N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

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roubaixtuesday
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N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby roubaixtuesday » 29 Nov 2018, 3:10pm

Having had our tandem spendidly refurburbished by them earlier this year, I have an appointment at Bicycles by Design aka Swallows on Saturday, with an approval chit in my pocket for a bespoke bike to fit my 192cms. It should arrive not quite in time for my 50th next year.

This will be my fun day bike and is intended to be forever. It will replace my much loved but rather battered nearly 10yo Specialized Roubaix, which itself is probably the bike I've enjoyed most of any I've owned.

The outline spec is as follows, subject to discussions at Swallows and possibly extended procrastination:

953 frame with Columbus Minimal carbon fork
Llewelyn lugs set in polished stainless, stainless stem to match
Chainstays/seatstays polished
Ultegra mechanical groupset
Hope RS hubs with H+Son Archetype rims Sapim Db SS spokes
Ritchey Classic bars/stem/post in polished silver
Hope headset in silver

This is impossibly wonderful, of course, and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity for such a machine. It’s ordering may even motivate the loss of a stone or two.

So: If it were you, what would you change? (Bearing in mind this is a lightweight day bike, not a tourer…)

sukuinage
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Location: Germany

Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby sukuinage » 29 Nov 2018, 3:24pm

For me it would have to have Campag and I think would add a saddle to make the rides more enjoyable :D

pliptrot
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby pliptrot » 29 Nov 2018, 3:24pm

Why Hope hubs? (1) they are rubbish (if they have an issue with this assessment I can regale any and all with the story of mine......and Hope's poor customer service) and (2) hubs really should cup and cone construction.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

Brucey
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby Brucey » 29 Nov 2018, 3:39pm

I would think about such things as

- speccing it with mudguard clearances (no real loss, but increased versatility)
- using a 132.5mm or 135mm rear hub (better wheel dish, for stronger/lighter wheel)
- using an offset rear rim (ditto) eg Kinlin

You have not said what tyres you intend to use; to me they absolutely underpin nearly every aspect of a bike's design.

cheers
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby roubaixtuesday » 29 Nov 2018, 3:44pm

Brucey,

plan would be 700x25 clinchers for tyres. Mudguard clearances would presumably require long drop brakes?

Hope hubs are at Swallows recommendation. I've no direct experience. Hope generally seem to have a good reputation

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gaz
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby gaz » 29 Nov 2018, 4:03pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:If it were you, what would you change? (Bearing in mind this is a lightweight day bike, not a tourer…)

If it were me it would be a tourer, not a lightweight day bike :wink: .

Build it to your spec and enjoy :D .

fastpedaller
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby fastpedaller » 29 Nov 2018, 4:27pm

Personally I'd just have Shimano 8speed hubs. A super steel frame with a carbon fork seems an odd combination to me.

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RickH
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby RickH » 29 Nov 2018, 4:39pm

I was thinking the same about the forks. I've nothing against carbon forks but a traditional steel fork would suit a lugged steel frame, aesthetically at least even if not for any difference of ride quality, longevity or weight.

PH
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby PH » 29 Nov 2018, 4:45pm

What a wonderful opportunity, I've only seen one and though it's not my cup of tea, the owner got exactly what they wanted and it always gets attention amongst cycling geeks. Enjoy the experience of choosing what you want and the bike when you get it.

slowster
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby slowster » 29 Nov 2018, 4:59pm

Taste is personal and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With that caveat I would make the following comments:

1. I think the matt grey finish of Ultegra components, especially the chainset, will not suit the silver elsewhere on the bike, it's a combination of two different and conflicting aesthetics. I think you either need to choose a paint scheme and finishing kit that works with the Ultegra grey and black, or you need a 'groupset' that works with the silver finishing kit. I say 'groupset' in quotes because unless you are able to get a NOS silver Centaur 11 speed gruppo or similar, you would probably need to select individual components, including from manufacturers other than Shimano and Campagnolo. In fact, I would actually prefer the latter option, and I would happily fit something like Spa's very inexpensive silver RD2 or TD2 chainsets (although as it happens I already have a Campagnolo Chorus triple square taper chainset which I picked up very cheaply when they were being discountinued in anticipation of a similar dream build at some point in the future).

