Author Topic: Planet X XLS 'cross bike  (Read 15742 times)

Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« on: January 02, 2014, 04:45:28 pm »
Just a few initial comments: got one of these on C2W not long ago.

Planet X were good to deal with, although the C2W process was fairly complicated. From memory, they (Planet X) don't provide quotes but instead get you just to print the web page summarizing an order. Except my particular C2W provider wanted something with a signature on it... But after a few calls this got sorted out. There is a "pay with voucher" option on the website and after that it took some phone calls again!  ::-)

With standard parts the bike comes to £999. On top of this Planet X will charge an additional £100 "admin fee" since they say that's what the C2W company charge them. Obviously this doesn't apply if you're paying up front. The admin fee muddies the water somewhat with regards to ownership of the bike after the initial 12 month rental has passed, as does the fact that Planet X would upgrade for additional cash. Which suited me fine... ;D

But this is a review of the bike, not of Planet X or the C2W scheme, so here goes:


The bike, immediately after a very wet 12-miler on dodgy Yorkshire lanes.

If you're after the combination of carbon frame, clearance for wide tyres and disc brakes, you'll search for a long time. If you also don't want to spend £LOADS, this bike really is your only option. And it's aimed squarely at the bike to work price point, while still being equipped with decent components. On paper it's excellent VFM, and is one of the cheapest 105 level-equipped bikes you'll buy, regardless of type.

The standard spec is as follows:
Frame: 12k carbon (whatever that is) with a semi-shiny finish that part-obscures the carbon weave. The finish almost seems as if the frame has been oiled. All the cables are internally routed. There is a plain black & white option, as well as a "Flanders" finish which is more colourful.
Fork: Carbon with alloy steerer. This is actually an advantage to me, since I wanted to run the steerer fractionally longer than a full-on race position. Direct-mount brakes.
Groupset: All Shimano 105, except for the chainset (FSA Gossamer, 36/46 'cross chainset) and the front mech, which is a Shimano top-pull affair, to go with the cable being routed through the T/T. Band-on front mech.
Brakes: BB7's.
Wheels: Mine came with Deore hubs and Mach 820 disc-specific rims. 36h each.
Finishing kit: Deda alloy stem, seat post and bars.
There are upgrade options which change from time to time. I asked for a compact road chainset and Conti GP 4 seasons tyres rather than the 'cross tyres it's specced with. I used my own saddle. My bike came to £1140 including the "admin fee", but the C2W savings will offset part of that.

The bike arrived when they said it would, albeit after a delay while they waited for my size frame to arrive.. It was well set-up, with the steerer left a bit long as I asked. The brake cable housings were cut very short, though, so that the bars can't actually be raised to the top of the steerer, let alone flipping the stem.

The main issue for me was that there are no mudguard mounts. I always intended to set this up as a "year-round road bike" and accepted that I would need to bodge mudguards. Whilst there is acres of clearance (I reckon up to 35mm tyres + guards) there was more bodging required than what I thought.  :(


Mudguard bodge - sooner or later I will get around to doing something a bit less fugly...



First ride was yesterday. It started raining just as I left the house.  ::-) I briefly balked at taking my shiny new toy out in the rain and skog TM but since it's meant to be an all-weather ride I just got on with it. The combination of (really quite heavy) rain and general muck on the road did test the bike. I took it up what, for me, is the "local big hill" to shake it down. It was getting dark and I didn't fettle lights so it was a short ride. The hill gains about 300m altitide in 5k, and has a couple of short near 1 in 5 sections. (For locals to me: It's the hill past Wharfedale Hospital, towards Timble from the bridge in Otley.)

Impressions:

A good ride, though I have no prior experience of carbon so can't compare it with anything else. With 28mm tyres the frame and forks do soak up even quite bumpy lanes very well. It's a different ride to either steel or ti; somehow less of a springy feeling and more "damped". But comfortable. Not feather-light (I'd guess just south of 10kg with guards) but very stiff and it's noticeable that pedalling force moves you forward rather than bend the frame.

Stable on the downhill, although there was definitely more "squirm" on the corners than what I'm used to on a steel touring bike with 32mm Marathons. I couldn't say whether this was a function of bike or GP4S's.

The BB7s were ace, even in the wet and on their first outing! Not as powerful as the XT hydraulics on my commuter, but absolutely fine and better than any rim brake in the sort of conditions I rode in. The rotors were noticeably quieter than the bling XT rotors.

I'll post an update once I've done some miles on it. Happy so far, particularly given the price.

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 02:25:19 pm »
Very nice Closetleftie. Very good value for money as well.
I have been been wanting to buy A Planet X cross bike for awhile now, but the lack of mudguard mounts has made me hesitate.


velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 05:15:04 pm »
I love the idea of a lightweight bike with discs. What is the ride like, as I know someone who had the genesis equilibrium disc and found the ride too harsh (I know this is carbon and the genesis is steel, but the point is that it did not translate so well into a disc braked road bike).

