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  1. #1
    RFC
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    Ideal Distance Bike?

    I know you guys ride a wide variety of bikes, but if you were to design a distance bike, what attributes would it have? Also, what is a good frame from which to start? I'm always looking for an excuse to build a new bike.

    Thanks

    RFC

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    Senior Member Goonster's Avatar
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    If I'm "designing" a bike, I won't be "starting" with any existing frame.

    I'd do it like this:

    1. Take your favorite tire
    2. Choose fenders
    3. Pick a handlebar bag
    4. Reaffirm eternal devotion to Schmidt dynohub, spec a light
    5. Go to your favorite builder and let him work The Magic

    If you're looking for an existing production frame . . .

    Rivendell (Bleriot, Saluki, AHH, etc.)
    Surly (Cross-Check, Pacer)
    Kogswell
    Old Trek, Miyata, Nishiki, Raleigh, Bridgestone

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    OK let me think. Long distance and training only:

    - medium-wide, 100+ psi tires (25/28)
    - reasonably fast 36 spoke rims
    - wide gearing range, preferably compact double
    - fork / frame must have room for fenders and those size tires
    - nice caliper brakes
    - Brooks saddle
    - drop bars
    - probably aero bars
    - STI shifters
    - a handlebar bag that fits without straining the shifter/brake cables
    - standard road position, nothing super-aggressive -- maybe even a tad on the stable side (e.g. moderate length wheelbase)

    I'd probably go for a Mercian Audax or a really sweet lugged steel frame. I went for a Surly Cross Check, which is a little bit slow (I'm pretty sure it's the wheels), but I also use it for touring so it's all good.

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    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFC View Post
    I know you guys ride a wide variety of bikes, but if you were to design a distance bike, what attributes would it have? Also, what is a good frame from which to start? I'm always looking for an excuse to build a new bike.

    Thanks

    RFC
    1) Comfortable; stable; light weight; fast (as in efficient); designed for wide tires (32mm should do), fenders, lights, and a big-@$$ Berthoud bar bag; blue.

    2) A custom Peter Weigle randonneuse, of course. (Or maybe an Alex Singer...)

    Not that I'll be able to afford one in this lifetime, but that's what I'd go for.

    Scott P
    Bend, OR (where it's snowing today)

    Gunnar Crosshairs (brevet bike, and a darn good one at that)
    RANS Force 5 (brevet 'bent)
    RANS VRex (town 'bent)

  5. #5
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    search?

  6. #6
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    The ideal ld bike differers drastically from person to person. For me the frame should be a good Ti frame, good titanium frames can be built to be lightweight, laterally stiff while more giving in the vertical than Al, and will be resistant to salt, water, and physical damage. Many people find Brooks saddles work best for them, may don't. I am a lightweight so I have no issues with light weight, low spoke count wheels or small (20mm) tires. If you're not planning on using the bike for touring you shouldn't have any need for eyelets for a rack so a good race frame is often best. If you can't go for titanium, either carbon or steel would be my next choice; I find aluminum very uncomfortable for long distances.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Two factors are weight and riding style. I'm just over 200 lb and I do not pamper my bike. As in when riding at night in heavy traffic I hold my line through whatever pothole come my way. Having broken three earlier touring frames I am now using a Bruce Gordon tourer with tandem grade tubing. If you are lighter and avoid bad roads you can get a thinner/weaker frame. If you are doing fully supported touring you can get by with really light bikes. I've crewed RAAM a couple of times and I could bend some of those long distance frames with my bare hands. Get something you can reasonably afford. Then in a couple of years, if you are still interested in the long stuff, go for something custom.
    This space open

  8. #8
    RFC
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    Here are my two candidates.

    My Candidates:

    The first is a 1984 Miyata 1000. This bike literally feel into my hands. It is absolutely cherry with only a few shop/handling rub marks. Except for the seat and aerobrakes it is all stock including the Miyata tires, it is all stock. I wouldn't be surprised if it was ridden around the block once, maybe twice. It's beautiful and a garage queen. For everyday rides, I prefer twitchier bikes, you know, "When you turn on your bike, . . . ." So, my choice is either to trick it out with a new wheels and components as necessary (I have a pretty good stock of 9-speed Ultegra and 105 components) or leave it as a stock classic. As to the latter option, I would probably sell it since I don't keep bikes I don't ride or for which I don't have a concrete plan -- a small compromise with my wife. I have no idea what this bike weighs.



    The second is my 1989 Trek 660, classic Europeon crit geometry (73.5/73.5), which fits my body style and, therefore, is comfortable. It was about 22.5 lb out of the box. I would upgrade the components, which are presently 600 7-speed.

    So, thanks for your thoughts

    RFC

    Last edited by RFC; 04-08-08 at 10:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    I would keep the Miyata as is and use it as a commuter bike that people who know vintage bikes will drool over and I'd upgrade the trek first with a better saddle for ld.

  10. #10
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Woah, wait a tick. I just noticed your post in the road forum that you just bought a 2001 Lightspeed Ultimate. This bike is the ideal distance bike. It's going to be more comfortable, faster, lighter, and more aerodynamic than either of the two bikes you showed us..

  11. #11
    RFC
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    Excellent and prescient. You answered all of the questions I asked and some that I had not yet asked, such as about the Litespeed.

    Thanks

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFC View Post
    I know you guys ride a wide variety of bikes, but if you were to design a distance bike, what attributes would it have? Also, what is a good frame from which to start? I'm always looking for an excuse to build a new bike.

    Thanks

    RFC
    Because I'm into comfort I would choose a carbon fiber cyclocross frame and built it up with the appropriate tires, wheels and fenders. Then you can choose what kind of gearing you want also. I don't want racks on my bike so I don't want a steel frame to support the racks. All you really need is a large seat bag and handle bar bag. I personally don't like handlebar bags so I would use a small triangular frame bag and seat bag. Or tie a small waterproof stuff sack to the underside of the seat and seat post. This way you can carry a little more stuff that is bulky but compressible.

    The other route to go is to built a lightweight touring bike out of a good fitting and light steel frame bike. This is much cheaper to start out with. One thing that does work well is if you can find and older 27 inch good quality steel frame bike that fits. Then outfit it with 700c wide tires and wheels as they will fit in the 27 inch frame. Often the old brakes will also have enough reach for the wheel size swap.

  13. #13
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Distance touring, or distance go fast/racing? Go fast/racing I don't think you can touch a performance Bacchetta like an Aero, or Corsa. Last couple centuries I've done, my legs were the _only_ part that hurt. For touring I'd go with a Giro 26, or an LHT. Still up in the air on that one.

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