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Verdict: 
A great bike for racking up the miles and enjoying the countryside but it could do with better brakes
Weight: 
10,730g
Contact: 
Bombtrack Audax
7 10

Bombtrack's Audax is exactly what its name suggests: it's a mile-muncher that whisks you along in cosseting comfort; even when fatigue kicks in the last thing you need to worry about is the bike. If you want a ride that excites then this probably isn't the bike for you, but if you want to get to the end of your journey without fuss or drama, all you need to do on the Bombtrack is keep spinning the pedals.

  • Pros: Supple ride from the tubing, wide 650b tyres allow for excursions off the beaten track
  • Cons: A bit weighty, no 'get up and go' if that's what you're after

The ride

The best way I can think to sum up the Audax is that it should never be rushed – and I mean that in a good way. Just like a ride of the same name, it really hits a sweetspot between not-too-fast and not-too-slow average speeds.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

If you've never ridden an audax then you may not know how they operate. Briefly, you are given the distance and two speeds, a minimum average and a maximum, between which you should complete the ride.

I found that the Bombtrack just cruised beautifully at the effort required to cover 15-18mph on the flat; go slower and it felt laboured because of its weight, go faster and... well, don't bother as this is no race bike, so you'll get very little back for your effort.

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_2.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_2.jpg

In this business we ride a lot of bikes, obviously, in my case usually three new ones every month and most follow a common theme. You get on it, smash the pedals around and make your mind up. There is the odd bike, though, where you have to take a step back and realise things aren't working out and it's probably you not the bike.

Most bikes, no matter how pigeon-holed the marketing, are very good at a range of things, but the Bombtrack is a very specific machine.

The Audax taught me to take things easy, and while the first few rides may have felt underwhelming in terms of excitement, I soon settled into a groove and realised I could cover impressive distances at a decent speed without much in the way of energy output.

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_3.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_3.jpg

Comfort is impressive, both from the double butted Columbus Cromor tubing and the high-volume 650b x 47mm tyres. No matter what condition the road surface is in, you cruise along in relative bliss.

I'm not usually overly worried about comfort on the bike; I don't want to be battered, obviously, but I'm happy to take a little punishment in the conquest for speed. Riding the Audax, though, was like being wafted along in your favourite slippers.

Rather than watching out for potholes or drains, I was admiring the scenery and just tapping out miles at an easy cadence, enjoying being out in the countryside and spinning along.

The mileage started to increase, and while I wasn't taking on the epic distances of our Dave and his 600km hidings, I quickly grew to enjoy the character of the Bombtrack.

Geometry

When you look at the numbers, the Audax is actually quite a racy machine. This medium model with its effective top tube length of 551mm and relatively short head tube of just 130mm is actually quite aggressive.

bombtrack_audax.jpg

bombtrack_audax.jpg

The stack figure of 563mm and reach of 390 gives you a ratio of 1.44 which sits in between the norm for a race and an endurance machine.

This shows up in the handling. Find yourself on a fast flowing descent and the Audax continues that theme of unflustered behaviour. What do I mean by that? Well, it has that balance of quickness in the steering to give confidence in choosing a line, without the twitchiness of something racier.

With those large volume tyres and the balanced geometry, you don't need to worry if you hit some gravel or can't avoid a pothole as the bike will just absorb it and get on with the job.

bombtrack_audax_-_rim_and_tyre_2.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_rim_and_tyre_2.jpg

The whole bike weighs 10.73kg, so let's be honest it isn't exactly light and you'll notice this when it comes to climbing or acceleration. The usual rules apply, though: stay in the saddle, tap it out and you'll get the best out of the bike.

Sometimes, though, you do have to get out of the saddle thanks to the weight (and that's unloaded, remember – if you are out for a trek you're going to be carrying luggage), so the pretty standard gearing of 50/34 up front and an 11-28t cassette at the rear can become a bit of a grind.

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_4.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_riding_4.jpg

Frame and fork

Columbus's Cromor is part of its 'all-purpose, hi-resistance tubes family'. Columbus also says that it has 'top reliability even in the most demanding and stressing conditions with long-lasting properties and performance even after heavy duty use'.

The Audax certainly feels tough and you don't need to treat it with kid gloves.

