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Building the ultimate SCR apparatus

kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
edited September 2018 in Your road bikes
I'm always bike hankering and the latest craving is to refine my idea of the perfect commuter. I spend roughly 2 hrs most working days on a bike and like to press on, it's all on road. I go all year round and need to carry clothing and a laptop (probably not in a rucksack).

Right now I ride a Specialized Allez I refurbed last year (see build thread). It's a great bike and I enjoy riding it, but it won't stop in very wet weather and won't take more than a 25mm tyre.

I'd like to build something up with hydraulic discs to use alongside or to replace the allez entirely if the new one's faster. I've benefited from having more than one commute ready bike in the past just to cover when one needs a bit of love in the workshop.

I've been umming and ahhing over this for absolutely ages, I was pondering carbon, maybe a spacechicken or open up clone or something like but cheaper than a 3T exploro.

Here's another thing, I am massively stingy. I have a nice job, but three kids and a wife that works hard looking after them, big house in surrey, a few cars etc which all draw on funds. Whilst I could splurge, I don't see the need to and really enjoy the challenge of putting something amazing together on a shoestring... at the same time I won't get too upset if the costs escalate a little bit - I save probably £3k a year not buying a season ticket on the train. I do as much of my own spannering as I can.

So, last night I won this Cannondale-CAADX-Apex-1-2017-Cyclocross-No-Wheels ebay auction

It says it's a bike with no wheels for £425 coming from the other end of the country sometime, though it's obviously been ridden with purpose, how shagged can a 2017 model bike be!?

I'm 6ft with about a 31in leg and weigh 85kg (falling slowly).

It's a 2017 54cm Caadx which might be too small. No wheels is great, I think... because I don't tend to like the wheels you get bundled with a bike, plus I don't want to go cyclocrossing with it anyway. If it is way too small, I guess I'll keep the 1x hydraulic gruppo and flog the frame on.

Original spec is here This one differs in having:-
- 3T ErgoTerra Pro Alu bars which look like a nice upgrade
- fizik saddle in the pics, but not mentioned in the auction, I'll see what turns up
- seatpost (generic carbon)
- deda zero stem
- a few bits of black paint missing, no biggie probably to touch it up a bit.



So this is where it starts, I probably won't do anything but ponder wheels until it turns up. I'm kind of thinking carbon deep section, but equally I'm thinking want to keep it light.


  • smokey_baconsmokey_bacon Posts: 1,639
    Interesting. We ride the same great Allez, mines only a year old but ive been considering a change because my commuting and social miles are going up. Any reason for the cross frame? I ruled out a cx frame because I want to try and get something that can do alot of things because I can only afford one bike. Something like a kinisis or genesis.

    Would the wheels be handbuilts? Hunt do some cracking wheels according to stories ive heard about them.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    I'll probably try and build my own wheels or get some chinese carbon ones made up, I built some non-disc wheels before on an MDF truing stand I made to the design in the Roger Musson book.

    As I understand it, Hunt wheels are typically novatech hubs and kinlin rims, nothing wrong with that if you know what you're getting. I'd probably seek out the websites of a few UK wheel builders like the clinic, strada, wheelsmith etc. and compare before going for the hunt ones. The stickers are nice though and a mason with hunts always looks good.

    I went for the cx frame to get clearance on a budget, this in particular seemed to be a very cheap way into hydraulic brifter discs. The frame might well be too small anyway though, but should be sellable if i can deal with the cosmetics. I might even put two sets of wheels together and use this offroad on trails with my kids once in a while. I'm all for having bikes that can do a lot of things. I wouldn't give up my carbon summer bike though. A friend at work lives in a flat and has to make do with one bike, he runs a cx as the best overall compromise - in his case, because he can't run an mtb too.
  • dekantdekant Posts: 114
    I'm running hunt wheels on my commuter trainer. Would recommend but haven't 100% made my mind up on tubeless yet.

    In general, they are very comfortable and I no longer get those annoying tiny punctures where something gets through just enough to nick the tube. On the other hand I've had a number of times where copious amounts of sealant pisses out until the pressure gets low enough for it to hold and then I limp home which is a massive faff to sort out and very messy.

