2011 That was a year

At just short of 7400 miles I rode a bit further than previous years. Except for a week in Scotland this was almost exclusively on two 29 bikes; The Ragley TD-1 and the Singular Pegasus.

The TD-1 only exisited because the Pegasus failed, and the TD-1 never elevated above the roll of stand in, it’s no suprise that neither bike will remain on sale long into 2012.
The Pegasus is a fantastic bike, I love riding and racing it, but that makes its flaws even more heart braking, I don’t want to ride anything else. Problems, well: The clearance for the chainrings is poor, those that run it singlespeed will never notice, but mainly it just isn’t going to last! it’s proved too fragile. Another owners comments!

Good NEVI advert
An example - This is NOT my frame

As I’ve found out the hard way, using a 32T ring and or/a granny ring are just not worth the risk; this compromise is no problem for general rides, but for more long distance epics with hard climbing the lack of granny ring just breeds leg fatigue. The frames just crack, Titanium frame for life, that’s a myth, Ti suffers work fatigue like any other metal, but the attrition rate for the Nevi built frames brings the design or manufacture into question.

The ride of the Pegasus is superb, so much it makes the TD-1 feel like a plank, is this down to just too much give in the lightweight tubes? I don’t think so as some of the cracks seen are in strange places. Nevi built their frames in an argon cabinet to reduce the risk of contamination, but how much attention did they show to preventing overheating while welding. I’m no expert but all the pictures I ever saw were of whole bikes being welded in one go. Can’t have been easy in heavy gloves and such restricted environment. This makes interesting reading on the need for top techniques.

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/articles/index.php?page=article120.html
A new replacement Pegasus has been made for one Singular rider by a German firm, it will be interesting to see how he gets on with it.

It’s not the TD-1’s fault it was designed for head down fast riding on a short fork. It does this well, the steering is razor sharp but as a consequence to me its harsh and just no fun. With all your weight forward its a bitch to pull up, old skool riding that no-one wants to go back too. This makes it quite good as a flat barred road bike, and as ChainReactioncycles have discounted them right down to clear they are a bargain Ti frame for that in anyones book. I doubt if you’ll see a replacement as Ragley have lost their mentor who has returned to On-One.

The TD-1 didn’t get re-sold as its value just evaporated, not a popular concept. It had uses mainly due to the fantastic chainstay design, that solid lump of Ti the “Finger Bridge” cures both the Pegasus tyre and chainring clearance issues in one fell swoop. Also trying it out with the longer Niner fork for long distance bivy rides, it worked. I didnt get battered on 200 miles of rutted hard tracks, more give and less weight on the hands, and the slower handling slack front end didn’t matter. If only the two frames good points could be combined………….mmmm

The complete lack of faith in the Pegasus has led me to seriously consider a custom made frame to my requirements. The dimensions and angles of the Pegasus with a solid chainstay plate like the finger-bridge, room for the latest trick forks which only seem to come in tapered design, and a quality build. One man has been found who can produce what looks like a superb product,  but can I regain confidence in lightweight Ti frames.

Custom builds don’t come cheap, but Ti is a bike for life…….isn’t it, I’d settle for 10 years.

For now A Singular Swift is filling the roll of winter mud plugger, chucked together and saving the life of the Pegasus, not how I envisaged it. I’m back to stumbling over too many bikes in the garage again…grrr.

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5 thoughts on “2011 That was a year

  1. If you go custom consider a full 1.5″/44mm head tube for simplicity and covering all bases.
    With so many production Ti frames failing i don’t think I’ll bother.

  2. Interesting read. Most, what you might call, established Ti MTB frame makers put a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship. What was the warranty on the Pegasus? 12 months? I guess the issue Singular has is that it relies on a 3rd party agreement to fix,(no chance to repalace) which has been canned.

    FYI THis is on the Singular website under news date 7.4.10

    “””We are shortly getting the second production run of the Pegasus frames underway.”””

    Maybe time for a replacement under warranty?

    From what I have read from Van N, Moot, IF, when a warranty claim is made they will replace the whole frame if they think a repair could compromise strength or shape in anyway. Encouraging I guess but you are still without a bike for yonks while it is on a trip to US.
    I’ve been considering a custom myself for a while. Im intrigued to know what is on your short list? I have my theories 🙂
    I bet we end up with the same.

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