Jimbop Show full post »
panhndl
Honestly, I think I got fairly good response with email. I can’t remember exactly how I did it though. I might have made an account first. Anyway, I think my contact was Jaime. We talked a couple times before my order and I never felt hurried during our conversation. I would try phoning in if you don’t have luck with email. It’s a pretty small operation so weekends the reps are probably not in. You might wait a day or two and see if they get back to you.

An alternative option is to check eBay. Often they have leftover frame sets they are selling on eBay for a pretty significant discount.

I don’t think Lynskey does a lot of donations of their bikes for tests by publications. JOM did like the PRO GR so much he kept it. That coming from a guy who rides a LOT of very nice bicycles. There are a few Lynskey groups on Facebook. I would ask around there for impressions of the various bicycles you’re interested in. Lots of the riders have multiple bikes and can tell you way more than most on here, but remember that it’s a fan club so you’re not likely to hear as many negatives as elsewhere. Lynskey is one of the most affordable Ti bike out there. That’s a big reason I purchased Lynskey.

I financed my bike. I doubt they can do that for someone in England but it made the purchase a little less shocking.
Quote 0 0
panhndl
FYI Lynskey has a sale where you use COMPLETE30 in the coupon area at check out and receive 30% off any complete bike.  makes for some monster savings.
Quote 0 0
Jimbop
panhndl wrote:
FYI Lynskey has a sale where you use COMPLETE30 in the coupon area at check out and receive 30% off any complete bike.  makes for some monster savings.

Nice reply - thx! I've been pondering this topic more and learning more about geometry. I wonder if perhaos I'm going to arrive at the answer that I might want to consider moving my mindset to a two bike solution - keep my CAADX for gravel, bikepacking and commuting, and a dedicated road bike. To get to the answer I need to spend a decent amount of time testing gravel geometry frames in both Ti and carbon, and carbon roadies. I guess something like an Orbea cross bike might be a good compromise but I'm not sure ye t
Quote 0 0
romany8806
I've just put an order in for an Enigma Escape after demoing one for a week. Incredible bike. It'll be my one and only, and replaces a carbon Ridley road bike and a heavy Specialized AWOL adventure bike. The Escape feels great on road and off. A little bit of bottom bracket flex when I'm really hauling up a steep hill in too high a gear, but I'm heavy and a powerlifter. Overall I was really impressed by how quick and efficient the demo bike was, even at a size too big for me and running gravel tyres. Worth a test ride. The tubes are round but massive, so it looks pretty modern to my eye. I'm getting one of the beaded and anodised finishes, and practicality be damned. I've bought the frameset and will build it up with Ultegra 8020, clutch rear derailleur, Rotor 46/30 crankset, Thomson alu and carbon cockpit and Reynolds ATR2 carbon wheels. Should come in at just over 8kg for a fast and very durable build.

Might also be worth considering high end steel - a good steel frame can give a really punchy ride that belies the weight of the frame, plus you could invest the frame savings on lighter parts. The ride quality can be amazing too, if done right. I live in Australia so local options are a bit limited, but if I were in the UK I would definitely have tried the Fairlight Secan and Donhou DSS3, plus the aluminium Mason Bokeh since that reviews so well.
Quote 0 0
bobknh
Late to the party again. I'm already there: 44 Custom Steel with 2 wheel sets. Both wheel sets were built by Dustin Gaddis at Southern Wheel Works. Wheel set 1 uses a White Industries CLD hub laced to a Hed Belgium Plus rim with an 11-36 11 speed SRAM cassette. The wheel is currently wearing 40 mm Schwalbe Allrounds. Initially I set these up tubeless, but I converted to tubes when I rotated the tires front to back to balance tread wear and get a few more miles out of them. My second wheel set uses I9 hubs laced to DT Swiss R411 rims, an 11-28 11 speed cassette. Last season I ran 28 mm Schwalbe Pro-one tubeless. The do-all frame that these wheels run on was built for me by my friend and neighbor Kris Henry -44 Bikes. I use wheel set 1 in rural NH where I ride 50/50 paved/unpaved, mostly alone or in small groups. I use wheel set 2 when riding 100% pavement - especially in the SC low country- in large group fast paced rides. Here are some pic's courtesy of Kris Henry of 44 Bikes.
Here is the design Kris came up with to match my long legs, short torso and achy lower back:
Frame Plan.jpg 

