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  • Andy B

    cool looking bike but my god that’s heavy!

  • velocite

    I don’t know who would want one of these. You can get a lighter, better bike for touring, commuting or gravelling for the same money. And surely, if what you want is the retro aesthetic, you’re some kind of connoisseur who would pay more for something better. I think it will fail.

  • Velt

    Thanks for the review! Do you know which shops in Perth would have one on hand to try out?

    • Sorry, you’re going to have to make some calls.

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  • Avuncular

    As mentioned this bike is under geared if used for serious touring fitted with 4 panniers racks etc. The disc brakes are also a turn off to the touring crowd who are still suspicious of their perceived complexity and overkill but if using lighter bikepacking gear for overnighters or short tours then as specced this bike may suffice. The Vivente range is far better value as a home grown tourer. Basically it needs to lose several kilos and be better specced for the hard core gravel crowd I suspect.

  • Perry

    thanks for the review,
    been looking at this bike for a while. though the lack of info on it and trying to find somewhere that carries it for a test is difficult. interesting that this new model has updated to flat mount disks compared to IS mount from last year,but have also downgraded from RS685 leaver and brakes to significantly cheaper RS505 leavers and brakes, while maintaining the same price point. the photos on the malvern star website still show the older model even though they have updated the specs.

  • Mark

    2×11 gearing hard to figure out?? Just try it for a while Matt, you’ll get used to it.

    • david__g

      This seriously bugs me – we’ve been using two chain rings for ages – yet as soon as 1 x becomes popular people act like it’s the most difficult thing in the world and they were just waiting waiting waiting to ditch them in favour of the new flavour of the month. I like 1 x drivetrains, but I’m not going to pretend to be dumb to make some kind of weird point about them.

      • The key point here is how much easier it is to use a 1×11 transmission off-road.

    • crossgeared

      Complaining about a double chainring is absurd and seriously diminishes the credibility of this review.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that if this bike arrived with a 1x drivetrain, the reviewer would question the lack of a small ring on such a “Very heavy” bike.

      • Any review that provides an honest account of the experience with the bike is a credible one in my view. While it’s important to keep the reader engaged, my primary aim with every review is to be true to my experience.

        My experience with the 1×11 transmission on Cannondale’s Slate (https://cyclingtips.com/2016/04/cannondale-slate-force-cx1-review/) really highlighted what kind of disadvantage a 2×11 can be when riding off-road. I’ve reported elsewhere on the utility of 1×11 for the road (https://cyclingtips.com/2015/11/will-the-front-derailleur-become-obsolete-on-road-bikes-a-review-on-srams-1x/), where I found that the jump between each ratio was generally a little too large for my liking. Off-road, that complaint disappears because the terrain is more demanding and small jumps in gear ratios are too fine to assist the rider.

        I believe that far too much emphasis is placed on other aspects of the bike when the utility of the machine almost entirely depends upon its gearing. But, that utility is depends on the rider, the bike itself (weight, tyres etc) and the terrain they choose to tackle. In this instance, I would choose a 1×11 setup with a 36T chainring and 10-42 cassette and sacrifice a couple of the high ratios for road use in favour of an extra low ratio to suit the heavier weight of the bike and to bail me out on steep pitches off-road. Alternatively, The 34/50T double could be swapped out for 24/34 for lower ratios for the same kind of effect. Ultimately, the choice becomes a matter of personal taste.

  • George Darroch

    I like it and I’m tempted.

    Indurain won the TdF on a 10.2kg bike as recently as 1993. 12.7 isn’t outrageous for an alloy bike with discs and a medium groupset.

  • ryderdt1

    What are peoples thoughts on this bike? keen to get something like this but dont know what else to compare it against? Thanks for the review

    • Sean parker

      Depends what you want to use it for.

      For sustained gravel, fire trail and light trail riding I’d go down the route of

      an aluminium gravel grinder/cx bike.

      If you want a bike you can ride in the mountains of azerbaijan on that round the world bike tour, and you think steel might be the material because a backyard welder can fix your bike, this bike is probably not what you want anyway – you want a touring bike.

