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Winter trainer frame: suggestions?

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Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 423
Location: W2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:08 pm    Subject: Winter trainer frame: suggestions? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm thinking about putting together a Winter trainer / commuter / do-it-all bike and maybe you can give me some good suggestions Smile

At this point I am thinking about getting myself a Genesis "Croix de Fer" frame and fork, but someone pointed out a minor niggle with that frame.

One of the reasons why I want a Winter bike is that it has to take wide tyres, proper mudguards and a back rack.
However, the Croix de Fer's reviews pointed out that having the rear disk brake mounting points on the seatstay (as opposed to the chainstay) limits the choice in rear racks you can mount, having the chosen one to be "disk specific".

Now, I don't know anything about racks nor if it is going to be difficult/expensive to get a disk specific ones... can anyone comment here?

Can any of you suggest an alternative to the Croix de Fer?
I'm sure there's something out there that I haven't considered Wink

It should have the following characteristics:
- must be available as frame/fork, as I want to put it together myself
- must take wide(ish) tyres (up to 28/32... a CX frame maybe?)
- steel frame
- disk brakes, possibly with the mounting points for the rear one on the chainstay
- mounting points for mudguards and rack

I quite like the style of something like the Enigma Ethos or the Extensor, but they don't take disk brakes unfortunately...

Thanks in advance for your help Smile
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 352
Location: W2 now init.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:27 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

You want a winter bike / do it all and has to be made of steel? Would you reconsider the material choice if there were options in Alu or even Ti? There are some lovely options in Ti these days that are surprisingly affordable.

Note - I'm going to completely ignore your requirement for disc brakes because I don't think you really need / want them, especially if you plan to use drop bars. And it limits your frame choices massivley and lumbers you with stupid designs such as track ends with disc mounts (I'm looking at you Croix De Fer). Where I mention a frame with disc tabs I'll highlight it.

So...there are two routes into the is - CX frames or Audax frames. I know a bit about CX but next to nothing about Audax, although I do know some Audax frame manufacturers that might be worth looking at. Cross frames will be harder to find with mounts but will take bigger tyers; audax frames will usually have a plethora of mounts but might be limited to 28mm tyers max.

CX frames:

If your heart is set on steel, try Surly (cross check) or their more up-market brother, Salsa (veya) [disc]. Brixton Cycles deal in these frames and they can do you a custom build. I know I sound like the unofficial surly propaganda machine sometimes but they really are cycles for cyclists and are built with more than a bit of thought.

Also worth looking at in steel are the The On-one pompetamine [disc] and the Cotic Road Rat [disc]. I think Brixton cycles deal in Cotic stuff too.

If money is no object and you must have steel: a geekhouse CX frame [disc] with custom mounts could be a winner.

Having said that...I don't think the Gen's disc mounting will really be a problem; this chap went round the world on one, so it will certainly carry stuff.

For my winter / cross bike I was going to build a Lynskey ti cross bike but bought a Cannondale CaadX in the end. It's Alu but cheap as chips. Look out for the frames on Ebay if you are interested.


The Van Nic Amazon gets talked about a lot  [disc]  as does their Yukon. Ti.

And IIRC Pearson do some audax frames in Alu and Carbon. And there's the classic Ribble blue alloy frame that costs next to nothing.

The Kinesis Decade Convert is also interesting; it has replaceable drop-outs that allow it to run track or vertical drop-outs and I assume belt drive.

Spa cycles do their own Ti audax frame that compares well with the van nic;

Continuing the audax theme have you thought about a Condor build or a Bob Jackson [custom disc] ?

That's my brain dump for now Smile

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Joined: 26 Mar 2008
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Location: W2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:56 am    Subject: Reply with quote

Howard, you are a gold mine! Wink

There's so much info here and you're definitely giving me food for thoughts...

I'll check all the links and names you gave me as soon as I have a chance, then will probably come back asking for more advice Smile

Many thanks!
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010
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Location: W2 now init.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:21 am    Subject: Reply with quote

Just noticed that Genesis dropped the hub gear on their 2012 Croix, meaning vertical drop-outs and a traditional gear set-up, or a chain tensioner if you want to go SS / Fixed /  IHG. I imagine they did this because the 2011 with track drop-outs and disc brakes caused to many issues with brake set-up (and IIRC the Joytech Alfine brifters didn't pull enough cable to work particularly well with the Avid cable pull discs).
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