Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by GmanUK65, 15 Jul 2018.
The rack does seem well back TBH.
First of all I very much doubt the bike they profess to have ridden around the world had the same spec as the one they are selling. It’s possible but if I was speccing a bike up I’d choose wiser than they have.
Firstly the frame. Material is ok but the geometry just isn’t what I would call touring. Compared to a Genesis TDF it’s an inch shorter in the chainstay. This affects stability, it’ll mean your heels are much more likely to hit your panniers. It is doubtful you’d be able to fit a kickstand with a chainstay that short. The wheel base is a lot shorter which isn’t great for touring either. The B.B. drop is shorter too so you’ll feel more perched on top of the bike rather than sitting in it.
It looks very much like a winter training bike which has had an extra bottle cage mount and canti studs welded on rather than a properly designed tourer like the TDF. The TDF has a centre stand mount and spare spokes mounted on a special pair of braze ons. That’s great design.
I’ll keep comparing to a TDF for the drivetrain. The TDF 20 is the same price as the Cinelli but it manages to fit ALL Deore kit on rather than just the rear mech. Cinelli have gone down the “put a fancy rear mech on” to sell the bike but Genesis have managed to fit a Deore HT2 chainset with lower gears much better for touring, Deore front and rear mech and B.B and shifters. AND it’s 10 speed rather than 9 so a lot more money has been spent on kit for the same selling price. The Cinelli has a cheap FSA chainset - they are naff cheaply made items which are only ever fitted as OEM items to save money - no one ever buys them aftermarket unless CRC sells them mega cheap.
The TDF 10 has a more similar spec to the Cinelli but it’s 20% or £300 cheaper.
Cinelli has cheap cantis on, the TDF has discs. For 99% of people discs will be better. Maybe you can argue that if you are doing proper wilderness touring in remote areas of the world some rims brakes would be better but I’d take my chances with discs as they are super reliable and anyway the Cinelli wouldn’t be up to such trips anyway, you’d go and buy a Thorn anyway.
The finishing kit on both is fairly similar, stuff bought in the Far East with their name printed on it. I reckon the tyres on the TDF (Schwalbe Marathons) edge the Cinelli (Vitoria Randonneur) a bit but that’s more personal choice.
The TDF plays its trump card next - the wheels. Shimano 525 rear hub - a MTB stalwart - strong and well sealed. But it wins easily with an SP dynamo front hub. The Cinelli has ok Sora hubs but in 32 hole rather than 36 - errr why?
The TDF kicks dirt at the Cinelli a bit more with a full set of B&M Dynamo lights. Ok the Cinelli has a front rack but I’d rather have the very nice hubs (expensive to replace as new wheels are often the same price as replacing hubs).
Cinelli spend half the time on their website saying how trendy their bike is (specially printed bar tape - are they crazy?) rather than saying why it’s a good touring bike. Which is probably a good thing as it just isn’t.
Don’t be fooled by the Cinelli name - they have made other niche bikes which are the same, banking on their name and some crazy graphics or grips to sell the bike.
This one is just an old steel winter training bike with cantis on. Not a touring bike at all.
Take a look at this early 90's Raleigh ATB in Reynolds 501 cro-moly, which makes no pretensions to being a tourer - but certainly has touring-friendly geometry (71* head/73* seat) long chainstays, and a long overall wheelbase. Stick a set of mudguards and a rack on that, fit some Schwalbe Marathons instead of knobblys and it would get you anywhere you could possibly want to go.
But... but.... but.... it's got pink in it's colour scheme!
I did that with an old Trek. And it does get me anywhere I want to go!
One day, just for fun, I compared my bike to a Surly LHT frame. Almost identical!
My "What Bike?" philosophy was settled on my very first bike tour, at an old concentration camp along the Danube of all places!
In the museum was a 1920's bike. You know the ones with front brakes only, no cables but a steel rod. Gears?
It had been stolen from a nearby village by a Polish inmate of the camp and ridden back to Poland from Austria at the end of the war. After the man died, his family returned it. He had kept it all his life because it was what gave him his freedom.
I had sweated and struggled and cursed my way up a hill to get to that camp. Looking at that bike made me feel a little ashamed of myself.
If I'm ever having a bad day on the bike I think of him, on the run on a stolen bike, quite literally in enemy country, food and water almost impossible to find, a man trying to get home through a warzone. It gives a little perspective.
When Shimano go back to making decent quality square taper cranksets (with rebuildable bottom brackets that have decent shafts) then the FSA crank can be called 'cheapo' but until they do it's probably the best they can find. Don't get me wrong HT2 is a good system (I've got it fitted to 4 of my bikes) but the BB fitted to my 20+yr old Ridgeback is still on it's original shaft and cups although the bearings have been changed 4-5 times (and serviced probably twice as often)
For me it is the ideal 'midweight' tourer (I've also got a 'heavyweight' tourer (old Raleigh MTB) and a 'lightweight' weekend away one.
