Author Topic: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)  (Read 38317 times)

LEE

Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« on: September 29, 2009, 02:38:25 pm »
Thought I'd do what others have done and start with an initial review then revisit in a few months.

Mine was a Frame and Forks purchase, to be used as a transplant recipient of existing components from my, broken, old steel tourer.



The frame is lighter and noticeable stiffer than my old tourer, this is most apparent when honking out of the saddle.  It really makes light work of short climbs.

What I find most pleasing though is how smooth it feels.  It's no smoother than the old bike but it's no more jarring either.  Given the diameter of the Alu tubes, and the move from 28mm to 23mm tyres, I was expecting to have my fillings rattled loose.  Maybe the carbon forks are responsible but it feels really nice and rather relaxed.

The wheelbase is shorter and it turns in quicker than old bike but it's very predictable and no-handed riding is easy.  If I had to sum it up I'd say it was "sprightly".

mudguard eyelets, rack points and bottle cage mounts are all fitted with decent quality allen-bolts.

One surprising aspect of an "Audax" bike though it the lack of clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards.  Even my 23mm tyres are quite close in some spots.  I suspect 25mm would be just on the limit though.

28mm tyres fit but you'll be needing Race-Blades.

I transferred my Brooks saddle and Nitto "Noodle" handlebars along with drive-train so all my contact points are the same, this makes it easier to tell the difference between frames, it's not as different as I was expecting.

3 rides and 80 miles into ownership I am extremely pleased with it. 

It's first real test is Postie's 200km on 18th October.  Mid October on Hampshire lanes could really test those mudguard clearances and cold-weather comfort.

Long-term review to follow.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 08:58:05 pm »
Say..... that's a nice bike.

H

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 09:18:31 pm »
You just like the idea of Ribble head.  :P
Getting there...

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 09:19:11 pm »
Wot H said;

I was heartbroken when my old frame(s) died but often it's for the best as you get to build a bike exactly as you like it;

look forward to seeing it out soon

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 05:08:36 pm »
I am just about to set off for a 30 mile spin into the South Downs on my Ribble wot is just like LEE's. They are smashing bikes.

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 06:01:56 pm »
I had a the same bike and for the price, it's a great bike.
It came built up by Ribble with Campy Mirage / Veloce groupset and some Askuim wheels for a little over 500 quid. I had not a moments problem with it. The paint is a bit thin, but thats not a complaint at the price it was.
I thought it was reasonably comfortable for rides that where shorter than 50 miles, but for longer ride I found that the accumulation of the road buzz very tiring.       

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 11:40:01 am »
I had a the same bike and for the price, it's a great bike.
It came built up by Ribble with Campy Mirage / Veloce groupset and some Askuim wheels for a little over 500 quid. I had not a moments problem with it. The paint is a bit thin, but thats not a complaint at the price it was.
I thought it was reasonably comfortable for rides that where shorter than 50 miles, but for longer ride I found that the accumulation of the road buzz very tiring.       

Are you running the bike 'as supplied'? If yes then look at upgrading the bar tape. I use Specialized BG Bar Phat bartape and padding. Alternatively just add another layer bar tape (more padding and greater surface area = less pressure on hands).

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 11:48:08 am »
Are you running the bike 'as supplied'? If yes then look at upgrading the bar tape. I use Specialized BG Bar Phat bartape and padding. Alternatively just add another layer bar tape (more padding and greater surface area = less pressure on hands).

Or give MarSAS a try. Without it my hands would have been in much worse shape after LEL.

(Irrespective for frame material, I use it on both steel framed Audax bikes.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 11:49:15 am »
I've never used fancy bar tape, and my Al/Carbon Bianchi is the only bike that has ever given me sore/buzzy hands after 8 miles.

That doesn't make it a flawed/rubbish design, I'm just saying it's an underlying weakness.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 02:08:45 pm »
It was as supplied. I took a more expensive option and replaced the frame ;)
In all fairness, it was pretty thin bartape, although it lasted for ages.

AlanW

  • I'm a fiddler, I like to turn screws coz I can...
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 05:28:52 pm »
Excellent frame for the money.  :thumbsup:

"You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"

border-rider

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 05:35:09 pm »
I've never used fancy bar tape, and my Al/Carbon Bianchi is the only bike that has ever given me sore/buzzy hands after 8 miles.

That doesn't make it a flawed/rubbish design, I'm just saying it's an underlying weakness.

Quite possibly it's the tyres as much as the frame.

mr endon

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 05:40:48 pm »
One surprising aspect of an "Audax" bike though it the lack of clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards.  Even my 23mm tyres are quite close in some spots.  I suspect 25mm would be just on the limit though.

28mm tyres fit but you'll be needing Race-Blades.
Is the frame the determinant here, or the brakes? Would deeper drop brakes/cantis enable you to run 28mms?

Steve GT

  • Crediamo in te, bici!
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 05:41:19 pm »
I've never used fancy bar tape, and my Al/Carbon Bianchi is the only bike that has ever given me sore/buzzy hands after 8 miles.

That doesn't make it a flawed/rubbish design, I'm just saying it's an underlying weakness.

Quite possibly it's the tyres as much as the frame.
Size?
Could be, I only used 23mm tyres.

border-rider

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 05:42:51 pm »
Size, rigidity & pressure


Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2009, 05:54:59 pm »
The frame is very reminiscent of that used by Pearson for their Audax Aluminium Pro bike (and indeed my Touche though that has track-ends).

