Climbing bike build

durhamhale
durhamhale Posts: 2
edited November 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm looking to undertake my first self-build and my main aim is to get the best climbing bike I can afford. I've got a budget of around £3000 for the frameset, groupset and wheelset. I've got abit more to spend on the bars, stem, saddle, etc but I want to get the main bits sorted first.

I'd really appriciate any help with either finding the best value/lightest parts and any pointers on where is the best place to save weight, such as is it best to get the best frame I can with a cheaper groupset or wheels as they are easier to upgrade later?

So far I'm looking along the lines of the following framsets (any more would be appreciated):
Argon 18 Gallium Pro (2013 or 2012)
Boardman Elite SLR 9.8 (2013)
Canyon CF SLX (2013)
Cervelo R3 (2013)

I've seen a S-works Tarmac SL4 2012 for a decent price (more than the ones mentioned above but I could possibly use my current wheels for a while) but I can't find a weight for it anywhere - anyone got any ideas?

Groupset: I'm learning towards SRAM Force or possibly Red as they seem to have the best value to weight ratio. Campag Chorus seems another option but I've got no experience of any Campag groupsets.

Wheelset wise, I'm probably going to stick to clinchers for now due to their practicality. The lightest/best value set I found so far are the Soul S2.0. Has anyone got any experience with them? I already own a set of Cole Rollen Elite at 1570 grams (http://www.colewheels.com/pages/product ... php?ids=10) which I could potentially use until I could afford something better.

Thanks for any advice or input!
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Comments

  • I think that you will struggle to find someone who has tried out all 5 of the frames that you mention so any input will be subjective.
    FWIW the Canyon frame is very light, very stiff, comparatively cheap and climbs/accelerates unbelievably well.
    It also IMO looks fantastic in stealth colours and I think that you could do a lot worse than buy one of those.

    How does it compare to the others? Is it 'the best' frame?

    I dunno :)
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Cannondale Supersix Evo (Nano) only 655g, the lightest frameset in mass production.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • letap73
    letap73 Posts: 1,608
    smidsy wrote:
    Cannondale Supersix Evo (Nano) only 655g, the lightest frameset in mass production.

    Good luck buying the above and having very little to spend on the rest - groupset etc.
    You have more chance with this:

    The Scott frames:
    http://www.westbrookcycles.co.uk/sale

    The Cannondale frames:
    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m6b0s25p0/ ... oad-Racing
  • Cervelo R3 £1359 at TriUK at the moment. Plenty of change for the gruppo & wheels. Get some tubulars.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    It's a nice problem to have. Your best bang for buck is going to be a complete bike from Canyon, will be more cost effective than building yourself. I've last years Canyon Ultimate cf slx and its a great bike, the latest model is supposed to be even better. The other option I like on your list is the argon 18 pro, for no other reason than I've a mate with one and he loves it. I've never ridden it.

    For climbing clinchers C24's are hard to beat. Next step up would be a full carbon tub, but you're eating into a chunk of your budget at that point.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    You can spend a lot and get a bike that weighs 6.5 Kg instead of 8... it will climb exactly the same... that is quite disappointing, but it's true. It will accelerate a bit faster, but climb insignificantly better (loking at 20 seconds better up the Alpe d'Huez, nothing you will notice).
    I do build wheels and anything below 1.6-1.7 Kg is not going to help you on a climb, as it will inevitably be less stiff, hence what you gain in weight you lose with interest in power transfer.
    Build a nice bike that you like with moderate weight and quality components, that seems a more realistic project and money seems adequate for that
    left the forum March 2023
  • Sir Velo
    Sir Velo Posts: 143
    Ugo, interesting read of yours on wheel weights and climbing ability and I know you are more knowledge on wheels than myself. But when I know I'm in for some climbing I will get my Zipp 303s out rather than my 404s, as I feel I climb better (or should I say less badly) with the lighter wheels than the heavier ones.

    SV
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's all very well going for a mega-lightweight build to find it's a complete noodle on descents - you don't say what your weight is, because that's a big factor i.e. what suits a 60kg rider will be very different for 90kg. SRAM Force is the eco-weenies groupset choice and stick will alloy bars and stem.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • barrie h
    barrie h Posts: 102
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    barrie h wrote:
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie

    If you listen to me, a complete waste of money. I have built a few tubulars around that weight, which are inherently stiffer than equivalent clinchers... and to be honest they are not stiff at all... the clinchers can only be worse... an exercise in slimming that has no purpose other than exciting the easily excitable types
    left the forum March 2023
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    barrie h wrote:
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie

    If you listen to me, a complete waste of money. I have built a few tubulars around that weight, which are inherently stiffer than equivalent clinchers... and to be honest they are not stiff at all... the clinchers can only be worse... an exercise in slimming that has no purpose other than exciting the easily excitable types

    Ugo, what do you think of Mavic Carbone Ultimates?
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Ugo, what do you think of Mavic Carbone Ultimates?

