Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

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earth
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Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Wed Nov 20, 2013 21:57 pm

I'm in the market for a commuter capable of light touring with some off road ability. A less serious CX bike seems to tick the boxes.

I think I have narrowed it down to the above mentioned two.

The Whyte is a discount bike at the LBS down from £1000 to £700 but it is a medium size frame. I can ride it but the stem is really short, the seatpost is almost slammed and I would prefer a smaller frame. Gearing is Tiagra all round with FSA compact chainset, Avid BB5 disk brakes, tapered steerer tube. External BB, Hollowtech I think.

The Boardman is standard price, £900 and I can get it in the right size if I wait a bit. I like the smooth welds on the frame (although I noticed they are not smooth at the BB junction). The chrome paint job is cool in a 'Flight of the Navigator' way but the decals are garish. Components are similar to the Whyte. SRAM Apex gearing except for the front mech which is Microshift, FSA compact chainset, Avid BB5 disk brakes, tapered steerer tube. BB30 bottom bracket.

It's always the way with an off-the-peg bike that there is something that lets it down. I have read about the Avid brakes that are used on both and I'm aware already they are not much good. The BB7s are regarded much better. Looks like I might want to swap those immediately. I am in two minds about disk brakes. I want to try them but I want to use this as a commuter so I don't want to be adjusting them every week. I have ridden a Boardman and I was immediately surprised at how weak the brakes were. Not what I was expecting. Does anyone have experience of the microshift front mech?

My heart says the Boardman but the problem is in an impulsive moment I put a deposit on the Whyte because it was on a discount. There is nothing wrong with the Whyte but it just feels a bit plain and its slightly the wrong size. The Boardman has more new things to experienced like double tap shifting.

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apreading
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby apreading » Wed Nov 20, 2013 23:35 pm

The Whyte is a lovely bike but has a 130mm rear disc hub apparently - which is really difficult to find.

Boardman uses a standard 135mm disc hub, just like on mountain bikes and there are plenty of upgrade/replacement options.

BB5s arent that bad, many of the comments about them seem to come from people who have just bought the bike and not bedded them in yet. BB7s are obviously better though.

Of the two, my heart would try to tempt me towards the Whyte, but my head would say Boardman, every time.

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Monty Dog
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby Monty Dog » Thu Nov 21, 2013 08:08 am

If the frame's too big, steer clear - the Whyte's have weird geometry that steer like a boat, before you make it worse by going for a too-big frame.
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Caller
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby Caller » Thu Nov 21, 2013 08:09 am

It's worth remembering that with the Boardman there's currently £60 off and you can get a further 10% with a British Cycling membership which would bring the price down much closer to that of the Whyte.

earth
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:45 pm

Thanks for the comments. I had read a bit about the Whyte geometry but it must have slipped my mind when I was in the shop. I'll seek out those discounts from Halfords.

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bendertherobot
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby bendertherobot » Thu Nov 21, 2013 13:39 pm

Planet X Kaffenback?
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ilovegrace
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby ilovegrace » Thu Nov 21, 2013 14:23 pm

I did exactly the same .
Bought a discounted Giant Cx bike because it was in stock and down in price , wanted a Boardman but the price cut swayed me .
Big mistake , Giant was to small , loads of back trouble and regeretted ever since.
Only when I crashed it and changed the frame size have I began to ride in comfort.
Get the boardman in the right size .
ILG

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bendertherobot
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby bendertherobot » Thu Nov 21, 2013 14:44 pm

I'd be careful here. Personally I see the Boardman CX as a fast road bike rather than a light tourer. You can fit guards (harder on the new model), and you can fit a rack. But it's not really designed for being a commuter/tourer. Though yes, you can use it as such.

Whereas a Kaffenback, Croix de Fer, CDF, etc are more suited to commuting duties and being tourers, though less suited to wet weather sportives.
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earth
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Thu Nov 21, 2013 19:57 pm

What makes you see the CX as a road bike? I guess the main difference I see are more clearance for bigger tyres and maybe more relaxed geometry. Thats not far off.

When I say light touring I mean in the order of 10kgs in panniers on a rack a few times a year. I weigh about 70 myself so the weight is well within the boundaries of any adult bike, although it is distributed differently.

But it is important that it holds up to daily commuting. Only about 10 miles per day and extra duties at the weekend.

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bendertherobot
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby bendertherobot » Thu Nov 21, 2013 21:16 pm

Boardman will easily do those things.
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earth
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Thu Nov 21, 2013 22:26 pm

I did think about a PlanetX but I had an SL Pro road bike and my last commuter, a single speed I made, had many PlanetX parts on it. Nothing wrong in my mind with PX. I just felt like giving the money to someone else this time.

