The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

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andyrr
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The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby andyrr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 14:22 pm

From this one :
viewtopic.php?f=40012&t=12796558
Was wondering if it was worth pulling together the opinions and experiences of the CX bikes excluding the Boardman CX.
That specific bike is is especially popular it seems (great value and Halfords being on many companies C2W) but there are a good number of others - the popularity and all-round ability of that model has probably been partly responsible for the interest in CX bikes for non-CX-racing purposes.
Some of the experiences gained by the CX owners and in the Boardman CX thread is relevant to other similar bikes but there will obviously be unique issues experienced by owners and issues that prospective owners of others will want answered.

Myself :
Until Winter 2010 I used a geared road bike for commuting when the idea of simplicity and lining to be a bit obtuse I bought a Trek SS bike. This lasted fine for the majority of my commutes - roumd trip of 35 miles - until the October last year when a crack was found in the frame that Trek warrantied and replaced with a new bike not just the frame. Their belt-drive version was offered and, as it seemed to offer the plusses of the original and reduce transmisision maintenance/upkeep I said yes. 2 months later I decide that a) The hassle I've had with transmission noises, alignment, tension and b) The realisation that my hilly commute on an SS is just a hit too hard for me (getting soft in my old age) means I switch to running an ex-road race bike as the commuter with Crud Racers squeezed on. It's nice having this racy bike as daily transport but very quickly I feel it takes it's toll, bike gets filthy and to my eyes I feel it's taking a hammering that it doesn't deserve.

Jump to now :
A CX bike will fit the bill it seems from the feedback I see :
Clearance for full SKS mudguards.
Can run recent sized tyres - 28mms are fine for me but normally 32mmx fit fine.
Weight isn't too bad.
Position is essentially as a road racer.

For me the Boardman was just too expensive unfortunately :
No sign of decent price reductions so it's not far short of £1000 - lovely bike, carbon fork, decent spec but sorry, it's out of my price range - I've already got (ahem) about 6 or 7 bikes in the garage so going to n+1 now will need to be the cheapest possible price.
Balancing the above I loathe really crappy kit, when I'm grinding up one of the hills and, tired and knackered, I click to drop to the wee ring find it just enduces front-mech rub as it has seized up or the basic-spec rear mech takes multiple little level presses, up and down, to actually achieve the desired rear cog or the wheels brake a spoke once a month then it means that I cannot just get some old nail to make do - I'm going to be constantly fixing things on it. Currently I'm doing around 150 miles commuting a week and will do in all weathers plus with family I am more and more looking to avoid being in the garage fettling my bike for the next morning at close to midnight.

Having said all that maybe what I plumped for will be seen to have been an overly-budget-concsious choice - time will tell here.

I'd seen the Ridley X-Bow in the same shop as my Trek was bought from and I was immediately taken by it's shiny, gloss black looks. Sora 10 speed, Avid BB7s - perfect. Unfortunately at £849 it was a bit more than I wanted to spend so the hunt was on.
The Boardman and the Ridley, as they had disc brakes, pointed me down that path for 100%, as the grinding of pad on rim is something I abhor and sometimes find that on consecutuve evenings when I get home I'm removing pads from calipers to pick out bits of rim then wash and gently sand the rim to try to remove any rough bits - a mucky PITA.

Whyte Charing Cross - seen a few offers, eg Edinburgh Bicycle had some at reduced prices but the C+ review gave it a pretty big thumbs down due to the frame geometry and brake judder IIRC, and the current model is dearer than I wanted to go.

Then, not where I'd thought I'd see the ideal bikes, but surfing the web I see Evans has 2 : Norco Threshold and Jamis Nova Sport.
Both cheaper than pretty much anything with disc brakes I'd seen, and are brand new models.
Whether due to both of these companies pulling together semi-decent kit that they could put on at the lowest possible price but both were slightly strange breeds :
Jamis : CX tyres, CX-style top tube with cables routed on the upper surface and shaped for shouldering but it has a compact, road-biased, set of chainrings. Tapered headtube, brushed silvery/gold finish.
Norco : Road tyres, CX chainrings.

