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#1: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Sat 27 Oct 2007 08:49 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (3)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hello all

I'm very excited, as I picked up my new bike from Roberts Cycles today, so I thought I'd share a picture of it.

The bike looks and feels bombproof, and, unexpectedly, it still feels like I'm riding a road bike. Very happy.

-Wayne

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My new bike: conceived in summer, born in autumn.

Resource: "Roberts Cycles (UK)"

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#2: Re: My new Roberts (thread)
By Brian Huntley on Sat 27 Oct 2007 11:47 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Very pretty bike - those welds look perfect in that shot. Are those 2.1" Schwalbe Marathon tires? And what pedals are those?

You should demand they straighten out that seat post, though. ;0)

      
#3: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Sat 27 Oct 2007 12:17 Edit Delete in reply to #2     Reply (4)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Thanks Brian. Yes the welds are perfectly seamless. Roberts Cycles really know how to put together a quality frame.

The tyres are Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.75, which should be fine for now, but I might end up getting a pair of XR 2.0 at some stage.

Ahh, the pedals, I supplied them, and Roberts are very impressed. They're a new Shimano model: the single-sided A530, which is an excellent upgrade to the old M324 model that has been used by many. I reckon the A530 will become very popular with cycle tourists as word gets around.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?ProdID=5360031862&referid=Frogoog

The seatpost is the set-back version of the Thomson Elite. A little ugly, yes, but I asked for it because of a bugbear I have with the Brooks Swift saddle: the rails are too short, which restricts its aft positioning.

I'm considering changing the silver mudguards (fenders) to black. Anybody got any opinions on whether I should do this?

      
#4: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Neil Gunton (admin) on Sat 27 Oct 2007 13:31 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I think that bike looks fantastic. Wonderful job on the welding, from what I can see (in my highly inexpert opinion). I would keep the fenders, they look fine to me and I say "if it works, let it be"... I hope it rides well for you fully loaded, that's the real test of any touring bike.

Congrats!

/Neil

      
#5: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Peter Quaife on Sat 27 Oct 2007 15:00 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Looks fantastic - and I should know I have one too. Mine's 9 years old though and has seen a lot of use. See my journal for pics and a full description.

[pedant mode] It's fillet brazed, not welded [/pedant mode]

Hope you have as much fun on yours as I've had on mine.

      
#6: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By iain c on Sat 27 Oct 2007 17:06 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Nice bike. Nice pedals.

I use SPD/platform pedals on my mountain bike. The ones I'm using just now are some cheapo make that are past their best. I can see a pair of A530s being ordered from Wiggle in the near future.

Oh, and the silver mudguards look fine to me.

Iain

      
#7: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Brian Huntley on Sat 27 Oct 2007 22:39 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Wayne wrote: "Ahh, the pedals, I supplied them, and Roberts are very impressed. They're a new Shimano model: the single-sided A530, which is an excellent upgrade to the old M324 model that has been used by many. I reckon the A530 will become very popular with cycle tourists as word gets around."

I've used Welgo SPD/flats on my last 2 touring/daily bikes, and Shimano conventions on my "fast" bike (that gets low mileage.) They're tough - I bashed a pedal HARD half way through my Pennsylvania tour last year, and while the cage is bent, the pedal shaft is as good as ever to this day.

But that is the limiting factor - the shaft is "sealed", so the bearings are unserviceable. If you expose your bike to Toronto weather, that means only a couple of years life from a set of pedals. A rebuildable set would be a nice change.

Wow! those UK prices are scary. Got tariffs?

      
#8: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By George White on Sun 28 Oct 2007 02:07 Edit Delete in reply to #7     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hi Brian,

>Wow! those UK prices are scary. Got tariffs?

Back in the days when the pound was doing badly against the dollar (just over 1US$ to the pound) people got used to high sterling prices relative to the dollar, and as the pound has gone back up to over $2 to the pound they have not reduced the prices at anything like the same rate to up their margins... We're the ones who lose out... A 17.5% sales tax don't help...

George

      
#9: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Stephen Lord on Mon 29 Oct 2007 06:14 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
What a beauty. Very restrained colours too. I just got one secondhand - I love it. Best bike I've ever had by a long way and can't wait to get out and tour on it. Question: are you sure you can get 2" tyres on there? Mine has 1.75s too and 2" looks like it would be pushing it a bit.

