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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 03-24-10, 03:58 PM   #1
retriever7
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Co-Motion

Has anyone had any experience with Co-Motion bikes? I'm particularly interested in the Ristretto and the Expresso. Comments on comfort, power transfer, weight and their suitability for doing centuries are of particular interest
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Old 03-24-10, 10:50 PM   #2
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Co-Motion makes amazing bikes, here in Eugene, OR. i haven't ridden the bikes you mentioned, but i did take one of their Rohloff-equipped Americanos out for longish (25 mile) test ride and it was very nice. How nice was it? I got on the bike, and spent all of the time testing the Rohloff---not once thinking about bike, because it was performing perfectly and responding like it was my cyborg-bike-body. And as far as i can tell, that's what you want for a distance bike. As for build quality---it's hand built with perfect welds by great people in a nice atmosphere, all with dedication to making great bikes. You won't go wrong with one of their bikes, if you can afford it. And, let me add, as soon as i can afford it, i'll get one.
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Old 03-25-10, 12:06 AM   #3
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I don't own one, have looked at them several times, and met and talked with them at several bike shows. Co-Motion is always high on my "want" list.

FYI, there was an excellent tour of their facility posted at CrazyGuyonABike a couple of months back:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=6238&v=6A

Just FYI, obviously it depends on what you are used to and what kind of bike you like to ride over long distances, but Co-Motion positions their Nor'Wester model as more of a long-distance bike; a bit more of an upright position than the Espresso. One advantage of the Nor'Wester is that it will take fenders with tires up to 28c, if that is important to you for all-weather riding.
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Old 03-25-10, 12:34 PM   #4
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I don't really understand this kind of question. Co-motion makes awesome bikes from what I've seen. If it fits, the comfort is going to be high and the power transfer is going to be just as good as any other bike out there.

You can ride a century on any functional bike. There was a guy that rode the 1200 kilometer PBP on a push bike.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:04 PM   #5
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The concern behind the question is whether a custom aluminum bike is a good choice for centuries vs. their steel Expresso. My exposure to frame materials is steel and partly out of curiosity and interest in a lighter frame material, was wondering whether aluminum would be worth looking at for long distance riding. No dealer at an LBS I have talked to has encouraged me to buy aluminum for long distances.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:49 PM   #6
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While shopping for my roadie, I road a variety of bikes and emerged from the experience quite certain that everybody's making up most of the mystical properties of different materials. And that the people at an LBS really honestly and truly believe what they tell you, even though it likely has no basis in reality.

Nor do I think that a sufficiently sturdy frame will end up such that the frame breaks in a fashion repairable if it were made of lugged steel that won't also screw up other bits of the bike at the same time.

Big thing is that most of the bikes/frames oriented towards civilized brevet/long-distance riders are steel because that's what sells.
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Old 03-25-10, 08:55 PM   #7
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I'll count the number of people that have a randonneuring-specific bike at the brevet I'm riding this weekend. It's a distinct minority. I really don't worry too much about what I'm riding at 100 miles or even 200 miles.
I have known people that swore that aluminum was too uncomfortable no matter what the distance. I still think fit is the most important thing determining your comfort.
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Old 03-30-10, 12:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by retriever7 View Post
The concern behind the question is whether a custom aluminum bike is a good choice for centuries vs. their steel Expresso. My exposure to frame materials is steel and partly out of curiosity and interest in a lighter frame material, was wondering whether aluminum would be worth looking at for long distance riding. No dealer at an LBS I have talked to has encouraged me to buy aluminum for long distances.
You seem to be focused on frame material.

I would be focused on fit and the geometry of the bike; tire size; and, for all-weather riding, whether it can fit fenders with my desired tire size. Partly because I'm not very flexible, I wouldn't pick either their Ristretto nor their Espresso for centuries. I'd pick the Nor'Wester.

BTW, I am wondering why you don't listen to what their dealers are saying about aluminum; you should ask Co-Motion, too. Although if you really want aluminum I think they'll make you an aluminum frame in any of their geometries.
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Old 03-30-10, 08:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by retriever7 View Post
The concern behind the question is whether a custom aluminum bike is a good choice for centuries vs. their steel Expresso. My exposure to frame materials is steel and partly out of curiosity and interest in a lighter frame material, was wondering whether aluminum would be worth looking at for long distance riding. No dealer at an LBS I have talked to has encouraged me to buy aluminum for long distances.
Aluminum frames aren't used often because they have a bad (and undeserved) reputation for being very stiff and having fatigue issues. Aluminum can make a fine long distance frame material (just like any other material) if it is designed properly. Remember that the frame is just one piece of the puzzle. Frame weights (for this type of bike) don't vary greatly, a pound here or there. If you are looking for a lite bike you need to be looking at components, frame and accessories as a package. That's how you get a lite, strong package. Co-motion is a good quality manufacturer and you'll get a great bike from them no matter the material. The key is getting a bike that fits you properly and meets all of the requirements that you have for it.
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Old 03-30-10, 01:00 PM   #10
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I think aluminum is losing favor to carbon, not so much because of its reputation for being uncomfortable, but because it doesn't really do well in a price vs. prestige comparison. Plus the fact that it's not very economic to repair or modify. Finally, cyclists are creatures of fashion.

Sorry I forgot to check the number of randonneuring specific bikes at Saturday's brevet. I did see one or two. Most randonneurs either ride carbon or titanium. Pretty common for roadies, I'd say.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:29 PM   #11
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I think aluminum is losing favor to carbon, not so much because of its reputation for being uncomfortable, but because it doesn't really do well in a price vs. prestige comparison. Plus the fact that it's not very economic to repair or modify. Finally, cyclists are creatures of fashion...
You have a good point there, they aren't in fashion. That's unfortunate since there are some awesome aluminum bikes out there...
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Old 03-31-10, 11:46 AM   #12
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Consider a bike built with Columbus' Spirit (Niobium) tubes. Lighter than cromo (maybe aluminum as well), very strong and way comfy. If you like steel, it's the way to go if you're going to have a bike built.

http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_4_2.htm

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/e...e/P1000468.jpg

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Old 03-31-10, 03:10 PM   #13
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You have a good point there, they aren't in fashion. That's unfortunate since there are some awesome aluminum bikes out there...
Or fortunate, since the unfashionable awesome aluminum bikes will drop in price.
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