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Handsome Bikes - for long touring?

Old 06-01-23, 06:19 AM
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Handsome Bikes - for long touring?

Hi everyone
I've been looking for a while for a long distance tourer (will be fitted with front and back panniers) on a European few months tour for my wife who is 5 4" and 115 lbs, over 50 so looking for simpler terrain (mainly roads, flat trails, country roads) . I've been told many times you can tour on anything, but she needs to be comfortable or we'll be taking a flight back sooner than later. This bike - called a She Devil by Handsome Cycles - came up in local classified lately at a good price with good parts - just wondering about the geometry and its ability to carry pannier weight with stability ? It's marketed as a city tourer, but am wondering if this bike do the job? Hold up? Am I overthinking this? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Frame specs:
  • TIG Welded, 4130 Double Butted Chromoly Main Triangle, 4130 Chromoly Seat Stays, Chain Stays
  • 1-1/8” Headtube, 34mm Cup Size
  • 27.2 Seatpost Diameter
  • 30.0 Seat Collar Size (Seat Collar Included)
  • 68mm English Threaded Bottom Bracket Shell 1.37 x 24t
  • 132.5 Rear Dropout Spacing, Semi-Horizontal
  • 700c Wheel Size
  • 700 x 40 Tire Clearance Without Fenders
  • 700 x 38 Tire Clearance With Fenders (32 with tread)
  • Double Rear Fender and Rack Mounts at Dropout
  • Rack Mounts on Seat Stays Near Seat Tube
  • 28.6 Front Deraileur Mounting Size
  • Downtube Shifter Bosses / Downtube Stop Mounts
  • Cantilever / Linear Pull (Between 90-105mm Length) Brake Bosses
Fork specs:
  • 4130 Chromoly Fork Blades, Crowned, TIG Welded
  • Chromoly Steerer Tube pre-cut to 100mm over headset
  • 30.0 Crown Race Sizing
  • 100mm Spacing
  • Front Fender and Rack Mounts
  • Mid Fork Blade Front Rack Mounts
  • 700c Wheel Size
  • 700 x 40 Tire Clearance Without Fenders
  • 700 x 38 Tire Clearance With Fenders (32 with tread)
  • Cantilever / Linear Pull Brake Bosses

Last edited by Rob63; 06-01-23 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:17 AM
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Great touring, everything bike.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:18 AM
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Does it fit her?
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Old 06-01-23, 07:29 AM
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IMO not suitable.

1x8 drivetrain
32 spoke wheels
center-pull brakes?

this is a toodle off to the supermarket in a flat village city-bike.
with her weight and lighter packing (assume not self-supported camping), with rack&fender mounts, should manage the load, even with the 32-spoke wheels. but a 1x8 is not conducive to longish days and varied terrain and wind.

https://cambridgebicycle.com/handsome-cycles-she-devil/
https://handsomecycles.com/products/she-devil
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Old 06-01-23, 07:34 AM
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Sure you could use it, but since you don't already have the bike and are purchasing a bike for touring, my opinion is that this bike would be a poor choice. The specs say it has a 42T chain-ring and an 11-32 cassette which is too high gearing for carrying a load.

A properly geared bike to carry a load would have 1:1 gearing or better (32T chainring 11-32 cassette). Preferably lower than 1:1 (smaller front ring, bigger cog on the cassette - my bike is 26X36, this bike is 42X32).

You might be able to change parts to get it work, but might as well get something more appropriate.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:42 AM
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I have a year old Handsome and pretty poor quality. funny on their fb page whenever someone posts about their issues the posts get removed.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
This bike.. came up in local classified lately at a good price with good parts -
A word to the wise..I would do your research and take your wife to ride it very quickly as good deals on "the right" bike have very short lives once they are put up for sale.

The biggest factor(at least the major among several) is whether the bike fits her. If it doesn't fit, then everything else, no matter how perfect, doesn't matter. I assume you'll be credit-card touring..if so, the load on the bike will be a fair bit less than if you were carrying a self-contained, camping setup. It appears the 46 or 49cm frame would fit her, depending on her leg length. The 52cm frame has a effective top op of 535mm..might(?) be a little long for her. Head tube at 70.5* and seat tube at 73* is pretty standard. 436mm chainstay..a little on the short side for a "tourer", but it'll be fine with the right panniers. I ride a similar chainstay length with size 12 mens shoe and have no issues with my heal hitting the bags. Gearing might be a little larger than desired, but you say you'll be in flat terrain..in which case..it'll be ok. Your wife needs to spend some time(lots of miles) riding the bike with panniers on. It's not hard, but if she doesn't do some riding before the trip it'll make the real trip more difficult..sounds like you want to avoid that.

p.s..edit..even if it isn't the bike for her or the trip..take her to try it out. If you're not sure on sizing, you need to understand what length top tube fits her. If the bike feels comfortable in terms of reach(she's not stretching forward to reach the bars) then knowing the top tube length for her will make future bike evaluations MUCH easier...and faster. If this is a 1x8..not so good..Handsome appears to have a number of models built on this frame 1x8, 2x8, straight bars, drops bars..it all matters.

