Anyone gone down the S & S Coupling route?

sonicred007 Posts: 1,091
edited October 2009 in Road buying advice
This looks like an interesting solution to touring in the UK...

Anyone bought a frame or had theirs converted?




  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    I have met people with the S&S coupling and it's a solid,clever bit of kit. It really doesn't detract from the bikes performance
  • Seems like the best solution to touring the UK and getting your bike on trains without the need for bike reservations... or am I being optimistic there?
  • They do look like a good solution for someone who travels a lot (though for occasional travelling abroad a decent bike bag or box is probably a cheaper solution). I can't see how it would benefit someone touring in the UK. I'd still imagine that if you turn up at a bus depot or train station without a specific bike reservation they're still going to be expecting it to be in a bag or case of some sort. Are you really going to carry that around with you on a regular tour? I can't imagine the jobsworths in charge are going to be too happy with a bike, even if it is in two parts.
  • That's disappointing
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    It does mean you can fit the bike in a large suitcase. There are some pics on the web and plenty of users who can recommend them
  • I've not used one, but I have them on order for a frame I'm getting built. I've spoken to a few riders with them and they are all very pleased with them, I've not heard of any problems. They are particularly good for people who like to do one-off events like cyclesportifs or audaxes, it saves a lot of problems with airlines, buses, trains, etc.

    The disadvantage is that you do need a case, so if you are touring you need to store it somewhere on your return - not much use if you are doing a point to point. You could go the disposable route - dismantle and wrap up tight in bubblewrap and cardboard.

    Another option worth looking at is the Ritchey Breakaway bike series. More or less the same as S&S, they just use their own proprietary couplings - they are more subtle and (I think) better designed than S&S. Although some have suggested to me that the Ritchey design is less robust (not being an engineer I can't comment).

    One thing to look at very closely is bag size. Check out the dimensions of minimum bag size required now by airlines - some of these are so limited that even the S&S brand bags are too big so you might still get charged excess. Some train complanies have the same size limitations (not in the UK, I got caught by this once on a high speed rail link in Taiwan).
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I have a Ritchey Breakaway and very pleased with it - rides as good as a conventional steel frame IMO. The couplings are well engineered - unlike the S+S which are complete overkill IMO (I am an engineer) The case is well designed too - but would question it's durability for repeated airline use - but fine for car / train and ocassional flight - it fits in the back of my Smart and takes about 10 minutes to assemble the bike. Only downside is the quality of the paint. I would happily race the bike, it's great for sportives where it rides 'lighter' than it actually is.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Any pics of the richey? not heard of this
  • ColinJ
    ColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Any pics of the richey? not heard of this
    It's quicker to type Ritchey Breakaway into Google or Google Images than to type the question! :wink:
  • Thanks.. seen full disassembly vids too
  • clazza
    clazza Posts: 626
    I have S and S on my Ti mountain / roughstuff touring bike. It packs down really well but takes around 30 mins to disassemble and pack then another 30 on the other end to reassemble. This can be a challenge if you have bad sptial awareness like me - the case is a tight fit. Also TSA in the US dont always repack it correctly after opening, leading to scratched frames. Honestly I think it looks pretty ugly as well. Dont think I would want it on a road frame...

    I'm now looking at getting the Ti Cross Breakaway - looks less hassle / cleaner looking and the case is bigger
  • Burghley
    Burghley Posts: 412

    I have a Ti road frame with S&S couplings, produced by Xi'an in China. The ride is identical to my other Ti frames, so from this perspective it is ideal.

    Currently investigating suitable cases, and can't therefore comment too much on the ease of breakdown/re-assembly. However, in my opinion probably not suitable for touring (i.e. a different location every day) because of the time needed, but great for a single location holiday when you want a "proper" bike to ride.


    miles more cycling comfort
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Enigma had one of their bikes with a coupling on their stand at the London show. Nicely done as well.