Steel road bike for around £1500

What bike and bike bits should you buy?
Steve236
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Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Steve236 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 16:36 pm

Some time early next year my new bike fund will have reached around £1500 at which point, I'll be looking to buy a steel road bike (why steel? - I find the look more appealing than most carbon or alu and I'm looking for something that will last for years). Type of riding will be fast, fitness type riding, plenty of hills - sportives and longer, days out. Probably not touring, not racing and not commuting.

My short list currently consists of the Geneisis Equilibrium 10 or 20, the Condor Acciaio and the Charge Juicer (although not too sure about the faux retro look). Most of the threads on here about steel bikes mention the custom builders (Rourke, Bob Jackson et al) and places like Enigma, Mercian but most of these frames, if specced up to the level of the ones I mention above, seem to come to more than £1500.

So the question is - are there any companies/bikes I've not mentioned that I should be considering also.

I work in London so easy access to Condor makes that very appealing (and similarly the further afield establishments less so).

Thanks

styxd
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby styxd » Fri Dec 14, 2012 16:56 pm

That Condor looks good, but its £740 which doesnt leave you much for everything else.

I got a Genesis frame for £240 (another £50 - £100 for forks depending on what you buy) which leaves you loads of money for really good wheels, tyres, groupset and finishing kit.

I use mine for exactly the type of riding you describe, its ideal.

I'd have summat better if I could justify it, but at £240, it seemed like to good a deal to miss out on.

RDW
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby RDW » Fri Dec 14, 2012 19:47 pm

A Jason Burls full custom frame starts at £710, which even after factoring in the forks, won't cost much more than the Condor frameset. Most of the Bob Jackson off the peg framesets (effectively semi-custom, given the size and finish options) are under £500. Planet-X has Guerciotti steel road frames in limited sizes from £300 right now.

Kangarouge
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Kangarouge » Fri Dec 14, 2012 22:41 pm

The Genesis is a good choice. A friend of mine has one and its a great bike. Though he uses it for commuting it would be just as good for sportives, winter training, etc. I quite fancy the Genesis Croix de Fer myself but more for touring.

nathancom
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby nathancom » Sat Dec 15, 2012 07:01 am

Worth having a look at the enigma website to see what they have on sale as well.

samsbike
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby samsbike » Sat Dec 15, 2012 13:05 pm

Other options inc Jamie and Raleigh, but for the money the equilibrium cant ce beaten especially if you upgrade the wheels.

styxd
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby styxd » Sat Dec 15, 2012 15:47 pm

If you're getting a Genesis, just do a full custom build to avoid the cheap wheels and finishing kit. Probably wont work out that much more expensive and you'll end up with a better bike.

rnath
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby rnath » Sat Dec 15, 2012 17:41 pm

If you can be bothered, maybe worth considering building up from second hand as well? I got a nice Bob Jackson 853 frame and built it up with secondhand parts for around that money. It's nice to have a project on the go and you'd end up with a better specified bike for the same outlay. Having said that, I've had a Genesis bike in the past and that rode really well.

vertigoscene
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby vertigoscene » Sat Dec 15, 2012 20:52 pm

I bought a Surly Pacer (frame and fork is about £350). I had it built up to my own spec, incl. Brooks saddle, and full 105 set up.

If you go this way the whole package is under £1500. Alternatively you can buy it as a complete bike off the peg for about £1100 (with Tiagra).

I've had the bike for over a year now and am very happy with it. V comfy over the miles.

mroli
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby mroli » Sat Dec 15, 2012 21:39 pm

steve236 - do you know what size bike/stem/bars etc you need? Are you happy to sort that yourself, or do you need some help - that'd affect my rec! Do you have any spannering skills?

Steve236
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Steve236 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 09:37 am

I do have a some mechanical know how so fairly happy about building a frame up myself. Aside from the proximity of Condor, another advantage was the fitting. In answer to mroli's question - I don't really know about sizings for various components. I could pick a seat tube length to match my inside leg but as I understand it, its not necessarily as simple as that - e.g. bar width, stem length...? Wouldn't have a clue.

The more I hear, the more it seems hard to justify the extra expense of the condor over the equilibrium. I'd written off the fratello in favour of the acciaio as I want a more exciting ride but sounds like the genesis would give that too. I wasn't sure about the genesis frame colour - it looks a bit shiny orange, has anyone seen it in the flesh - if its more a duller copper colour in reality I think I'd like it but never seen one other than online photos.

nathancom
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby nathancom » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:04 am

Yeah I have this year's Equilibrium and it is burnt orange rather than bright orange.

samsbike
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby samsbike » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:06 am

Steve don't underestimate the value of a fitting. I have had my genesis for 9 months and am still not entirely comfortable. Obviously if yiu are ok with what you need then no need for the fitting.