I love the look of a steel frame, with skinnier tubing than you see with most other materials, but the Audax isn't a retro machine. Up front you get a 1 1/8 to 1 1/2in head tube for increased stiffness under braking and steering loads.

bombtrack_audax_-_head_tube_badge.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_head_tube_badge.jpg

The bottom bracket has also gone down the press-fit route rather than the traditional screw-in method.

bombtrack_audax_-_bottom_bracket.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_bottom_bracket.jpg

This Audax edition has been made more sports orientated than previous models, with shortened chainstays. To provide room for the tyre width and pedal arm, Bombtrack has come up with a rather neat, formed drive side chainstay.

bombtrack_audax_-_crank.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_crank.jpg

Both chainstays are heavily scalloped to offer extra tyre clearance too.

bombtrack_audax_-_rear_dropout.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_rear_dropout.jpg

For a bike of this style, attachment points are key, and with the Audax you won't be disappointed. The frame will take full mudguards at the rear plus a pannier rack, and you have plenty of mounting points on the fork for various racks and guards.

bombtrack_audax_-_seat_stays.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_seat_stays.jpg

You also get three sets of bottle cage mounting points, the third being under the down tube. Not ideal for keeping a drink out of road spray, but a good position for a tool carrier.

Most of the cabling runs externally, which to be honest isn't a major worry. If you were to use this bike for far-flung adventures it's much easier to replace a snapped wire on the outside rather than having to thread it through the frame.

bombtrack_audax_-_cable_route.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_cable_route.jpg

That said, the rear brake cable does run internally, but Bombtrack provides a fully enclosed outer which should make replacement simple enough.

Wheel retention is starting to settle down, and the Audax follows the theme of 12mm thru-axles front and rear, a real benefit when using disc brakes, with the larger diameter of the thru-axle and the fact that they screw directly into the fork and frame meaning they are better at resisting the braking forces caused by having a rotor on just one side.

bombtrack_audax_-_fork_detail.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_fork_detail.jpg

Finishing kit

For a £2,100 bike, the spec sheet seems a little low, but money has been spent in the right places. Well, almost.

The Bombtrack gets a Shimano 105 groupset, as in shifters, front and rear mech, chainset and cassette. There is a KMC chain, but a lot of brands tend to go down that route.

bombtrack_audax_-_drivetrain.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_drivetrain.jpg

As I mentioned earlier, you get a 50/34-tooth compact chainset and an 11-28t, 11-speed cassette, quite a race-orientated set of ratios.

bombtrack_audax_-_rear_mech.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_rear_mech.jpg

The shifting from the 5800 setup is absolutely great and you really can't knock it for the money. The hoods are comfortable to ride on for miles and the gear changing is light and precise.

bombtrack_audax_-_bars_and_shofter.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_bars_and_shofter.jpg

Unfortunately, the 105 speccing doesn't extend to the braking, which is a shame. Don't get me wrong – I'm not a huge fan of the 105 hydraulic levers, I find them a strange shape and nowhere near as comfortable as the mechanical version – but the braking offered by the TRP Spyre-Cs is seriously lacking, as I mentioned in my review of the Kona Rove DL compared to that of an oil-based system. The Spyre-Cs don't offer a lot of power or modulation, and I'd really expect more for the budget.

bombtrack_audax_-_front_disc_brake.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_front_disc_brake.jpg

The handlebar, stem and seatpost are all Bombtrack branded and it's decent enough stuff. I certainly wouldn't be in a huge hurry to go out and upgrade anything. It's all painted in a gloss black finish which matches the rest of the bike too.

bombtrack_audax_-_saddle_and_post.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_saddle_and_post.jpg

The handlebar has a 10-degree flare each side from the tops to the drops, which is great should you take to the gravel tracks and byways as it offers a little bit of extra stability when the going is fast.

bombtrack_audax_-_bars.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_bars.jpg

The Bombtrack saddle is made by Velo and I found it quite comfortable; the padding is quite firm but it does absorb road buzz and I got on fine with the shape.

bombtrack_audax_-_saddle.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_saddle.jpg

Wheels and tyres

After the frame and fork, the wheels and tyres bring the most to the ride and it's great to see that Bombtrack has skimped on neither.

bombtrack_audax_-_front.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_front.jpg

Hunt has built up a strong reputation for its wheels, and rightly so. I've owned and tested many pairs and they are solid, performance-orientated wheels so it's no surprise that many brands are speccing them as standard.

