Plain, simple and fun bike - No money to earn for manufacturers?

Would a plain and light carbon race bike with BSA, external routing, 27,2 post and 28/30mm clearance with rim brakes sell as hot cakes? Something like the Aethos with rim brakes.
I would certainly buy one (if not insanely overpriced). Some of us just want simple and great bikes and do not care about the newest and greatest in internal routing and aerodynamics.
Or does that frame beeing made?


I don’t see there being outrageous demand for this w/ carbon, maybe in Ti or Steel. Most Chinese direct manufacturers will sell you a frame like this sans the external routing. Yoeleo, Winspace, Trifox, and ICAN have frames that will meet most of these requirements but even these brands are going away from rim brake frames and the designs they have for rim brakes are 3-4 years old. I could see a Time, Look, Lightweight, or some other higher end euro brands making something like this but external cable routing isn’t really that desirable for ultra high end bikes. To be honest internal routing if done well (Specialized Allez Sprint DSW rim brake as an example) is really easy to service assuming you’ve got some cable liner to slide over the old cable when removing or an Internal routing tool.


These two qualifications are easy to write down but hard enough to build that there’s not a tremendous history of bikes meeting both… which is part of what’s made the Aethos such a hit.

I think Alfred is right, this would be a better bet in steel, but companies like Surly have that niche pretty well covered if that’s your jam, although I’m not sure they still do rim brakes.

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You’ve literally just described the CAAD Optimo if you’re willing to go with Aluminium instead of carbon.

No idea though if it’s selling like hot cakes.


Let’s be honest, you’re basically wanting an old school bike so why not just get a second hand bargain?



The market already answered this question back in the mid-teens when most companies offered their bikes in a rim and disc brake version. Consumers overwhelmingly voted for discs and shops were stuck with rim-braked bikes.


Someone is bound to make one, but the availability of new, quality rim brake components is probably doomed in the next three to five years.

Fortunately, the used market is absolutely jammed with this type of bike, and if you can stomach high quality, tubular rim brake wheels you can pick them up for peanuts (relatively).

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That statement tells you everything you need to know about the market viability of such a concept.


No, quite simply.

There is absolutely a market for such bikes - but it’s a small one. Just like you can still buy a manual Porsche and a new (vinyl based) turntable.

Indeed, even custom steel frame builders will tell you that the majority of their orders these days are for disc brakes (70/30 according to one I spoke to just before Xmas). And that’s from a section of the market that caters more than most to people who are after something ‘simple’ and ‘traditional’.

The overall trend is very clear.

Now tbf, what you describe is exactly what I’d like - in a second bike. In fact, apart from the internal routing, it’s exactly what my second bike, a Ridley Helium SLA, is. I’ve said plenty of times before that for me and the riding I do, rim brakes are fine, and I’m a big fan of a really well set up mechanical groupset, especially Campag.

But the fact is, for most use cases, discs and electronic make more sense, hence why the (mass) market has overwhelmingly gone that way.

There is a wholly separate argument about why those things are the case, but that’s for another thread.

Discs and electronic are here to stay and rim and mechanical will become niche in the higher end of the market- though not extinct, and we may see some sort of renaissance at some point (probably marketed as ‘ride unplugged’ or ‘proudly analogue’, or similar :rofl:).

The good news, though, is if mechanical, rim and external routing is your thing, you’ll almost certainly be able to get a bike like that for the rest of your riding life: just not from the likes of Trek and Specialized.


I went looking for the bike you described and got as close as this (wrong seatpost, bb and tire clearance):

It appears, as others have said here, that this kind of bike was being made and probably bought in decent numbers several years ago and has since lost it’s appeal (manufacturer or consumer, chicken or egg). The matching bike to your description that I found was even older but much cheaper at $600.

Either way, you can get your plain, simple and fun bike much cheaper now than when new. :slight_smile:

A lot of older bikes check some of the boxes, but most of them lacks clearance for 28’s.

I am stacked up with modern tech, but i still want a bike as described in my original post :wink:

Someone over here used Porsche as an example and i think the manual gearox example is good; everybody knows that the PDK is better than manual gearbox in every measurable way, but still a lot of people prefer the manual one. When i buy fun/sports car, automatic gearbox is a no no. This is just good feelings, and no hate of newer (and better) tech.


Closest you’re going to get is probably a Yoeleo R11 or Winspace SLC 2.0 you can email them to see if you can get a threaded BB instead of BB86. I know Yoeleo used to do that on request but that was when these frames where bought by weight Weenies people. Allez Sprint will easily clear 28s but you’re not getting carbon or a threaded BB. Bowman Palace 3C will not fit 28s, I have one, their copy said 30s and they barely fit 26s.

Niche of a niche of a niche. There is just no significant market to justify mass molding such a carbon bike for a bike brand

That is what custom bike builders are for. There are not so many carbon custom bike builders but they do exist. If you allow more liberty in the material you will find plenty of builders willing to build you a bike as mentionned in OP minus the carbon part.

And if you really are stubborn about carbon and price, there are universal threaded inserts for pressfit frames and it is an easy job to epoxy some cable routing bits to any frame. Any car paint shop will then repaint your frame for a small fee if you accept them choosing the color (usually leftover color of a customer’s car). Do you like metallic grey? :sweat_smile:


Or something New Old Stock. I work for a shop that has easily 100 NOS bikes/frames mostly made in Italy, carbon, aluminum, steel, and ti that all have threaded BBs, external cables, rim brakes, round seat posts, etc… though tire clearance beyond 28mm may be an issue on some. Plus the prices are relatively reasonable compared to what bikes have gotten to these days. If anyone is interested, the shop is called Wheelfine Imports.

We are working on getting more frames listed on our site. I counted recently and have to make pages for at least 40 more frames. Lots of work for a side hustle job.

The shop is nearing its 40th anniversary next January. We’ve seen sales of these NOS frames pick up for exactly the reasons mentioned in the original post.


Except for the BSA BB you are looking for a 2nd generation of cannondale Supersix evo. (Have one without any creaking BB problems) and actually in the market to find another one


If you want it in steel, the Ritchey Road logic ticks every box your after


That is a cool shop you’ve got. I’ve been in a couple of times.

I had 2nd gen Supersix EVO and CAAD10. They were great except the creak always came back.

This is what I have now for a more modern set up. It’s great. Go steel with BSA and you’ll get quiet back. Avoid DA cassettes (bad spiders) and some hub combos - they can sound like BB creak. It’s more than firm and light enough, cheaper more durable than CF too. Plus in 2-3 decades, you’ll still be riding it. The seat clamp can be a bit fiddly if you have a CF post - definitely need the paste or go Alu if there’s a lot exposed.

In a similar vein to the Road Logic, the Fairlight Strael would also tick all the boxes.

I have a Secan and it’s my favourite bike to ride. An absolute piece of cake to build up as well.
They offer two different geometries for each size so you can get one which is relatively racy.

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Actually, it speaks to me of the industry’s & influencers Hype more than any utility. I also sense a healthy dose of conspicuous consumption.