One day I was wandering around the net and saw a site that offered €1000 for a gravel frame with Reynolds 853 pipe. Apparently it is made by a builder in Spain.
The salesman and builder, Benjamin, was very helpful, so I decided to buy it.
But that was the beginning of a nightmare.
What I ordered
Brand SUBA Cycles
Two-tone front and rear paint scheme
Geometry is as follows
What arrived was a far cry from this.
There are also customs duties and consumption taxes involved, but I’ll spare you those.
According to the terms and conditions, the deposit is transferred first, and after the frame is completed, the remaining amount is transferred to get a tracking number. However, after the full amount was transferred, the tracking number was never notified. This is my guess, but I suspect that they are short on working capital and are asking customers on their back order list to make transfers. In other words, they are preoccupied with sales.
Ordered in June 2022.
I was told delivery would take place in December, but this was not adhered to
Things actually arrived in April the following year.
So the actual delivery time is 10 months
Shipped 6/20, received 7/22
It seems like it took a long time to take a month from Spain to Japan.
What I actually received
It arrived in a conorbikes box. It contained a frame wrapped around with very top kraft paper. Box and frame are not the same size, and part of the frame is sticking out from the box.
Not a designated color.
I would have asked for a two-tone color, but the paint was one color.
I inquired about this with the builder, Benjamin, but never got a clear answer.
Mysterious reinforcing ribs.
The one I ordered was a clean anterior triangular frame, as described on their website. But, It came with a mysterious reinforcing ribs.One in the front triangle and the other near the brake in the back triangle.
The ribs on the rear side are probably to prevent the frame from losing braking power. But what about the front? On a gravel bike, the frame bag is attached here, so these ribs are just in the way.
The shift cable and R brake cable enter the down tube from near the head tube. The cables then exit inside the BB. The cables then exit the frame through holes in the BB and connect to the brake and RD.
The mysterious ribs within the front triangle are attached just at the cable pull holes. Perhaps there was a breakage of the pipe due to stress at this hole. Maybe that’s why the ribs were retrofitted?
It was explained that 700 x 38C can be installed. However, in reality, the tire cannot be mounted unless it is completely deflated. The clearance is 31 mm at the narrowest point and 40 mm at the widest point. The clearance is 31 mm at the narrowest point and 40 mm at the widest point.
Incidentally, the clearance at the same point on my cyclocross bike, Canyon Inflite, is 50mm.
Considering the mud clearance, the limit for the SUBA frame is about 33C tire. If you push yourself, you might be able to fit a 38C, but the chainstay will be ripped to shreds in no time. Also, with tubeless tires at the height of their popularity, there is no way to have a frame that can’t be installed without letting the air out.
Welding (brazing) is a little better than kindergarteners playing with clay. Very messy; I introduced it on Twitter (X) and got several comments that I was better at it. There is a bicycle frame building school in Tokyo, and many students study there every year.
Maybe builder Benjamin should save his money and study at a Japanese school.
There were problems not only with welding (brazing) but also with pipe bending. There were creases in the pipe in at least three places.
When looking at the frame from behind, I noticed a difference in the height of the left and right seat stays. It is not accurate.
End fittings not included
End fittings were not included and RD could not be installed.
OK OK, I’m not a nervous wreck and what I bought was a gravel bike. No problem if it’s a little messy…but I have no intention of building or riding this bike.
I dare not put my life on this frame…
Advice to Builder
This brand seems to be run by a single builder. At this point, they are not at the stage where they can open their website to the world as a company.
• Make agreements with your customers.
• Improve cash flow.
• Hire an assistant.
We’ll talk about it later.
Low quality bike I have never seen in the past.
I don’t understand why this brand still exists.
I strongly recommend that you do not buy this product!
The point is, it’s like the blacksmith in old town.
They are not good at what they do, and they can’t promise delivery, but they used to be the only ones you could ask to work for you.
SUBA Cycle is not a blacksmith shop that has been around since the Middle Ages, but there are many blacksmith-like manufactures in Europe, and I think that there is a cultural background where this type of business is still accepted.
The power of the Internet has made it possible for such small businesses to communicate with the rest of the world. Herein lies the seed of unhappiness.
From a European perspective, a product with consistent quality and careful workmanship may be very expensive. I live in Japan, so China and Taiwan are close. Products manufactured in China, Taiwan and Japan are of very good quality and the prices are very reasonable. However, East Asia areas are geographically and culturally separated from Europe, and these excellent products may be hard to come by.
Perhaps living in Japan is an extremely fortunate thing in terms of product availability.
Reasonable PRICE TAG with Reynolds 853.
Poor ｗelding like a kindergartener playing with clay.
No centering accuracy.
Tire clearance is too narrow.
Failure to adhere to agreements with customers on orders.