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  1. #1
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Waterford: RS versus RST models

    I'm trying to make a sight-unseen assessment of Waterford's two sport models: (A) Road Sport and (B) Road Sport Touring. My LBS represents Waterford, but doesn't stock them. Three questions about the two models please:

    1. Any information on the sturdiness of the R-33 style TIG-weld for these two models? Considering the lightweightedness of their tubings, can they take a licking and keep on ticking? My desires would be not for mountain biking ... but at least dirt road riding with their token ruts.

    2. Any idea which of the two models are best suited for the following goals(?):
    A. Good for club rides.
    B. Comfortable geometry with horizontal top tube. May not be possible because of my 5'3" height and 75.5 cm PBH.
    C. Good geometry for century rides ... and possible credit card tours.
    D. Handlebars close to height of saddle.
    E. 95 percent of club rides on paved roads ... with 700C x 25-28 mm tires.
    F. 5 percent of club rides on dirt roads ... with 700C x 28-32 mm tires ... (with fenders?)

    3. What would be good brakes ... when considering possibility of using fenders with 32 mm tires. Side-pulls, center-pulls, cantilevers?

  2. #2
    5' 19" barndoor's Avatar
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    If I were you, I'd check out Waterfords website and call Dave Hellekson or sign up for their forum and give him those figures and he'll tell you on the spot.

    http://www.waterfordbikes.com/
    I own my dream bike, a 2006 R-14 66cm Waterford road bike

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    you do realise Waterford makes custom bikes, don't you? Call 'em up
    and tell them what you want.

    Btw, my wife is 5' 2" and last year I built a 650b bike for her. She loves it, and so do I. The geometry is not compromised, the ride is out of this world, and it's
    not slow the way many comfortable bikes are.

    She has the Rivendell Bleriot. I am thinking lustfully about their Saluki.
    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=50-571
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  4. #4
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips so far. I'm still trying to picture in my mind ... the bike I want customized ... before possibly contacting Waterford.

    The Waterford I'm shooting for is described pretty much in the OP. I have a size 50 Saluki, shown in my avatar. It will be good for touring ... but it is relatively heavy ... which keeps me from staying on the wheels of the more experienced riders in my club. I've been doing 30 mile club rides on the Saluki, but it is an adventure keeping up with their 700C lightweight bikes ... on my 650B heavy-tubed Saluki.

    That is why I was trying to get experienced info from the mechanics form if possible, on the difference between the RS and the RST. I gather they are lightweight bikes that would accommodate tires up to 32 mm for the few occasions my club wants to cut a rug on dirt roads. Which led me to ask about the durability of TIG-welding ... and possibly canti-brakes ... for a club riding bike that is fast but can tolerate dirt roads.

    Your input is appreciated.

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I'm jealous.

    Have you tried Cypress tires?

    http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/tireoffer.html
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad View Post
    Thanks for the tips so far. I'm still trying to picture in my mind ... the bike I want customized ... before possibly contacting Waterford.

    The Waterford I'm shooting for is described pretty much in the OP. I have a size 50 Saluki, shown in my avatar. It will be good for touring ... but it is relatively heavy ... which keeps me from staying on the wheels of the more experienced riders in my club. I've been doing 30 mile club rides on the Saluki, but it is an adventure keeping up with their 700C lightweight bikes ... on my 650B heavy-tubed Saluki.

    That is why I was trying to get experienced info from the mechanics form if possible, on the difference between the RS and the RST. I gather they are lightweight bikes that would accommodate tires up to 32 mm for the few occasions my club wants to cut a rug on dirt roads. Which led me to ask about the durability of TIG-welding ... and possibly canti-brakes ... for a club riding bike that is fast but can tolerate dirt roads.

    Your input is appreciated.
    Hi,
    I ride a Gunnar Sport, which has a lot in common with the RST. Made by the same guys, I think the geometry is the same. It is a very nice bike, and is the sort of thing you are looking for.

    But they do have to bend the ideal geometry out of shape to get 700c wheels
    to fit on a such a small frame.

    My Sport uses long reach brakes, which will take a 28c and fenders, or a 32c without. For really big tires and fenders you need cantis. But I don't think you need or want really big tires.

    I think the first thing to do is to try the Grand Bois Cypress tires. They are pretty quick. And you should be able to run them around 50 psi for a very sweet ride.

    You have been hit by contradictory impulses. I share them. You want fast which means thin and light. But you also want plush, which means big and somewhat heavier.

    If you like the Cypress you could throw on some lightweight parts. My wife's Bleriot has XTR hubs and chain. The cassette is Xt which is as lite as I could afford. The saddle has titanium rails, and the rear rack weighs about 14 ounces.

