Pilot Bikes, Dutch Ti frames

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
My lbs is looking at stocking Pilot Bikes and are trying to source a couple of demo models, potentially one in my size for me to try out. I'm hoping it will be a Veturi, the more relaxed of the road models, as I'm thinking of replacing the Roubaix frameset with something similar geometry wise but Ti flavoured. It seems to have all the important things I'd be looking for; flatmount disc option, mudguard (and rack!) mounts, clearance for 28mm tyres... I had originally wanted a Bianchi Infinito CV disc but have gone off the boil on that one after seeing it in the flesh :laugh:

Has anyone got any experience of this brand? They seem to be designing the frames as you can get custom geometry so whilst still sourced from Asia they seem to be made specifically for the Pilot brand to their specs. I hadn't heard of them until now but have only recently started investigating the Ti options; if they're any good it would definitely be my preference to buy from my lbs rather than go further afield.

Thanks in advance!

https://www.pilotcycles.com/
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
There doesn't seem to be much info out there about them; I've fired them off an email with a few queries so will wait to hear back from them. In the mean time I've been looking at a few other options so my shortlist so far is:

- Pilot Veturi (preferred if LBS starts stocking them and I can get hold of a demo bike for a week or two)
- Van Nicholas Skeiron
- Litespeed T5 Disc

What else should I be considering? My main requirements are:

- Relaxed/Endurance geometry, it's replacing the Roubaix so a longish head tube ideally
- Flat mount disc brakes (I've already got the calipers)
- 12mm Thru-Axle front and rear (I've already got the hubs)
- Di2 compatible (or specific) internal cable routing (I've already got the groupset)
- Plain brushed or blasted finish, no paint :smile:

To be honest I'm not overly fussed about the brand as long as the warranty is good, it rides well and the welds are neat :okay: I looked at Sabbath but it seems the September AR-1 disc is the only disc bike they do and it seems to be QR rather than thru axle which is a shame. I guess ideally I don't want to be spending more than ~£2k on the frameset and less would be a bonus, as long as quality is good, but if theres something super amazing that costs more I'll just save up until I can afford it - I'm in no hurry to ditch the Roubaix. The idea would be I'd keep this one forever so I'd rather spend a few quid more now if it gets me a better bike long term :blush:
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
There doesn't seem to be much info out there about them; I've fired them off an email with a few queries so will wait to hear back from them. In the mean time I've been looking at a few other options so my shortlist so far is:

- Pilot Veturi (preferred if LBS starts stocking them and I can get hold of a demo bike for a week or two)
- Van Nicholas Skeiron
- Litespeed T5 Disc

What else should I be considering? My main requirements are:
Have you looked at Enigma? I got an Etape last year, looks like it ticks all your boxes (& maybe other models do too) & is nearly within budget. Not sure you'd get a demo bike for a week, but I went down & was let loose with an Evoke & no time limit. Even though the Evoke was a more race orientated geometry it put a huge smile on my face.
How far are you from Fatbirds & what's their policy on test rides? They tend to have a range of Ti in :okay: A mate of mine bought his Van Nic from their & was really impressed with the service.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Litespeed T5 Disc
Discontinued, but Fatbirds/Pedal Revolution have a couple left if you're in the Large or Medium Large frame sizing, £1649 frame only- no fork!. Litespeed do the (more expensive) T2 (£3k), Ultimate Road & T1sl (£4500 for the frame only, eek!) in disc versions. There's also the Gravel (the successor to my own T5 Gravel), and the Cherohala ('road but you ride gravel a bit too') which would both suit all your requirements.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
+1 to look at J Guillem Orient
It was high on my list but I decided to spend less and wanted rack mounts so went for the Sabbath AR1. I wasn’t fussed about TA compared to everything else.

I didn’t like the fit of the Skeiron despite a couple of good test rides at Fatbirds

Never heard of Pilot either
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
Thanks all, I've had a look and the Litespeed Cherohala and J Guillem Orient both fit the bill so have been added to the shortlist :okay:

- Pilot Veturi (preferred if LBS starts stocking them and I can get hold of a demo bike for a week or two)
- Van Nicholas Skeiron
- Litespeed Cherohala
- J Guillem Orient

Pilot replied to my email this morning with some interested information; They're happy to customise the frameset by creating a dedicated Di2 version with internal cables and battery plus internal brake hoses, and do some custom blasted logo's too. They've said there is no additional charge to create a custom Di2 dedicated frame but the lead time will be 12 weeks... This is perfectly acceptable to me so it will all come down to whether they can get a demo bike to my lbs sometime soon and, if so, whether I like said demo bike :laugh:

In the meantime I've started collecting bits :shy:

20190205_194558.jpg
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
It turns out straight pull hubs are a pain to lace up :laugh::laugh:

20190205_215535.jpg


I've ordered some unbranded carbon rims from AliExpress to finish the wheels off. I did a decent amount of research first and haven't gone for cheap ones, instead opting for mid-priced ones with a decent number of good reviews going back a few years. I'm still going to be slightly worried about it until I see and build them up though :laugh:
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
I've requested more details from Pilot regarding their suggested Custom Di2 variant. I've also sent them a scan of the logo I would want adding to the frame to see whether it can be done or if changes are needed. I'm looking forward to a response but not holding my breath as I suspect Chinese New Year may be delaying communications somewhat :laugh:

