best engineered all round road bike under £2500

Logic
Logic Posts: 54
edited November 2010 in Road buying advice
As a design engineer i always like designs that push the box open and i was wondering what ppl though was the best engineered all round bike - That 1 bike that you really must have because its simply a work of pure genius.

I love the concept of the Felt AR series and also the great lloking BMC race machine.

What are your thoughts?
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Comments

  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    For an engineer, you seem very keen on superficial appearances :lol:

    Have to wonder about a lot of the fancy wobbles on monocoque carbon frames in terms of what the real world benefit is compared to the bling factor. I suspect that it is approximately 0% engineering, 100% style! Nothing wrong with that but I like proper engineering solutions where form follows function.

    Give me a lugged frame any day - light, simple, flexible in terms of ease of varying geometry and normally great to look at; what more could you want?! :D
    Faster than a tent.......
  • gavintc
    gavintc Posts: 3,009
    edited November 2010
    Lugged has an 'old man' style and simply screams that you have stuck yourself in a comfort zone of 30 yrs ago. :)

    Returning to the OP, I like the way Cervelo has experimented with tube sizing to produce interesting engineering options.
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    bOARDMAN :wink:
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    Rolf F wrote:
    For an engineer, you seem very keen on superficial appearances :lol:

    Design Engineer > Engineer :wink:
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,786
    Well I'm just a designer, so I'm allowed to like superficial styling! The BMC has an engineered look.
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    The Ritchey Break-Away is beautifully made, packs into a case (which comes with it) for neat travel, and – for superficial interests – has a name on the downtube that should impress the most rarified bike-snob.
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    bamboo.jpg

    Has to be a bamboo bike, but they are around 2.5k for the frame only.

    Probably something custom build would be best from an engineering point of view because you can choose the angles ect.
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    gavintc wrote:
    Lugged has an 'old man' style and simply screams that you have stuck yourself in a comfort zone of 30 yrs ago. :)

    They were making lugged carbon frames 30 years ago? :shock:

    (seriously, I have a lugged carbon frame bike and a monocoque carbon framed bike. The lugged one is better and lighter. Not that that really means anything but I thought I'd mention it :lol: )

    Besides, if lugged frames are good enough for the pro's, they are good enough for me!

    Inseine - oh the shame of it! BMC have clearly smitten you with a few superfluous holes in the frame! They don't do anything aside from make it heavier you know :D
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Logic wrote:
    As a design engineer i always like designs that push the box open and i was wondering what ppl though was the best engineered all round bike - That 1 bike that you really must have because its simply a work of pure genius.

    I love the concept of the Felt AR series and also the great lloking BMC race machine.

    What are your thoughts?

    Surely you mean best engineered frame?
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

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  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,786
    Inseine - oh the shame of it! BMC have clearly smitten you with a few superfluous holes in the frame!

    In my defence I said I'm not an engineer and it has an engineered 'look'! Wouldn't buy one myself.
    Cannondale have got there act together, but more with their street bikes than road bikes.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    inseine wrote:
    Inseine - oh the shame of it! BMC have clearly smitten you with a few superfluous holes in the frame!

    In my defence I said I'm not an engineer and it has an engineered 'look'! Wouldn't buy one myself.
    Cannondale have got there act together, but more with their street bikes than road bikes.

    I know what you mean. I was following a bloke on a Boardman yesterday. I always like the way the seat stays curve in towards the wheel rim but wonder if it just gets a bit in the way when changing the wheel. And can that bit of sculpture really serve any practical purpose.

    Also hugely sceptical of Pinarellos wobbly forks though the asymmetrical chain stays seem logical.

    My Look 585 is pretty conventional but has a squashed section in the top tube. Ostensibly it is to provide a little give for a more comfortable ride (Sportive oriented frame) - however, I noticed that it actually gives the top tube a slight step - which maybe means the profile is more about enabling the standard frames seatpost top lug to be used on the sportive frame!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I'd got for Cervelo. Not sure they're gonna be under your £2,500 budget, but the square down tube and fat chainstay/thin steatstay of the R3 you quite often see on other frames. And isn't the AR series Felt's version of the S2/S3?
  • Logic
    Logic Posts: 54
    I do think that the sales gimmick on most bikes catch my eye rather than the actual benefits they give the rider - they always tell you what they think the benefits are but would the usual rider notice that much - probably not.

    I was really hoping that people would give there thoughts on what bikes have been engineered to give an all round edge not just more top speed, quicker acceleration or stiffer ride. just to say whats out there that i dont know about.

    I do like cervelo bikes ( who dont ) - bit rich for my bloody though.

    so maybe i should change the question slightly too " which frame do you think has been designed to give the usual sportive styled rider the best advantages - and which features give it this enhancement.

    cheers
  • Logic wrote:
    I do think that the sales gimmick on most bikes catch my eye rather than the actual benefits they give the rider - they always tell you what they think the benefits are but would the usual rider notice that much - probably not.