      
#10: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Mon 29 Oct 2007 06:32 Edit Delete in reply to #9     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hi Stephen. Sorry to hear about your crash.

Thanks, it's nice to hear the positive comments from people. I'm leaning towards keeping the grey mudguards (fenders) at the moment. Understated is indeed what I was intending when I requested the gunmetal paintjob.

One thing I will change is the bar-end shifters. I used to have downtube shifters when I was a kid, and to be honest, the bar-end shifters don't seem to offer any advantage. I still have to take my hand away from the normal 'control' position on the hoods or drops. And I've also managed to hit the right-hand shifter with my knee a few times (while stationary), which is quite annoying.

I'm pretty sure this bike will take 2" tyres. I've not tried yet of course, but I'm sure I recall discussing it with Andrew at Roberts Cycles.

-Wayne

      
#11: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Neil Gunton (admin) on Mon 29 Oct 2007 07:27 Edit Delete in reply to #10     Reply (3)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Interesting comment about the downtube shifters... I just read a similar sentiment in Peter Quaife's journal. I also remember banging my knee against the bar-end shifters on my old touring bike, it was a problem as I recall. And I still have downtube shifters on my road bike (Peugeot Optima from 1990 or so). It's something I would seriously consider putting on any future bikes, if they didn't have the Gripshift/Trekking bar which I currently use. Downtube shifters are out of the way, and less likely to get broken when the bike is thrown on the back of a pickup.

I'm still uncertain about the ideal handlebar setup for me for touring... Peter got me thinking again about drop bars, though the butterfly bars seem to also offer a lot of hand positions. I would have to just do some long rides on each to see which I prefer for touring. Peter certainly seems to prefer drops, but then he apparently raced for years, so that's understandable - you tend to like what you're used to.

/Neil

      
#12: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Pete Staehling on Mon 29 Oct 2007 07:48 Edit Delete in reply to #11     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I feel the same way about bar ends vs downtube shifters. I would rather have the downtube shifters and still do on my road bike and my 70's vintage touring bike.

OTOH: I am a recent STI convert; I think they are the greatest. I have less than 6000 miles on mine so far, but think they are one of the biggest advances in my memory. They are second only to clipless pedals in that regard. They are SO MUCH nicer than either downtube or bar end shifters!

      
#13: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Pete Staehling on Mon 29 Oct 2007 07:49 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Pretty bike. I think the fenders look great.

      
#14: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Neil Gunton (admin) on Mon 29 Oct 2007 07:53 Edit Delete in reply to #12     Reply (2)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I've never used STI, but I hear they are very nice. The downside, from my understanding, is that from a touring standpoint, they are rather complicated and delicate inside. So while you'd be just fine in all likelihood on any tour in somewhere like the USA, where a bike shop and/or ride to nearest town is never too far away, you might want to think twice about using STI on more extended or remote tours in third world countries. I know many people never have anything go wrong, but it's on those more remote tours that things do tend to be tested more, inevitably... as far as I'm aware, STI has no fallback option for non-indexed friction shifting, does it?

/Neil

      
#15: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Mon 29 Oct 2007 07:57 Edit Delete in reply to #11     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Yes, I like drops, but that's because what I'm used to. On rides with my triathlon and cycling clubs drops are the norm unless someone happens to be out on their time-trial bike, which isn't often when on a group ride. I'd say that on Paris-Brest-Paris (http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/EN/), 98% of upright bikes had drops. Cyclocross bikes generally have drop bars as well.

But as you say, it's what you're used to; my brief cycling backgound has been almost exclusively with drop bars.

      
#16: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Mon 29 Oct 2007 08:00 Edit Delete in reply to #14     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I love STIs, but decided against them for touring because they're as complicated as a mechanical watch inside.

      
#17: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Pete Staehling on Mon 29 Oct 2007 08:08 Edit Delete in reply to #14     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Yes thats right no friction option with STI. They are not very fragile and I suspect that the danger of failure is blown way out of proportion. It is a possibility, but not one that keeps me up at night.

You can always MacGiver something to use one gear on either the front or rear deraileur, whichever shifter is broken, and shift through the range of the other until you can get a replacement.