    Don't answer that Ugo - do not rise to it :lol:
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    durhamhale wrote:
    I'm looking to undertake my first self-build and my main aim is to get the best climbing bike I can afford.

    Don't forget to budget for a 'going downhill' bike (for when you get to the top of the climb) and a 'riding on the flat' bike, for when the roads go neither up nor down. Alternatively, just buy an all-rounder.
  • barrie h
    barrie h Posts: 102
    barrie h wrote:
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie

    If you listen to me, a complete waste of money. I have built a few tubulars around that weight, which are inherently stiffer than equivalent clinchers... and to be honest they are not stiff at all... the clinchers can only be worse... an exercise in slimming that has no purpose other than exciting the easily excitable types

    All very well ,but durhamhale wants to stick to clinchers not tubulars

    Barrie
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    barrie h wrote:
    barrie h wrote:
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie

    If you listen to me, a complete waste of money. I have built a few tubulars around that weight, which are inherently stiffer than equivalent clinchers... and to be honest they are not stiff at all... the clinchers can only be worse... an exercise in slimming that has no purpose other than exciting the easily excitable types

    All very well ,but durhamhale wants to stick to clinchers not tubulars

    Barrie

    So he has to resign to wheels that weigh 1500-1600 grams if he wants something decent...
    left the forum March 2023
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Imposter wrote:
    durhamhale wrote:
    I'm looking to undertake my first self-build and my main aim is to get the best climbing bike I can afford.

    Don't forget to budget for a 'going downhill' bike (for when you get to the top of the climb) and a 'riding on the flat' bike, for when the roads go neither up nor down. Alternatively, just buy an all-rounder.

    Hee hee, I like that :)
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    barrie h wrote:
    If you want lightweight clinchers , at the moment I think Extralite HyperClinch SP is 1190g for both wheels

    for a bit lighter wheelset American Classic Magnesium clincher is 1108g a pair but wont be available until late summer

    Barrie

    If you listen to me, a complete waste of money. I have built a few tubulars around that weight, which are inherently stiffer than equivalent clinchers... and to be honest they are not stiff at all... the clinchers can only be worse... an exercise in slimming that has no purpose other than exciting the easily excitable types

    Ugo, what do you think of Mavic Carbone Ultimates?

    I think you can get something very similar for a fraction of the price. There is a lovely set of Lew Carbon tubs on Royce hubs on Ebay at the moment... Lew built the best rims of his generation before going bust and joining Reynolds (or Easton??? ) and Royce builds the best hubs around. Built by Pete Matthews, possibly the best builder in the country... could be the best wheels money can buy?
    left the forum March 2023
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148

    I think you can get something very similar for a fraction of the price. There is a lovely set of Lew Carbon tubs on Royce hubs on Ebay at the moment... Lew built the best rims of his generation before going bust and joining Reynolds (or Easton??? ) and Royce builds the best hubs around. Built by Pete Matthews, possibly the best builder in the country... could be the best wheels money can buy?

    OK, but I was thinking more specifically of their 'one piece' method of construction (carbon spokes mated to the rim and hub a la Lightweight). They seem pretty stiff to me and are of course very light. They can be found be for about a grand and a bit 2nd hand.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301

    I think you can get something very similar for a fraction of the price. There is a lovely set of Lew Carbon tubs on Royce hubs on Ebay at the moment... Lew built the best rims of his generation before going bust and joining Reynolds (or Easton??? ) and Royce builds the best hubs around. Built by Pete Matthews, possibly the best builder in the country... could be the best wheels money can buy?

    OK, but I was thinking more specifically of their 'one piece' method of construction (carbon spokes mated to the rim and hub a la Lightweight). They seem pretty stiff to me and are of course very light. They can be found be for about a grand and a bit 2nd hand.