A few more bits have arrived and more on the way - I'm mainly collecting purple bits at the moment :laugh:

20190211_212653.jpg


Once the frameset is confirmed I'm only missing tyres, valve stems, headset, BB, seatpost and saddle now as far as I can tell - everything else will be stripped off the Roubaix frameset before it's sold :okay:

Still on the way are carbon bars, bar tape, carbon rims and a variety of purple Ti bolts to replace stem bolts, jockey wheel bolts and lh crank bolts. I'm also looking in to a few other bolts but havent found them in the right dimensions and colour just yet. The colour theme is going to be colourless brushed titanium frame with black/carbon and purple components if you hadn't already guessed :laugh: The reason I'm going with titanium bolts is for corrosion resistance; this will be the designated winter bike so will get used and abused and I intend to keep it until I can't ride it anymore. Makes sense to kit it out with durable bits first time round :okay: I know aluminium bolts would be cheaper and lighter but they will likely corrode more quickly in the conditions. The only area I've gone against this is spoke nipples where I've chosen DT purple alloy for two reasons - firstly (and most importantly) they're pretty, and secondly I have no idea how long the no-brand chinese carbon rims will last so I doubt the spoke nipples will be the achiles heal of this build :laugh: Worst case scenario is I have to cut some spokes out or rebuild the wheels with brass nipples a year or two down the line, neither of which are the end of the world :okay: At the end of the day the wheels are a bit of an experiment - if they dont seem safe once built I won't ride them, and I'm bright enough to keep an eye on them over time so I'm not overly concerned about catastrophic failures :laugh:

Ooh, the bar tape I've ordered looks super pretty too - Supercaz Starfade in neon purple and black. I'll probably wrap it the other way to the pic though so black on the tops fading to purple on the drops :tongue:

41849_supacaz_super_sticky_kush_star_fade_bar_tape.jpg


I now need to find somewhere to hide all the shiny stuff from Mrs Bssll before she tells me off for spending all my pocketmoney on bicycles again :surrender:
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
I have some hope 4 pots on a couple of bikes, very nice :okay:
Yeah I really rate them, I've got the same RX4 calipers on two road bikes already and their V4 calipers on my mountain bike :okay::becool: All in different colours of course haha.

A few more bits have arrived...

20190214_175626.jpg


Rims are being dispatched in the next few days or so I'm told. Pilot have told my lbs that they'll have demo bikes to them by mid march so thats looking positive too :becool:
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
The reason I'm going with titanium bolts is for corrosion resistance; this will be the designated winter bike so will get used and abused and I intend to keep it until I can't ride it anymore. Makes sense to kit it out with durable bits first time round :okay: I know aluminium bolts would be cheaper and lighter but they will likely corrode more quickly in the conditions. The only area I've gone against this is spoke nipples where I've chosen DT purple alloy for two reasons - firstly (and most importantly) they're pretty, and secondly I have no idea how long the no-brand chinese carbon rims will last so I doubt the spoke nipples will be the achiles heal of this build :laugh: Worst case scenario is I have to cut some spokes out or rebuild the wheels with brass nipples a year or two down the line, neither of which are the end of the world :okay:
Can't wait to see the finished build, should look :becool:

But I'd seriously re-think using alloy spoke nipples, I've had 2 wheel builds with coloured alloy wheels & neither have faired well. The first were cheap ones of ebay :blush:, so the 2nd lot were red DT ones IIRC & although they lasted a little longer, I believe it was a right PITA for @Spoked Wheels to remove the old siezed & broken nipples. They looked fab when new & built up, but the reliabilty would bother me. Brass nipples every time for me now :okay:
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
Can't wait to see the finished build, should look :becool:

But I'd seriously re-think using alloy spoke nipples, I've had 2 wheel builds with coloured alloy wheels & neither have faired well. The first were cheap ones of ebay :blush:, so the 2nd lot were red DT ones IIRC & although they lasted a little longer, I believe it was a right PITA for @Spoked Wheels to remove the old siezed & broken nipples. They looked fab when new & built up, but the reliabilty would bother me. Brass nipples every time for me now :okay:
Yeah I see where you're coming from. I think I'm still going to build with the alloy ones just as an experiment - I intend to use grease or copper slip on the spoke threads to try and delay the inevitable but I'll be sure to post lots of expletives and tag you when I'm rebuilding with brass :okay::laugh::laugh:
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
Yeah I see where you're coming from. I think I'm still going to build with the alloy ones just as an experiment - I intend to use grease or copper slip on the spoke threads to try and delay the inevitable but I'll be sure to post lots of expletives and tag you when I'm rebuilding with brass :okay::laugh::laugh:
:laugh:
Rider weight may be a factor too though :blush: I'm a big lad & certainly no lightweight, so you may not have the same issues I had (fingers crossed) :okay:
 
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JhnBssll

JhnBssll

Über Member
Location
Suffolk
:laugh:
Rider weight may be a factor too though :blush: I'm a big lad & certainly no lightweight, so you may not have the same issues I had (fingers crossed) :okay:
I'm 100kg so not exactly a featherweight myself :laugh: I tend to be sympathetic to wheels though, never had any major wheel related traumas anyway :laugh: Hopefully if my weight loss continues at it's current rate I'll be nearer 90kg by the time I get the bike together, its months off as yet. I reckon June would be the soonest I could get my hands on a custom frameset based on what I've been told to date :smile:
 
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