Jimalex’s 853 Crust Romanceur

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  • Yeah, fair.

    Yeah, I love it up here so much. The West Side is great and stuff but I personally love living so close to the mountains and foothills. My ride on Saturday looked like this up on the Verdugo's:

    And yep, absolutely. Not too many people on this forum live here, if any, so it'd be good to ride with someone who is :-)

  • Niiiice!

  • Think they are very conservative and depends how it’s mounted. Reckon the Obento is fine for closer to 10 if you take one pair of struts down the pannier boss, another pair mid blade and use the plate to the crown.

  • Couple snaps from recent rides. On the River Wey and near Wisley Common. Nice big horse.

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  • Bike is riding lovely but the brakes are squealing like crazy in the wet. Earsplitting. I sanded the pads and cleaned the rotors last night and the noise is somewhat improved today. Any tips for reducing the squeal? I’ve only ridden 150ish fairly flat miles so far so perhaps the brakes are still bedding in...

  • The good people at Restrap sent over my bags this week.

    The small Rando Bag, Top Tube Bag and Saddle Pack.

    The quality looks great. No loose threads or wonky seams. Simple and well put together which is just what I was hoping for. The magnetic closure on the saddle bag snaps together easily and is very solid.

    Plus a couple of free patches and signed labels from the people that handmade the bags. A nice touch.

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  • You can't go wrong with Restrap, the quality is always great! Great looking bike as well, looks like loads of fun.

  • nice to see a couple of gravel bikes hanging out

  • Missed the finished pictures. Looks ace.
    Been after a medium sized front rack with mid fork eyelets for ages myself but not been able to find anything decent that isn't £££.

  • This is cracking and nice ride pictures

  • Thanks @bobble and @ltc!

  • Got out for a proper ride at last today. 55 mile loop taking in Box Hill and Leith Hill. 75% off road. Got soaked but it wasn’t cold and had an awesome time.

    Some takeaways from a day in the saddle:

    Brakes have sorted themselves out and now lovely and quiet. On long steep dirt descents they don’t lock up unless you want them to and made for good control.

    I could do with a longer stem. Got a 90mm Dynamic on the way from Hubjub that with improve the fit and comfort.

    Loved the gearing. Got in the granny for the steeper dirt climbs. Spin for the win. It was also great for churning through deep muddy trails, of which there were a lot.

    It’s obviously not as quick as a road bike on tarmac but it does cruise away at a good pace. The climbs were fun with the spinny gears, but the best bit was how planted and cushy it is on dirt descents. It eats up the bumps and almost feels like it has some suspension.

    This is largely down to the RH tires which are so plush. Landings after some little jumps are very cushioned. They gripped admirably, only spinning out on slick roots, and after some very clayey mud puddles they were caked but shed the muck and were clean again in a couple of minutes.

    I was glad of the extra clearance today as well. Crust quote a max tire size of 650x48mm which is what I have now, but there’s still heaps of room which meant everything continued to run smoothly and quietly despite the gobs of mud that stuck to everything.

    The top tube bag was handy for phone and jelly babies. Easy to access when riding but bit of a fiddle when stopped and standing over the top tube. I also realised that I sit on my top tube when at lights or taking a quick stop. Can’t really do this with the bag there. Will stick with it and see how I go.

    Finally I’m not wild about the bar end shift. Brifter may be in my future...

  • Ride pics..

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  • The Crust is headed for the classifieds shortly. I have to leave the county for work and I won't be riding it much in the foreseeable, so it's up for sale so someone else can enjoy it. £1600 if anyone wants to swoop in early!

  • Guessing that's frameset?

  • What’s the frame size?

  • Great thread and lovely bike. Thanks.

  • The Crust has left me with a bike shaped hole to fill.

    While I had some great fun with it, I missed the responsiveness and pick up of my road bike. The 853 steel gave a great ride and I’ll be sticking with disk brakes. So the search was on for a steel, disk road bike that could take ~35mm rubber.

    Of course lead times at the moment are crazy, so I’d resigned myself to a long wait before anything would be available. I looked at the Endurance and Grails from Canyon, and was close to a frame deposit with Ricky Feather when I found the Fairlight Strael.

    I expect many forumengers will have seen the glowing reviews this bike has got for its ride quality, attention to detail and versatility since being released several years back. The Strael is now on version 3.0, and an Ultegra specced build in my size is due in stock in July 2022.

    Won over by the ethos of the company and their focus on do-anything bikes that prioritise function over form, as well as the seemingly unanimous praise of the bike from reviewers, I was about to pay the £750 deposit and begin my 10 month wait, when I thought to check the classifieds...

  • Wouldn’t you know it - a nicely sorted Strael v1.0, in my size and with the same spec as I was about to order, but at a third of the price and 45 mins away.

    I made an offer to the eBay seller and collected the bike the next day.

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  • The pic above from the eBay ad. Not the best but I was super pleased when I picked the bike up. It was immaculate and had been very well looked after. The previous owner had bought the frameset and built the bike up, in a very similar spec to what fairlight would supply.

    Strael 1.0 54R frame - Reynolds 853 tubing with inhouse carbon fork and internal cabling
    Ultegra hydro groupset
    Hope hubs on DT Swiss rims

    The blue Hope finishing kit is a good color match to the frame decals but a too matchy-matchy for me so I swapped out the quick releases and cable ends to black ones. Also installed Thomson stem and seatpost, and Zoncolan saddle from my road bike (currently retired after finding a crack in the chainstay). Destickered the rims, lost the mudguards and changed the bottle cages.

    Also changed the tires from 28mm Conti 4 Seasons to 32mm Teravail Ramparts. They look great but are skinnier than I hoped - pretty much the same volume as the Contis that should be 4mm thinner. Definitely got room to go bigger in the frame in the future.

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  • Looks swish that

  • so much better than that heavy thing you had ;) must ride better too

  • Great improvement!

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Jimalex’s 853 Crust Romanceur

Posted by Avatar for jimalex @jimalex