Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
User avatar
531colin
Posts: 13219
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby 531colin » 22 Jul 2018, 9:47pm

I'm late to this (just found it).
Bill, I can tell you why the clearances on the tourers are as they are.
Most people won't have any other shifters except Shimano STIs.
STIs work well with cantilever or mini-vee brakes, but most people believe that cantilevers are rubbish.
So, I have to design a bike that works with mini-vee brakes
Picture https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/14930320539/in/album-72157624571269648/ shows a 35mm Marathon tyre with 10mm mudguard clearance....the guard is as high as it will go, and the guard is touching the mini-vee wire. (That's an original Marathon, the new Greenguard ones are taller)
With the guard as low as it will go https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/14930321849/in/album-72157624571269648/ its pretty close to a 32mm tyre, but there are people who want to run 25 or 28mm tyres without it looking too "gappy". (pictures are 700c bikes, but the limitations of mini-vee brakes are universal.)
If I'm going to be riding tracks, or even minor lanes in the winter, I find that much less than 10mm mudguard clearance will cause the guards to jam up with mud.
Spa list Marathon Supremes, Racers, Greenguard in 26 x 1.5 or 1.6. The Racers and Supremes are nice light tyres for road use or dry tracks, but they will "let go" in anything resembling mud. My favourite tyre for roughstuff was the original Marathon, with a Kevlar strip; good on the road, and surprisingly capable in anything but the foulest mud. The new "Greenguard" tyres are much heavier and give a dull ride due to the thickness of rubber under the tread.
I can't second-guess the bike trade; I have laid up a lifetime supply of 8 and 9 speed transmission parts quite needlessly, because I can still buy them; I should have hoarded tyres..... :roll:

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby Vantage » 24 Jul 2018, 1:56am

Aaaaaaaah I see. Thanks Colin. In that case, the bike is perfect :)
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

gbnz
Posts: 1889
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby gbnz » 12 May 2020, 8:45am

Bought my Spa Steel Tourer (NB. Frame & forks) mid-summer '15.

The bikes ok, but one area in which it has been exceptionally poor, has been the durability of the paint finish. While it's now had 5 years of low-moderate use (10k or under in 5 yr's), by the second or third year the paint finish was looking exceptionally poor. The paint finish is thin/soft enough that even the slight touch of the rear brake cable outer against the head tube, had resulted in the paint being taken back to bare metal within a couple of years use. Regular repainting of various areas has been required to prevent rust. Whilst I'm not too bothered about the look of the bike, it does look like a 30-40 or yr old machine that's been stored in a shed for years :wink:

In contrast my oldest bike (17yr's old, an easy 50k +), made in Taiwan, paint finish looks near new with the exception of an odd scratch here or there. My other bike of identical age and mileage to the Spa (NB. Again made in Taiwan), does look like new

mikeymo
Posts: 1700
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby mikeymo » 13 May 2020, 5:35pm

gbnz wrote:Bought my Spa Steel Tourer (NB. Frame & forks) mid-summer '15.

The bikes ok, but one area in which it has been exceptionally poor, has been the durability of the paint finish. While it's now had 5 years of low-moderate use (10k or under in 5 yr's), by the second or third year the paint finish was looking exceptionally poor. The paint finish is thin/soft enough that even the slight touch of the rear brake cable outer against the head tube, had resulted in the paint being taken back to bare metal within a couple of years use. Regular repainting of various areas has been required to prevent rust. Whilst I'm not too bothered about the look of the bike, it does look like a 30-40 or yr old machine that's been stored in a shed for years :wink:

In contrast my oldest bike (17yr's old, an easy 50k +), made in Taiwan, paint finish looks near new with the exception of an odd scratch here or there. My other bike of identical age and mileage to the Spa (NB. Again made in Taiwan), does look like new


Interesting. I'm thinking of buying a Spa frame. Do you happen to know if yours painted use the "ED" method?
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p3866/SPA-CYCLES-Wayfarer

I'm especially interested because if I can bring myself to do it, the first thing I'd like to do would be to get the frame resprayed. I really like the colour of my current bike, and don't really like the blue of the Spa Wayfarers (which I'm looking at). A bit bonkers to respray a brand new frame, maybe, I know.

I wonder whether all metal paint finishes are softer these days. Certainly I remember some long threads on Mercedes Benz forums IIRC bemoaning the softness of current auto car finishes. I think it might be environmental reasons.

PH
Posts: 9633
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby PH » 13 May 2020, 6:44pm

mikeymo wrote:I wonder whether all metal paint finishes are softer these days. Certainly I remember some long threads on Mercedes Benz forums IIRC bemoaning the softness of current auto car finishes. I think it might be environmental reasons.

It's possible gbnz just got unlucky, they're powder coated so there is no reason it should be soft, be interesting to see if other owners share that experience. Yes modern enamel paint isn't what it used to be, hasn't been for some time, goes for household gloss as well, they've removed all the harmful chemicals and haven't found anything to replace them with. At the same time powder coating has got better, even some high end famebuilders are using it, if done well it's almost indistinguishable from wet paint, though there's also plenty that are not doing it well. It also has a reputation of being harder to remove when you want a respray. I have a Thorn painted in DuPont Imron, which is a polyurethane enamel, it's the best finish I've had on any steel bike, both in looks and robustness. It's what I'll be looking for if I ever need another bike resprayed.
It seems wasteful to buy a bike and immediately have it re-painted, but it's not my money.

mikeymo
Posts: 1700
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby mikeymo » 13 May 2020, 6:58pm

PH wrote:
mikeymo wrote:I wonder whether all metal paint finishes are softer these days. Certainly I remember some long threads on Mercedes Benz forums IIRC bemoaning the softness of current auto car finishes. I think it might be environmental reasons.

