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Custom Flat Bar Stolen - Need suggestions for replacement, please

Discussion in 'Pedal Powered' started by Big.Wayne, 18 May 2021.

  1. Big.Wayne


    Joined: 11 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,703

    Location: London

    Hello Brothers/Sisters of the wheel,

    I spent five years building up a flat bar road bike and sadly it's been stolen. Portable angle grinder job while I was having dinner with a friend sigh... :(


    No insurance so I'm well out of pocket but more gutted about all the time I spent tuning and customising my steed to get it just so. If any kind soul could give us some pointers on buying a replacement I would appreciate it. The specs of were as follows:

    • Steel Frame 700c Shimano Flat Bar Road Bike
    • 9spd 105 Triple (27 spd 30/42/52t and 11/26t)
    • XT Fluid disk brakes (not pictured but recently installed)

    It's the flat bar bit that seems a bit harder to find/spec as most of the road components are drop bar. I love the road bike drive train but I prefer a flat bar for my commuting around London. Was rocking a 52t big chainring and 11t-26t cassette.

    Can anyone throw me some pointers/recommendations please for a company that sells good flat bar road bikes, preferably steel frame but would consider aluminium? (no carbon fibre if poss).

    I like a big range on the drivetrain but probably get away with an 11speed double, I'm also interested in these thru-axle wheels. I'm not sure if I will be able to buy something perfect off the shelf so if I cant find something prebuilt I'm prepared to buy all the parts, have some wheels built and get my LBS to construct it or buy something prebuilt and customise that.

    The budget is about £1000-£1500 which can go higher but I worry about a future theft and not sure I want to get insurance. Thanks in advance for any pointers tips on a replacement!
  2. Begbie


    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

    Posts: 25,369

    Location: ....

    That sucks. Such a shame Planet X only do Carbon now, they had some banging good deals on ali before. Ribble do one, but there is loads of options out there.


    Albiet this is a gravel bike! But Gravel bikes are better anyway unless you're racing ;)


    Again another adventure/gravel (sadly the case with most flat bars) I liked the look of these when researching my last bike and seems to tick most of your boxes.

    The biggest issue of buying parts is the availability at the moment, there seems to be no groupsets about (at least in the mountain bike side).

    Cotic do a very nice steel frame too. Would probably be my choice, but maybe a tad out the price range?
    Last edited: 28 May 2021
  3. Big.Wayne


    Joined: 11 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,703

    Location: London

    Hi Begbie,

    thanks alot for the pointers, they both look nice, close to what I am looking for just missing the road bike gearing. I will have a dig through both the Ribble and Genisis range to see what else they have on offer. I also had a quick look at the COTIC frame and the "Escapade" looks nice but unsure about carbon fork as I do tend to crash/get crashed every so often and I would worry about invisible cracks in the carbon...

    The problem I had before when construcing a Flat bar road bike was getting the correct shifter and front derailleur that worked with a big road bike chain ring (50t/52t). I dont suppose you know if you can still get a flat bar shifter for a road bike groupset?

    Thanks again for your input, I will have to get this sorted out as commuting on the bus and train in London is taking ages. I have considered going to Condor cycles to get this all sorted out but I know they are really expensive like £2k-£3k.
  4. Smokey Deza

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Feb 2011

    Posts: 1,889

    Nice bike :(

    Reminds me of a video I saw of a bike thief showing how easy it is, and how nobody does **** when you're wafting around an angle grinder.

    The only real deterrent are those that secure their bikes with a couple of hefty chain locks, with the lock in a position where it can't be cut at.
  5. Malevolence


    Joined: 21 Oct 2011

    Posts: 18,090

    Location: .... . .-. .

    Yeah, I use a hefty chainlock and a decent D-lock too. Give's 'em two problems. If they really want it then they'll probably get it, but having two locks of differing types complicates matters. It's also a good practice to lock it to something that can't easily be cut itself, I'm always amazed at how many expensive bikes I see that are locked to a chainlink fence or some really thin and flimsy metal barriers.
  6. Big.Wayne


    Joined: 11 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,703

    Location: London

    Yeah even though I had a good lock I don't think I attached it in a way to make a cut a bit more difficult. I'm in the market for a new lock but I will make a new thread for that.

    So I did some basic bike research and as mentioned above a lot of stuff is still sold out. I found myself gravitating towards very expensive bikes and being in a rush it soon became apparent that I would be paying a small fortune. I also still worry about my new bike being stolen even before I bought it so that thought process was kinda at odds with a potential £1500-£3000 cycle purchase so I had to pause and think my way out of a hole.

    What I decided is that I need two bikes, an affordable runaround and a "best bike". I've only had one cycle at a time my whole life but I do see it's quite common for cycle enthusiasts to own several bikes. Quite a few times in the past I've been unable to cycle due to one mechanical failure or another and I did think to myself how nice it would be to have a backup bike so I could still get on with my life while the LBS fix the problem, the same advantage applies to having a bike stolen then at least you have a backup.

    Anyway so that's where my head is at so I started looking for a runaround/more value-orientated cycle that would get me from a-b and give me some breathing room to find the perfect replacement in my own good time. The whole queuing for a bus for 15-20mins then driving through a heavy traffic jam pulling over at almost every stop to let passengers on and off is not for me so I knew I had to get a fix for my stolen bike problem fast.

    I chatted with a few friends and some of them recommended looking at the Decathlon website, they have a series called TRIBAN which was close to what I was looking for. I'm including info here in case anyway is looking for a hybrid flat bar:


    The RC 500 is in stock and quite nice but I'm not a fan of the SORA groupset or at least the SORA derailleur's I've used in the past are not very long-lived. My mechanic used to grumble because the SORA parts do not allow full servicing so that puts me off.

    Triban RC 520 Flat Bar Disc Road Bike - 105

    The RC 520 isn't in stock but is very close to the bike I would enjoy riding. I'm a big fan of the 105 groupset and have used that for the past seven years without issue. Can't buy it though so my search moved on.

    Did some digging at auction and Gumtree and found a used Trek FX 3 disc 2021 hybrid bike for £450 (XL size too), offered the seller £400 and he accepted. Went to collect it yesterday on the other side of London and then cycled 12 miles home. The 9 speed/double drive train was a bit knacked with poor shifting but I left it in a good gear and just revved my way home, first cycle in several months so was a real buzz.

    I'm going to pop it down to my LBS for a quick once over and get the drive train working a bit better, I can see the front mech is quite angled compared to the crankset and I think the rear mech hanger is a bit off. The drive train is bargain basement Shimano Acera/Alivio which is a country mile apart from the 105 I am familiar with. The gearing is quite low for me and seemed aimed at hill climbing more than burning down a flat tarmac road so I am tempted to modify something there as I found I needed to spin the crank faster than I would like, 46/11t is far easier than 52/11t?.

    I do have to remind myself this is a runaround bike and for the perfect machine I need to research and put together a "best bike" but I find it hard not to tinker. I'll give the LBS a chance to finesse the Acera/ Alivio parts which are there but I may have to source a better rear mech if this Alivio won't play nicely. This is a list of the drivetrain:

    Front drivetrain:
    Shimano Acera M3000, 2 -speed
    Shimano Acera T3000, 34.9 mm clamp, top swing, dual pull
    Shimano MT210, 46/30, chain guard, 175 mm length

    Rear drivetrain:
    Shimano Acera M3000, 9-speed
    Shimano Alivio M3100, long cage
    Shimano HG200, 11-36, 9-speed​

    So I'm back in the game and back on the road. If anyone is good with the different groupsets and individual parts I wouldn't mind knowing what choices I have for drivetrain upgrades in the future?