Whilst Mrs G was happy with her Dawes Karakum bike, like me she started to yearn for something with a bit more fun. This is difficult to quantify but as she doesn’t like drops it was unlikely to be a road bike and hybrids can tend to be a bit too middle-of-the-road (no pun intended). I had been looking for something suitable for a while, in particular on the CTC Forum For Sale section where from time-to-time some excellent non-standard second-hand bikes come up – and so it was in this case, better still it had our name on it, literally!
Partly because it’s our surname but mostly because they are known to make very good bespoke bikes, we had already thought about getting bikes made by the eponymous Chas Roberts at Roberts Cycles – I even made a trip to their workshop in Croydon a few years ago for a speculative look around. It was very tantalising but their bikes are expensive and for the moment my own bike was doing a very good job. However, in August 2014 a ladies Roberts Sark bike appeared in the CTC Forum which sounded like it might be just the job for Mrs G and being located not too far away we went to take a look and, as they say, the rest is history.
Roberts stopped making the Sark a few years ago. The hand-made frame is Reynolds heat-treated 725 chrome-moly steel butted tubes. The geometry is perhaps a little unusual, as a small triangle makes it look somewhat child-like in size but it was originally made for an adult lady and fits Mrs G who is 5’ 5” tall very well and rides beautifully. The triangle produces a stiffer feel that is compensated for size by an unusually long headset and extended seat post in order to accommodate an adult rider.
Unusually the wheels are 26” Mavic x618, currently fitted with 1.25” Panaracer Pasela tyres. The groupset is Shimano Deore throughout, with a triple chainset and x27 gears operated by thumb shifters on the straight handlebars. A rear Tubus rack was already fitted and there are front lugs that will take a front rack. All-in-all a well-made, well specced bike that is as good as perfect for Mrs G.
Amongst cycling aficionados Roberts bikes are highly regarded and, as it has turned out, this bike has really brought Mrs G’s cycling to life. She loves it – so much so that she is very protective of it and will not leave it unattended. Sadly after nearly 30 years Chas Roberts has recently decided to take some time out and close his shop until further notice – maybe never to return? Notwithstanding, I am sure his bikes will long remain treasured by those lucky enough to own one and will long be remembered as an important episode in cycling’s history.
|Make & Model||Roberts Sark 2006|
|Frame||Reynolds heat-treated 725 chrome-moly butted|
|Headset||Cane Creek Aheadset|
|Stem||Campagnolo Chorus EA50|
|Handlebars||Flats + Ergon grips|
|Rear & Front Derailleur||Shimano Deore|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore thumb operated|
|Chainset||Shimano Deore 48 x 38 x 26|
|Cassette||X9-speed 32 – 11|
|Gear Inches||21.1” to 113.5”|
|Brakes||Shimano Deore V-type|
|Tyres||Panaracer Pasela 26” x 1.5”|
|Saddle||Sella Italia gel-flow|
|Seat Post||Post Moderne suspension|
|Other||Bar-end mirrorTubus rear rack|
|Weight||12.50 kg (inc. rack)|