It's possible gbnz just got unlucky, they're powder coated so there is no reason it should be soft, be interesting to see if other owners share that experience. Yes modern enamel paint isn't what it used to be, hasn't been for some time, goes for household gloss as well, they've removed all the harmful chemicals and haven't found anything to replace them with. At the same time powder coating has got better, even some high end famebuilders are using it, if done well it's almost indistinguishable from wet paint, though there's also plenty that are not doing it well. It also has a reputation of being harder to remove when you want a respray. I have a Thorn painted in DuPont Imron, which is a polyurethane enamel, it's the best finish I've had on any steel bike, both in looks and robustness. It's what I'll be looking for if I ever need another bike resprayed.
It seems wasteful to buy a bike and immediately have it re-painted, but it's not my money.


I wondered if "Electrophoretic Deposition" was just a fancy name for powder coating. Turns out they're different processes, as far as I can tell:

https://pacdiecast.com/die-casting/difference-between-electrophoretic-deposition-and-powder-coating/

A quick read around suggests ED is better for corrosion resistance. In which case I probably wouldn't bother getting it stripped. So I'd either leave as is, or powder coat over if I wanted a change of colour. Apparently that's possible.

Mind you, I didn't like the colour of my current frame when it arrived. Now I love it. So....

PH
Posts: 9633
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby PH » 13 May 2020, 7:02pm

mikeymo wrote:I wondered if "Electrophoretic Deposition" was just a fancy name for powder coating. Turns out they're different processes, as far as I can tell:

ED is a process that takes place before the powder coat or paint, it isn't instead of. It's become very popular, I hadn't heard of it a few years ago and now many frames have it, including my Thorn.

mikeymo
Posts: 1700
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby mikeymo » 13 May 2020, 7:05pm

PH wrote:
mikeymo wrote:I wondered if "Electrophoretic Deposition" was just a fancy name for powder coating. Turns out they're different processes, as far as I can tell:

ED is a process that takes place before the powder coat or paint, it isn't instead of. It's become very popular, I hadn't heard of it a few years ago and now many frames have it, including my Thorn.


Ah, I see, thanks. So the Spa bikes are ED coated and then powder coated, yes?

PH
Posts: 9633
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby PH » 13 May 2020, 7:14pm

mikeymo wrote:Ah, I see, thanks. So the Spa bikes are ED coated and then powder coated, yes?

Yes, as far as I'm aware.

gbnz
Posts: 1889
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby gbnz » 13 May 2020, 7:32pm

mikeymo wrote:
Interesting. I'm thinking of buying a Spa frame. Do you happen to know if yours painted use the "ED" method?
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p3866/SPA-CYCLES-Wayfarer.


Apologies, I have no knowledge about the manner in which it was painted. Though of seven new bikes I've had since 1981, it's the only one where I've had this problem. Could be worth raising it with Spa if you're buying a new bike

gbnz
Posts: 1889
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby gbnz » 13 May 2020, 7:35pm

PH wrote:It's possible gbnz just got unlucky..... modern enamel paint isn't what it used to be.


I'd point out that the other bike I bought within the same week in 2015 (NB. Those far off days with decent bonuses :wink: ), remains in near perfect / new condition. There's been no difference in use or maintenance

mikeymo
Posts: 1700
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby mikeymo » 13 May 2020, 8:53pm

gbnz wrote:
PH wrote:It's possible gbnz just got unlucky..... modern enamel paint isn't what it used to be.


I'd point out that the other bike I bought within the same week in 2015 (NB. Those far off days with decent bonuses :wink: ), remains in near perfect / new condition. There's been no difference in use or maintenance

Just to be clear, that "other bike" wasn't from Spa?

gbnz
Posts: 1889
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby gbnz » 14 May 2020, 8:12am

mikeymo wrote:
gbnz wrote:
PH wrote:It's possible gbnz just got unlucky..... modern enamel paint isn't what it used to be.


I'd point out that the other bike I bought within the same week in 2015 (NB. Those far off days with decent bonuses :wink: ), remains in near perfect / new condition. There's been no difference in use or maintenance

Just to be clear, that "other bike" wasn't from Spa?


No, it was a good quality bike, made in Taiwan, purchased from Ash Cycles

mikeymo
Posts: 1700
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby mikeymo » 14 May 2020, 10:54am

gbnz wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
gbnz wrote:
I'd point out that the other bike I bought within the same week in 2015 (NB. Those far off days with decent bonuses :wink: ), remains in near perfect / new condition. There's been no difference in use or maintenance

Just to be clear, that "other bike" wasn't from Spa?


No, it was a good quality bike, made in Taiwan, purchased from Ash Cycles


Thanks. Just did a quick search, and I'm not finding lots of posts either here or elsewhere on the interwebs complaining about Spa paint quality. Given that Spa cycles are bought by people who probably don't treat them with kid gloves, I'm wondering if you did get a "bad copy".

My current frame also seems to have disappointingly "soft" paint. If I go ahead with this purchase I'd expect to do apply some sort of frame protection, especially as it should be easy to do on a new frame.

beeblemaster
Posts: 2
Joined: 22 Jul 2020, 11:57pm

Re: Spa Cycles Steel Tourer

Postby beeblemaster » 27 Jul 2020, 12:36pm

Sorry to resurrect this one, but I also have the same paint vulnerability with my 2015 bought Audax frame. I noticed this while assembling the bike! :roll:

I've covered all the most vulnerable areas with helicopter tape, but really have to be careful, a lot more so than my other bikes. Luckily I've managed to keep it looking good 5 years on, but this is my only gripe with it - fantastic otherwise!

Hopefully (another) one that slipped through the net for finish, or the process has changed, as I'm really itching to build another Spa up! 8)