Saracen any good?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Dennis, Apr 10, 2003.

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  1. Dennis

    Dennis Guest

    Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    commuting etc.

    My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)

    Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    guys think? TIA Den
     
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  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Dennis wrote:
    > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > commuting etc.
    >=20
    > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for =A3200 (+rack & mudguards)

    For a "general bike for towpaths and commuting etc." I'd personally say=20 forget front suspension
    at this price level. IMHO the money would be=20 better spent on better quality elsewhere.
    Suspension's nice for serious =

    off-road (*big* bumps and/or big velocities on rough) or if you're=20 throwing lots of money at the
    thing, but a rigid bike will be perfectly=20 capable of doing what you want, and you'll probably
    save weight (and=20 thus effort) and get a better frame and/or components that will last=20 longer
    and work better (less effort again).

    Something like a Ridgeback Speed (plus rack and 'guards) is what I'd get =

    for a new bike at =A3200.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 21:42:12 GMT, "Dennis" <[email protected]> in
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    >guys think?

    Ugh. Yuck. Bleargh. Views from 1997, when I worked in a "bike shop". I sent back approx 1 in 4 bikes
    to Saracen due to them having fundamental faults such as missing bolts, and awfully untrue wheels.
    Their customer service was appalling, taking several weeks to send out missing parts. Eventually I
    resorted to simply sending unsatisfactory machines back to them.

    They may have improved since, but I wouldn't touch them with a 10ft anything.

    Love and hugs from Rich x

    --
    Two fish suddenly swim into a brick wall. Damn! To reply put only the word "richard" before
    the @ sign
     
  4. Smudger

    Smudger Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    Dennis wrote:
    > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > commuting etc.
    >
    > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)

    For a "general bike for towpaths and commuting etc." I'd personally say forget front suspension at
    this price level. IMHO the money would be better spent on better quality elsewhere. Suspension's
    nice for serious off-road (*big* bumps and/or big velocities on rough) or if you're throwing lots of
    money at the thing, but a rigid bike will be perfectly capable of doing what you want, and you'll
    probably save weight (and thus effort) and get a better frame and/or components that will last
    longer and work better (less effort again).

    Something like a Ridgeback Speed (plus rack and 'guards) is what I'd get for a new bike at £200.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

    Steer clear of Saracen. I suggest a Ridgeback too but if you can find an extra £49 then the
    Ridgeback Switch Cyclone is a total bargain. It looks the business too. You get good quality
    equipment but most importantly you can upgrade when you want to. See Cycling Plus 141 for a review.
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    Dennis wrote:
    > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > commuting etc.
    >
    > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)

    For a "general bike for towpaths and commuting etc." I'd personally say forget front suspension at
    this price level. IMHO the money would be better spent on better quality elsewhere. Suspension's
    nice for serious off-road (*big* bumps and/or big velocities on rough) or if you're throwing lots of
    money at the thing, but a rigid bike will be perfectly capable of doing what you want, and you'll
    probably save weight (and thus effort) and get a better frame and/or components that will last
    longer and work better (less effort again).

    Something like a Ridgeback Speed (plus rack and 'guards) is what I'd get for a new bike at £200.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

    For £249 I'm very happy with my recently bought Specialized Hardrock rigid Cr-Mo (now that I've put
    flat bars & bar ends on it). As far as smoothing out bumps goes it's a lot better than my 10 yr old
    MTB offroad. I'm not sure if this is more due to a better frame or slightly fatter tyres. It's also
    faster on the road despite the knobblier fatter tyres. Great all round cheap bike.

    Andy
     
  6. James G

    James G Guest

    "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > commuting etc.
    >
    > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    >
    > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    > guys think? TIA Den

    Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a short while last summer when I
    was temping. Quantity over quality was the key. The line manager got a bonus if he could push a
    certain number of bikes through per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram
    the screw in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed again. Bikes would
    occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the dolleys they were on were crap, they were touched
    up with paint if required and put back on the line. The guy working next to me even lost his finger
    while spinning a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while someone was found to
    drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked out.
     
  7. Dreamlx10

    Dreamlx10 Guest

    "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > commuting etc.
    >
    > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    >
    > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    > guys think? TIA Den
    >
    >
    > Don't do it !

    Graham
     
  8. james g wrote:

    > "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > > commuting etc.
    > >
    > > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    > >
    > > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do
    > > you guys think? TIA Den
    >
    > Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a short while last summer when I
    > was temping. Quantity over quality was the key. The line manager got a bonus if he could push a
    > certain number of bikes through per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram
    > the screw in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed again. Bikes would
    > occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the dolleys they were on were crap, they were
    > touched up with paint if required and put back on the line. The guy working next to me even lost
    > his finger while spinning a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while someone
    > was found to drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked out.

    So where is the factory based ? Why do they take so little interest in quality assurance ? Would it
    be a good idea to report the factory conditions and attitude of the quality assurance team to a
    cycling or industrial magazine ?
     
