Dawes Galaxy - which one

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fullfathom5
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Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby fullfathom5 » 4 Mar 2011, 7:35pm

I'm thinking of buying a Dawes Galaxy whilst they are on offer at Spa. This will be my first tourer and I'm wondering which flavour to get (Galaxy, Super or Ultra)? Is 853 a better tubeset for touring than 631 because I have heard it can lead to quite a harsh ride? All advice gratefully received.

Thanks.

Gerry Attrick
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby Gerry Attrick » 4 Mar 2011, 8:05pm

I am sure you will open a can of worms here!

A couple of years ago, Mrs A and I had tourers made to measure by a very well known custom builder. We discussed at length the choice of tubeset and how the qualities of different grades related to the kind of touring we would be doing. I had set my heart on 753, but my builder suggested that it was not the ideal tubing to use when heavy loads were to be carried as it had a tendency to flex too much. I'm sure there were several other reasons he gave which I can't now remember, but the upshot was our bikes were built from 631.

They are the most comfortable, easy to ride bikes I have ever experienced. They look superb and we can ride them all day for days on end. Heavy loads are only a problem to the engine, not the bike.

If you are only doing fast, lightly loaded touring, then maybe the higher tube specs or even ti will be fine. Horses for courses I reckon.
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fullfathom5
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby fullfathom5 » 4 Mar 2011, 8:09pm

The other big difference is that the Galaxy has bar-end shifters whereas the Super and Ultra have Tiagra STis.

I've not used bar-end shifters although I know a lot of tourists like them. Is it for reliability issues?

irc
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby irc » 4 Mar 2011, 9:02pm

I would suggest the Galaxy. I don't think you would feel any difference in the different frame materials.

Bar end shifters work well. They are compatible with any front mech if you decide later on to lower your gearing by changing the standard 48/38/28 for an MTB chainset. I've heard simplicity/reliability also suggested as an advatage for bar ends but I'm not sure STIs fail often enough for that to be an issue.

Perhaps use some of the cash saved by not going for the Super or Ultra to replace the rear wheel with a handbuilt wheel. Factory wheels on Galaxys, (like many other makes) are not great.

My Galaxy wheels broke spokes front and rear after a couple of thousand miles. Others using more recent Galaxys have had similar problems. On my transamerica tour I met a Brit on a Super Galaxy with who was having rear wheel spoke problems. There was a recent comment on CGOAB from another tourer with Galaxy wheel problems.

"The rim on the rear wheel of my Ultra Galaxy wore out after about 3000 miles and I had to get it replaced in Sault Ste Marie (crossing Canada). It already had about a 1000 miles on it. The rear was constantly going out of true. The replacement wheel wasn't tensioned so I subsequently had a nightmare with broken spokes and ended up getting a complete new wheel hand built. A friend's Ultra Galaxy wheel also wore out after about the same number of miles so I'd say get one built before heading out across America. I think it's pretty shocking to have to advise this for such an expensive bike."

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/bo ... 206093&v=O
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Greybeard
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby Greybeard » 4 Mar 2011, 9:07pm

I bought the Ultra Galaxy a couple of years ago from Spa - delighted with the machine and the dealership, which I've used many times over the years. I went for the Ultra mainly because I had the brass to spare for the extra spec (it was an early pre-retirement prezzie :oops: ), for the Brooks saddle (which was swapped for free for a green special 'un and a pair of green leather bar tapes) and the fact that it had a 'proper' bottom bracket, not one of those new fangled outboard bearing thingies :roll: Apart from that, the 'super' was brown IIRC :shock:

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531colin
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby 531colin » 5 Mar 2011, 8:01am

We always get multiple threads about the same thing....
Theres some stuff here about Galaxies...http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=47462&hilit=galaxy
And some stuff here debunking a few myths about bike comfort...http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=47448&hilit=arrogant....and more here..http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=47117&hilit=cynic&start=30
There will be more if you search!!

Personally, I would go for 853, although not necessarily the high end cycle parts, you can always upgrade parts as they wear out, but the frame is for life.
If you want comfort, fit big light flexible smooth tyres at a sensible pressure.

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CREPELLO
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby CREPELLO » 5 Mar 2011, 11:27am

Irc referred to the wheels being a problem. The rims may have worn out prematurely because if equipped with Shimano canti's, the brake blocks are notorious for wearing out rims. So replace with Koolstop pads.

As for the spokes breaking etc - get the wheels properly tensioned/stress relieved from new. There's no good reason why a factory wheel can't last as well as hand built, if this last hand built bit is done to fix it. Pay for the work if necessary, though you should be able to persuade the shop you bought the bike from to do it for free. Just make sure it's not just a little tweak of the spokes and that it's done ASAP. There's no need for replacement wheels IMO.

irc
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby irc » 5 Mar 2011, 12:44pm

CREPELLO wrote:Irc referred to the wheels being a problem. The rims may have worn out prematurely because if equipped with Shimano canti's, the brake blocks are notorious for wearing out rims. So replace with Koolstop pads.

As for the spokes breaking etc - get the wheels properly tensioned/stress relieved from new. There's no good reason why a factory wheel can't last as well as hand built, if this last hand built bit is done to fix it. Pay for the work if necessary, though you should be able to persuade the shop you bought the bike from to do it for free. Just make sure it's not just a little tweak of the spokes and that it's done ASAP. There's no need for replacement wheels IMO.


