Soulcraft Royale Road Bike

Royale

SOULCRAFT Royale With the current trend toward classic lugged steel frames, it's easy to overlook this bike. But for those looking for a super clean road rig designed to do a little bit of everything, this bike is a diamond in the rough. It bridges the gap between old school skinny-tube steel, and new-age plastic gonzo. The ride of steel with reasonable weight and intuitive handling. It's also available as a single speed or fixie and this year we're offering you the choice of a sloping or horizontal top tube.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
Peter P.   Recreational Rider [Dec 01, 2013]
Strength:

Custom sizing and geometry. Sean Walling is willing to work with the customer on geometry tweaks. Forward facing seat tube slot and seat post gasket resist ingress of dirt and water. Oversized seat tube adds to frame stiffness, something very few other steel framebuilders offer. Frame and steel fork (if ordered) are built around maximum brake reach, for the widest selection of tire sizes. Frame is designed around a 28.6mm seatpost but is provided with a custom shim to accommodate a standard 27.2mm post as well. Coolest headbadge in the business! Lead times are listed on his web site, which is usually months, not years, and is updated regularly. His Facebook page is very active, giving you the impression that he's working hard to get frames out the door. The segmented steel fork he builds for the Royale is a work of TIG welded attractiveness. His welds are so tiny and smooth, a machinist friend couldn't believe they are unfinished welds, but they are!

Weakness:

Limited color selection. I wished the decals were under a clearcoat but that's not conducive to the type of decals used. Powdercoating inside some of the cable guides made inserting the cable ferrules difficult. I had to perform a little sanding inside the cable guides for an easier fit.

I've been riding for almost 40 years and have owned my share of custom steel frames. I've seen the highs and lows available in both product and service. Sean Walling at Soulcraft runs a straightforward business. His website is thorough, detailed, and professional.

Although the website has a trick little feature where you can match the decals and frame colors offered to get an idea of what the finished frame might look like, the colors aren't the best representation. Check out the frames on the Soulcraft Facebook page for more accurate color renditions.

Sean was easy to work with, accommodating the specific geometry I had in mind. The frame rides straight, handles as expected, and is just and all around joy to ride.



Similar Products Used: Richard Sachs, Bilenky, Rock Lobster
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff Kisylia   Recreational Rider [Dec 27, 2006]
Strength:

Absolutely perfect fit. Precision craftsmanship.

Weakness:

Really none. 3 - 4 month wait, but worth it.

I bought my wife a Royale a little over a year ago. Sean spent a good 2 hours talking to her and working with her to pull together a custom design unique to her geometry. She has ridden hers into the ground without any fit or technical issues. When it was time to expand my horizons and get a road bike, there were few other choices that I would consider. I've had it now for about 3 months and have been getting in as much riding as possible -- I've got a longer torso and am prone to back pain on longer rides. I have not had to make any adjustments from Sean's set-up and have had no comfort issues at all. Really a kick-ass, well crafted bike that just fits....and I was able to select my own color.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Doug T   Recreational Rider [May 30, 2006]
Strength:

Quality, craftsmanship, value and the steel used is exceptionally strong.

Weakness:

Marketing, no one except single speed and psychlocross users know of the brand and heritage. Everything comes in due time, I guess.

With more than 1,000 solid miles under my Royale, time to share my thoughts. The frame fits me like a custom tailored suit. No stock frame can compare. Steel is the most appropriate material for a frame that you entrust your life with, having exceeded 60mph in numerous descents with full confidence. The craftsmanship is better than excellent. My LBS mechanic that built up my bike was amazed at the absolute rightness exhibited in all aspects of the frame, for example the “whoosh” of air that was forced out of the seat tube when fitting an FSA carbon post due to the exacting tolerance, and the perfection of the welds at every point. After submitting measurements, and an extensive interview process to determine the particulars that would make this ride truly custom, I got a frame that fit not only my unique physique, but also my riding style. The value delivered by Soulcraft exceeds even the highest expectation.

Similar Products Used: Scattante basic road bike.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
redwayne   Recreational Rider [Dec 07, 2005]
Strength:

There is no dealer for this bike anywhere near where I live. Everything was done on-line and over the phone. I was able to fax my measurements and then after talking with Sean dial in the ride I was after. Being able to do this from a distance, and then receive exactly what I wanted, is a stroke of masterwork. For me they built a frame that is light and strong and then built it up for me with strong, durable parts meant for performance. They can do this or customize each and every part, or just send the frame. The strengths of the bike, then, reflect the strengths of this company.

Weakness:

This is like answering the same question during an interview--you don't want to admit you have any weaknesses, but... This is not a Cadillac. If you want a buttery ride, buy a heftier rig. And keep drinking beer and eating potato chips.

Very light. A friend lifted the frame and flicked it and thought it was aluminum. The guys at Soulcraft don't want you to ask what tubing is used. They get the best and don't need a name for it. They build it up into a frame that screams for the corners and hisses on descents. On the flats it hums. When I climb every ounce of effort goes into getting up the hill. I love everything about riding a bike and this bike gives it to me.

Similar Products Used: Had a 2000 Jamis Quest. A hefty, buttery ride that flexed like a rubber mattress, despite my laying off the potato chips and going easy on the beer.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jason   Recreational Rider [Dec 12, 2001]
Strength:

attention to detail, craftmanship, sweet color selection, form and function, great guys to work with

Weakness:

zero

I can''t say enough about this product. I have ridden many different bikes (i.e., geometry, material) and this bike is the best for all around performance. It''s fast without being harsh. It''s comfortable without being sluggish or heavy. I would take this bike with me whether I was racing the Tour de Gila or touring across the country. Kudos to Matt and Sean not only for their attention to detail and quality, but also for their attention to their customers.

Similar Products Used: OCLV, Eddie Merckx lugged steel, Ritchey steel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve P   Commuter [Jan 10, 2001]
Strength:

Quick, fast, georgous, solid, comfortable, it simply doesn't get better than this

Weakness:

none

This bike is the quickest, fastest, yet still comfortable bike I have ever ridden. It makes me and my fat self seem fit and fast. It almost squirts forward when you stomp on it and it loves to accelerate. On the decents, the bike carves up the road. More than on rails, it feels like a slot car. You can just hang it out and it always tracks true.

As a regular SF-Marin commuter, I run a Ruby fork on my bike. The set up on the bike makes my fork really work on the decents without the flexy floppy feel I got when I put it on my old bike. If you want an amazing steel road frame, this is nirvana. Thanks Soulcraft!!!!

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-6 of 6  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

roadbikereview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.