Norco the dearer : it had the more modern 9 speed Sora.
Both running Tekro Lyra brakes - opinions I've seen do NOT give these great reviews but it's the bikes of £8 - 900 that seem to start picking up the more highly thought of Avids.

Test rode the Norco - seemed ok but rattly internal cables, what felt like sky-high/ short position put me off so the right-sized Jamis was ordered and last week's test ride gave that the nod.
As I'd booked the test ride when Evans had reduced the price of some of their 2013 models, including this one, I got it for £520 - can you go wrong at that price ? I hope not !


Took the Jamis home on Saturday along with a set of SKS P35's (narrow) that I price matched Evans to for the Wiggle price (£26)
A good few hours later I've a commute-ready bike. Seemed to be super -fiddly to get the guards on, I used the little plastic T-pieces which I normally dispense with and that made it a little fiddlier since the stay length needs to be close to the actual requirement instead of allowing a longer bit to poke through the bracket/nut & bolt which can then be trimmed visually in place.
With the knobbly edge tread of the Vittorias the rear guard was a no-go - the upper 'brake bridge (it isn't fully drilled for a caliper bolt but it's in that location) is pretty low and the guard was just too close to this tyre. Removed tyre and fitted 28mm Conti 4 Seasons that I'd previously stocked up with when Cycle Surgery had their recent bargain offer. That's better - as no bolt hole for the metal bracket on the rear 'guard I wrapped the brake bridge with insulating tape, driller 2 pairs of holes in the 'guard and zip-tied it. Done this in the past and with this tight it should avoid rattle, corrosion and not loosen off. Also it's easier to zip-tie the chain-stay bridge at the front bottom of the 'guard than use the bracket - this frame has a flattened shape here so the bracket would need reshaped to fit. Again the zup tie option means no rattling is possible plus the existing 'guard holes suit fine.

Tried to tape most of the contact points for mudguards, light battery packs - at least avoid scuffing and frame damage for a short while - I'm sure it'll have that 'used' look soon enough.

Quick test ride yesterday and I decided that's fine.

andyrr
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby andyrr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 14:25 pm

Rode to work today so with about 20 miles under my wheels the initial report :
General opinion - I can feel the weight for sure but I've probably been spoiled by using what was a reasonably light race bike to commute, that had a decent Alu frame (my GT was the proper race frame that the Lotto team used at one time), carbon fork, Ultegra/Dura Ace equipment, SLR saddle. Jamis is obviously heavier BUT it rolls along ok - I've a 25mm 4 Seasons tyre in stock so I might try that on the front.

Frame - like it, seems to be solid. Position still seems upright : came with around 20mm of spacers fitted, last night I moved 10mms above the stem but it still seems high, maybe drop it more and investigate a stem longer than the present 100mm. I guess the 28mm front tyre is absorbing a fair bit of the bumps and roughness but it's definitely better than the GT or my Trek was.

Transmission - not the nicest changing, front rubs more than it doesn't, despite the trimming facility, rear is ok but not super-precise. I think I have an Ultegra 9 speed shifter spare ( I hope it's 9, it isn't 10 I think) and also a pair of front/rear Ultegra mechs so, assuming these function fine, I could buy a new chain and cassette and be 9 speed very easily. Might drop a little weight whilst also gaining better rations and shifting. Don't feel a need for 10 yet, transmission life is shorter with that extra cog.

Braking - good, initially I heard & felt a little rotor rub but it's a light 'scraping' noise, nothing major, not used to discs on bicycles (have rebuilt car ones recently so not a completel nonce with these) and I guess I'll need to become reasonably adept with them. These may get swapped out for nicer, Avids (?) some time.

For now I'll see how this goes with minor tweeking as necessary.

Ok, pic of the Jamis complete with all the commuting stuff in place.
2 x front lights (DX P7 light plus Light & Motion Solo Logic as backup) rear bag is a large Ortlieb.

