Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2. 2015. Demo bikes. £750

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 . 2015. These are demo bikes that I have received from Giant. They are used and price reflects this. Small,large and x/large. I have received the bikes and they are in fantastic condition. An absolute bargain One of each. Don't forget you don't have to buy from the glitzy downlit shops or internet stores . We all buy at the same price from Giant UK so you are always best price and service wise buying from a guy who  who runs on slimmer overhead costs and can pass that on to the consumer.Remember how to shop cleverly ....don't always follow the sheeps path ! I can sell you all the Defy range at best price.

RRP £1899 My price £750

As of Feb 24th only one large left but this has a suspect potential crack on seat tube.

My price £750

As of  Feb 27th all sold.....

Sunday, March 20, 2016

VSF T900 Geneva to Nice

Last summer I had a visit from a good school friend of mine..........another Chris. We had cycled round Devon and Cornwall after A Levels ............he on a 3 speed all steel !!! I had derailleur gears !!! Oh the benefits of youth.....hills are not noticed when you are 18. We thought an anniversary ride might be a good idea................I had been thinking of the Grand Traverse of the French Alps from Geneva to Nice on a VSF T900 with Rohloff gearing. Great he said ....I'm up for that........this coming from a very hard working GP with his own Practice.............in other words he had some training to do. But I know Chris from years gone by.......he was and still is a tremendous athlete..1st XV Rugby,1st X1 Cricket and Hockey for several years not just when he was in the upper sixth !! Oxford wanted him so badly that they said we will take you with 2 E's at A Level !!! Point is I had no worries that he wouldn't be up for the task !!

So we headed out early June for Geneva with our bikes and he had shed 2 stone and was fighting fit.

Having landed at Geneva we put the bikes together and headed out into the dark aiming for Thonon Les Bains from where we would strike out into the Alps .....yippee..........such a privilege again !!

Difficult not to get boring with these blogs so lets move on and you can see the ride through pics later on...................
Chris on top of the Cormet De Roseland

VSF T900 atop The Galibier

Hammering down the Col de L'Iseran. Somewhere along here was my fastest ever so far on a bicycle .......61.5mph. VSF steady as a rock !!

Snow walls on the Iseran.

Chris descending the Cormet de Roseland.

And again !

VSF T900 against snow wall on the Iseran. We were the first cyclists over the col for 2014. Opening party was still there when we went over the top .

Chris snaking his way up the Iseran from Val D'Isere.

Trundling up the second part of the Galibier.Going up at the start of a day for once, rather than tackling it after other climbs, was really pleasurable !!

Chris enjoying the view from the Galibier.....looking back towards Valloire

Chris having exited tunnel on the Iseran at speed

VSF Fahrrad Manufaktur T100 2014 review

www.chrisbikes.co.uk  Come and try and buy . The T100 is VSF'S benchmark commuter workhorse. It is fantastic quality and fully loaded  suiting the pocket of most people looking for proper bicycles like this. In terms of value it is not really possible to better VSF bicycles.

This year the colours are black and midnight (shown in the pics). You have the option of Shimano 8 speed gearbox or 27 speed Shimano Alivio derailleur system.PRICE £645

There is also an additional choice for 2014. Essentially the difference here is that one can now have the T100 with Magura HS11  brakes as opposed to v brakes. PRICE £730

Obviously the bicycle comes in gents and ladies . You can see the configuration and geometry of the ladies frame by looking at my review of the T300.
VSF T100 8 speed in midnight blue

Here you have a view of B&M Lumotec Lyt B Plus front light with capacitor enabled standlight,the Exal TX19 rims,and SKS German made mudguards.

Close up of Shimano DH-3N31 hub dynamo

Really pretty colour (midnight blue) powder coated in house at Oldenburg, Northern Germany

Showing you the neat chainglider and rear rack with attached pump.All fixing bolts are stainless steel. These bikes do not rust.........They are German and top drawer German at that.........

The very worthy Shimano 8 speed hub gear

Rear B&M light with standlight.

This Esge Pletscher stand will support your bike even when loaded with panniers.Notice reflective sidewall of tyres

Dawes Super Galaxy versus Galaxy.

Dawes Super Galaxy. 2012. Brand new. 53cms.The main differences between the Super Galaxy and the Galaxy can be seen through the photos.Both run with the Reynolds 631 frameset.

The Super has Shimano Tiagra STI shifters against the more traditional bar end shifters on the Galaxy.For ease of use the STI system wins hands down but if you are used to them the bar end shifters are very reliable and appeal to the aficionado !

Super comes with the upgraded outboard bottom bracket as opposed to sealed BB in Galaxy.Great system if you need to change your chainset for different terrain quickly and easily.

Super has upgraded Shimano Deore hubs in both wheels as opposed to ordinary shimano hubs in Galaxy.

