Damocles vs. Excalibur
I've read all the reviews and posts about these two bikes, and both seem to be great rides.
Besides having identical geometries, there seems to be a lot of overlap in these two frames.
Two recurring, but debatable, differences are:
1) the Excal's fork is better
2) the Damocles has a stiffer (but some think better) ride
What's throwing me off is the fact that the Damocles is a the heavier-duty-built bike, but many think that the fork of the Excal is superior (as in stiffer, go figure). In addition, the Excal was the one that Ridley chose to build with an ISP to create the upscale Helium, and the Damocles, for all it's "sprinter's bike" stiffness, is the only one to have had any frame changes with the 09's additional head tube reinforcement.
So, I doubt I can go wrong, but does anybody have any updated opinions on these frames? Weight is not a concern to me as I'm a clyde most of the time,and I'm sure that both are stiff enough in the bb area. What I'm hoping for is some insights into the differences in handling corners, descents, and ride quality.
With similar geometries, I just can't picture there being any ground-shaking differences, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Thanks in advance.
Nuances...Both great Frames
brians647 - I recently parking lot and neighborhood tested both bikes and I was on the fence as well. I probably spent about 35 minutes on both bikes with identical tire pressures and similar builds. Following are my impressions.
The Excalibur has a very responsive lively feel, it feels more snappy. You feel a little more of the road, not in a bad way, just more feedback, the bike has springy feel kinda of like a great steel or titanium frame but not at the cost of pedaling efficiency. Get out of the saddle and jump on it and it squirts forward with aplomb. I thought that the Excalibur carved more assuredly and cornered a little more sharply with more precision.
The Damocles (which is the frame that I thought I wanted) felt more dampened, solid and a little muted, but not like a OCLV Trek. If I were riding 50+ miles every time I road and the road surface was more unpredictable I would want the Damocles. It is a very comfortable and stable bike well suited for longer extended rides. Similar to the Excalibur, out of the saddle the bikes propels forward with authority, it just does not feel as fast as you feel less of the pavement. While the frame is very stable and solid feeling, the steering is little more quicker and felt like it would behave nicely in crits or large group rides that you wanted make your way through the pack. If you are skier, the Damocles was a J turner and Excalibur is more of a GS turner with the ability carve very tight arcs.
Both bikes have big solid head tubes, bottom brackets and chainstays. Where you really feel the differences is where the frames are aesthetically different, seat stays and top tube. I could really feel the seat stays of the Damocles soak up the road vibrations and the top tube feels really solid.
FWIW, I purchased the Excalibur as I believed that a great saddle and adjusting the tire pressure a little would get me close to the feeling of the Damocles (if needed). I have always loved the way a great steel bike rides and the Excalibur feels more springy and responsive.
Hope this helps, and reply if any additional questions arise.
Originally Posted by brians647
Tough call. I ended up with the Excal mostly becasue it was allot cheaper. And I have to say I have not been disappointed. I can't say any thing bad about it. I ordered the bike site unseen from the importer and when I put a leg over it for the first time it was like the bike was made for me. 5 years or so on and it still surprises me from time to time. I ride it hard in the mountains and regularly see speeds on twisty roads of 50 to 60mph. The bike can handle any thing you want to do on the road. Its vary confidence inspiring ( with the right tires) on vary fast twisty roads. And it really climbs well.
I had an Excal, a Damocles and am now on a Helium.
All three are excellent choices that do everything well. If I were buying again, I'd get a Helium, or the ISP Damocles with an Excal/Helium fork.
Originally Posted by kegbert1
That's an awesome review. Thanks so much for taking the time to type that out. I've ridden the Excalibur before (albeit, briefly), and also found the frame to be surprisingly lively, even with 25's on it. I've ridden a Colnago C50 before, and the Excal delivered more road feedback. Go figure.
In any case, I really appreciate the insights. Thanks so much.
Originally Posted by pulser955
Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it!
Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
Based on what you all have said, I think I'll probably end up on the Excalibur. If/when I do, I'll try and post a pic.
Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!