Incidentally, something to consider is future proofing. I would not have a braze on for the front mech, because I might eventually need to change the 53/42/30 Campag chainset for a 46/34/24 Spa TD2, and a braze on would not allow that. Similarly I would specify downtube lever bosses rather than cable stops, given the difficulty now of getting the older, better quality 10 sp Campag Ergolevers repaired: downtube lever bosses will allow Shimano indexed downtube levers to be used as an eventual fallback option (with a JTek shiftmate if with a Campag rear mech), or even friction levers. If cable rub on the headtube would be a concern, polished stainless steel braze on protectors like those on a number of Kevin Sayles' frames look nice and are not obtrusive (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevin_sayles_bikes/ - e.g. the grey frame with red lugs just over half way down on page 2 of the site).

2. The Hope headset and hubs are somewhat unrefined and utilitarian in appearance. If you are going for silver parts, you may as well go the whole hog and get Royce hubs and a Chris King headset. If you really want to push the boat right out, get Royce Supreme hubs. They are polished titanium and jaw droppingly lovely. You'll also need Royce Talent skewers (which have proper enclosed cams).

3. I think the finish of Nitto parts is better than Ritchey (and I suspect their quality is higher as well), e.g. the S83 seatpost.

4. I would get a steel fork instead of carbon, and I would have a threaded 1" steerer and headset, with a Cinelli 1A quill stem and whatever Nitto 26mm clamp bar shape you preferred (I like the M185, it only has a single cable groove, but the shape is the same as the Cinelli 64 [reissued by Cinelli, but with no grooves] and the Deda 215 shallow). I prefer the feel/flex of the quill stem/1" steerer/26mm diameter bars, and they look better with skinny tubes and horizontal top tubes (although a custom steel stem should avoid the bulky appearance of mass produced stems for threadless steerers which look out of proportion on a narrow tubed frame).

5. For a classic steel lightweight build, I think I would prefer a less deep, more traditional looking rim, e.g. Ambrosio Excellence or possibly even the Ambrosio Excellight. A custom frame and Royce hubs would allow 135mm OLN to be specified for a stronger rear wheel.

6. Personally I would not have polished stays. I have read some comments that suggest that it might be difficult to keep that pristine unblemished appearance without a lot of TLC, and that wet salt laden roads might still result in deterioration of the shiny polished appearance, even though 953 is classed as a 'stainless' steel. For me the point of specifying 953 (and 853 Pro Team) is the thinner walls available in those tubesets, and their impact on the bike's feel/comfort.
Last edited by slowster on 29 Nov 2018, 5:19pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Cugel
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby Cugel » 29 Nov 2018, 5:17pm

If you want to replace the Roubaix in terms of having the same feel and function, perhaps a classic steel frame (even of very well constructed exotic tubes) is not going to do it? But it looks a very fine bike in it's own right.

Are you buying function or fashion, though? They aren't necessarily going to end up with the same requirements, for you and your wants. I would make the list of requirements, to see if that nice steel bike actually met them. It's easy to be seduced by looks, tradition, even nostalgia ......

Cugel

roubaixtuesday
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby roubaixtuesday » 29 Nov 2018, 6:07pm

Thanks for the comments, much appreciated, and plenty of food for thought. I shall take into discussions on Saturday.

Couple of specifics

I agree re band on front mech for future proofing - contemplating when my ancient legs might require the coddling of an alpine double on the hills.

On forks - I think the frame needs oversized tubing for my height/ weight so carbon may suit the build better than 953 forks. But they remain an option.

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foxyrider
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby foxyrider » 29 Nov 2018, 6:20pm

Well it's never going to ride anything like the Roubaix that's for sure.

I have, as my winter/audax machine a stupidly exotic Columbus tubed bike - with Ambrosio carbon forks. Compared to my summer carbon bike it's a dog - don't get me wrong, it's nice enough but I wouldn't say the ride is any improvement over my old 531 race bike. Despite the paper thin tubes it's rigid as he'll, far less forgiving than the carbon and whilst it does a lot of miles, tbh it's horrible.

What would I change in your spec? Nothing, its your choice picked for your reasons. The thing I would do is reconsider the whole project - what are you trying to put together - a replacement for the Spesh? a shiny toy? A practical day ride?
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

peetee
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby peetee » 29 Nov 2018, 10:47pm

A forever bike should have a steel forks.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

Brucey
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Re: N+1: Opportunity of a Lifetime

Postby Brucey » 29 Nov 2018, 11:51pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:....plan would be 700x25 clinchers for tyres. Mudguard clearances would presumably require long drop brakes?

Hope hubs are at Swallows recommendation. I've no direct experience. Hope generally seem to have a good reputation


long drop brakes and current ultegra STIs is a potentially problematic combination. FWIW nominal 25mm contis on archetype rims end up about 27mm actual width.

Hope hubs are loved by some, not all....

cheers
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