    I was really hoping that people would give there thoughts on what bikes have been engineered to give an all round edge not just more top speed, quicker acceleration or stiffer ride. just to say whats out there that i dont know about.

    I do like cervelo bikes ( who dont ) - bit rich for my bloody though.

    so maybe i should change the question slightly too " which frame do you think has been designed to give the usual sportive styled rider the best advantages - and which features give it this enhancement.

    cheers

    Seeing as you could get a Viner Perfecta 2011 custom built made to measure for £2100 - I would say this is your best bet. You can then specify how slack you want angles, height of headtube etc for the perfect fit

    Surely that is the ultimate in engineering?
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Seeing as you could get a Viner Perfecta 2011 custom built made to measure for £2100 - I would say this is your best bet. You can then specify how slack you want angles, height of headtube etc for the perfect fit

    Unless things have changed, you can't do that with Viner. They'll make a Perfecta to fit you but you can't specify, for example, the geometry of a Trek Madone on a Viner Maxima - the custom nature is within certain limits; more Made to Measure than pure Bespoke (as I understand it!).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Despite what the marketing people will tell you, it's the heart, lungs and legs of the rider that makes the difference provided the bike is fitted correctly.
    Messrs Starley and Dunlop pretty well got it right in terms of the basic engineering concept and the rest has pretty well been down to the trickle down of technology and the occasional tweak. Obviously improvements to the user interface in terms of clipless pedals and integrated shifters, as well as the benefits of materials technology have made life easier for the rider.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • clx1
    clx1 Posts: 200
    gavintc wrote:
    Lugged has an 'old man' style and simply screams that you have stuck yourself in a comfort zone of 30 yrs ago. :)

    Returning to the OP, I like the way Cervelo has experimented with tube sizing to produce interesting engineering options.



    You wouldn't be interested in a Colnago C59 if someone offered you one then, you obviously haven't ridden one or you wouldn't make such ill founded comments.
  • gavintc
    gavintc Posts: 3,009
    Rolf F wrote:
    gavintc wrote:
    Lugged has an 'old man' style and simply screams that you have stuck yourself in a comfort zone of 30 yrs ago. :)

    They were making lugged carbon frames 30 years ago? :shock:

    (seriously, I have a lugged carbon frame bike and a monocoque carbon framed bike. The lugged one is better and lighter. Not that that really means anything but I thought I'd mention it :lol: )

    Besides, if lugged frames are good enough for the pro's, they are good enough for me!

    Inseine - oh the shame of it! BMC have clearly smitten you with a few superfluous holes in the frame! They don't do anything aside from make it heavier you know :D

    I did put a smiley after the post to imply my tongue was in my cheek. My first carbon bike was indeed a lugged one. But, to be honest, my current monocoque is better.
  • CLX1 wrote:
    gavintc wrote:
    Lugged has an 'old man' style and simply screams that you have stuck yourself in a comfort zone of 30 yrs ago. :)

    Returning to the OP, I like the way Cervelo has experimented with tube sizing to produce interesting engineering options.



    You wouldn't be interested in a Colnago C59 if someone offered you one then, you obviously haven't ridden one or you wouldn't make such ill founded comments.

    Likewise with a Maxima RS
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    To be fair, it was probably slightly devious of me to refer to lugged frames without mentioning initially that I was thinking of carbon ones; I think most people immediately think of steel when lugs are mentioned. But I do think though that anyone would be daft to turn noses up at the Colnago, Viner already mentioned or indeed my Look 585. I prefer all of these to the monocoques.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • jimwin
    jimwin Posts: 208
    Logic wrote:
    As a design engineer i always like designs that push the box open and i was wondering what ppl though was the best engineered all round bike - That 1 bike that you really must have because its simply a work of pure genius.
    What are your thoughts?

    1. Titanium. Simply the best material for a bike - just as it is for any old high-end jet fighter like the Typhoon.

    2. And for implementation, the Enigma looks close to a work of genius. See the recent 5 star review in C+.
  • Rolf F wrote:

    Also hugely sceptical of Pinarellos wobbly forks though the asymmetrical chain stays seem logical.
    My Look 585 is pretty conventional but has a squashed section in the top tube. Ostensibly it is to provide a little give for a more comfortable ride (Sportive oriented frame) - however, I noticed that it actually gives the top tube a slight step - which maybe means the profile is more about enabling the standard frames seatpost top lug to be used on the sportive frame!

    I don't understand - if your Look has manipulated tube shapes to "provide a little give.." etc, why are you so hugely sceptical that some other fancy tube shape such as a Pinarello wobbly fork doesn't also have a useful purpose?

    FWIW, I have one of the "wobbly"-forked wonders, and whether it is due to the shape or just plain strength, the fork works brilliantly. You can brake hard into corners and there is no flex or shimmy or whatever. They track superbly. Ride one sometime, you just might be converted!
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I don't understand - if your Look has manipulated tube shapes to "provide a little give.." etc, why are you so hugely sceptical that some other fancy tube shape such as a Pinarello wobbly fork doesn't also have a useful purpose?

