Author Topic: Spa Cycles Elan Ti  (Read 14376 times)

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2020, 07:24:42 pm »
I don't own a Ti disc bike, but I do own a Ti track bike, and trying to keep the axle in place with Ti dropouts is really difficult

WRT disc, not so much of an issue on the rear, but I wouldn't use a QR on the front.   I've had QR disc hubs, on an alloy frame with powder coating. The qr axles would turn with the braking force. I dremelled all the paint off and had to change the qr skewer to a really high quality one to stop it from happening.

This is true - never mind the brakes, even climbing out of the saddle on a Ti bike needs a decent QR skewer to avoid the rear wheel moving in the dropouts (or perhaps it's my chiselled thighs of steel...)

Mike

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2020, 07:39:54 pm »
I'm surprised that I have never heard of this being a problem with Ti frames, despite them having been in use for many years now.

Anyway, as a smooth-pedalling lightweight, enfeebled with age, I wouldn't expect it to be a problem for me  ;).  I do now have a disc-braked Elan, but in steel. Never occurred to me to be concerned - although I am careful to make sure the front q/r is good and tight. Perhaps I should get a gorilla to fasten it for me?

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2020, 07:47:03 pm »
My problems arose with Ti skewers that were clearly more stretchy than Shimano steel ones. After a few occasions of the wheel twisting in the dropouts and bringing me to a halt as the tyre rubbed the frame climbing the lower end of the Beryl Burton cyclehillway I just swapped back to the Shimano QRs and it's been fine since. They do need to be done up though.

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2020, 08:00:15 pm »
Yes, the Shimano steel skewers and q/rs do seem to be decent kit.

Funny you should mention the BB cycleway, which is where I took the Spa Elan (both versions, Ti and steel) for test rides. And I deliberately did repeats up the hill - to test frame stiffness rather than q/r security. I didn't check the q/rs for tightness before the ride - perhaps I should have done? If they've any sense, Spa probably have a resident gorilla to set up their test bikes!

Ended up buying the 725 version. Couldn't honestly detect a lot of difference between the two frames - certainly not £700 worth! And to my eyes the blue steel one is prettier :)

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2020, 09:44:37 pm »
Thanks for your comments Offcumden, they have removed some of my doubts.

I've just ordered an Elan to replace my Genesis Equilibrium for wet and winter rides. I wanted something that would take larger tyres and to try disc brakes. I couldn't get to Harrogate for a test ride so I've got my fingers crossed until it arrives and I ride it.

I also couldn't convince myself the titanium was definitely worth £700 more. So a blue steel one for me too.

I'll report back when it arrives.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2020, 10:50:07 pm »
I used a specialized carbon Sirrus (alu dropouts iirc) with regular QR skewers for city commuting for years.  It involved a lot more hard-braking than I'd normally have to do.  The QR skewers were no issue whatsoever.  I still have it, enjoy riding it and don't notice any flex at all.

I now mostly use a Genesis ti Equibilbrium with thru-axles.  It handles really nicely, I dont experience any flex whatsoever.   I use it for weekend riding and I'll do faster twistier descents on it than I did on the Sirrus, and it handles those a treat, but I wouldnt hesitate to use the Sirrus in the same manner.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2020, 10:55:34 pm »
Thanks for replies folks - sounds like there's options for thru-axle. So I can't narrow down the list by knocking the Spa Elan off then.. Might have to get over to Harrogate for a look when we're allowed out once again.. Just wish I could do the same with Ribble, Reilly and Enigma: no substitute for a try out, esp when you've got the long leg/short torso challenge like me.. comfort is a rare thing!  ::-)

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2020, 05:45:50 pm »
Thanks for your comments Offcumden, they have removed some of my doubts.

I've just ordered an Elan to replace my Genesis Equilibrium for wet and winter rides. I wanted something that would take larger tyres and to try disc brakes. I couldn't get to Harrogate for a test ride so I've got my fingers crossed until it arrives and I ride it.

