Spa Cycles Audax steel frame

secretsam
secretsam Posts: 5,117
edited December 2014 in Road buying advice
A bargain at £305, including forks and headset, but only seems to be available in sizes 56 up???

Anyone got one, or would I be better on the CTC forum? :twisted:

It's just a hill. Get over it.

Comments

  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    SecretSam wrote:
    A bargain at £305, including forks and headset, but only seems to be available in sizes 56 up???

    Anyone got one, or would I be better on the CTC forum? :twisted:

    Well regarded frame - available in 52cm upwards.

    http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploa ... ometry.jpg

    I've seen a few out on events and about and they seem well finished. Won't win any weight weenie awards.
  • marcusjb wrote:
    I've seen a few out on events and about and they seem well finished. Won't win any weight weenie awards.

    Actually if the weight of frame + fork is really 2.1 Kg, then it should win a weight weenie award... it seems rather unrealistic for a 300 quid steel frame + fork
    left the forum March 2023
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    marcusjb wrote:
    I've seen a few out on events and about and they seem well finished. Won't win any weight weenie awards.

    Actually if the weight of frame + fork is really 2.1 Kg, then it should win a weight weenie award... it seems rather unrealistic for a 300 quid steel frame + fork

    That's for the Ti version with carbon fork
  • Be nice if they did disc mount. :(
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • Thorn Audax mk3 is more expensive but a lot better frame, tubing is a lot better and the finish is higher.

    The decals on the Spa are not even lacquered over.

    I test rode a friends Spa before buying my Thorn and it felt really dead on the road.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    marcusjb wrote:
    Well regarded frame - available in 52cm upwards.

    http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploa ... ometry.jpg

    I looked at that and it's the effective top tube that's the issue - the 'size' relates to the seat tube measurement

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Thorn Audax mk3 is more expensive but a lot better frame, tubing is a lot better and the finish is higher.

    The decals on the Spa are not even lacquered over.

    I test rode a friends Spa before buying my Thorn and it felt really dead on the road.

    Although the Thorn website is badly in need of a revamp (it's probably not been touched since the late 90s) I pretty much agree with every single word in their brochure... In fact I could have written it... :mrgreen: !!

    http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/THORN ... OCHURE.pdf
    left the forum March 2023
  • I can't stop reading the Thorn Brochure now... I want to meet that man, we agree on every single point... even that 30+ mm tyres are the most suited to UK roads!!!
    left the forum March 2023
  • I can't stop reading the Thorn Brochure now... I want to meet that man, we agree on every single point... even that 30+ mm tyres are the most suited to UK roads!!!

    That's not a brochure, it's a book? I've downloaded it for reading when I'm not supposed to be working. I like SJS cycles, they are nice to deal with and have stuff you can't normally get from the CRC/Wiggles of this world.
  • I like SJS cycles, they are nice to deal with and have stuff you can't normally get from the CRC/Wiggles of this world.

    I like them too, same as SPA... basically instead of selling you a flashy top with stripes for half the RRP, they sell you a shimano Ultegra hub cone for full price... I know which one I am more likely to buy... their customer base is the real passionate cyclist/tourer as opposed to the last minute Froome wannabe shopoholic
    left the forum March 2023
  • The Thorn brochure is...different

    I'm onto the frame materials pages now, enjoying the drivel. EVERY SINGLE Ti frame the writer has known has broken.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    Back on topic, just received a reply from Spa, after only e-mailing them this morning:

    "We will be doing it it in a 50cm, which has a virtual top tube length of 53cm. This size will only be available with cromoly forks, which need to have a longer fork offset to avoid toe overlap. These are on order from the factory and are due to be with us 2nd week in January.

    We have a deomonstrator in this size, which you are welcome to try if distance permits."

    Slightly too small for me, but good to know they are responding to customer feedback. Agree with comments above, both Spa and SJS seem on the ball. But that Thorn website really is shocking! They should get some work experience kid to revamp it...

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • de_sisti
    de_sisti Posts: 1,283
    12294717184_98dab9fc6b_n.jpg

    8648730483_011ca43141_n.jpg

    Frame and forks cost £275. I transferred the components from older frame to the Spa.
    The bike is comfortable (25 mm tyres, Rolls saddle and tried to mimic the position/measurements
    from one of my other bikes the I had a bike fit on).
  • Chris87
    Chris87 Posts: 224
    My dad got a fully built one for his retirement present, built up for touring, he's really happy with it, only had a chance for a quick look but its a really tidy build, looks good!
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I like SJS cycles, they are nice to deal with and have stuff you can't normally get from the CRC/Wiggles of this world.

    I like them too, same as SPA... basically instead of selling you a flashy top with stripes for half the RRP, they sell you a shimano Ultegra hub cone for full price... I know which one I am more likely to buy... their customer base is the real passionate cyclist/tourer as opposed to the last minute Froome wannabe shopoholic

    Spa are great. They even price match (but probably only when they feel like it). I hope they don't wreck their website like Prendas did and make it look like everyone elses. Most of the stock is just the boring stuff that you need but not many places sell. And they tend to only sell stuff that they like themselves - eg if you want a track pump from them you'd better want a Topeak Joe Blow or you'll have to look elsewhere!