Last edited by fishboat; 06-01-23 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 06-01-23, 09:01 AM
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It should - sizing is right, and she has a similar older frame already. Part of my attraction to this bike is because it's so hard to find smaller touring frames.
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Old 06-01-23, 10:09 AM
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Yes, you can use the She Devil. However, you need to really consider what others are stating about the gearing, quality, customer service, and the fit is most important. I am 5'4 and 130lb.... I would recommend the Kona Coco. That bike comes with everything except lights for long term usage. Fenders and kickstand are important in my opinion, and fitting them can be a pain in the butt. It can be fairly cheap to install a larger cassette on the rear. Plus, may bike shops sell Coco's way under MSRP.
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Old 06-01-23, 10:14 AM
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Forgot to add, at being over 50- your wife may find the medium a better fit over the small. Main reason I state this is there is more space when at a stop to stand between the saddle and handlebar. If her reach is short like mine then a handlebar swap is in order. I, highly, recommend a small rack to be placed on the front of mixte or step thru frames as a counterbalance to having rear panniers.
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Old 06-01-23, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
I've been looking for a while for a long distance tourer (will be fitted with front and back panniers) on a European few months tour for my wife who is 5 4" and 115 lbs, over 50 so looking for simpler terrain (mainly roads, flat trails, country roads) . I've been told many times you can tour on anything, but she needs to be comfortable or we'll be taking a flight back sooner than later.
This doesn't really bode well for a successful trip.

It's debatable whether day-after-day touring is going to be "comfortable" for anybody.

For a "few months tour", it's likely one is going to encounter some hills. And hills later in the trip when you are tired are going to be harder than they would be earlier and fresh.

(My wife is a fairly-strong and avid rider and I'd be reluctant to take her on such a trip.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-01-23 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 06-01-23, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
I have a year old Handsome and pretty poor quality.
What about it was "poor quality"?
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Old 06-01-23, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
IMO not suitable.

1x8 drivetrain
32 spoke wheels
center-pull brakes?

this is a toodle off to the supermarket in a flat village city-bike.
with her weight and lighter packing (assume not self-supported camping), with rack&fender mounts, should manage the load, even with the 32-spoke wheels. but a 1x8 is not conducive to longish days and varied terrain and wind.

https://cambridgebicycle.com/handsome-cycles-she-devil/
https://handsomecycles.com/products/she-devil
The frame was purchased and parts added to it. It has 3 gears in front and 9 speed cassette with Sugino crankset, Shiman0 105 hubs and Velocity Dyad rims. This seems more appropriate for touring?
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Old 06-01-23, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
The frame was purchased and parts added to it. It has 3 gears in front and 9 speed cassette with Sugino crankset, Shiman0 105 hubs and Velocity Dyad rims. This seems more appropriate for touring?
that would have been good information to have included in the original post...................

essentially you've got a generic taiwan steel frame with the "she devil" logo stickers that some guy built up himself.
not a stock bike at all.

Last edited by saddlesores; 06-01-23 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-01-23, 01:42 PM
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Agreed. I went down to the local spot. Found a fully dressed (fenders, lights, and dynamo hub) She Devil Large size to try out. Sadly it did not include racks.
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Old 06-01-23, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
The frame was purchased and parts added to it. It has 3 gears in front and 9 speed cassette with Sugino crankset, Shiman0 105 hubs and Velocity Dyad rims. This seems more appropriate for touring?
If she is small and light, go for it if it fits her. The best bike is the bike that fits.

A 105 hub in rear, I assume that is a 130mm spaced wheel. A 135mm hub is better for touring, there is less dish. But, since she is light, then the 130mm wheel is probably strong enough. Same thing with 32 spoke rear wheel (if it is 32), I would go for 36 but a light person can probably get by with 32 just fine. I run a 32 on front, 36 in back on my light touring bike.

If the bike was built from parts, check to make sure that the crankset arms are not too long for a small rider. If so, a different crank might be in order. Crank arms that are too long could cause knee problems.

A 3 X 9 system would be very good for touring.
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Old 06-01-23, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
What about it was "poor quality"?
I have no personal experience with Handsome, but I might suggest reading through this thread, Thoughts/Experience with Handsome Cycles XOXO an X0-1 homage All-Rounder particularly the last few pages, between communication problems and quality/value I don't think I would go this direction. YMMV
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Old 06-01-23, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
that would have been good information to have included in the original post...................

essentially you've got a generic taiwan steel frame with the "she devil" logo stickers that some guy built up himself.
not a stock bike at all.
OP said it had good parts
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Old 06-01-23, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCaled
I have no personal experience with Handsome, but I might suggest reading through this thread, Thoughts/Experience with Handsome Cycles XOXO an X0-1 homage All-Rounder particularly the last few pages, between communication problems and quality/value I don't think I would go this direction. YMMV
That thread is specific to one bike. It does not represent the rest of the line up. What people may miss is the company is/was doing fleet services i.e. city, company or university bike supply. Expecting a quality above that is like getting a Pure Cycle single speed with a quality paint finish.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
If she is small and light, go for it if it fits her. The best bike is the bike that fits.