I also couldn't convince myself the titanium was definitely worth £700 more. So a blue steel one for me too.

I'll report back when it arrives.

I think (hope!) this will show you a pic of my bike.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpuid4xi5rp26mj/IMG_2032.JPG?dl=0
I've put aside the (very nice) 30mm Schwalbes until the spring, and replaced them with slightly chunkier 32mm for the time being, and have some 35mm on order. Apart from setting the position up to suit me, I've fitted a 14-30 Miche cassette (I've no use for 11-12-13 sprockets), giving closer ratios. Oh, and I've shifted the upper front mudguard bracket to the rear of the fork crown for aesthetic reasons. Front 'guard now has a much larger home-made mudflap, which is earning its keep!
Really happy with the bike. Hope you enjoy yours!

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2020, 07:09:17 pm »
Thanks for your comments Offcumden, they have removed some of my doubts.

I've just ordered an Elan to replace my Genesis Equilibrium for wet and winter rides. I wanted something that would take larger tyres and to try disc brakes. I couldn't get to Harrogate for a test ride so I've got my fingers crossed until it arrives and I ride it.

I also couldn't convince myself the titanium was definitely worth £700 more. So a blue steel one for me too.

I'll report back when it arrives.

I think (hope!) this will show you a pic of my bike.

I've put aside the (very nice) 30mm Schwalbes until the spring, and replaced them with slightly chunkier 32mm for the time being, and have some 35mm on order. Apart from setting the position up to suit me, I've fitted a 14-30 Miche cassette (I've no use for 11-12-13 sprockets), giving closer ratios. Oh, and I've shifted the upper front mudguard bracket to the rear of the fork crown for aesthetic reasons. Front 'guard now has a much larger home-made mudflap, which is earning its keep!
Really happy with the bike. Hope you enjoy yours!

You need raw=1 on end if Dropbox link inside img tags

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2020, 07:17:31 pm »
Ah, like this?:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpuid4xi5rp26mj/IMG_2032.JPG?dl=0raw=1

Hm, not sure that worked....

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2020, 07:26:19 pm »
That is the first real photo of a steel Elan I have seen, and it looks lovely.

The other bikes I have bought have been off-the-shelf so this is the first time I have had to specify the parts. It's a bit of a mixed blessing without seeing the options or trying things for size. But everything can be changed later if needs be.

I thought long and hard about mudguard colour and went for black but seeing yours I'm now having second thoughts. But I'm a long mudflap man as well.

I knew I needed lower gears than standard and wanted to try the GRX chainset with 46/30 but it was out of stock. So I've gone for a Spa chainset with 46/30 which will be easier to change to lower gears when needed.

Anticipation has been moved up a level!

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2020, 07:29:08 pm »
Ah, like this?:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpuid4xi5rp26mj/IMG_2032.JPG?dl=0raw=1

Hm, not sure that worked....

[imh]https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpuid4xi5rp26mj/IMG_2032.JPG?raw=1[/img] like this, and replace imh with img

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2020, 07:44:19 pm »
Thanks, Phil.  Trying again, this time with my Spa Audax:



And, bingo, there it is!  Many thanks, and sorry for going a bit off-topic, but posting pics is something I've been wanting to do from time to time.  :) :)

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2020, 07:55:16 pm »
Glad to have helped.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2021, 03:22:14 pm »
My Steel Elan arrived a couple of weeks ago. It looks like a twin brother to offcumden's above.

I've ridden 180 miles so far and am enjoying it. The ride is very comfy on the 32mm Marathon Supremes and soaks up the local road imperfections better than my other bikes. The bars are higher than I'm used to but I'm leaving them there as an experiment for a while - I'm using the drops more than I've ever done before.

As it is my first disc-braked bike I'm still getting used to the novelty of not having rim-grinding noises after going through muddy puddles. I like it.

