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Old 05-19-07, 12:12 PM   #1
Nicodemus
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questions about Dawes bikes, downtube shifters, and steel types

Hi all,

I'm looking at getting a tourer. Was very satisfied with my old Dawes Galaxy (before some rat-bastard junkie stole it). I'd love to get the dream bike (one of the Dawes Galaxy series), but am not sure if it's sensible to plunk out that much money on a new toy. I hope that over the next few months I'll find my dream bike 2nd hand like my last one.


1. Quality of Dawes?
Can anyone confirm the apparent dip in reputation of Dawes build quality in recent years? This has been told to me by a knowledgeable guy at an LBS when I asked him why they don't stock them anymore (and I believe that it's not BS to justify them simply not selling them). The sentiment seems to be reiterated by a few other people as well.
2. Different types of steel?
I presume any old Reynolds 531/853 tubing is gonna be great. My last one was 531, I think. Sorry if this is one of those "for the thousandth time" questions, but is there a big difference? The higher level Dawes use 853 steel, so I assume that's better.
3. Downtube shifter conversion.
While I'm happy with old-school downtube shifters, I'm curious to know if they are easy/standard to convert in the future if I wish to use bar-end shifters (or maybe STI). I trust this is a common thing and easily doable?
4. Is this bike worth it? (edit: considering the ad's a month old I think it's already gone, will find out in a bit)
Dawes Horizon 2nd hand

It's an old Dawes Horizon. I'm 5'8" and I think that's the right size.

Now although the Horizon is not my preferred beast as it sits down the bottom of the line, as a cheap 2nd hand bike I'd be happy knowing I can upgrade. I'm just not sure if the quality of the frame itself is top-notch. Considering how low the bid is right now, I figured why the hell not. But I'm just not sure if I want to bother investing my love, time, and money in a below-par bike. Is it?

Many thanks for your thoughts,
-Nicodemus
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Last edited by Nicodemus; 05-19-07 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 05-20-07, 08:23 AM   #2
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The Dawes Galaxy now uses 631 for its frame and 531 for the forks. Absolutely nothing wrong with that in my opinion and you are perfectly safe opting for this model. I've owned a Super Galaxy and have worked on many different Dawes machines and the current Galaxy maintains the usual standard of a benchmark tourer.

It would be wrong to assume that 853 is "better". It's different in that it is a lighter grade than 531 and 63, but all good custom frame builders will use a mixture of grades when they build a frame to suit the particular purpose of the frame.

As for down-tube shifters and the possibility for conversion, this is possible but it costs as it means new flat bars, new brakes for flat bars and bar-ends. I've just converted a Dawes Galaxy this way for a friend and he's well pleased with it as he could never be comfy with drops. I've given a link to show how this looks.http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...e/PICT0384.jpg

Cost: Try Spa Cycles at http://www.spacycles.co.uk/. They are a great touring shop and sell discounted Galaxies. Well recommended.

The Horizon represents good value for money. The frame is not 631 but is aluminum. Solid enough though and the components are of slightly lower quality, but the bike has earned plaudits. I've worked on a few and for the price they're fine.

I did reply to this in earlier thread Nic but I think you must have missed it. Good luck in your search and I hope you find something suitable.

Last edited by onbike 1939; 05-20-07 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 05-20-07, 08:29 AM   #3
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My bike has barend shifters routed from drop bars through downtube bosses, so I assume a) I could revert to d/t's just by shortening the cable and heck duct-taping the b-e levers to the d/t, worst case, or, more sanely, using new d/t levers, and conversely that b) going from d/t back out to the bar end would just require longer cables. Changing bars along w/ shifters would be more complicated, definitely.
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Old 05-20-07, 10:09 AM   #4
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Ah, you can get the bar-end plugs and mount the down tube shifters on the bars...it's totally easy.

I really like this bike.

http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/galaxy.htm

Now, I'm not against buying a used bike, but I'd shop around for a new one first. Depending on how much you spend to upgrade/fix an older bike, a shiney new one is sometimes the cheaper way to go.
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Old 05-20-07, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee
Ah, you can get the bar-end plugs and mount the down tube shifters on the bars...it's totally easy.

I really like this bike.

http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/galaxy.htm

Now, I'm not against buying a used bike, but I'd shop around for a new one first. Depending on how much you spend to upgrade/fix an older bike, a shiney new one is sometimes the cheaper way to go.
Can you tell me how you would do this?

The bike in your link is the standard Dawes Galaxy.
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Old 05-20-07, 10:30 AM   #6
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Yeah, I know this! I like the standard Galaxy a lot... it already had bar end shifters on it....and a new headset, bottom bracket, deraliers, cables and housing ect....It's a great bike.

