This week we've been taking a look around the Core Bike Show and have three more bikes for you that are worthy of second look: the Colnago C-RS, Lynskey GR250 gravel bike and vintage-style St Johns from The Light Blue.
The new C-RS may have been lost to most on its launch alongside the Concept aero machine, which occupies the higher-end of the legendary Italian brand's line-up, but the C-RS on show at the Core Bike Show this week certainly caught our eye — and not just for its much more reasonable price tag.
Firstly, with its broader clearances for wider tyres and slimmer 27.2 post (Colnago stayed with the 31.6 post longer than most) it’s a bike that’s aimed more at endurance riders than out and out racers. A look at the geometry charts shows a 590 stack and 397mm reach on its 58cm equivalent frame size, that’s a little lower and longer than most out and out sportive machines.
We like that the C-RS has plenty of cues from its pricier cousins, from an integrated clamp with the recessed inset forward facing wedge clamp to the oversized head tube with full internal routing, and we like the more subtle details like the downtube that’s cross section profile hints at the iconic Colnago club crest — just like the classic steel Master did back in the eighties. For too long iconic and historic brands like Colnago had base models that bore the name, but little of the thought and craft that made their fame. With the C-RS it looks like a bike that’s been designed and not just built to meet a cost.
With prices starting at £2,199.95 for the 105 version, £2,699.95 for the Ultegra and a frameset option at £1,499.95, entry to Colnago ownership still doesn’t come what we’d call cheap, but it certainly doesn’t look cheap either. We’ve already got our order in for a test bike so we’ll report back soon if it lives up to its promise.
We’d heard plenty about Lynskey’s 2017 GR250 gravel bike, but at Lynskey’s UK distributor Hotlines' stand it was the first chance we'd had to get a good look at the Ti-crafter's latest all-roader.
The GR250 is based on the ever-popular R250 road machine and has similarly shaped tubing. The big difference is the clearances afforded by the design and its compatibility with both 700 and 650b wheel sizes. In its 700c guise it’ll take a 40c tyre (with plenty to spare) and up to a 2.1” tyre rolling on a 650b rim. The geometry is adjusted for a bit more stability in the rough stuff with a slacker 71-degree head. Up front Lynskey has used the 3T Luteus II Team stealth fork (as found on 3T’s radical Exploro).
Typical Lynskey quality construction is on show throughout the frame and the neatly cowled thru-axle rear dropout looks stunning. With all of the bosses and mounts any bikepacker or traditional tourist could want, the GR looks like a bike that’ll satisfy both fast gravel racers and long-haul adventurers alike.
Hotlines showed this custom build, priced at £4,455, and built with the 3T fork, 3T team stem, bar, and seat post, Rolf Prima disc wheels, WTB Nano 40c tyres and SRAM’s Rival1 groupset with hydraulic discs. The frame alone price is set at £1,799.
The Light Blue St Johns
Cambridge, UK, based The Light Blue has a wide range of steel machines from up to date rough stuff specials to classic fixed, road and tourers. Its latest St Johns we think is one of the best looking to date, with the lugged and brazed Reynolds 725 steel frame built up into a L’Eroica compliant complete bike and using plenty of Dia-Compe’s line of vintage replica parts.
The £1,299 complete bike comes equipped with a 9-speed Driven mech, a 11-28 cassette, 50/34 Genetic clubman classic chainset, Dia Compe centre-pull 610 brakes, Dia Compe brake levers, Dia-Compe down tube shifters, a classy leather Dia-Compe ENE leather saddle, Halo retro wheels shod with Halo Retro courier 29c tyres and Genetic heritage bar and stem to finish off.
Light Blue’s show model was accessorised with a great looking copper hammer finish full mudguards and a Dia-Compe ENE mini porter rack with matching cotton canvas bag (all available as add-ons to the standard bike). So if you’ve ever fancied trying out Eroica Britannia or the original Tuscan event (or its many global editions), but don’t fancy searching out and restoring a classic then the St Johns would be a great substitute at a much more affordable price than a handbuilt custom or rarified vintage with a group up restoration bill.