A 105 hub in rear, I assume that is a 130mm spaced wheel. A 135mm hub is better for touring, there is less dish. But, since she is light, then the 130mm wheel is probably strong enough. Same thing with 32 spoke rear wheel (if it is 32), I would go for 36 but a light person can probably get by with 32 just fine. I run a 32 on front, 36 in back on my light touring bike.

If the bike was built from parts, check to make sure that the crankset arms are not too long for a small rider. If so, a different crank might be in order. Crank arms that are too long could cause knee problems.

A 3 X 9 system would be very good for touring.
Never thought of crank arm length issues. I'll look into it, thanks.
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Old 06-01-23, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tombc
OP said it had good parts
what exactly does "good parts" mean?
we were given a brand and model, and a cut-n-paste spec sheet that said nothing about the components.
assuming a stock bike, we google the factory specs, it's got meh components. not bad, not great.
only much later do we learn it's not a factory spec bike.

so........steel bike with rack & fender mounts, updated 3x9 drivetrain and upgraded wheels.
nothing like the stock bike described in the OP, becoming more like the "she-devil of theseus"!
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Old 06-02-23, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
what exactly does "good parts" mean?
It means OP has assessed the parts as being adequate for their needs and expressed it in 2 short words.

Many in the thread are speaking like the OP is dumb. Questions about if it fit. Why would they be asking us if it didn't fit? A stock She Devil is fine for light and easy tours that many might do. Upgraded, even better. OP was asking if the frame was nice for touring and it is, yes. There are confusing posts in here about the quality of this bike, as though it mattered for touring. Are there more expensive, lighter, better welded, better painted steel Taiwanese step through bikes out there? Probably. Is getting one easy? No. Will it matter that the chromoly is plain guauge with 40lbs luggage? Not that much. Plus the one in question is a great price.

I think it is a disservice to jump on a thread like this with the tiny climbing gear - rohloff - nullarbor surviving attitude. Tours aren't always like that and I would guess rarely. Where I am from most tours that normal people do (I am seeing these people in the wild and helping them in the bike shop) involve taking a ferry, getting a craft beer, staying in a BnB and so on.

Sorry, I do not want to be adversarial. But how can anyone deny that an available, well priced She Devil step through fitting a tiny rider is a good buy for touring? Most tour on way crappier or ill suited bikes and have a hoot.

Also, to the American users from the Canadian ones: As we have 1/10th as many people we also have 1/10th as many used bikes. So you might be waiting a while for the next good deal if you sleep on one today. Cheers all.

e: well I overlooked that it's a many months' tour. OP don't cheap out, buy a way nicer bike. Get something with disc brakes so you don't have gray dust everywhere.
I'll leave what I wrote for entertainment.

Last edited by tombc; 06-02-23 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 06-02-23, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tombc
It means OP has assessed the parts as being adequate for their needs and expressed it in 2 short words.

Many in the thread are speaking like the OP is dumb. Questions about if it fit. Why would they be asking us if it didn't fit? A stock She Devil is fine for light and easy tours that many might do. Upgraded, even better. OP was asking if the frame was nice for touring and it is, yes. There are confusing posts in here about the quality of this bike, as though it mattered for touring. Are there more expensive, lighter, better welded, better painted steel Taiwanese step through bikes out there? Probably. Is getting one easy? No. Will it matter that the chromoly is plain guauge with 40lbs luggage? Not that much. Plus the one in question is a great price.

I think it is a disservice to jump on a thread like this with the tiny climbing gear - rohloff - nullarbor surviving attitude. Tours aren't always like that and I would guess rarely. Where I am from most tours that normal people do (I am seeing these people in the wild and helping them in the bike shop) involve taking a ferry, getting a craft beer, staying in a BnB and so on.

Sorry, I do not want to be adversarial. But how can anyone deny that an available, well priced She Devil step through fitting a tiny rider is a good buy for touring? Most tour on way crappier or ill suited bikes and have a hoot.

Also, to the American users from the Canadian ones: As we have 1/10th as many people we also have 1/10th as many used bikes. So you might be waiting a while for the next good deal if you sleep on one today. Cheers all.

e: well I overlooked that it's a many months' tour. OP don't cheap out, buy a way nicer bike. Get something with disc brakes so you don't have gray dust everywhere.
I'll leave what I wrote for entertainment.
Thanks for all that. I live near the border so was indeed shopping on your side.
And thanks for the reminder not to cheap out. It's hard not to prioritize saving cash over over comfort and reliability..but I must play the long game. Wisdom ...I hope. Lol.
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Old 06-02-23, 06:16 AM
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Get something with disc brakes so you don't have gray dust everywhere.
I'll leave what I wrote for entertainment.[/QUOTE]
Gray dust?
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Old 06-02-23, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tombc
It means OP has assessed the parts as being adequate for their needs and expressed it in 2 short words......
so essentially meaningless "two short words" from a new member (~15 posts).
OP seemed to be buying a stock bike with gearing unsuitable for a middle-aged lady to tour on.
we don't yet know what the OP has for knowledge or experience.
that's why we axe questions.
doesn't mean we think OP is stoopid.
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