SPECS: BRODIE CIRCUIT 2015
Weight; 12.97 kg (28.6 pounds)
Material; 4130-butted Chromoly steel
Brakes; Hayes MX5 mechanical disc brakes
Rims; Alex TD-17
Front Derailleur; Shimano Altus
Rear Derailleur; Shimano Claris
Cranks; Shimano Acera 28/38/48T
Cassette; Shimano Acera 11-30T
Shifters; Shimano bar end 8 speed
Hubs; Shimano M475 / Formula
Size; XL (60cm)
Price paid; $850 Canadian dollars, no tax paid! RRP was $1120+tax so I scored a bargain as it was the previous years model and I bought it from outside Canada I didn’t have to pay tax. Woohoo!
Note: I am pretty clueless about technical bike stuff so I have no idea what any of the specs mean, so this review will just be pretty basic about what I like and don’t like about my new baby!
- Outstanding price for a Chromo touring bike with disc brakes.
- Nice upright position, good stem angle.
- Wide drop bars giving plenty of hand positions.
- Brakes feel solid and dependable when fully loaded.
- Looks like a sexy old school classic tourer.
- Bar end shifters kick ass!
- Rims take up to 38c tires.
- Mid blade fork braze ons for front rack / fenders.
- Three bottle cage spots.
- 24 speed.
- Slightly wobbly fully loaded (but this was EXTREMELY fully loaded at the start of trip before I got rid of excess crap).
- Although it can take 38c tires it gets pretty tight with fenders.
- Paint seems to scratch very easily, cables on head tube rubbed the paint on the logo completely off.
- Snapped two gear cables and the chain in 4 months, never had any problems like that on our previous trip with cheap hybrid bikes in worse conditions.
Our previous cycle tour from France to China had been done on a pair of second hand ex rental Trek hybrids that were too small for me and too large for Kelly. So this time I was determined to get bikes that were more up for the task of riding around the world! I had my heart set on a steel framed tourer this time as we would be travelling in so many different conditions that I figured the sturdiness and durability of steel made sense.
I researched the options for buying touring bikes at home in Perth, Western Australia, but our options were fairly limited, more expensive and when you add in the cost and hassle of transporting them to Canada by plane it made more sense to buy bikes in Vancouver at the start of our trip.
I researched as many bike shops as possible in Vancouver contacting a whole bunch and ended up being offered the bargain price on the Brodie Circuit 2015 with the added bonus of not having to pay tax as the purchase was made outside Canada. Kelly’s original bike was a Norco Search from the same shop, but this didn’t work out as I think has been covered in previous posts and she ended up getting the 2016 flat bar model of the Brodie Circuit that I’ll cover in a separate post.
DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY:
The Brodie Circuit 2015 was exactly the bike I’d been hoping for with my limited funds! I spent hours staring at the pictures on the Brodie website and from the bike shop, but it is still a bit nerve racking purchasing a bike that you intend to ride around the globe without ever actually trying it out first!
I was thrilled to finally see it up close in the shop and over the moon to find that it was actually a good fit for me! I was in love.
The angle of the stem puts you in a nice upright position for long days in the saddle and the nice wide drop bars means you have a fair amount of space for a handlebar bag without losing hand positions.
The curve and length of the drops are excellent making it nice and comfortable cruising along in the drops without feeling like you’re hunched over too much.
Finally having a bike large enough for me felt great, everything just felt right. The bonus of having a 60cm frame is plenty of room for water bottles! One design flaw for me was the placement of the main bottle cage on the seat stay, using a standard top release aluminum cage; the cage actually interfered with the shifting of the front derailleur. I remedied this easily by bending the cage slightly, but the cage mounts could have perhaps been placed slightly higher on the frame to avoid this interference.
Front and rear facing eyelets on both the fork and rear give multiple rack set up options along with mid blade braze ons on the fork giving added mounting versatility.
It rides beautifully. I hadn’t owned a steel framed bike before and could definitely notice the difference in handling particularly on bumpy roads, the steel seemed to keep me a bit more stable and jarred less when hitting rough patches.
I never felt like I’d run out of gears on this bike, even in the Rockies I felt 24 was enough to get me up the steep passes, I also like that an 8 speed chain and cassette is relatively easy to get a hold of when in random spots around the world.
Can’t comment too much on the stock saddle and tires (Brodie saddle and Kenda Kwest 35) as I swapped them out straight away for my brooks B67 and our Schwalbe marathons, but the saddle did seem decent to be fair.
It looks sextacular. I will not lie. I have a total man crush on my bike. The dark grey paint job with white Brodie logo looks great and gives it an old school charm. While it looks like a classic road tourer, it actually handles light off road and rocky tracks like a beast too!
The Brodie circuit 2015 feels like a serious touring bike when you hop on. The weight of the bike and the beautiful neat welds inspired confidence in my shiny new machine from the first meeting!
The Alex rims took a fair amount of punishment on some of the rougher cycle trails we chose to take and came out unscathed. At the start of the trip I had a ridiculous amount of weight on the rear rack and had feared that I’d end up busting a rim, but they held up beautifully. I’ve since scaled back the crazy amount of crap I was carrying to a slightly more sensible load.
Light rust developed in some of the braze ons, but that’s kind of to be expected being left out in rain and frost across Canada so I’m pretty sure any bike would develop a minor amount.
The paint job while looking fantastic, it does seem to be fairly fragile and it didn’t take long for scratches to appear. The major paint problems were from the gear and brake cables rubbing on the head tube of the bike giving the Brodie ‘B’ logo a nasty scar straight through it. Also had paint rub off under the straps of my top tube bag, I’ve since used tremclad rust proof paint over the patches, but I was hoping the paint job would be a little tougher.
I also managed to wipe out pretty badly in the Rockies while trying to take a photo while pedaling (yeah I’m not the brightest) but the bike took this pretty solid hit and came out fine!
I was surprised to snap a chain so quickly on this bike and go through two gear cables, but I am putting that down to the insane load I was trying to carry so can’t really blame that on the Brodie Circuit 2015.
Overall after 7000+kms I am super happy with the Brodie Circuit 2015 touring bike! It handles beautifully, feels solid like it will last me for the next 4-5 years of this trip and beyond and is also versatile enough that it can be used on road and also on trails making our route choices more open. I feel incredibly lucky to have picked up a brand new 4130 Chromo touring bike with all the bells and whistles for $850 and even if I did pay full price it would have still been a solid choice.
It was also kind of nice riding across Canada on a Canadian bike!
I give the Brodie Circuit 2015 model a 4 out of 5 stars. Excellent value and a solid touring machine! (Gear List)