  9. James G

    James G Guest

    "The Technical Manager" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > james g wrote:
    >
    > > "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > > > commuting etc.
    > > >
    > > > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    > > >
    > > > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do
    > > > you guys think? TIA Den
    > >
    > > Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a
    short
    > > while last summer when I was temping. Quantity over quality was the key.
    The
    > > line manager got a bonus if he could push a certain number of bikes
    through
    > > per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram the
    screw
    > > in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed
    again.
    > > Bikes would occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the dolleys
    they
    > > were on were crap, they were touched up with paint if required and put
    back
    > > on the line. The guy working next to me even lost his finger while
    spinning
    > > a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while someone
    was
    > > found to drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked
    out.
    >
    > So where is the factory based ? Why do they take so little interest in
    quality
    > assurance ? Would it be a good idea to report the factory conditions and attitude of the quality
    > assurance team to a cycling or industrial magazine
    ?
    >

    The factory is in Leamington Spa. If someone suggested a suitable magazine (ie one that doesnt rely
    on lots of Saracen sponsorship) I would be happy to write them a letter.
     
  10. Rg

    Rg Guest

    "james g" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "The Technical Manager" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > james g wrote:
    > >
    > > > "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > > > > commuting etc.
    > > > >
    > > > > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    > > > >
    > > > > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what
    > > > > do you guys think? TIA Den
    > > >
    > > > Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a
    > short
    > > > while last summer when I was temping. Quantity over quality was the
    key.
    > The
    > > > line manager got a bonus if he could push a certain number of bikes
    > through
    > > > per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram the
    > screw
    > > > in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed
    > again.
    > > > Bikes would occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the dolleys
    > they
    > > > were on were crap, they were touched up with paint if required and put
    > back
    > > > on the line. The guy working next to me even lost his finger while
    > spinning
    > > > a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while someone
    > was
    > > > found to drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked
    > out.
    > >
    > > So where is the factory based ? Why do they take so little interest in
    > quality
    > > assurance ? Would it be a good idea to report the factory conditions and attitude of the quality
    > > assurance team to a cycling or industrial
    magazine
    > ?
    > >
    >
    > The factory is in Leamington Spa. If someone suggested a suitable magazine (ie one that doesnt
    > rely on lots of Saracen sponsorship) I would be happy
    to
    > write them a letter.
    >
    >

    I'm not 100% certain but I believe that the "factory" in Leamington Spa no longer does any assembly
    work - bikes are now brought in fully assembled from China/Taiwan or wherever fully badged and ready
    to go to shops (mainly Halfords????) - in the past I think that the frames were brought in ready
    assembled and the components simply hung on to them. My info comes from a local (to Leamington)
    frame builder/LBS who seems to have his finger on the pulse.

    If I am wrong, then so be it - but it would appear that the guy who worked there has some sort of
    axe to grind .........

    Finally, I am no fan of Saracen and would not contemplate buying one BUT I do have (amongst my
    collection of about 10 bikes) 2 Saracen machines (a HyLander Hybrid and a Rufftrax cheapie MTB) that
    I acquired from my brother when he "upgraded" to 2 folders for his caravan excursions - and for what
    they are they do the job - cheap and functional! [I lend them to friends while I ride my
    Specialized]

    RG
     
  11. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > For £249 I'm very happy with my recently bought Specialized Hardrock rigid Cr-Mo

    sheesh, skanked !

    that's one of the heaviest bikes I've ever picked up, heavier than a raleigh noname.

    I paid £225cash for a £450 "rrp" bike, all ali, weighs just 28lb

    as far as "there's no point in suspension forks at this pirce point" poppycock. 2" is better than
    nothing and the only reason (in my mind) to have rigid forks is if you want to do trials stuff as
    endos and the like are tricky with front suspension :)

    get out into those cycle shops, there's bargains to be had, except saracen.

    Albert
     
  12. james g wrote:

    > "The Technical Manager" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > james g wrote:
    > >
    > > > "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    > > > > commuting etc.
    > > > >
    > > > > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    > > > >
    > > > > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what
    > > > > do you guys think? TIA Den
    > > >
    > > > Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a
    > short
    > > > while last summer when I was temping. Quantity over quality was the key.
    > The
    > > > line manager got a bonus if he could push a certain number of bikes
    > through
    > > > per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram the
    > screw
    > > > in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed
    > again.
    > > > Bikes would occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the dolleys
    > they
    > > > were on were crap, they were touched up with paint if required and put
    > back
    > > > on the line. The guy working next to me even lost his finger while
    > spinning
    > > > a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while someone
    > was
    > > > found to drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked
    > out.
    > >
    > > So where is the factory based ? Why do they take so little interest in
    > quality
    > > assurance ? Would it be a good idea to report the factory conditions and attitude of the quality
    > > assurance team to a cycling or industrial magazine
    > ?
    > >
    >
    > The factory is in Leamington Spa. If someone suggested a suitable magazine (ie one that doesnt
    > rely on lots of Saracen sponsorship) I would be happy to write them a letter.

    It would be better if you informed them that you worked at the factory during a certain time. Ensure
    that the letter is published anonymously.
     
