Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - quick question regaurding carbon
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quick question i did a search but i am still not sure, but has anyone gone cross country on a carbon frame, and is there any reason i wouldn't want to?
i was at my lbs today and he recommended steel. i am not sure, i have only ridden aluminum up until now and would love to spin around on both frame types before i make the choice,
thanks in advance
Carbon and Ti are pretty common with the Ultra Distance crowd. Of course, they're supported, and just have the bike. If you're talking cross country self supported touring, then yes, get steel. Most carbon bikes are for racing and don't have the mount points that a steel touring frame has, also the geometry is different.
Touring bikes have a lower bb, and longer chain stays for panniers. While most carbon bikes are aimed at going fast have higher BB's for cornering clearance and short stays. If your looking at a frame for cross country touring and distance riding and aren't willing to consider a recumbent (hint: Bacchetta Giro), then take a hard look at Surly's Long Haul Trucker touring frame. If you have a larger budget, consider a Rivendell Atlantis, or one of Bruce Gordon's bikes. Surly is rumored to have a fully built LHT in the near future.
10-28-06, 09:34 AM
What MarkW said. I'm not aware of what's available in carbon for touring bikes, but if you're traveling light, you'll find plenty of people doing long-distance rides on carbon-frame bikes (like me!).
Ti can be fantastic for Ultra Distance, as well as touring, both light and heavy. Find a maker that can select the tubeset for how you want the bike to handle and "feel" - and include mounting points for racks and fenders. You may also want to choose long reach or canti brakes, to allow clearance for fenders and wider tires.
I've a carbon frame that I used for a full brevet series this year - it worked well - but I used clip on fenders, was limited to rear rack only, and couldn't mount tires larger than 25's, clearance being the issue between the frame and the tire. I've used it for short hops to friends, but I'd be hesitant to put it through a weeklong or monthlong or longer tour.
I'm partial to the IF Club Racer - which can work for light touring and my everyday riding, including brevets - there are plenty of makers out there doing things similar - including Rivendell, Waterford, and in Ti I think you could even get something from Litespeed.
Remember that if your doing LD riding, wether it is heavy or light touring or brevets and randonee's, that long term comfort is important - that may or may not include things like options for fenders and wider tires. If you're on tour and moving fast - you may have to ride in the rain 2-3 days in a row - and fenders will certainly help here - and likewise one of the first things you can do for day in day out riding it to use slightly wider tires - more air = more suspension on rough roads - I vary between some nice 25's and 28's.
thanks alot guys, i will continue my reseach but your info has helped alot.
any other people want to share?
Another platform which is a no brainer to me for distance riding is a recumbent. Until now, most were heavy and slow climbers, or hard to obtain euro bikes. However over the last few years Bacchetta has exploded onto the recumbent scene with fast light bikes that can climb. If loaded touring is your gig, I'd go with a Bacchetta Giro 26. http://www.bacchettabikes.com/recumbents/bikes/giro26.htm it will take underseat panniers, and you can ride all day in comfort.
If you're looking at fast distance riding then check out the Ti or Carbon Aero's or Aluminum Corsa. Bacchetta is having a huge impact in the Ultra world where people suffer from problems like Shermer's neck and other discomfort issues on a traditional road bike. You see more and more of them at Brevets and Ultra events, and they've been posting impressive results.
Here's Michael Wolfe's Aero with setups for brevet's, light touring, and full on race.
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