Image

Bike still feels a bit sit-up-and-beg so I'll need to get a little more stretched out via spacer and/or stem changing. Also added a little cutoff from a plastic bottle as an extenstion to the mudguard below the chainstay bridge but I will remove this one and make a longer one up to give even better spray protection.
Last edited by andyrr on Mon Jan 14, 2013 23:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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pangolin
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby pangolin » Mon Jan 14, 2013 14:50 pm

I really want to get a new Genesis Croix de Fer. Anyone here own one?
Genesis Croix de Fer

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Asprilla
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Asprilla » Mon Jan 14, 2013 14:55 pm

Started building this last night, might get it finished this evening.

Image

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rubertoe
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby rubertoe » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:02 pm

No discs Asprilla?

Fail?
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills

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Asprilla
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Asprilla » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:07 pm

rubertoe wrote:No discs Asprilla?

Fail?


It's a three year old frame, one of the last Cannondales carrying the 'Handmade in USA' slogan on the top tube, so discs weren't race legal then.

Also, I've already got a frame with BB7s on it; I'm not impressed and I'm willing to wait for a hydraulic version.

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Kieran_Burns
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Kieran_Burns » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:12 pm

I'll happily take the BB7s off your hands! :wink:
Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
2011 Trek Madone 4.5
2012 Felt F65X
Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter

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rubertoe
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby rubertoe » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:15 pm

Kieran_Burns wrote:I'll happily take the BB7s off your hands! :wink:


me too.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills

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Asprilla
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Asprilla » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:20 pm

They do the job, but I just found the set-up to be fiddly and hassleful.

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meanredspider
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:39 pm

Asprilla wrote:They do the job, but I just found the set-up to be fiddly and hassleful.


Learn how to do it properly - honestly, it's really not hard.
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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Asprilla
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Asprilla » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:46 pm

meanredspider wrote:
Asprilla wrote:They do the job, but I just found the set-up to be fiddly and hassleful.


Learn how to do it properly - honestly, it's really not hard.


Its done; I don't need to do it again.

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Veronese68
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Veronese68 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:55 pm

meanredspider wrote:
Asprilla wrote:They do the job, but I just found the set-up to be fiddly and hassleful.


Learn how to do it properly - honestly, it's really not hard.


I read Asprilla's post and thought to myself "MRS will be along in a minute".

I'm looking at a few options as per my head or heart thread. Other things are on the list including a Croix de Fer. I quite like the idea of hub gears and discs like the Day One Alfine but I could only scrape to the 8 speed.
Pangolin, what's the Kaffenback like? They do a disc frame now, that's one thing I considered. I might get Evan to get a Croix de Fer in for me to try if you want to go and have a look.
MRS I assume you've sold the Boardman by now. I didn't ask as it's been so long.

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pangolin
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby pangolin » Mon Jan 14, 2013 16:01 pm

I quite like the Kaffenback. From tonight it will have marathon winters on for fun in the ice. You are welcome to have a play if you like?

It has odd midge bars on it too, which I like but I'm sure not everyone would.

I used to have a Pompetamine with BB7's and an Alfine 8. I liked the BB7's after learning to set them up. Then the Alfine broke going up a hill in the middle of nowhere, you could turn the pedals but nothing happened :( Kinda put me off them for now.

I got to try a 2013 Croix de Fer for free on a 10 mile ride around mixed surfaces in the Peak district at the last Alpkit Shakeout. Vin Cox was leading the ride! Really enjoyed it.
Genesis Croix de Fer

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meanredspider
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 14, 2013 16:16 pm

Veronese68 wrote:I read Asprilla's post and thought to myself "MRS will be along in a minute".

MRS I assume you've sold the Boardman by now. I didn't ask as it's been so long.


Sorry to be so predictable :oops: It's just that I simply don't understand what's so difficult - it just needs a methodical approach. Just follow the Volagi video: job done.

Sold the Boardman almost instantly once I'd posted it. It was pretty much the ideal spec for a commuting CX: BB7 up front, 105 levers & mechs, comfy saddle & bars, guards, spare set of winter wheels with Marathon W***ers. These, finally, for me were the Achilles heel - just too slow & heavy for the rest of the bike without the complete reassurance I get from the Ice Spiker Pros
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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Veronese68
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby Veronese68 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 16:38 pm

meanredspider wrote:Sold the Boardman almost instantly once I'd posted it.

