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I am in the market for a winter bike to deal with the weather that Edinburgh no doubt has in store (the summer hasn't exactly been great so I dread to think what the winter will be like). My current winter bike is a Bianchi Via Nirone but it lacks mudguard mounts and I've got to the end of my tether with clip-ons. I bought new Zonda wheels towards the end of last year so they only have around 2,500km on them at the moment and the 10 speed Centaur groupset, although 7 years old, should still have some life in it yet. I'll be using it to commute to work as well as train throughout the winter and want to be able to fit 28c tyres with mudguards (not fussed about pannier mounts). My summer bike is a SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod and I like the long and low position of that so would ideally find something similar. 

I therefore have 2 options available to me:

1) Buy a frame and transfer the groupset, wheels, bars etc. onto it. Options include the Spa Cycles Audax, Tifosi CK7 or the Kinesis Racelight 4S (which has the added benefit of being able to fit a disk groupset if I wanted to upgrade next year). Any other sensible suggestions in a similar price range welcome. I appreciate that the Spa and Tifosi aren't particularly long and low but options seem pretty limited. 

2) Buy a complete new bike. The benefit of this is that everything would (obviously) be new and there are a lot of savings in buying a frame, wheels and groupset together. I'd also be able to get a disk groupset. The downside would be having to ditch the kit that I already have, most of which wouldn't generate much in the way of beer tokens. Sensible suggestions (ideally under £750ish) would be welcome.

Thanks in advance. 

21 comments

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sergius [549 posts] 11 months ago
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Bit more than you are looking at spending, but I just picked up a Canyon Inflite cross bike as a new winter steed.  They have revamped it for 2018 so there are some good deals on the 2017 versions.

Ultegra, hydro-discs, mudguards etc for around £1400 - with the added bonus that I could fit some cross tyres and have a play offroad if the mood takes me.

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muhasib [51 posts] 11 months ago
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GT grade 105 in the offers page today at Tweeks. It's £769 but when I went on their site to look it popped up a 5% discount to sign up to the newsletter, otherwise cashback sites give 4% off so it's within budget and the review on here looks good with mention of mudguard mounts.

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srchar [870 posts] 11 months ago
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I just had the same decision to make as you.  I ended up buying a Kinesis T3 frame and fork, plus headset and long-drop brakes (just over £400 all-in using various discount codes) and swapping a Campag Athena groupset, Zonda wheels and finishing kit over from my previous commuter, a lovely but mudguardless Van Nic Ventus.

You could also look at the Kinesis T2 v2 or v3, which costs less to start with and would allow you to use a cheaper non-tapered fork.

I just couldn't muster enough want for a winter bike to warrant spending two or three times as much on a complete new bike. I wasn't fussed about disc brakes either. Given that your budget for a new bike is £750, I think you'll end up with something far nicer by going the new frame/old bits route.

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Alessandro [170 posts] 11 months ago
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srchar wrote:

I just had the same decision to make as you.  I ended up buying a Kinesis T3 frame and fork, plus headset and long-drop brakes (just over £400 all-in using various discount codes) and swapping a Campag Athena groupset, Zonda wheels and finishing kit over from my previous commuter, a lovely but mudguardless Van Nic Ventus. You could also look at the older Kinesis T2 which is a cheaper frame to start with and would allow you to use a cheaper non-tapered fork.

I just couldn't muster enough want for a winter bike to warrant spending two or three times as much on a complete new bike. Given that your budget for a new bike is £750, I think you'll end up with something far nicer by going the new frame/old bits route.

Are you able to get 28c tyres and mudguards on the T3? I'd really prefer going down the route of new frame/old bits because the groupset and wheels are worth more to me than I'd get if I sold them. 

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srchar [870 posts] 11 months ago
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Alessandro wrote:

Are you able to get 28c tyres and mudguards on the T3? I'd really prefer going down the route of new frame/old bits because the groupset and wheels are worth more to me than I'd get if I sold them. 

Yes, I have 28c Gatorskins with full SKS longboards in 35mm width. Having only previously been able to use clip on guards, I LOVE having full guards that are totally secure and don't flop around.

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Inder [6 posts] 11 months ago
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Some good deals on Kinesis T2 at the moment (frameset £250ish or complete bike with 4600 Tiagra from £500 - £700).

