Bike abuse

It was a bit of a shock to see what six and a half years of mountain biking can do to a frame. Apparently I had to many chain sucks…

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A Jaegher Phantom test – My review

I use a Jaegher Phantom for some months now. Because it’s a relatively new brand and you can hardy find any reviews on the net, I just want to share some remarkes on my bike. Even though this blog isn’t really the place for it.

First of all, the Jaegher is not a low cost bike, so the expectations are high.

Communication and customer service are poor. I had to pay the complete bike in front, had to wait a month for 3 fi’zi:k test saddles (they were send to another costumer and this left very little testing time for me) and even with an appointment I had to wait almost one hour after arriving at the Jaegher atelier.

The frame. The top tube is unleveled (the tube is lower at the head tube then at the seat tube, the opposite of a sloping frame, very unaesthetic). The frame is heavier then expected /  communicated. After confronting them with my opinion the reply was… Concerning the top lube they stated that the difference was to big, but that this will have no influence on the ride quality. Concerning the weight. The Jaegher website shows an overview of several properties of frames build with steel, aluminum and carbon. The schedule gives carbon the best score for weight, aluminium and steel receive an equal score. And it is on this point that I completely disagree with Jaegher. Their frames are not lighter then alu frames. Because the proof is in the pudding I took apart my Jaegher and two other alu frames I use. I measured them with the same technique (and the differences are the most important, not the actual weight). The numbers were: 2000 g for the Jaegher Phantom (model 2013, 3200 EUR, complete bike), 1700 g for the Koga MTB (model 2006, 1240 EUR, complete bike) and 1500 g for the Koga Race (model 2007, 1280 EUR, complete bike). The Jaegher reaction? We’ve never said your bike will be light, we’ve said it’s possible to build a complete Phantom that’s as light as an average alu bike. This is: when you use the lightest parts available and pay thousands of euro’s. Because Jaegher is mainly a frame builder, I think they have to compare frames, not complete bikes in completely different price categories.

The paint. Apart from a bike carrier malfunction damaging the paint… The paint used on the Phantom is beautiful, but fragile. Until now I never used the bike in the rain and took very good care of it, but already several very small paint damages are visible.

Bike parts installation. We agreed that I could bring my own (new) group-set and it would be installed as a gesture. All good, besides the clearance on the head set, the not optimal function of the front (I suppose there is a problem with the frame – support bolt) and back derailleur, the saddle coming down and getting lose after the first ride.

Perfect fit. This was one of the reasons I decided  to buy a tailor made bike. I must be honest that this bike fits me better then my previous one, but a perfect fit is a step way to far. They never saw me ride the bike (not indoors or outdoors) and were unable to help me with the shoe – pedal adjustment. I might be wrong but this seems a very important bike – biker connection.

To go short… The costumer service is poorer then expected, the bike is heavier then expected and the bike fit is not the most perfect. After all it’s a good bike, but not good enough concerning the price tag.

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A city for bikers?

A while ago we were visiting Basel. Apparently the city is not only worth visiting for it’s art, design and architecture, it’s also astonishing how they cope with cyclists. In front of appartements we saw handy bike shelters, the railwaystation houses a huge and completely equipped underground bike parking lot  Veloparking Euroville by Rosenmund + Rieder Architekten and throughout the city very handy signs connect different neighbourhoods by calm bike friendly roads.  In the city center the roads are not really adjusted for bike use, but mainly because of the fact that motorised traffic respects the peddle powered road users it’s still a joy to cycle. The result: interesting mix of people using bikes for transportation, fun and fitness. One other thought that popped in my mind during my stay was: ‘One indicator of a rich city is when rich people use public transport’. Meaning that the quality of public transport is so high it can compete with luxurious cars! For sure this was the case in Basel… One of the future exemple for other cities? I’ll be back! MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA