 12:14am

Whats so bad about disc brakes?
Don't say the fork isn't as comfy as a touring bike fork capable of carrying front panniers coz it ain't.

Good disc brakes(BB7's) stop very well indeed wet/mud or dry,with great modulation,don't wear out rims and keep on working even when the wheel is badly out of true so long as it'll go round without the frame stopping it :) .
Bent rotors are the main claim of worriment,if you're that concerned carry a spare they're cheap(£10?) and weigh very little or,unless in Outer Mongolia,are available from almost any bike shop.Pads also last far longer than V or canti pads.
Did I mention they don't wear out rims?
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