Super has more glorified genuine gel saddle as opposed to the normal sport tourer saddle.

The Galaxy I have from 2012 has deore rear derailleur but for 2013 both models are running with long drop tiagra derailleurs.

Both then very similar in that they both have the same framesets ,wheels, tubus racks,sks mudguards etc.......great quality bikes to be honest.

RRP £1499.Myprices

Super Galaxy £999 one.

I have one 2012 Galaxy in 53cms . It is brand new but has a small dent in top tube and small scratch on fork.

RRP £1299.99

My price £799 ...bargain.Both bikes now sold

Review of the 2013 Giant Defy 0

The Giant Defy 0 is an important bike in the Giant range. It is important because it is the one bike ,positioned like a fulcrum point if you like ,which may swing your choice .........do I go carbon or aluminium.

Current best deal........Giant Defy 0 2015 medium £650.

Carbon is a wonderful material to make bikes with but it has issues with it. Although incredibly strong in one piece it is also vulnerable if dropped against a kerbstone , clamped too tightly in your cycle carrier or workstand. It demands the use of a torque wrench to make sure bolts are tightened to the correct level, petroleum products must be kept well away from unlacquered areas......... if your stabilising pole slips in your Bike Box Alan you run the risk of arriving with a broken frame. It is really essential to make sure you have your carbon bike insured on your household policy for accidental damage !

On the plus side it is a wonderful material to ride with. It is the only material with which you can achieve the Holy Grail of frames. .......lightness, stiffness and compliance. More about this in an article to come......

Aluminium frames do not have the worries of carbon that I mentioned earlier. However although stiff and light ......the third all important feature of compliance is really not possible to achieve.

So this is where the Giant Defy 0 steps up and says ......."Here I am ". It fills the gap for the customer who wants a really beautiful bike which is light and fast with really good running gear .....without being carbon.Maybe someone with a young family who needs to keep the bike in the garage with the kids bikes and whose wife when moving it has no idea of the material the bike is made from !!

You all know that the Giant Defy 1 has won best bike of 2013 for bikes up to £1000. Well the Defy 0 is a step up from that .

Here are the main upgrades and you will see them in the pictures.

Firstly the running gear is upgraded from 105 to Ultegra on the shifters and rear derailleur.

Secondly the dual pivot brake calipers are named shimano as opposed to tektro.

Colour is just right. Not everyone wants a white bike although the Defy 1 in white this year does look exceptional . The Defy 0 really looks stunning in black and blue and this colour scheme has swayed at least two of my customers towards this machine.

As far as a high end aluminium bike can do the Defy 0 takes you towards the beautiful ride quality of carbon as it has the carbon forks and carbon seatpost to provide the compliance aspect........approaching the Holy Grail I mentioned earlier.

As of 15/05/13 only x large left in stock.
31.8 width bars,concealed cables. Neat.

Named shimano dual pivot calipers.

Beautiful colour scheme.

Working towards compliance.

Shimano Ultegra is high end quality

Along with the Defy 1 the 0 has the Aluxx SL frame. Pinnacle of Giant aluminium engineering.

Ultegra spec here too.

That lovely colour scheme again !

Do you buy the Giant TCR or DEFY carbon bike ?!

Do you buy a Giant TCR or DEFY carbon bike? I know this is a question often asked as I see it appearing on my statcounter all the time.I also know it is difficult for you all to receive the answers to your questions. I know your questions and mostly I think know the answers too !!

Current great deal  GIANT DEFY 0 2015 Medium £650

I will try and make the most important differences clear to you.

The TCR is essentially designed as a race bike.

The Defy was developed primarily as a bike for those same racers tackling longer day rides over more difficult road surfaces ie The Paris -Roubaix. For this specific ride with many miles of cobbles Giant developed the Defy Advanced SL.

The TCR has a shorter wheelbase than the DEFY. A longer wheelbase is typical of bikes designed for long days in the saddle.......most touring bikes have very long wheelbases.

The TCR is lower than the DEFY on the headstock. When racing you need a lower more streamlined position .

Now take a look at the shape of the downtubes on both bikes. You will notice the TCR has a huge box section whilst the DEFY is  much more rounded. The roundness of the DEFY reduces fatigue and makes the frame very much more compliant than the TCR where comfort during the ride is not of paramount importance. With the TCR rigidity is much more of an issue to go that fraction of a second faster !

Saddles as standard are different too. The TCR runs with Arione saddles at the high end and although there are 3 grades of this saddle to cater for different levels of flexibility they are not exactly the most comfortable. Rather more like sitting on a board but if racing this is what you need. The Aliante is the saddle of choice for the DEFY with more comfort for those gruelling long day rides.

So generally there you have it. With more and more middle aged people taking up cycling as a worthy form of excercise the DEFY will probably be your steed of choice. If you are younger and looking for speed and shorter race distances then go TCR.