Edit: My Touche will take 28mm Gators with full sks guards *just*. Plenty of room for 25mm GP 4 Seasons.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2009, 06:05:40 pm »
One surprising aspect of an "Audax" bike though it the lack of clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards.  Even my 23mm tyres are quite close in some spots.  I suspect 25mm would be just on the limit though.

28mm tyres fit but you'll be needing Race-Blades.
Is the frame the determinant here, or the brakes? Would deeper drop brakes/cantis enable you to run 28mms?

Based on comments in t'other thread where the subject of LEE's bike came up, my guess is it's the fork that Ribble throw in as part of the deal.

Looking at the pic of AlanW's bike, which has a different fork, that appears to have fatter tyres and mudguards.

d.

border-rider

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2009, 06:10:18 pm »

Is the frame the determinant here, or the brakes? Would deeper drop brakes/cantis enable you to run 28mms?

It must be the frame (or as CS said, the fork)  - if the clearances were big enough to take fat tyres it'd put the rim in a position where it needed deep drop brakes anyway, even with a skinny tyre.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2009, 06:16:31 pm »
If it's just the fork that's the problem, maybe you could go chopper style - put a skinny tyre on the front and a fat tyre on the rear.

d.

AlanW

  • I'm a fiddler, I like to turn screws coz I can...
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2009, 09:15:13 pm »
One surprising aspect of an "Audax" bike though it the lack of clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards.  Even my 23mm tyres are quite close in some spots.  I suspect 25mm would be just on the limit though.

28mm tyres fit but you'll be needing Race-Blades.
Is the frame the determinant here, or the brakes? Would deeper drop brakes/cantis enable you to run 28mms?

Based on comments in t'other thread where the subject of LEE's bike came up, my guess is it's the fork that Ribble throw in as part of the deal.

Looking at the pic of AlanW's bike, which has a different fork, that appears to have fatter tyres and mudguards.

d.


Mine are only 23mm tyres, and to be honest I doubt very much if you would have enough clearance for 25's, let alone 28mm's.

The Ribble frame/fork combo is designed for shallow drop calipers, so there's the first problem.

Coupled with the close clearance between the mudguards and the tyre.  Even with the 23mm's you still get the odd slither of flint jamming under the mudguard at the mounting bridge section, which is the lowest part.

That said, I am more than happy with the overall configuration, and it has never proved to be even a slight issue.

However, the rather odd length/sizing of the top tube has, but then that's another story............... :-*

"You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"

LEE

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2009, 09:01:56 am »
If it's just the fork that's the problem, maybe you could go chopper style - put a skinny tyre on the front and a fat tyre on the rear.

d.


It's actually the rear end that I had clearance problems with (and needed to use zip ties to gain more space under the brake bridge)

However, I am still extremely pleased with it.  When I (finally) get my Condor Fratello, it will need to be very good indeed to tempt me off the Ribble and its assortment of bits.

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2009, 10:05:40 am »
Just in case any latecomers get confused. . .

Ribble make *TWO* completely different 'winter/audax' frames.

One has a horizontal top tube (which is the one talked about here).

The other has a sloping top tube.

The sloping top tube has much bigger clearances (fits 28mm + mudguards) and comes in black.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2009, 10:37:21 am »
I accept all the shortcomings of this frame / fork combo: thin paint, tight clearances but I have to say I am delighted with mine.  I really like the bike's lines.  You don't see many horizontal top tube frames these days which adds to it's appeal in my view.  I also like the elegant rake of the forks and the line of the mudguards, particularly the rear. 



The paint is getting scratched mainly because this bike spends a lot if time on the top of the car but in a few years time I'll just get it re-sprayed.  I'll keep the colour cos I love it.

I learnt so much building the bike up.  Wiggle should deliver today so there will be much fettling done on this machine and I will learn even more.

Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2009, 10:43:16 am »
And, while we're at it, here was my post on clearances from the Gallery thread...

Ribbles individual oddities aside, don't forget that front wheel clearance is due to the fork only, irrespective of the frame. Rear wheel clearance is due to the frame design and specifically the chain/seat stay lengths and brake bridge "height".

If those are Deda Black Rain carbon forks (I can't quite tell, but they look like it) then you won't get 28mm tyres in them with mudguards, not even with advanced Volio-esque zip-tie mudguard mounting techniques. 25mm+guards max.

Chainstay length looks ok, more than enough space between mudguard and seat tube for another 3mm of tyre. Can't tell about the clearance at the brake bridge from those photos but I'm guessing that's where the problem lies.

And looking at the Ribble site I see they are "Blackstorm winter forks" which look nigh on identical to the Deda BlackRain forks that Condor put on their bikes. They're even selling them for exactly the same amount.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Blah

  • Not sure where I'm going
Re: Ribble Audax/Winter Trainer (Horizontal Top Tube)
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2009, 11:28:27 am »
Just in case any latecomers get confused. . .

Ribble make *TWO* completely different 'winter/audax' frames.

One has a horizontal top tube (which is the one talked about here).

The other has a sloping top tube.

The sloping top tube has much bigger clearances (fits 28mm + mudguards) and comes in black.

This is the sloping top tube version. The rear tyre is a 28mm which fits comfortably.