Touring - Some advice please.
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10-14-08, 06:26 PM
I want to start off by saying that I am neither a racer nor do I ever plan on being one. I now have a great Ti bike that is pretty light and has an aggressive ridding position. That is my go fast bike, and it serves that purpose great for my needs.
So I have begun to plan my next build. I am very interested in a bike with more upright geometry. I figured while I am at it I might as well buy something that I could also use for some light touring. I know that some do not like it, but I sure would love to have a Litespeed Blue Ridge frame to build up. It seems though that those are a little hard to come by.
My buddy who works at REI bought a Randonee last year. He loves it but it is not really what I am looking for. So where does that leave me. I am not really sure yet. I really do not know what is out there. I would love to drop the 2k+ on an Indy Fab, but that may be a little more that I want to spend at this point.
So let me put it this way. If you had 1k in your pocket and wanted to buy a touring frame, what would you buy?
10-14-08, 07:23 PM
Noticed you are from GA. The REI sale at the Kennesaw, GA store had 4 Safari's and a 55 inch Randonee for about 200. under list price. Not sure if the sale is on for the bikes. I know there is at least one scratch and dent Randonee at the scratch and dent sale this weekend-not sure of the size.
I have a LHT. I am very satisfied. Hope the fyi above isn't too far off base.
10-14-08, 07:29 PM
You can get a custom steel touring frame for that much (or a little more). Have you heard of Bob Jackson, Waterford, or Rivendell? Those don't really seem like your style, but you may want to check them out. Check out the Jamis Aurora Elite and the Specialized Crossroads for a "faster" light tourer. A number of off-the-shelf Cyclocross bikes would probably work well too.
10-14-08, 07:40 PM
I go to REI quite a bit. I actually just bought my wife a 08' Novara Carema Pro for about $300 off. I really just want to see what else is out there.
I would love to have a Waterford or Rivendale. I do believe that it would be a little out of the budget. I would also love to pick up a Co-motion, but 1800+ is pretty steep.
10-14-08, 07:58 PM
I would wait for that Blue Ridge frame to appear on Ebay. I've seen them on Ebay from time to time, but never my size...
10-14-08, 08:00 PM
For 1000 you can get a complete LHT. I ride a Litespeed on the weekends, but my LHT is my daily ride, and it is the most comfortable bike I have ridden. I am doing more and more tours, as opposed to centuries, and group rides, simply because I like being on that machine.
If you don't want a fully loaded utilitarian touring model but something that you can still add racks and panniers, how about a Soma Double Cross, Bianchi Volpe, or Surly Cross Check? Kind of an in-betweener.
1K for a frame I'd buy a Thorn.
Whole bike, a Surly LHT or Vivente tourer.
If you want a light tourer consider the Salsa Casseroll. Very comfortable. I expect it would be a bit flexy if you loaded it up too much, but I've only tested one without a load.
Ah, robow beat me to it!
10-14-08, 08:56 PM
I went for the Surly Cross Check. $1000 for the whole shebang, maybe $1200 - $1300 for gearing upgrades, a nice saddle, robust & slick tires, a stem with lots o' rise, Nitto Noodle bars and fenders.
It's every bit as solid as any other bike out there (touring or otherwise), and very versatile. Pavement, rough roads, gravel, dirt, you name it. It doesn't quite excel at one specific task, but does just about everything very well. It's also very comfortable.
That said, I think there's a bunch of complete bikes & frames that will do the job: Surly CC, Surly LHT, Salsa Casseroll, Mercian "King of Mercia" or their Audax frame, Jamis Aurora or Aurora Elite, Cannondale Touring, Specialized Sequoia. It'd be hard to miss with any of those bikes.
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