Notice the tall head tube and seat tube as well as the relatively short effective top tube. Not exactly a racing bike -- but extremely comfortable and stable. Although I sometimes ride with my roadie friends in large groups at 20+ mph, I'm very happy on my light weight I9 wheel build an 28mm tires.
Here is a picture of my 44 Huntsman courtesy of Kris Henry:
DSC_0501.jpg 
Here are some more pic's taken by me of my "one bike to rule them all". When wearing my gravel wheels, the bike weighs an honest 21.1 pounds with pedals ready to ride. Switch to my road wheels and the weight drops to around 20 pounds: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMEXUguAQAA8kY-kFkf_E7873xHNFEgNSXhee7k
Quote 1 0
RiderOnTheStorm
Yeah, The Lynskey  is possibly the world's first bike, it is a bike that will never go out of fashion. 
Reilly Gradient is a good choice, I like it's  titanium frame with carefully profiled tubes to provide the right balance of stiffness and compliance, but I had some compaints about suspension. That's why I bought Diamondback Overdrive 29er http://bestadviser.net/reviews/mountain-bikes-reviews/top-mountain-bikes-helmets-and-clothing-review/ 
That is mountain bike, but it makes me feel confident on any kind of the road and the speed is fantastic. [smile][smile]
Quote 0 0
Jimbop

OK - so how about the carbon Specialized Diverge?  The Future Shock bar suspension seems to be favourably reviewed.  Is it fair to say that the geometry is well suited to road and gravel riding, i.e. you can get into a decently aero position but there's comfort too?

The downsides I see with it are that it has a press fit bottom bracket but i don't know if this is a bit issue.  The other is the price - it's £4000 for the Ultegra and I £8500 (££££!!!!) if you want Di2.  If the press fit BB isn't a deal breaker then there's an expensive but very cool looking grey camo S-Works frameset at £3350. 

The Gradient seems to be a really good deal.  Concerned about the stiff front end but with the right tyre pressure it's probably absolutely fine.  mmm....it's very tricky.

Quote 0 0
Jimbop
Quick update - yesterday I did the Falling Leaves Rough Ride, which is on fhe edge of the Peak District. The route was 75km and the terrain varies between bridleways, double track (everything from deeply rutted muddy tracks for farm vehicles to smoother more gravely), fields, woodland single-track, very technical rocky single-track descents, hikeabike and tarmac. Maybe 50% of people were on mtbs and I think overall they probably went faster and had an easier time of it. I loved it - 75km, 1400m of climbing and it took all my fledgling fitness and bike handling to get around. It underlined that it's all well and good to have a nice compliant Ti (or carbon) frame but if the front end is very stiff then you're going to suffer regardless. I saw a few people on Specialized Diverges and I asked them about their steeds - they were loving life. The 20mm of Future Shock bar suspension was soaking up some harshness and the CGR posts looked comfy too. I think it might be the perfect compromise for me. The only annoying factors are the price - I'd like a frameset so I can use my old 105 groupset and then upgrade to Ultegra or Di2 later and the only option is the S-works which is £3350. Also in the ideal world I'd have a Ti frame with Future Shock for longevity and general abuse taking but that dotsn't exist and who knows if someone will copy the FS suspension system.

I'm going to see if I can borrow a Diverge for a day or ideally a weekend from my nearby Specialized Concept store to evaluate it.
Quote 0 0
romany8806
Maybe check out the Redshift Shockstop suspension stem - it's getting good reviews and probably adds about the same weight as future shock while fitting any bike.

