Though I wasn't particularly active in extra-curricular activities at uni (of course I was spending every waking hour in the library), I did have a satellite connection to the cycling club which served me well when I saw that a fellow member had also moved to Brussels. With the persistently inclement weather our two-wheeled excursions have been few but said acquaintance has recently revealed that he's in the market for a new bike. Cue technical nerdery on Whatsapp and me having an interested ear to submit to my opinions.
It quickly turned out that this wasn't the typical "have a look here for ex-team stock"/"wheelanddeal.com has 2019 frames for decent prices" as my associate revealed that he's working with a budget around the 10k mark. 'kin 'ell I thought as I realised how wildly our career trajectories had diverged in the few years since doing post-lecture Regents laps. He sheepishly muttered something about the German tax revenue dept. where he works being very generous but was resistant to my "Now if I were you..." approach (in case you're wondering, buy a van would be top of the list, with a trip to Corsica and a vintage Fender Tele somewhere close behind).
Clearly it's a question of different strokes but, knowing that he's set to drop 10 big ones on marketing hype that's unlikely to improve his chances of getting laid, what counsel can I give so that his faith in the industry isn't completely shattered when he's still getting dropped by dudes on sub-1k bikes?
Tell him to drop Tom Sturdy a line...
best way to spend £10k
best way to spend £10k
upgrade everything into titanium and carbon
Anything from here: https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/project-one/
Or the Aethos
Another vote for Sturdy.
Extra considerations: it's Belgium, not Girona and so he's eyeing up the aero categories. To me, these are some of the most over-stated, garish, and quickly out-dated contraptions on the road. Having been half-seriously dubbed "chief advisor" in his pursuit of pedal-powered nirvana, I'm trying to steer him towards something a little more refined that might even please me to ride alongside come summer. FWIW, I did offer to carry his bidons for a considerably smaller fee than 10k which would save him far more weight than what this kind of cash will shave off. I also tried to talk him into the custom steel - or at this end, titanium - route but to no avail. Fair enough, it's not my money so not my call.
I guess that besides rolling my eyes a bit at the lack of imagination in this folly, I'm wondering whether there is anything out there that ticks the boxes and is a little more interesting than just going for something seen in the pro peloton.
Of course, he doesn't have to spend 10k, but it gives an idea of how much is possible. Do you get a better deal buying something fully specced I wonder? Were it me, I'd find the frame (with this cash I'd probably splash on a one-off paint job), choose groupset and finishing kit, and go for handbuilt wheels. I guess it just shows how different people's approaches are to bikes and where some like to geek out on the minutiae, others pick something off the peg. Maybe the latter would save me hours on the forum...
It's actually shockingly easy to spend £10k on a bike
He’s going to buy an S Works SL7. Think I’ve probably saved you some time here
Wow, was this painted in Games Workshop by any chance?
If he's not willing to go custom or bespoke then I'd agree with @amey that an off the peg Aethos is the best bet. Every review I've read states just how much 'fun' it is to ride and how much nicer it is than most modern aero bikes, and unless he races the aero penalties are inconsequential.
I was surprised to see @Dammit hadn't started this thread
Obvs I've suggested it. This one is particularly nice but sadly too small: https://www.cycleexchange.co.uk/products/2021-specialized-s-works-tarmac-sl7-disc-sram-red-axs-size-52cm
"Sigma sport exclusive"
Tarmac is a 'race' bike, aggressive geo, press fit bb.
Aethos is for nodders like us.
Its a hard choice between Domane SLR and Aethos.
My thoughts exactly!
he should get a sarto frame to his specs made
I know I know, you're preaching to the converted here but he's been sipping from the marketing chalice and lapped up the aero mumbo-jumbo (in spite of not racing). So sadly that option is out.
I should add that he has said that he might be selling around 5 years' down the line and then buying whatever is around then. He seems to be the cycling industry's ideal consumer but I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that we all have a little urge to ride the cutting edge of R&D, even if it breaks the bank for the most marginal of returns.
Thing with Aethos is that they have gone back on quite a few of those standards, its quite 'simple' in that sense so any standards being outdated on that are slim.
Threaded BB, 27.2 standard post, standard 1 1/8 stem and bars with external routing
I'm with you on all of this but they're just not his criteria. I'm sure that his mechanics bill will also dwarf my own with all the proprietary guff he's buying into but hey, aero innit.
Ooof, that's more like it. I've sent this over and am really hoping he'll bite. Though I suspect the above might be blasting past the 10k mark...
fair enough, domane SLR? if thats too mamil fit then emonda SLR?
Beauty of custom is spec can be tweaked to fit budget :)
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