I’m starting to think about a next build, and might be going back from disc to rim since I’m likely to be staying in a very very flat area. I’m trying to put together a list of frames that would support relatively wide by road standards tire clearances (ideally 30mm, or at least 28mm listed on relatively wide rims) while using rim brakes. It’s looking like that’s calling for direct-mount rim brakes, and it seems like there aren’t a huge amount of relatively modern frames that fit that bill while maintaining a relatively racey geometry. The Tarmac SL6 and Caad13 / Supersix Evo seem to fit the bill, as does the Pinarello Dogma F though that’s far out of my price range. The Standert Kreissage looks sweet but no idea when the rim brake version comes back into stock.
Any obvious options I’m missing?
Would the Trek Emonda be too expensive?
Unfortunately the rim brake model uses the dreaded BB90 BB standard but aside from that it ticks your boxes.
For less money there’s the Winspace SLC 2.0, they’re apparently a cut above in terms of quality then many of the other Chinese brands:
Yes, custom frames.
If I had the money right now I would put my name on Rob English’s list.
Ah forgot to mention that. I reached out to Waltly, the asian custom Ti builder for a quote on basically a tarmac sl6 rim brake but in ti and that’d end up at around 1400 USD for a frame (no fork)
I’m surprised that many people are paying that much for Waltly frames. You can get a Lynskey Helix Disc frameset that’s made in America for $1800.
How sold are you on rim brakes? Lots of really good reasonably priced Ti with race geo if you’re willing to go disc.
If you’re buying from China directly the mainstream stuff is safe and good (not as good as the YouTubers are saying but good) just use a card with a great chargeback window. I’ve found they’re awful at fixing issues until you start a claim with your credit card company then you get great service
I ended up deciding on a DengFu R06 a couple years ago since I was looking for something to build up that had direct-mount brakes. Didn’t know about Winspace at the time, and they’re likely a higher quality bike, but I’ve found the DengFu to be solid value so far.
DengFu states the frame officially only supports 25mm tires, but I’ve been able to squeeze just under 28mm up front and 30 (just barely) in the back. Depending on the wheel/tire combo, you could easily fit 28 up front. The problem I ended up with was when I upgraded from wheels with 17mm inner width to ones around 19.5mm, there was still space on the sides of the tire (measured a touch over 28mm wide), but the tire height grew to where it was just barely rubbing the brake.
I am pretty sure the Ritchey Road Logic fits 30mm tires on it’s rim brake version.
If looking second hand, a CAAD12/last-gen Supersix Evo should also fit the bill.
Standert Kreissage? The cables are externally routed but it seems to be a very serviceable bike and it’s on my shortlist.
Why are you wanting to use a rim brake? A disc brake frame will solve any tire clearance issues and allow you lots of options in terms of price
More… someone earlier mentioned a Trek Émonda. I had the SLR 9 model with the direct mount brakes that you mention would be desirable. I ran a 25 tire, but the rim was fairly wide and allowed to tire to spread to 27mm. The front fork allowed the width with ease but under the fork crown it was tight! No way for a 28 or 30 on that bike.
I don’t think trek is making that frame any more ( mine was a 2017 model) but you might get a used. one. A super light bike and super comfortable too. I really enjoyed the 4 years I owned that bike
I have a recent Ritchey Road Logic. While I don’t have tires beyond 27mm actual width, there is PLENTY of clearance there. I have to move the pads on my DA calipers to the bottom, meaning that not only is there plenty of clearance in the fork and the stays, the tire is also less likely to rub the top of the rim brake calipers. It for sure would fit 30mm, if not more.
The Emonda I linked to has 30mm tyre clearance according to the Trek website hence my suggestion.
With the Emonda it depends on the year. They made 2 versions that looked nearly identical. The first 3 years from 2014/15 to 18 a 28 is tops because of the fork crown depending on tire height.
Later 2017/18-current models EASILY take a 28. I ran tires measuring almost 32 (31.88mm) on mine, which was tight but doable if you kept it on pavement. Eventually went down to 28s that really measured around 30.
Emonda would 100% be my choice here. For all the excitement around the Spec Aeothos lately, that’s what the Emonda was 5 years ago…
Last gen Road Logic rim brake will take 30mm no pb, maybe 32mm depending on tire/rim/caliper. Or, Swiss Cross canti will take 35mm no pb, and slightly larger depending tire/rim - still great as a road bike on road tires. Both are getting harder to find in rim brake.
I think you might be missing the point… OP is an artist - an avant-garde double end of the spectrum threat… They’re moving somewhere flat, I’m guessing Dallas, TX or perhaps the flats of central Holland. Either way an absolute meat grinder. They don’t want the shackles of disc brakes stopping them from raising eyebrows as they spin down 7th street, their brakes unused - steadfast until the inevitable pull of the lever to slow down to stop outside the local cafe for a cortado and a still water. Room temperature.
OP - as for the bike, I have had unbelievably positive experiences on the Fuji cross comp I bought at performance bike in 2008.
I appreciate the poetics, but it’s more that I’ve had a disc brake bike and while it’s great on my gravel bike, on a road bike I’ve found the maintenance and calibration annoying and don’t see the need unless I’m going to be braking a whole bunch (i.e. in the mountains).
Plus, there are a lot of sweet sweet rim brake wheels on the secondhand market.
I think your list is mostly complete for race-oriented frames.
I’ve spent a lot of time on mid/long reach road bike frames that have clearance for wide tires and fenders, but they’re typically heavier steel with endurance geometry. Maybe you care less about weight if you are riding the flats though?
Of those, the Cielo Sportif and Sportif Classic are closest I’ve found to race geo, with 73 degree HTA and STA. Mine is built as a 17lb singlespeed and rides great with 28-32mm tires and barely clears a 36mm Barlow Pass. Not exactly the most common bike frame, but it is a really great steel frameset.
My other favorite is the Black Mountain Cycles Road. Mine is just under 20lb with gears and 32mm tires (with a few heavy parts), but it has a taller stack and slightly longer chainstays.
If you do end up with a long reach rim brake road bike, the Velo Orange Grand Cru brakes are the best I’ve found.
Edit: you can often find some used deals for these sorts of bikes on the Paceline forum.
If you’re looking used (thought you may be looking new only) the Allez Sprint DSW rim brake will fit the bill. My wife has one and I’ve ridden them, phenomenal bikes with acres of tire clearance, normal rim brakes, and they look great. Only caveat is you’re basically going to pay what they cost new for a used frameset but still a great frameset for $1200.
fwiw, if goal is set/forget, min liabilities. 9/10 spd + alu rims + threaded bsa (no creak). way cheaper, easier to get parts/fix, esp if away. real-world perf delta vs. pricey stuff non-existent.