The Adventure Sport 650b Disc wheelset comes in at a claimed 1,579g which is impressive for the £319 price tag, especially when you consider how tough the wheels are.

bombtrack_audax_-_rim_and_tyre.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_rim_and_tyre.jpg

I took the Audax off-road a fair few times and the Hunts can't be faulted for the abuse they took. I don't go out to purposely wreck test wheels but I certainly treat them way worse than I would any set I've splashed my own cash on!

Tyre-wise, the WTB Horizon TCSs are well respected and offer great rolling resistance. Grip is good and because of their width they can happily swap from tarmac to hardpack trails. Even on loose, small gravel they handle well as they float across rather than sinking like narrower 700C tyres.

bombtrack_audax_-_fork_clearance.jpg

bombtrack_audax_-_fork_clearance.jpg

Value

As I said earlier, when you look at the spec levels the Bombtrack doesn't really excite when it comes to bang for buck category.

Let's take the Fairlight Strael 2.0, for instance, one of only two bikes I've ever given 10/10 to. Okay, it's not a true audax bike, but it uses Reynold's steel to create what can only be described as a beautiful, fast and comfortable ride.

A Shimano 105-equipped Strael 2.0 will set you back £1,999, a smidge cheaper than the Bombtrack, but that is a hydraulic disc brake-equipped model which makes a big difference in terms of ride quality. You do only get Fulcrum 7DB wheels rather than the more expensive Hunts, though, so it's not completely clear cut which is best.

> Buyer's Guide: 23 of the best 2018 sportive & endurance bikes

Another option is the Genesis Fugio (full review to come), which is a similar sort of bike. It also costs £1,999 and comes with a steel frame and Shimano 105 groupset, but again hydraulic brakes are the name of the game here.

The Bombtrack isn't over the top in terms of price, but it is up against some tough competition, and it's not like the two I've mentioned are massive brands exploiting their size for massive bargains.

Conclusion

If you want to cover big miles in total comfort and serenity then the Audax will probably suit you down to the ground. It offers a lovely ride and offers a decent package – braking aside.

Verdict

A great bike for racking up the miles and enjoying the countryside but it could do with better brakes

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bombtrack Audax

Size tested: Medium

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

FRAME

COLUMBUS "Cromor" double butted tubing, tapered head tube, TA dropouts, replaceable hanger

FORK

BT BIKES "EXT" full carbon, TA disc fork, 1.1/8"-1.1/2" tapered, with triple cage mounts

HEADSET

FSA "No21/12/44" sealed a-headset, 1.1/8"-1.1/2

CRANKSET

SHIMANO "105"

BB

SHIMANO PF86

LEVERS

SHIMANO "105"

SHIFTER

SHIMANO "105" 2x11 (integ. with lever)

PEDALS

not included

CHAIN

KMC "X11EL-1" chain

CHAINRING

SHIMANO "105" Compact, 50/34T

CASSETTE

SHIMANO "105" 11-speed cassette, 11-28T

DERAILLEUR

SHIMANO "105" front and rear

BARS

BT BIKES "CX-10" 6061-T6 butted alloy, 10° flared drop bar

GRIPS

BT BIKES "TOUR" shock-proof bar tape

STEM BT BIKES "Origin" forged alloy stem, -7°

SADDLE

BT BIKES "Comp" rail saddle

SEAT POST

BT BIKES "612" alloy seatpost

SEAT CLAMP BT BIKES "Origin" forged alloy seatclamp

FRONT HUB

HUNT "Adventure Sport" sealed hub, 6-bolt disc, 12x100mm Thru-axle

REAR HUB

HUNT "Adventure Sport" sealed hub, 11-speed, 6-bolt disc, 12x142mm Thru-axle

FRONT RIM

HUNT "Adventure Sport" double wall asymmetric rim, TLC, i20, 28h

REAR RIM

HUNT "Adventure Sport" double wall asymmetric rim, TLC, i20, 28h

TIRES

WTB "Horizon" TCS, 650b x 47c folding

BRAKES

TRP "Spyre C" flat-mount disc brakes with 160mm F / 140mm R rotors

Tell us what the bike is for

Bombtrack says, "Originally conceived as a more traditional road tourer the Audax has been transformed into a vision for modern endurance road riding. The starting point for the new direction was switching the wheel platform from 700c to the road-plus 650b. Thanks to the incredibly smooth rolling Hunt Adventure disc wheels used in combination with the WTB Horizon TCS tires the Audax just eats up the miles. For long distance riding, steel is arguably the best material for the job. Its natural resonance dampens road buzz and produces a ride so compliant that it's more akin to floating than rolling. The geometry has been revised for a less touring and more sportive riding position. Such geometry required shorter chainstays whilst retaining tire and chainring clearance the result of these factors led to the development of our custom yoke, a standout feature on this incredible bike."