  13. James G

    James G Guest

    "RG" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "james g" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "The Technical Manager" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > james g wrote:
    > > >
    > > > > "Dennis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > > > Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths
    > > > > > and commuting
    etc.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html
    > > > > > what do you guys think? TIA Den
    > > > >
    > > > > Saracen bikes are junk. I worked on the Saracen assembly line for a
    > > short
    > > > > while last summer when I was temping. Quantity over quality was the
    > key.
    > > The
    > > > > line manager got a bonus if he could push a certain number of bikes
    > > through
    > > > > per day. If a thread got crossed for example, it was common to ram
    the
    > > screw
    > > > > in with an air gun, even though that meant it couldnt be unscrewed
    > > again.
    > > > > Bikes would occasionaly be dropped from quite a height as the
    dolleys
    > > they
    > > > > were on were crap, they were touched up with paint if required and
    put
    > > back
    > > > > on the line. The guy working next to me even lost his finger while
    > > spinning
    > > > > a wheel to adjust the gears, we had to carry on working while
    someone
    > > was
    > > > > found to drive him to hospital... it was shortly after that I walked
    > > out.
    > > >
    > > > So where is the factory based ? Why do they take so little interest in
    > > quality
    > > > assurance ? Would it be a good idea to report the factory conditions
    and
    > > > attitude of the quality assurance team to a cycling or industrial
    > magazine
    > > ?
    > > >
    > >
    > > The factory is in Leamington Spa. If someone suggested a suitable
    magazine
    > > (ie one that doesnt rely on lots of Saracen sponsorship) I would be
    happy
    > to
    > > write them a letter.
    > >
    > >
    >
    > I'm not 100% certain but I believe that the "factory" in Leamington Spa no longer does any
    > assembly work - bikes are now brought in fully assembled from China/Taiwan or wherever fully
    > badged and ready to go to shops
    (mainly
    > Halfords????) - in the past I think that the frames were brought in ready assembled and the
    > components simply hung on to them. My info comes from a local (to Leamington) frame builder/LBS
    > who seems to have his finger on
    the
    > pulse.
    >
    > If I am wrong, then so be it - but it would appear that the guy who worked there has some sort of
    > axe to grind .........
    >
    not at all, just because I worked there doesn't mean I can't tell people that the bikes are crap.
    TBH I couldn't care less, and wouldnt have made the appearance of grinding if no one had asked
    the question.

    When I was there they bought in the sprayed frames from Taiwan and fitted the forks, brackets etc..
    If anyone is that interested in finding out the details of what they do the assembly plant is at
    Saracen House, Heathcote Industrial Estate, Warwick CV34 6TS 01926 338427

    It wouldn't surprise me if they got strategically pruned from the supply chain though, the
    management was obviously on a drive to make 'efficiency' savings, and there wasnt much room left for
    further savings to be had..AFAIK the transfer of assembly to Taiwan will probably yield increase in
    quality, as far less has to be spent on wages.
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    albert fish wrote:

    > as far as "there's no point in suspension forks at this pirce point" p=
    oppycock.
    > 2" is better than nothing and the only reason (in my mind) to have rigi=
    d forks
    > is if you want to do trials stuff as endos and the like are tricky with=
    front suspension :)

    Or, if you bothered reading the OP's original question, if you don't=20 want be offroad to any
    greater extent than a towpath, which is the=20 context in which the assertion was made.

    2" of travel where there's no need will just add weight and reduce=20 climbing efficiency from
    pogoing. The point of suspension should be to=20 make your life *easier*, and for roads and towpaths
    on a =A3200 bike=20
    (i.e., one with a low-end commodity MTB fork rather than anything=20 specifically designed for
    tarmac use like Moulton's leading link=20 designs) it's very unlikely to do that. Or, put
    another way, 2" is=20 actually *worse* than nothing, especially as the money could go on=20
    something that will make a bigger efficiency and/or comfort difference=20 like a better saddle
    or better gears.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    albert fish wrote:

    > as far as "there's no point in suspension forks at this pirce point" poppycock. 2" is better than
    > nothing and the only reason (in my mind) to have rigid forks is if you want to do trials stuff as
    > endos and the like are tricky with front suspension :)

    > Or, if you bothered reading the OP's original question, if you don't want be offroad to any
    > greater extent than a towpath,

    and commuting. please be accurate, Pete.

    commuting = potholes, kerbs, drain holes etc.

    > 2" of travel where there's no need

    no need ? exqueeze me, we'll just un invent 'happy shopper' suspension because pete says there's no
    'need' ...... market forces and all that.....

    > will just add weight and reduce climbing efficiency from pogoing.

    it's a commuter, for going over bumps and putting up with the daily battering uk roads tend to give,
    not some esoteric time trials machine. the 'extra' weight is free, negligable and built in at this
    price point.

    > The point of suspension should be to make your life *easier*,

    the point of suspension is not to make life easier, what a silly suggestion, it's to stop harsh
    shocks running up your arms / wrists, a job that even cheapo suspension magages to do quite well.

