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Cycling Stereotypes- Choosing Your Next Bike Pt2

Cycling Stereotypes Pt2

Of course, not every cyclist wants to be Chris Froome, some of us are chasing down dreams of being Julian Absalon, some of us want to perform on the track like Jason Kenny and a few dirty buggers want to be like Sven Nys. Then there are those cyclists who can't make their minds up, are they a cyclocross rider a mtb'er or just a plain old commuter who likes a bit of riding at the weekend? We don't care, we cater for all tastes at Planet X. Come and check out this versatile pairing as we go head to head with two Built-It-Yessen bikes, the London Road Tiagra 4700 and the XLS SRAM Apex Hydraulic.

London Road Tiagra Vs XLS Apex Hydraulic


Groupsets:

At first sight, it might seem that there's very little in common between Shimano's Tiagra 4700, 10-speed groupset and SRAM's Apex 1x11 hydraulic brake equipped groupset. From a feature set point of view you'd be right on the money but these two groupsets share a common position within their respective brand's groupset offering. SRAM's Apex 1x11 groupset inhabits the entry level position for SRAM's road going groupsets. It's been the commuter staple for a couple of seasons, where price and performance mix together to offer lasting durability and ergonomic function that makes ownership and everyday use a real joy. For this season SRAM has upgraded to 11-speed, giving them a little headroom against Shimano's Tigra groupset. Apex 1x11 also only uses a single front chainring, no front shifter, no front shift lever, just a wide range rear cassette that offers broad enough gears to tackle any incline. There's a simplicity to SRAM's 1x groupsets that are hugely appealing to off-road cyclists and quickly becoming the norm for road going utility bikes. When you factor in the powerful hydraulic brakes that we've fitted to the XLS you begin to see how well equipped the XLS Apex is, perfectly suited for off-road riding and racing.

Shimano's Tiagra 4700 groupset is 10-speed gearing done right and at a new, even lower price point. Tiagra features all of Shimano's top-level technology and performance, trimmed and trickled down to a seriously competitive price point. Shifting finesse, ergonomics, drivetrain efficiency and durability are second to none for a 10-speed groupset. Tiagra is snapping at the heels of Shimano's own 11-speed groupsets. Shimano's Tiagra 4700 remains Shimano's only 10-speed groupset in their top-tier offering. Like it's pro-spec brothers, Tiagra looks the business, 4-arm cranks and a deep gunmetal anodised finish adds to the value on offer. Because braking power is just as important in busy traffic as it is off-road we've fitted powerful Avid mechanical disc brakes to help you stay in total control no matter where you ride. In this disc brake equipped version Tiagra might just be the most versatile 10-speed groupset you can ride.

Framesets:

The XLS and London Road framesets look to have about as much in common with a lifelong Green Party member and Nigel Farage. While that might be true on the surface, dig a little deeper and things become less obvious.

The XLS sports a monocoque carbon frame with a carbon fork. Lightweight, high strength, built to absorb the lumps and bumps of rough surfaces while inspiring confidence in your bike handling skills and giving you a riding position that allows you to get the power down when you need to break free from the bunch. The XLS also sports huge tyre clearances, plenty of room for mud caked CX tyres, or a slimmer slick tyre if that's your thing when you're not racing. Designed as a CX bike the XLS has shown its strength and versatility for other types of riding both on and off-road. It's a popular bike with riders who don't want to have to choose only one type of riding and don't have the money or space for a whole fleet of bikes. The XLS will do you proud.

The London road sports a butted aluminium frame with a carbon bladed fork. Lightweight, high strength, built to absorb the lumps and bumps of rough surfaces while inspiring confidence in your bike handling skills and giving you a riding position that allows you to get the power down when you need to speed away from another set of traffic lights. The London Road also sports huge tyre clearances, plenty of room for mudguards, panniers and bigger road tyres or even mud caked CX tyres, if that's your thing when you're not commuting. Designed as our versatile Super Commuter the London Road has shown its strength and versatility for other types of riding both on and off-road. It's a popular bike with riders who don't want to have to choose only one type of riding and don't have the money or space for a whole fleet of bikes. Whether you're looking for a capable cross-continental tourer, a daily driver for the urban commute, a winter trainer or a once a month CX bike the London Road will do you proud.

Maybe the XLS and London Road framesets do have a bit more in common than might be immediately obvious. Each excellent for their primary intended uses they both offer scoops of added versatility that make them an ideal choice for any cyclist who just can't stick to one type of riding.

Wheelsets:

Gipiemme provides their Roccia Equipe 29" wheelset for both of these bikes. Built as a CX and Gravel bike wheel they are supremely strong, light enough to race and will happily take skinny or knobbly tyres. They're as popular with our regular commuter customers as they are with the CX racers on a budget. Stick your favourite rubber on them and go ride.


Riders:

So which bike is right for you, that's a difficult call unless you're an out and out CX racer looking for the best value for money carbon CX rig they can buy for under a grand. The XLS with SRAM Apex1 and hydraulic disk brakes really takes some beating. Stick some competitive CX rubber on the wheels and you are all ready to race. But if you fall into the category of rider who wants a bike to do more than just one thing then it's a tougher choice. Both the XLS and London Road have a huge crossover potential; they can both be set-up and raced CX. They're both happy hitting the trails and canal path routes with a suitable set of tyres. Switch to narrow rubber and they both make fine agile commuter bikes that can still be switched up at the weekend for off-road adventures. If touring continents and crossing the great divide is your thing then the London Road is the clear winner, with space for big rubber, full-length mudguards and panniers it's the obvious choice. Go for the XLS if you have a competitive streak and really want to test your metal. It's the perfect first CX bike for the committed cyclist and a versatile all-rounder. Grab a London Road if you want total versatility, it's for any rider who can't stick to just one type of riding.

6 December 2016

Cycling Stereotypes- Choosing Your Next Bike Pt2