Dawes Sardar

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Lionel Scales, Jun 21, 2003.

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  1. Twenty-five years after buying my last 'proper' touring bike, I'm considering a Dawes Sardar.

    Has anybody any experience of such a beast, please, especially the pros & cons of the STI version v
    the 'separate brake & bar-end gear levers' version? (Am leaning towards the separates version due to
    long-term reliability.)

    Any thoughts gratefully received. Cheers.
     
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  2. "Lionel Scales" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Twenty-five years after buying my last 'proper' touring bike, I'm considering a Dawes Sardar.
    >
    > Has anybody any experience of such a beast, please, especially the pros & cons of the STI version
    > v the 'separate brake & bar-end gear levers' version? (Am leaning towards the separates version
    > due to long-term reliability.)
    >
    > Any thoughts gratefully received. Cheers.
    >
    >

    I have had a Dawes Sardar for about 6 weeks - done nearly 500 miles so far including a club run of
    over 100 yesterday. I am very pleased with it - I wanted a rugged tourer on 26" wheels and that's
    exactly what it is. Mine is the 2002 non-STI version, bought from The BikeShed in Devon (unsolicited
    plug - arrived mail order in 2 days, plus excellent after-sales advice over the phone, and they have
    since built a lovely little touring bike based on a Dawes frame for my wife too!). I decided that
    STI was not worth £100 more. Buy a discounted one - it's a lot of bike for the money.

    We are planning on the Lon Las Cymru (National Cycle route 8, Welsh End2End) in August -
    I'm expecting that the Sardar will be just right for this, with its mix of strenuous
    on-road and off-road.

    Hope this helps.

    Andrew Turner Hayling Island
     
  3. Thanks, Andrew - that's a good recommendation.

    Any advice re sizing? What size Sardar have you got and what is your 'traditional' bike size?

    Cheers, Lionel

    > I have had a Dawes Sardar for about 6 weeks - done nearly 500 miles so far including a club run of
    > over 100 yesterday. I am very pleased with it - I wanted a rugged tourer on 26" wheels and that's
    > exactly what it is. Mine
    is
    > the 2002 non-STI version, bought from The BikeShed in Devon (unsolicited plug - arrived mail order
    > in 2 days, plus excellent after-sales advice
    over
    > the phone, and they have since built a lovely little touring bike based on
    a
    > Dawes frame for my wife too!). I decided that STI was not worth £100
    more.
    > Buy a discounted one - it's a lot of bike for the money.
    >
    > We are planning on the Lon Las Cymru (National Cycle route 8, Welsh
    End2End)
    > in August - I'm expecting that the Sardar will be just right for this,
    with
    > its mix of strenuous on-road and off-road.
    >
    > Hope this helps.
    >
    > Andrew Turner Hayling Island
     
  4. "Lionel Scales" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks, Andrew - that's a good recommendation.
    >
    > Any advice re sizing? What size Sardar have you got and what is your 'traditional' bike size?
    >
    > Cheers, Lionel
    >
    >

    The general advice is to go for mountain bike sizing. Mine is a 49cm - I sat on a 52cm in a shop
    before buying mail-order and thought it slightly too big, 49cm is comfy for me though I have a lot
    of seat post showing.

    Not sure about my road-bike size as I don't have one (only a very old Muddy Fox MTB), but for the
    record I am 177cm (almost 5'10") with inside leg around 81.5cm.

    I forgot to say that I have fitted an adjustable stem and changed the pedals for single-sided SPD.

    Cheers, Andrew
     
  5. Trealaw Boy

    Trealaw Boy Guest

    I managed to test ride one at the York Rally on Saturday. It was a 2002 model with bar-end shifters.
    The 2003 model comes with STI only.

    Very comfortable and I didn't feel unduly stretched out as some others have experienced with this
    model. Lots of braze-ons for touring etc. It felt a little sluggish to me, but that may be due to me
    riding an old f-frame Moulton as my main machine.

    I understand that there are still a few 2002 models in stock at various dealers and they are heavily
    discounted. I'm tempted.

    Regards

    TB

    "Andrew Turner" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Lionel Scales" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Thanks, Andrew - that's a good recommendation.
    > >
    > > Any advice re sizing? What size Sardar have you got and what is your 'traditional' bike size?
    > >
    > > Cheers, Lionel
    > >
    > >
    >
    > The general advice is to go for mountain bike sizing. Mine is a 49cm - I sat on a 52cm in a shop
    > before buying mail-order and thought it slightly too big, 49cm is comfy for me though I have a lot
    > of seat post showing.
    >
    > Not sure about my road-bike size as I don't have one (only a very old Muddy Fox MTB), but for the
    > record I am 177cm (almost 5'10") with inside leg around 81.5cm.
    >
    > I forgot to say that I have fitted an adjustable stem and changed the pedals for single-sided SPD.
    >
    > Cheers, Andrew
     
  6. zebra

    zebra Guest

    I've got a 1.Down which was what Sardar's were called before. It may not be quite the same, but I've
    done maybe 10,000 kilometres on it and make these points.

    It's generally a good beast for touring and general purpose, and rolls surprisingly well, often
    faster than a skinny-tyred tourer, but maybe that's my weight.

    The handlebars on the 1.Down were way too low, and the biggest single improvement was an extender to
    raise the bars a few inches (Evans and others, about £19).

    Tyres and rims make a big difference. I believe the 26" wheel is inherently stronger than a 700. The
    original Mavic 138 rims (17mm) rolled beautifully but were not strong enough for heavy long-distance
    touring. I have crossed France twice on Mavic 521s which are much stronger but clunky. I now have a
    Mavic 618 (17mm double eyelet ed) on the back. Among tyres I prefer Schwalbe to Specialized Nimbus.

    I have STIs and swear by them. They make a world of different for climbing and descending when you
    do not want to shift your hands, and in traffic too. I'd never known anyone who had one break until
    mine did on tour 10 days ago. Serves me right! But I got by getting Spanish bike shop to fit a
    down-tube shifter. I've had the lever apart, found cheap titchy bust spring at fault, but it's not a
    replacement part, so a new lever is going in - about 60 per cent the price of a pair of Soras, but
    simpler to fit. I would not hesitate to buy a bike with STIs every time, despite my experience.

    Cheers,

    A
     
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