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Well made with a quality finish.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

The frame uses tubing from Columbus's Chromor range while the fork is full carbon fibre.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Quite racy for an audax bike with quite a short head tube but it doesn't really feel it when you are riding it.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The stack and reach of this medium model gives a ratio of 1.44 which is quite aggressive for a bike of its type. As above, though, it doesn't feel like it when you are riding it.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes, the combination of a decent steel tubeset and large volume tyres makes for a pleasurable ride.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

For the type of ride the bike is designed for, stiffness isn't an issue.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Pretty good, it's not really what the bike is about though.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively Neutral but still fun.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The Audax is far from a speed machine but if things do get technical on a descent, it never feels hard work.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The tyres take a lot of the hits.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The bar and stem combo is perfectly stiff for any out of the saddle efforts.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The Hunt wheels spin up well and their weight makes for fun climbing, but I'd change the cassette to an 11-32 for easier climbing in the saddle.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

When it comes to gearing things can't be criticised, but the mechanical brakes let things down.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so

Seeing Hunt wheels on any spec list is always a bonus. They are consistently durable, performance orientated and great value for money.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so

Very comfortable tyres that offer plenty of grip whether on or off-road.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Solid performing alloy components from Bombtrack.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? If distance was my main goal, then yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

When it comes to comfort, the Audax is hard to knock: you can ride this thing forever without feeling beat up or tired, but for the money I'd say that hydraulic brakes should be a given.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

22 comments

Avatar
littlemig [9 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Jag wire brake housings fitted to the bike are not compression less. This made a big difference to the performance of the spyres on my cross bike. I used the trp disc brake kit.

Avatar
fluffed [106 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Mech discs on a 2 grand bike is a bit WTF, i've got the same ones on my 800 quid bike to work jobby.

Avatar
bike.owner [196 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

10.73kg? Really? That's ridiculous for the price, not to mention the mech brakes for_the_price. Overall, a completely uninspiring and overweight behemoth that digs a large hole in the wallet. Why the hell can't your reviews actually cut to the chase and state the bleeding obvious? Good journalism doesn't pander to the subject. It tells it like it is. Are there any journalists onboard? Or is it all just reporters and marketing graduates?

Avatar
Joe Totale [56 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

God knows how this bike is so heavy. Given it's got a decent wheelset already there's not really any weight to be lost by upgrading the wheels. 

Once you add mudguards which for a bike like this are fairly standard you're over 11kg and those hilly audax's become that bit harder. Given the bike is so heavy and the function that it's designed for it seems a bit strange that this bike has a 11-28 cassette and not a 11-32. 

Avatar
fluffed [106 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Cromor tubing is pretty heavy,  there's over a kilo in tyres , and I bet the no-name finishing kit is the cheap and heavy variety. 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2018 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

34-28 a bit of a grind because the bike is a couple of kilos heavier than a Carbon Fibre gravel bike?

waaah waah waaah, bloody kids today, MAN THE FUCK UP, it's hardly grinding, even an old duffer like me can get up a short 15% or longer 6-7% on 34-28.

People bitching and whining it's heavy, it's a solid cruiser, a bike to go long distances in comfort, it's not a speed machine. jesus wept, it's a good job you weren't born before the 1980s, you'd flake out at 42-24 being your bottom gear on a Reynolds 501 'sports-tourer' that came in at 24lb and having to ride anywhere but the flat!

Is it good value, who knows but when you have CF 'gravel' bikes reviewed on this site regularly with frames that are supposedly 1200-1300g +  lightweight wheels etc weighing in at 8.5kg and sometimes more, and this is 2kg at the most heavier says to me that people's viewpoints on what is 'heavy' is somewhat distorted.  

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [285 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

50-11 for gravel?

 

whut?

 

44-32 would make so much more sense for a 11t starter cog.. or a 13-30 cassette 

Avatar
KingSaxlingham [3 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

It's an absolute looker, right down to all the details, but £2,100 is mental. That spec, on that frame a couple of years ago would be about £1000 tops, maybe touch more with the wheels. For that price you can get yourself a custom frame with higher spec parts.

