Touring - Experience in XL Co-Motion, Atlantis?
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01-22-08, 10:14 PM
Trying to narrow things a bit. I'm 6-4, and usually ride a 63 cm road racing frame. That means that I never find a bike to test in lbs's. I'm thinking a 64 or so for a dedicated tourer, and I'm at loose ends. I looked at Bob Jackson frames. Like them, but the tubeset is old school, and newer air hardened tubes offer advantages, esp. in large frame sizes. Waterford is a loooong way away. But Rivendell and Co-Motion are both accessible with local reps. I've looked over Rodriquez and Bilenky, Thorn and Koga Miyata.
Here's the issue: Co-Motion frames are a few pennies more, but they're custom (+). However, they're TIG welded (-). Atlantis are off the peg (-) but lugged (+) and I even like the color. Any exp. among larger riders with the two? Their geometries are quite similar. Rivendell is a little coy about Atlantis tubing. Co-Motion uses an air-hardened tandem set -- ideal for big frames, I would think.
So it comes down to this: Atlantis is pretty, a bit less, and close to home. Co-Motion may be techically superior, with flashier paint, custom built. I just don't know which girl to invite to the ball.
I like lugs, but mostly, I would like a bike with the ride that my 1981 Ritchey -- built lugless with tandem tubes -- gave me. It was the best racing frame I've ever touched.
My family laughs, but seriously, I think this is the last frame I'll ever buy.
2008 Bianchi San Jose
1998 Litespeed Classic (Ultegra, mostly) up for grabs
2004(?) Kona Dew Deluxe, loaded for commuting, also up for grabs.
I am far from an expert on frames or touring, but I'm 6'1, 210 lbs and bought an Americano this summer. The bike is beautiful and I was treated very well by Co-motion. Given the opportunity for a do-over, I'd make the same choice.
If you're going to get a custom frame done, can't you get custom paint, too?
The co-motion sounds exactly what you want...and I own an Atlantis, so I'm biased. I don't know that I'd worry so much about the tubing...There's a place where Rivendell describes their tubing, but I guess I don't care. It's nice, and strong, and I've never heard of any problems with them.
I think both companies are great, and would stand by their bikes.
If you're in northern california have you checked out Steve Rex? He's an excellent framebuilder in Sacramento.
01-23-08, 12:23 AM
Have you considered a Davidson (of Seattle)?
They will build steel, lugged steel, or titanium. Lots of experience, they've built everything.
I'm about 1.5 inches shorter than you; they did a great job fitting me.
Also, if you're in the market for a custom bike, do you know about the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland (weekend of Feb 9 and 10)? If this is the last frame you'll ever own, might be worth your time to come up to the show. Lots of custom builders will be there, including Co-Motion and Davidson.
Back to your original question -- Co-Motion would definitely be on my list for dedicated tourer.
01-23-08, 06:47 AM
In the past two years I have ridden over 10,000 loaded miles on my Americano, much of that on gravel on the Robert Campbell Highway in the Yukon. The stock componentry on the Americano is perfect for touring and any upgrades (like 203mm rotor mechanical disk brakes, STI shifters, Marathon XR's, and a Brooks saddle) are merely polishing the apple. I am 6'2" with long legs and got a 60 cm Co-Pilot with a 2 cm oversized head tube.
For touring on roads or anything that may at one time have been a road, I whole-heartedly recommend the Americano. There is simply no better road touring bicycle on the planet.
I wouldn't dismiss Bilenky out of hand. I got a lot of 'custom' in my bike and it was still less than a stock Americano. Better components as well. I checked out both companies. They were my two 'finalists.' That and you should get a look at SB's brazing... faultless.
01-23-08, 08:06 AM
If you're in northern california have you checked out Steve Rex? He's an excellent framebuilder in Sacramento.
Our club has a number of riders with Rex bikes -- both tandems and single road bikes. Not seen a Rex touring bike, but Steve builds a full range including mountain bikes. Suggest checking out his web site to see what he offers. Everyone I know who has a Rex is very happy -- but the same can be said about Co-Motion too (we have a Speedster, and I have an Americano on order -- but having fun in the meantime restoring a 1983 Expedition).
01-23-08, 10:17 AM
Thanks everyone. Foamy, that is one gorgeous bike. I'd been thinking about a French vanilla to black fade, so your paint speaks to me. What cranks are those? I'll give Bilenky another look. That said, part of the attraction to Co-Motion is that my favorite lbs (wife and I purchased two bikes there in the past year) is a Co-Motion dealer and I could work with the good folks there. Frankly, as beautiful as the Atlantis is, Rivendell strikes me as quite precious. A steel factory frame assembled offshore for $1500 is hard to swallow.
Cyclesafe: You mention the careful component selection, and that's one thing that's given me pause about the Americano. Several bits seem inappropriate. 1. The cranks are a little twiddly, I'm told. Lots of stories about people not being able to keep them tight. Sugino touring cranks and a Phil bottom bracket would come in at the same $$, but with square tapers, they'd be servicable globally. XTR rear derailleur? As I understand it, XT is the same mech., just a little less finish and a gram or two more. That's a $100 difference. V brakes are not what I'd opt for. Simple cantis work and can easily be worked on, and issues with routing around bags go away. I'd like more of a rando bar, like the Nitto Noodle. I guess all this is details, but I'm down to the details. What's your feedback on componentry after all that touring?
