A Jaegher Phantom test – My review – The sequel

Because the post ‘A Jaegher Phantom test – My review‘ is currently the most looked at page on my blog and because I received some questions from John, I would like to add some things to the earlier review.

There is a curious thing going on with the paint. After a while I noticed a spot on the back of the frame. Cleaning wouldn’t help, it always returned after a few days. This unexplainable spot and the fact of the unleveled top tube let the people at Jaegher to the decision to make a new frame for me. On my part I’ve decided to pay the extra 200 EUR for the upgrade from a Phantom to a Interceptor. Currently I’m waiting for the delivery of the new frame… It also means a lot of work waiting for me: deconstructing the frame, the drive to the Jaegher shop and rebuilding the bike!

DSC_0241

In the first test I’ve made the point that the Jaegher frames aren’t as light as indicated. This let to an interesting story. My neighbor is currently building some fixed gears based on old steel frames originating from his family. The other day I helped him with deconstruction a 1980’s Colnago frame. According to him this was an entry to mid level frame in the day. I couldn’t resist measuring this frame, of course with the same measuring technique as the other frames. Guess what, this 30 year old frame weights exact the same as my current Phantom! And this without expansive steel names like Niobium…

DSC_0002

John was wondering what my feelings were on the bike, apart from the issues explained above. Well, the bike is (slightly) more comfortable and stiffer under hard acceleration and cornering then my Koga racer. But, I do have some marginal comments. A lot depends on the riding position (steer, shifter, saddle, shoe – paddle). At first the bike was a dream to ride, then due to some problems small changes were done. And this has it’s effect on efficiency, comfort, ride quality,… I do feel it when something is wrong, unfortunately I don’t know what and how to change. I’ve also noticed the choice of wheels and tires (mainly the pressure) have a great influence. E.g., my 4,5 year old Fulcrum Racing 3 and Racing 7 wheel sets make the ride over cobble stones really comfy, this is not the case with the new Fulcrum Racing 1 set.

To reply on Juan’s remark that steel frames can only be light by using ultra light components. The base line of the Jaegher frames is ‘airlight steel’. The only thing I’m saying that this baseline isn’t the real story.

Another important issue is that the Jaegher bike is a bike (and maybe the only one) with a soul. The other day I was thinking of it as the bike equivalent of a Morgan. Exclusive, fast, beautiful, classic techniques and sometimes with some problems.

A thing of beauty, (hopefully) a joy forever…

Jaegher

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “A Jaegher Phantom test – My review – The sequel

  1. I am really glad you posted again. Also, I am very interested to hear your experience with the Interceptor(though I am likely going for the Ascender[stainless]; I wonder what the weight difference is?). To be honest, I was quite concerned about the issues you were having. I have been saving for quite a while, and looking forward to making my pilgrimage out to their shop, and what you had written was becoming upsetting. =) It looks like they are taking care of you, and that is good to hear.

    On the old steel frame, I wonder how it rides in comparison…I have an old steel Plume Vainqueur frame I turned into a single speed for cruising around the summer terraces in Antwerp. I like it quite a lot, but it is very very flexible. I can’t imagine it with a proper groupset on a hill, I think I would tie it in a bow. I would wonder even if the old colnago is just as “light”, if it is a stiff and responsive.(yes, I know, possibly sacrilege to speak of a Colnago in that way). As for the Fulcrums I would actually expect the Race 1s to be much less comfortable…as they would be much lighter and much much stiffer.

    And lastly, I couldn’t agree more on the romance. I could buy a top of the line Cube, with D/A for the same price as the Ultegra equiped Ascender I want, and still have enough left over for a second set of very nice wheels….but there is no romance. I want a bike with soul….it is good to hear that the makers seem to have some soul too.

    Please keep updated on the new frame. I look forward to hearing about your continuing experience.

  2. Great Information!

    I’ve been to the Jaegher factory last March and I must say that the service was perfect (even if I’d buy nothing…). The guy was friendly and not pushy at all. He said to me that everything could be possible with my new bike (choice of components,…).
    I was looking for a new bike since my Eddy Merckx MX Leader ’94 starts to become a bit old. I couldn’t afford 3500 Euros bike on the spot so I resume to ride my Merckx and actually I am still in love with it.

    Your updated for the new frame is waited

    Cheers

  3. The guys at Jaegher are nice chaps! The things I talked about happened after ordering the bike. I have the new now for almost a month. There are still some problems with the head set. Once these are solved I’ll make my final judgement on the bike… Much fun with the Merckx!

    • Sorry for the long wait, but I feel like a grumpy old man when writing about the Jaegher. To go short. My experience with the Interceptor is more or less the same as with the Phantom. Great bike. Poor service (I will not go into detail, but again strange things happened). And I would not use the term ‘Airlight Steel Race Cycles’ and the comparison with aluminium frames in the way Jaegher uses it. When I write these things down it’s not to annoy the guys at Jaegher, it’s because I think they have a great product, but they should focus more on the service after the sale.

