Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
reohn2
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby reohn2 » 26 Feb 2017, 10:31am

Sweep wrote:Agree with your take on the standard wheels - and your approach means that they are not wasted. Alternatively you could just sell them to part finance some Spa sputniks.


You would get much for the standard wheels so why not get your wear out of them saving the best wheels (and perhaps a cassette and chain to go with them)for touring,then you'd be setting off on tour with new or only slightly worn drivetrain :) :wink:
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bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Feb 2017, 11:32am

And of course here we get to the nub of the 'choice' issue. If Shimano go completely over to disc hubs for any sort of quality, then there will be no rim-braked bikes available whether we want them or not. The circa 1988, Deore XT 7-speed groupset was the high point of touring groupsets - 135 hubs giving almost zero dish, gorgeous chainset and bullet proof derailleurs. - Ho Hum

On the subject of the Deore hubs - I've used these exclusively on our hire bikes and tandems for 20 years and until a couple of years back never had a failure. Lately I've had several where the freehub-side cup has worn through completely.
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 » 2 Mar 2017, 8:26pm

Well, I picked up my 2016 model yesterday - possibly the last one in the UK.

Rode it 100km back to a London tube station, and then tubed it home.

First impressions, what a wonderful bike.

Got mine for £700 - can't imagine anything better if I'd spent twice as much.

Really well specced with some decent Deore stuff, including shifters, brakes and rear mech.

Wonderful colour -in fact my near favourite.

I may even like the oversize and definitely wide bars.

Grips with integral bar ends much appreciated.

Only things I may change:

@ wheels for a serious expedition but they are perfectly fine for getting by with.

@Rack - again fine for getting by with and much appreciated for getting my stuff back to London.

@ toe clip/strap pedals - fell off twice, luckily onto grass though.

All in all, well pleased.

I see no reason why this bike can't go round the world or at least London to the edge of Europe/Istanbul.

Thanks bretonbikes.
Sweep

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

Postby rich_e » 3 Mar 2017, 4:07pm

Glad you like it Sweep. It does seem odd to change the colour on the new model, I've had nothing but positive comments about the green. Glad I bought mine when I did, might have had second thoughts with some of the changes.

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

Postby Sweep » 3 Mar 2017, 6:19pm

Agree about the colour. Would be interesting to beat a response out of Ridgeback as to why they did it.

I now have four Ridgeback bikes :) though the other 3 are 90s chromo hybrids, 2 bought second hand.

Thanks again rich for your personal help with my question about the rack rear light mounting.

It was a great help.

And thanks also to the nice chaps (not forgetting the dog) at Kingsway Cycles Cambridge who I got the bike from.
Sweep

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

Postby simonhill » 4 Mar 2017, 6:03am

I hadn't really paid much attention to the colour comments on the new one, but I've just had a look at it on Evan's websites. Hmm, chrome or silver if I'm not mistaken.

This should make it stand out nicely. Not something you particularly want when leaving your bike parked up somewhere.

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

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Mar 2017, 7:30am

At first glance it looks like one of those posh titanium bikes from a well-known vendor (at least hereabouts :wink: )

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby matt2matt2002 » 4 Mar 2017, 7:58am

Sweep. You can take a bike on the tube?
Gosh. Tell me more. I haven't been in London for 20+ years. Things must have changed.
2017 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
Lots more in hot countries.
Always on a Thorn Raven/Rohloff hub.

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

Postby Sweep » 4 Mar 2017, 9:57am

There's lots of the tube* you can take a bike on matt - long has been - almost certainly when you were there - there's a map of it online and you used to be able to get paper copies.
* tube used as a term for underground - the basic rule is that you can take a bike outside rush hours on any line which is not "deep tube", ie the classic "tube" bored through the earth - but much of the network is of course above ground or "cut and cover".

Some rail/tube ticket office staff are unaware of this - I was told not too long ago by my local one that I couldn't go from Amersham to Farringdon with a bike but you can - I hopped on there a while ago when cycling back to London from Birmingham.

From Upminster I can go all the way to south London with a bike.

I can I think also go from Watford to south London with a bike - am planning to in a few weeks.

Link to downloadable PDF here:

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/cyclin ... -transport
Sweep

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

Postby bretonbikes » 7 Mar 2017, 4:35pm

reohn2 wrote: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?


Well you shamed me into really having a think about all this - to the point where I've written 2000 words on the subject here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/homepage/cyc ... le-touring - it's the usual opinionated drivel, but for the record, conversations here and elsewhere have softened my attitudes. For my own needs (bullet proof hire/expedition) I still wish they'd stuck with V-brakes, but I hope mine is now a more nuanced account and I'm quite looking forward to seeing how the 2017 model copes...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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

Postby IrregularIrishman » 7 Mar 2017, 6:12pm

I've been reading this thread with interest as I bought a Ridgeback World Expedition 26" two years back for a RTW tour so thought I would sign up just to share my thoughts and tips, especially seeing as one of the posts above was mentioning if it would be specced suitably for a RTW trip.