Nothing highlights the 'gravel grab' as much as this bike in my opinion. A real shame as Bombtracks early bikes were really good value, the first Arise, Needle, Oxbridge etc. 

But still, looking at it, I bet its an absolute joy to ride. Maybe that's what matters most.

Avatar
TonbridgeJon [11 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

It's been said in other comments but when you can get a brand new Cube C:62 Race with full Dura Ace for £2099.99 at the moment (OK, it is a completely different bike), I can't see them shifting many of these at full RRP. Would think you could just about get something custom built for this money in any flavour you like.

Avatar
Canyon48 [990 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

34-28 a bit of a grind because the bike is a couple of kilos heavier than a Carbon Fibre gravel bike?

waaah waah waaah, bloody kids today, MAN THE FUCK UP, it's hardly grinding, even an old duffer like me can get up a short 15% or longer 6-7% on 34-28.

People bitching and whining it's heavy, it's a solid cruiser, a bike to go long distances in comfort, it's not a speed machine. jesus wept, it's a good job you weren't born before the 1980s, you'd flake out at 42-24 being your bottom gear on a Reynolds 501 'sports-tourer' that came in at 24lb and having to ride anywhere but the flat!

Is it good value, who knows but when you have CF 'gravel' bikes reviewed on this site regularly with frames that are supposedly 1200-1300g +  lightweight wheels etc weighing in at 8.5kg and sometimes more, and this is 2kg at the most heavier says to me that people's viewpoints on what is 'heavy' is somewhat distorted.  

I'm a bit confused, you ripped apart the Whyte Glencoe because you said it was too heavy and had a silly wheel size, but you are in favour of this bike (which is a comparable bike with the same wheel size but much more expensive).

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

So it's a specialized tricross only heavier, lots more expensive and 10 years later. Surely with the popularity of disc frames you dont need to mess about changing the wheel size to get a wider tyre now do you? My now 11 year old spesh globe pro and expert take 55mm 700C tyres (without guards), why are we making out wide tyres on a road bike is a new thing? Despite this being a 1x system, having smaller wheels/tyres, it's still 2.5kg heavier than my triple set up with the globe (including a brooks and it being a 58). There's seemingly no progression in bikes and their use only sideways and retrograde steps with renaming bikes/activities plus marketing to make them seem like the latest and greatest. It isn't but is costing a shed load more money AND weight to find out! Weight might not be a big consideration for some but hints at frame and component quality, zip ties to secure mudguards is just the tip of the iceberg, I mean really, zipties ... WTF!

Avatar
n_g [19 posts] 2 weeks ago
4 likes

Press-fit BB on a steel frame is ridiculous. I'm amazed the manufacturer simply can't be bothered to install a threaded BB shell, which would avoid the risk of creaking and make it so much easier to replace BBs. With carbon frames we hear a lot of excuses along the lines of "it's 5g lighter with press-fit", but with this steel frame that obviously makes no sense.

Avatar
tsarouxaz [109 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

I believe that some companies think that their customers are idiots... mechanical disk brakes for that price??? really??? press fit bb on steel???? really did they go that cheap??? are you, bombtrack, a serious company or another "reputable" that has gone chineese governed by some pencil pushers that only look how to increase their profit and their bonuses eventualy... sales will tell...

Avatar
kil0ran [918 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
n_g wrote:

Press-fit BB on a steel frame is ridiculous. I'm amazed the manufacturer simply can't be bothered to install a threaded BB shell, which would avoid the risk of creaking and make it so much easier to replace BBs. With carbon frames we hear a lot of excuses along the lines of "it's 5g lighter with press-fit", but with this steel frame that obviously makes no sense.

It's an odd choice. Even if the rider is out of the saddle there doesn't need to be a stiffness issue with a threaded steel BB. My Bowman Layhams is plenty stiff enough to handle my bulk out of the saddle - I'm guessing the bi-ovalised downtube helps

Avatar
bike.owner [196 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:

It's an odd choice.

Press fit gives wider tyre clearance when the chainstays are spaced properly to utilise the wider shell. It's about time people started realising that 68mm shells have serious limitations in the modern world.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

...MAN THE FUCK UP, it's hardly grinding, even an old duffer like me can get up a short 15% or longer 6-7% on 34-28.