The only slight disappointment was the weight. I didn't believe the 10.2kg shown on the geometry table for the steel Elan, as that is also what it shows for some of the titanium Elans, but mine is about 11.8kg without pedals (12.2kg with). The only significant weight change from standard spec is I have ended up with a square taper BB.

Looking forward to trying it out on a 200km Audax as soon as possible.

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2021, 04:13:28 pm »
I'm pretty cycnical about Ti bikes offered from small outfits. I always thought the Sabbath output looked very much like a gaspipe Ti chinese thing I have.  The Qoroz frames I saw (circa £1200-1400) certainly did, and that is because they were. From the very same factory from which I bought mine in fact. Only I paid £250.  "Ah" you might say "...but you have no warranty".   Quite right, I don't. But it turns out that the Qoroz warranty wasn't worth the paper it was written on because they ceased trading.

Buy with great caution.

I also used to own an Italian built Ti frame (a Pinarello) and the quality was light years better.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2021, 05:50:53 pm »
ISTR Chris Juden in Cycle magazine several years ago reviewed the Ti Elan and quite liked it. Then a year or so later he reviewed the steel version and something something to the effect of "It's only 300g heavier, it's just as comfy and it's £1000 cheaper. Why buy the titanium one when this is just as good?"

Actually, having written that I think it might have been another Spa Ti/steel duo – perhaps Spa Tourer? – but that was his verdict on frame materials.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2021, 06:12:11 pm »
ISTR Chris Juden in Cycle magazine several years ago reviewed the Ti Elan and quite liked it. Then a year or so later he reviewed the steel version and something something to the effect of "It's only 300g heavier, it's just as comfy and it's £1000 cheaper. Why buy the titanium one when this is just as good?"

Actually, having written that I think it might have been another Spa Ti/steel duo – perhaps Spa Tourer? – but that was his verdict on frame materials.
Yes, but he bought the Ti one for himself, to replace his steel Hewitt, make of that what you will...

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2021, 06:49:02 pm »
My Steel Elan arrived a couple of weeks ago. It looks like a twin brother to offcumden's above.

I've ridden 180 miles so far and am enjoying it. .........

Glad to hear you're enjoying it, Neil. It's true that it isn't particularly light - but with the carbon fork neither is it particularly heavy. In any case, I wasn't seeking a featherweight; my carbon bike does that much better, but is honestly not as comfy, nor as good in poor weather or on rough surfaces.

Happy cycling

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2021, 06:56:26 pm »
ISTR Chris Juden in Cycle magazine several years ago reviewed the Ti Elan and quite liked it. Then a year or so later he reviewed the steel version and something something to the effect of "It's only 300g heavier, it's just as comfy and it's £1000 cheaper. Why buy the titanium one when this is just as good?"

Actually, having written that I think it might have been another Spa Ti/steel duo – perhaps Spa Tourer? – but that was his verdict on frame materials.
Yes, but he bought the Ti one for himself, to replace his steel Hewitt, make of that what you will...
Yebbut he'd already bought it when he first tried the steel one.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2021, 07:22:51 pm »
ISTR Chris Juden in Cycle magazine several years ago reviewed the Ti Elan and quite liked it. Then a year or so later he reviewed the steel version and something something to the effect of "It's only 300g heavier, it's just as comfy and it's £1000 cheaper. Why buy the titanium one when this is just as good?"

Actually, having written that I think it might have been another Spa Ti/steel duo – perhaps Spa Tourer? – but that was his verdict on frame materials.
Yes, but he bought the Ti one for himself, to replace his steel Hewitt, make of that what you will...
Yebbut he'd already bought it when he first tried the steel one.

One way of building some resilience:)

offcumden

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2021, 07:26:10 pm »
ISTR Chris Juden in Cycle magazine several years ago reviewed the Ti Elan and quite liked it. Then a year or so later he reviewed the steel version and something something to the effect of "It's only 300g heavier, it's just as comfy and it's £1000 cheaper. Why buy the titanium one when this is just as good?"