You could also get some gel pads to fit under the bar tape. They came on my AWOL and they're really effective.
Quote 1 0
Zurichman
I was at a gravel bike race yesterday and a guy there had the carbon Open U.P with carbon wheels. Boy was that ever a sweet lightweight bike. My bike weighs in the 20 lb range(Raleigh Roker) and his bike felt a lot lighter than mine.

Zman
Capture__95196.1522244348.jpg 
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
Quote 1 0
Jimbop
So i rode the Falling Leaves Rough Ride last weekend and maybe 1/3-1/2 of the field we on MTBs. I thought to myself "Ha! Those mtb guys have zero chance of keeping up with us gravellers!". 4h 53m later a solidly battered and beaten body trickled over the line looking vaguely like me. I had multiple problems:
1) I'd slammed my stem the previous w/e and regretted the extra weight on my arms and trying to crane my head/neck upwards.
2) I had been loving my G-One Allround tyres throughout the dry months we were blessed with in an unusually good UK summer. Whilst the course wasn't that wet there were muddy sections and i felt like a giraffe on roller skates.
3) I would've given body parts for some form of suspension in the front end and ideally some at the rear too.
4) A few times my CAADX felt just a little bit too agile and skittish when i was craving for stability on sketchy descents.
5) I spoke to a couple of Diverge owners and they were more comfortable and happier than i was.

Whilst a Diverge wasn't going to overcome some of the terrain like a mtb, I am pretty sure that the Future Shock stem suspension gave them a little more comfort, as did their CG-R posts and the slacker head angle might've made their bikes less skitish.

All of the above got me thinking on this topic a lot more and googling about Diverges. I found a shop selling 2018 Diverge Sports, which is the carbon frame model with the Tiagra mech brakes groupset. It was (is still today) down from £2000 to £1529.99 and then i found a 10% discount code, which took it to £1379. The alternative was at least £2k on a Ti frame, and then i know i'd want a ShockStop too, which i suspect isn't as good as the FutureShock. I'm not a pro rider but having hinged bar suspension seems unnatural compared to a vertically moving bar suspension? Also I'd guess that progressive springs are better than elastomers but i'm no engineer/ergonomic guru.

Anyhoo, after pouring over the geometry chart I figured that it would likely fit me, be more comfortable and if i wanted to get more aero for road rides due to the 5cm taller stack height then I could stick a down angled stem on it but i think the curvature of my spine/neck means i'm never going to get comfortable for long distances on a super slammed rig. The geometry, if i understand well should also be a bit more stable than my CX bike and my lack of off-road skills came sharply into focus on Sunday so I figure building up skills on a more stable bike might reduce my crash count. So...I took a punt and bought one - i can always return/refund it in store (i did click and collect rather than get it shipped) if the fit is wrong when i go to collect it next weekend.

In the short term the only upgrade I'm planning is a CG-R seatpost (I have a Rose RC-170 Flex seatpost, which is good but if the CG-R offers more then great) but I'd love to get hydro brakes, ideally Ultegra but if i'm going Ultegra then i'd be hard pressed not to want to go the extra mile up to Ultegra Di2. That's for a future thread though.

Does anyone know if the Fact 9R Diverge frame is Di2 compatible?

Anyone think the carbon 2018 Diverge Sport is a dumb idea/terrible bike or might I have stumbled upon what might, for me anyway, be 'the one'?
Quote 0 0
owly
From what I've read the CGR is no where near as compliant as a Ergon CF3/Canyon VCLS2.0.
Quote 0 0
Volsung
I have a CGR on my road bike and can't tell any difference.  They used to claim almost 20mm of flex then changed it to 7, which is about the same as regular carbon.  They're overrated and overweight for what they do.
Quote 0 0
Rashad F
In my humble opinion and experience (I have spent too much time on this road and even bought some property nearby), you are going to get more value with carbon or aluminum. That being said, the one bike quiver sounds awesome, but is pretty tough to make work. In essence you pretty much always end up feeling like you sacrificed something you really want (or at least I did).