I also agree that the lack of mudguard mounts is perplexing.

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 06:44:27 pm »

I have been been wanting to buy A Planet X cross bike for awhile now, but the lack of mudguard mounts has made me hesitate.

It put me off, too. But the fact of the matter is that the combination of carbon, disc brakes and mudguard mounts simply doesn't exist in any off-the-shelf frame (at least any that I could find). And at £1k with 105 I felt the VFM was good enough...


I love the idea of a lightweight bike with discs. What is the ride like, as I know someone who had the genesis equilibrium disc and found the ride too harsh (I know this is carbon and the genesis is steel, but the point is that it did not translate so well into a disc braked road bike).


I like the ride - as comfortable as the Ti XACD frame which was destroyed when a moton drove into me. Not quite as "springy" as Ti, more "damped" but certainly not harsh.

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 09:16:35 am »
So have you've signed up for the Delightful Dales 200? Go on!

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 01:53:55 pm »
Just read this article on Road CC.
Looks as if Planet X are thinking about adding mudguard / rack eyelets to their  cross bikes to make them even more versitile.
http://road.cc/content/news/114039-just-one-ti-pickenflick

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 02:00:17 pm »
Just read this article on Road CC.
Looks as if Planet X are thinking about adding mudguard / rack eyelets to their  cross bikes to make them even more versitile.
http://road.cc/content/news/114039-just-one-ti-pickenflick

I read that review the other day, so wondered what you were on about, as the comment from Brant wasn't there when I read it.

If he means ALL the P-X/O-O CX bikes, then a Dirty Disco might well be in my future!
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 02:13:55 pm »
[ then a Dirty Disco might well be in my future!

Thats the one I would buy as well.

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 02:14:23 pm »
That reads to me as if it'll only be the Pickenflick that gets the mounts.



tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 02:20:28 pm »
That would be my interpretation of what was reported, due to the context.  Having said that though those chappies over in Sheffield are not known for standing still with such things.

Enough people ask for them, or enough other manufacturers do it and P-X/O-O will, probably, add them.

It makes sense to make the bikes more adaptable with only a small (very small) weight gain (in the matter of grams)

ETA it is also what made the Inbred 29er so appealing to me, the fact that it has rack mounts (but oddly enough, no mudguard mounts)
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 02:31:49 pm »
I would be very tempted to sell my sabbath September and buy the Pickenflick if they were only going to add the mounts to the Ti frame.

onb

  • Between jobs at present
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 09:17:15 pm »
I would be very tempted to sell my sabbath September and buy the Pickenflick if they were only going to add the mounts to the Ti frame.


heresy.
 ::-) :o :thumbsup: ;)
.

jackt

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Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 07:50:58 pm »
Not a Pickenflick, but a new "London Road" model from Planet X, quietly announced a few days ago, looks like an interesting model.

Aluminium frame, carbon fork, clearance for up to 38mm tyres, disc brakes, rack and mudguard mounts. £999.

http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXLDNRIV/planet-x-london-road-sram-rival-22-road-bike

Seems a bit overkill to equip it with SRAM 11 speed if the intention is a do-it-all, and earlier in the year I was told that it'd come with Tiagra for £699, which sounds very attractive as a first audax/light touring bike that could double up as a commuter. Maybe more spec options will come later, and/or it'll be available as frame and fork only.

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2014, 08:50:03 am »
Are you still enjoying the XLS? What mudguards are you using? That bodge looks pretty good to me!

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2014, 09:09:04 am »
Not a Pickenflick, but a new "London Road" model from Planet X, quietly announced a few days ago, looks like an interesting model.

Aluminium frame, carbon fork, clearance for up to 38mm tyres, disc brakes, rack and mudguard mounts. £999.

http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXLDNRIV/planet-x-london-road-sram-rival-22-road-bike

Seems a bit overkill to equip it with SRAM 11 speed if the intention is a do-it-all, and earlier in the year I was told that it'd come with Tiagra for £699, which sounds very attractive as a first audax/light touring bike that could double up as a commuter. Maybe more spec options will come later, and/or it'll be available as frame and fork only.

It is, apparently, available as F&F, but only in the (not quite as nice, IMHO) silver colour.  I am still in two minds as to whether to get this or the Lurcher once my last bit of insurance money comes through.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 09:32:29 am »
Last time I looked on the PX site the zesty green frame was available from 15/10. I prefer the green colour as well.

Re: Planet X XLS 'cross bike
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 04:07:35 pm »
Are you still enjoying the XLS? What mudguards are you using? That bodge looks pretty good to me!

Blackburn jobbies, bought from my LBS. Thanks for the compliment - it took a while to get the stays bent around the brakes etc. Rattles a little, but functional enough.

Good bike - still liking it. Would recommend.