OTOH: In third world countries you can always carry a set of clamp on DT shifters as a spare just in case.

      
#18: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By George White on Mon 29 Oct 2007 08:34 Edit Delete in reply to #6     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hi Iain,

>I can see a pair of A530s being ordered from Wiggle in the near future.

Or, as Wiggle are full MRSP, from somewhere else with a discount like SJS (£39.99 + £2.50 or £3.50 p&p depending on how much they weigh http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/lkid/8/product-Shimano-Shimano-A530-SPD-single-sided-touring-pedals-14743.htm) or Parker (£34.95 + £2.95 p&p http://www.parker-international.co.uk/productdetails/mcs/productid/7077)
or Ribble (£24.95 + £2.95 p&p http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/details.asp?Gencode=SHIMPEDA0935)
or lots of others (you can do your own searching...)

George

      
#19: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By iain c on Mon 29 Oct 2007 08:39 Edit Delete in reply to #15     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I've use flats and drops. At one time most of my mileage was on flats as my commuter had flat bars. I tried a tour on that bike. I still missed the variety of positions from drops. So I'm sticking with drops for road tours.

Personal choice and preference I suppose. For me it's not a massive deal either way. I do my off road tours with a flat bar MTB and it's not a problem. Whatever works.

Iain

      
#20: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By iain c on Mon 29 Oct 2007 08:47 Edit Delete in reply to #18     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
George
Thanks for the heads up. I've ordered a pair from Ribble. I'd not started looking elsewhere than Wiggle yet and at £44 I was in no rush. I'll take Ribbles price without looking any further.

Iain

      
#21: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Peter Quaife on Fri 2 Nov 2007 08:55 Edit Delete in reply to #11     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I was talking to Roberts recently when I picked my new forks up. He was building up one of his custom frames with butterfly bars and was cursing them saying how difficult it is to build a frame around them without compromising the handling. I didn't have time to talk to him for long about it - and in any case I have no intention of using them. However I'm inclined to respect the view of a guy like him.

      
#22: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Neil Gunton (admin) on Fri 2 Nov 2007 09:26 Edit Delete in reply to #21     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
> how difficult it is to build a frame around [butterfly bars] without compromising the handling

The issue maybe relates to the way these bars bring the hand position so much farther back than usual... to me, this just means putting a longer stem on to compensate, it seemed to work fine in combination with the (rather long) Softride stem on my old Bruce Gordon. And, as I discovered with Bruce Gordon (the man), even professional bike makers can have their own rather idiosyncratic opinions about bike fit and suchlike, so I take just about everything anybody says these days with a pinch of salt, no matter how "professional" the reputation. I've had crappy advice from very esteemed people... Problem is, without your own experience to use as a measuring stick, you can just never tell when someone is giving you real gold in terms of advice, or when it's just their own prejudices and personal preferences coming out.

I'm not saying Roberts is full of shit, far be it from me to even think such a thing as I have never talked to the guy. But I have used butterfly (trekking) bars on a couple of bikes now, and the handling was fine. Maybe he has a certain way of building bikes that he's used to, and these bars throw out the little calculations that he's used to making - I can see that would be a pain.

Oh, I can see I'm gonna get flamed for this one. Just to be clear - I'm not making any aspersion against Roberts. For all I know, he might be completely right... but there are a lot of bikes out there using these bars.

/Neil

      
#23: Re: My new Roberts Roughstuff (thread)
By Wayne Maurer on Sun 4 Nov 2007 16:11 Edit Delete in reply to #22     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Well, the beauty of cycling, like everything else interesting in this world, is that there are many different opinions, and each individual can form one's own.

So here's mine: butterfly bars are a bit fugly but I'm sure they're awesome for touring when it comes to hand positions.

Here's the latest incarnation of my Roughstuff with down-tube shifters replacing the bar-end shifters. I love them! The greatest thing is that I can change both front and rear using either hand. Very happy.

As you can see, the bike's quite loaded in this pic. The panniers aren't full, so it's far from capacity weight-wise. Initially, it was quite a shock with all that weight, but by the end of my 30 mile ride today, I was getting pretty used to the dynamics. Frame flex? No idea; didn't feel like it, though I've not felt it before. The whole thing just felt _heavy_.

-Wayne

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