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Flat-bar dilemma: Whyte commuter or convert my Genesis?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by mrmacmusic, 14 Sep 2016.

  1. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    ...and is it dynamic as well as comfy?

    I certainly think the 1x drivetrain is intriguing for its' added simplicity and have been trying to work out what gears I really need for my commute – 2x would certainly be more familiar with an emergency granny ring...
     
  2. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    It may well be so. If it is that doesn't mean the 2016 Tour de Fer is a benchmark bike. OEM folk sell kludges from time-to-time. More likely it is a result of the Tour de Fer in drop bar form not being one of their greatest sales successes so they've reinvented it. Marketing led company these days. I owned, for a short time a flat barred Dawes, built on the same frame as a drop bar Dawes. Geometry was all wrong. Silly riser stem, etc.. I tried it because I came from an mtb background and could not get on with drops, as the brake levers were in the 'wrong' place.


    Not really. Only marginally closer together, sure, than they are on the hoods, though you are sitting up a little more - no bad thing in traffic. Certainly well spaced enough to exercise complete and full control on the bike. Think cyclocross, think relatively thin tyres, think wet muddy downhills requiring poise and finesse. After one is only braking with the index and middle finger at most. Me? I think flat bar bike are twitchy and transmit too much road chatter because the bars are wider than they need to be.

    All that said... Sounds to me like you want a project or a new bike, and who am I to deny you that pleasure?
     
  3. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Agreed I have cross levers on my Genesis and I ride 38cm bars which are pretty narrow, never had a issue with feel (just on space for lights etc!)
     
  4. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    It is indeed, it is dynamic, Mine is the 2014 model, stiff frame to deliver power and it does, it came with 28mm tyres, up front it has a 48-32t chainset and an 11-32t cassette which gives me all the range and not too big steps in gearing. It flys along and weighs in at 9.4Kg with peddals on. It has a relaxed geometry with a long wheelbase so is comfy but has a wider turning circle than an all out racer. The narrow bars (58cm) feel a little twitchy at first if you are use to something wider but you soon get used to them. With the relaxed geometry and long top tube you actually get into a fairly low profile aero riding position not at all a sit up and pray position. I happily spend 4-5 hours in the saddle and cover plenty of miles.

    This is the Montpellier full carbon which comes in at £1500. The Stirling is almost identically equiped but on an ally frame and comes in at £1000.

    I would highly recomend and wouldn't hesitate to buy again, I'm just not sold yet on the 1 x 11 setup but then I've not tried it.

    ssd.....
     
  5. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    I suppose either would be nice, but most of all I just want to not feel quite so tentative and tense up when the roads are damp and I'm turning right at roundabouts...

    I guess I'm just not entirely convinced that a different bike with a more upright and wider cockpit would actually make any difference to how I feel (although there's no denying the boost a shiny new N+1 gives, eh?!), and that perhaps converting the Croix is the more sensible – and entirely reversible – option.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Thanks ssd :okay:
     
  7. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    My portobello cost me £235, that would be not much more than converting the croix and meet n+1
     
  8. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    In my (limited) experience, the only thing that gives you your confidence back after an off is "getting back on the horse" and doing it all again. I have found doing so in the company of a trusted riding partner is a great help, and others, for whom I am that trusted partner, have said the same.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Very true, and I have been keeping an eye on the local second-hand offerings, in fact a Whitechapel cropped up which I went to see but it turned out to be clearly much older (and in worse condition) than stated. Whilst it would've been fine as a confidence-builder, there was barely enough clearance in the (older) fork to fit a mudguard with the fitted 28C tyre and given I'd want to put studded 35C Marathon Winters on I walked away. Wanted too much for it at £300 as well IMHO.

    I totally agree, and it was a shame that due to my injuries I was unable to get back on said horse for 3 months...

    I realise I should take heart from the fact that I've cycled 3,500 miles on the Croix de Fer since then and have been round that roundabout ~240 times, however that's only about 60% of my usual annual commuting mileage and I know how unsettled I feel ever time I get to that part of the commute. The brain's a funny old thing.
     
    GrumpyGregry likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    So I've come to the conclusion that I ought to stick some cross-top levers on the Croix de Fer for the time being... any recommendations @vickster or @GrumpyGregry ..? (Something like these from CRC perhaps?) Also, they seem reasonably straightforward to fit but are they really, or is it a job best left to the LBS..?
     
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    I don't do that sort of maintenance so LBS for me. I'd buy the levers from the shop as they will know which ones will fit and then supply and fit the cables and levers and rewrap the bars

    I think I have a mix of Tektro and Specialized ones depending on where they've been done
     
  12. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Thanks Vickster :okay:
     
  13. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    I have those (Cane Creek) on the fast bike. Tektro are cheaper iirc, but work just as well. I always fit them myself. I'm fussy about the angle they end up at and so it is very much a DIY job for me.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Thanks GG :okay:
     
  15. Mr.Lacis

    Mr.Lacis New Member

    Hi all. I was reading all your comments since my wife can relate to a similar situation to @mrmacmusicand I would like your opinions and how your solution worked in the end. The story is that my wife has had an accident commuting to work, where in a dark and freeze early morning she wheeled into an ice patch, fell off and broke her leg. She has a Genesis Tour de Fer 20 (2017 model) since October 2017. The bike is really nice and light with no load, and stable when fully load. The problem is that my wife is not confident with the setting of the drop bars having brakes differently positioned mainly, and as a result she had already 2 previous incidents prior the last one. Her previous bike had a flat bar and she was saying she felt in control and everything was there and reachable.

    I agree what was said before of the best in order to regain the confidence is get back to your horse as soon as you can, and start peddling. I would aso like to ask @mrmacmusic and other users about the result and feelings of fitting a second pair of levers like cyclocross type. The other option given was to swap into a flat bar, and the down bit of this solution would result in a "weird geometry" of the bike? In what way would that be noticeable?

    We are planning a big touring trip starting the next year, reason why she bought that bike. Thanks for the replies, ideas and comments in advance. I would really appreciate the outcome
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 4 Feb 2018