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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bearonabike's Avatar
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    Need a good touring bike.

    Also posted to the touring bike section:

    I have been back into biking for about 2 years after a MAJOR accident (me vs. car- car won) and a 20 year refrain from biking. Two years ago, I bought a Trek MultiTrack hybrid and LOVED it. I'd forgotten how much fun a bicycle was. About 6 months ago, I bought a Trek fitness bike to help accelerate the weight loss. Right now, I can push the hybrid (without bike shoes) 40 miles with minimal stop time and many friends tell em its time to get a "real road bike" and leave the beefier frames for commutes and short more intense rides.

    This gives me 2 choices, racing or touring bike.

    I'm leaning toward touring for a slightly longer wheel base as I'm a pretty big guy, even with the weight off (I'll NEVER drop out of the CLYDESDALE class).

    My question is: What should I look for in a good touring bike under $1000? If you have a specific brand/model, that's fine, I'd like to hear it. If you simply have a set of features I should definitely get or something I should definitely avoid, that's fine too. There's lots of thinking through to be done, my problem is, I don't even know north from south when it comes to this bike type and how they perform
    Cycling - It isn't about the bike, its about the ride.

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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    There are a lot out there - random example is a kona sutra is pretty good - disc brakes, compact frame, sliding drop outs for rohloff speedhub use, braze ons for racks/fenders/3rd water bottle

    IMHO - the better option is a cycle trailer (yak, bob, or anything similar) rather than racks and panniers

    hope this helps

    You could also try the second hand market and see what turns up - just make sure you get the frame and fork checked for damage before purchase
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  3. #3
    Air
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    I hear the Surly's are good bang for the buck - steel, plenty of braze ons. A bike shop I was talking to could build one up with upgraded components for around $1k.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearonabike
    Also posted to the touring bike section:

    I have been back into biking for about 2 years after a MAJOR accident (me vs. car- car won) and a 20 year refrain from biking. Two years ago, I bought a Trek MultiTrack hybrid and LOVED it. I'd forgotten how much fun a bicycle was. About 6 months ago, I bought a Trek fitness bike to help accelerate the weight loss. Right now, I can push the hybrid (without bike shoes) 40 miles with minimal stop time and many friends tell em its time to get a "real road bike" and leave the beefier frames for commutes and short more intense rides.

    This gives me 2 choices, racing or touring bike.

    I'm leaning toward touring for a slightly longer wheel base as I'm a pretty big guy, even with the weight off (I'll NEVER drop out of the CLYDESDALE class).

    My question is: What should I look for in a good touring bike under $1000? If you have a specific brand/model, that's fine, I'd like to hear it. If you simply have a set of features I should definitely get or something I should definitely avoid, that's fine too. There's lots of thinking through to be done, my problem is, I don't even know north from south when it comes to this bike type and how they perform
    I'm not sure that you actually want a touring bike. Don't get me wrong, I think touring bikes are just about the best thing out there, if you are interested in actually loading them up with gear and going for a long vacation on one...or even thinking about that kind of riding. And if you are there are a couple of choices. One is the Cannondale T800. I think it's the best touring bike for big guys there is out there right now. Uberstiff. It can be a bit harsh if it doesn't have a touring load on it but otherwise it's a good bike.

    Another is the Fuji Touring. It's not as stiff and is a little noodly under load but would be a good bike for the money.

    But I think what you are looking for is something a bit sportier and not necessarily a full on touring bike. Lemond Etape, Specialized Roubiax, Specialized Sequouia, Trek Pilot, Giant OCR 1 or OCR2, Fuji Newest 1.0, Felt Z80, Jamis Ventura or Aurora (this is a 'touring bike' but it's a little short for my tastes as a loaded tourer), Bianchi Brava (get only the Celeste one ) would all be good choices. They are not true touring bikes but are relaxed geometry bikes. They are built more for century rides than for a criterium. There are others too. The ones I listed above, for which you'll have to do your own web searching , were all selected because they have higher spoke count wheels and are a little heavier than a race bike. Most, if not all, are below $1000.

    Hope this helps.
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  5. #5
    Air
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    Question. If you put the same wheels and gears on a touring bike and on a racing bike what differences would you expect to feel?

    I'm keenly interested in a touring bike since I'd like the option of loading it up one day and I think it would be a speed and comfort upgrade over my (probably a little too small) mtb that I've been riding with 1.95" semi-slicks. Plus would hopefully be easier to bag a century and double century on as well.

    I know that the touring bike would have a longer geometry and extra braze-ons for fenders/racks but what other differences would someone feel?

