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Old 05-04-13, 04:01 AM   #1
Labarum
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Try something new?

This is what I ride twice daily

https://picasaweb.google.com/1179667...iKrYbP36n56QE#

A 25" Raleigh 531 Light Tourer with considerable mods.

Centre pulls replaced with modern long drop dual pivots - it stops now.

Drops replaced by bullhorns.

And for parts worn out:

New back wheel. New front and rear Derailleurs - just cheap parts but work better than the Suntour stuff did.

Adamo saddle - now why would any MAN want a conventional saddle between his legs?

Now I am retired I spend half the year in Nicosia. I am very lucky - my wife's family house is 50m from the riverside track shown below to illustrate the terrain I am on almost every day.

Going into town:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1179667...NC83MbX5OHUwwE

Going out of town:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1179667...ovolosBikeRide

Now for the question: what should a 65 year old like me buy for a different or more comfortable experience on such tracks?

I'm a long legged 6ft 3in tall and 100kg.

I have been looking at the Specialized Tricross - nice bike, but aluminium forks? Canti brakes can be a pain, but there is a disk brake version.

Or do I get a 29er hardtail? Heavy and sluggish compared to the 531 light tourer? But comfort?

Or maybe a true Cyclocross? Or a sports Hybrid?

How would you advise me?

My pride and joy is in UK for the other half of the year - a Robin Mather custom Audax

https://picasaweb.google.com/1179667.../BrianSAudax02

So, to ask again. Is it worth trying something new, or am I likely to feel it wasn't worth the bother and expense?
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Old 05-04-13, 08:28 AM   #2
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Maybe a gravel grinder like the black Mountain build that Blues Dawg recently completed. These type are gaining popularity here in the states lately. Kind of like a Cyclocross build with a few changes to suit your personal taste. BD will probably see this and post his thoughts and maybe some pictures, too. Best wishes on doing a build that suits your needs.

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Old 05-04-13, 08:47 AM   #3
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Thanks.

A search on "Blues Dawg" finds no member of that name.

Ah!

Here

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...gravel+grinder
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Old 05-04-13, 09:15 AM   #4
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You're asking a question that only you can answer.

On a new bike every single part will be brand new. Every single part will have been designed to work with every other part. Once you get the fit sorted out, you should have care free riding because it will also come with a new bike warranty. The biggest issue is sorting through all the choices to decide what to buy.

A modified classic bike has an completely different panache'. Every ride involves contemplating what maintenance might be due, what parts you need or want to replace, or if and to what extent you want to modernize it. I, for one, enjoy doing that.

What does being 65 have to do with it?
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Old 05-04-13, 10:21 AM   #5
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Cyclo cross bike. Road bike built to take rough offroad trails so will be adequate for the unpaved tracks you have to do occasionally
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Old 05-04-13, 11:12 AM   #6
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Thanks. All of this is useful.

I now have the key words "Gravel Grinder" to research.

Comments here confirm my instincts. I don't need the weight and complication of a front suspension 29er. Wider tyres on my current 531 frame would probably give me all the extra comfort I might need, but I'm maxed out at 32mm, though I might manage more on the front.

I like the look of the Specialised Tricross but wonder if the aluminium fork might lose me some bounce, and canti brakes don't fill me with joy.

As a long legged 6ft3in frame-size and handlebar hight are issues with any stock solution.

And I also need to consider what I can buy in Cyprus, or personally ship from England.

Trek and Giant Cycloscross I can get here easily and probably at a decent price.
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Old 05-04-13, 12:48 PM   #7
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UK and a Quality manufacturer in Whyte bikes.

http://www.whytebikes.com/2013/secti...Sec=43&xPage=1

Cross bike with Disk brakes and engineering.
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Old 05-04-13, 12:55 PM   #8
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UK and a Quality manufacturer in Whyte bikes.
Nice bikes.

Over designed fancy website that only makes it more difficult to get at the data.

[Rant over]
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Old 05-04-13, 01:16 PM   #9
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My choice would be a classic touring bike with dropped handlebars.
The Surly Long Haul Trucker comes to mind.

The bikes are shipped with the length left long on the handlebar post (What do you call that thing?)
so you can have it cut to length once you've got the bike fitting you properly.

I like the wider tires with some tread more than the near smooth narrow racing style tires.
The frame is all steel, and has brazed on eyes for mounting fenders and carriers.

The standard LHT comes with cantilever brakes, but you can now get a disc brake version.

At least try and ride one so you can compare it to the others that you test.
Enjoy the pursuit for a new bike.
That can be almost as fun as riding.
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Old 05-04-13, 09:59 PM   #10
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I have sat astride the Surly bikes. Very nice machines.

Yes, the steerer often comes uncut. Frame size and handlebar height is always an issue for me - and has to be considered against the reach.
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Old 05-05-13, 01:20 AM   #11
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Salsa makes a nice steel gravel bike. Would love to have one of these myself.

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya
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Old 05-05-13, 02:00 AM   #12
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Salsa makes a nice steel gravel bike. Would love to have one of these myself.

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya
Another nice bike.

How do these compare with cyclocross equivalents from big names like Trek and Giant, and with the Specialized Tricross?

Availability is an issue in a small market like Cyprus. Personal import is a possibility, but we are on thevery edge of Europe few dealers will dispatch form UK at sensible prices. Evans will.
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Old 05-05-13, 06:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
A modified classic bike has an completely different panache'. Every ride involves contemplating what maintenance might be due, what parts you need or want to replace, or if and to what extent you want to modernize it. I, for one, enjoy doing that.
That is my preferred element, as well. In practice, periodic preventive maintenance is not onerous, and component failure is very rare.
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Old 05-05-13, 06:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Cyclo cross bike. Road bike built to take rough offroad trails so will be adequate for the unpaved tracks you have to do occasionally
That's what i would get, or perhaps an older road touring bike with very generous clearance for wide tires.
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Old 05-06-13, 03:00 AM   #15
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What about a Sports Hybrid instead of the Cyclocross for "Gravel Grinding" Wide enough tyres, suitable gearing, V-brakes instead of Cantis.

I hate straight bars, but a treking (butterfly) bar might do except they look monstrously awful.

I like my bullhorns - and these might be a substitute.

http://humpert.com/en/bikeparts/mark...satzbereich=62

I move my hands constantly on drops or bullhorns but do spend a lot of time on the bent of the bullhorn, which you cannot do with MTB bar extenders.

Any thoughts of the value for money and general suitability issues of using a Hybrid, and any advice on the handlebar issue?
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Last edited by Labarum; 05-06-13 at 03:48 AM.
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