Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

jools
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Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:25 pm

Hi all,

Does anyone have any experience with the Oppy S1? I'm looking for a new commuter and this seems to be a good package at a reasonable price. My main criteria is steel frame, drop bars and disc brakes, plus mounts for mudguards and rear racks. The only other bikes that fit the bill are Kona Rove and Sutra, Surly and a couple of others that are quite a bit more expensive.

I was having a look at the Oppy at the LBS today and it seems to be a decent package. The Claris running gear doesn't look as nice as the 105 on the S2, but the cost of replacing chains, cassette and rings will be much lower with the Claris.

The LBS priced up the bike, Topeak rack, Tioga waterproof panniers, Stronglight mudguards, tyre upgrade to 28C Schwalbe Marathon Plus and a pedal upgrade, for $1350, which seems to be a great price for the bike.

I've never owned a Malvern Star - are they a decent bike? Should I keep shopping around for alternatives, or is this a decent purchase? I'm a fairly large guy - 193cm and 110kg so I need a robust bike to carry me and my work gear around every day.

Thanks!

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Derny Driver
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:30 pm

Mate I reckon Malvern Star are the bees knees. My son races on their top of the range C7 Team issue and it is brilliant. The whole range of bikes are top notch. Beautifully designed and nicely priced. I can also vouch for the warranty department too, I have had a frame replaced and a fork replaced free of charge ..for very minor paint cracks. With the fork they didnt even want to look at it, I rang Melbourne and they posted me one the next day. Great people, great bikes. Go for it, you'll be very happy with it.
Personally I would go with the 105 ...you can still put whatever chainrings, chains and cassette you want on it. Tiagra cassettes are cheap and very good quality. My son uses DuraAce levers, 105 chains and Tiagra cassettes.

jools
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Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:13 pm

Thanks for the glowing recommendation, that's very reassuring. Sounds like they look after their customers well. I'll have another look at the 105 option, but the S1 is a bit more budget-friendly :)

slaw
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby slaw » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:50 am

I have the S2 which I got for $1300 in the Boxing Day sales. It is heavy at 12.8kg. I've changed out the saddle and fitted SPD pedals. Didn't like the look of the fake leather, but I do like the look of the leather bar tape even though I'd prefer something with a bit more padding.

I've used it on a few dirt road rides, some easy single track and have a few commutes on it. Haven't fitted a rack yet, but will soon.

Even with the 35c tyres on, I feel only marginally slower than my roadie and a bit quicker than my flat bar commuter with 26" slicks.

If you could stretch to the S2, the hydraulic discs are a better option for ease of use compared with mechanical discs at least in my experience on my MTBs. Even at full price it is quite good value with the 105 groupset.

Planning on doing a 150km mixed terrain ride on Sunday - see how it goes.

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:12 pm

Hi Slaw, thanks very much for the insight. Are the hydraulic brakes easy to look after? Reliable? I've never had any experience with discs and I figured that if something went wrong on the mechanicals while riding then they would be easier to fix than a hydraulic.

slaw
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby slaw » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:07 pm

Bike went well. Me not so much in the heat, but managed to cover 110km before cramping and heading home.

This is my first disc braked road bike, but in my experience with MTB hydraulics yes, they are easy to look after and they are reliable. I've never had anything go wrong while riding - adjustments are easy to do. They self adjust for wear which might not matter so much on a roadie, but with mech I've worn down pads on muddy mtb rides and had to readjust mid-lap. A friend on the same ride as me once wore down his pads so much that he ran out of travel on his shimano mech brakes and lost all braking power. He had to crash to stop on some downhills! Others have different experience. Search this other forums.

jools
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Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:19 pm

110k's is a great result! Glad to hear the bike went well. Thanks for insight about the brakes - I was in another shop today and they said that mechanical discs have a stationary pad and a moving pad, and the stationary one needs to be adjusted as the pad wears down. Both pads move on a hydraulic brake, so no need for regular adjustment.