  4. It’s great to find some information about a Jaegher bike. I am also considering to buy a handmade steel bike. It’s either going to be a Jaegher Ascender or a St Joris (bike builder in Eindhoven). I would love to read about your expierence with the interceptor and how the paint is on the new bike…

    Cheers

    • I think St Joris is in an altogether different league. Jaegher sells via internet, St Joris only sells after personalised contact. I was fortunate to join Alex of St Joris on a test ride and he takes his time to ensure a perfect fit (he works with the team doctor of the Skill Shimano team for your fitting, included in the bike price) and he will discuss with you what you want to do with your bike so you will get tailored bike characteristics (stable or agile, stiff or more compliant, etc) and tubing is selected accordingly – so you can end up with a mix of Deda, Reynolds and Columbus tubing. There is a price difference as well but it’s the quality you pay for…

  5. The bike is stiffer than the Phantom under hard cornering and accelerating, but still comfortable under most conditions. A few weeks ago I tested the bike on a really bad section with cobblestones. I won’t say it was pure luxury, but the reaction of my bike partner was from a complete other league. The paint… I really like the color (the same blue as the Phantom) and the depth of the paint. The downside is that it’s really fragile. A few weeks ago I had to change the cups of the headset (it has something to to with the grumpy old man quotation above). With the tool I slightly touched the frame and the result was a scratch. I don’t think this would have happened on another frame. But other frames don’t have the quality in the color… Please let me know if you have other questions on the Jaegher…

  6. Hello, I am planning to buy a Jaegher.
    Are you six months later still happy with your bike?
    I was wondering if the problems with your headset are resolved?
    Its a pitty that the paint is that fragile, because they look really very nice, and its a shame tio scratch them.

    have fun with your bike,
    PS: maybe you could post some pictures of your bike 😉
    Freddy

  7. Hi Freddy! My opinion hasn’t changed… The bike is superb (ride quality, looks,…), the after sales quality not what I aspect from a bike this expensive. The scratch from working on the headset is until now the only scratches on the bike (but I really look after is). Concerning the previous problems with the headset, I just installed a complete headset, including the upper and lower cups. No problem with them since. This might sound stupid, but the old cups had a great influence on the steering. On the next opportunity, I will take pictures of the new frame!

  8. Hi,

    Great to see a review on Jaegher bikes, they do look stunning although as someone London based its a bit of a disadvantage to source from overseas as I can’t pop in to get things adjusted.
    I’m just wondering after all these months how you are getting on with the interceptor? This is the frame that most interested me and I was looking at using Campag chorus as a group set.

    Love to hear an update now it’s been several months, it’s a fair investment these bikes!

    Regards
    Matt

  9. Hi Matt, there’s isn’t so much new to tell about the frame. No problems since. Love riding it every day. No problems with the paint. Still love the looks and the soul of the bike. On your remark to get things adjusted, because of the ‘old’ technology almost anyone can work on the frames without much trouble. If you buy a Jaegher frame from overseas and any problem occurs during warranty, I suppose the Jaegher guys must find a solution, including solving transport issues. The previous year I had problems with a Bullitt bike bought directly in Copenhagen, they solved it without any discussion… If you have any specific questions, please let me know. Best regards, Wim

  10. Hi All, been following this new brand from Velominati website. I loved the look of the framesets and the apparent quality delivered. It seems that in the real experience is a little different. I am English but live in the Austrian Alps. 5 years ago I bought a US handmade non-custom unlugged frame – Gunnar – see my profile pic. This is a True Temper Platinum Ox 58cm steel frame with Easton 90 SL carbon forks supplied with headset. The cost was 1000 UK pounds. I built the bike with Campag Veloce, Mavis Kysrium Elite wheels and a Centaur carbon crank. Including A520 spd pedals the weight is 8.5kg, This shocked the local Pro shop that weighed it (they thought it was titanium….),
    I have to say this is the finest bike I have ridden, comfortable sharp and fast. I have used it on several european tours and a four day UK 400 mile Newcastle to South Wales trip. The bike was faultless.
    The only minor gripe I have is I could do with a longer wheelbase, since living here I noticed a little toe overlap when crawling round a hairpin – hence interest in another steel frame, but full custom.
    I have just changed the groupset to 105 triple with a 32 at the back, undoubtedly a little heavier now, but my legs are now a bit weary cycling all the mountains and passes here…. By the way, it is carbon central here and people are always interested in talking about the Gunnar.
    Paintwork is not the most durable, and like the Jaegher tends to scratch a bit too easily for my liking. I plan a respray maybe next year, but road conditions are tough here – I also use it on some of the gravel bike paths, so maybe not!!
    This bike is something beautiful to ride (I am not a racer, 82kg ex club rider) and I have never found it to be wanting for stiffness, even grinding up some 17km 12 percent average climb….
    Its funny but I do not want/need to change it for a carbon ‘anyone with enough money can have’ machine.
    I look forward to reading more feedback on the Jaegher’s.

  11. Thank you for your write-up and follow-up comments. I’ve been considering a steel bike and stumbled onto Jaegher’s drool-worthy web site and lovely lugged frames. I live in the US, so stopping by their shop is out of the question. However, the combination of your service experience and the photos of the paint issues give me pause, especially given the distance. I don’t know how prices compare, but I would probably opt for a Pegoretti steel frame as his name and product reputation are impeccable. I have a friend who rides one and it’s bicycle jewelry. There’s also a frame builder in Seattle, Rodriguez, who builds a sub-15 pound (sorry for the Imperial measurements) steel bike.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s