English Cycles: hand made steel, want... need

I’m very close to pulling the trigger on one of these. Frames start at $1600. Weight of the first bike is 12.9lbs built up with those EDGE 1.68 wheels. the Deposit is 50% with the build only starting in September. I can also choose stiffer tubes, geometry, paint, etc. hmmmmm. What does the MCT, (including the individuals who talked me out of purchasing Paolo Bettini Sidi’s) think?





I don’t mean to piss on your parade but they took the compact geometry way too far and that head tube is atrocious. I’m sure it’s well made and all but that geometry…

Any reason you are choosing a frame builder from the other side of the country? There are some major benefits to choosing a local builder, at least within driving distance. A lot of builders measure you up and help you come up with a full custom geometry that would suit your body, do some follow up with you when you are getting everything to fit just right, etc etc. Not only this, but emergency repairs (replacing a dented or bent steel or Ti tube for example) can be done much faster when you don’t have to ship the thing and wait for it to come back.

I am a big fan of True North Cycles in Guelph, which is a bit of a drive, but I believe steel frames will be something like $1400, Ti frames maybe $2500. Turnaround time varies with the time of year but the spring rush is over, so I would say 8-12 weeks.

Plus you are supporting our Canadian frame builders :]

True North isn’t the only local builder of course, just the one I am most familiar with. There is also Steelwood (Ottawa), LMNO Cycles (Montreal), and probably a bunch of others that I don’t know.

If you are set on English I would say go for a less extreme bend in the brake cable housing, otherwise you’ll be changing your cable liners way more than you need to.

+1 to Brandon’s post! Local builders!

Find one though.

STEEL IS REAL RAAAAAAAAR

I’ve not really come across a local builder that makes anything I like. Most seem to specialize in building nostalgic or quirky bikes that aren’t really that race-able and don’t really match my style.

Fair enough,

Just don’t let the blingy components fool you!

My thoughts on these bikes:

-Integrated seat tubes look really cool but I’ve heard they don’t actually give any stiffness or lightness benefits, all they do is hurt the resale value of the bike and look really cool.

-why is there a downtube shifter on this bike if it has modern shifters? If it’s not a downtube shifter, what is it?

-the 29er mountain bike is very cool, but even a 29er with a rigid fork makes for an unnecessarily harsh ride. If you must by English, get this but with a proper suspension fork.

My thoughts on your bikes:

-Does your cervelo really hold back your performance such that you need a new road bike?

-Really, the gaping hole in your stable will not be filled by a custom steel road bike, but rather by something like this:

http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bc/SBCEquipPopup.jsp?equipimage=/OA_MEDIA/2010/bikes/9304-42_l.jpg&equipmodel=Epic%20Comp

In my completely unbiased opinion, the Specialized Epic is the current pinnacle of XC mountain bike technology. For less than what you are talking about spending on a redundant road bike (I am guessing in the neighborhood of $3000 for the complete English?) you could get a fully raceable Epic in McGill colors that would expand your cycling horizons in directions you couldn’t even have imagined.

Support the Taiwanese bicycle industry!

Ben, you must be kidding…I suspect a complete Edge 1.68 wheelset is about 2000$-2500$ alone. Never mind the groupset, bars saddle, pedals, etc etc etc. Those brakes are expensive too. That bike is probably about 7000$+; you don’t get a sub 15lb bike without shelving out some serious cash. The builder even went with just an LHS brake lever and a down tube shifter for the FDR just to save weight on cabling and housing.

I seriously question any builder who bases his rear triangle attachment point to the front triangle as a single piece of 0.5" OD tubing to save weight. Strong enough: yes, Rideable: most certainly, Stiff enough for confidence in a race: not sure at all.

Steel is is a wonderful material - but face the facts that most frame builders love it not because it is an optimal material for race bikes, but because it is the easier material to work with and weld. There are a few steel alloys competitive on a material level, but the tubeset and then welding costs bring the frame into the same price range as a Ti or Carbon kit for no advantage over the other two so you have to question why bother.

As someone who has way too many bikes, if you don’t enjoy the bike in and of itself but rather treat it as a tool to ride don’t get another bike unless it is a credible investment in your racing/riding performance or enjoyment.

If you’re the later, you probably know your S1/soloist has a pretty solid racing pedigree behind it and IMO you should be putting one hell of a lot of test riding to get a credible replacement. If you’re the former and want another bike for its own sake, I think you can do way more bling and more ridable with the vast number of custom frame makers out there.

I actually agree with ben on the MTB bit too - every serious biker needs at least one mountain ride, it’s too much fun to pass up even if you suck.

Also, if you are really hell bent on getting something local, steel, and still raceable, check out Xpresso bikes, handmade in Bromont.
http://www.xprezo.ca/

Their Sub-5 xc race bike is definitely more bling-full than an Epic, and these bikes do very well on the
Canada Cup circuit.

Also, if you are really hell bent on getting something local, steel, and still raceable, check out Xpresso bikes, handmade in Bromont.
http://www.xprezo.ca/

Their Sub-5 xc race bike is definitely more bling-full than an Epic, and these bikes do very well on the
Canada Cup circuit.

Also, if you are really hell bent on getting something local, steel, and still raceable, check out Xpresso bikes, handmade in Bromont.
http://www.xprezo.ca/

Their Sub-5 xc race bike is definitely more bling-full than an Epic, and these bikes do very well on the
Canada Cup circuit.

and you can probably put the sub-5 on a trainer without it voiding the warranty =P

The reason there’s a downtube shifter is: it’s an old weight weenie trick, the rear shifter is integrated and the front shifter is on the downtube, because you shift the front not that often.

Also, steel is real.

Raaaaar.

Looks nice but a little gimmicky. I don’t see the long term practicality or the race worthiness. That rear triangle doesn’t inspire confidence. Never heard of them and never been passed by someone riding on one of these. Is that an OCLV fork I saw? What’s up with that super low gear ratio on the 29er? Seems like boutique/bling bike, not a working bike. You can do better with your cash. How about Steelman cycles or Independent Fabrication? (Not Canada, but US hand builts).

Having a 12 pound steel bike with a downtube front shifter isn’t gonna help racing either. The weight of the bike only matters when climbing. On a hilly course, that downtube shifter and small cassette are going to be more of a curse then 5 extra pounds. And anyways, most of the weight saving aren’t even due to the frame, shifter and cable length, but to the 7000$ components.

Also at 12 pounds – steel, it’s probably not going to be nearly as stiff as a racing bike. So climbing and sprinting will both suffer, as well as cornering.

So I agree with the others, get a comfy nicer looking bike and forget about the grams, or get a 12 pound steel pseudo-bike to flash with.