So, I shall treat myself to a new road bike, after 15 years of good service from my Aluminium Trek, which cost £800 new. I would like a made-to-measure bike, if one can be had for my budget of £2k.
Now then, I mainly ride in the Peak, by myself, up to 60-75 miles. I don't want to race, or compete for Strava segments, I just want to stay fit, be comfy and enjoy it. So I don't see the point in the expense of carbon fibre, and am currently gravitating towards a steel frame.
I'd be grateful for the advice of those on here who know about these things.
Have a look at https://www.wyndymilla.com/
However for a custom made-to-measure carbon bike you'll struggle with your budget. (A decent standard carbon bike will be within that budget probably with an ultegra groupset and ok wheels
At that budget I would first go and mooch round local bike shops, and find one that has a good reputation for bike fitting and get them to do a bike fit with you and then adapt/adjust a standard carbon frame with correct width bars, stem etc.
If your current wheels are still good, then consider just a frameset and components?
I doubt you would get a custom made to measure steel bike for 2 grand unless it was made of Japanese gas pipes. Why do you want a heavier bike when you are riding round the Peak.
To be honest I’m not wholly convinced my made to measure. I’m not a carbon fan, i’m happy with aluminium. Maybe an off the peg Titanium?
So definitly get one .
Be aware that steel has become very trendy in the last couple of years and I'm sure that if some bearded hipster in east London builds you one whilst sipping espresso and listening to music you've never heard of , it will cost silly money . .there are however lots of old school builders still out there . Mine was built by dave Yates and I would imagine he's still very good at it.
something I have always wanted to do Is build my own frame and dave runs courses if that kind of thing interests you it could be the way forward .
Edit : I ve just been looking and although it looks like dave Yates no longer has price list on his site I think I might be being optimistic on getting a full bike within your budget . eeeeeeee it were all fields round ere once tha knows.
Edit 2 : just found this article , intrestingly no indication of price .
Dolan Tuono with Ultegra and choice of bling wheels to take you up to your budget (if you wish)
Mine is 16lb exactly and I really enjoy riding it around Peak District hills. The frame comes in a wide range of sizes and choice of stem/bars/cranks etc to give a tailored fit. To my mind this is fantastic value
I wouldn't worry about the custom fit, but test ride some bikes if you can
My two penneth.....
I'm also in.the peak and ride my carbon race geometry bike or my Dawes tourer....both are good to ride but very different. I can retire in 2 years and went for a good chat about a custom build in Brian Rourkes a couple of weeks ago. I had good advice....the frames and paintwork are a great piece of kit.....however, what they advised was very relevant in that we talked about previous injuries of which I've had plenty and the potential future problems I may have and on balance I got to the point where I realised at my age (54) what I .need now might really not be ok in X amount of years. I decided to look for a steel frame still but not go down the custom build option.
My carbon bike is quick....it is very stiff and great going up hills but there is something very appealing and always draws me to steel...
I suppose that if you ride steel at least you an excuse for being slow and having to walk the hills.
> My two penneth.....
> ...went for a good chat about a custom build in Brian Rourkes a couple of weeks ago. I had good advice....the frames and paintwork are a great piece of kit.....however, what they advised was very relevant in that we talked about previous injuries of which I've had plenty and the potential future problems I may have and on balance I got to the point where I realised at my age (54) what I .need now might really not be ok in X amount of years.....
FFS! 54 is whippersnapper, were Rourkes trying to sell you a Stannah chair lift too?
> FFS! 54 is whippersnapper...
To be two years out from retirement, it certainly is!...
Personally, I can probably expect to get to enjoy the luxury around the age of 80... With a steel zimmer frame.
A couple of years ago I treated myself to a 5 day bike building course. I came away with a made to measure hand made (mainly by me, but with a lot of guidance and very close supervision😃) frame. Lugged Reynolds 853. The course was £1000, materials £400, paint job £400 (could have done it a lot cheaper if I was brave enough to do it myself) £400 for 105 groupset. Already had wheels and most other components.
The result is about 1kg heavier than my full carbon colnago clx 3. And is just as good and quick to ride in most situations. Have done my local, twisty hilly 20k quicker than on the colnago, maybe I'm a bit fitter but I'm also a few years older (55 now) have also done ride london 100 miler and a 200 mile audax on it this year.
For the last year this has been my one stop bike for all my rides, doing a triathlon (40km bike) with it in a couple of week and I'm pretty sure it's not going to hold me back at all compared to the extra 3 or 4 kg round my waist. I'm planning on selling the colnago when I get round to it. There'sgreat pleasure in riding something you've built yourself.
Unless you are competing in something where 1 or 2 % improvement is important to you I think a good, well fitted, modern steel bike would do you fine.
When I was a student I always used steel bikes because they were cheaper and tougher. And I have continued to do that for the rest of my life. The few times I've bought more expensive alloy bikes, they have let me down. (The last time was when I bent a alloy wheel in a pothole in New Orleans.)
