Sizing flat-bar roadies & opinions on Avanti Blade 8



suzyj

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Mar 22, 2004
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A couple of quick questions for those of you with more experience than I have in these flat handlebar thingies…

I'm considering buying an Avanti Blade 8 (with Nexus-8 hub gears) for commuting, to save my better bikes for weekend use.

I’m very particular about the size of my road bikes, and like the handlebars to be in fairly specific positions relative to the seat/bottom bracket, depending on what the bike’s to be used for. In general, I size my bikes by top-tube, as everything else is fairly adjustable.

Now of course my sizing to date is predicated on drop bars, where my usual hand position is on the corners of the bars or on the tops of the hoods. One imagines that sizing a flat bar bike the same way as my roadies would mean that the bars are at the same spot as the tops, implying that I’d be fairly upright. Should I go an extra couple of centimetres in TT length to get a sort of compromise tops/corners/hoods position? I’d imagine that this would result in the frame being rather on the big size, and thus mean that I can’t get the bars as low as I like…

I’m thinking a frame much the same size as what I’d do in a roadie (55 square), is the go, but with a stem a centimetre or so longer… Maybe a 12 rather than a 10. I do wish the bike makers would publish proper cad drawings of their bikes.

What are people’s thoughts? Also, what are people's thoughts on the Blade 8?

Cheers,

Suzy
 

flyingdutch

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Feb 8, 2004
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would be sorely tempted to gets one myself.

I 'could' delude myself into thinking they came up with the Blade8 as i sent off 'feedback to the Avanti people's saying they could easily make a very sellable coomuter if they whacked a hubgear onto a Blade frame
(I did also mention disc brakes, rack, guards too but to no avail :( )
but probably more likely it was european trends that urged them to do it?

Anyway, cant help on sizing. try one/measure one in the flesh?

Get narrow bars and bar ends. the lil' short ones. you dont use more than the first 2 inches...

The Inter8 hub is the 'lower' of the 2 models. slightly heavier and not quite as good seals on it apparently as the one with the red-stripe
but still quite OK apparently

get a drive-enclosing guard to complete the picture :D:D:D
 
D

DeF

Guest
suzyj wrote:
> A couple of quick questions for those of you with more experience than I
> have in these flat handlebar thingies…


SNIP

>
> Cheers,
>
> Suzy
>
>


Just a few thoughts that I hope are not completely useless..

My spouse has the Avanti Blade Comp (27 sp, mixture
of middle/lower range shimano stuff). I nice bike and
I've had a ride although it's a bit small for me. I
like the frame, it seems to be set up like a traditional
touring frame and thought if they put drop bars on it,
it would make a nice tourer.

So what about that as an option? As well as the bike,
you would need to fork out for bars and shifters. Not
sure about using "normal" brake levers with v-brakes
(although the blade 8 has calliper brakes I think). Adds
a bit to the cost of the bike but then you might just
end up with exactly what you want.

WRT flat bars, I've got an MTB with slicks that I use
for commuting (only about 15 minutes). I've been for
longer rides (over an hour) and find that I get uncomfortable
being in the same riding position. The big advantage of
drop bars is the variety of riding positions you have,
especially with the angle of you upper body.


I think the idea of hub gears on "general purpose" bikes
is a great one - you can use a heavier, longer lasting
chain, lower maintenance, simplicity of operation etc.
Should be more of them.

DeF.



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Rory Williams

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Sep 3, 2003
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suzyj said:
get the bars as low as I like…

I’m thinking a frame much the same size as what I’d do in a roadie (55 square), is the go, but with a stem a centimetre or so longer… Maybe a 12 rather than a 10. I do wish the bike makers would publish proper cad drawings of their bikes.

Suzy


I think my gut feel would be to go with your road size and tweak the stem or bar ends in the first instance.

My understanding of the nexus system is that it should work with any of their shifters (I was told this about the 7 speed hubs) so you if you felt dropbar deprivation could always switch to dropbars and a suitable road brifter, although if it has V brakes it's more fiddly. To get round this on my so called dirt-road bike I run dropbars,v-brakes, dia-compe V285 levers, and barcon shifters.

RoryW
 

SteveA

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Jul 15, 2004
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flyingdutch said:
would be sorely tempted to gets one myself.

I 'could' delude myself into thinking they came up with the Blade8 as i sent off 'feedback to the Avanti people's saying they could easily make a very sellable coomuter if they whacked a hubgear onto a Blade frame
(I did also mention disc brakes, rack, guards too but to no avail :( )
but probably more likely it was european trends that urged them to do it?

Anyway, cant help on sizing. try one/measure one in the flesh?

Get narrow bars and bar ends. the lil' short ones. you dont use more than the first 2 inches...

The Inter8 hub is the 'lower' of the 2 models. slightly heavier and not quite as good seals on it apparently as the one with the red-stripe
but still quite OK apparently

get a drive-enclosing guard to complete the picture :D:D:D


One of the guys at work has one. He commutes from Fremantle to Perth each day and he is in his late-60s. He also has a Shimano generator hub on his. Noice.