I'm now not so sure about the bike - had a look at one and it is nice, but I'm not sure that it's me. It's great value for money, but I might just keep looking around.

Thanks for all the advice!

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:34 pm

So in a last-minute change of heart, I ended up ordering an S1 this afternoon. I'm getting the tyres and pedals upgraded and fitting mudguards and a rack. The saddle will probably also get an upgrade.

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:24 am

Picked up the Oppy on Sunday. Here it is, all dressed up for commuting duties. I think it looks much better in all-black. Haven't managed a long ride as yet, tomorrow will be the first chance to ride it to work, but it feels great based on the short rides around the block.

Image

slaw
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby slaw » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:23 pm

Nice Jools, hope you enjoy it.

I've changed my crankset to get some lower gears for gravel riding and my get some lighter wheels for commuting. Noticed that the stock tyres are not very round, feels bumpy on a smooth road at speed. I can't seem to mount them so that they are even. Your marathons should be ok.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:37 pm

Looks awesome!
Just wondering why the seatpost is so high and there are all those spacers under a riser stem? Is the frame too small?

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:31 pm

The frame is an XL, the largest size. While it looks a bit odd, I found it quite comfy and easy to manoeuvre so far.. The frame is smaller than my Dawes, but the bars, seat and pedals are all basically in the same position when the bikes are next to each other.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:45 pm

jools wrote:The frame is an XL, the largest size. .

Big unit!
:D :D :D

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:43 am

Derny Driver wrote:
jools wrote:The frame is an XL, the largest size. .

Big unit!
:D :D :D


Yep, it's both a blessing and a curse at times

Dreams V Reallity
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Dreams V Reallity » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:24 pm

Hi Jools, That looks like the style of bike I would buy!
Did you get the saddle 'fitted' or is it stock? I bought an Aldi flat bar commuter (people will criticize my choice of supplier - but price was the biggest decider) and was after some thoughts from riders who had gone the higher price (better quality?) option. 1. seat, 2. bars.

General question (open to all readers) - how do I adjust the tilt/slope of the seat? Do I have to rotate the seat post? The mount system is not like all my previous cycles.
D V R
Still Dreaming.

jools
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Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:51 pm

Dreams V Reallity wrote:Hi Jools, That looks like the style of bike I would buy!
Did you get the saddle 'fitted' or is it stock? I bought an Aldi flat bar commuter (people will criticize my choice of supplier - but price was the biggest decider) and was after some thoughts from riders who had gone the higher price (better quality?) option. 1. seat, 2. bars.

General question (open to all readers) - how do I adjust the tilt/slope of the seat? Do I have to rotate the seat post? The mount system is not like all my previous cycles.


The saddle is a Syncros Urban Comfort. I was going to go for a Selle model, but during the fitting process I found the Selle less comfortable and went with the Syncros. The saddle is an upgrade, as are the tyres, pedals and bar tape. I had all these replaced when buying the bike.

As for your seatpost, the mount point usually has some adjustment available. I've never looked at an aldi bike so I have no real idea. You may want to post the question and some photos in The Shed

Dreams V Reallity
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Dreams V Reallity » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:37 pm

Ta, Jools.
D V R
Still Dreaming.

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:27 am

Well that 'new bike' feeling didn't last long - less than 2 weeks and only travelled 200 k's, popped 5 spokes on the rear wheel yesterday, locking the rear wheel up against the chainstay. Fortunately it was at a walking pace and not on a fast downhill section.