One of the things I have been continually asked is: "Why would you want to ride that heavy bike?" My reply is "I cycle partly to get exercise and I get more of that on my heavy bike".
And the heavy bikes last.
And no one wants to steal them!
I think you'll struggle to get anything made to measure for that money; the parts to do it justice will cost most of that budget. However, I'm on the last day of my hols with a stainless steel MTM bike which has been a joy to ride; of the not inconsiderable collection it stands out. On the other hand, a bike that fits does not have to be made to measure. You could always take the incremental route - buy a nice frame, put most of the old bits on it and replace them over time. Or buy off the peg....
and another link
> Have done my local, twisty hilly 20k quicker than on the colnago
This is just not true at all. Hewitt will make you a custom audax frame from 853 for a shade over £1000. Not heavy and custom built.
A Fairlight Strael isn't truely custom built, but they do a regular and a tall in each frame size so you get very close to a custom frame - I would guess as good as a custom unless you have some particular needs. I've not ridden one, but its a very light and sprightly frame by all accounts. And £1100 for the frameset. Add in a 105 groupset, Hunt wheels etc and self-built and I'm pretty sure that would come in very close to £2k. And with a total build weight under 9kg.
A friend has just moved from a mid-range carbon fibre frame (Scott) to a Mason Definition. Not steel, admittedly, but heavier than the Scott carbon. He doesn't anticipate riding the Scott much any more. Weight is most certainly not everything.
I have bikes made of CF (road bike) Alu (road bike) Steel 853 (road bike) Steel 531 (tourer) plus a few others.
The Tourer is lovely perfect frame material, on the road bikes though the steel is in last place, it's super stiff but not as much as the others , it's the heaviest and because it's stiff it's also the hardest ride. The top CF frame wipes the floor with the others, it's the lightest, the stiffest and the comfiest.
As I age I want every advantage to allow me to ride days out, lightest most aero and perhaps electric. This could be a steel bike but (with a few of those boxes unticked) but I'd choose the frame builder, geometry and type of steel very carefully to match your usage.
Good luck and enjoy choosing.
> The few times I've bought more expensive alloy bikes, they have let me down. (The last time was when I bent a alloy wheel in a pothole in New Orleans.)
Er... surely the wheel let you down, not the alloy frame?
I've had steel, alloy and carbon bikes and I don't have any particular attachment to any material; the feel and ride are so dependent on the way they are built. One excellent alloy bike, which would be well worth considering is the Specialized Allez; a great bike, well specced and a nice quality frame, which rides well.
> I doubt you would get a custom made to measure steel bike for 2 grand unless it was made of Japanese gas pipes. Why do you want a heavier bike when you are riding round the Peak.
Surely it's just more exercise, peddling a bit more weight around. If you're riding to keep fit then it's win win, isn't it?
> Surely it's just more exercise, peddling a bit more weight around. If you're riding to keep fit then it's win win, isn't it?
It's a nice thought but weight (or mass) just equals slower (power to weight). Whether a few grammes here or there...?
OP I have a carbon Dolan Tuono. Comfiest bike I've had. Bigger volume tyres would probably make more difference than frame material.
i had a van nicholas ventus titanium, bike cost me 1600 new. it was great but i didn't really ride it enough, tyres too thin, had to put cycling shoes on to ride it etc, and what i really like doing is running so i sold the frame and shifted the components over on to a spa cycles steel audax (had to get new deep drop break calipers though, splashed out on the fancy TRP ones to get equivalent stopping power to the sram apex i had on the ventus). i couldn't be happier with it.
it's not the same kind of bike at all, but suits me more. i put reversible pedals on so i can use with fell shoes if I'm going for a cycle and run, and i bought a folding lock which fits neatly on the frame. i ride this bike much more, i rode it from oxenholme train station over kirkstone pass to ambleside sports, did the rydal round race and rode back to train in windermere. i left the bike locked up whilst i was running. i'd have been more nervous about leaving the shiny titanium. i obviously noticed the difference in weight going over kirkstone (mainly from the heavy lock), but since like you i wasn't looking to push the time on the climb, the bike didn't feel uncomfortable or heavy, i just happily spun in bottom gear. i also put 30m tyres on it (i could only fit 25m on the van nicholas and even then stuff would stuck between tyre and fork), which makes it feel much more secure on rough roads in lancashire where i live and/or in the wet, and i have taken it on canal paths and easy gravel tracks bother.
i wish i'd just gone for the steel straight away, its really great and more usable than the posher (for me) bike i had before. the slightly wider tyre clearance is a great thing, for comfort and versatility, so whatever you go for i'd say look out for what the frames allow. i doubt i'd get mudguards on with my 30m tyres, but I'm not bothered about that.
here's a picture if you're interested: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gRk9VCivCaAvJSAA6
Having ridden and raced on everything from steel to aluminium to carbon, a decent carbon frame is hands-down the best bike you can get for "road riding". Sure, steel is great for touring for many reasons, and not just the ride, the fixability, durability etc (i had a great Surly LHT for that) but you just can't beat a carbon frame for performance and comfort.
