Steel do it all

greeny1 Posts: 106
edited March 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi guys, Im looking for a bit of help/advce. I have recently purchased a BMC pro machine which I am very happy with, although I need another bike to compliment it (having given my Giant defy away to a family member). I would like a steel audax style bike. One that can fit mudguards a rack and have width for larger tyres in case I want to take myself away for a few days on the bike. It will basically be my winter trainer, commuter and do it all machine. I was thinking of building the bike up myself and have a budget of about 1000-1200, possibly a little higher as I plan to build it over time and have it ready for the end of summer. I wanted to know if anyone has any ideas where to find such a frame, I saw the new Dawes audax and it is something like what I want, although I am sure there are better deals to be found. I also want to know whether I should go for a carbon fork or a steel one and what groupset etc would be best for such a ride. Any other suggestions ideas would be of great help. I am just looking to gather information at the stage and thank you for reading.



  • gbr236
    gbr236 Posts: 393
    The thorn gets good reviews
    I tried a pals but it was a bit small

    Another pal has a gensis equilibrium which is also nice and a bit cheaper
  • dave35
    dave35 Posts: 1,124
    Save yourself a load of cash and get an On-One Pompino,best £400 i've ever spent..but only if you want to run a fixed wheel bike though. I'm not sure but you might be able to run gears with just the frame/fork
  • cal_stewart
    cal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    same idea as yourself got a bob jackson custom build done in dec just waiting for it to be built. if you get it in 531 should cost around 600.
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
    Cervelo P5 EPS
  • greeny1
    greeny1 Posts: 106
    531 for frame? Custom built? What timescale are you looking at?
  • +1 for Bob Jackson, i'm completely in love with mine :)
    It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    greeny1 wrote:
    531 for frame? Custom built? What timescale are you looking at?

    6 months for bespoke when I asked the question. But if you don't need custom anyway, you can get one in about 6 weeks for £400 or so.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • greeny1
    greeny1 Posts: 106
    just looking at the site does off the rack frames too and not too far from me, i think i will pay a visit
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    Condor Fratello,something by Genesis or maybe Enigma,Ti Sabbath September,poss.On-One Kaffenback or Uncle John?
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    +1 for a Kaffenback - they ride way better than the price would suggest, but I'd go for a carbon fork over the steel one, it's pretty weighty.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Thorn Audax Mk 3 - cheap, cheerful and multi-functional:
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Yes to the above - Thorns are nice.
  • greeny1
    greeny1 Posts: 106
    do you order online with thorns?
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    Bob Jacksons are a great deal. Also worth looking at some of the smaller framebuilders, who could put you together a nice custom frame for not a lot more money. Steel forks are fine (weight's a minor consideration, it's not a race machine!), so are carbon, whatever takes your fancy.

    In terms of other bits... on this kind of bike, expand your mind a little and forget about the concept of a groupset! You can save yourself quite a bit of money, and get an arguably more functional bike, by piecing together the various bits yourself and buying nearly new, or new old stock bits. (This also has the benefit of allowing you to spend more cash on the frame and the wheels, because these are the bits you'll appreciate more!). I'd say older 9, or even 8 speed, systems are better for this kind of thing than more modern groupsets - chains last longer, derailleur setup is less particular. (The bike I ride most in winter is running campag 8sp, which is extremely solid!). You can use any chainset, and you'll probably want a triple. Good square taper BBs last longer than the outboard bearing type. Maybe even consider downtube shifters, saves a heap of cash! Mix and match, shimano, campag, others, whatever! If you're building it yourself, you can and should experiment.

    Wheels - focus on getting decent handbuilts on solid hubs, and spend money on the hubs, this way you have far less maintenance pain when you run your bike through the winter and on longer trips away. I built a set of wheels on Hope Pro 3s a while back, which I'm loving, because you can completely strip the entire thing down in a flash, and it's extremely solid and well sealed. Great hub! Much better than my previous regular winter hub (ambrosio). Also consider top-end shimano & campag hubs too.

    Happy shopping!

    PS I don't think the Thorn is such an exceptional deal. For the same money a Bob Jackson is a much nicer frame, and their fully built bikes aren't particular cheap. Their value appears to be that they'll put together a decent package for you, so there's minimal risk - you pay your money and you will get a functional bike! The same cannot be said in e.g. evans for audax-like machines.