    > and for roads and towpaths on a £200 bike (i.e., one with a low-end commodity MTB fork rather than
    > anything specifically designed for tarmac use like Moulton's leading link designs) it's very
    > unlikely to do that.

    the OP was after info on saracen bikes for £200, I advised that if the OP get's on their proverbial
    they will find £400+ bikes avail for £200 in various sales. it's at this point your argument falls
    flat on it's face because at £400+ front forks actually become quite plush (compared to a novice on
    a rigid fork design)

    > Or, put another way, 2" is actually *worse* than nothing, especially as the money could go on
    > something that will make a bigger efficiency and/or comfort difference like a better saddle or
    > better gears.

    but on a £400+ bike the groupset / chainset will be more than adequate for a novice.

    agin, you need to remind yourself that this is not a do all be all bike, it's a hack and my advice
    is to get the cash out and get haggling for something with front suspension. the OP will get a
    decent £450 bike for around £200 - £250 (which is what the OP wanted to spend in the first place so
    no probs there)

    your advice seems to be stick with the price point and forget about and fancy gubbins, you don't
    need it as it wouldn't do you any good. which is poppycock.

    Albert
     
  16. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    albert fish wrote:

    > commuting =3D potholes, kerbs, drain holes etc.

    Going up kerbs, if you approach them slowly you can hop the front wheel=20 up and it will make no
    practical difference whether or not you have=20 suspension. If you approach them fast and don't hop
    FS will help, but=20 not as much as growing a brain and doing it at a more sensible pace. Going down
    kerbs, as long as you know how to momentarily take your=20 weight off the bars there won't be much
    shock. Same with potholes,=20 though in practice when I commuted by bike on my rigid upright tourer
    I=20 preferred to bunny-hop them.

    The thing is, these are all occasional obstacles and you can see them=20 all coming in advance and
    be sure of being on the smooth either side of=20 them. Suspension is designed to improve matters in
    continual operation, =

    not occasional blips, and though it does work on occasional blips so=20 does a bit of active rider
    input like hopping the front wheel or=20 stopping leaning on the bars for a second.

    > no need ? exqueeze me, we'll just un invent 'happy shopper' suspension =
    because
    > pete says there's no 'need' ...... market forces and all that.....

    Just because the market sells things doesn't mean they're any use. The=20 cycle market has sold lots
    of people gaspipe clunker "MTB"s with knobbly =

    off-road tyres to people who never go offroad. That's a good thing, is i= t?

    > it's a commuter, for going over bumps and putting up with the daily bat=
    tering
    > uk roads tend to give, not some esoteric time trials machine.

    Ah, so the entire range of Dawes touring bikes, made to go hundreds of=20 miles in reliable comfort
    over all sorts of roads and tracks, are=20 "esoteric time trials machines" because nobody saw fit to
    give them=20 front suspension forks? Even odder is I see quite a few of them used as =

    commuters, despite being far more expensive than FS equipped bikes are=20 available for.

    > the 'extra' weight is free, negligable and built in at this price point.

    No and No. A basic telescopic FS fork will cost more than a basic=20 Cro-Mo or Al fork and weigh
    more as well.

    > the point of suspension is not to make life easier, what a silly sugges=
    tion, it's to
    > stop harsh shocks running up your arms / wrists, a job that even cheapo=
    suspension
    > magages to do quite well.

    But that it has no *need* to do well if you can ride a bike to a=20 reasonable standard. If you come
    across a large pothole you can go=20 round it or hop the front wheel over it.

    > the OP was after info on saracen bikes for =A3200, I advised that if th=
    e OP get's on their
    > proverbial they will find =A3400+ bikes avail for =A3200 in various sal=
    es. it's at this point your
    > argument falls flat on it's face because at =A3400+ front forks actuall=
    y become quite plush
    > (compared to a novice on a rigid fork design)

    The argument doesn't fall flat on its face, because MTB suspension is=20 designed for MTB riding,
    not roads. It'll still weigh more, pogo more=20 when climbing (which is why more expensive MTB
    suspension can be locked=20 out on the fly, of course) and still not really be of that much
    benefit. =

    Oh, and it'll need more maintenance input and make the bike more=20 desirable for thieves at the
    same time. Great! Touring bikes, which aren't all about weight saving to any real degree,=20 are
    *very* rarely sold with FS forks despite being expensive machines=20 (they *start* at =A3450)
    designed for the road conditions you say make 2"=
    =20
    of travel a Big Win. The same bikes are notoriously unencumbered by=20 fashion requirements, and
    just specced to do the job as well as=20 possible. They have rigid forks for the most part. MTB and
    road suspensions are not designed the same way on serious bikes: =

    why do you think a NS Moulton doesn't use a typical MTB fork?

    > your advice seems to be stick with the price point and forget about and=
    fancy gubbins, you
    > don't need it as it wouldn't do you any good. which is poppycock.

    You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that MTBs are the=20 only bikes that are ever
    sold at reduced prices for being in last year's =

    colours etc. Not the case at all.

    You also seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that all other=20 things being equal FS is a
    clear win, but it's heavier, requires more=20 maintenance, makes the bike more knickable, reduces
    front luggage=20 options and takes climbing energy from the drivetrain. None of which=20 are
    actively good. A telescopic fork on a bike like this is a tradeoff=20 of some things against others,
    not a clear win (or Super Galaxies and=20 the like would have them). For MTB riding the plusses
    generally=20 outweigh the minuses, but not for road riding.

