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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-07-08, 11:45 PM   #1
eric400
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rob roy vs. mark v

looking for an opinion on someone whose ridden both frames.

i'm leaning towards the rob roy as i'm a big guy and think it may be a bit better frame, but will i lose a ton of agility compared to the mark v.

has anyone ridden both the frames?

if so would love to hear your opinion. i'll even take your opinion if you haven't, but that's neither here nor there.
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Old 08-08-08, 08:43 AM   #2
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what are you riding it for? commuting? grocery shopping? racing?

i'm buying a rob roy in a couple of weeks for its versatility (rack mounts, hub spacing for a nexus 8 speed rear hub in the future, etc). i called tony and he's going to put on some canti's that i'll send him when i place the order.

in all, if you keep the tires under 28's and don't use crazy handlebars, you should be in good shape with the rob roy.

but if you want to dodge traffic, have sleeker lines, use a messanger bag and more of a traditional fixed gear/ss set up, go with the mark v.
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Old 08-08-08, 09:22 AM   #3
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well, i live in new york city, so i'll definitely be dodging some cars, but i'll also cross the bridges from time to time so comfort would be nice on the longer 10+ rides.

i rencently had to part ways with this exact bike and have been trying to find a bike with similar geometry. i've been looking for specs, but they've been hard to come by. i know ther referered to the frame geometry as "sport touring" so i think that's leaning more towards the rob roy.

i'm still up in the air and wish i could take them each for a spin side by side.

anyone in the new york area willing to let me take theirs for a spin around the block?

i'm 6'3" so i'll probably get the largest frame they offer which is a 61 i guess, but from what i've seen/heard that measures more like a 58/59.

-side not, is it worth it to spend the extra 100 and get the king heeadset?
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Old 08-08-08, 09:25 AM   #4
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Owned both, sold the Mark V, keeping the Rob Roy 4EVAR (or until I need the cash, like I did when I sold the Mark V).

The Mark V was a great bike, but the frame felt heavy, built like a tank. Straight guage tubing? I dunno, but duller, stiffer, and not quite as nice riding as the RR frame. But maybe even a better choice depending on how big you are?

I set the RR up with the Nexus hub--aside from lack of cable guides, it's like the bike was built for it, i.e. the 132.5 rear spacing, set to accommodate both 130 and 135mm hubs, is actually spot-on for the nexus hub width.

I'm more happy with my Rob Roy. The Mark V I rode about half and half, fixed/ss, in the city; the RR has only been an 8sp used for rural commute. But drivetrain aside, it's the feel of the frame when riding that sets the RR ahead of the Mark V for me. The agility seems slightly more relaxed on the RR, but not to the point that I really noticed it as a major difference between the two frames. If you're clydesdale size, in the city, and committed to fixed/ss, I bet the Mark V would be a great choice. But I don't think you can go too far wrong with the RR.
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Old 08-08-08, 10:51 AM   #5
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great, thanks for your thoughts/opinions.

i just got word from this guy i found online who has the same raleigh that i had and he's going to take some measurements for me so i'll be able to decide a bit more acurately when i get those.

-what's the turnover on IRO if i do a build via there website? anyone have any experience?
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Old 08-08-08, 10:53 AM   #6
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definitely share when you get them, i'd be curious as well!

build times vary i think. their site (and phone person) say 4-6 weeks, but a couple guys on these forums just got jamie roys back within 2 weeks.
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Old 08-08-08, 11:38 AM   #7
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I've never ridden a Mark V, but I have a Rob Roy and another more "trackish" bike similar to a Mark V. I use both for commuting.

The track bike (Bareknuckle) is a blast to ride...fast and agile, but it has a lot of limitations. Its not good in bad weather; it sucks on bad roads; you basically can't go offroad with it; and it can't carry large loads.

The Rob Roy on the other hand, is not as fast or quite as agile, but its far more versatile and ends up getting more use.
The Rob Roy is the swiss army knife of ss/fg frames. You can do anything with it. If you only plan on having one bike, I would say get the most versatile frame and fork possible, because you will always be able to alter its setup to suit your needs. Then when you want a secondary bike, you can get something thats more specialized, such as a fast track bike.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-08-08 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 08-08-08, 12:09 PM   #8
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I race ss/fg cyclocross, and commute on my RR and LOVE it (I also have a custom Steelman, so I know what a great frame feels like). Great frame for the money.
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Old 08-08-08, 12:10 PM   #9
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I dunno, the Mark V looks pretty versatile here.

