RCUK Bikes Stuart Gallagher's Monoc - Road Cycling UK

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RCUK Bikes Stuart Gallagher's Monoc

Dear RCUK,

I know it’s not bang-up-date, super light and hasn’t forced me to remortgage my house, but it’s still my yellow bike.

The Monoc all-alu here was bought 18 months ago. I was looking for my first decent road bike, and had a budget of £800 for the whole lot. That’s a lora lorra cash for me, so I wanted to get absolutely as much out of that as possible.

A good fit was really important to me, so I blew some of the budget on a trip to Paul Hewitt and got measured up for a bike I hadn’t bought yet. A few weeks later, I saw an ad in a magazine saying the Monoc frames were on sale. All the Monoc frames in the range share the same aluminium triangle; the top-end ones just had carbon seat and chain stays. Going with the all-alu saved me a few hundred quid, and I don’t think I regretted the choice. There are days when I’d like to have a bit of bling to look at, but when I’m riding I don’t even think about it.

The frame and fork came in at £250, which was a great price considering the quality of the frame: triple butted and very comfy. I’ve nothing to measure it against, but it’s stiff enough for me.

Wheels are Paul Hewitt handbuilds: Mavic Open Pro, 32 single butted spokes on Veloce hubs. Tyres are Michelin Pro Race, handlebars are 3T Morphe, and then standard ITM and FSA bits and bobs. The saddle has since been upgraded to a Selle San Marco Regal, which is pure lush.

Ride-wise, I was expecting something pretty harsh considering the bad press all-aluminium frames get. Maybe it’s the fit, the tyres, the wheels, the saddle, whatever, but I can’t say this is harsh. There’s a lot of tubing here which adds quite a bit of weight, but apparently its design is to minimise vibrations along the tubes: it works. From what I’m told, carbon and titanium must be comfier, but 18 months ago there was no Focus Cayo or whatever. For the money, this is a great ride. I’d have had to spend money I’ll never have to get something a little bit lighter and a little bit comfier. For what I spent on this yellow yoke, I got a great deal.

Stuart Gallagher

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