I ride both bikes and there really is a difference. They are both amazing frames !!

One other very important point........gearing ! All the TCR Advanced and Advanced SL's will be running on race bike gearing ....53x39 and 11x25. The TCR composites are running on compact 50x34 and 11x28.

All the Defy models except the DEFY Advanced SL0 (52x36 and 11x28) will be running on compact 50x34 and 11x28.

For the majority of you the compact option will suit you better as you will be able to ride in pretty much all situations ie on the flat but also in the Alps for example.

Giant tempt 2. 2016. Small.

Giant tempt 2. 2016. Small. Brand new.

RRP £699

My price £549

VSF trip to Oldenburg 2014

August is the month for the annual VSF Bike Festival in Oldenburg. It is time to see the new range of bikes from my favourite bike manufacturer....Cycle Union......who produce the uncompromised in quality VSF bicycles. They also of course produce Kreidler and Rabeneick bicycles and this year I will be bringing some of these to the shop for those customers wanting a sub £400 commuting bike with German pedigree......

Anyway back to the VSF bikes and the show. Firstly thanks to Cycle Union for their generous hospitality. As usual many different food tents and bars were supplying limitless amounts of wonderful German food,beer and wine.......in fact it was more like a food fest !! This year we were spoilt with a helicopter ride over Oldenburg which was great.

Every year there is a highlight at the show. This year was no exception and the undoubted star of the show ........and I couldn't take my eyes and mind off it for long........ was the T1200. This is another tremendous touring/expedition beauty but powered by the wonderful Pinion gearbox........... I will do an article seperately on this machine and the Pinion gearbox............

The range this year is, as usual, very similar to previous years.......but it has slimmed down somewhat and there is more symmetry to the models  which makes sense. For example, the T600 in previous years housed the 11 speed Alfine gearbox. This has now been promoted to T700 partnering the T700 XT derailleur geared model.

There is more choice and more of a range within the T50 and T100 models in that there is now a sport model in derailleur guise of both T50 and T100. Recently, tyres have been on steroids with both T50 and T100.......which suits the German market as there is more comfort and still very good rolling resistance if tyres are at the correct pressure. But now the sport model comes with much slimmer tyres,straighter bars ,better/ lighter rack (still with a dogleg). However there is only a disc chainguard not the comprehensive guard which is on the standard models .

Colours have been simplified too. Normally there is a default black colour for each model and one other optional colour. This year the T100 and T50 are only black ( satin black though) ! More expensive models still have the two colour option. Remember though,that as always , you can have any VSF colour as an optional extra for 90 euros.My most recent favourite colours (smaragd green and lipstick red are continuing this year with the T500, randonneur and S300. The T300 looks fantastic this year in Slate.

The City range has been trimmed down to the S100 and S300 and the S80. This makes sense and thank goodness the former two models are being kept as they are my most popular bike and fantastic city/commuting bikes for women.

The simplicity range has been slimmed down even more. Only the 8 CHT remains and this in fact was the first model to sell out at VSF in 2014.......it was so popular.

I have nearly every model in stock in my shop as I am commited to the VSF bicycles produced by Cycle Union. Once the T50's and T100s 's are produced in September I will have an example of every model here. The uncompromised quality and tremendous value for moneyof these bikes is a rare and fantastic thing in the modern day Bicycle world. Model by model write up will follow to help you.
About to enter  once again to see my favourite bikes  !!

Mary was impressed by the T1200 with Pinion gearbox and couldn't resist giving it a whizz round the test course !

Ready for take off !

View of the VSF factory from the air.....

Our two favourite chef's....always smiling and always working......we can learn lots from the Germans......

Getting ready for the Saturday night slap up meal !!

Star of the show ....T1200 on the Pinion stand

Getting the low down on the Pinion gearbox with Philip Plagens....

Internals of the Pinion......the Germans are absolute masters of this type of fine mechanical engineering.

Star of the show......The T1200 Pinion

Click on the icons at top right of home page to see I sell all models in each range of bikes !!

Please click on the icons at the top of my home page to see that I sell all models of VSF Fahrrad manufaktur, Giant and Dawes......... not just the special offers I blog about. Regarding Giant will always price match unless someone has bought up the whole of one model !

Also at the bottom of the blog page notice "older posts " for many more blogs.................

VSF fahrrad manufaktur bicycles........Yes I sell them .....That is my business !!

When people read my reviews of the VSF Fahrrad Manufaktur bicycles they often don't realize that I sell them. Selling these bikes is a big part of my business. I have nearly every model for sale in my shop www.chrisbikes.co.uk . Come and try these fantastic bicycles
Fot those unsure as to whether I actually sell the bikes ......here you can see just some of the bikes in my shop www.chrisbikes.co.uk. Nearly every model made by VSF is in store at any one time.