Custom Road / Touring bike

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  • So i'm looking at spunking some cash at a custom geared bike for me.
    I'm finally going to have a road bike made to measure. I've had a few road bikes, and they are never that comfy on long distances. - i'm small and stuff.

    I'd want it to be a quick road bike for normal use- but also would like to be able to pannier it up and take it on days or weeks away....

    If you had about £1500 ish to spend on a complete bike - where would you go and why?

  • Mercian.

  • bob jackson.

    far as i'm aware mercian have more of a racing history, bob jackson built their name on audax events and touring

  • King of Mercia though hassan, I think thats a Audax type bike

    Roberts do some nice bikes too.

  • 1500, for a complete bike.

  • 1500, for a complete bike.

    Just ride murtle

  • oh, i know mercian make touring/audax frames, it's just when the line is so fine between two builders, maybe the history of the maker could play a role... i dunno.

    to be fair, at this range you'll be very happy with pretty much any of the builders mentioned above

  • The King of Mercia has, from what I've read, always been the premier Mercian frame.

    They're both (Merc and BJ) excellent bikes though.

    Dave Yates is also worth thinking about (and even more expensive).

  • saw some old and not so old men on chas roberts' frames, panniered to the max, doing the isle of wight randonnee, and they looked very comfortable and were enjoying the ride.
    Not sure how much a chas would cost you, I know jaygee's custom track bike was a bit pricey, but chas does make some very nice bikes...

  • The King of Mercia has, from what I've read, always been the premier Mercian frame.

    They're both (Merc and BJ) excellent bikes though.

    Dave Yates is also worth thinking about (and even more expensive).

    maybe, i could be wrong (and likely am).

    when i was looking into my frame and called both mercian and bob jackson, bj seemed to be a bit more on the ball about specs for the frame and parts (the guy's knowledge of various lowriders and what fittings they required was amazing). but i could have just spoken to the wrong person at mercian

  • Pricewise, and time wise is there much between Bob and Merc? where does one go to get measured?
    Do i have to get to leeds for bob? derby for mercian? anyone in or nearer london?

    i like the look of yates and villiers frames. at the end of the day aren't all these frames much and much alike? I guess steel frames are bestest for this

    Murtle; is £1500 not a decent budget to play with? if a yates is £700 odd- and a groupset another £500 or so then wheels... p'ah i can go over a bit, it's just a figure. I just want a bike i can ride all day touring, or all day fast.

    i'm still nowhere nearer deciding where to go...

    Condor crappy for this?

  • infact - that king of mercia is set up with XT groupo - about £400-500... frame about £600 leaves me £400 odd for rims, brakes, seats, bar and other stuff i'm not going list.

  • Hewitt

    Byer Cycles - same frame

    then Thorn...

  • I have jackson and mercian frames (different models). Both are v.v. nice bikes, super service, great history. mine are OTP, but they will accommodate any customisations you desire, mercian are probably better choice if you go for fancy lugs. I would say the mercian is better mitered/brazed, bj has nicer paint. but if l had to pick one, l would flip a coin!

  • +1 to Dave Yates. Having spent some time with him, I'm pretty certain you'll not do better. Also, he's bloody good at fitting you just by eye - my course frame is bloody blissful.

  • wow... this gets tougher. not easier...

    thanks all for your opinion....

    If i chose not to go custom fit.. where would i get best OTP tourer/racer?? i will go custom, but just curious what this would throw into the mix...

  • The Dawes Super Galaxy would instantly eat up your 1500 quid. Not sure of what else is in that price range OTP.

  • Important to get clear whether you want a tourer or a racer, for a start. Either can be pressed into service as the other, but they're not interchangeable - "audax" is probably the keyword if you want to split the difference.

  • +1 Super Galaxy

    i have one and its so bombproof its silly.

    however, if u go on the Mercian website and look through their gallery,
    its amazing to see the level of customisation Mercian can go to.
    If u want something, they can pretty much do it for you, whatever it is.

  • Important to get clear whether you want a tourer or a racer, for a start. Either can be pressed into service as the other, but they're not interchangeable - "audax" is probably the keyword if you want to split the difference.

    I was abit confused by this as well, geometry and riding style/use will give you totally different feeling bikes, a bike built to be fast and quick, won't necessarily be any good for long distance touring, and vice versa. I think you need to decide exactly what your going to be using this bike for, and cut your cloth accordingly, if the majority of it is riding quick, get a bike that does that well, that you can then play about with to make it more comfortable for the distance stuff. If its 50/50 then maybe audax would be the way to go

  • cycling plus ad a good article about this 2 months ago.....£1299 pearson compass came out very well..
    Chas roberts rough stuff £895, clubman £825 also get a mention....as do Thorns

  • Would having a frame made to fit not enable you to tune well between racing and touring?

    Based on what Cornelius said - maybe i should get a more roady bike that i can adjust to make more comfortable for touring - after all, i'm only likely to do one or two pannier trips a year - with tents et al. The rest would be days or weekends- with minimal baggage- (toothbrush & whites).

    Apart from cost is there any bad points of having a custom fit bike?

    I think i'll make a few calls around tomorrow - see what is said - see what they reckon.

    again, thanks to all - all your advice and words much appreciated.

  • I built my own frame at Dave Yates frame building course. He's a top bloke who deserves your money!
    Closer to home Roberts are damned good. Loads of audaxers in the south east are riding Roberts frames and they'll not say anything bad about them. Go north and it's all Dave Yates!

    If I was having one built I might go to Roberts, just to keep things local and easy for communication, or perhaps go with Mercian with Bob Jackson as my last choice. However, if he hadn't stopped building for now, I'd go for a Robin Mather.

    For fast and light and capable of load carrying the bike type to specify is a "fast audax" frame. You basically get road frame lightness and components with a detuned frame (i.e. more orientated towards stability). The bike mags are all trying to convince us to buy "sportive" bikes, when 90% of those riders would be better off with an audax frame!

  • If he hadn't stopped building for now, I'd go for a Robin Mather.

    +1. I love Robin's work.

    Given Robin's not an option, Chas Roberts or Dave Yates if you want custom.

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Custom Road / Touring bike

Posted by Avatar for jeanmi @jeanmi

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