SteveA
 

suzyj

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Mar 22, 2004
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Rory Williams wrote:

> My understanding of the nexus system is that it should work with
> any of their shifters (I was told this about the 7 speed hubs) so
> you if you felt dropbar deprivation could always switch to dropbars
> and a suitable road brifter, although if it has V brakes it's more fiddly.

I've read otherwise. Apparently the cable pull (and even direction) differs between Shimano's hub gears and their derailleur gears.

You can get an extension piece that goed in the end of a set of drop bars to mount the shifter, but that's a nasty compromise.

Though having said that, I imagine it would be fun to take a decent downtube shifter (like the lovely Campy record ones I have that frighten Hippy), and machine up a pulley setup to make them work with the hub... But then the complexity of such a thing sort of goes against the idea of a simple, cheap, bulletproof bike.

Cheers,

Suzy
 

Rory Williams

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Sep 3, 2003
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suzyj said:
Rory Williams wrote:

> My understanding of the nexus system is that it should work with
> any of their shifters (I was told this about the 7 speed hubs) so
> you if you felt dropbar deprivation could always switch to dropbars
> and a suitable road brifter, although if it has V brakes it's more fiddly.

I've read otherwise. Apparently the cable pull (and even direction) differs between Shimano's hub gears and their derailleur gears.

You can get an extension piece that goed in the end of a set of drop bars to mount the shifter, but that's a nasty compromise.

Though having said that, I imagine it would be fun to take a decent downtube shifter (like the lovely Campy record ones I have that frighten Hippy), and machine up a pulley setup to make them work with the hub... But then the complexity of such a thing sort of goes against the idea of a simple, cheap, bulletproof bike.

Cheers,

Suzy

As I remember my earlier informant was at StKilda cycles. Perhaps the 7s and 8s are different. Granted they are in Melbourne but they may respond to an email. They're on the web. I was talking to them when I was thinking of building up a wheel on a 7 speed hub but other projects have come along. In the end I make up an old shimano 3 speed into a 700c wheel and that has been fun, but I am probably going to convert that bike into a single/fixed.

For a knock-about uncomplicated bike how about a three-speed?- a three-speed with coaster brake is also a pretty clean look. I,ve got one of those too.

What about a Sachs/sram? I think Greenspeed get those in.

Building a 7 or 8 internal wheel one up and fitting it into an old frame might be nice, but having a complete new bike might also be nice, I haven't had an actual new from the shop bike since 1985 (plays violin......).

have fun

RoryW
 

suzyj

New Member
Mar 22, 2004
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Rory Williams wrote:

> For a knock-about uncomplicated bike how about a
> three-speed?- a three-speed with coaster brake is
> also a pretty clean look. I,ve got one of those too.

The thing that attracts me to the Avanti Blade is that it's really cheap. I couldn't make a bike like that for anywhere near the money. Just the hub and shifter alone would be ~$250, and Avanti are selling the whole box and dice for $900.

Cheers,

Suzy
 

gescom

New Member
Sep 18, 2003
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Hi Suzy

Try the following pdf for the Avanti Blade frame geometry:

http://www.avanti.co.nz/files/Avanti%20Geometry%20-%20Comfort%20%20Fitness%20&%20Electra.pdf

Quite a long effective/horizontal top tube size: medium is 570mm and small 536. The headtube length is listed as well.
 
D

DeF

Guest
Suzy,

What you need is here....
http://www.gazelle.nl/c2006/collection.php

All in Dutch but why can't we get bikes like these
here? Most of the bikes are heavy (15 to 20kg plus) but
they look bullet proof! It's be great tooting up the
free way bike path here in Perth, past the stationary
traffic on one of these. Not much fun into a head wind
though.

DeF


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ghostgum

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Aug 30, 2005
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suzyj said:
The thing that attracts me to the Avanti Blade is that it's really cheap. I couldn't make a bike like that for anywhere near the money. Just the hub and shifter alone would be ~$250, and Avanti are selling the whole box and dice for $900.

That bike looks interesting. Do you know the number of teeth on the rear
sprocket? I'm trying to compare the gear range with my bikes and that
is the missing piece of information. How much does the bike weigh?
I may be looking for a commuter bike.
 

Rory Williams

New Member
Sep 3, 2003
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suzyj said:
Rory Williams wrote:

> For a knock-about uncomplicated bike how about a
> three-speed?- a three-speed with coaster brake is
> also a pretty clean look. I,ve got one of those too.

The thing that attracts me to the Avanti Blade is that it's really cheap. I couldn't make a bike like that for anywhere near the money. Just the hub and shifter alone would be ~$250, and Avanti are selling the whole box and dice for $900.

Cheers,

Suzy

Most definately there is that to be said for it. I think I was looking at nearer $300 which was rather off-putting. Anyway, building it yourself doesn't make the sizing issue go away. I think I'd still go with the equivelent of your road size, and tweak the stem ect. Much cheaper to do a dropbar conversion (if its possible) in the future.