Eddetchon
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Eddetchon » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:16 am

hi jools
i bought the same bike in November 2015 here in Auckland. Think it is a great bike, really comfortable and i like what you've done with it. I just added fenders and that's it, but was interested to hear of your troubles with spokes - i've had two go on separate occasions, and was asking the bike shop whether he thinks that's normal....i've been biking to school and work over 30 years now and never had a spoke break!

anyway, what i wanted to ask was how the marathon 28Cs compared to the tyres it came shipped with - quite a bit thinner I assume? are they running nicely on the bike? i'm thinking of switching to them cos i've had the odd puncture too.

jools
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Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:20 pm

I'm not sure what is going on with spokes at the moment - I broke one on my other bike a couple of weeks ago and that was on a handbuilt custom wheelset. Having 5 go on one trip is very unusual so I'll see what the shop says when they take a look.

A few years ago I had a Trek mountain bike sitting in the garage not getting much use after I got a road bike and one day I went to ride it and found 4 or 5 broken spokes, from just sitting there doing nothing. The guy at the bike shop said he had heard of a bad batch of spokes and lots of people were getting the same thing - multiple failures at the same time. I'm not sure if it was just a story to sell a complete new set of spokes, but I had the whole wheel done and never had another problem.

As for the tyres, I never rode the bike with the standard tyres - I've been riding on Schwalbe Durano and Marathon for the past couple of years and I had the Marathons fitted as part of the bike build, along with all the other changes and new gear. I suspect that the marathons would be a big improvement in ride and grip compared to the standard tyres, along with much better puncture resistance. Spend the money, it's worth it. I've got 32's on the Oppy and 28's on my other bike and I'd be hard pressed to pick much of a difference between them. I can roll along fairly quickly and overtake much of the other bike traffic and I'm usually only overtaken by guys in lycra on road bikes with no bags.

Have you noticed any movement in the back end when you're pedalling hard? When I'm pedalling hard it feels like the back end is moving around, like the frame is flexing or the wheel keeps changing direction.

Eddetchon
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby Eddetchon » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:47 pm

nah, pretty stable i've found, but then i don't ride the bike really hard typically, but i'll take it for a run over the weekend and see. I did find the steering a bit jumpy when holding the hoods climbing, but really, i've found it a great bike in all respects except the spokes breaking. I did somewhat longingly look at the Oppy s2 in the shop yesterday, mainly because of the 105s (which I have on my road bike and really like), but like you didn't feel the extra cost was worth it. Love the steel frame and I think with your advice will go for the marathon pluses soon - i have duranos on my roadie (23 front, 25 rear) and they're great tyres for me.

and fingers crossed we don't get more broken spokes!!

slaw
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby slaw » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:49 pm

Sounds like the S1 might have a batch of dud spokes and/or poorly built wheels. I haven't checked how true my wheels on the S2 are, but no broken spokes after a few hundred kms on some rough roads. But I am light at under 65kg. I've got some lighter wheels on order for commuting duties and will fit gatorskin 32s. Stock tyres seem fast enough though and should be reasonably puncture resistant, and not too heavy for their spec. Never heard of the brand before: http://chaoyangtire.com/index.php/pro/pro-details/8/223

I have fitted a rear rack after finding that the eyelets take M6 bolts, not M5 like everything else on the bike. Had to cut a bit off the rack strut as there wasn't a lot of clearance with the hooded dropout.

Jools, loose spokes might be a symptom of the back end feeling wobbly and could cause broken spokes. See what your shop says when they look at it. Hope they sort it out for you.

jools
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby jools » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:44 pm

The verdict is that the wheel is likely to have been faulty, either the spokes were faulty or the assembly was faulty. Probably the latter. They have offered to either replace the wheel with a new one, or provide a new set of spokes and cover the cost of rebuilding the existing one. I have opted for the latter and will cover the cost of upgrading the spokes and rim to something more robust and hopefully that will be the end of the wheel issues..

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DavidS
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Re: Malvern Star Oppy S1 for commuting

Postby DavidS » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:51 am

As someone who has broken a hell of a lot of spokes I think you chose wisely to get the wheel rebuilt by hand. The original wheel would have been machine made and a good wheel builder should do a much better job.

Good luck, I too have thought about an Oppy S2!

DS
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