    And btw, I'm not just kneejerking against suspension on road bikes. If=20 I was, my main road bike
    wouldn't have full suspension, which it does.=20 But it was designed specifically and carefully for
    road riding, not the=20 assumption that sticking any suspension on *must* make things better.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  17. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "albert fish" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    snipped lots of stuff of dubious value.

    > your advice seems to be stick with the price point and forget about and
    fancy gubbins, you
    > don't need it as it wouldn't do you any good. which is poppycock.

    For streets, paths and reasonable quality bridle paths I much prefer a machine with rigid forks. OK,
    bouncy forks soften some blows but the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits (I particularly hate
    the dip of the forks as you start off).

    IMO bouncy forks come into there own only once the stuff gets rough enough -- with tehm you can go
    fast enough to maintain steering while on rigid you would probably need to stop & walk).

    Peter's advice to the OP was perfectly reasonable (certainly not poopycock).

    You demonstrate that one size does not fit all. However, I do doubt that your defence of bouncy
    bikes for the purpose described by the OP is particularly valid.

    T
     
  18. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    albert fish wrote:

    > commuting = potholes, kerbs, drain holes etc.

    > Going up kerbs, if you approach them slowly you can hop the front wheel up and it will make no
    > practical difference whether or not you have suspension.

    untrue. non suspension bikes are far easier to bunny hop. I can get my front susser about 2' off the
    ground from standstill... when I do the same on a rigid I gain an extra few inches. but I digress,
    the OP is asking about saracens, Pete, so they are hardly likely to be hopping.

    > If you approach them fast and don't hop FS will help,

    if you approach a 4" kerb at speed having 6" of travel isn't going to save you from taco'ing your
    front wheel.

    > not as much as growing a brain and doing it at a more sensible pace.

    tell me, Pete, as a denizen of the dept of medical physics, how does one 'grow' a brain ? or was
    that just a petulant monday morning off the cuff remark ?

    > Going down kerbs, as long as you know how to momentarily take your weight off the bars there won't
    > be much shock.

    yeah, right. and it's possible to do that every time ?

    some research: bump down a kerb on a rigid fork bike, full weight on the bars. then do the same on a
    bike with 2" travel in the forks, both time with a rucksac/ bag on your back at the end of a day in
    heavy traffic. see the difference ? feel it when you get home ? no? repeat experiment until it sinks
    in or your wrists snap..

    > The thing is, these are all occasional obstacles and you can see them all coming in advance and be
    > sure of being on the smooth either side of them. Suspension is designed to improve matters in
    > continual operation, not occasional blips,

    eh ? it's designed to do both. it's overall design is based around increased comfort and better
    handling, even the cheapo elastomer suspension tracks better over pebble strewn bepotholed road
    margins than fat tyre rigids, especially if you put a bit of weight on the bars to make the
    suspension work.

    > and though it does work on occasional blips so does a bit of active rider input like
    hopping the front wheel or stopping leaning on the bars for a second.

    which any rider would do anyway.

    > no need ? exqueeze me, we'll just un invent 'happy shopper' suspension because pete says there's
    > no 'need' ...... market forces and all that.....

    Just because the market sells things doesn't mean they're any use. The cycle market has sold lots of
    people gaspipe clunker "MTB"s with knobbly off-road tyres to people who never go offroad. That's a
    good thing, is it?

    yes indeed; the bikes are so crap the trails are free of the people that buy such iron ;-)

    >> it's a commuter, for going over bumps and putting up with the daily battering uk roads tend to
    >> give, not some esoteric time trials machine.

    > Ah, so the entire range of Dawes touring bikes, made to go hundreds of miles in reliable comfort
    > over all sorts of roads and tracks, are "esoteric time trials machines" because nobody saw fit to
    > give them front suspension forks? Even odder is I see quite a few of them used as commuters,
    > despite being far more expensive than FS equipped bikes are available for.

    lets just bring this thread back to reality, shall we ? the OP was asking if saracen bikes were
    any good, they're not (but someone somewhere will have evidence to disprove that, I'm sure)
    *your* suggestion : " I'd personally say forget front suspension at this price level is flawed
    for 2 reasons:

    1/ the pricepoint of £200 is just a rrp/ssp and many decent £400+ bikes have been seen in the wild
    for up to 50% off, evans cycles just had a massive sale for expmple. check out their ad in this
    months MTBR.

    2/ for the £200 the OP has to spend you would have to be a blind man on a galloping horse not to
    notice that such sales would be tha place to buy a bike.

    so, I reiterate:

    >> the OP was after info on saracen bikes for £200, I advised that if the OP get's on their
    >> proverbial they will find £400+ bikes avail for £200 in various sales. it's at this point your
    >> argument falls flat on it's face because at £400+ front forks actually become quite plush
    >> (compared to a novice on a rigid fork design)

    > The argument doesn't fall flat on its face, because MTB suspension is designed for MTB riding,
    > not roads.

    /cough/ it's desigened for bumps, they don't *have* to be up a mountain....

    > It'll still weigh more,

    Granted. but the difference will be the difference between a rucksack containing 4 sarnies and a
    flask of tea versus four sarnies and a packet of biscuits. bugger all in real terms and only
    pertinent when attempting a win on points.