Firstly, I bought the 2014 model for my trip which was back when the bicycle featured cantilever brakes so can't comment on what the newer hydraulic disk brakes are like although it would be recommended, if touring well off the beaten track to switch to either mechanical disks or v-brakes (although v-brakes may not be possible if the mounts are not included on the new frame of course.) From the original spec there are only three things I would recommend changing for a RTW tour.

1) The saddle: Quite an obvious one but the stock saddle wasn't anywhere near comfortable enough for a three year journey so I swapped it out for a Brooks B-17 (so comfy :mrgreen: )

2) The rear rim: The stock rims that came with mine are Alexrims Downhill rims. These are notorious for cracking on tourers who take heavily loaded bicycles on poorly maintained roads or just general dirt roads. If you are sticking to touring on asphalt in developed countries, they are safe enough but if you are planning on a bit of an adventure I would highly suggest switching this rear rim out. I was able to find a heavy duty Sun Rhyno rim and a 2010 Shimano XT Hub (back from when the components of the freehub were made of steel) which ended up being bombproof for 40,000 kilometres over a hell of a lot of awful roads under 30-55kg of luggage (depending on water and food requirements.) In comparison, my front rim which I kept as the stock wheel cracked after 33,000 kilometres with barely any weight in my front panniers.

3) The rear rack: I actually decided to leave the original aluminium rack on my bicycle however and it amazingly lasted me over two years with a lot of weight on it until it finally cracked. It's actually still going at the moment, but might need to be replaced soon I reckon as it is currently held together by a tyre lever and a wrench :P Welding aluminium is a lot of hassle in many parts of the world so I would just recommend buying a steel one from the start.

Hope the above helps is anyone is thinking of speccing the bike for some rough terrain/a very long distance journey. Let me know if you have any questions on the bike as I have plenty of experience with the thing by now!

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

Postby Sweep » 16 Jun 2017, 11:03am

Well I have done a few fully loaded trips on my 2016 model and am still delighted with it.

Mudguards - the odd criticism of them above I think. Though I prefer SKS guards the ones fitted don't seem half bad. No real complaints with them. Got a small bit of tyre rub on the back heading off to the station fully loaded a few weeks ago and managed to adjust them in a couple of minutes using the somewhat odd but apparently effective fitting/adjustment system. Particularly as this is an expedition tourer not out to win mamil beauty contents (though I do think it an attractive bike) I can see them staying on the bike for a few years using my usual silver duct tape repair/reconstruction system. So pleased with the guards and many bikes of course don't even come with guards.


The rack - I accept the criticisms of the rack design above and for a major long trip would put a Tubus on. But so far so good. As the really nice shop I bought it from:

https://www.kingswaycycles.com/

pointed out to me, it does have something going for it in that it attaches directly to the bike at the top with no intervening metal work/attached struts. And I have found that it is very stable, even with all the junk I pile on top of it.

V brakes - just fine - no problems stopping at all - mighty pleased that bretonbikes not only recommended the bike but also alerted us to the fact that the V brake model was about to disappear.

So mighty pleased. The bike is ready to ride as bought, no need to add anything at all. Really pleased with the gearing. Would have preferred a square taper BB but I could always sort that with a judicious purchase of crankset from Spa.

Oh - and the "wide bars" - have come to like them :)

How are your disc braked silver machines getting along breton?

If you do ever decide to change the crankset on any of yours I would be interested in what you might choose.
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bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26" Bad News Update

Postby bretonbikes » 16 Jun 2017, 4:13pm

Glad it worked out;-) Here the first 2017 has gone out - customer complained that half way through the week the disc started rubbing and was noisy.

Hope you have many, many happy hours of touring - I have every confidence you will;-)
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 » 26 Jun 2017, 10:57pm

Oh, forgot to say.

Had the vague memory that there were some criticisms of the tyres upthread, but too lazy to hunt for them.

I really like them - never really ridden any version of Marathons for any distance before, and very definitely not a tyre this fat. Or for that matter a 26 inch rimmed tyre.

But I think they roll pretty well while giving me real confidence on dodgy surfaces.

Any other buyers upthread care to comment on their impressions?
Sweep

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

Postby bretonbikes » 27 Jun 2017, 8:01am

Sweep wrote:Oh, forgot to say.

Had the vague memory that there were some criticisms of the tyres upthread, but too lazy to hunt for them.

I really like them - never really ridden any version of Marathons for any distance before, and very definitely not a tyre this fat. Or for that matter a 26 inch rimmed tyre.

But I think they roll pretty well while giving me real confidence on dodgy surfaces.

Any other buyers upthread care to comment on their impressions?


Yes I criticised the Marathon Cross tyres for being a bit slow - the latest bikes have changed to a lighter version and I wonder if yours may have that. It's not a major criticism and they are good tyres, just a little more than I would fit for road/cyclepath use - you can see it here again - http://www.bretonbikes.com/homepage/cyc ... 016-review
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...