Poll

Should it be

Custom Steel Frame
Off the Shelf Titanium
Carbon
Something Else

Author Topic: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)  (Read 8611 times)

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« on: April 13, 2008, 03:37:06 pm »
Is still some time away but...

Get the frame right and the rest will fall into place?

What should I get the frame made in and why?

I 'think' that with my budget (c£1500 complete) I can afford something like a Robin Mather frame or a Van Nicholas Yukon. I want this to be 'the last bike that I buy' - but we've all said that :) - so I'm going away from carbon because I have doubts about it's longevity. I'll want it for a mixture of commuting and longer distance (probably <200km) rides, but more on the geometry later

I seem to be an average size - certainly clothes fit me off the peg and my Ribble road bike felt immediately comfortable - so would I benefit more from a lighter Ti frame than something tailored to me?

Maladict

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 03:41:29 pm »
Yukon is a nice bike - I find myself pulled to commuting on it instead of the Galaxy even though common sense says I should save it for Audax.  Of course I find myself hiding it in the lab at work rather than in the bike shed (wheel bender racks to boot).

You can get a decent spec Yukon for about that sort of budget, I got mine from Fat Birds Don't Fly and it was around 1500 all in, once they'd knocked off a bit from the individual component prices.  That was with Ultegra except for the wheels which were 105.  I'd not have those wheels again, would go for proper spokes in Open Pro rims or similar.  That would cost more, I think (with Ultegra hubs, anyway).



border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 03:47:55 pm »
A very hard question.

I don't think there's any real technical reason to go for Ti or steel - the design, quality and looks of either can be just what you want. Except I suppose that Ti doesn't need repainting and can stand scratches & scrapes (tho' 953...)  But then the periodic excitement of  getting a good steel frame restored is like having a new one.

So, not a question for your head, but one for your heart.  Do you want lovely British custom steel with a fancy paint job, or a lovely off-the-shelf Ti ?

For what it's worth, my choice was between custom steel (Mather) or custom Ti (Matt Chester).  I went with the Ti because of Matt's philosophy, and because I wanted a Matt Chester road  bike (they are somewhat scarce :)), and because with the $/£ rate it was actually cheap(ish).  If I'd not been able to get custom Ti I'd have gone for the Mather - and I almost did anyway.


Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 03:49:35 pm »
I want this to be 'the last bike that I buy' - but we've all said that

No, I am fairly sure that I have never either said or thought this.
[Quote/]Adrian, you're living proof that bandwidth is far too cheap.[/Quote]

alchemy

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 03:51:46 pm »
I had a custom Llewellyn steel frame made by Darrell McCulloch in Brisbane. I took some measurements and photo's and he did the drawing from those. It fits like a glove and is a truly beautiful bike to ride (I just wish I had more time to ride it  :() and the workmanship is top-shelf. Darrell is a wonderful fellow to deal with and he ships overseas  ;). It wasn't cheap but I think it's worth every cent.

There's no question in my mind - custom steel

Gus

  • Loosing weight stone by stone
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Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 04:30:10 pm »
Custom steel all the way :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

eck

  • Gonna ride my bike until I get home...
    • Angus Bike Chain CC
Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 04:35:45 pm »
I'm lucky enough to have both: a Joe Waugh custom 653 and a ti Airborne Zeppelin.
They are both lovely bikes but if I could only keep one, it would be the Joe Waugh.
It's a bit weird, but actually quite wonderful.

border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 04:55:32 pm »
! have 12 1/2 bikes at present (one's a trike) - three are Ti and the rest steel. If I could keep only one it'd be

The Ti MC
The steel Hetchins
The steel Pomp
The steel Brommie
The steel trike
The Ti On-One

etc

I really don't know.  As I said before, it's not really about the material, it's about the bike.

I'm actually going through this process now as we're contemplating a move to a rented house, and n of them will have to go into long-term storage, whilst (12 1/2)-n will have to be found a place to be kept for day-to-day use

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 05:00:04 pm »
I agree with MV. And some of the bikes I really enjoy are not expensive ones either. I am waiting and waiting to know more about my riding for one day embarking on a project for my dream bike too. It'll borrow form a variety of bikes I own and is likely to be a steelie, or Ti if it becomes more readily available in the bespoke industry.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 05:05:49 pm »
Providing you buy the correct size and specification then both a steel or a Titanium frame should give you good service and last a long time.

Traditional materials used in frames hand built by traditional craftsmen are still a valid long term investment. It is more a case that modern frames with modern materials are more about engineering than craftsmen ship, so no longer do you need to go for hand built to get high quality.

To an extent it is horses for courses, I ride both Steel Audax and Titanium Audax framed bikes, the latter replacing the red steel Dave Yates built Pearson shown, as I could tell it was rusting from the inside out quite badly. I still use the blue one for work and for winter miles so am able to compare them. Both are quite similar to ride, if I had to highlight one difference I would say the titanium is definitely the more comfortable of the two, it is almost like the roads have been resurfaced, it feels smoother to ride, a comment often made by those who ride Titanium. That is not to say that I find the steel one uncomfortable by any means as it certainly is, but a difference there is.