    Main reason I'm leaning towards liking them though, is I haven't been stuck at the side of a road since I got them and they've always got me home.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,939 Lives Here
    That should make a decent commuter. I went with a CX precisely because it can do anything. It's quick on the road with road tyres, even big fat 32 mm ones, and I have taken it off roading for sh!t and giggles. Even done 140 road miles in a day on it and an 80 mile off road day.
    The original wheels for it I got Ugo to build. Then I built my own wheels having read the Musson book, went with Novatec hubs and Velocity Blunt SL rims as I wanted a set I could swap between the CX and the MTB. They pretty much live on the CX now. The hubs have interchangeable end caps so will work with QR on the CX and bolt through on the MTB.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    I bought off the shelf 50mm Chinese wheels from a random (but well reviewed) seller on Ali Express for my commuter. I figured that I didn't really care as much with disc wheels as with rim brakes, they've been faultless, if a bit portly (c1800g). Have also built rims from FarSports on the 'nice' bike and Light Bicycle on the MTB, all have been excellent. If you're looking for cheap then building on carbon won't be, although there are some decent built wheels which are far cheaper than the sum of the components.

    If you want light and cheap then I bought some Novatec straight pull hubs and laced them into DT RR 411 DB rims with Competition Race spokes, they came to 1433g for £250, which isn't too bad for disc wheels. Hunt seem to manage to get the weight down on their wheels, and seem well regarded, I'd be tempted.
  • smokey_baconsmokey_bacon Posts: 1,639
    Just clicked on that space chicken link. Man thats one funky looking bike.
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,561
    Just a bit puzzled - so mabye you can clarify something for me.

    You link to an Ebay auction where you claim to have won the bike in question. You then proceed to show pics and specs for a 2017 CAADX with 1 x SRAM Apex and disc brakes.

    However the bike you link to on the Ebay listing is not a 2017 CAADX as it clearly has V-brakes rather than discs and also has a compact chainset with a Tiagra groupset

    So is that Ebay link wrong and if so what is the correct listing
  • smokey_baconsmokey_bacon Posts: 1,639
    The ebay link says that the item is not available, because the auction has finished. Then says heres something else you maybe interested in which is the v brake Caad.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    Sorry about that, once an auction is over ebay will try and show you something else you can actually buy, though you can often still click through a "see original item link". I did try to circumvent that by adding the "orig_cvip=true" token to the link, but that doesn't seem to have worked. When I follow the link it says I won the auction and shows me the correct item. Sorry for any confusion. The link is correct, just ebay understandably want to show you something they can sell.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    There's a blue banner at the top which says "The listing you’re looking for is no longer available. Check out this similar item we found for you." where "listing" is a clickable link to the item the OP has actually won.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    The frame is only going to get dispatched today so I won't see it for a bit longer. A mate is going to lend me some wheels to allow me to test it and feedback on the seller.

    Meanwhile, the wheel purchase pondering's perplexing me, I've read a lot and visited SBC, cyclelab, isambard, brick lane and brixton cycles for a natter because they were near by at lunch time or on the way home.

    I'm starting to come up with a list of some options, keen to get comments or other ideas.

    £350 1700g anonymous 50mm deep carbon, maybe like this ... 3242215391
    (bit concerned about rear axle spacing but can question them)

    £352 1700g 38mm deep named but still Chinese carbon, wait a while for shipping and maybe pay import duties ... 1422195271

    These 1571g £320 alu hunt wheels which seem eminently sensible ... less-ready
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,561
    Also check out the handbuilt options on offer at Cycleclinic ... -wheelsets

    Maybe the Borg22T's on offer at £340 which is on a par pricewise with the others you have been looking at ... e-wheelset

    Malcolm is a well respected builder and frequent contributor to this site. I bought some Archetype/Miche Primato rim braked wheels from him last year and they have been faultless
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    A good shout to have a look at the builders, with that particular option though I'd be on tubs, which I don't think is for me on the commute.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    Following a visit to swift cycles, now also considering

    Hope 20five RS4 32 spoke (with red hubs) at about £400 (or £360 from evans or merlin)

    Also now thinking about tyres and whilst gumwall is all the rage, probably going for 28 or 32 conti 4 seasons.