I know some people still prefer rim brakes, they are often specced on proper back country tourers. Same with Sq taper BB's, I still have an XT one on my 94 Kona Kilauea. They aren't bad things BUT they are generally the cheaper options to spec on a full bike.
My whole point is that the Cinelli is a £1100 bike selling for £1500 because it has a Cinelli sticker on it. If you are happy paying £400 for the name thats fine, go for it, if you are a badge snob then it's probably worth it to you.
You don't need to wait for them to remake them, any sealed sq taper BB from the 1990's is virtually indestructible - get a 2nd hand one! I've got a box with about 15 of them in (various axle lengths) taken off a variety of ruined/grotty/rusted retro MTB's and every single one of them is buttery smooth and tight. Love 'em!
You need to go back and have a look at the face I put in to show I was pulling your leg a bit. Don't take everything so seriously!
Some very strong personal opinions there. But just that.
I won't get into frame geometry as I don't pretend to be an expert.
But a few points.
If it's doubtful you can fit a kickstand I'm very doubtul that that matters a jot. Have never felt the slightest need for one on any sort of bike, let alone a heavily loaded tourer/exped bike. And as I understand it you have to be pretty careful fitting the things or you can trash a bike.
Spare spokes on a mount - hardy a key great design point. A detail. And I had the impression that some at least of those Cinelli's have this.
Deore rear mech but not on the front. You state this as some sort of con. I don't see it as that. Front mechs are pretty simple things (in fact the simpler the better) - main thing is that they are compatible with your chainset and have a good spring. My Ridgeback Expedition came with a Deore rear and an Alivio front. I don't feel conned. The front changes wonderfully on the Expedition's set-up and I am thinking of buying another one or two as lifetime spares to maintain this happy situation. Can be had cheap. Nothing really wrong with Alivio. One of my favourite bikes is currently running a 20 year old Altus (below Alivio) which works fine. New ones can be had for about seven quid.
There seems to be a certain theme in your post of newer/"higher spec" being better. I would argue not necessarily so. I see HT2 as superfluous on a tourer. My Hewitt has it but if I knew what I know now I would have specced a square taper. Minus to Hewitt for not signalling this to me as a valid alternative. Plus to Cinelli for speccing it on their bike. And not worrying if this is "behind the times". They deserve extra marks for being Italian and doing this.
Gearing - you maybe have a point and I would go for lower gearing but it would suit some riders. Not a deal breaker. In time other chainsets from the likes of Spa could be substituted. Square taper.
It's only 9 speed rather than 10? Congratulations to Cinelli for this. If they have saved some money in speccing this, more power to them. And if they haven't passed on any cost saving (you seem to say that this is their motive) in other bits of the bike, but have just kept it as profit, well for me they are welcome to it. For the trouble they have saved me. And possible expense in shifting a bike "back" to 9 speed. I was put off a standard spec LHT a few years ago after I found that, inexplicably, the makers of this tough beast had gone to 10 speed. No advantage whatsoever for a tourer.
Rim rather than discs? - there is a valid debate on which is better on a long distance tourer. Definitely not the case that discs are indisputably better.
Tyres? All standard model bikes are a compromise of sorts. The average person is happy that they have found an off the peg bike that hits most of what they want. For of course you benefit from the economies of the bike manufacturer getting trade price on all the bits. No one sane is going to reject a bike because of the tyres. My Ridgeback Expedition came with a variety of Schwalbes I quite liked but, perhaps surprisingly, they seemed a bit puncture prone. No problem - I switched the rear to a Marathon for £20 and I now have two fronts.
The wheels - it is normal for manufacturers of all but the most specialist (and therefore significantly expensive) bikes to save money here. And, given the eagle eye with which potential customers eye price points, I can empathise with them. My Exped bike came with decent wheels but I wouldn't really trust them on a long long trip loaded the way I load. But I am using them in the meantime. Not a great problem to buy some more wheels (and I stress that the originals will not be dumped) since the rest of the bike is so so close to my ideal. And economical to boot.
I also find your scathing comments on the wheels a bit odd as I have the impression from some of your other posts that you are something close to a credit card tourist and don't carry camping or cooking gear. For this I am sure they will be fine. If you want to "slum" it more, then just get the extra/spare wheels for those trips into the unknown.
The Cinelli comes with two tubus racks.Quality serious items. You could easily pay £150 retail for these.
In short I think you are being too tough on the thing and apearing to demand more "advanced" expensive bits where they are no advantage and may be a significant disadvantage.
I wish you'd actually read what I wrote. I don't have a problem with what they specced, after all a lot of bike choice is very personal. Its the fact that they are charging much much more than what the bike is actually worth. The genesis was maybe a poor example as its a more modern style tourer, I was just using it as an example of a similarly priced price which has much more expensive stuff on it.
You would buy this Cinelli, even though you could buy an almost identical bike for half the price, just because you like how they spec it? Are you their advertising manager?