To save us some time, where I ended up is finally embracing that the best “do anything” bikes are the endurance race/all road bikes like the Trek Domane, Spec Roubaix, Canyon Endurace, new Giant Defy, 3T Strada, etc. They allow you to run 32mm-35mm tires which are more than adequate for most bad roads and light to moderate gravel, but they are light enough and stiff enough to be pretty good road bikes.

What you almost always miss out on with those bikes is the wider 40mm+ tire clearance which is the norm for gravel events, a lightweight complete build, and aero tube shaping. You might get 1-2 of those things, but not more than that.

I chose a Trek Domane and have loved it, but ultimately realized I want more tire clearance and a racier feel. That has led me to the new Giant Revolt Advanced that I am planning to get after I tested it this past weekend. It checks more of my boxes than other bikes have. To get there though, I had to accept that some of my interests just won’t get met with one bike, so I prioritized and found a bike that provided most of it. Hope this helps. It’s a tough journey.
Quote 0 0
Rashad F
Oh and people are raving about the Ibis Hakka MX as a do anything bike and the new Pinarello Grevil looks promising too.
Quote 0 0
romany8806
Part of my decision to downsize to a single bike was that I wanted a bike that would last for decades - I'm sentimental that way. Carbon bikes feel a bit ephemeral to me, and having had two break within a month of each other earlier this year (full suss MTB and road bike, both from stress fractures) I feel pretty justified in that thinking. Metal bikes for me (yes, I know they can crack too).

I guess my points are: think about how long you want to own the bike and whether you'll still feel attached to it for that long; and get a good warranty. Specialized do lifetime warranties IIRC, so you're covered in that front.
Quote 0 0
Rashad F
In a perfect world, we are all probably riding titanium, but the fact is the stuff is pricey. There are some relatively affordable steel bikes out there, but you have to search to find a builder that interests you and that you trust. Many of the well known ones are as pricey as Ti builders.

FWIW though, Moots is a Ti builder with a great reputation. They are super expensive, but they make some great road and gravel bikes. Litespeed had some issues years ago IIRC, but seems be doing really well now. Lynskey has some good deals from time to time. And yes, Specialized, Trek, Giant, Felt, and a number of other major bike manufacturers all offer lifetime warranties these days.
Quote 0 0
romany8806
Totally agree that Ti is a great, but not the only option


There are some really promising looking steel framesets to consider, especially if you're in the UK. I mentioned above that I'm in Australia, so couldn't test any of these, but there's the Fearless Vulture and Fairlight Faran at the cheaper end of the scale, with the Fairlight Secan and alu Mason Bokeh in the midrange and the Donhou DSS3 and Stelbel Nina at the upper end.

For complete bikes, I think the new Canyon Grail Al looks fantastic.
Quote 1 0
david_ve
Jimbop wrote:

OK - so how about the carbon Specialized Diverge?  The Future Shock bar suspension seems to be favourably reviewed.  Is it fair to say that the geometry is well suited to road and gravel riding, i.e. you can get into a decently aero position but there's comfort too?

The downsides I see with it are that it has a press fit bottom bracket but i don't know if this is a bit issue.  The other is the price - it's £4000 for the Ultegra and I £8500 (££££!!!!) if you want Di2.  If the press fit BB isn't a deal breaker then there's an expensive but very cool looking grey camo S-Works frameset at £3350. 

The Gradient seems to be a really good deal.  Concerned about the stiff front end but with the right tyre pressure it's probably absolutely fine.  mmm....it's very tricky.

 

I have the diverge comp (carbon),

 

I also have a cube agree.