    Agonising wait for the frame, no eta yet via hermes.
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,979
    Bit cheeky I know, and please feel free to tell me to fark off.

    Noticed you'd commented on some cheap wheels in another thread.

    I have a pair of Cosine Disc Wheels sat doing naff all in the garage. 14 months old, 2500 miles in good nick. ... -wheelset/

    If your interested let me know. But looking at the options listed above I'd guess probably not.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    I'm all ears for wheels on sale!
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,979
    I've pm'd you.

    I also have other bits and bobs lying about which I'm planning on listing at the weekend if of any use:
    105 5800 shifters, Tiagra 4800 shifters, TRP Spyre brakes, Tiagra 4800 chainset, 105 5800 front mech, 105 5800 rear mech
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    If the bike checks out ok I'll probably buy the cosines to get me rolling. Ultimately the aim would be to get another wheelset too so I can have on/off road at the ready.

    I've been doing some spreadsheet number crunching on gear ratios. If it's stock, the incoming bike will have a 40t chainring. Right now I have a couple of road bikes with compact/ish doubles

    from memory...
    Front 52/39 Rear 11-32
    Front 50/34 Rear 12-28

    They both actually work out quite similar in range, the 52/11 giving me the edge for downhill speed.

    If I get an 11-42 cassette for the new bike (assuming 40t front) I'll have a couple of lower climbing ratios than I have now and lose out a bit at the top end for descending. 48t 11-42 looks ideal though, so I'll see how I get on with whatever actually arrives with an eye potentially on picking up a 48t chainring one day.

    I'm going to need rotors, a 160mm and a 140mm, can't order until I know the wheels, never having had a disc bike before, I've not got a clue what to look for on these for the moment.

    Cosmetically speaking, I don't think I can live with the bartape, though the ebay listing claims it's posh comfy stuff so I'll have to have a look at it. I normally buy £5 deda tape.

    The frame is missing a bit of black paint, so I'll probably try and find some back nail varnish in the poundshop to do a superficial touch-up job on it.

    Also pondering how to carry stuff for work, I have panniers on my main allez commuter which work brilliantly, but if I can get my laptop, which I only carry occasionally, into something which isn't a rucksack and doesn't stick out into the airflow like maybe a frame bag or a saddle bag, that might be a nice change. Otherwise I'll stick a tortec velocity on it.

    So the shopping list grows... Right now I have
    - wheels
    - rotors
    - bar tape
    - nail varnish
    - tubes
    - tyres
    - possibly 48t chainring
    - mudguards
    - laptop/clothes luggage
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    dont forget to add in a frame thats big enough for you.

    Could have bought a new one with change LOLOL
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    dont forget to add in a frame thats big enough for you.

    Could have bought a new one with change LOLOL ... -2018.html
    Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean, still think I'm up on the money so far. Caadx framesets come up every now and again for not much and I'd have one to sell so hopefully cost neutral.

    Looking at the stack and reach numbers and basing it on what came out of a bike fit I had before, its should fit quite well, but you never know until it comes. I've bought a good few secondhand bikes now and have the odd spare stem etc. about so I'll have some options.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    It's arrived, all very exciting, I love new bike day!

    I've borrowed a pair of wheels from a mate, its put two of his bikes out of action though as with 160mm rotor front and 140mm rear I had to mix and match to get it rolling, but rolls it does... and stops. Gears function well.

    Here it stands on the borrowed wheels:

    I didn't spend two long fiddling but I think the headset might need a bit of attention, feels a bit graunchy.

    There is a fair amount of paint missing, notably around the head tube badge area so I'll have to think of something to do there as well as get busy with the Mrs's black nail varnish in other areas.

    It weighs about 8.5kg on my poundshop luggage scales with the borrowed wheels.

    Early indications are that I'll be able to get a decent position on it.

    I'll buy the the cosine wheels from Dinyull if that works out as well as hopefully ordering other bits and bobs over the weekend. I'm busy with other stuff though, so might not do too much.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    I've ordered some hunt 4 season gravel disc wheels at £300, but still intending to get the used cosines so I'll have an onroad and offroad set.

    I've ordered a pair of 32mm Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons tyres at £33.49 each from PBK.

