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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 8:43 pm
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Location: Hampshire
So, I picked up my first proper road bike today - a second-hand Principia Ellipse SX. I'd seen the ex-display stock on CRC but never seen one in the flesh. Frame and full carbon fork are from around 2005, the parts more recent with SRAM Red, FSA carbon pro crankset, Bontrager XXX Speed Limit brakes, Look Keos. The current weight is 8.65kg even with nasty Shimano wheels and lower end finishing kit so the weight can easily come down another 1kg or so without too much effort.

It's a very attractive frame, simple in many ways but striking in others with a black anodised finish and curvy oversized downtube and headtube. Feels very much a grown-up's bike (it might be my first!). Upgrades are planned here and there though I quite like the classic black and silver so nothing too drastic looks-wise, perhaps (I don't think I'll be stealing all the anodised bolts off my MTBs, but you never know...)


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Principia Ellipse SX (Custom).jpg
Principia Ellipse SX (Custom).jpg [ 117.02 KiB | Viewed 1599 times ]
Principia Ellipse SX ii (Custom).jpg
Principia Ellipse SX ii (Custom).jpg [ 118.99 KiB | Viewed 1599 times ]


Last edited by Fatal Swan on Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:47 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Leicestershire, UK
That is a very good looking bike - the simplicity of the colour scheme lends it a very classy look.
I recall these were very well regarded bikes when they came out (I seem to recall a staff member at Cycling Plus bought one, after testing it for the magazine). It looks like a very stiff bike with those oversize tubes (particularly the down tube and seat stays) and the ovalized head tube.

It sounds like you might be planning some upgrades - what are you thinking of doing?

Enjoy,

David


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:46 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
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Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Looks good, with an interesting combo of parts.

Keep those wheels for all weather 'beating' duties and get some nice lightweight wheels for summer, job done.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:53 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 115
What size is your frame and how do you find the Principia fork? Athve a 2004 frame waiting to be built up, so looking forward to your review, but the reason I asked about the fork is that I heard it was a Mizuno rebadged. The earlier frames came with an Isaac carbon fork, which were highly regarded , never been able to pin down the weight and rake of the Principia forks.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:12 am 
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 8:43 pm
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Location: Hampshire
Thanks for the comments so far!

Judging by the geometry details from the Principia website (http://bikeframes.com/principia.html) the frame is a "55" (Medium) - 54cm centre to top of top tube and 55cm top tube centre to centre. I'm a little over 5'11 and I suppose the next size up (M/L) would be the ideal one though it seems to fit nicely enough with the saddle maybe about an inch higher than in the photos. Not ridden it 'properly' yet though - it's not required urgently and was a bit of an impulse buy that I couldn't resist. My plan is to do a few upgrades then get it set up just how I want it, for use in the springtime.

I'm afraid I don't know much about road forks, so bear with me... The seller actually told me that it was a Mizuno fork though since there's no branding of that kind on them I'd assumed that meant they were some generic rebadged forks. The fork decal actually says "370 gram" near the dropout but we'll see... In the next couple of days once I get the chance I'm planning to take a few of the parts off to get a closer look at, weigh and figure out what my priorities are for upgrades. I should get around to doing the fork at the same time and will report back.

At the moment I'm expecting to replace at least the saddle, seatpost, stem. If I can justify the spend, maybe the wheels, though I might try and put some miles on it first before splashing out much more on it!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:43 am 
retrobike rider
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Wheels are always a good place to save weight, but it can be a pricey upgrade. Something around 1500g the pair makes a worthwhile difference, but does not break the bank.

I like Mizuno forks, I have some straight leg carbon's fitted to my Rourke.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:54 pm 
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Location: Hampshire
Right, the upgrades are coming and I'm just about there... more photos to follow as I get the chance to fit them.

For not too much outlay I've recently picked up a nice pair of Shimano RS80 C24 wheels with Vittoria Radiale Diamante tyres fitted (that saved 750+grams in one go), got a Carbon stem on the way (another 60g off), a choice of EA70 or EC90 seatpost as I bought both by accident (120-170g off), a Dura Ace 7900 cassette (120g off), Ti allen bolt skewers (120g off). For now I've used a WTB Pure V Ti saddle I had spare - obviously doesn't suit the bike at all but just looking at the Bontrager TT model that was on there was causing me pain, it was outrageously uncomfortable. I reckon the total weight should be down to about 7.5-7.6kgs or so with the upgraded parts on. Looking forward to giving it a spin!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:45 am
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I built a 2002/3 Principia Rex E last year and it's an absolute beauty. I did a fair old bit of research into Principia and once I get back to my proper computer I'll post loads of good links to Principia 's catalogues and various bits of blurb if you like. Lovely bike by the way.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:19 pm 
Two Fat Ladies

Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 4:39 pm
Posts: 88
Location: Ireland
There's some serious potential for loveliness in that frame.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 8:43 pm
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Location: Hampshire
Cheers for the responses so far - I'm really glad I picked this bike up when I had the chance and it's in such great condition. It's coming along nicely, just a few parts left to go on and I'll be ready for some updated photos. I got hold of a set of Dura Ace 7800 pedals today which should go nicely. Basically just looking for a saddle now (I couldn't get on with the Bontrager that was fitted to it).


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