Holdsworth Elan, PX Kaffenback or other similar frameset?
I was toying with the idea of picking up an older road bike for some general country lane bimbling/touring and some gravel fire-roads that I can use to link up routes near me so comfort is more important than weight/speed. Given the prices most “retro” bikes now fetch, and the amount of money I’d probably have to then spend fettling and replacing parts I’m considering building up a new one instead, but on a fairly low initial budget, as I’m not sure how much I’ll actually use it. I’d like a disc frameset ideally, and steel tubing.
I like the styling of the below, and prefer the colours on the Holdsworth but the Kaffenbach has a smidge more clearance (28c vs 32c). I’d like to run some chunky-ish slicks or even a CX/Gravel type tyre to deal with the lovely potholes and broken surfaces around here, would that be possible on both/either? Also where would i stand running a narrow 650b MTB wheel? I have a set lying about which are the correct hub sizing already so that would cover the rolling chassis really with an appropriate tyre choice.
I’m open to alternatives/criticism/all knowledge and experience really! In summary, I’m essentially after a cheaper self-build Genesis CdF! I enjoy building bikes as much as riding them, which is why I’m swaying towards this route also.
The Kaffenback has limited clearance, especially if you want to run a fatter tyre with mudguards. It’s a while since I sold mine but I dont think you’d get a 650b tyre in the back. Does it have to be steel? There’s quite a lot of choice in Aluminium around the £300 mark.Posted 2 years ago
I’ve got a Kaff, it’ll fit 28’s with guards or 32’s without. It is seriously heavy and very dull to ride. I am currently looking at options to be rid of it, if you need an XL I’m sure I could do a good price…Posted 2 years ago
Hmmm, yes clearance looks to be an issue. Steel isn’t imperative, but I do prefer the look of skinny round tubing rather than formed Aluminium. It appears the Holdsworth has even less clearance, so I may be at a dead-end with this idea!
Not fussed on mudguards, but I would like to run probably a 35c tyre at least. Perhaps I should be looking at “gravel” frames? Or more XC-oriented MTB frames even!Posted 2 years ago
the problem you might have is that you’d like a bike that follow recent trends of wider tyre clearance but from something that is older and less expensive. Your best bet might be an older cyclocross frame but they are most likely to be aluminium.
If your budget was more then the Cotic Escapade might tick the boxesPosted 2 years ago
If you like the elan but want more clearance then you probably want a Holdsworth Stelvio – not in stock on PLanetX but there’ll be a few on ebay.
I’ve got one and it’s fine, just heavy, it’s very similar to a Kona Dew drop frame I have in terms of clearances, bosses and geometryPosted 2 years ago
I had conti cyclocross 35s in my Kaffenback (frameset soon to be sold) with room for a mudguardPosted 2 years ago
Joemmo I do really like the Cotic Escapade and Genesis Vagabond, but as you say they’re a bit too recent/’on trend’ so I may be better off waiting until after Christmas when they start hitting eBay in bigger numbers having sat unused for ~6 months!
I’ll have a look for a Stelvio also, thanks Smokey_jo
That’s good to know Spev, I don’t suppose it’s a small?Posted 2 years ago
nah its a 56cm 🙂Posted 2 years ago
cool, well good luck. I’m building up gravellish bike ATM and just sold off my old CX frame – but also a 57cm.Posted 2 years ago
I have an old Dawes touring frame I built up for gravel, clearance for 47mm slicks nice geo etc and you can pick them up second hand on ebay for a good price.Posted 2 years ago
Cotic Road Rat is the spec you want. Maybe not the price range though.Posted 2 years ago
I think the earlier model Kaffenbacks could take bigger tyres than the Kaff2. I’ve got 28mm Durango Plus on mine and guards. Used it yesterday for the first time in ages and it certainly wasn’t as comfortable as my Vaya fitted with 40mm Nanos. Possibly the 40 psi difference and lack of volume had a lot to do with it !Posted 2 years ago
I have 40mm tyres in the back of my Pompino, and mudguards, so it’s likely you could do the same with a Kaffenback which is essentially the same frame but with less useful dropouts.
It gets plenty of gravel road use, and handles nicely on it.
It wouldn’t take much to widen the chainstays to take a wider tyre – are you listening Brant Brant Brant? 🙂Posted 2 years ago
Full Monty comes with generous clearance (apparently) and mudguard mounts, I almost went for one in the white/celeste before I got an Elan frameset instead .The monty are available very cheaply occasionally if you buy frame and forks separately rather than as a deal together?
Elan is heavy (full steel frame and forks!) but comfortable for what pass as roads in South Lakes.
Currently running 28 contis and guards which required a considerable amount of Macguyer fettling to get to fit…….Posted 2 years ago
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