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After a lot of deliberating and reading all of the super things that people have to say on hear about Mark, Jim, their service and their products I have managed to narrow my choice to an Enigma, but which one ?
The vast majority of the riding will be what I call my "30 mile stress buster", be that on a Sunday morning, or whener I can grab a couple of hours away from my business. Having said that, once I've got a decent bike, it would probably inspire me to go on day rides with a local "social cycling club" and I might even fancy joining a "fast club run" cycle club and possibly go on longer tours.
Unfortunately, I can only afford one Enigma, and even that is going to be a major purchase for me.
So am I being unreasonable in asking for one bike that can do all of the above ?
I'm guessing that you're going to recommend the Etape, because of its versatility, but will I then be disappointed because it's not quite as quick as the Echo ? If I go for the Echo, presumably I can't fit panniers and I'd be disappointed if it wasn't as comfortable on the longer rides (tours).
Maybe Jim's planning a new model called the "Echape" in the 2010 range
My main problem is that I cannot get down to Enigma HQ and their are no dealers anywhere near me, so trying out each model is unfortunately not an option.
I'd be really grateful for any advice on this please.
This is just a personal opinion, but I say go for the echo unless you really envisage multi-day touring as a major use, or you really must have mudguards (e.g. if you are planning to use the bike for commuting in normal clothes). It sounds as if your intended use is the sort of thing most people use a standard road bike for. The chain stays on the etape are quite a bit longer, which is great if you need mudguards and a lot of shock absorption, but the bike won't feel as lively and responsive as a full-on road bike like the echo. Enigma titanium bikes are comfortable in any case, perfectly OK for long day rides unless you are particularly sensitive.
Both Echo and Etape are great to ride but the Echo will deliver a more sporty ride.
Something that we do on a regular basis is retro fit carrier fittings to the Echo to give it a little more versatility. I suppose this could be the "Echape" that you are looking for!!
Please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss the options. I will make sure that whatever you choose will be right for you.
I have an Etape, which was my first bike from Mark and Jim, its great and will go well, very versatile, I use mine for Audax rides, and have toured in France and Italy this year. Versatile, practical and a joy to ride.
I love it so much I have bought an Eulogy, so now I can do fast club runs and sportif's etc on the Eulogy and use the Etape for touring and winter training.
I have had the Etape for two year and it looks as good as the day I bought it, and I have packed in the miles, and yes once you get yours you will want to ride and ride.
So the answer is get the Etape as this will cater for all eventualities, and when can justify to yourself buying another Titanium beauty, go and get a sports version.
Hope that helps.
This is the exact dilemma that I am facing at the moment. If the Echo was just a little more accommodating with its tyre sizes, I wouldn't hesitate to order one now.
I have a Giant TCR full carbon bike. It is a lovely bike and very stiff and fast. I thought it was an awesome bike to ride.
That was before I bought an Etape. I do on average 1,000 miles a month and at this time of year due to the weather that is all on the Etape. In the warmer months I actually had to force myself to leave the Etape and ride the TCR. The Etape is THAT comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
I'm afraid I can't offer any insights into the bikes, but as I'm currently making basically the same decision I can offer a thought about the decision. I started out thinking Etape - I'm never going to be a fast rider, so don't mind losing the last 5% of performance or whatever it is, and why not have the extra flexibility? But over the last few days I've realized that, like you, this is a serious purchase for me, and that means I'm unlikely (for many years at least) to be taking this bike out for a rainy Monday commute; I'm not going to treat it like glass, but it will definitely be my 'best bike'. As such mudguards will be superfluous (and the new crud road racer guards will be fine if really needed). And while I would love to go touring, realistically the only way I'm going to be doing that before the kids leave home is with family, in which case I'd be riding my sturdy, stable hybrid instead.
None of that necessarily applies to you, of course, but it might be handy to see what someone similar is thinking.
Interesting that Paul mentioned the Crud Roadracer mudguards. Just bought a set for my Elite. I've not got round to fitting them yet - we'll see how they go at the weekend. Good job too, looking at the forecast
just remember to add a little thread lock to the very small screws that hold on the mudguard end extensions. Around the cobbled streets of edinburgh on my commute home I managed to rattle off both before i'd realised.
I have had both. I first bought an echo for sportive riding, but then started riding audax and wanted the versatility of mudguards etc.
I swapped the frame for the Etape and could not be happier. It is a very comfy and stable bike, and unless you are a very tuned in racer..I doubt you will notice much loss in performance.
If this is a long term purchase? it is better to have a bike with flexibility.
Thanks Jem, good tip
(sorry for being off topic!)