    FWIW, I have one of the "wobbly"-forked wonders, and whether it is due to the shape or just plain strength, the fork works brilliantly. You can brake hard into corners and there is no flex or shimmy or whatever. They track superbly. Ride one sometime, you just might be converted!

    Errrrr, I thought it was pretty obvious from my post! Where I said "Ostensibly it is to provide a little give for a more comfortable ride (Sportive oriented frame) - however, I noticed that it actually gives the top tube a slight step - which maybe means the profile is more about enabling the standard frames seatpost top lug to be used on the sportive frame!" was meant to make it clear that I am dubious about the real justification for that design feature. Just because I love my bike doesn't mean I am not capable of questioning aspects of its design!

    As for your wobbly forks - you can't know that the wobbliness has anything to do with their greatness. The forks on my Look are not wobbly. On the Look, you can brake hard into corners and there is no flex or shimmy or whatever. They track superbly.

    So there you go - straight or wobbly, the outcome is identical (weight possibly excepted as the wobbliness no doubt increases overall fork weight)! Or is the performance of the Look forks helped by my lack of weight and if I was heavier, would I notice a difference that I could put to the shape? Rather hard to tell without extensive testing. Ergo the main benefit is perhaps that it gives Pinarellos a distinctive appearance .

    Possibly I'm just too cynical but you'd have to make an awful lot of test moulds to prove a particular random variation is optimal.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • @ Rolf F

    Presumably the bit where I said ".. whether it is due to the shape or just plain strength... " passed you by as well.

    Fact is, I don't much care. The fork works. You clearly don't like the design of it, fair enough, but do you have some evidence that the design is simply for cosmetic reasons, or just your scepticism?

    Pinarello has also released a model called KOBH, designed for the Sky team for Paris Roubaix originally, which eschews the Onda seat stay design for a more simple curved one. Their explanation is that this gives the frame more vertical compliance than the Onda version, extra comfort which is useful on the cobbles. No measurements provided, but gives some weight to the claim the wavy shape has a structural effect.

    Just because other designs achieve similar results using different methods does not invalidate any one particular design.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    @ Rolf F

    Presumably the bit where I said ".. whether it is due to the shape or just plain strength... " passed you by as well.

    Fact is, I don't much care. The fork works. You clearly don't like the design of it, fair enough, but do you have some evidence that the design is simply for cosmetic reasons, or just your scepticism?

    Pinarello has also released a model called KOBH, designed for the Sky team for Paris Roubaix originally, which eschews the Onda seat stay design for a more simple curved one. Their explanation is that this gives the frame more vertical compliance than the Onda version, extra comfort which is useful on the cobbles. No measurements provided, but gives some weight to the claim the wavy shape has a structural effect.

    Just because other designs achieve similar results using different methods does not invalidate any one particular design.

    Ultimately, proof in the pudding and all fair enough - it works; great. May be due to the design, may not. As for that comment from Pinarello; it doesn't imply that the vertical compliance is dependant on the wobbliness - just that the wobbly design is stiffer. It doesn't say that the stiffness is dependant on it.

    I'm not saying the bike isn't good (far from it) - just that I struggle to believe that the shape of the forks has much to do with it. In the end, there are all sorts of random shapes going on in bike monocoque designs and I struggle to believe that most of them aren't that way just 'because we can do it'. You can't have that much fun designing in titanium or steel but you can make a bike any shape you like in carbon fibre. The obvious penalty though is that the results would be achieved at a weight cost.

    But you are right - this is just my scepticism - no evidence at all (but this is the internet after all :lol: )
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Simple fact is the top pro's use any bike and it makes no real difference.

    I'm with Monty Dog on the premise that modern bikes help, but the frame is not the deal breaker.

    I do think there is an unwarranted amount of nostalgia, and lugged frames and bespoke manufacturers have a kudos that outweighs their performance.

    In summary, most bike manufacturers have one frame that will compete.

    For me, the beauty of modern design is a custom Ti frame, or a one piece carbon frame.

    The rest are just indulgent nods to the past.
  • on-yer-bike
    on-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Pinarellos look like they are melting. I saw a top of the range Look 695 at the bike show that to my eye looked like it was breaking new ground. But then it could just be French quirk like you see in their cars.
    Pegoretti
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  • The Serotta Legend always does it for me.

    http://www.serotta.com/Bikes/Road/LegendSE/
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,786
    But then it could just be French quirk like you see in their cars.


    You have no idea how funny that is (to me)!
  • tenor
    tenor Posts: 278
    The BMC mini-triangle is great for stashing your cap, but engineering..?
    Likewise the Pinarello Dogma wiggle fork.
    If these were legitimate engineering improvements everyone would be copying them - but they are not.
    I agree with the lugged approach which allows many frame increments and the individual tubes to be more easily tuned.
    Lugged steel aint bad either; Pegoretti Luigino anybody?