 

I have the full Tiagra version as my winter bike and I've been impressed. 28mm tyres fit under the  mudguards that came with it without rubbing (just). Geometry is fairly racy (not as much so as your Cannondale though). 

 

Have also used it without mudguards and with nicer wheels in the summer when the other bike was out of action and was it felt great on faster paced club rides. Also has mounts for panniers, pretty versatile bike. 

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Sniffer [502 posts] 11 months ago
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Inder wrote:

Some good deals on Kinesis T2 at the moment (frameset £250ish or complete bike with 4600 Tiagra from £500 - £700).

 

I have the full Tiagra version as my winter bike and I've been impressed. 28mm tyres fit under the  mudguards that came with it without rubbing (just). Geometry is fairly racy (not as much so as your Cannondale though). 

I have a Kinesis T2 at the moment as my winter / crap weather bike.  I have done 6,500 miles on it over the last couple of years.  I would recommend it.  I bought the Tiagra full bike mentioned earlier, although when my summer bike needed a replacement (cracked frame) I moved a groupset and wheels to the winter option.   I have done light touring, commuting, club runs and general riding (I call it training, but that is only in my head). 

If you can get a full bike for £700 or less it is great value (I did C2W too).  If I was buying now, I would be tempted by a move to discs which would mean I would look at a Kinesis 4S.  There are  not many options for racey geometry, discs and mudgaurd mounts that I have seen.

For the record my summer bike is also a Supersix and I live in central Scotland so I know the weather too.

There is a review on this site for the T2.

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ibr17xvii [297 posts] 11 months ago
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Ribble Audax is always worth a mention in winter bike scenrios.

Even though in the next month or 2 (probably) it will be coming into its own, with it being the back end of the season there will a deal to be had with Ribble.

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Alessandro [170 posts] 11 months ago
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ibr17xvii wrote:

Ribble Audax is always worth a mention in winter bike scenrios.

Even though in the next month or 2 (probably) it will be coming into its own, with it being the back end of the season there will a deal to be had with Ribble.

A friend of mine bought one a couple of seasons ago and quickly discovered that it's either 23c tyres and mudguards or 25c tyres and no mudguards. It seems odd that they haven't decided to update the clearance otherwise it would definitely have been up there in my shortlist. 

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Jimmy Ray Will [921 posts] 11 months ago
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I'd personally go down the route of new frame, old bits. 

Its a winter bike after all. 

I'd also put a little shout in for the humble Dolan Preffisio frameset.

For a penny under £200 you get a frame, fork, headset and seatpost. 

Now, lets make one thing clear, this frame is neither light, nor is it particularly frisky, but its dam cheap and reliable. I've put three years into mine no problem. Not sure if it would take 28mm tyres, however I am running 25mm with plenty of room to spare. 

Get involved! 

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dottigirl [819 posts] 11 months ago
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Sniffer wrote:
Inder wrote:

Some good deals on Kinesis T2 at the moment (frameset £250ish or complete bike with 4600 Tiagra from £500 - £700).

 

I have the full Tiagra version as my winter bike and I've been impressed. 28mm tyres fit under the  mudguards that came with it without rubbing (just). Geometry is fairly racy (not as much so as your Cannondale though). 

I have a Kinesis T2 at the moment as my winter / crap weather bike.  I have done 6,500 miles on it over the last couple of years.  I would recommend it.  I bought the Tiagra full bike mentioned earlier, although when my summer bike needed a replacement (cracked frame) I moved a groupset and wheels to the winter option.   I have done light touring, commuting, club runs and general riding (I call it training, but that is only in my head). 

If you can get a full bike for £700 or less it is great value (I did C2W too).  If I was buying now, I would be tempted by a move to discs which would mean I would look at a Kinesis 4S.  There are  not many options for racey geometry, discs and mudgaurd mounts that I have seen.

For the record my summer bike is also a Supersix and I live in central Scotland so I know the weather too.

There is a review on this site for the T2.

Another vote for the T2. I have two of them now. One is my winter bike, with PDW 'guards, the other is my bargain best bike with 28c tyres on wide rims. I've used the latter for both audaxing and TTing this year just by moving spacers above and below the stem. The handling is far better than on the CAAD8 that I bought and subsequently sold. 

