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Old 05-18-09, 02:08 AM   #1
harryh57
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Whats the best do everything, bike for life?

Hi
I just taken a 60% financial hit selling my barely used Custom Surly fixie. I bought it with good intentions but my 51 year old knees thought otherwise. I have gone through quite a few bikes through the years but now I have decided to make a choice and stick to it. I am looking for comfort with gears for the knees, probably steel. I've been leaning towards a tourer. I'm open to ideas. I live in the UK .

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Old 05-18-09, 02:13 AM   #2
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Surly Long Haul Trucker
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Old 05-18-09, 03:52 AM   #3
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An answer to your question- a SUV. Which for me is a lugged steel frame from Sanner Bicycles with Dedacciai oversized COM tubing, is set up as a 1x9 with these components. Mavic A719 rims with XT hubs and Pasela TG folding 700x35C tires. Sugino XD2 cranks, Shimano bottom bracket, 36t Sugino chain ring with a Third Eye chain watcher on the inside and Salsa Ringdinger chain guard on the outside. Derailleur is Shimano SLX with 11-34 SLX cassette and Shimano HG-73 chain. Brake set is Cane Creek SCX-5 with salmon Koolstop mountain pads and Cane Creek Crosstop levers. Headset is Cane Creek S-3, handlebar Salsa short and shallow, Salsa stem to fit and Ritchie Comp seat post, shifter is a Dura Ace bar end. With a Brooks Imperial saddle, Eggbeater pedals, Mirracycle mirror, Cateye Strada speedo installed and handlebar wrapped with cloth tape; the actual riding weight is 10.9 kg.

Before going with this I considered a Thorn Sherpa or Club frame set up in a similar fashion.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:21 AM   #4
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Ride several and figure out what yo want. Internet advice is worth what it costs. Only you can know what kind of bike suits you best and it may take a few missteps to figure it out.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:27 AM   #5
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I like you thought process....that is, touring, wide gears, comfort. But, I'd encourage you to include titanium in your list of possible frame materials. I also think BluesDawg is right. Go ride lots of 'em before buying.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:10 AM   #6
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harryh,
If the problem that you are having is sore knees my guess it isn't because of the bike that you ride. I am not a doctor, and I do not know your specific problem. But sore knees are often the result of using too high a gear for the pace/terrain resulting in too much mashing of the pedals and not enough spinning. Certainly could be a problem with a fixed gear bike. If you already ride comfortably with 80-90 rpms then maybe you need to think mostly about gearing. It is likely gear/rpm choice rather than the bike. My own personal preference is to use closely spaced cassettes with only one tooth difference between cogs. That way I don't find myself overloaded when I do shift up a gear.
So what does this mean toward choice of bikes? It is relatively easy to change cassettes/chainwheels after you decide on a bike to get a set of gears that works best for you.
In any event, good luck with your search.
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Old 05-18-09, 07:39 AM   #7
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There are so many choices, many built in the U.K. You're going to have to decide what price range first, whether you need custom geometry or options, and looks.
I bought a Gunnar Sport in 2006 thinking it would keep me happy for a long time. I put Ultegra 10 speed triple on it so I could do anything. It will accept a rear rack and wide tires, too.
I love the way it rides but now I am thinking of buying a carbon fiber bike for the fast club rides.
Some of us are never satisfied.
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Old 05-18-09, 08:03 AM   #8
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Fixie's are not the best for the legs- the lungs and as you live in Scotland- not the best for the hills.

Steel is getting rare over here now but "Roberts" still make in steel- but not cheap. The other materials- Ti is expensive but will outlast you- Aluminium may not be as harsh as you think it could be and can make a good ride. C.F. is the common "Wonder" material and the cost of these are coming dowm tremendously. Not certain you would be able to get Rack and mudguard fittings on them though.

Going back to UK based manufacturers- look at the Dawes range for touring and they are still a bike to be reckoned with. Link to their web site on Touring bikes below and plenty of steel in there.

http://www.dawescycles.com/c-10-touring-bikes.aspx
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Old 05-18-09, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesdawg View Post
ride several and figure out what yo want. Internet advice is worth what it costs. Only you can know what kind of bike suits you best and it may take a few missteps to figure it out.

+100
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Old 05-18-09, 08:43 AM   #10
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What ever machine YOU feel comfortable on!!
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Old 05-18-09, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryh57 View Post
Hi
I just taken a 60% financial hit selling my barely used Custom Surly fixie. I bought it with good intentions but my 51 year old knees thought otherwise. I have gone through quite a few bikes through the years but now I have decided to make a choice and stick to it. I am looking for comfort with gears for the knees, probably steel. I've been leaning towards a tourer. I'm open to ideas.

I agree that you have to get out and try things to narrow it down ... or at least share more of your own experiences.