I agree this should go most of the way towards the quality of a handbuilt wheel. Although are the spokes on all bikes the same quality? Are the rims on Galaxys as good as the best rims like Sputnik etc? I'd be interested in 531colins opinion here as I don't know the answer.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

nullarbor
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby nullarbor » 5 Mar 2011, 7:58pm

Can't compare the three as I've only evey had the ultra, but it's effortlessly capable, a credit to Taiwan, and top of the range, so you never wonder if you missed out by buying a 'lessor' galaxy.

Re. the wheels, no broken spokes, but the rims wore out after 3000 miles, and I rebuilt them with good parts from Spa, and these wore out under Koolstops after 4000 miles or so in the hills where I live .. I put it down to great modern brakes and don't give it another thought. My STI's havn't missed a beat in 5 years, so no reliability issues for me, I would take them anywhere.

Dawes's feeble frame guarantee and sky high Ultra prices are the only negatives .. you can often buy a custom tourer for less, but if Spa have them on offer you are in safe hands. Hope this was helpful.

fatboy
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby fatboy » 7 Mar 2011, 7:47am

Greybeard wrote:Apart from that, the 'super' was brown IIRC :shock:


A friend of mine has a brown one and it actually looks really nice which really suprised me!

Shifters is a matter of taste. Personally I wounldn't be without my STI shifters (I bought a Horizon vs a Galaxy (never sure if it was a wise thing to do) because I couldn't afford to go up and wanted STI) as you can change gear without moving hands which makes climbing etc much easier IMHO. However getting the front mech adjusted right with an STI indexed shifter can be a right pain........
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steady eddy
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby steady eddy » 7 Mar 2011, 9:26am

I have a standard one in green - 3,500 miles mainly commuting in 3 years. The wheels were trued by the bike shop before they sold it. Mine does that to all thier bikes befor they sell them. The spokes are all fine and the rims are not showing particular signs of wear even on the very gritty roads of Norfolk - but not many hills to test the brakes I suppose.

I couldnt get on with the bar end shifters and have swapped them for campag ergos which are about half the price of the equivilent Shimano ones. This involved changing the front mech as well. It all works fine, but if you want to do this get advice first unless you know what you are doing. It is not a straight swap.There is lots on here about how to do it.

The Galaxy is a good bike at the discount prices, but is a little over built ( and over priced) in my view, unless you are going to use it for loaded touring. With hidsight I think I would have been better with an Audax bike, but to get the same spec at the time I got mine would have cost more and I probably wouldnt have been able to tell the difference after a few miles and tired legs.

vjosullivan
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby vjosullivan » 8 Mar 2011, 5:37pm

fullfathom5 wrote:I'm wondering which flavour to get (Galaxy, Super or Ultra)?

If I were you and given the choice, I'd get the Ultra.

In fact, after twenty-five years of faithful service I've put my old Horzon out to grass and ordered a new Ultra today. :D

Having seen the Butcher's Bike rebuild project, I'm tempted to try something similar on the Horizon. I'm not sure I could get it quite so shiny though.

V.
E25

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CREPELLO
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby CREPELLO » 8 Mar 2011, 6:51pm

There's nothing in it between the Super and the Ultra as far as I can see. Both have the nominally better 853 frame and the same Tiagra STI's. All have the superb Tubus rack. The Ultra's wheels have the new style XT hubs, the reliability of which is still open to question; the Super has the refined and tried and tested LX hubs. So the ultra has the basic Brooks B17. I'd save up for the better looking B17 Special or other Brooks (or persuade the shop to throw a Brooks in with the deal). Ultra has the Sugino cranks, which can be procured very cheaply (£35) and are hardly a significant upgrade opver the Deore cranks. Deore cranks do have the slightly questionable outboard BB, but I reckon you could upgrade the sealed bearings for something higher grade later. The XT rear mech (Ultra) really isn't any better than the LX of the Super.

It also depends on whether you go for the 2011 model or not. So for 2011, the Ultra comes with the rather inelegant uni-crown fork and now also has LX hubs (perhaps Dawes have been getting more complaints about the XT hubs?).
So at the end of the day it comes down to price and colour! If you can get a 2010 Ultra at the right price, go for it, but otherwise it's never been worth the extra over the Super, for what you get IMO.

vjosullivan
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby vjosullivan » 8 Mar 2011, 7:40pm

CREPELLO wrote:I'd save up for the better looking B17 Special or other Brooks

We obviously think alike. I've got a special on order and am getting the bars taped up to match. My understanding was that all the Galaxies now had uni-crown forks. The thing that swung it for me though is that the Super has a noticeably more compact frame - which I'm not so keen on - than the Ultra.
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CREPELLO
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Re: Dawes Galaxy - which one

Postby CREPELLO » 8 Mar 2011, 8:25pm

vjosullivan wrote: The thing that swung it for me though is that the Super has a noticeably more compact frame - which I'm not so keen on - than the Ultra.

Are you sure about that? The two models always shared the same frame in the past. I wouldn't assess the frame proportions from any website photo's - Dawes often choose a small size frame for photo's. Besides, having different geometry for a virtually identical bike just wouldn't be cost effective or rational.