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Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 23 Jan 2010, 12:09pm
by james01
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s21p1776

It seems to be ideal as a cheap, tough tourer, and its 700c wheels mean it should have 29er abilities off road assuming there's enough clearance for a fatter tyre upgrade. Just needs lower gearing (why do they still put 28t front chainrings on bikes sold for laden touring?!)
Does anyone have any comments/experiences with this bike?

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 23 Jan 2010, 1:10pm
by 531colin
Reason for chainset is price , but 28 front and 32 rear will get you up most things. Marathon 700x32 are a fairly big tyre as it is, but I can't see daylight under the 'guards.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 23 Jan 2010, 5:25pm
by matt2matt2002
I saw this bike - just after I bagged a new Sardar off ebay.
I think Dawes have stopped making the Sardar and this may well be their replacement model.
Anyone any thoughts on that?

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 23 Jan 2010, 7:32pm
by jawaka
Looks very good value for money and I've found the four Dawes bikes that I've owned to be solid and reliable. I'd agree that with the 28 chainring the gearing is higher than I would like for a laden tourer. Maybe you could pay extra to have this changed : it would still be a good bike for the money paritcularly compared to a Galaxy. If that is a too pricey the gearing would still be ok for most of the time; it might just mean doing a bit of walking instead of riding on steep hills

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 23 Jan 2010, 8:10pm
by saudidave
There is a lot of elitist garbage talked about bikes of all styles and price ranges. This looks to me that it will do what it says on the tin. Dawes make great bikes. Go for it.

It is far, far superior to the 1964 Falcon Black Diamond that I cut my teeth on doing day rides as an 11 year old and I suspect that it would give you a great deal of decent service with proper maintenance.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 25 Jan 2010, 8:38am
by fatboy
Dawes have done this since the Horizon (previous "cheap" tourer) is now getting on for £750. Very likely this is the same bike as the Edinburgh Bike co-op tourer which has received good review over the years and a mate's wife has one and really likes it.

I have a Horizon which is a fine, if unexceptional, bike and I don't see why the Vantage wouldn't be fine too. It has an Ally frame which is often thought of an undesirable for a tourer but should be fine for general touring use. The lowest gear is pretty low 28 front, 32 rear; 26 front is more normal but this would make little difference IMHO. Some of the stuff will be cheapo on it but still should do you fine for a while at least. Also I don't see why there wouldn't be clearance for at least 700x35 if not 700x37 but it will depend on the actual tyre choosen; tyre sizes can vary widely.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 25 Jan 2010, 2:04pm
by horizon
Personally I would snap it up. This is the old-new Horizon (which has now gone back to steel). It isn't a pavement bike so that is where you make your choice. It's really (apart from probably the old Sardar) the bike Everyman should be on, claiming their rightful place on the road and eating up the miles commuting, visiting friends, days in the country etc. Every day, every season. It's alu to get to £499* - before we open that debate, if you have the money you buy steel, if not, this is how they make good bikes cheaply. The gears would only be too high if fully loaded - if you are that serious you can change the chainset. It's not a racer, it's not a mountain bike - it's a bike. Sustrans will hate it - it challenges everything they do. Motorists will hate it too - it challenges their right to the whole road. If you only have £500 and space for just one bike, this is it (or an equivalent from another brand).

Nice colour too :)

*Just discovered it's £370 at Spa - unbelieveable.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 25 Jan 2010, 3:47pm
by fatboy
horizon wrote:Personally I would snap it up. It's really (apart from probably the old Sardar) the bike Everyman should be on, claiming their rightful place on the road and eating up the miles commuting, visiting friends, days in the country etc. Every day, every season.
Nice colour too :)


I would agree with all of this and about the colour as well! (My bike is a very similar colour and it makes for a lovely looking bike)

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 30 Jan 2010, 9:23pm
by djnotts
Other than 2nd hand (actually ALWAYS the preferable route!), I can't see that could buy a better "it's a BIKE" bike for a similar amount of cash.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 31 Jan 2010, 12:58am
by hubgearfreak
djnotts wrote:I can't see that could buy a better "it's a BIKE" bike for a similar amount of cash.


no, but a raleigh royal (cromo-steel frame) is only £50 more

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 31 Jan 2010, 9:52am
by chris667
It's good if you must have new stuff.

But a wanted ad here for a £370 touring bike would get you something in a completely different league to it.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 31 Jan 2010, 7:07pm
by horizon
chris667 wrote:It's good if you must have new stuff.

But a wanted ad here for a £370 touring bike would get you something in a completely different league to it.


I agree, but comparing like with like, it's very good value as a complete bike that will soak up typical utility shopping, commuting etc journeys. It too will be cheaper second hand eventually. I think the point I was making is that this is the sort of bike that is faster than a "sit up and beg, just go down the road" type of bike, better on road than a MTB, obviously more practical than racer - it's for people who believe in cycling, not putting bikes on cars. When you think about the different classes of cyclist, there are fewer and fewer who will cycle rather than drive:

e.g.

1. Competitive cyclist: bike on car, drive to event, doesn't go via Tesco. Car is ideally TVR.
2. Saturday morning young MTB'er off road, fun trip. Dad picks him up if necessary in his 4x4 and on weekdays drops him off at school.
3. Middle aged "must get the weight and waist down" slow cycle around the local park, check scales on return home. Toyota comes out for rest of week.
4. Older male MTB'er: uses cheap MTB while waiting for driving ban to expire. Hankers after Suburu.
5. Retired from cycling: old enough to remember pre-motorway 100 mile runs to the coast, now uses top of the range mobility scooter and free bus pass.
6. Everyone else: bikes safely in garage, fully insured, bang up to date when bought, waiting for that good summer. Shame the tyres seem to have deflated.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 31 Jan 2010, 7:23pm
by glueman
If you know what you're doing secondhand is an excellent way to buy but if you're unlucky you could pay what the Dawes cost replacing worn out equipment on an old bike. Personally I'd opt for the Raleigh for another fifty quid but either bike would do the business.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 31 Jan 2010, 8:17pm
by DavidT
I think it's great to see some entry level touring bikes back on the market again. This Dawes is just one example. A sector and price level that has been largely ignored for 15 years.

I did my first few tours in the 80s on a Raleigh Medale, that proves the point that you don't have to have top of the range, or even mid range kit to get bitten by the bug! Yet these days, the likes of the Dawes Vantage, Raleigh Royal etc have a far better spec than that bike. I could only afford to progress onto Reynolds tubing and all round alloy kit etc 10 years later. - Although I admit the Medale was upgraded in the meantime.

The Dawes Vantage looks good value.

Re: Dawes Vantage - entry level rugged tourer

Posted: 1 Feb 2010, 8:35am
by fatboy
DavidT wrote:I think it's great to see some entry level touring bikes back on the market again. This Dawes is just one example. A sector and price level that has been largely ignored for 15 years.


A few years back you could buy a Steel framed Horizon for £450 until the price of bikes rocketed. Shame that they didn't introduce this when the Horizon was £450 as it could have perhaps been available for £375 which would have been much more in "normal" bike territory!