My solution to pretty much exactly the same criteria you outline: Comfort, easy on knees, wide range of gears, steel frame, well built, good for touring was a RANS Stratus, a design that has been around for over 25 years. But it might not be what you have in mind!
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Old 05-18-09, 03:45 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, your right I have to get out and try some. I can't seem to find any shops that actually stock the tourers that I'm looking at, they are quite happy to order them in, which puts you under a bit of an obligation. Also, its so much cheaper to buy from the internet. I'm determined to get it right this time. I have been offered a Ridgeback Panorama 2009 for a good price on-line but getting to try one out is a differnt story. I used to have an old Raleigh Royal tourer back in the 90's that was a nice ride, though a bit heavy. My wife thinks I'm mad but she does not understand the importance of getting a bike that you are at one with. This is why I thought I would as for opinions.
Cheers
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Old 05-18-09, 04:01 PM   #13
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What good is a good price on the internet if you can't ride the bike?
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Old 05-18-09, 04:56 PM   #14
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ANY decent used geared bike in good condition will be a vast improvement over riding a fixed gear or even a single speed freewheel. Gears are good, spinning is good, etc., which is why I am so completely bemused by the fixie/ss fad, which I still expect to die a merciful early death sometime soon.
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Old 05-19-09, 10:16 AM   #15
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Recumbent

This looks like the bees knees, no pun intended. What would something like this cost? How would you transport it if you wanted to cycle somewhere else? can you get a carrier for a car as with ordinary bikes.
I looks very comfortable though I would worry about seeing ahead in traffic.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:24 PM   #16
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Surly Long Haul Trucker
+1 ----- IF it's the right bike for YOU... if it fits and you like it and it meets your riding needs. I love mine and I recommend it to everyone as a great all-around keeper.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:33 PM   #17
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Since you are in the UK, I would recommend you get in touch with St. John's Cycles in Somerset. That's the shop that represents the Thorn line. They frequently have lightly used or demo bikes listed on their website at a savings. Thorn makes a range of bikes -- very light racing style bikes, Audax bikes, loaded touring bikes, and super-rugged expedition touring bikes.

For most users I would think that one of their Audax bikes would be a good bike. They have one with special low gearing - the "SJSC Special Spec" which I think would come in handy in your part of the world.

http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/AudaxMK...Mk3_lowres.pdf


Do a search for either Thorn Cycles or St. John's Cycles; the two websites are linked to each other.
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Old 05-19-09, 08:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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This looks like the bees knees, no pun intended. What would something like this cost? How would you transport it if you wanted to cycle somewhere else? can you get a carrier for a car as with ordinary bikes.
I looks very comfortable though I would worry about seeing ahead in traffic.
If you are referring to my post about the RANS Stratus recumbent, which it appears that you are, then here is some info on recumbent dealers in the UK:

http://www.ransbikes.com/Bikedealers/Dealers_UK.htm
http://www.londonrecumbents.com/
http://www.bikefix.co.uk/
http://www.bhpc.org.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=34

You can get recumbent carriers.
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Old 05-20-09, 08:48 PM   #19
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I would recommend a RANS V-Rex, which would be easier to transport (than a Stratus) in or on a car.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Fixie's are not the best for the legs- the lungs and as you live in Scotland- not the best for the hills.

Steel is getting rare over here now but "Roberts" still make in steel- but not cheap. The other materials- Ti is expensive but will outlast you- Aluminium may not be as harsh as you think it could be and can make a good ride. C.F. is the common "Wonder" material and the cost of these are coming dowm tremendously. Not certain you would be able to get Rack and mudguard fittings on them though.

Going back to UK based manufacturers- look at the Dawes range for touring and they are still a bike to be reckoned with. Link to their web site on Touring bikes below and plenty of steel in there.

http://www.dawescycles.com/c-10-touring-bikes.aspx
Woodrup, Mercian, and Bob Jackson are also still building with steel.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:50 PM   #21
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I would look for an old, well maintained Raleigh Roadster. You did say you wanted a "do everything" cycle. Your knees will love you for it too. If you follow my advice, I want to see pics!
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Old 05-21-09, 04:33 PM   #22
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If you want to stay with a British supplier, you could look at ICE: http://www.ice.hpv.co.uk/ .
They have both bikes and trikes, suspended and unsuspended.

I'm currently running a SUN Sport AX, LWB recumbent similar in concept to the one pictured above. However, I'm moving to an ICE Q trike, and expect to be on it for a long time. No problem with balancing at slow speed on the hills, good luggage options (see their accessory list).

I have had no problems with getting test rides at recumbent dealers here in the USA, and should be much the same in the UK.
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Old 05-21-09, 04:54 PM   #23
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Do you tour? You said you were leaning towards a tourer, but why is that? I think if you dont tour, or only rarely, that a cross bike might be a bit more do it all, certainly a bit more agile I would think.
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Old 05-24-09, 08:35 AM   #24
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Thanks

Thanks to all that contributed to this post. I collected my new bike today. An immaculate, titanium, two year old Van Nicholas Yukon. This will definately be a bike for life. It is so smooth. I got a great deal second hand. I have not sussed how to put on a picture yet though.
Harry
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Old 05-24-09, 08:47 AM   #25
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I would recommend a RANS V-Rex . . . [/IMG]
And the Rex is available in titanium!
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