Claud Butler Elite review

Sound all-rounder

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £389.99 RRP | USD $656.22
The Claud Butler’s big wedge profile down-tube adds style, but it also adds extra weight

Our review

Tight on toe room, but a reasonable all-rounder
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Claud Butler is a name with a long and illustrious history in the British bike industry. These days it’s a brand of Falcon Cycles, and its bikes sit around the entry to mid level.

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  • Frame and fork: Not bad, but more toe room would be nice if you plan to fit a front mudguard; frame angles are sensibly muted (7/10)
  • Handling: Steady steering is even easier to keep in check with the wide handlebar, but the Elite lacks long-ride comfort (7/10)
  • Equipment: It helps that the gearing goes to 39×26, but it still needs to be lower; Shimano 2200 equipment does what it’s meant to just fine (7/10)
  • Wheels: The usual mix of half-decent aluminium rims and hubs, built up with some care and then shod with bog standard training tyres (7/10)

The Elite’s 6061 aluminium frame has a big, wedge-shaped down tube plus eyelets and frame clearance for mudguards. Toe clearance is a little close on turns – to the tyre it’s fine, but a mudguard might mean overlap.

Ubiquitous Shimano 2200 is used for the gearing, with a 50/39T double chainset, and wheels are par for the course: semi-deep section, double wall aluminium rims on Quando hubs. They were true and spoke tension was good – something you don’t always see on budget bikes.

The Kenda Kampaign tyres, though, are nigh on indistinguishable from the cheap training tyres that you’ll find fitted on any of the other bikes in this price range.

Reach is slightly reduced on the Elite by a stem that’s a couple of centimetres shorter than some. The bars are wide, though, at 44cm, and it’s a little easier to keep them steady over choppy road surfaces than narrower bars, especially when you’re riding one-handed.

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The head angle is getting on for as relaxed as road bikes ever are (71 degrees). That provides more trail, which we like on budget bikes – you’re unlikely to be doing bunch sprints on one of these machines, so super snappy handling isn’t a requirement. And for any time-trialling, plenty of trail makes life easier on the tri-bars.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Elite (09)
Brand Claud Butler

Available Sizes 53 56 59
Saddle Claud Butler padded vinyl, steel rails
Top Tube (cm) 56
Standover Height (cm) 80
Seat Tube (cm) 49.5
Chainstays (cm) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Weight (lb) 25.1
Weight (kg) 11.37
Stem 9cm forged alloy, 2-bolt 26mm bar clamp, 2-bolt 1 1/8in steerer clamp
Shifters Shimano 2200 STI
Seatpost Alloy 27.2mm with single bolt micro adjust clamp, 300mm long
Seat Angle 72
Rims Alloy semi-deep
Bottom Bracket RPM sealed cartridge, square taper
Rear Hub Alloy
Rear Derailleur Shimano 2200, long cage
Head Angle 71
Handlebar Alloy, deep drop anatomic, standard 26mm clamp zone, 44cm c-c
Front Hub Alloy
Front Derailleur Shimano 2200
Frame Material Tig-welded and shaped 6061 aluminium, replaceable gear hanger.
Fork Hi-ten steel unicrown with 1 1/8in steerer and forged dropouts
Cranks Shimano AO50, alloy 170mm arms, stamped/riveted steel spider and rings
Cassette Shimano HG40
Brakes Alloy dual pivot side pulls
Wheelbase (cm) 100