    Frames always seem to get excellent reviews too.

    Oooh! Like the Thorn Brochure. Any publication that uses that many different fonts on one page has to be written by a lunatic genius or criminal mastermind.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rww
    rww Posts: 14
    I called in at Spa a couple of weeks ago while doing some research for my next bike purchase. The guys in there were super friendly and helpful... but... having seen the bikes in the flesh and given their steel audax and a carbon road bike a quick spin down the road I have to be honest and say that the prospect of owning either didn't excite me in any way, shape or form. To be blunt, their bikes look dull. Ok, appearances certainly aren't everything and the ride and build quality, as best I could tell, was pretty decent. But that logo and the uninspiring paint job just sucked all the enthusiasm out of me.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    rww wrote:
    To be blunt, their bikes look dull. Ok, appearances certainly aren't everything.

    To some degree, appearances aren't anything. Certainly the Spa bikes look more interesting to me than any stealth bike (at least Spa's black paint is practical and shiny) - whatever, they are at least a bit different in their simplicity.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • To answer the OPs original post the CTC forum may be of interest. The guy that I think designed this bike is a regular there and there was a very long thread about this very bike:
    http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84417
  • samsbike
    samsbike Posts: 942
    I can't stop reading the Thorn Brochure now... I want to meet that man, we agree on every single point... even that 30+ mm tyres are the most suited to UK roads!!!

    That's not a brochure, it's a book? I've downloaded it for reading when I'm not supposed to be working. I like SJS cycles, they are nice to deal with and have stuff you can't normally get from the CRC/Wiggles of this world.

    Its an interesting read, but what I dont get is how they lambast carbon and ti, but offer forks in both those materials. :)

    Anyway they do make lovely bikes and I would love that 853 fork
  • samsbike wrote:
    Its an interesting read, but what I dont get is how they lambast carbon and ti, but offer forks in both those materials. :)

    Anyway they do make lovely bikes and I would love that 853 fork

    Carbon forks with metal steerers are well accepted even by the sandal wearing community. They just work very well, period.

    FULL carbon frames and forks work less well, meaning there are some parts which involve having to use clamps or bearings with no races or other compromise solutions which in the long run can and almost certainly will fail.
    You will see old carbon frames around, but typically they have been used very carefully, while you might see VERY old steel frames which have been abused for decades.
    Nothing lasts forever and you could make a carbon frame that is just as tough as a nail, but no manufacturer has any interest in making one at the moment
    left the forum March 2023
  • samsbike wrote:
    I can't stop reading the Thorn Brochure now... I want to meet that man, we agree on every single point... even that 30+ mm tyres are the most suited to UK roads!!!

    That's not a brochure, it's a book? I've downloaded it for reading when I'm not supposed to be working. I like SJS cycles, they are nice to deal with and have stuff you can't normally get from the CRC/Wiggles of this world.

    Its an interesting read, but what I dont get is how they lambast carbon and ti, but offer forks in both those materials. :)

    Anyway they do make lovely bikes and I would love that 853 fork

    When I ordered my Audax mk3 I did enquire about the carbon fork upgrade but they told me that they only have a lifespan of 5 years and I am better to stick with the steel forks.

    The one real difference is weight, carbon would be lighter but in terms of ride I doubt you would notice the difference.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,879
    I better be worried then seeing as my Look 585 is over 7 years old and has been well used - full carbon frame and fork including the steerer - no problems at all. I have mates who are still riding frames older than mine with their original carbon forks. If their forks only last 5 years I would suggest they need to stop selling crap forks.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • The one real difference is weight, carbon would be lighter but in terms of ride I doubt you would notice the difference.

    You do actually... the front end of the bike is the one that determines comfort Vs Harshness... modern steel fork with little rake are very harsh generally, while carbon blades are very stiff laterally (they are generally very oval) but they have more vertical compliance than steel ones. The weight fdifference is less important... forks with metal steerers are probably only half a pound lighter anyway. The full carbon forks are much lighter and generally less durable if abused.

    The 5 year thing seems a bit odd as I am sure you will find folks that have owned carbon forks since the early 1990s. Thye might come with a 5 year warranty, which is a different proposition from saying they have a 5 years life expectancy.
    left the forum March 2023
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    I better be worried then seeing as my Look 585 is over 7 years old and has been well used - full carbon frame and fork including the steerer - no problems at all. I have mates who are still riding frames older than mine with their original carbon forks. If their forks only last 5 years I would suggest they need to stop selling crap forks.

    Yes I agree, my Look 565 frameset is 8 yrs old & I use it alot as my best bike still - no issues at all. In fact I've never had any issues with carbon parts other than an accident which would have killed any material including steel (car related). Touches wood. Maybe different if you are lugging your tent around with you or going off road.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.