    If you like that tire as much as I think you will like it, you could do something similar.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  7. #7
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    You'll have to ask Waterford the significant differences between the two bikes but I believe that the only significant difference is geometry. Since all Waterford's are custom, you can specify tube thickness, which is probably slightly thinner and "livelier" on their standard RS model.

    I ride an RST-22 and I wanted it primarily for commuting, long rides, and light touring. More info can be found here - Waterford ultimate commuter, with pics

    Let me see if I can tackle your questions, but as a previous poster mentioned, you'd be best of just contacting Waterford and asking them, they do build bikes for a living and they aim to please their customers.

    1) In general, the TIG-welded R-33 tubing is going to be stiffer and slightly lighter than their lugged frames and even OS & OS2 TIG-welded frames. If power transfer, counting grams, and responsiveness matter most, you're best off going with the R-33 tubing. If comfort matters most, you're better off with their OS2 tubing, either TIG-welded or lugged, the difference is largely aesthetic.

    2)
    A) An RS is going to be best for club rides if your rides are moderate to fast paced but an RST would do fine for more casual rides. The RST would probably do fine for moderate and faster rides too, the difference is more in the rider than the bike on most club rides I've done. The more upright you are, the less power you can generate and that's less a function of frame materials than the geometry of your bike, which is completely customizable.

    B) The RST standard geometry is certainly more comfortable in terms of fork rake and top tube length. As others have mentioned however, Waterford's are fully custom so this is a bit of a moot point. Tell them what kind of riding you'd like to do and your other parameters and they'll suggest a good geometry, based on your measurements.

    C) A bike that's going to be good for fast club rides isn't going to be as comfortable for long weekend rides and credit card tours. Unless you really want to sacrifice the lively feel of the bike on a club ride or even a century, you're never really going to be able to put any sort of load on the front of the bike. Any bike meant to carry a load on the front wheel needs some drastically different tubing and geometry than a bike designed for fast rides. If by credit card touring you mean 20-30 lbs. on a rear rack and maybe a small handlebar bag, then you can get away with this "club tourer" you're aiming to build. And here, an RST is much better suited than an RS, the latter of which would get a little squirrelly under load.

    D) Handlebars level with saddle is pretty easy to do when you have a custom build like Waterford. I left my steering tube pretty long for this very reason and like the flexibility I have with spacers and handlebar placement. Waterford is generally very accommodating to your desired saddle vs handlebar height and if you're set on a TIG welded frame, this is a breeze. A horizontal top tube at your height might not be possible however, I just don't know enough to comment.

    E & F) With any custom bike, fender clearance shouldn't be an issue. The sticking point is on choosing tubing thickness that works for the road and also holds to some trail riding.

    3) As a commuter, I'm pretty partial to road disc brakes but if rain isn't something you ride in often, I also like Campy's short-pull v-brakes, another commuter-friendly brake. Simple cantilevers would also accommodate wider tires and fenders.

    It sounds like you want to start with an RST from your specifications, and customize as needed. What you really need to ask yourself is what do you want it for the most. If off road riding, credit card touring, and a comfortable smooth ride matter more than weight, power transfer, and a lively/springy feel, then the RST is a good starting point. Waterford wants to build the bike that's right for you so it's important to think of the RS and RST standard models really as just starting points on the path to your perfect bike.
    Last edited by greenstork; 11-20-07 at 11:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    I followed barndoor's advice and obtained an online membership with Waterford, and I also left a brief message (Volumes I and II) of what I was trying to accomplish with a Waterford frame.

    It will take me a while to absorb the advice from Late and Greenstork, and thanks for the research you've provided. PS: Thanks for the tip about Bicycle's Quarterly ... which I subscribed to tonight.

    The only tire I've used with the Saluki, is the set that came with the bike purchase: Maxy Fasty 650B with a measured 32.8 mm width. The recommended pressure is 55-75 PSI ... and I inflate to 75 PSI before a club ride ... but don't re-inflate until the next club ride, to ride between 55-75 PSI. These tires have no tread, but have been adequate on dirt roads and on berms along railroad tracks. The Saluki is one nice bike ... heavy and not built for speed ... but comfortable and stable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about any of the welds on the waterfords. A tig bike is very strong. If you are going to ride on dirt roads I suggest you use a conventionally spoked wheel 3X and select a good rim. I ride dirt roads all the time and I have both a Tig welded Columbus FOCO tubing and a lugged Columbus Neuron. I ride the dirt on 3X Mavic open pro rims with Continental Contact tires 700c x 28. I also have an old steel cross bike that I use for off roading with the same wheels above...no problems. Waterford is an excellent choice for a steel bike.

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