    > pogo more when climbing

    and the OP is going to be doing how many uphill sprints ? sure, my forks dip when I get a wiggel on
    up a hill, I burn more calories and get some upper body excercise at the same time. I can weigh that
    off against the lack of jarring over the gazillions of lumps & bumps

    > Oh, and it'll need more maintenance input

    and someone buying at the saracen end of the market would view this how ?

    <snip blah>

    > MTB and road suspensions are not designed the same way on serious bikes:

    no shit...

    > why do you think a NS Moulton doesn't use a typical MTB fork?

    geometry akin to the early 70's choppers ? (motorcycle) rake, etc ?

    > You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that MTBs are the only bikes that are ever sold
    > at reduced prices for being in last year's colours etc. Not the case at all.

    no, you just assume that I'm labouring, I'm not. and it's not just MTBs that are sold off cheap,
    apparently it's done with every stock item that's suffering oversupply, especially in cramped cycle
    shops with low margins and low turnover.

    > You also seem to be labouring under the misapprehension

    again, I'm not labouring (you seem to like that phrase) I'm currently multitasking quite nicely and
    not labouring in any department.

    > that all other things being equal FS is a clear win,

    all things being equal, it is. I see many people on city roads with front suspension bikes of all
    shapes and sizes but, oddly enough, I never see rigid fork bikes out on the trail. so it would be
    fair to say if you wanted to experience the full range of terrain in your locale ( and, lets face
    it, who buys any kind of MTB without having that dream lodged firmly in their heads) you'd be better
    off getting *some* kind of suspension bike, if only to avoid having to buy another bike when the bug
    bites (as it surely would) neatly avoiding the need to buy a more suitable, better equiped bike.

    > but it's heavier, requires more maintenance, makes the bike more knickable, reduces front luggage
    > options and takes climbing energy from the drivetrain.

    are not good enough reasons *not* to buy into front suspension.

    maintenance? forget about it at this price point, you'll get three years out of it no probs, by
    which time some nice pace / manitou will be found at the back of your LBS for a few quid.

    nickable ? roll back the application of good design and looks 'cos it *may* make it more nickable ?
    I don't think so, it's not the way things are, either.

    luggae options ? you're getting desperate now, it's a hack / commuter !

    energy from the drivetrain ? it's hack/commuter bike. the losses will be negligable 5% ? and the OP
    would not notice, given that they will probably be too concerned at the pain in their
    wrists/lungs/legs for the first few months...

    for the £235 the OP is thinking of spending on a saracen I managed to get a much better bike, in
    fact, I got 2 (almost £900's worth rrp) of bikes for £450 cash a saving of 50% and this was not in a
    sale, per se, I just know when to strike :)

    I also refused to cement the deal until I got a free pump. lock and trouser clips, etc.

    Cash talks. I *know* the shop didn't declare the cash to the revenue because the I was told the
    "till was out of action" and I was given a stamped, handwritten receipt.

    fairy snuff:

    the LBS cleared some space, I got a great deal. A win win situation that I have managed to hustle
    three other people through (different shops, different towns) with similar results

    it's empirical evedence, bargains are out there and it's enough to convince me to at least try, and
    there's no reason to think the OP will be any less sucessful, especially if they scout out a, say,
    £400 bike at the back of the shop, covered in a thick layer of dust and start the haggle at 4:30 pm
    on a friday (sunnier the better)

    at the end of the day, you pays yer money and makes yer choice and my choice would be to haggle like
    a demon for the best most feature laden cycle I could get for my money (disregarding geegaws and
    fashion items, of course) because the OP *will* want to get off road at some point and a rigid fork
    bike, over treestumps and 2" pebbles, is no fun beyond the age of 12

    your assertation that I think 'one is better than the other' misses what I consider to be the
    essential point to this thread: the OP now has your opinion and mine.


    Albert
     
  19. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    albert fish wrote:

    > untrue. non suspension bikes are far easier to bunny hop. I can get my =
    front susser about
    > 2' off the ground from standstill... when I do the same on a rigid I ga=
    in an extra few inches.
    > but I digress, the OP is asking about saracens, Pete, so they are hard=
    ly likely to be hopping.

    Why on earth not? I hop my upright tourer, my Brompton and my MTB. Any =

    upright bike is reasonably easy to hop, at least the front wheel.

    And the OP was actually asking about "a general bike for towpaths and=20 commuting etc.", and the
    post certainly isn't restricted in scope to=20 Saracen bikes (like, how about the Giant specifically
    mentioned...).

    > tell me, Pete, as a denizen of the dept of medical physics, how does on=
    e 'grow' a brain ?
    > or was that just a petulant monday morning off the cuff remark ?

    I actually meant if you actually bother to think you can avoid problems=20 crossing kerbs. (Though I
    can see why you'd be interested in the more=20 literal answer.)

    > yeah, right. and it's possible to do that every time ?

    Errr, yes. Why not? I've never experienced a problem in 25+ years of=20 doing it regularly
    day to day.

    > some research: bump down a kerb on a rigid fork bike, full weight on th=
    e bars.

    I won't do that research because I don't put my full weight on the bars=20 going over kerbs because
    it's stupid.