Actually, having written that I think it might have been another Spa Ti/steel duo – perhaps Spa Tourer? – but that was his verdict on frame materials.

I test rode both on one afternoon and decided there was little to choose between them.  I bought the steel version because I liked the price, and preferred the paint job over the slightly 'industrial' look of bare titanium.

Seems to me there is often a lot of nonsense written in reviews, with talk of 'compliance' and 'responsiveness', 'sharp handling' etc.  Much of this is frankly ignorant b****x, and tells us more about the pretensions of the authors (who may have advertisers to please) than about the real qualities of the bike.  Of course, we are all individuals, with our own preferences and needs, and we should be careful who we listen to. I'd have a lot of time for the opinions of Chris Juden, while being aware that his needs and demands are not the same as mine. 

No reason not to go for titanium if you can afford it and it makes you happy, though. I'm told Ti is less likely to rust, but I'm a sweaty bugger and I've had steel frames last me twenty years without really serious corrosion. At the age of 78 I figure 20 years might be just enough . . .



Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2021, 07:37:15 pm »
I'm pretty cycnical about Ti bikes offered from small outfits. I always thought the Sabbath output looked very much like a gaspipe Ti chinese thing I have.  The Qoroz frames I saw (circa £1200-1400) certainly did, and that is because they were. From the very same factory from which I bought mine in fact. Only I paid £250.  "Ah" you might say "...but you have no warranty".   Quite right, I don't. But it turns out that the Qoroz warranty wasn't worth the paper it was written on because they ceased trading.

Buy with great caution.

I also used to own an Italian built Ti frame (a Pinarello) and the quality was light years better.

I’ve got a Sabbath Monday’s Child and it’s a nice fun bike. I know which factory it came from and the cost of the frame and forks was very reasonable - certainly much lower than the other British badges Chinese built Ti frames around. So I’m happy. There again, I only live around the corner from Spa (who own the Sabbath brand). I broadly agree with your view, but think the real issue is honesty of seller.

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Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2021, 08:26:23 pm »
Sabbath are/were a much more prominent brand than either Qoroz, or Setavento (who went out of business trying to honour warranties when frames started cracking)

Where was yours built?

Ti was very much flavour of the month 20 years ago, but seems almost redundant now, certainly for race type bikes.

I did like my Pinarello (Branded 'Opera') but the quality difference between it and any of the Chinese stuff I've seen is huge. The welding was beautiful and the tubing looked, felt and sounded totally different.

I've still got an XACD fixie. It doesn't get used much but I like it.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2021, 12:19:49 am »
Sabbath are/were a much more prominent brand than either Qoroz, or Setavento (who went out of business trying to honour warranties when frames started cracking)

Where was yours built?

Ti was very much flavour of the month 20 years ago, but seems almost redundant know, certainly for race type bikes.

I did like my Pinarello (Branded 'Opera') but the quality difference between it and any of the Chinese stuff I've seen is huge. The welding was beautiful and the tubing looked, felt and sounded totally different.

I've still got an XACD fixie. It doesn't get used much but I like it.

Mine was built by Waltly. I don’t know if they’ll do another run, as it’s not really Spa’s core style of bike and probably not a big seller. They are also specced with a very expensive Dedacciai fork. It’s got a big down tube - I think 44mm from memory - which is ovalised at the bottom bracket and the seat and top tube a pretty chunky too. I’m not sure if any of the tubes are double butted (presume not - updated as the website says it is DB), but given most of the Chinese DB tubing is 0.9/0.7/0.9 it doesn’t save much unless you’re trying to reduce stiffness. Chain stays are a bit more difficult on Ti as well, although you can go up to 1.2mm wall thickness or bigger, but you wind up with something that gets heavy again.

You’ll have been through all this thinking with XACD! What were they like to deal with? They have something of a reputation.