Have a look at the Jamis Aurora touring bike at Evans - £680 and almost the bike as the Cinelli:
Jamis £680 (current sale price)
Frame Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly main tubes with SST tubing diameters, double-tapered cromo stays, extended head tube with reinforced collars, forged dropouts, fender/rack eyelets and 3 spoke carrier
Fork Lugged semi-sloping chromoly with canti bosses, low-rider carrier braze-ons, forged dropout with fender eyelets
Front Derailleur Shimano Sora FDR3030 with 28.6mm alloy clamp
Rear Derailleur Shimano Sora RD-R3000GS
Shifters microSHIFT bar-end shifters with index or friction option, 27-speed
Chain set FSA Alpha Drive, 48/36/26T
Chain KMC Z99
Brakeset Tektro 992 forged alloy cantilevers with Tektro RL340 road brake levers
Handlebars Jamis Ergo, 6061 aluminum, 31.8
Stem Jamis adjustable threadless system (ATS), forged aluminum, 10˚ x 90mm (47/50), 105mm (53/55), 115mm (57/59/62). ATS shim length 100mm
Wheelset Alex ACE19 eyeleted double walled rims, 36H, Shimano Tiagra RS400 hubs with QR and 14g stainless steel spokes
Tyres Vittoria Randonneur with Double Shielding puncture protection, 700 x 32c
Saddle Jamis Touring Sport with pressure relief cut-out
Seatpost Jamis alloy micro-adjust, 27.2 x 300mm with cromo seat pin
Accessories Rear Rack, Front & Rear Mudguards
Cinelli £1199 (current sale price)
Frame Columbus Cromor - double butted top and down tubes
Fork Columbus Cr-Mo Steel 1-1/8"
Front Derailleur SHIMANO Sora
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore 9-speed
Shifters Microshift BS-T09 Bar End
Chain set FSA Alpha Drive Trekking, 26/36/48t, XS,S,M-170mm, L,XL,XXL-175mm
Chain KMC X9
Brakeset Tektro Cantilever
Handlebars Cinelli 31,8 mm Long Distance Traveller Sweep
Stem Cinelli 31,8 mm
Wheelset Alex Rims, Sora Hubs
Tyres Vittoria Randonneur Trail 700x38 mm
Saddle San Marco Ischia bootleg Custom
Seatpost Bootleg 31,6 mm
Accessories Tubus Front & Rear Racks, Front & Rear Mudguards
The only advantage that the cinelli has is the Tubus racks, which are very nice but don't suit everyone. Even adding them to the Jamis gets you a massive saving.
The only reason to buy the Cinelli is because of the name on the frame.
Firstly, there's no need to get personal, and the riding I do you have no idea about, so I would kindly ask you not to presume.
So although the spec you say is better for the more adventurous tourist, you admit the wheels aren't up to it? Which is exactly what I'm saying.
Actually looking at it that Jamis is an absolute steal at £680..... surely I don't need another bike???
I bet you're glad that you got your Dawes on the way to you!
Just look at how difficult it can be to pick a touring bike!
And remember, the important thing to take from this thread is that once you have done your research , you need to poop on everybody else's decisions. That's the important thing about bike touring!
@minininjarob Thanks for inspiring my new motto - "Riding specs gives me a pain in my ass"
I think nowadays nearly all bikes ride well so the only discussion left is whether they suit what you want to use it for and are they decent value for money.
There was a time you rode one bike for everything, it was a simpler time!
I think if I had to choose one bike over all my others I’d keep my touring bike, so I hope the OP has many years of fun on their bike.
When you’re pedalling the specs don’t matter too much thankfully.
As it happens the cycle to work scheme refused me the money I needed so today Ive ordered the bike through Tredz on 0% finance along with a pair of QL2.1 Ortliebs pannier bags, waterproof trousers and a Ortliebs handlebar pack.
The last item I may have some problems with as the bike has butterfly handlebars and I don't know how the bag could be fitted, oops! So just a tent and sleeping bag now. I think a cheap tent and sleeping bag would do to practice with. It's gonna be winterish weather in about 3 months so you are right I need to hurry.
Getting into sale period for tents with biggest discounts(though narrowing choice) round about the turn of the year. Tents for cycling a big subject in itself - check out threads on here or start a new one if interested. Sleeping bags - a big debate between synthetic or down - worth checking out snugpak, particularly their factory shop if you ever get their way.
Yes I've been contimplating on down or synthetic but the drawbacks on down are price and if wet you're knackered though don't know what's different if a synthetic one gets wet? Synthetic ones are cheaper and so cheap, easily affordable to replace. I think it depends on how often you are going to use it.
I've also checked out the seasons of sleeping bags and for the summer only 1 to 2 season sleeping bags are advised. The only seasons I have found for down sleeping bags is as low as 3 so might be a bit warm for summer. Are there down 1 to 2 sleeping bags?
As I will probably only be planning on going on spring to early autumn trips, I think synthetic would be my choice
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