    > then do the same on a bike with 2" travel in the forks, both time with =
    a rucksac/
    > bag on your back at the end of a day in heavy traffic. see the differen=
    ce ? feel it
    > when you get home ? no? repeat experiment until it sinks in or your wri=
    sts snap..

    or until you learn not to lean on things taking impacts when you have no =

    need to do so. btw, "heavy traffic" doesn't go over kerbs, so you=20 wouldn't be in it. If you get
    into heavy traffic streams over pavement=20 kerbs then you're simply demonstrating a further lack of
    intelligence=20 than you'd managed up until now.

    > hopping the front wheel or stopping leaning on the bars for a second.

    either

    > which any rider would do anyway.

    Not according to the implications of your "research experiment" they don'=
    t.

    > yes indeed; the bikes are so crap the trails are free of the people th=
    at buy such iron ;-)

    So you are at least bright enough to agree that just because the market=20 has been able to sell
    things to people it doesn't mean it's a good thing.=

    > lets just bring this thread back to reality, shall we ? the OP was aski=
    ng if saracen
    > bikes were any good, they're not (but someone somewhere will have evide=
    nce to
    > disprove that, I'm sure) *your* suggestion : " I'd personally say forge=
    t front suspension
    > at this price level is flawed for 2 reasons:

    To quote the OP: "Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for
    towpaths and commuting etc.

    My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for =A3200 (+rack & mudguards)

    Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for =A3235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    guys think?"

    He's had a FS Giant suggested by the LBS, and asks about a specific=20 Saracen bike also with FS as
    an alternative. This rather implies he's=20 looking actively at a FS bike as the thing to do what he
    wants best. I=20 don't think it is, which is why I said so.

    > 1/ the pricepoint of =A3200 is just a rrp/ssp and many decent =A3400+ b=
    ikes have been
    > seen in the wild for up to 50% off, evans cycles just had a massive sa=
    le for expmple.
    > check out their ad in this months MTBR.

    You're still failing to realise that an MTB with FS is designed to do a=20 different job than is
    being requested by the OP, so this is not=20 relevant. Pointing out that a rigid forked machine will
    probably do his =

    particular job better is relevant.

    > 2/ for the =A3200 the OP has to spend you would have to be a blind man =
    on a galloping
    > horse not to notice that such sales would be tha place to buy a bike.

    And as I pointed out, the sort of bike I suggested can also get into=20 sales. But it's also the
    point that sales only allow you to get what's=20 in the sales, and if there's a better machine for
    the job for the same=20 price new, because what's in the sales doesn't match up to the job in=20
    hand, then you're better off there. For the job in hand FS makes very=20 little sense at all unless
    it's designed for relatively good surfaces.=20 MTB forks aren't.

    > /cough/ it's desigened for bumps, they don't *have* to be up a mountain=
    =2E...

    It's designed for large bumps in large quantities, so the design allows=20 for a great deal more
    impact absorption than is required on the road.=20 This in turn makes them heavier and more wasteful
    of energy, both of=20 which will very probably offset the comfort benefits of having them=20 there
    considerably. Have a look at Moulton suspension and notice how=20 very different approaches have
    been taken to take on the rather=20 different job in hand.

    > Granted. but the difference will be the difference between a rucksack c=
    ontaining 4 sarnies
    > and a flask of tea versus four sarnies and a packet of biscuits. bugger=
    all in real terms and
    > only pertinent when attempting a win on points.

    But why have any difference at all, when having it confers no real=20 advantage? That's just stupid,
    especially where the money can go on=20 something more useful to the job in hand.

    > and the OP is going to be doing how many uphill sprints ?

    Quite possibly none, but if you think that you only lose power to=20 suspension if you're sprinting
    then it just goes to show you're ignorant =

    about it (why is that not a surprise?).

    > sure, my forks dip when I get a wiggel on up a hill, I burn more calories and get some upper
    > body exc=
    ercise at the same
    > time. I can weigh that off against the lack of jarring over the gazilli=
    ons of lumps & bumps

    Which are a figment of your imagination, judging from the way touring=20 cyclists ride a lot further
    than you without suspension (and harder,=20 narrower tyres as well) and don't feel the need for it.

    > and someone buying at the saracen end of the market would view this how=
    ?

    As a result of this thread he probably *won't* be buying one, because=20 he's shown enough brains to
    do some research. And if he carries on in=20 that vein he'll probably be smart enough to realise
    that maintenance is=20 an important thing too.

    > no shit...

    that's right.

    > geometry akin to the early 70's choppers ? (motorcycle) rake, etc ?

    Errrr, no. The geometry of a NSM is nothing like a Chopper. What *are* =

    you talking about?

    > all things being equal, it is.

    Except in all those places it isn't, which I even helpfully pointed out.

    > I see many people on city roads with front suspension bikes of all shapes and sizes but, oddly
    > enough, I never see rigid fork=
    bikes out
    > on the trail.=20

    Then (a) you don't look very carefully and (b) that is in no way=20 relevant to the roads. Roads and
    trails aren't the same, which is why=20 different designs have proven better at the different things
    they offer.

