Touring - Looking for New Touring Bike
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08-15-03, 10:05 AM
I went to my LBS looking for the ultimate touring bike. They suggested the Giant OCR Touring.
It's a bit pricey and do I really need disc brakes?
They only sell Giants. Should I be looking elsewhere?
Giant are nice bikes but for a tourer, you really need something which you can fix at the roadside. Not sure I'd fancy tackling the discs and how would they hold up to stopping a heavily loaded bike repeatedly.
I've never been keen on ally tourers either as I've found the ride to be harsh.
Why not go for a good quality steel bike like the Dawes Galaxy or the like?
They've been the bike of choice for years.
08-15-03, 10:34 AM
I have always loved Fuji for their high quality and decent price. I have a Fuji 'Touring" bike; i haven't enjoyed riding this much since I had, you guessed it, my Fuji s-12-s many years ago.
08-15-03, 12:38 PM
The best "production" touring bike in the US available at a reasonable price is without doubt the Bruce Gorden BLT.
The Trek 520 has crappy racks and needs re-gearing but apart from that is good. The Canondale is good esp in the larger sizes, where its extra-stiff Al frame is useful
There are some good stock-sized touring frames by smaller builders. A decent bike shop can build them up to your specs, which would include reliable hand-built wheels. Most of these workshops also do full-custom bikes.
A custom bike is the one most tourist would like to ride. There a fair number of custom shops who specialize in touring such as Waterford, Bruce Gorden, Peter White, or the UK built Mercian, Bob Jackson (+ scores of other fine builders). Canadian builders include Marinoni, Mariposa,
The ultimate touring bike has to be the Sakkit built by Robert Beckman.
Compared to any of the the above, the Giant is good-enough bike but not really designed by and for tourists.
I'll leave you to spin these names through google but its worth checking all the names I've mentioned.
there are 3 kinds of touring...Loaded touring (tents,etc), credit card touring (motels,etc) and SAG touring (those expensive bike vacations you hear about).
What sort of touring did you have in mind? And what is the budget for the bike?
Try www.sjscycles.com - they know a lot about touring bikes.
08-16-03, 07:38 AM
Check out Robert Beckman Designs
Probably the finest custom-built touring bike systems and equipment/accessories available anywhere (but darned expensive)!!
08-16-03, 07:42 AM
Oops, just noticed MichaelW already posted about Beckman Designs! Oh well, I guess Great Minds DO think along the same lines!
08-16-03, 10:25 PM
I see that you're a Torontonian. Why don't you take a look at Devinci Destination and Caribou. Canadian made!
08-18-03, 10:03 PM
How about the Litespeed Blue Ridge?
08-19-03, 04:49 AM
The Blue Ridge is a lovely bike for general riding around and weekend hostel tours, but its not a full-on touring bike. It has carbon forks with no low-rider fittings, and 32 spoke wheels
08-19-03, 07:35 AM
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Perhaps I should define my kind of touring. I guess you might call me a credit card tourer. Usually my panniers are only full for the flight because I put my helmet and handlebar bag in them. I am thinking Chromoly because I find Aluminum too rigid. Mostly I am looking for a reliable, comfortable bike that doesn't look as if it is begging to be stolen.
So far Fuji seems interesting and one shop suggested a Canadian made Mikado, but had no stock. Anyone heard of them?
Here are 2 more Canadian choices...
1 Marinoni (made in Quebec). http://www.marinoni.qc.ca. Custom bikes, and a tad pricey. They even have a section for current owners who are selling their bikes. You may want to check your luck there.
2 Ucycle (made by a guy in Toronto). http://www.ucycle.com. It is called the Urbanite tourer. Frame and fork cost $425 Cdn. You can then customize the bike any way you want... (I did correspond with the manufacturer, Carey Chen, and he was responsive to questions).
Mikado makes three kinds of touring bikes, I think.
Check this site:
It should give you more details.
Check out the REI Novarra (sp?) series too. They have a Randonnee. Fuji is excellent and so is Jamis. They have an "Aurora" that looks pretty solid.
08-19-03, 10:15 PM
OK. So ditch the fork for a steel one with front rack mounts.
Is the fact that it has a carbon fork what makes the Blue Ridge not a serious bike?
I would think the worthyness of a Ti frame and the geometry therein as something to look at... If the only problem is the fork I think that is a minor change if the rest of the bike is a better deal than other non Ti frames...
Not sure about the 32-spoke wheel thing. I run tandems on 300 mile jaunts with 24 spoke wheels and I think the weight of my 300lb tandem team would be a problem for said wheels. I get 8000+ miles out of my 16 spoke race wheels and only because I wear out the sides of the rims braking did I replace them?!
With rear racks rated at 60lbs capacity, and front racks rated for less, a 200 lb rider would be childs play for a 32 spoke wheelset. Although I guess if the rider weights more than 200lbs then the 36/42/48 stuff may be required.
