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Requiem for a Roberts - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Nov. 3rd, 2011

04:46 am - Requiem for a Roberts

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From:Liam Redmond
Date:November 5th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)


Hi John

If I was you I'd look at a Van Nicolas - they have a website (and a clearance range with 20-30% off), or you can view an buy them in Bike Plus (who will give you 10% off Van Nicholas' list price) on Brighton Rd, just before the dump.

They can be bespoke, or off the shelf. Reasonably tourers are from £1,500. Titanium frames are light and strong (maybe 10kg for the whole bike?), as they re used as an alternative to carbon. This should make you hill climbing easier - you could also add a mountain bike style 'super low' sprocket onto the rear cassette.

If you want to secure your bike /s in my garage you can do - it has an alarmed padlock, and we could put a wall anchor in.

If you haven't already brought a lock Oxford used to insure bikes locked up by their locks (there was a £5 admin registration charge).

Let me know how you get on!

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[User Picture]
Date:November 7th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)

Re: Bike

Thanks Liam - I had a look at the Van Nicholas website. Any of their custom frames cost an extra €495 (approx £425) compared to a standard size, e.g. a custom Pioneer frame would cost €1994 (£1717). By contrast, a custom Clubman frame from Roberts costs £995. Custom frames presumably wouldn't be sold at clearance, unless someone else had ordered exactly the same thing and then cancelled their order. So, I think this would be a bit more expensive than Roberts.

When I went to the Brompton World Championship, I borrowed a bike with a titanium frame (as described here). That bike definitely felt lighter than mine, but only 1/3 of that difference was due to the frame. So, I'm not sure how much difference it would make on a touring bike, particularly when I'm carrying a lot of luggage. With the Brompton, I decided that it wasn't worth paying the extra money for titanium rather than steel, but I don't think there's anything wrong with titanium.

The other advantage of Roberts is that I can deal with them directly. They've given me good service in the past, so I'm happy to go to them again, particularly while I'm living so nearby. (That's partly why I chose them over a Dawes Galaxy bike last year.) So, I went back to them yesterday, as described in my follow-up post. That's not a criticism of Van Nicholas, and it looks like they make good bikes, but for now I'm happy with Roberts.

I have a Kryptonite lock (the "New York Fahgettaboudit"), and they offer a similar insurance policy. However, with most of these things you have to check the small print. In particular:
a) Kryptonite will only insure one bike per lock, so if you use the same lock for multiple bikes then you just have to pick one, then post in a form to register it.
b) There's a maximum bike value per lock. This was £1100 for my old Evolution lock, and £2500 for the new "Fahg" lock.
c) It's only valid for a year after purchase.
d) You have to send them the broken lock, to prove that the lock was at fault. (In my case, the lock was stolen along with the bike, so I couldn't claim.)
I'm not sure what the rules are for Oxford locks, but probably similar. I'm going to do another blog post about bike security in due course.

Thanks for offering your garage - that's very generous, and I'll talk to you about it the next time I see you.
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