In conclusion you are looking along the right lines for a suitable bike that you intend to keep a long time, in the end it is your choice; I doubt many will have anything negative to say about either and rightly so.

Paul_Smith
www.bikeplus.co.uk

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 05:08:27 pm »
£1500 won't buy you much Ti, but will get you a lot of steel - and custom to boot.  If I had a bit more to play with then I'd go for a Matt Chester, or if I had a lot more then a Jones ($4300 for the frame :o).

border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2008, 05:09:51 pm »
I agree with MV. And some of the bikes I really enjoy are not expensive ones either.

Yes- some of my most fun miles  - including PBP03 and LEL05 - have been on the Pomp which (see PeterM's review) comes in under £400 for the whole package. That's about what I paid for one hub and the BB on the MC :)

border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2008, 05:10:41 pm »
£1500 won't buy you much Ti, but will get you a lot of steel - and custom to boot.  If I had a bit more to play with then I'd go for a Matt Chester, or if I had a lot more then a Jones ($4300 for the frame :o).

MC is 2200 Canadian dollars right now.  Not bad for custom Ti.

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2008, 05:12:32 pm »
It's great value, I know, but you'd be pushed to spec a complete (geared) bike around a MC frame for less than £1500 (as per the OP).  Up the budget a bit, then it becomes a possibility.

border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2008, 05:14:32 pm »
It's great value, I know, but you'd be pushed to spec a complete (geared) bike around a MC frame

That's all you need to say.  MC=no gears, no compromise.  He only makes fixed & SS, and only really offroad & ultradistance machines.  Also, no disc brakes. It's a niche :)

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2008, 05:15:55 pm »
It's great value, I know, but you'd be pushed to spec a complete (geared) bike around a MC frame

That's all you need to say.  MC=no gears, no compromise.  He only makes fixed & SS, and only really offroad & ultradistance machines.  Also, no disc brakes. It's a niche :)

Proper bikes...  O:-)
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2008, 05:21:35 pm »
He's changed his mind recently:

Quote
cyclo cross//fast touring + rando//rough stuff :: Dirt don't hurt. 3Al-2.5V titanium tubing. Custom geometry. 700c wheels. 1 1/8" headset. Multi-speed, single speed, or fixed gear. 68mm English BB shell (73mm shell available for "monster 'cross" + MTBish frames built for 700c x 40+mm or 29" MTB tires). 130mm or 135mm rear spacing. Vertical dropouts (replaceable hanger as an option) or track ends. Cantilever bosses or no rear brake mountings for fixed if desired. Other "weld-on" options too (e.g. pump peg, eyelets, extra bottle bosses, etc.) :: CDN$2200.

http://mattchester.blogspot.com/

border-rider

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2008, 05:22:23 pm »
Blimey

Maybe he's beginning to think of it as a halfway commercial operation  :o

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2008, 05:23:02 pm »
£1500 won't buy you much Ti, but will get you a lot of steel

In the choices that PaulF was interested in "Robin Mather frame or a Van Nicholas Yukon", are actually not that different price wise, especially if he choses a tubing produced in Europe, as like Van Nicholas the price will be effected by the Euro exchange rate.

Paul_Smith
www.bikeplus.co.uk



Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2008, 05:24:32 pm »
Paul S.

Didn't you tell me that we could als ask VN for some customisation? Such as track ends and other items?
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2008, 05:29:20 pm »
How much would a custom steel bike cost then ? Say a Ahearne ? A Rourke 953 is £1400, not much left for wheels. Hand built Ultegra on OpenPros will be £140, that's the budget gone. £1500 wouldn't buy my dream bike. Well it did in 1999.

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2008, 05:29:41 pm »
Paul S.Didn't you tell me that we could als ask VN for some customisation? Such as track ends and other items?

Nearly all the popular Ti frame designers offer full custom built, that will include track ends and other items. At the moment few offer what you have asked for as anything other than custom though.

Paul_Smith
www.bikeplus.co.uk

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2008, 05:32:35 pm »
How much would a custom steel bike cost then ? Say a Ahearne ? A Rourke 953 is £1400, not much left for wheels. Hand built Ultegra on OpenPros will be £140, that's the budget gone. £1500 wouldn't buy my dream bike. Well it did in 1999.

That's kind of what I was getting at - you could just about get a custom steel frame and forks (£6-800?) and spend the rest on Ultegra-grade kit, or an off-the-peg ti frame with similar stuff.

Blimey

Maybe he's beginning to think of it as a halfway commercial operation  :o

It certainly looks that way - I really hope it works out.

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2008, 06:12:11 pm »
I spent about £1250 on my (semi-custom) Hewitt Cheviot - that did include a SON front wheel, though, which bumped the price up a fair bit.  It's a really gorgeous (steel) light tourer, & I'd certainly recommend them. 

Rollo

Re: My Hypothetical 'Dream' Bike (first of many questions)
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2008, 06:31:38 pm »
It's worth noting that if your 'dream' bike is a Robin Mather or any of the other low-volume craftsman builders, it will remain a dream for quite a while after ordering and getting you place in the queue.  My Robin Mather took about 8 months from design and deposit to the day I went down to pick it up.  I think his queue is in excess of a year long now.
Well worth the wait though 8)