Bowman cycles goes into liquidation

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by Weenie


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DHG01
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 pm
Location: Madrid

by DHG01

Very sorry to hear this. I really liked the simplicity, functionality and aesthetics of the Palace.

mag
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:23 pm

by mag

Sad to see any of these smaller companies go, especially this one as I kind of liked them and have one of their older frames, but after watching their recent business dealings when they basically went the way of Ted CIamillo it's no surprise this is now ending the bad way.

Singular
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

Not to flog a dead horse but for me (and many other 3rd gen Palace owners) in addition to supply chain, shipping, Brexit and pandemic problems, what did probably take the company to its grave was the god-awful build quality and QC of the 3rd gen bikes. The sheer numbers of told and shown examples of bikes that were clearly out of spec and should neither have left the factory nor Bowman’s own distribution and did incur a long line of claims, is noticeable.

My Palace had so-so welds (with one really ugly), transfers that were not completely straight, dropouts that were not aligned and an out-of-spec seat tube. The first two are cosmetic and I had to correct the last two on my own (I spent a good deal of my childhood literally sitting between a lathe and a Bridgeport mill, so luckily I know my way around a file) as I did not want to start a process with the sort of delays/long lead times that were already in place when I had it delivered almost exactly a year ago (and the forecast of getting a replacement already then was murky). Lucky me.

The bike as a concept and product is nothing short of stellar (and it does ride great), but the manufacturing/quality left a lot to wish for (and quite a few 3s have already ended up with cracked/split stays). I'll cross my fingers and ride til it dies.

The business practices during the last year left a lot to wish for, but I guess that in times if despair even good people can make bad things (and we're all human after all)

wilwil
Posts: 546
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:47 pm

by wilwil

I wonder if there will be any other small builders going the same way. A friend was expecting a bike in October from a small maker and wont get it until March/April due to the supply of Shimano parts. That can't be good for a small bike works who dont get paid until the bike is complete.

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Lewn777
Posts: 1261
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Shame. It means I'm on my own with my frame, however it's all straight the welds are fine, my only issue is thin paint, but I can live with that. I've done 5000kms without issue including pounding it on a turbo trainer. Fingers crossed.

ABogle
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:21 pm

by ABogle

This is a shame, a simple bike w/o lots of proprietary parts. I've built my Palace 3 up with 105 and it rides great, stiff enough at the BB without being harsh.

But as others have said the QC was awful. The paint was applied very liberally as a result the BB needed facing and paint had to be removed from one of the front dropouts. The fork is also slightly ovalised internally (externally fine). I'm not 100% on whether this is design or a manfuacturing fault, but it appears the chainstay bridge is slightly too close to the rear wheel (I can just about get a 28mm tyre in).

I've read about lots of chainstay cracks/snaps as well and when you consider the small volumes that bowman deal in, it does leave me with a lack of confidence in the bike. I'll use it until it breaks then I'll get a Mason Definition as a replacement.

I still hope some of the big brands start making bikes like this again. Emonda ALR is fairly close, sadly the CAAD is a now alu copy of the supersix and looks horiffic plus has even more proprietary parts than before.

Singular
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

Yep, it was one of very few (if not the only one) of production frames that fulfilled my wishes of a race-focused alloy frame with round standard seatpost (w external clamp), threaded bottom bracket, clearance for reasonably wide tires (the Palace 3 is specced to 30mm, but...ah, well...that's more than optimistic and I shimmed the rear wheel out a bit to run 28s) and standard-mount rim brakes. Sure, direct-mount wouldn't have killed me, but that was a want and not a need. There was very, very few to choose from.

I'll enjoy the Palace as long as it lasts (and I do indeed enjoy riding it) and then I'll have my credit card issuer work for their money with covering the warranty for a company that no longer exists...

ABogle
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:21 pm

by ABogle

Singular wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:40 pm
Yep, it was one of very few (if not the only one) of production frames that fulfilled my wishes of a race-focused alloy frame with round standard seatpost (w external clamp), threaded bottom bracket, clearance for reasonably wide tires (the Palace 3 is specced to 30mm, but...ah, well...that's more than optimistic and I shimmed the rear wheel out a bit to run 28s) and standard-mount rim brakes. Sure, direct-mount wouldn't have killed me, but that was a want and not a need. There was very, very few to choose from.

I'll enjoy the Palace as long as it lasts (and I do indeed enjoy riding it) and then I'll have my credit card issuer work for their money with covering the warranty for a company that no longer exists...
From what I gathered it appears the chainstay failures are more of a problem on the Palace 3c (the rim brake version) so bear that in mind, but I've still read reports of it on the disc version.