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Question. If you put the same wheels and gears on a touring bike and on a racing bike what differences would you expect to feel?

    I'm keenly interested in a touring bike since I'd like the option of loading it up one day and I think it would be a speed and comfort upgrade over my (probably a little too small) mtb that I've been riding with 1.95" semi-slicks. Plus would hopefully be easier to bag a century and double century on as well.

    I know that the touring bike would have a longer geometry and extra braze-ons for fenders/racks but what other differences would someone feel?
    The difference will shock and amaze you!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  7. #7
    Air
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    I could see how the dedicated road bike could be more responsive. Faster?

  8. #8
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    I could see how the dedicated road bike could be more responsive. Faster?
    Like riding a glider....effortless and fast! I love a roadie, my commuter/MTB feels like a clunky tank in comparison!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  9. #9
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Question. If you put the same wheels and gears on a touring bike and on a racing bike what differences would you expect to feel?
    They typically have the same seat tube angle so your position relative to the pedals would be the same, but tour bike handlebars tend to be set up higher than on a racing bike, about the same height as the seat, so you wouldn't be quite as aero. A tour bike may have more trail and longer stays so it may not be as nimble in weaving through a chicane but it might feel more stable if you decide to cross the finsh line with your arms raised. The tour bike will be a bit heavier which will be most noticeable on hills: a little faster going down and slower going up.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OrangeOkie's Avatar
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    You can find exceptional touring bikes on ebay like 1970s-80 \s Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, Le Tour, Traveller, etc . . . All "light weight" steel frames . . . beautiful , fun, functional, and affordable.

  11. #11
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    I don't know much about bikes in that price range, but one thing I'd recommend is that you try to find one that will fit larger tires than the pretty-much-standard 700x25. Surly will, I'm pretty sure, and I imagine anything sold as a "touring bike" will have room for up to 32s, at least. You can always swap to skinnier tires, perhaps on lighter wheels, if you want to go fast, but having room for larger, softer tires makes the bike much more versatile and more comfortable in everyday riding.

  12. #12
    jcm
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    I bought a Trek 520 off CL a few months ago for $550. It's a '98 that came fully loaded with front and rear racks, a Brooks, fenders, upgraded stem and bars, Cane Creek levers, Kool-Stop pads and 25mm road tires. Very near mint condition. I feel that the higher gearing on the 520 is a good feature for which Trek has taken some criticism. I think they know that most people won't tour as much as they will ride for general purpose. The 52 ring gives the 520 alot of speed. To me, it has enough to satisfy the latent roadie in me.

    However, I did buy a new Specialized Sequoia Elite recently. It's about 23lbs to the Trek's 28lbs. The thing is, I always have a trunk bag and a bar bag on the Trek, so that ups the weight a little more, but I keep the Sequoia trimmed for fun.

    If I had to choose between a roadie and a tour bike, I'd go for the tour machine. Much more versatile, and possibly there is a strength advantage, albeit a minor one having to do with wheels mostly. As to a brand: They are all pretty good. I'd shop used again. The $$$$ I paid for the Sequoia is still stinging me, even on sale. Good used bikes abound.

  13. #13
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Question. If you put the same wheels and gears on a touring bike and on a racing bike what differences would you expect to feel?
    I would expect the touring bike to feel more solid in general, and the racing bike to feel quicker to respond to my input. I would expect the racing bike to turn quicker that the touring bike, but also take a little more effrort to point in a straight line. I would expect the racing bike to fell like it wants to go fast: I would expect the touring bike to feel like it wants to go all day long. I would expect the touring bike to smooth out the rough roads more than the racing bike does, but I would expect the racing bike to be more eager to take advantage of the little downhills. I would expect the touring bike to resolve most comfort-vs-performance choices in favor of comfort. I would expect exactly the opposite from a racing bike. I would expect teh racing bike to get me there a bit faster but more fatigued from thr road vibration. I would expect the touring bike to get me there a bit slower, but less fatigued from road vibration, and with the option of carrying a tent, sleeping back, and whatever else you want to bring.

    Maybe it's best to put it this way. I expect the touring bike to feel like a Toyota Camry station wagon: compliant, always good, serviceable transportation, capable of carrying all my travelling crud with no complaints. I expect the racing bike to feel like two-seat roadster: won't carry boo, but who cares because the drive itself is such a rush.
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  14. #14
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    If you love your Trek why not blow the $1k on upgrades? Build a rear wheel around phil wood? Powercranks? Change the handlebars? Brooks saddle? cycling computer/GPS? You might even consider getting the bike hacked sandsmachine.com.

    real road bike - Try road tires($100), I bet that gets you 75% of what a $1000 real road bike would gets you.