If Nicodemus buys a used bike, with D/T shifters, he could get the bar plugs, new cables and housing and convert to bar end shifting. Here's a link to the hardware needed to do the job.

http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/shifters_derailleurs/

In the end, I'd look closely at just buying a new Galaxy because it's a darn nice bike and may be cheaper an upgrading/fixing a used one.
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Old 05-20-07, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
The Dawes Galaxy now uses 631 for its frame and 531 for the forks. Absolutely nothing wrong with that in my opinion and you are perfectly safe opting for this model. I've owned a Super Galaxy and have worked on many different Dawes machines and the current Galaxy maintains the usual standard of a benchmark tourer.

It would be wrong to assume that 853 is "better". It's different in that it is a lighter grade than 531 and 63, but all good custom frame builders will use a mixture of grades when they build a frame to suit the particular purpose of the frame.

As for down-tube shifters and the possibility for conversion, this is possible but it costs as it means new flat bars, new brakes for flat bars and bar-ends. I've just converted a Dawes Galaxy this way for a friend and he's well pleased with it as he could never be comfy with drops. I've given a link to show how this looks.http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...e/PICT0384.jpg

Cost: Try Spa Cycles at http://www.spacycles.co.uk/. They are a great touring shop and sell discounted Galaxies. Well recommended.

The Horizon represents good value for money. The frame is not 631 but is aluminum. Solid enough though and the components are of slightly lower quality, but the bike has earned plaudits. I've worked on a few and for the price they're fine.

I did reply to this in earlier thread Nic but I think you must have missed it. Good luck in your search and I hope you find something suitable.
Wow, that setup you done there is sexy suweeet! Funnily though, I wasn't considering going flats, not for a tourer. Was just considering converting the shifters to bar-ends on drops. I've had a browse, and it seems this is not a big issue.

The Horizon I found was an older one - steel. I'm sure it's gone anyway, but now I'm miffed that I didn't look a month ago considering it's gone for under 100 Eur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
I did reply to this in earlier thread Nic but I think you must have missed it. Good luck in your search and I hope you find something suitable.
Sorry about that (was it even one I started? )


You all seem to be echoing my instincts soundly already. A good old Galaxy is the deal for me. I'll upgrade a few bits and bobs and that model comes with barend shifters already which is the ticket for me. I also plan to take the plunge into the Brooks life. This is gonna be my new baby

Evans as well seems quite big and they have sales on 2006 and even 2005 models apparently. My plan is to check them out when I finish work in July. As with Spa cycles. Is it me or are all the best big touring cycle shops in the North?

I'll be trolling 2nd hand shops and sites for a few months and probably end up plunking for a good deal new Galaxy this summer. I can't wait!!

Cheers all, looking forward to giving the touring life another good hack
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Old 05-21-07, 03:41 AM   #8
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The 853 Galaxy was reviewed by Cycling plus magazine in November 2004:
http://www.cyclingplus.co.uk/Biketestdetails.asp?id=701
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Old 05-21-07, 03:53 AM   #9
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Evans does not win much approval with cyclists for their service despite their having the franchise for the CTC shop at the moment. Spa, on the other hand, are regarded as the tops by tourers and have good deals and service. If you have any problems with your Brooks, PM me.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
Evans does not win much approval with cyclists for their service despite their having the franchise for the CTC shop at the moment. Spa, on the other hand, are regarded as the tops by tourers and have good deals and service. If you have any problems with your Brooks, PM me.
Cheers for the heads up. I admit I was a tad skeptical of the slightly "bucket shop" style of the site. When I get to buying a new one, I'll take my time and make sure I get the best service. It's a shame I won't be able to make much use of any free servicing (due to my mobile nature), but at least I want good service when I buy.

Thanks for the review, clayface. That's a pretty good one.

__

Holy carp! That 2nd hand Horizon is still available! For that cheap, I'll be happy to get that and use as a "training" tourer this summer. I'll be off this weekend to check it out, hopefully it won't be too small for me. It's a 53cm frame, I think those models a 55cm frame would be better for me - I hope it works out, not shabby for 75 Euros, eh?
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Old 05-21-07, 01:25 PM   #11
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I think that at one time the Horizon was built with Reynolds 520. If this has such a frame amd components are sound, you have a lot of bike there for €75.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayface
I think that at one time the Horizon was built with Reynolds 520. If this has such a frame amd components are sound, you have a lot of bike there for 75.

+1
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