It's not the fact that it's ridiculously heavy. It's the the price associated with the outrageous weight.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

...when you have CF 'gravel' bikes reviewed on this site regularly with frames that are supposedly 1200-1300g +  lightweight wheels etc weighing in at 8.5kg and sometimes more, and this is 2kg at the most heavier says to me that people's viewpoints on what is 'heavy' is somewhat distorted.  

This tells me you have little experience of the actual difference between lighter and heavier bikes. A few kilos is a lot, but losing a kilo on wheels alone will transform a bike into something completely different, regardless of the rest of bike weight, but I guess you have never experienced that.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2018 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
Canyon48 wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

34-28 a bit of a grind because the bike is a couple of kilos heavier than a Carbon Fibre gravel bike?

waaah waah waaah, bloody kids today, MAN THE FUCK UP, it's hardly grinding, even an old duffer like me can get up a short 15% or longer 6-7% on 34-28.

People bitching and whining it's heavy, it's a solid cruiser, a bike to go long distances in comfort, it's not a speed machine. jesus wept, it's a good job you weren't born before the 1980s, you'd flake out at 42-24 being your bottom gear on a Reynolds 501 'sports-tourer' that came in at 24lb and having to ride anywhere but the flat!

Is it good value, who knows but when you have CF 'gravel' bikes reviewed on this site regularly with frames that are supposedly 1200-1300g +  lightweight wheels etc weighing in at 8.5kg and sometimes more, and this is 2kg at the most heavier says to me that people's viewpoints on what is 'heavy' is somewhat distorted.  

I'm a bit confused, you ripped apart the Whyte Glencoe because you said it was too heavy and had a silly wheel size, but you are in favour of this bike (which is a comparable bike with the same wheel size but much more expensive).

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

So it's a specialized tricross only heavier, lots more expensive and 10 years later. Surely with the popularity of disc frames you dont need to mess about changing the wheel size to get a wider tyre now do you? My now 11 year old spesh globe pro and expert take 55mm 700C tyres (without guards), why are we making out wide tyres on a road bike is a new thing? Despite this being a 1x system, having smaller wheels/tyres, it's still 2.5kg heavier than my triple set up with the globe (including a brooks and it being a 58). There's seemingly no progression in bikes and their use only sideways and retrograde steps with renaming bikes/activities plus marketing to make them seem like the latest and greatest. It isn't but is costing a shed load more money AND weight to find out! Weight might not be a big consideration for some but hints at frame and component quality, zip ties to secure mudguards is just the tip of the iceberg, I mean really, zipties ... WTF!

The reviewer of the Whyte didn't complain it was too heavy, that was why I brought it up here and not there. I don't misunderstand about weight at all, the reviewer whinges about having to grind using a 34-28, some of the lightest gravel bikes costing a lot more are less than 2kg lighter, if you think that 2kg makes a massive difference for the type of riding this is aimed at like audax, like commuting, like gravel riding then it's you who are confused/not having a grasp of matters.

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bike.owner [196 posts] 2 weeks ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

...if you think that 2kg makes a massive difference for the type of riding this is aimed at like audax, like commuting, like gravel riding then it's you who are confused/not having a grasp of matters.

When you factor in the price I think it's you that doesn't have an adequate grasp on matters. Putting the price aside, those 2kg do make a difference to every single buyer. Some less, some more. For some, it's a deal breaker.

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jterrier [200 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Bit heavy, bit over priced, poorly geared. Not their best effort.

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iandusud [68 posts] 1 week ago
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I just don't get the gearing on this bike. 

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HollyBoni [1 post] 1 week ago
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kil0ran wrote:

Press-fit BB on a steel frame is ridiculous. 

 

n_g wrote:

It's an odd choice. Even if the rider is out of the saddle there doesn't need to be a stiffness issue with a threaded steel BB. 

 

Welcome to the big tyre world! yes 

I know it's going to be hard, but try to forget one of the magic roadie words: stiffness. (Maybe weight too, although there are gram counters in this universe too)

Now do some research about the advantages of a wider BB shell when trying to fit big tyres.

I know, PF is not the perfect solution, but we don't live in a perfect world sadly.

I've seen Bombtrack saying multiple times that they would like to use T47 instead, but won't because of the lack of OEM support. 