 

the diverge is way better, way more stiffer and yet way more comfy to ride.

the futureshock and the CGR i feel good on cobble roads. (have allot here in flanders)

they take the sharpest hit's away but u still feel that u ride cobbles or bad roads.

been rideing all sorts of rides for now (most on pavement) did some mtb rides as well, the bike holds up pretty good on those.

the tire choise u make has a better impct on comfy feeling then the bike itself.

i swtched the 37mm trigger pro (set them tubeless) fot vittoria terreno dry's 33mm (tubeless) and they handle allot better even in some muddy surfaces (but don't push it to far)

still looking for a real gravel/off road ride to give the bike a descent run for it's money.

had a few this summer but a car accident did force me to cancel them.

 

road rides, get smaller/better tires and u will feel that the most.

did do all 3 sides of the ventoux with this bike, god the stopping power and ease of riding so fun.

could not think about doing it with my cube.

i never would go down on the speeds i did!

 

it is a very good do it all bike, simply love it!

 

u need a uk gravel ride?

https://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk/

Quote 0 0
Jimbop
david_ve wrote:

 

I have the diverge comp (carbon),

 

I also have a cube agree.

 

the diverge is way better, way more stiffer and yet way more comfy to ride.

the futureshock and the CGR i feel good on cobble roads. (have allot here in flanders)

they take the sharpest hit's away but u still feel that u ride cobbles or bad roads.

been rideing all sorts of rides for now (most on pavement) did some mtb rides as well, the bike holds up pretty good on those.

the tire choise u make has a better impct on comfy feeling then the bike itself.

i swtched the 37mm trigger pro (set them tubeless) fot vittoria terreno dry's 33mm (tubeless) and they handle allot better even in some muddy surfaces (but don't push it to far)

still looking for a real gravel/off road ride to give the bike a descent run for it's money.

had a few this summer but a car accident did force me to cancel them.

 

road rides, get smaller/better tires and u will feel that the most.

did do all 3 sides of the ventoux with this bike, god the stopping power and ease of riding so fun.

could not think about doing it with my cube.

i never would go down on the speeds i did!

 

it is a very good do it all bike, simply love it!

 

u need a uk gravel ride?

https://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk/


Very cool!! Sadly due to a nasty turn in the court case I'm battling (I should win but now have to try to fund a trial somehow despite my house being destroyed by a heating company - doesn't seem fair but oh well) I had to cancel the Diverge buy :-( On the plus side I treated myself to an RX800 mech and an 11-34 cassette to give my bike some more capability so that I can max out my enjoyment of it until I'm back on better financial terrain and can consider a new frame again. Dirty Reiver is on my list for 2019 - it's hard to get to from the south and I've not got a car so I need to figure out the logistics. Oh, and get fit / tough enough too!!!
Quote 0 0
Jimbop
My court case rumbles on but i'm more optimistic now and so I'm still turning the thinking wheels on a new bike.  I decided after much consideration, a test ride back in August of a Reilly Gradient and a test ride three weeks ago on a Curve GMX that titanium is my dream frame.  My bike gets used for everything, all the time and i'm not always able to molly coddle it - for example when I put it in the bike section on a train there's a chance someone accidentally clatters their bike against mine, which makes me feel uncomfortable.  I know carbon isn't ultra fragile but I don't think I'll get too badly flamed for saying that it's more fragile than Ti.  

A 25% off deal came up at Lynskey and I might be in the US for work in January so i pulled the trigger on a Lynskey GR270 frame and placed an order.  They then got in touch saying that the coupon code I'd used wasn't valid (it worked fine when i checked out) for a frame only, which when i re-read it was correct, so I asked them to cancel my order and am waiting for the refund now.  Back to square one, almost...