I thought you would have done. It would have suited me down to the ground but unfortunately was politically unacceptable at the time.
Oh well, new bike shopping is kind of fun.

TGOTB
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby TGOTB » Mon Jan 14, 2013 17:16 pm

meanredspider wrote:Sorry to be so predictable :oops: It's just that I simply don't understand what's so difficult - it just needs a methodical approach. Just follow the Volagi video: job done.

As I said in another thread, the issue is that the adjustment of the caliper position allows too many degrees of freedom. In practice this means that it's almost impossible to set the pads up parallel to the rotor because the torque of the fixing bolts and the non-infinite stiffness of the rotor inevitably rotates the calipers clockwise relative to the rotor as you tighten the attachment bolts. You then have to have the pads further apart to clear the rotor, and they just don't work quite so well.

I can see why Avid did it, because it allows their brakes to be used on frames with misaligned mounting points. But for those of us whose mounting points are in the correct position it's just an extra annoyance. Apparently the long-awaited SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes have done away with this "feature". Unfortunately they are likely to be rather expensive.

Maybe someone should market an extra-stiff rotor (ie solid stainless steel with no cutouts), specifically for setting up Avid BB7s. Put it on your wheel, set up the discs as demonstrated on the video, switch back to a lighter rotor, and tweak the pad spacing.
Pannier, 120rpm.

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meanredspider
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby meanredspider » Mon Jan 14, 2013 19:45 pm

@TGOTB you see, I just don't find this. Several things:

- the rotor IS flexible so it can absorb exactly this type of misalignment
- I just don't get much misalignment any way
- Once the pads have bedded in just a little bit, they wear to match their angle to the rotor - they are then perfectly aligned

If you're really worried about this, tighten your screws up wet to limit the torque transfer. If you don't want to use water to do this, a drop of threadlock with lubricate it nicely then set. Or just make some brass sleeves to pack out the holes through the caliper.

I was leafing (flick ing is obviously too rude for BR) through BR's own "Total Bike Repair & Maintenance" manual last night. On page 11 it says: "Simple yet powerful mechanical disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular as they are reliable and easy to maintain"
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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apreading
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby apreading » Tue Jan 15, 2013 00:39 am

I have never been able to set my Avids (Juicy or Elivir) by squeezing the break and just tightening the bolts - have tried many times but after each failure, just let the lever go, adjust by eye, hold caliper in place with one hand and tighten with the other - works great *most* of the time.

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First Aspect
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby First Aspect » Tue Jan 15, 2013 07:14 am

meanredspider wrote:
Asprilla wrote:They do the job, but I just found the set-up to be fiddly and hassleful.


Learn how to do it properly - honestly, it's really not hard.
Do you own shares in Avid, MRS?

They are fiddly and a hassle to run. Sorry, but that's some people's experience, even if set up "professionally". Its not difficult to set them up. No instructions necessary, just a bit fiddly. But they are annoying to run, as you might expect from a 10 year old design.

Asprilla - have you seen the latest from TRP - cable actuated to a hydraulic, self centring caliper? Interim, but clever. And by interim, I suspect 3 or 4 years, unless you want to pay "new adopter" prices for full integrated shift/h.brake levers.

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meanredspider
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Re: The Non-Boardman-CX owners thread.

Postby meanredspider » Tue Jan 15, 2013 09:32 am

First Aspect wrote:Do you own shares in Avid, MRS?


Nope - just as a life-long cyclist, a career in product design & manufacture, and a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, I just know a good product when I see it. And the fact it's that old (if you say so - I have no idea) and it's still the market leader by a country mile says it all. If it was as poor as you make out, it would have disappeared a long time ago but, in fact, is still appearing on bikes selling for several thousand quid. I've also ridden it on two different bikes in the worst conditions, pretty much, the UK has to offer.

I'm looking forward to hydraulics - it's the next natural step and will be easier than cables - but whilst it's still only mechanical (the current TRP hybrid doesn't interest me - the new one will interest those who don't want to make the full leap), the BB7 is great.
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH


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