      If you want a steel bike that looks good to pose around town; then this bike has no cachet. You’ll need something bespoke with a quirky touch: like a top tube with a moustache-wax pot brazed on, or something. Google ‘steel is real’ – you’ll see what i mean. Either way you’re paying twice or three times as much to have a hipster, who has done a tafe welding course, instead of a taiwanese guy that’s built 4,000,000 frames, weld it.

      or, for moderate cachet a second hand steel race bike (like an old colnago or pinarello ) will do,especially if it has old-school sharps container bosses on the down tube – it will ride as well as a modern carbon bike but will be heavier, rustier and more expensive. If it has an old-school quill stem it will also handle worse, a quality aficionados call ‘compliance’ or ‘the ineffable feel of steel’.

      If you really want a steel bike, with maximum cachet, that works well on the road than you are in uber-bespoke teritory and it’s a baum or pegorreti that you are after, which will cost you $17,000 more. For that you should be able to get a bike that is as light and well handling as a carbon bike 1/4 the price.

      If you want a steel bike that works well for utilitarian purposes and has a kind of homegrown cabbages, scratchy flax shirt and unwashed dreadlock kind of appeal then a salsa or surly bike is comparable. great bikes that will cost you twice as much but will never break. You will need to break in that brooks saddle at some stage though – which is reputedly like being pummelled, by a boxer, repeatedly on the anus for 6 months. But you could tow a trailer with your organic produce to the farmers’ market and pick up some ancient grains sourdough for the trip home.

      On second thoughts, splash out and get a cannondale CAAD 12 disc 105. It’s effably good but just don’t put a pretendy brooks saddle on it.

  • Durian Rider

    I like the colors and logo text.

    I also like the fact you could run mountain bike cranks on it and the band clamp FD would be able to be moved down enough to have perfect shifting.

  • singlespeedscott

    Most of the weight could be easily carved off with some thoughtful component upgrades

    The terrible handling at low speed and to much stability at high speed can be attributed to the to slack a headtube. To slack a headtube gives the bike to much wheel flop, a trait that I think is highly undesirable in a gravel style bike. Why they insist on such slack headtubes for this style of bike is beyond me. I would prefer a steeper head angle and more fork rack to give it lower trail to improve its handling at lower speeds.

  • Albert

    Great review. Good to see something other than a high-priced road bike.
    Definitely looks like a classic touring bike (although with discs instead of cantis).
    However, with the growing popularity of bike-packing and frame bags, one wonders whether bike tourists still need racks and paniers, particular when frame bags perform so much better off-road.

  • Chris Bennetts

    I bought one about a month ago as a long distance utility/commuter. For that, it probably does the job for me. The steel frame weighs as much as a battleship, but it does wonderful things for the ride quality, and that’s what I need over distance. Drivetrain and brakes are a great improvement over the old 10 speed 105 that I’ve previously had.

    Besides the weight, I think the let-down is in the wheels. There’s a lot of rotating weight there, and it is noticeable. When I get the chance, I’m going to try some 28 or 32c tyres, and perhaps do something about some lighter rims. It’ll be interesting to see the effect that has on the ride quality.

    • Ric

      I bought an Oppy S1 6 weeks ago, first bike for 15 years. I have just returned from a trip to Carnarvon Gorge in QLD, a round trip of 2300klm, darn near killed me because I wasn’t that fit. It has a 50/34 crank and a 11/32 cassette. I live in the New England area sans massive hills, weight was 45 kgs panniers, 15kgs bike and racks, myself 74 kgs. On the hills I prodomitely stayed in 7th gear, (its an 8 speed) for the hills. My previous bike was a 1×8 speed Speedwell which was the best bike I have ever owned. It was a great tourer. I recommend this bike for touring at an affordable price point, lifetime warranty on frame 2yrs on fork, 12mths on the rest. The best thing about the bike on the trip, I got no punctures with the funny Hippo skin tyres.

  • Crispy

    I have a Jamis Bosanova. These are very similar bikes with the exception of a triple crank (but only a 30t cassette), carbon forks, and cable brakes. The cable brakes are terrible but otherwise it’s a fantastic bike. Sure the ride is exactly as reviewer states here, but seriously who are we trying to be? About half of my KOMs are on this bike, the rest are on a Cube Agree C:62 – very different bikes. Wind and current form are by far the biggest players when it comes to speed though. So why not be more comfortable? I love jumping into large groups are doing some damage with a steel frame, rack and bag, and 28c tyres. Sure I go out the back pretty fast when the road goes uphill – but you gotta pick your battles right? For the record the Bosanova comes with a wheelset that simply should be fitted to any bike – ever. A set of A719s have been faultless for 10k now. If this bike was available in 2014 I probably would have gone this way for sure.


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