I saw a few Genesis bikes in Evans and they have some really nice ones. There is a lovely looking tomato red road bike.

But I'm also using this as an opportunity to try the new designs that have come out over the last few years. Like tapered steerer tubes and compact chainsets etc. Unfortunately the CDF is a more traditional looking affair and while I like the 931 steel version, its well out of my price range.

I can see what you mean about the Boardman being a road bike though. Other than wider tyres it does not look like some of the serious CX bikes. The serious ones have 44t chainrings rather than 50, no doubt higher BBs, cables going across the top tube rather than under the down tube. But as I'm not intending it for CX racing I think it will do the job.

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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby hp1975 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 14:54 pm

Just a quick note on the brakes. I have BB7s and ive heard the BB5s are about the same in power but a bit more faff to setup and adjust as the pads wear because only one piston can be adjusted.

What is definitely worth mentioning is that the BB7s felt awful to start with. It took about 100miles before the pads and rotor were bedded in and now they are pin sharp, and more than powerful enough for on the road use (mine are on a single speed on-one).

I wouldn't worry about the BB5s, give them a chance to bed in.

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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Sun Nov 24, 2013 15:48 pm

Ok, I'll reserve judgment on the BB5's.

About the BB7's. I heard a rumour from a work colleague that with either the current BB7's or a forthcoming
revision, both pads move to grip the rotor rather than one moving and one static. Is this idle gossip or truth?


I went to Halfords yesterday to ask if they could get a small size in. One of the assistants grumbled I would be fine on a medium. I know I can get on one but it has to be adjusted to an extreme. The only thing that bothers me about a small is the bars are 40cm rather than 42. This means if the small is the right size then I will still have to ask them to swap the bars. That could mean unwrapping the tape and removing shifters. I foresee the staff steering me to the medium.

But there are all kinds of offers at the moment. Looks like I will be up for a double discount :)

Got the deposit refunded on the Whyte as well.

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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby hp1975 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 22:14 pm

On the BB7s, one is static (the inner one) and you set them up so the disc is as close as possible to this one and then set the outer one (the one that moves) so that its close but doesn't rub. There are various tutorials on the web and 'best ways' to set them up. The inner one adjust with a T25 (or with your fingers if you have a vice grip!) and the outer you can do with your fingers. You just adjust as the pads wear, which isnt that often if you are on the road. I love them, theyre quite heavy and the pads are a tad fiddle to replace but neither are showstoppers.

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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby Dazza993 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:31 pm

I recently (6 weeks ago) purchased a 2013 Boardman CX Team - it was down to £750 with the the £60 off a £600 spend offer, plus about £25 cashback via Quidco. I looked at a few others the Whyte's included but for the spec. and weight the Boardman seemed the better bet (esp. at the net price of £725)

I'm happy with mine as a winter 'road' bike, knowing that it'll handle bridleways etc. if needed. A set of Axoim guards went on easily and I'm more than happy with the BB5's (compared to road caliper brakes anyway).

I've put on a shorter stem and may consider a slicker set of tyres if I ever need a crap weather sportive bike.

The Whyte's look nice though. It's a close call I reckon so price might be the deciding factor.
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby FransJacques » Wed Nov 27, 2013 14:30 pm

Whyte's have a 70.5 degree head angle which is a bit whacky for cross RACING but ok if you're a nervous bike handler and if you want to do gnarly off-roading and scream down fast fire-roads.

If you're touring there's nothing wrong with the Whyte. YOu'll appreciate the steering when it's loaded with 30 kgs of gear.

What is wrong is buying the wrong size. Better to have a smaller frame and flip the stem upwards than ride a massive garden gate rammed up where the sun don't shine.
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Monty Dog
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby Monty Dog » Wed Nov 27, 2013 16:50 pm

If you're between sizes on a CX bike, definitely size-down as you'll appreciate having an extra bit of toptube clearance when you need to put a foot down on rough terrain, unless you have a desire to sing in the alto-choir. A smaller bike will also feel more manoueverable in tight situations, useful for both CX racing or riding singletrack - it's what makes a CX bike fun to ride, particularly in comparison to a 29er MTB. A slacker head angle like on the Whyte can result in wheel-flop when doing tight turns at low speed which can catch you out. I have designed and had built a number of custom CX and 29er frames, so know what differing frame geometries feel and ride like.
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Re: Whyte Charing Cross or Boardman CX Team?

Postby earth » Wed Nov 27, 2013 20:56 pm

I am between sizes and I always prefer the smaller of the two sizes. The problem with the Whyte was that it was a medium - the larger of the two sizes. That combined with the geometry and the so-so appeal was enough to realise it was not the one for me.


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