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Help me customise my Paul Hewitt

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Danny, 27 Apr 2008.

  1. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Thanks to the Cycle to Work scheme I can now afford to treat myself to a Paul Hewitt Cheviot, and am due to got for a fitting in a a couple of weeks time.

    I am sure that Paul will be able to offer lots of good advice on how I should set the bike up, but I would like to go armed with a few ideas. The main changes I would like to make to the standard specification is to make it more of a fast tourer - without pushing up the price too much!

    My main questions so far are:

    1. I want to go for STI levers rather than bar end shifters, as I normally ride on the brake hoods anyway. I don't really want to fork out for Shimano 105s, so would the VeloceErgo levers be a good bet, or would I be better off with some Sora or Tiagra brake levers.

    2. I would want to run narrower tyres most of the time (25mm or 28mm), so presumably I need the narrower DRC 18 rims, rather than the DRC 19's that come with the standard build. Also, I know nothing about DRC rims as I have used Mavic rims for years (because these were what my LBS recommended) - but can I assume they are as good a choice as any other rim?

    3. I am basically happy with the standard chainset, but wonder whether there would be any benefits in going for a Stronglight chainset?

    4. Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
     
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    You need to talk to Paul about doing you a 'Shimalgo' set up. He's done lots over the years, but likes to have people really understand what the compromises and disadvantages are.

    We set mine up years ago and I think with 10 speed bits available it is even more effective. One variable is to decide what is the lowest gear you will ever need. That's something you can work out before hand as it does impact on the choices you will have.
     
  3. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    Have you thought about going for his audax model instead? Sounds more like the kind of bike you are describing than a full -on tourer.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Ah - didn't realise he did an Audax model :wacko: :sad: :smile:

    Though he didn't mention this when I spoke to him on the phone to have a preliminary chat about what I wanted.

    Presumably you mean the Chiltern. From the description on his website this sounds like it is essentially the same frame Cheviot tourer, or am I missing something?
     
  5. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    They used to do one called "alpine" which was an audax bike. As they do full custom jobs, why not have a talk through about what you want?

    I hadn't seen the Chiltern before but I would have thought it's a bit lighter than the Cheviot, or what would be the point of it?
     
  6. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    Go with a list of questions and an open mind. I found Paul Hewitt to be excellent at answering questions but not the most forthcoming if you don't ask. The upside of that is you don't get the hard sell, as I'd been to Mercian, Longstaff and Jacksons in the same week it was a pleasant relief.

    They both work fine, the major difference is the shape of the hoods, most people have a definite preference for one or the other. If you haven't already see if you can try some before you go.
    Try and be as precise as you can about what you want from the bike, the leave the choice to the expert. He's not tied to any brand of rim, spoke or hub like many retailers are. He used DRC rims for my touring bike and Mavic for my road bike.
    There's no standard spec in the same way as with some other retailers, upgrade prices are very fair. However everything that is on his standard spec has earnt it's place, he'll advise you on changes you want for personal preference, but I doubt you'd make any significant improvements on any of the chosen components. At the end of my ordering a Cheviot SE, after we'd gone through the order form line by line I was still under budget. I asked if there were any improvements he thought I could make, he suggested a £15 computer, top man. Ask that question at Thorn and you'll get a £500 list.
    Braze ons and colour. Do you want a pump peg if so where? The colour choice is vast, have a good idea before you go.

    I've had my Cheviot about 4 years, apart from changing the front brake to accommodate a new light and replacing chains and cassettes as they've worn out, it's exactly as supplied. I can't say that for any other bike I've owned.
     
  7. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    Differences I can see;
    Shorter chainstays will give sharper handling.
    Calliper brakes are usually better than cantis at the cost of tyre clearance.
    1 1/8" headtube will offer a better choice of after market forks, like most carbon Audax models.

    I doubt there's much weight to be saved on the frame, the cheviot isn't the heaviest to start with. If I'd had a better idea of what I'd use it for I might have chosen the Chiltern. As it is I'm happy to Audax on the Cheviot with 28mm tyres and the racks off.
     
  8. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Paul does tend to restrict his answers to the actual question asked. He's very conscious not to imposed his 'preferences' on other people's choices, unless he believes they are way off the mark. If you say you are thinking of a Cheviot, he will restrict his replies to the merits of the various options around the Cheviot. If you say you're looking for a bike to do a particular type of cycling for a set amount of money, then he will offer all the options for that.

    So much about buying a bike is personal choice, that he's very wary of not trampling on other people's dreams.If you want his broader opinion, then you just have to ask for it.
     
  9. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    Does Hewitt do "proper" custom frames? I have some very specific ideas about what I would like my bike to do - the closest to it is a Van Nicholas Amazon, but I'd prefer something hand made from the UK. I haven't seen anything else "off the peg" that fits the bill.
     
  10. Landslide

    Landslide Rare Migrant

    Location:
    Called to the bar
    One of my favourite details on my Bob Jackson - threaded bosses for the rear mudguard. They're on the brake and chainstay bridges, and take bottle cage bolts.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Thanks all for the helpful comments - particularly about Paul only answering the questions you pose!

    I will ask him which of the two frames he would recommend for my intended use, but at the moment I am still inclined to go for the Chiltern as it would give me the most flexibility. Also, sadly I fear I may be getting to the point in my life where a comfortable ride rates more highly than sharp handling.

    I'll have to try and find a bike with Compag brake levers before I go, as I have to confess that I have never tried them before now.