    Also getting some black basic deda bar tape. It would seem criminal to remove the £30 supercaz it has on, so I'll double wrap and see how that goes.

    I picked some suitably large tubes at decthlon. The bottle cage I'm going for is the elite custom race which looks like a complimentary colour match and I'm clicking and collecting from halfords at £6.99 for those.

    I am currently flummoxed by rotors, never bought any before. I need a 160mm for the front and a 140mm for the back. The wheels will take centerlock but they seem pricey and hard to find in 140. What's the go to basic, but ok rotor for commuting?
    Is it criminal to use 6bolt adaptors if you have centerlock wheels and don't already own rotors?
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    More stuff ordered today, got a bit carried away with planetx, once I'm paying for delivery I can't help but try and stock up.
    - Cassette: Sram pg-1130 11-42 £45
    - Cannondale Airspeed HV Mini Pump Black £8
    - jagwire cable protection donuts £2
    - frame protection stickers £2
    - Carnac Bottle Cage Tool Bag Carbon £2
    - set of headset spacers £2 (there seemed to be one missing on arrival so I cannibalised another bike)

    I nearly added another cassette, rotors and some some cx tyres, but I decided to reign in the spending, get this thing up and running at minimal cost, potentially on the cosine wheels and think about the bonus extra wheelset later.

    With a bit of luck I'll get this thing rolling later in the week.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    I am liking the orange. Won't you miss the mudguard mounts, though
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    In the flesh I think it's a bit more red than came out on that photo. It has mudguard mounts, which is nice.

    At the front there are are bosses on the inside of the forks half way down and a nut recessed into the crown.

    At the back there are bosses in the dropouts and on the seat stays. The ones on the seat stays face forward where you can fit a bridge, the frame should have come with a bridge from new and the ebay vendor is checking to see if he has it, alternatively I can pick one up for £5 from

    See part C

    Another option would be to use the crud mk3 set I picked up when they were doing them in halfords for a tenner.

    The challenge would be fitting a rack to those bridge mounts, but here's the thing. I don't really want to do rack and panniers with this one. I'm hunting for ideas to carry stuff in a more bikepacking kind of way, to preserve the lines. Maybe a lost cause with the guards in place anyway. If it was just clothes I'd use a long saddle bag from alpkit or somewhere, but once a week or so I need to carry a laptop. The carradice sqr slim might fit the bill, but I'm not sure about the look of that.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Just out of interest, what makes this the ultimate build?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,438
    Cheapy cheapy rotors from ebay are fine, I had to buy one for my commuter because I'd nearly worn one through and spent about £3 on one. It was fine.

    I've got a clarkes one that came with a brake that pulses a bit so it's a bit of a lottery, it's on a spare wheels so I don't really use it, a bit of sandpaper would sort it if I wa inclined, no point in spending £20 IMO.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 417
    edited July 2018
    I suppose what I mean by ultimate build, is the best thing I can put together for the job.

    An ultimate SCR machine has to be good for fast commuting. I guess you could just buy a c64 with bora-ultras and have your support crew carry your belongings, but life is full of compromises, so the drivers and variables I've been thinking about are below.

    The frame has to be light but not fragile.

    Keep costs down because I'm stingy and this thing's going to be left locked up, not just a club ride special I'll always have an eye on.

    Clearance for bigger tyres, I started looking at cx frames to get something with the clearance without being expensive by dint of being trendy, new and exciting like an endurace or something.

    It has to be maintainable with reasonable costs - no dura-ace here.

    1x for slight maintenance advantage/trendiness, maybe I should have looked at belt drive more seriously, but I didn't notice any brifter based solutions.

    hydraulic discs because I'm out if it's pouring with rain or snowing.

    It probably won't be as fast as the colnago I rode home on yesterday, but we'll see how we get on.

    I'd love to hear what others would do (or do do) differently.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,438
    Personally, I wouldn't go CX again, there's a small but perceptible loss of efficiency over a normal road bike, at least with decent sized tyres on.

    But, I suppose my frame isn't the lightest or best, so YMMV, I'd like to try a better CX bike, but I'm put off buying one by how the one I've got now rides. It's a bit of a lump.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
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