    BTW once you spend the $1000 on a new bike you will want to make changes to that bike.
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  15. #15
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Is your Trek fitness bike one of the 7.x FX series bikes? You could think about putting on drop handlebars and thinner tires for a more road bike-oriented performance. Those have flat bars and 700x32 tires as stock equipment. Not quite the same as a true road bike but closer.

  16. #16
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    Bear, I think a touring bike is a great idea. I came there from the opposite direction, having been a hard-core, skinny-tire roadie for years. I went to a touring bike because I live in an area with burgeoning car traffic and many miles of dirt roads. I thought I'd be safer and happier training on those roads away from the traffic, but I needed a frame that would accommodate appropriate tires for them. The bike arguably ended up as much cyclocross as tourer, with a compact double-ring drivetrain and cyclocross tires, but whatever it might be called, I wish I'd gone to it earlier. I can now train on dirt roads to my heart's delight, and I can ride on road shoulders when I feel like it, or discretion dictates. It's especially nice for leisurely rides with my wife, since I can use a small gear and just dawdle beside her on the shoulder.

    What you might want to consider, though, is whether you just want to move most of the hybrid's components to a touring or cyclocross frame. In my case, I just bought a $40 frameset off eBay, gave it a rattle-can paint job, and moved most of the components over from one of my road bikes. Though I also opted for the drivetrain change already mentioned, the only "major" components I really needed to make the switch were the tires and a set of Tektro Oryx canti brakes, bought for $16 from JensonUSA. In your case, you probably already have a more touring-oriented drivetrain on the hybrid, but you'd probably want a drop-bar and corresponding brake/shift setup, and maybe a lighter set of wheels for the times when you want to use the tourer as a "real road bike." If you do that, I have a feeling you'll wonder why you were ever riding a hybrid.

  17. #17
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    Just to throw another wrench into the mix, you might want to look into a Cyclo-cross bike. It's an inbetween option: a longer beefier more upright version of a road bike that easily accepts both front & rear racks, fenders, HUGE tyres etc., but is much lighter faster and more agile / nimble than a full tourer. Two examples I've seen @Performance for under $1000 would be Fuji's Cross Comp (105) or their Cross Pro (Ultegra).
    Sorry to protract your already innundated flood of input with even more options to consider...

  18. #18
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    I vote for touring bike. They are built to carry a load. Big plus for us clydes. More upright and comfy riding position. Stable handling. Mounting points for racks and fenders are a plus in real world riding. I've had my Novara Randonee for over a year. No complaints. In fact, I like it even better than I expected. Good luck. If you can only get one or the other, a good touring bike is the way to go. IMHO.

    PS, look at it this way. Whatever rides you can do with a race bike, you can do on a touring bike too. It doesn't work the other way around too well. You'll get more use out of the touring bike.

  19. #19
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    +1 on the Cross Bike.. a bike like the Surly Cross check is used quite a bit by touring riders but still can work as a dedicated road bike..One big plus is that the 132.5 rear stays can use both 130mm and 135 spaced wheels which give you a lot of options..

    I love my Cross Check and if I had just 1 bike to buy it would be the one..

  20. #20
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    The basic categories are racing/performance/sport/touring. Sounds like you are looking for a Sport bike. That's what I have.

    As the season winds down, the sales heat up. Find a bike you like, put the money you have on it as a downpayment. And then throw the shop a few bikes each week over the winter. By Spring you will have exactly what you want.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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  21. #21
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    +1 for the Cross Check and outfitting it for pure roadie use. I have one as my brevet bike and have taken it on everything from 30 miles r/t commuting, up to a 400k single day ride.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  22. #22
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    +3 on a cross bike. 95% of the speed of a road bike but more comfortable and able to fit fatter tires.

    Some of the touring bikes designed for light touring and finess riding are good also;

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/570.html

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...09_aurora.html

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...roraelite.html

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...9_novapro.html

    http://www.rei.com/product/776887

    http://www.rei.com/product/784362

    http://www.surlybikes.com/crosscheck_comp.html



    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-13-09 at 06:44 AM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Wow, this is a three year old thread, I hope he made his mind up by now. If not, I vote for a cross bike too. I love my Kona Jake for all the reasons listed.

  24. #24
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I have a 1983-84 Miyata 610 I'll sell you for $200. 63CM frame...

    I realized I don't need it...

  25. #25
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I hate when that happens

    I wish these things were marked as Zombies.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

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