Thanks again, everyone.
01-23-08, 11:12 AM
Just my 2 cents worth on Co-Motion, we ride a Co-Mo Mocha Tandem, and can only speak well about Co-Mo's workmanship.
I would want V-Brakes on a touring bike, you can mount wider tires if you need them. Avid Single digit 7 stop our tandem.
Depends on where you want to go and for how long, but 26" wheels have tires available in Asia and South America, good 700c tires in wider sizes are only generaly available in the US and Europe. If you are going custom you might consider this.
What cranks are those?
Hi paxtonm, They're TA Carmina's. Thanks for the compliment and happy bike shopping!
Thanks everyone. Foamy, that is one gorgeous bike. I'd been thinking about a French vanilla to black fade, so your paint speaks to me. What cranks are those?
Yah, but have you seen the black and vanilla Atlantis that d2create has? I love* this bike: http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p=2022002&postcount=1
What a nice problem to have, Americano or Atlantis, either way you will get a great bike. I have an Atlantis and I love its versatility and being able to put big tires on it if I'm going off road. The new Atlantis' have some extra braze-ons for small racks as well as the standard full sized racks. Also for $200 extra you can get it in any color you like.
Both bikes are great, but in the end I liked the lugs on the Altantis and I've never regretted it. You can make an Atlantis into a great "day out" bike
and also and Expedition tourer like this.
01-23-08, 04:37 PM
I have the "old" Raceface Turbine crank, STI shifters, and Avid mechanical disk brakes. I have had zero problems. The Raceface Deus has an "external" bottom bracket that may be the "twiddly" you are refering to. XT rear derailleur is functionally equivalent to the XTR, but remember you're paying for the bike not the components. I prefer drops for road touring. Have you considered buying the Americano frameset and then putting on the components you want? With Phil Wood BB and hubs, you can make some incremental improvements. My comments about component perfection only applies to stock componentry selections.
I bought a 400 buck frame fitted out at the local bike store, they substituted whatever components I wanted, I would be surprised if comotion wouldn't do the same. Of course you need to have the right mindset. You may see a 100 dollar spread somewhere, but if putting your part on the bike is a special order for them (or whatever), the actual spread for them may not be what you see. But if you are fair about it, they should work with you.
I've heard nothing but good stuff about Comotion.
I'm not a tubing snob, I'm sorta a reverse snob. There are claimed advantages to air hardening tubes that I have challenged a lot of people to set straight, and never had any takers. Heat treating is rarely as simple as: "so then I bumped it to 3000 degrees for an unspecified time, then crashed it in an air filled atmosphere, bingo, perfect heat treat." I'm in no way dising these tubes, but I'm not over the moon for them.
I tend to be more concerned with tubing parameters (size vs. wall thicknesses, etc...). I'm not sold on the idea that tandem tubes or even tubing sets are the right way to go for a touring bike. In the curent environment one can construct so many geometries, I'm not sure why people are hidebound by tube sets. Just for fun I ordered some tandem parts, and there is a wide range of forms, some being very heavy. I doubt those will see the light of day on a single. The lighter stuff is trivially larger than normal parts. I wasn't so impressed with the product that it seems worth taking on the limitations of the standard parts. You have tight limits on overall stay length. I kinda prefer the style of frame that takes the geometry of the tandem rather than just swaping in some parts. Anyway rant aside you already have riden these kind of tubes so you shouldn't have much trouble believing in them.
My recollection about Riv is that they are also reverse-snob on tubing.
What Beckman had to say about tandem hubs convinced me the 145s weren't the way to go. Basically the idea being you don't get a wider spoke staying base since the geometry is there to accomodate tandem brakes, not wider staying base. There are quite a few models of tandem hub, DT has quite a few alone, so that may or not be a good generalization. It did cure me of 145 fever. Anyway, I am over on the dark side of Rohloffdom now.
Vs. should give you less bag problems not more, though they can be fidly. I am currently using cantis, but will experiment some more with Vs when I get enough cash for the Pauls. Could be a long wait.
I'm with you on the simple drive train. Sugino and any decent BB are the choice. Though cash permiting I'm going Phil bracket, and some kind of rediculously expensive CNCd single speed cranks for the Rohloff.
I'm not convinced on the white fade look, it kinda looks like a really large seagull got the better of someone. But that's why paint comes in so many colours.
01-23-08, 10:17 PM
Co-Motion? Great bikes! Owned a full custom Co-Mo tandem and put 57,000 miles on it . . . no problems!
Great folks to deal with. They'll build full custom or swap-out/ upgrade componentry if desired on standard size model. Paint? Anything you want (just pay for it).
Look upon this purchase as an investment in your good health!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
01-24-08, 07:28 PM
What size Atlantis would you get? I'm the same height with a 36.5" inseam and have been toying with getting an Atlantis for a commuter.
01-24-08, 07:47 PM
First, thanks to everyone for your generous advice and support.
Were I going with the Atlantis, I was thinking 64 to 65 cm. I know Rivendell would probably put me on something even larger, and we just differ there. That's a big, big frame. Riv. recommends a markedly upright seating position. In a tourer, I'd like bars and saddle to be roughly on the same plane. I've got some drop on my fixie, but that's more of a short-hop bike. My old school racing bikes have a lot of drop, and after 20 miles, I start to get numbness issues in my hands.
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