    You have to be aware that all those methods of construction result in a product that cannot be "deconstructed". So there might be reasoning behind their claims, but can they fix them when they break?
    I have a fixation for this, but I literally get a couple of people a week contacting me with broken wheels (damaged rims mainly, but also spokes which are impossible to find)...
    left the forum March 2023
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    You have to be aware that all those methods of construction result in a product that cannot be "deconstructed". So there might be reasoning behind their claims, but can they fix them when they break?
    I have a fixation for this, but I literally get a couple of people a week contacting me with broken wheels (damaged rims mainly, but also spokes which are impossible to find)...

    That's a fair point, and one that I'm aware of - on last week's club ride a friend had a rider put his QR into his back wheel - a spoke pinged off and his wheel was knackered - but it could be rebuilt.

    If that had happened to me, my wheel would be destined for the bin; obviously not an ideal state of affairs.

    But I do like them, and I wondered if the fact that the wheel is effectively one solid piece helps with it's rigidity.
  • on-yer-bike
    on-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Imposter wrote:
    durhamhale wrote:
    I'm looking to undertake my first self-build and my main aim is to get the best climbing bike I can afford.

    Don't forget to budget for a 'going downhill' bike (for when you get to the top of the climb) and a 'riding on the flat' bike, for when the roads go neither up nor down. Alternatively, just buy an all-rounder.
    Imagine having to carry two extra bikes on every ride! Would you need a trailer?
    Ugo: Is Harry better than you? If so in what way?
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Ugo: Is Harry better than you? If so in what way?

    Is he? I don't know... but certainly he has been around a lot longer and seen things that other human beings don't get to see...
    left the forum March 2023
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    Wheelset would in my opinion be where you should invest the most, so i'd be shopping around for a set of mavic rsys slrs. (sub 1300g for a clincher wheelset and are very stiff).

    I'd also probably pick up one of those scott frames for around £500.

    That gives you a build of around 2800 depending on what groupset you go for.

    For bars/stem/seatpost i'd recommend 3t stuff the top of the range stuff is very light and stiff HOWEVER i am very happy with my alu stuff on my cannondale.
  • Wamas
    Wamas Posts: 256
    One piece method of construction is great for the pros or those with money to throw about.
    What happens if you hit a pot hole and damage a rim? The whole wheel needs to be binned, or you spend the same again getting it fixed by the manufacturer.

    You can get a set of handbuilt 50mm carbon rims (e.g. gigantex) on top hubs which weigh 1500g and cost less than £1k. You damage a rim/spoke etc, it is easily replaceable.
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    as someone above said, climbing bikes are great, until you start descending on them, particularly on UK roads - I love my lightweight bike, but I'm pretty sure anything I gain on it on UK ups is more than lost on the downs vs. my heavier (only by about 1kg) bike. Sure, if I was going to the alps, the lighter one would probably win out due to the relative time spent climbing, but it's pretty much a luxury bike now.

    As for wheels, horses for courses. Handbuilts can be rebuilt, possibly tailored to you, and you could get a very light and nice riding set, but are they as necessary as the cogniscenti on here would have you believe - in my opinion a resounding no. In terms of weight, stiffness, and overall quality, Ksyriums win it for me on a bang for buck basis. The naysayers complain about the long term life / replacement parts but there's quite a few shops I know that are walkable from either my house or office that carry spares and can rebuild. Pricey, yes, but that's a trade off. And if a spoke breaks on a ride while i'm on holiday or something, well, I'll buy a replacement wheel for the remainder of the trip. Oh, or HED ardennes - they're pretty nice too, but pricier.
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    one of the biggest proponents of handbuilt wheels on this forum is a moderator who funnily enough also sells his own handbuilt (very well i gather) wheels to people on this forum.

    Like pkripper says, its not that difficult to get hold of spokes/a mechanic who can fix a wheel. If you snap a spoke on a handbuilt when out riding you cant do anything until you get to a shop anyway.

    What i have learnt is if you are buying a factory build wheelset you buy a spare set of spokes/nipples (sometimes come in a pack) so if you do break a spoke you can take them to a shop and they can do the repair.
  • markwb79
    markwb79 Posts: 937
    I do build wheels and anything below 1.6-1.7 Kg is not going to help you on a climb, as it will inevitably be less stiff, hence what you gain in weight you lose with interest in power transfer.

    Would you really include C24's in this statement?
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    C24's are not a stiff wheel, quite a few statements on here about brake rub and flex.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    smidsy wrote:
    C24's are not a stiff wheel, quite a few statements on here about brake rub and flex.

    Depends on rider weight though Smidsy. I don't have any problem with brake rub/flex with my RS80s and they have the same rim as the DA C24s.