Steel has seemed to have acquired a cachet in the last few years with its retro appeal, but there is no way i'd trade my current Ridley Helium for any steel frame. This will sound like heresy to some, but my 35 years experience is what i'm basing it on, there is a reason carbon has taken over and thats because its just plain better.
Also, custom made is over rated, you can find a suitable off the peg frame that will fit with no trouble. The main benefit of a custom frame is just so you can say you had it made for you and you chose the colours. I've had made-to-measure in the past - mainly Reynolds 531/531 pro and 753 frames, none were even close to my Ridley as a great bike to ride.
You're shopping at the right time to look for "last years models" and i'm sure there are some bargains out there.
> It's a nice thought but weight (or mass) just equals slower (power to weight). Whether a few grammes here or there...?
Aye, that's definitely true, and yet the people I see most concerned about the weight of their bikes are usually the ones who could save more by losing a bit of weight themselves.
A mate of mine went for carbon and spent a load of money, and he weighs more than I do ( I could do with losing a couple of stone), he gave up after a while because he wasn't fit enough! The bike's been in the garage for over a year now.
Yes, many of those on the weightweenies forum are self-professed clydes.
But then again, what serious roadie doesn't think they could lose weight, just as what climber doesn't think they're weak?
Rourke will do 853 for just under a thousand and 953 (which he says is so hard that when they tried to hammer in a punch for the water bottle holes it just bounced off!) for about 1500.
Slightly out of date pricelist there.
If you're canny and prepared to buy nearly new one can make big savings on the non frame bits.
I had an 853 frame twenty years ago and it didn’t even compare to Aluminium never mind a decent Carbon frame.
Would you use a computer from the 90’s over what’s available now.
If you're not racing, get the bike you that makes you look forward to riding the most. If that's a spaceage carbon fibre stealth machine, get that. If it's a classy, straight tubed steel bike, get that. I like steel. The extra weight means I get a better workout.
> Wind direction?
It's a circuit, I know that even on a circuit i'm quicker on a still day than a windy one, but I've done it enough times on both bikes to know that I am more than a minute quicker now on my steel bike than I was on my colnago 2 years ago.
I'm not claiming my steel bike is quicker than the colnago. I'm probably fitter now than I was then although I wouldn't necessarily have thought so if I didn't have these time comparisons. I'm just stating that my fitness and weight are more important than wether my bike is made of steel or carbon.
Why do you want "made to measure"? Geraint Thomas doesn't have one made to measure, he rides a 56 Pinarello. Alaphilippe rides an S-Works 52 and Pinot rides a 54 Lappiere Xelius.
I had a guy out the other week who asked me to drop his saddle by half a millimetre I told him to go and put some thicker socks on.
Or a bit more chamois cream...
> Aye, that's definitely true, and yet the people I see most concerned about the weight of their bikes are usually the ones who could save more by losing a bit of weight themselves.
Quite. A friend rather eloquently refers to these as 'The Castelli Bellies'
In reply to the OP- Would it be worth an off-the peg bike and paying for a professional bike fit?
I had my made to measure Mercian stolen several years ago, I still miss it but cycle much less now & can't justify the cost of replacing it
> If you're not racing, get the bike you that makes you look forward to riding the most. If that's a spaceage carbon fibre stealth machine, get that. If it's a classy, straight tubed steel bike, get that. I like steel. The extra weight means I get a better workout.
Having a lighter bike means you can go harder and faster, which is more fun.
why would you lug a heavy rucksack if you could have a light one. Or do you like to punish yourself
Okay, I like an excuse for being slow. Happy?
Honestly, 2kg off a bike with 90kg me on it seems like pissing in the wind.
My cycling buddy weighs 30kg more than me and rides a bike that is 2.5kg lighter than mine (he is 6 inches taller than me). He could lose more weight but his power on the bike is impressive.
On the flats I really struggle to keep up with him whilst he just grinds away with a low cadence in a high gear. Sure I have an advantage in the hills, but over 100km plus rides in the South East he definitely has the advantage. Having said that, he said it's pointless drafting in behind me as I offer barely any wind protection so he spends most of the time in front
Stiffness makes a bike faster uphill and down but at the expense of long-distance comfort.
Wrong! Extra chamois cream would effectively RAISE the saddle, by about a thou...
I feel for you, my friends kill me on the flat and I look forward to the hills for a rest and some payback!
> My cycling buddy weighs 30kg more than me and rides a bike that is 2.5kg lighter than mine (he is 6 inches taller than me). He could lose more weight but his power on the bike is impressive.
Are you suggesting that on a bike that weighed the same as yours, he'd be struggling to keep up with you on the flats?
Why not swap bikes and see what happens