Now I'm thinking, what about an 8 speed hub into one of my spare Raleigh 20 folding frames.......?

Yo
RoryW
 

suzyj

New Member
Mar 22, 2004
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flyingdutch

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Feb 8, 2004
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suzyj said:
I hired a similar bike for a week in Dwingeloo (little town in the middle of the Netherlands) a couple of years ago. It was made by Giant, of all people.

See http://www.giant-bicycles.com/nl/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?model=10298 for the current model, though the one I hired was seven speed. It was an absolutely wonderful bike - stable and strong as an ox.

Cheers,

Suzy (fietsenophile)

Giant are definetely a different beast in europe.

check this out for a practical giant bike...
http://www.sharedutchdesign.nl/images/milan/2005/d14.jpg


the range of these kind of bikes in Germany / Switzrland is staggering!
Must be 80% of the rohloff market right there.
 

ghostgum

New Member
Aug 30, 2005
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suzyj said:
The thing that attracts me to the Avanti Blade is that it's really cheap. I couldn't make a bike like that for anywhere near the money. Just the hub and shifter alone would be ~$250, and Avanti are selling the whole box and dice for $900.

I had a look at an Avanti Blade 8 today, and was also shown the
Specialized Crossroads Hub. Some differences.

Avanti Blade 8
28mm wide tyres
fixed head stem
twist grip shifter
bar ends
38T front 16T rear
$1000 RRP?
Specialized
38mm wide tyres
more room for mudguards
adjustable head stem
push lever shifters (although these are reversed from a MTB rear derailer - hard push goes up a gear, button goes down)
46T front and unknown rear, so I can't compare the gear ratios
$1100 RRP?
The gear range seems to be similar to what you get on a MTB when you use the middle front chain ring. The Specialized is about $100 more.
Not much choice in colour - hope you like road camouflage grey.

Given my new commuting route along bumpy bike paths, the wider 38mm
tyres are probably a better choice.
 
S

Snuffy

Guest
I have a Blade 8 that I ride to work... I'm busy packing at the
moment, so can't write anything specific at the moment, but I'll point
you to something I wrote earlier....

http://www.wurple.net/?p=32

I'll add more thoughts Monday.... :)
 
S

Snuffy

Guest
Yay! It's not Monday and I'm adding something.... couldn't sleep
(excitement about going away this weekend maybe...), so what else to do
but hop onto AB :p

>From my recollection, the info on avanti.nz and avantibikes.com is a

little bit different from the Aussie version of the bikes... there's a
few parts (brakes, wheels, cranks, tyres I think) that are different
between countries....

Other bikes to look at...
- Trek S300 - Very similar price and spec except for a rear coaster
brake....
- Specialized Crossroad Hub - More expensive. Didn't investigate specs
cos I found this after I bought my Blade 8

If you're really picky about your geometry and position, on top of the
things that I put in my review, you might also want to change the
seatpost... I'm no fatso, but the suspension moved a fair bit, which
made it pretty tricky to get my setup just right... although now I
think about it....~700km in, the seatpost has firmed up a fair bit (or
maybe I just got used to it)...

Also, the handlebars are pretty wide... haven't bothered to measure the
B8, but when I went back to my roadie after 4 solid weeks on the B8, I
forgot how to sprint cos I felt all bunched up (I think I have 44cm
bars on my roadie).....

Anyway, better get moving.... *gone for the weekend* :)
 

suzyj

New Member
Mar 22, 2004
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Hi guys,

I dropped in to Northside Cyclery last night and bought a medium Blade Eight. They also had a Specialised Crossroads there, but I don't really go for super-wide tyres, and I thought the pushbutton gear levers were a bit on the cheesy side, so I went with the Blade.

They swapped the seatpost for a Kalloy non-suspension one (the suspension seatpost it comes with can only be described as dinky), and I got them to put Shimano PD-M324 SPD/cage pedals on.

All-up cost was $980. Once I got home I put a Flite saddle on, and removed the plastic chain-guard.

It's geared 38/18, which is a touch low - when the chainring wears out, I'll replace the cranks with some nice Miche or similar track ones, and run a 42 odd tooth chainwheel. The cranks it came with are about an inch wider than they need to be.

It's a real hoot to ride. I bought the medium, which is 57cm long. The geometry is quite close to what I'd do if I were designing the frame. The wheels are pretty good, the quality of finish on the frame is extraordinary, and the parts (with the exception of the seatpost) are of good quality.

I've got a little money left over, so I'm going to order a Nexus dyno hub for the front. I also need to get new mounting hardware for my rack, as the frame is quite compact, and the rack mounts are a long way down. I'll probably take a few inches off the handlebars on the weekend, as they're on the wide side.

Riding it to work this morning was a blast. It handles really well. I keep reaching down to the downtube to change gears, as well as looking at the cog to see what gear I'm in. The gear range is reasonably wide, but it's lacking a tad in the top end.

All in all, I'm awfully close to commuter nirvana.

Cheers,

Suzy