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Giving drop bars a go - Whyte Cornwall

apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
edited October 2016 in Your road bikes
OK - so after literally years of arguing with people telling me that drop bars would be better than my flat bar road bike (a.k.a. hybrid) with bar ends, I was forced into getting a new bike due to a car twisting my old bike into scrap metal. I will almost certainly be getting another hybrid for commuting duties but was pondering if it was about time I really found out if drop bars can work for me. In a fit of madness, my LBS had a 'club night' with 20% off anything so I bought a Whyte Cambridge. With 105 hydraulic discs and lots of practical features, a thru axle front and carbon frame - I figured if there was a road bike for me then this was probably it.

Here it is with my new Pro-Lite Revo disc wheels (a bargain from Wiggle):


Currently fitted with guards and a rack because I wanted it to be possible to use as a commuter but they will likely be removed for the summer and the bike kept for 'best'. As the Whyte mudguards are supposed to be fiddly to fit, I got the LBS to do it as they did it for free and they wanted to do the rack at the same time so that everything was measured to fit.

Unfortunately, due to a broken collarbone from the accident, I am still a few weeks away from being able to ride properly so have only pootled up and down outside my house so far.

Not sure the bar position or lever position is quite right for me at the moment - is this something that normally needs tweaking? Feels like my weight is pushing against the bulbous part on the top of the drops, rather than against the body of the drops (as though if the bulbous part wasnt there they would slide off the ends). Thinking maybe the bars need to be a little lower or tilted back a little or maybe the levers moved up a little on the bars. When I can ride it properly I will take it back to LBS and discuss.

Its the first bike I have seen which doesnt allow me to use my bike stands though:


there just isnt room around the caliper to slot the axle in. So will have to look for another stand that works a different way somehow - I guess something like this:


  • Looks good. You could try rotating the bars a bit upwards and see how that goes. It will have the effect of reducing your reach slightly and might position your hands a bit better on the bar/hood interface. Sometimes you just need to make some small adjustments and see if things improve. Good luck with it - and the broken collarbone!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    Spoke to the guy in the shop and he said they had set it up to my measurements but he would need to see me on the bike to assess. I think I need to ride it for a bit too, to get used to it a bit more. Personally, it feels like the stem is slightly long and the bars slightly high (they inverted the stem to make it +7 to fit my measurements). But he said I may not be holding my arms in the right position.

    Bit worried about the matt black frame, and how it shows grubby fingerprints and cable rub already. Tried matt helicopter tape but either I am incompetent or it doesnt work very well on matt bikes. Gave it a coat of collinite wax, which seems good - makes it a bit darker and with more lustre without making it shiny and hopefully will protect it. Managed to get a small smear of it on the front rotor (...) so used alcohol to hopefully get it off again.
  • I have a Suffolk for winter duties, similar spec and I use the same stand with no issues.
    S-Works Venge, Ultegra DI2, Carbon Clinchers
    Moda Stretto, Force Groupset, American Classic Carbon 58`s

    Whyte Suffolk, Hydro Disks

    Tommasini Super Prestige Full Campagnolo C/W Delta`s
  • I bought myself a Cornwall this summer in the sale, upgrading from a bottom of the range Sussex. I like the RD7 range as it allows for more flexible riding i.e. incorporating short sections of bridle way in a predominantly road circuit. The toughness and 28c tyres are well suited to British potholed, wet & muddy roads. The slight downside is as a result they are slightly heavier than an equivalent pure road bike but when out with friends with pure road bikes, i haven't really noticed a handicap.
    The sizing was a bit strange for me. I'm 6'3" so went for the 60cm (Whyte say the 60cm is for 6'0" - 6'3"). The 60cm is BIG and if anything is slightly too big for me. I have swapped the 120mm stem for a 100mm one and tilted the handlebars slightly upwards to get an optimal fit.
    Interested that you went for the Whyte mudguards. Am am looking at them but put off by the poor reviews!
    The matt carbon frame does mark easily but to be honest its not really and issue for me.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I went for the 57 in the end (at 6' 2") and glad I did - I also swapped the stem for 100mm after a month or so because I felt like I was reaching too far for the bars and getting a little numbness in the hands, even after a bike fit from the bike whisperer. The 60 would have been waaayyy too big for me.

    The whyte mudguards are ace in my opinion although a little fiddly to fit - hence why I got the LBS to do it when I bought the bike. On the Cornwall there is no screw in the back of the bottom bracket area - the front mounting for the rear mudguard is behind the seat tube, level with the bottle mount. There is no hole in the Whyte mudguards for this, so the LBS just attached the bottom hole on the mudguards to this mount but it meant there was no protection for the front mech etc. I looked online at pictures and found the installation guide and you have to drill a hole in the mudguards for the cornwall at the point where this mounting is - told LBS to do it and they did although they didnt look too convinced at first! They also screwed up because they put the seatstay mount on the mudguard the wrong way around, so that the bridge was wedged in between the seatstays where there wasnt enough room for it so it didnt sit quite straight. I took it off, flipped it around so that the bridge sat just in front of the seatstays and its fine now. They are really tidy and good looking once they are on though, and very stable.

    The bike is a bit heavy but so is the rider so not hugely concerned by that.

    Hated the matt carbon frame and it does show marks which bothered me at first but now I just think of it as a tool. Funny though, I dont have the emotional bond with this bike that I had with my Boardman Hybrid - it really is just a tool to me, albeit a very effective one.
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