Singular
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

ABogle wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:15 pm
Singular wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:40 pm
Yep, it was one of very few (if not the only one) of production frames that fulfilled my wishes of a race-focused alloy frame with round standard seatpost (w external clamp), threaded bottom bracket, clearance for reasonably wide tires (the Palace 3 is specced to 30mm, but...ah, well...that's more than optimistic and I shimmed the rear wheel out a bit to run 28s) and standard-mount rim brakes. Sure, direct-mount wouldn't have killed me, but that was a want and not a need. There was very, very few to choose from.

I'll enjoy the Palace as long as it lasts (and I do indeed enjoy riding it) and then I'll have my credit card issuer work for their money with covering the warranty for a company that no longer exists...
From what I gathered it appears the chainstay failures are more of a problem on the Palace 3c (the rim brake version) so bear that in mind, but I've still read reports of it on the disc version.
That corresponds with my observations as well (but it might simply be because the 3c are from a later, mid-pendemic production run) - but I've seen snapped seatstays too.

raggedtrousers
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:29 pm

by raggedtrousers

ABogle wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:38 pm
I'll use it until it breaks then I'll get a Mason Definition as a replacement.

I still hope some of the big brands start making bikes like this again. Emonda ALR is fairly close, sadly the CAAD is a now alu copy of the supersix and looks horiffic plus has even more proprietary parts than before.
Ridley Helium SLA is very much worth a look (if still around) and I was very much considering picking up a CAAD Optimo, ditching most of the stock parts, and putting on my old but lightly used Chorus 11 speed gruppo.

Singular
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

raggedtrousers wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:02 pm
ABogle wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:38 pm
I'll use it until it breaks then I'll get a Mason Definition as a replacement.

I still hope some of the big brands start making bikes like this again. Emonda ALR is fairly close, sadly the CAAD is a now alu copy of the supersix and looks horiffic plus has even more proprietary parts than before.
Ridley Helium SLA is very much worth a look (if still around) and I was very much considering picking up a CAAD Optimo, ditching most of the stock parts, and putting on my old but lightly used Chorus 11 speed gruppo.
I had both on my shortlist. Both are (as far as I've seen) only sold as completes, where the SLA is a bit neater (and on par with the Palace) but had a styling at the time that I am not very fond of. The Optimo is by all means a nice bike (a really rare affordable racy bike from a prestige brand) but quite heavy (I received a quote of 2,3kg for a 54 frame and fork from CSG/Cannondale themselves). A reasonable alternative is the standard Allez.

robertbb
Posts: 1828
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

Singular wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:16 pm
raggedtrousers wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:02 pm
ABogle wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:38 pm
I'll use it until it breaks then I'll get a Mason Definition as a replacement.

I still hope some of the big brands start making bikes like this again. Emonda ALR is fairly close, sadly the CAAD is a now alu copy of the supersix and looks horiffic plus has even more proprietary parts than before.
Ridley Helium SLA is very much worth a look (if still around) and I was very much considering picking up a CAAD Optimo, ditching most of the stock parts, and putting on my old but lightly used Chorus 11 speed gruppo.
I had both on my shortlist. Both are (as far as I've seen) only sold as completes, where the SLA is a bit neater (and on par with the Palace) but had a styling at the time that I am not very fond of. The Optimo is by all means a nice bike (a really rare affordable racy bike from a prestige brand) but quite heavy (I received a quote of 2,3kg for a 54 frame and fork from CSG/Cannondale themselves). A reasonable alternative is the standard Allez.
Weight of Allez by comparison?

raggedtrousers
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:29 pm

by raggedtrousers

Singular wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:16 pm
I had both on my shortlist. Both are (as far as I've seen) only sold as completes, where the SLA is a bit neater (and on par with the Palace) but had a styling at the time that I am not very fond of. The Optimo is by all means a nice bike (a really rare affordable racy bike from a prestige brand) but quite heavy (I received a quote of 2,3kg for a 54 frame and fork from CSG/Cannondale themselves). A reasonable alternative is the standard Allez.
I got a Helium SLA rim brake frameset from Paul Milnes cycles (UK) in August 2020 - was £500 iirc. I can't see any Heliums on their website atm but they do have a couple of Fenix SLA framesets (disc) for £650.

Singular
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am

by Singular

robertbb wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:37 pm

Weight of Allez by comparison?
High 1300s to low 1400s, fork at 380ish.

(viewtopic.php?t=148040)
raggedtrousers wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:15 pm

I got a Helium SLA rim brake frameset from Paul Milnes cycles (UK) in August 2020 - was £500 iirc. I can't see any Heliums on their website atm but they do have a couple of Fenix SLA framesets (disc) for £650.
Ah, yeah, I was a bit unclear. It used to available as a frameset at the time (but I think it was a wash pricewise between it and the Palace), but now I can't really seem to find the rim brake version available anywhere (it might be extinct, rim brake and all...) but I can see the limited allure of stocking and selling a tiny market share frameset for very little money...

As mentioned, I didn't find the styling very appealing and went for the Palace.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



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