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Marcellus - Bom... [2 posts] 1 week ago
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I am a bit late to the discussion, but wanted to give a bit on an insight into the developement if the Audax. 

First, the pressfit bottom bracket. If you want to get a bike with short chainstays, wide tire clearance and not to wild bent chainstays, a 86 mm wide bottom bracket shell is the only solution. Of course it is possible to use a 68 mm bottom bracket, but the chainstays would have to be longer, or we would have to use a very complex (Peter Verdone style) or heavy yoke. In my eyes T47 is a great solution, but it depends on the availability of reliable OEM bottom brackets.

Second, the gearing. This bike is not meant to be a gravel bike, we have the Hook EXT which is far better suited for doing mainly gravel or even singletrail rides. The Audax is meant to be an allroad bike, mainly for tarmac in various conditions. Of course it can tackle a gravel race, but that is just not its main purpose. We are discussing the use of sub-compact cranks in the future though.

Third, the weight. We are definitely not on the weight weenie side, especially not with our steel frames. Partial because of our BMX heritage (Bombtrack evolved out of WeThePeople Bike Co.), partial because weight isn't the most important factor to us. Our bikes have to be reliable and take a beating, we are more concerned that our bikes stand the test of time than producing the lightest steel frame possible (which is a totally fine approach as well). We test most of our bikes to MTB and BMX standards.

Fourth, pricing. We believe in the old fashioned way of selling our bikes through distributors and shops, and so far it works great for us.

I hope that wasn't too much, thanks if you read through this.

Thanks for all your feedback, this helps a lot.

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bike.owner [196 posts] 6 days ago
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Nice of you to 'weigh' in. Now, a few points:

Marcellus - Bombtrack wrote:

First, the pressfit bottom bracket. If you want to get a bike with short chainstays, wide tire clearance and not to [sic] wild bent chainstays, a 86 mm wide bottom bracket shell is the only solution.

As has already been said.

Quote:

Of course it is possible to use a 68 mm bottom bracket, but the chainstays would have to be longer, or we would have to use a very complex (Peter Verdone style) or heavy yoke. In my eyes T47 is a great solution, but it depends on the availability of reliable OEM bottom brackets.

But that great solution also involves the use of longer chainstays, very complex chainstays or heavy yoke for short chainstays to get wider tyre clearance as it's still on a 68mm shell. Hardly a great solution. T47 is a nice solution to the 68mm press fit problem, but it's not a solution to wider tyres on modern bikes. It's a solution to a problem which is fading into insignificance as wider BB shells take over. T47 is a solution that is essentially stillborn for modern wider tyre bikes. It's a good retrofit and nothing more. A real solution is a threaded cup for 86.5mm, but I'm sure you already know this.

Quote:

Third, the weight. We are definitely not on the weight weenie side, especially not with our steel frames. Partial because of our BMX heritage (Bombtrack evolved out of WeThePeople Bike Co.), partial because weight isn't the most important factor to us. Our bikes have to be reliable and take a beating, we are more concerned that our bikes stand the test of time than producing the lightest steel frame possible...

So, why is it that others can produce a similar spec at 1-2kg lighter, and cheaper? Sounds like a lot of friendly marketing to justify cheaper, heavier tubing and heavyweight components. Most road cyclists looking beyond the standard Halfords bike are a bit more discerning. This is intended for road cyclists, not the MTB crowd that don't care about weight, right?

Honestly, this road bike is overweight, underspecced and overpriced; and no amount of platitudes can really justify it.

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Marcellus - Bom... [2 posts] 5 days ago
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Thanks for your answer, so I was not too late.

I think there is a misunderstanding. I don't want to replace a BB86 with a 68 mm T47 threaded shell and outboard cups (which wouldn't make any sense for this frame indeed) but with a 86 mm wide T47 shell and inboard cups.

Concerning the weight and price, which specific bike from another manufacturer do you have in mind? There are various aspects in pricing, of course a company who does direct sales can offer a far better price than we do. Please don't misunderstand, I don't want to rant about direct sales, it is just not the way we choose to do buisiness.

Honestly, this road bike is overweight, underspecced and overpriced; and no amount of platitudes can really justify it.

I am not sure what amount of platitudes you are referring to. We put a lot of labour, thoughts and love into our brand (we have to, as we ride those bikes quite regular) and of course in the end the customer decides if the bike is worth the price, but we are always honest about our bikes.

Thanks for reading

Marcellus