Hanners
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Hanners » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:36 am

Ive just built up the orange Genesis equilibrium frame and forks as a commuter/winter ride and i cant fault it it rides better than expected i just need to get some hand builts after crimbo and i think i wibe ridding it more than the Cervelo.
cant recommend it high enough, i would be interested to see what the difference is in this and say a 853 or 953 would it be just weight?

Steve236
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Steve236 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:53 am

Hanners - any chance you could post the details of your build and how much it cost you?

mroli
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby mroli » Sun Dec 16, 2012 14:17 pm

Steve236 - that's one of the things that you pay for at Condor. They size you for the bike, will set your seat at the right level, will get the set-up/stem/bar width right for you. Unless you can find someone who sells the Genesis and does the same, it is not a like for like comparison. Kind of like buying off the peg, or going in and getting measured. If you have, for example, wheels from an old bike that you want to put on the Condor, then they are happy to do so - it is only when you buy a majority of the components that they would look to charge you for the spannering. Otherwise they are happy to sell you frame and fork.

Hanners
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby Hanners » Sun Dec 16, 2012 16:04 pm

Frame and fork £384 ( 25% off at evans)
FSA Headset £40
105 groupset from bike 24 de £385 (sold the calipers for £40 so the groupset was £345)
Shimano long drop calipers £72
cinelli vai seat pin, stem and bars £140
cables £25.00
bar tape £12.00
105 pedals already had
Sesh romin already had
currently using Kysrium sl wheelset but will be getting a set of H PLUS SON TB wheels built

I didnt like the look of their finishing kit or the wheelset, i think for £1500 you can build a really nice bike with the equilibrium frame set. The Condor looks nice but i think your adding for the name.

styxd
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby styxd » Sun Dec 16, 2012 16:18 pm

Here's my build list, all the parts were brand new except for the saddle.

Equilibrium frame £240
Carbon forks (not Genesis) £100
Hope Pro 3 w/ Stans Alpha rims £420
Conti GP4000s tyres £50
SRAM Rival groupset £420
Zipp Service Course SL stem and seatpost £110
Pro PLT bars £25
Selle Italia SLR 135g saddle £40
Shimano BR451 calipers £23
Shimano 105 pedals £33
FSA Orbit MX headset £20
Cinelli bar tape, Jagwire cables, carbon stem spacers, michelin innertubes. £25

So about £1500 for the current build (I sold the Rival calipers for about £50 since they aren't long drop), although Ive spent more on it.
Last edited by styxd on Sun Dec 16, 2012 16:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thecycleclinic
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby thecycleclinic » Sun Dec 16, 2012 16:55 pm

I would also buy the genesis with 105 groupset or Campag Veloce (it cheaper, lighter and functions just as well) and some decent handbuilt wheels. Go for decent finisahing kit that suits you and good tyres. You will end up with a bike you like and want to keep, rather than an off the peg optioon in which you end up changing half the componentry as it not quite right. Styxd I hope you are enjoying yuour bike, you have built a decent one there.

All my bikes now I build up this way starting from a frame up, I get what I want that way. My winter bike is a steel Traitor Exile that came as a frame only. I even had a a set of steel forks made for it by a local builder as I did not like any of the off the peg options.

Even the bikes in the shop I buy in as frame only and build them up to the spec the customer wants. Seems to work quite well.
http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.

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passout
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Re: Steel road bike for around £1500

Postby passout » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:02 am

Genesis maybe but I'd also look at 'Planet X' - they had some Italian steel frames a while back and of course the good old Kaffenbach. The were offering a Kaffenbach (steel road bike) with discs recently - looked interesting and well within budget. See:
http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBP ... force_disc

You can also get decent Titianium for that price:
http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBV ... _road_bike
I'd be getting this one but might upgrade the fork at a later point.

'All City' (from the States) make some very nice steel bikes too - see Triton Cycles - might be over budget though.

Personally I would buy a complete bike, rather than frame & then build, as you get 'much' more for your money. Although complete bikes from Genesis are not as good value as you might hope - so I can see why the others looked at a frame option there. I like Genesis (I have one) but the are not the best bang for your buck generally speaking.
'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.


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