I've got a Mark V frameset coming in today. I, too, seriously debated the Mark V vs Rob Roy as I wanted a do-it-all bike to replace both my old conversion and MTB (which hasn't seen real action in 12 years). Mostly, this bike will be used for commuting and I've always been one for speed/agility over comfort/convenience.

I chose the Mark V because I've read it can fit 32c cyclo tires for when I'm playing in the dirt with my 8yr old son. I can also use my seatpost rack for commuting and there is that velodrome 15 mi from my house I've always wanted to check out.
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Old 08-08-08, 01:17 PM   #10
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so it's safe to say the rob roy has more of an upright riding position correct?
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Old 08-08-08, 07:43 PM   #11
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hmm. the mark V accepts up to 28c tires, according to the website.

did you mean the rob roy accepts 32c? that would be my hunch as the rob roy is more of a "cyclocross" bike.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:46 PM   #12
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so it's safe to say the rob roy has more of an upright riding position correct?
That is more or less true. The top tube length of the Rob Roy is a little shorter for a given size compared to other IRO frames, so it'll be slightly more upright, given the same components and setup. But it really boils down to how you set it up...number of spacers, stem length, stem angle, type of bars, etc. My 60cm RR has drop bars, a 110mm 6 degree stem flipped up to give it a positive rise, and 3 cm of spacers below the stem. This gives me a setup where the bars are just barely lower than the seat....its right in that sweet spot where its very comfortable, but I can still get pretty aero when I need to.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-08-08 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:51 PM   #13
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I dunno, the Mark V looks pretty versatile here.

I've got a Mark V frameset coming in today. I, too, seriously debated the Mark V vs Rob Roy as I wanted a do-it-all bike to replace both my old conversion and MTB (which hasn't seen real action in 12 years). Mostly, this bike will be used for commuting and I've always been one for speed/agility over comfort/convenience.

I chose the Mark V because I've read it can fit 32c cyclo tires for when I'm playing in the dirt with my 8yr old son. I can also use my seatpost rack for commuting and there is that velodrome 15 mi from my house I've always wanted to check out.
I think you are confused...you seem to be describing the Mark V as if it was both the Mark V and the RR. The Mark V is a sleeker, more agile, less versatile frame that is designed primariy for on-road use. The RR is more stable, comfortable do-it-all cyclocross frame and it certainly takes bigger tires than the Mark V. If you look more carefully, the thread you linked to highlights the MarkVs lesser versatility. It requires clip on fenders, which suck compared to the real thing. It is not designed to take racks or big loads either, though its possible to put one on there with custom modifications. On the other hand, the Rob Roy is designed to take real fenders, racks, big tires, etc. Its the more adaptable of the two.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-08-08 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 08-08-08, 08:23 PM   #14
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Nope, I'm not confused. I've seen several threads where 32c tires fit on the Mark V (after they switched to the current fork). Also, I agree that the Rob Roy is the more versatile bike. I'm just saying the Mark V is quite versatile in it's own right. I happen to not like real fenders (or the clip ons) or full racks and don't think the OP has mentioned a need for them. I also don't want to give up the aggressive geo.
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Old 08-08-08, 08:41 PM   #15
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Nope, I'm not confused. I've seen several threads where 32c tires fit on the Mark V (after they switched to the current fork). Also, I agree that the Rob Roy is the more versatile bike. I'm just saying the Mark V is quite versatile in it's own right. I happen to not like real fenders (or the clip ons) or full racks and don't think the OP has mentioned a need for them. I also don't want to give up the aggressive geo.

