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Evening all,

I'm looking at splashing out on a new bike ready for the (fingers crossed) impending warmer weather. I've been eyeing up the Ribble Gran Fondo (with SRAM Rival kit) but I don't know much about either Ribble or SRAM, having never used either before.

Can anyone offer any advice or pearls of wisdom to help me make the right decision? I know some people seem to have had problems with Ribble's customer service, but I'm more interested to find out about the quality of their products, first and foremost. Money is hard to come by, so I want to make sure I buy well!

Many thanks....

16 comments

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Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
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never had any dealings with Ribble, but on the SRAM groupset side i can say that Rival is damn fine. its not super bling stuff but works well and ive not had any problems with adapting to the one tap shift system, its easy, and works especially well on the drops. and as bangs per buck go it wins hands down, well almost, as a 105 groupset seems to be getting cheaper and i would say pretty similar, except Rival, overall is lighter if you believe the relevant websites/or its an issue for you.

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stuke [335 posts] 5 years ago
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I've recently bought the Gran Fondo frameset and I'm really impressed. Its light and stiff but also very comfortable with good handling. I ride a lot of different bikes testing them for roadcc and i'd put the Ribble up there with some of the more expensive makes. The fork is a bit heavy having an alloy steerer but this doesn't really make much difference. Rival is a good solid groupset and works well with solid shifting and good looks.
As for Ribble's customer service it did get a bad press for a while but I've dealt with them many times of late and had no issues whatsoever.

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chiefoldmist [68 posts] 5 years ago
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I bought a bottom of the range Ribble 7005 Race and have really enjoyed it.

The build of the bike to my spec seems to me to be really good and I have had no problems with it; everything worked well from day one. I have had two years of great fun out of it - real value for money!!

I even went to Preston to get it sized properly on their jig and they spent loads of time changing things around until I felt comfortable.

So, I can only say that the customer service that I received was excellent.

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The Good Shepherd [47 posts] 5 years ago
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All sounds very promising, many thanks gents!

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pnoodles [14 posts] 5 years ago
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I got a Gran Fondo in May. Unlike stuke, it's my first road bike so not much to compare it to but I am well happy with it. I was in the Specialized concept store today looking and bikes with a similar spec for twice the price. I found Ribble's infamous customer service to be top notch as well. Good communication and answers to emails were prompt.

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The Good Shepherd [47 posts] 5 years ago
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Thanks pnoodles, advice duly noticed and appreciated!

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MikeL [20 posts] 5 years ago
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Isn't this frame the /same one/ as seen 'branded' on the DeRosa that won Cycling Weekly's bike of the year? At half the price? If it is, bargain.

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The _Kaner [770 posts] 5 years ago
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Not had experience with the Gran Fondo, but have put in 3k kms on a Sportive Racing. Upgraded to Shim Ultegra, nice Deda bars/stem and Fulcrum 7s for the wheelset. Nothing has gone wrong with the bike (except for a wee crash I had and destroyed the Ultegra STI's, so downgraded to 105s)Any contact i've had with the Ribble folks has been top notch, so much so that I (I'm in Ireland)ordered a set of Tacx Antares rollers from them as well as the forementioned 105's...LBS couldn't come near to the price Ribble were offering...
So I'd say they're worth a punt

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The Good Shepherd [47 posts] 5 years ago
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What are the Fulcrum 7s like? That's my next problem, figuring out which wheelset to go for...

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 5 years ago
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Racing 7s are pretty solid, Aksium Race are worth considering too IMO. Pity they don't do the Pro-Lite Braccianos on the bike builder, they're ace. They do stock them: if you can, swap them in.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 5 years ago
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ah, they're out of stock mind  22

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The Good Shepherd [47 posts] 5 years ago
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Cheers Dave. I was toying with either the Aksium or the Shimano RS30s. Any advice on them? Want something fairly sturdy, yet not massively heavy (I know...world on a stick and all that).

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stuke [335 posts] 5 years ago
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Personally I'd plump for the Aksiums, they ride much better than their budget would suggest. At 75kg I find Shimano wheels can flex when I put the power down so it will depend on your weight and riding style. Mavic longevity is great as well, I have Ksyrium Elites on my Gran Fondo that have done about 20k miles and all i've had to do is replace the bearings about 6 months ago.

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Chris James [388 posts] 5 years ago
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I have a pair of RS30s, and am about 11 stone 7.

They don't flex for me - maybe the deeper rim and hence shorter spokes are bit stiffer than RS10 / 20's?

Actually they give quite a nice ride, comfy but pretty stiff.

Aksiums seem to divide people. Some say they are bombproof and love them as a training wheel, other seem to constantly shed spokes (more so with recent versions?).

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londonplayer [620 posts] 5 years ago
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Gran Fondo or Sportive? which is "better"? thoughts?

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pjay [249 posts] 5 years ago
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I pulled up behind a Gran Fondo at the lights whilst lapping Regent's Park at the weekend. It looked very nice and certainly accelerated away pretty smartly.

I'm getting a Sportive Bianco with SRAM Rival when my Cyclescheme voucher arrives. It got a great review recently, so might be worth considering as well. I've ordered the cheapest wheels as I will swapping them with my Pro-Lite Braccianos.