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Old 01-18-09, 04:33 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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New brand of bikes for the Northwest

Interesting new brand of bikes made in the Northwest for the Northwest - Baron bicycles.

I read about them on BikeHugger, just saw my first live one today (passing me, of course), and then another one at a store that carries them, uBRDO in downtown Kirkland.

Concept is a "performance" rain bike - Tig steel, carbon fork, fenders, clearance for tires up to 32c while keeping fenders, disc brakes so you can ride all winter. Made in Yakima, apparently based in Seattle.

The guy at uBRDO told me frame + fork are about $1300 or $1400; complete standard build (which looked nice) about $2600.


http://baronbicycles.com/index.htm

(No connection to me, just FYI...).
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Old 01-19-09, 10:04 AM   #2
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Nice looking bikes. You going to buy one and give a report ?
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Old 01-19-09, 11:20 AM   #3
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Nice looking bikes. You going to buy one and give a report ?
No...I was hoping you would all chip in and get me one.

The guy at uBRDO told me that they had sold a few, though. I think it's an interesting idea.

There are some other ways to get a fairly lightweight bike with discs for winter riding, though --

-- Trek Portland
-- Salsa La Cruz (saw a nice one at Counterbalance yesterday w/a rear rack and fenders, set up for commuting).

Just lookin', not buyin'
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Old 01-19-09, 05:01 PM   #4
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Good looking stuff, but about 10x what I can afford right now. I hope they do well, though, so they're around when I can finally splurge!
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Old 01-19-09, 10:23 PM   #5
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Looks nice, and spec'd with decent equipment. I just wish they didn't use the "we're too awesome for you" sales approach regarding the frameset:

From their site... "If we sell you this frame - you better do it justice and put good stuff on it. If I find you with an Alex wheelset, Tektro brakes, and 8sp Ultegra components circa 1994 I will phyisically take the bike back. This frame is too nice for that s***."

Do your business justice and spell check your copy before insulting people for their equipment selections.

CGK1 likes his Alex rims and Tektro brakes.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:54 PM   #6
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theres nothing wrong with taking alittle pride in your product. Can you imagine the lead designer of the NSX walking around seeing all the skyscraper wings people put on the back of honda's....

I have tecktro brakes and there not defendable..
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Old 01-20-09, 06:59 AM   #7
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theres nothing wrong with taking alittle pride in your product. Can you imagine the lead designer of the NSX walking around seeing all the skyscraper wings people put on the back of honda's....

I have tecktro brakes and there not defendable..
Pride in your product is fine. Tell everyone what makes it unique, and why they should buy your stuff instead of some other company's. It really just my opinion, but I don't feel compelled to hand over $1300 for someone to tell me "you're doing it wrong" if they don't like my finished product.
I'm just trying to imagine Grant telling everyone on the Rivendell site "Seriously people. It's a $4000 bike; if I find out you put cheap-arse, house brand mail-order company panniers on it instead of a Caradice Super-C, I'll find you and stick a pump through your magnificently handcrafted wheel."

As for Tektro brakes:
Oryx low profile cantis - No excuses.
CR720 wide cantis - Super awesome.
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Old 01-20-09, 08:33 AM   #8
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I'm just trying to imagine Grant telling everyone on the Rivendell site "Seriously people. It's a $4000 bike; if I find out you put cheap-arse, house brand mail-order company panniers on it instead of a Caradice Super-C, I'll find you and stick a pump through your magnificently handcrafted wheel."
Actually, IMHO, Grant does tell people what's "wrong" witih some of their choices....not in quite the same way, but....
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Old 01-20-09, 10:09 AM   #9
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Actually, IMHO, Grant does tell people what's "wrong" witih some of their choices....not in quite the same way, but....
Grant at least backs up his statements with something more substantial than "This frame is too nice for that s***."
It may be true; but why? Let's list a few reasons why the Baron is too nice for that s*** (that s*** being old 8spd component groups and wheels/brakes that the builder has a personal preference against.)

Baron frames are beautifully welded and have disc tabs. While you could put a caliper in back, I can't tell if the Baron Carbon fork is drilled for a caliper brake. Either way, bikes look silly with empty disc tabs; if they're there, use 'em.
The frame is designed for STI components. Just look at the cable stops at the head/downtube junction. Even if you wanted them, there aren't downtube shifter mounts. You could use barcons, I suppose... but with disc tabs and those cable stops, this bike just screams "don't put your old equipment on me!"