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gmac101 [207 posts] 11 months ago
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I asked a similar question about a year ago -yes I got fed up of clip ons too. The majority of responses were in favour of the T2. I bought a discounted frame and built it up with the new Tiara 4700 and it's been great.  I use 25mm tyres and PDW guards 

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arckuk [86 posts] 11 months ago
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I've got a Kinesis 4S (previous version, without disc mounts) with full mudguards and 105 groupset. Generally I'm happy with it, but the long-drop brakes lack stopping power on whatever equipment I've used them with (Shimano R451 and Tektro something or other brakes, Swisstop and Koolstop brake pads, Zonda and Kinesis racelight wheels), especially in the wet which is when I'm most likely to be using the bike. If I could choose, I'd prefer the disc version of the 4S which came out about a month after I'd bought the rim only option.

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barbarus [535 posts] 11 months ago
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I would definitely go disc brakes for the winter bike, even the crap cable discs on my winter bike are loads better than the rim brakes on my summer bike in the wet.  I would also prioritise spokes with brass nipples and full length guards.

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Woldsman [257 posts] 11 months ago
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Another T2 owner here (2010 version with the 10.5cm head tube - the range added an extra inch on the head tube later on). If you go for the T2 v2 or v3 or T3 get Shimano R650 calipers. Ditto if you go for the 4S or 4S disc. 

The 4S bikes have all the functionality of a winter bike in a snazzy package. I'm looking to get a 4S frameset (remember you get everything you need with this frameset - the T2/T3 requires you to source a suitable fork). I don't want a disc option, but if you're looking to go that way eventually it seems that the 4S disc is the obvious choice. 

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Alessandro [170 posts] 11 months ago
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Thanks to everyone for their input. I think I'm leaning heavily towards the 4S for a few reasons:

  •  Once you add in the fork for the T3, it's not much cheaper than the 4S. 
  • The 4S would allow me to upgrade my groupset next winter for a disc version (imagine if Campag ever made a Centaur 11 speed disc groupset...). 
  • It looks a little racier than the T3, and certainly more so than the Tifosi CK7 and Spa Audax which were other frames I was considering.
  • The blue one looks stunning (to me). 

Cheers,

A

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kil0ran [924 posts] 11 months ago
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The Kinesis bikes always look the part, really well finished with good frame decals. Understated and stylish and they've been that way for years. Agree about the blue. I was looking for something a little more relaxed that I could run bigger tyres on so ended up going for a proper tourer but the Kinesis bikes were right up there on my shortlist.

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Duncann [1351 posts] 11 months ago
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My winter bike buying advice is to wear an extra layer or two, and sensible shoes, before going to the shop.

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Anthony.C [263 posts] 11 months ago
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My summer bike is also a SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod and I also got sick of clip on guards for my winter bike. I eventually settled on a grey Tifosi CK 7 frameset and built it with my old bits. I got it for a good price but it's very well made and fun to ride and it is a real pleasure to have full guards in the winter.  It is actually a pretty racy bike if you size down which I did, the geometry is almost the exact same as my SuperSix.

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ibr17xvii [297 posts] 11 months ago
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Alessandro wrote:
ibr17xvii wrote:

Ribble Audax is always worth a mention in winter bike scenrios.

Even though in the next month or 2 (probably) it will be coming into its own, with it being the back end of the season there will a deal to be had with Ribble.

A friend of mine bought one a couple of seasons ago and quickly discovered that it's either 23c tyres and mudguards or 25c tyres and no mudguards. It seems odd that they haven't decided to update the clearance otherwise it would definitely have been up there in my shortlist. 

I stand to be corrected but I'm pretty sure it will take both 23's & 25's with mudguards. You can certainly choose that spec on the bikebuilder anyway. 

A dedicated winter bike should be able to take 28's though but I'm not sure if this particular Ribble can. 

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Inder [6 posts] 11 months ago
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Alessandro wrote:

Thanks to everyone for their input. I think I'm leaning heavily towards the 4S for a few reasons:

  •  Once you add in the fork for the T3, it's not much cheaper than the 4S. 
  • The 4S would allow me to upgrade my groupset next winter for a disc version (imagine if Campag ever made a Centaur 11 speed disc groupset...). 
  • It looks a little racier than the T3, and certainly more so than the Tifosi CK7 and Spa Audax which were other frames I was considering.
  • The blue one looks stunning (to me). 

Cheers,

A

 

Not 100% sure whether your Centaur brake callipers will have enough reach to work with the 4S as mentioned by someone else earlier, you may need to source some with a longer "drop"