I also believe in the travel light story. Why do you need 4 bags even if you are camping? Two rear bags (I typically use the front bags for the rear bags), a small tent and top bag and perhaps, if you must, a bar bag and possibly a frame triangle bag is all you need... Seriously...
Heron Touring is another good loaded touring bike to consider. Frame is lugged steel and made at the Waterford plant.
Heron Bicycles (http://www.heronbicycles.com/)
08-28-03, 10:49 PM
Yea I was looking at that one along with some others...
I'm an exotic metal fan and am currently looking at the Air Borne Carpe Diem.
I think I'm off of the Litespeed BlueRidge for one sad reson. I took a close look at the rear brake cable boss and I don't like it. It is designed to be on the left seat stay which looks like the canti will not be properly pulled. Someone else was asking for a brake system to replace the canti's because they would not stay centered. Too bad Lite speed...
The Airborne uses a standard cable hook behind the seat system. Not as elegant as other systems but I know it will keep the brake pads centered.
I heard the Airborne Carpe Diem, being a cyclo-cross/touring frame was "higher" under the BB than regular road bikes. However the BB drop out is only 6.5cm. My racing bike is 7.1 cm so I think I can live with the 6mm increase in height. Doubt I would even notice. A 2cm height like a mountain bike has I notice.
So that only leaves the chain stays. They are only 42.7cm instead of the traditional 45cm. At least that is 2cm longer than a racer and the stays are wider to handle 37cm tires.
It has disk brake mounts (doubt I would use them) fender and rack mounts, and three bottle cage mounts.
I will probably set it up as a rear-rack only beast, 30mm tires and three cages and possibly a seat-post twin-bottle holder.
At least that is where I am for today.
It's a nice bike. It won't let you put large panniers on it; but that's it's worst flaw. My Carpe has Avocets marked 32, but you'd swear they were 30. Due to the cyclocross side of it's personality; it has a real willingness to turn. I would have preferred a bit more stability in a touring bike. I rode 25c for a few days, and the bike seemed psychic. Think about turning, and it dives in. But if you're planning on using a tire like the the Top Touring that has a broad profile; it's not an issue. You have some choice in forks; I have the Surley. I suspect the one you mention is the WoundUp. They have a reputation for having a rough ride.
08-29-03, 08:52 PM
Heron touring measurements
Size Head Seat Rake BB-Drop Chain-Stay TT
57 72 72 4.5 8 45.5 57
57 73.0 73.0 4.0 7.1 40.6 56.5
Airborne Carpe Diem
56 72 73 4.3 6.5 42.5 57(effective)
OK. Given these here is what I see...
The Heron has a REALLY LOW BB. Well 9mm lower than the Litespeed. It will look a lot lower compared to the Carpe Diem because it is 15mm lower than the Airborne. I looked at Rivendell bikes and their geometries are all very close (7.7BB)
So the biggest number of difference are these:
Chain Stay Length
The litespeed shows it is a racing bike with a rake of 4.0... And it is VERY responsive. After the wife and I do a long tour on the Burley tandem, I get on the litespeed and nearly do a donut going into the first sharp turn until I get use to the responsiveness again...
The Carpe looks like it falls in-between the Litespeed and the Heron.
The Rivendell is the same as the Carpe, well almost at 4.25
Thanks on the info about the wound-up... It may be more of a fork for cyclocross. There is an airborne Flite fork but I don't know if it has posts for canti's... Yea I want a carbon fork that gives a plush ride but is strong enough for canti's...
08-29-03, 09:01 PM
Hey I just chceked my commuter bike, a GT mountain bike. It has 42.5 chain stays... And I carry a LARGE waterproof bag a lot... Shopping, laptop to work and such... And I have no problems with clerance...
Reason? I think it is the large Jandd Expedition rack I use on the bike! Hmmm... That seems to end the chain stay battle for a tiny 1 inch of extra space...
there isn't much to chose from. There is the Winwood Muddy Cross. Rich and I have have Carpe Diems with Surly forks. The spec is 43mm and the Surly has 44mm rake and the Muddy Cross has 45mm. I don't know enough to say how significant that is. The Cross is a couple hundred, the Surly is $100, less if you shop around. The Cross is, I believe about 10 ounces lighter.
08-30-03, 11:08 AM
Thank you again to everyone who posted info.
Right now I'm thing about the Urbanite Touring Hybrid
(go bikes-then urbanites)
Before I head over to the Urbane Cyclist I'd like to have a few urbane questions to ask. When I bought my last bike I was really green. I'd only bought $100 bikes before then. Luckily my LBS helped me make a wise choice but now I need to be able to use the right words to get the features I want since each bike is custom made.
For instance: The pedal crank (is this the right word?) seems extra long on my Giant Cypress. I like that feature. I also like having a very high - high gear for charging down hills and for the days when the gale is to my back. Also, from your touring experience which features are most important? What sort of questions should I ask about that?
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