Now, I don't know anything about disc brakes and whether or not Tektro makes a quality set, so I won't comment there, but I do know about Alex wheels. I've been beating the snot out of a pair for the last 5000 miles, and my DA16 rims have held up better than many of the boutique wheels I've seen lighter riders destroy... Not that Deep V rims on LX hubs are boutique, (or any lighter or stronger than my DA16s on DX hubs.)

I don't want to be seen as putting the company down, because I'm not. I'm all for locally built bikes. I especially like that they pimp for other local companies on their site (their powdercoater and FSA) as well as other boutique/niche shops (V-O). I understand their philosophy of "what you put on our frame reflects on how people view our bikes, so please don't let them think we build junkers." Truthfully, I couldn't see spending $1300 on a frame and then hanging a 15 year old component group on it. (Besides, if they're classic componenets, do them the justice of a vintage frame.)
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Old 01-20-09, 10:51 AM   #10
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I think Baron was just trying to "strike a pose" (or "cop a 'tude") with that ad copy. Maybe they are the anti-Rivendell?

I hate to turn this into yet another Grant Peterson thread -- I love his bikes, and have a learned a lot from the stuff he's written -- but I don't think they are that different. Being provocative turns off some customers, attracts others. ( I read one of his (many) interviews in which he said that he didn't like titanium frames because they were "ghostly." Ghostly? He's never heard of paint? )

Anyway, back to our story...I would like for someone to give me a Baron. If I were spending my money, though, on a very cool disc-brake rain bike I'd think about a Salsa La Cruz, set up with slicks, a rack and fenders for winter commuting, and then set up w/cross tires for light offroading in the summer. Someone could donate one of those to me, as well. I'll take either.

For that matter, I would like for someone to give me a Rivendell as well.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:32 PM   #11
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I think Baron was just trying to "strike a pose" (or "cop a 'tude") with that ad copy...

Anyway, back to our story...I would like for someone to give me a Baron. If I were spending my money, though, on a very cool disc-brake rain bike I'd think about a Salsa La Cruz, set up with slicks, a rack and fenders for winter commuting, and then set up w/cross tires for light offroading in the summer. Someone could donate one of those to me, as well. I'll take either.

For that matter, I would like for someone to give me a Rivendell as well.
I suppose I got old and lost my edge.

If people are just handing out bikes... I'd gladly take a Baron rain commuter to try out. I'm actually not a big fan of disc brakes, but I'd give 'em a go and write a review. (Geoff, Jen, I'm waiting for your call.)

The frame I'm most interested in is their upcoming Urban bike. I've got a great all-weather bike I use for commuting and distance riding. I've got a beater utility bike I'm working on. I wouldn't mind upgrading my ss/fg bike in the future, and I hope that's what the Urban frameset will be.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:35 PM   #12
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Oops I just realized we were talking about canti brakes. I no nothing of tektro canti, only the road brakes which I don't care for. Sorry for piping up prematurely.
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Old 01-23-09, 03:16 PM   #13
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Oops I just realized we were talking about canti brakes. I no nothing of tektro canti, only the road brakes which I don't care for. Sorry for piping up prematurely.
Nothing to be sorry for, really. The Baron rain bike stocks BB7 discs. I know that Tektro makes disc brakes, but I know absolutely nothing about disc brakes in any sense of things. The only bikes I've owned or currently own have cantis or calipers.

Now, cantis I know the best, and Tektro makes a nice pair with their CR720. Beats the snot out of those horrible Oryx cantis that so many bikes use as their stock equipment. I don't know about Tektro's caliper brakes. I know that like any company, Tektro makes low end stuff and has their high-end equipment (the TRX brand: like Toyta and Lexus).

The Baron looks like it can accept a pair of calipers (not sure about the fork, but the rear bridge is drilled for one). So what, in your experience, makes Tektro calipers substandard? Soft return springs, squishy feel to the arms, tight pivots, poor mechanical advantage? I'm always interested to know, since I've been happy with their cantis and may have considered a pair of their calipers on my other bike.
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Old 01-23-09, 11:23 PM   #14
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Well, I'm still very new to road bikes. I have an ironhorse Triumph 5 which is a low end bike (Its all tiagra except the crank and brakes). It has tektro calipers and i've always thought it's braking power was horrid. My canti cross bike is much better (old school suntour). I bought new pads for the bike thinking the pads were cheap and im sure they are. yet, It's hard for me to throw out un-worn pads so i haven't swapped um yet. A while later I read on the forum that alot of people think that tektro caliper have really poor stopping power and require alot of force to stop. I imagine this is from weak arms?. Im not aware of the different price levels of the tektro calipers, but i think they must be one of the cheapest bakes on the market because there on most of the sora spec bikes out there.
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