Thanks for clarifying...
I can't speak of the Mark V, but my understanding of the RR is that it'll take up to 32s with fenders and up to 35s without. My RR looks like it would probably take a size larger than 35s, though I've never tried.
You are right that the RR isn't very aggressive. Its certainly handles good enough to navigate through traffic without problems, but certainly lacks the snappy feeling of a track bike. Though its certainly capable of speed, I like the RR geometry best on days that I want to go at a more relaxing pace.
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Old 08-08-08, 08:52 PM   #16
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Thanks for clarifying...
I can't speak of the Mark V, but my understanding of the RR is that it'll take up to 32s with fenders and up to 35s without. My RR looks like it would probably take a size larger than 35s, though I've never tried.
I have 35's on Rob Roy - Panaracer Tserv's sitting on Sun CR-18 rims, WITH Planet Bike fenders. It's a close fit and was a bit fiddly to setup, but the tires don't rub, and for everyday commuting in the city, it's nice to have the fat, flat-resistant tire, along with dry feet and back on rainy days.
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Old 08-09-08, 07:44 AM   #17
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That is more or less true. The top tube length of the Rob Roy is a little shorter for a given size compared to other IRO frames, so it'll be slightly more upright, given the same components and setup. But it really boils down to how you set it up...number of spacers, stem length, stem angle, type of bars, etc. My 60cm RR has drop bars, a 110mm 6 degree stem flipped up to give it a positive rise, and 3 cm of spacers below the stem. This gives me a setup where the bars are just barely lower than the seat....its right in that sweet spot where its very comfortable, but I can still get pretty aero when I need to.
damn, that's sounds about exactly the bike i want/am going to get.

how tall are you? if you don't mind me asking. pretty sure i'm going with the RR, but still undecided about the size. (ordering today or tomorrow and i pretty much haven't been able to sleep b/c of the excitement)
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Old 08-09-08, 08:49 AM   #18
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OP - Since you're a larger rider you can get 28s on the Mark V with room to spare and you won't have to worry too much about comfort. I've ridden 60 miles on it with 23mm tires and I didn't have any complaints about comfort so I think you should be fine with Mark V. I'm in NYC too so hit me up if you ever want to ride

that's my Mark V linked up above. I've yet to try out a RR but it definitely is more versatile than the Mark V in terms of utilitarianism (perfect for snow and rain thanks to those canti brakes), but I chose the Mark V because I wanted to race on it at the track. I've fit 32mm cx tires on it and 35mm Rando's (it was a tight fit, but worked only because of the smaller clamping bolts of Phil hubs but brake adjusting sucked with a rear brake) so you can fit decently sized tires on it. If you're looking for a do it all'r, go for the RR, but if you really want the quickness, then the V will suit you. I've modified mine to emulate what a RR can do, but it still can't quite get it done like the RR. I think the Mark V can do what a RR can, but a RR can't do what a Mark V can so think about it like that. The Surly Steamroller should be another choice of yours and is right in the middle of the two since it can fit 38mm tires with clip on fenders, BUT the best of the best do it all'rs will be a Rivendell Quickbeam

With Cx tires



With 35mms


Current setup for summer (since you generally ride faster in the heat) and rain riding (ceramic rims for better stopping power in the wet)

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Old 08-09-08, 09:50 AM   #19
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^^^^ you have a very nice bike. thanks for your thoughts, but i'm still leaning towards the comfort of the RR. just seems to be perfect for what i'm looking for. i like to go fast, but i'm not going to be going to any velodromes any time soon.

i think i'll be able to dodge traffic just fine with the RR and also it'll be nice for just cruising around at a lower pace when i'm taking a ride with my buds with mountain bikes.

--as soon as i get it, i'll hit you up and maybe we can meet up for a ride.

(think i'm going to get the orange and put a brooks light brown leather seat on it with matching leather handlebar tape and all silver componentry)
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Old 08-09-08, 11:01 AM   #20
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damn, that's sounds about exactly the bike i want/am going to get.

how tall are you? if you don't mind me asking. pretty sure i'm going with the RR, but still undecided about the size. (ordering today or tomorrow and i pretty much haven't been able to sleep b/c of the excitement)
I'm just a tad over 6'1". My RR is a 60cm (C-T)...fit is damn near perfect with a 110 mm stem.
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Old 08-09-08, 11:06 AM   #21
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I'm just a tad over 6'1". My RR is a 60cm (C-T)...fit is damn near perfect with a 110 mm stem.
hmm... i'm 6'2.5" and am looking for a more upright riding position. i'm thinking about getting the 60 and the 100mm stem. i have a long torso and prefer not to be reacing for my handlebars too much.

think i'm still going to go with the 60cm
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Old 08-12-08, 08:28 PM   #22
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so after days of back and forth between the cross check and the rob roy, i've pulled the trigger on the rob roy. ordered it about an hour ago (9:30 eastern, 8/12/08)

someone on this thread mentioned they'd like to know the turnaround so i figured i'd post now and then when i get it.

tony from iro said they are about 3 weeks out.

thanks for everyone's thoughts and opinions
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