General Cycling Discussion - Looking for steel tourers
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05-10-07, 08:52 AM
Hey all, I'll try and keep it short and to the point.
I'm considering getting a tourer for all-round use. After years on Alu hybrids want to go back to my last great love, a steel tourer. I'm not up to par fitness wise for real touring yet, I'm working up to that. In fact if and when I do it will be the first time since I acquired the achilles tendonitis that stopped me last time.. 7 years ago :(
I want steel, drop handlebars, and preferably bar-end shifters. I haven't ridden drops in a while, and the last tourer I had was a mid-90's Dawes Galaxy with downtube shifters. It was old school, wonderful geometry, good wheelbase, and the ride was great.
I'd like to get another Dawes, but I hear their build quality hasn't been so great in recent years. Did they relocate their building to China or something?
I like the idea of a nice 853 TIG welded frame, and the Ultra Galaxy comes with the Brooks saddle so I won't have to worry about swapping that out. This would also be the first time with a Brooks but I'll trust that everyone knows what they're talking about and that I'll be in seventh heaven.
However, I'm really not sure about STI shifters. I've never warmed to them, mostly because I don't like the smoothness and lightness of my brakes interfered with.
This is the dream beast:
The only other viable option I've found so far is the Trek 520, or possibly step down to a normal Galaxy.
I would have liked to look at a Koga Miyata but I believe their current models are Alu.
05-10-07, 09:25 AM
Fuji has a nice steel touring bike. You would have to ditch the saddle for a new brooks. I don't think you will be able to find a new bike without STI. You might be able to get a better response in the Touring Subforum.
05-10-07, 09:49 AM
I just bought a pair of tandem wheels from "Rocky Mountain Cyclery" in Denver. Seem like good people to deal with. Their web site details some steel framed bikes from a Canadian company called (co-incidentally? - I don't know) Rocky Mountain Cycles".
Anyway, they seem to build the type of bike you describe. I have no commercial interest or experience of their stuff, but their products seem to be fairly close to what youre looking for, so maybe worth some research!
As a Brit, ex Dawes owner, and an owner of a lugged steel, downtube shifter, fairly light and quick tourer, I think I have just the type of bike you're keen to find. Mine is a 1990 Specialized "Sirrus Triple", (drop bars, classic geometry, 105 groupset, biopace, lugs for luggage) which I still think of as my "new, fast" bike! This summer, I'm riding it from London to Copenhagen, all being well!
Good luck in your search
05-10-07, 11:59 AM
look at the Jamis "Aurora".......
05-10-07, 01:31 PM
How much do you want to spend?
05-10-07, 03:59 PM
Look at the Surly LHT.
05-10-07, 11:28 PM
I've got a Trek 520 2007 (Black), and I'm extremely happy with it. It has bar-end shifters too. Check it out:
old and new
05-10-07, 11:46 PM
I often recomend the Aurora,it's such a fine bike,I rode one.I may just buy one,a leftover,that bike has a plce in any stable.You the OP has a Dawes,where does one go from there? Dawes reputation precedes them.You don't state why you don't have or want to use it,only you can answer that.Trek has a great tourer called the 520,this year it's a really cool blackish color,last years was an interesting gray,just as nice.I rode the '06 520 twice.The LBS was very cool,he or she encouraged me to take it for a spin,so I obliged. No BS,that bike was at least as nice as most any steel bike I've ever ridden,I haven't had many opportunities to speak much less post about it. The 520 is worth every bit of the $1,200 it costs AND it has BAR-END shifters,DuraAce,other very worthy components including good wheels ,a rack,etc.It felt light,it isn't but it felt quick and turned well.Almost nobody writes about it.The few things that I've read pertained to irrelevant nonsence,theoretical not real. It's a good bike.Trek dealers ussually keep at least one,a 23" and a 21".The 21" may seen dinky if you're 5'9" or taller,it's not.It has a lengthy tope tube,I didn't feel cramped.If your 5'11" or so,have med.or long legs ,try the 23".
05-10-07, 11:51 PM
Trek 520? See above :)
The only tourers that come to mind that have stock bar end shifters are the Long Haul Trucker and 520. The LHT is slightly cheaper, but you have to order it, and I believe the wait is something like 5 months now. And you won't be able to ride it beforehand, probably.
It's a shame that most tourers come with STIs now. I guess it's because manufacturers think racy looking bikes will sell better, even if they aren't designed for racing. The first upgrade to my Aurora were bar end shifters (actually the shop did it for me, I had a choice between the stock STIs and the bar ends).
old and new
05-11-07, 12:25 AM
BY the way the LHT is on intergalactic back-order
The LHT is available in Europe, the 520 is not. That being said, if I were you I'd look at some of the fine English builders such as these:
Bob Jackson http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=28&products_id=43
Thorn http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html .
05-11-07, 05:33 AM
How much do you want to spend?
That's totally open. Anything up to about 1000 quid max. I hope I can find a deal on something. I might consider doing a personal rebuild if I can find an old Dawes secondhand somewhere.
05-11-07, 05:34 AM
holy carp, you're right Ziemas. I just checked the Trek site and the 520 does not appear to be sold here. Dubbya Tee Eff.
Thanks for the other recommendations all, I'll look into them. I'm honestly thinking that I'll end up going for a Dawes in the end anyway, but want to check out the other options.
And to think that I considered 1000 a good whack of money to drop - those Thorns are crazy!
05-11-07, 06:14 AM
I ordered a Thorn Club Tour a few weeks ago, should be getting it soon. Reynolds 725 frame, 531 fork, Deore hubs, cranks and derailleurs, Dura-Ace barend shifters. quite a good deal at £799, I opted for a few extras, handuilt wheels w DT Swiss Alpine III spokes. Came out at £990
edit: including shipping to finland
05-11-07, 09:46 AM
Nic, you could take a look at those tourers made by Paul Hewitt.
These are well-made machines and beautifully finished, but the main advantage in my opinion is that he hand-makes the wheels. Given that he is a master wheel-builder and builds the wheels for the British Racing Team, this is a big plus. If you go for this option can I suggest that you upgrade the standard wheels to a standard worthy of the man's skills i.e. Shimano XT.
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