I've now come full circle back to the Reilly Gradient.  I loved the test ride - it gets a lot of good reviews and love from owners on forums and I think it looks great too.  It's also UK designed (sadly not built here) so at least some of the money would be supporting a homegrown business.  I haven't ordered it yet because I'm waiting for the refund and I'm being a bit hesitant about spending more money (Reilly is a bit more spendy than a 25% off Lynskey) but i think it's the bike to rule them all for me.

I signed up for Dirty Reiver.  My fitness has reduced now that i'm not cycling to work (just changed jobs), am working silly hours and my weekend rides have been shorter.  A friend loaned me his spare turbo so i'm going to start using that and up my weekend training.  At this point 200k off-road with 3-4000m of climbing seems pretty unachievable but I've got 3.5 months to up my training and I think i can swap to the 130k (or bail at 130k perhaps - need to see the route) if it's not going well.  Having a Gradient to do it on would likely add a lot of comfort, which on that event is going to be important to me.
Quote 0 0
Jimbop
romany8806 wrote:
Maybe check out the Redshift Shockstop suspension stem - it's getting good reviews and probably adds about the same weight as future shock while fitting any bike.

You could also get some gel pads to fit under the bar tape. They came on my AWOL and they're really effective.

I followed your advice and got one.  It's just like the reviews say - you kinda of don't notice it until you realise how much road/trail chatter it's soaking up for you.  I might try swapping back to my old stem now that i've done a few hundred kms on it to see how that feels in comparison.  It definitely adds a lot of comfort and smoothness, is transferable between bikes and I wouldn't want not to have it.
Quote 0 0
Jimbop
romany8806 wrote:
Part of my decision to downsize to a single bike was that I wanted a bike that would last for decades - I'm sentimental that way. Carbon bikes feel a bit ephemeral to me, and having had two break within a month of each other earlier this year (full suss MTB and road bike, both from stress fractures) I feel pretty justified in that thinking. Metal bikes for me (yes, I know they can crack too).

I guess my points are: think about how long you want to own the bike and whether you'll still feel attached to it for that long; and get a good warranty. Specialized do lifetime warranties IIRC, so you're covered in that front.

So for me it's going to be, hopefully, a bike that i'll keep for many years and that led me to titanium.  I know it's going to be heavier but i think for the ride quality/zing/comfort and the comfort that if someone else dings it (in the bicycle compartment of a train for example) or I do something dumb like let a door close on the chainstays, which I do quite regularly with my CAADX trying to get in/out of my flat, that it's going to be able to withstand that and not need to go to carbon hospital for a lengthy/expensive repair.  

PS Oddly my mum's house is called 'Romany'!
Quote 0 0
romany8806
Ha, I've not met many people who share my name, let alone houses! 🙂 

The Gradient sounds like a great option. FWIW, I had a bit of contact with Mark Reilly about 18 months ago when I was investigating the Spectre as a road bike option. He was really helpful and responsive, which gave me a good feeling about his product. In the end, I went with an all road bike, and chose the Enigma because I could test one in Australia (and because the Escape is utterly brilliant). I pick up the built bike this Thursday!! Frame pic attached.

I haven't actually chosen the final stem yet - either a Thomson X4 to match the rest of my finishing kit, or the Shockstop. To start with it'll be running a spare 3T stem, and if that's comfortable enough I'll stick with the rigid Thomson.

Soooooooo excited!! 
Quote 0 0
Jimbop
Super exciting re your Escape! By chance a mate who emigrated to Sydney several years ago is about to receive his Spectre - i believe it is currently stuck in customs. Can't see the photo of your frame???

I've just revisited Enigma's site and hadn't realised until now that the frame at £1799 is the same price as a Gradient with the £200 mirrored logo option, which I would want. The escape has low key glass-beaded logos by default and not sure I'd want to change them. The only other differences appear to be that the rear brake hose is routed externally and the tyre clearance is possibly a couple/few mm's less on the Escape? Is the BBR60 threaded as opposed to press fit bottom bracket (I understand PF not to be as well regarded but don't know much about this)?
Quote 0 0