    > so it would be fair to say if you wanted to experience the full range of terrain in your locale (
    > and, lets face it, who buys any kind of MTB=
    without having
    > that dream lodged firmly in their heads) you'd be better off getting *s=
    ome* kind of
    > suspension bike, if only to avoid having to buy another bike when the b=
    ug bites (as
    > it surely would) neatly avoiding the need to buy a more suitable, bette=
    r equiped bike.

    But the OP didn't say he wanted to do that. In fact he very=20 specifically said otherwise. So the
    answer to your "if" is "no", so the =

    rest of that paragraph disappears up its own arse.

    > are not good enough reasons *not* to buy into front suspension.

    They are, actually. Which is why very few high end upright road bikes=20 have it, and when they do
    it's generally very different to what you find =

    on an MTB.

    > maintenance? forget about it at this price point

    It is exceptionally stupid to think you can forget maintenance at *any*=20 price point.

    > nickable ? roll back the application of good design and looks 'cos it *=
    may* make
    > it more nickable ? I don't think so, it's not the way things are, eithe=
    u.

    It isn't the application of good design though, it's the application of=20 "me too" engineering
    where it's assumed that because something is good=20 in one context it must be good in another. And
    it is the way things are.=

    > luggae options ? you're getting desperate now, it's a hack / commuter !=

    I'm not at all desperate. Some people carry things on commutes, and I=20 certainly carry shopping on
    hacks. Not having to carry a rucksak=20 improves cycling comfort and reduces the need for a shower
    and change at =

    the other end as you won't have a sweaty back. Which is more useful=20 than FS on a road,
    quite frankly.

    > energy from the drivetrain ? it's hack/commuter bike.

    So why arrive at the end of your commute having used more energy than=20 you need to? Doing so when
    you have an easy option not to is simply stup=
    ua.

    > the losses will be negligable 5% ? and the OP would not notice, given that they will probably
    > be too =
    concerned
    > at the pain in their wrists/lungs/legs for the first few months...

    If the effect of riding a rigid bike was nearly as bad as you imply then =

    nobody would have bothered much with bikes for most of the last 150=20 years. As I pointed out,
    serious distance machines costing serious=20 money and with a priority applied to distance comfort
    are sold with=20 rigid forks, and they wouldn't be if that was a genuine problem.

    > for the =A3235 the OP is thinking of spending on a saracen I managed to=
    get
    > a much better bike, in fact, I got 2 (almost =A3900's worth rrp) of bik=
    es for =A3450 cash
    > a saving of 50% and this was not in a sale, per se, I just know when to=
    strike :)

    But if they're not fitted to the job in hand that's not actually value=20 for money.

    > I also refused to cement the deal until I got a free pump. lock and tro=
    user clips, etc.
    >=20
    > Cash talks. I *know* the shop didn't declare the cash to the revenue be=
    cause the
    > I was told the "till was out of action" and I was given a stamped, hand=
    written receipt.

    Good for you. There's nothing about that that is limited to a=20 suspension bike though.

    > at the end of the day, you pays yer money and makes yer choice and my c=
    hoice
    > would be to haggle like a demon for the best most feature laden cycle I=
    could get
    > for my money (disregarding geegaws and fashion items, of course)=20

    Rather ironic that you think FS isn't a geegaw and fashion item when=20 applied to road riding,
    because for the most part (i.e., aside from=20 suspension setups designed specifically for road use)
    that's just what=20 they are.

    > *will* want to get off road at some point

    How do you know? Or have you just made a blind assumption apropos of=20 nothing in particular?
    Plenty of people have no particular desire to=20 get offroad on trails, and if you think otherwise
    you're just=20 demonstrating you only know a somewhat unrepresentative cross section of =

    cyclists.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  20. In message <[email protected]>, Dennis <[email protected]> writes
    >Picking a bike seems to be a minefield. I'm just looking for a general bike for towpaths and
    >commuting etc.
    >
    >My LBS suggests a Giant GSR Comfort AluxX FS for £200 (+rack & mudguards)
    >
    >Or, i've seen a - team saracen hyroad for £235 at http://www.saracen.co.uk/hyroad.html what do you
    >guys think? TIA Den
    >
    >
    >

    Hello Den,

    I would have no qualms about buying a Giant bike. My wife and I have owned Giant mountain bikes for
    about 9 years and they have been extensively used on and off-road throughout Europe, including
    mountain trails in the Alps. We have had no problems beyond normal wear and tear. They have fixed
    forks which goes to show that these things do go along trails! I think the situation now is that
    it's difficult to get a 'utility' bike without front suspension so the discussion about its pros and
    cons is, perhaps, a bit theoretical.

    We're so happy with our Giants that we've recently bought two Giant road bikes. Giant is the biggest
    manufacturer in the world and appears to be able to apply economy of scale to its pricing. I think
    you tend to get more bike for your money from Giant.

    Personally I don't like the look of the two bikes you mentioned. For me they're too
    'sit-up-and-beg'. I would buy more of a mountain bike from the Giant Terrago or Boulder ranges.
    Apart from the styling I would feel happier using it in a variety of different situations. I think
    the 'comfort' bikes look as if they're made for people who want to potter about town.

    It may now be too late but I think the best advice anyone could give you is to look around for last
    year's models. If you can find one that fits you should be able to get something pretty good for
    £200-£250.

    Hope this helps.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
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