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Thread: replace frame?

  1. #1
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    replace frame?

    I bought an REI Novara bike a year ago - the Verita ( http://www.rei.com/product/807242/no...rita-bike-2012 ) and have found that I cannot use tires wider than 23's with fenders. I like the SRAM Apex components well enough and I am using Open Pro wheels that work well, but would like to use tires that are a higher volume. I have been looking into purchasing a new frame and moving most of the components over. I understand I will need different brakes for sure. Salsa Casseroll, Surly LHT and Rivendell Sam Hillborne are candidates.

    Is this a workable idea? Are there other frames I should consider?
    Commuter.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    This can be done but not all the parts can be moved over. It may not be terribly cost effective. Two of the three bikes you mentioned run $1k plus complete (the hillborne will run more) and it might make more sense to buy the complete bike and sell the old one (or keep it as a fast bike).

    Also you need to figure out what it is that you want in a bike since these three bikes are not quite the same. The LHT is a full on touring bike; comparable bikes would be the Soma saga, the Trek 520, Jamis Aurora (I think that's the model name). Raleigh also makes a touring bike. The Casseroll and the Hillborne are similar in what they were designed to do. They were designed to be bikes to ride all day that could take fat tires but were not designed to be touring bikes. If you want a "fast" bike that can take fatter tires and fenders, you might also want to look at some cross bikes like the Surley cross or the Soma double cross.

    I'm a little surprised that you can't get a tire fatter than a 23c with fenders on the novara since the spec sheet says it uses long reach brakes. You might want to talk to someone at your LBS if you haven't already about this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    I'm a little surprised that you can't get a tire fatter than a 23c with fenders on the novara since the spec sheet says it uses long reach brakes. You might want to talk to someone at your LBS if you haven't already about this.
    Thanks for the info on the frames. I did take this in to REI, and I believe the wrenches there are really good. They came to the same conclusion.

    I like your comments on what I want in a bike. I have a speedy bike (Merckx Team SC) and am looking for something for longer rides, more upright position, but not necessarily full-on touring.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    The casseroll and the hillborne are spot on for your purposes. I would also check out some cross bikes. Not as upright perhaps (depending on the model) but loads of fun as a road bike. You can run pretty fat tires and they generally have eyelets. They also have more forgiving giving since they generally have a compact crank. I really like my Soma doublecross and I built it with a triple chainring so it offers a real alternative to my racing bike. I built the bike up from bits and pieces from different donor bikes (sort of like you are thinking of doing): Soma.jpg

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    Senior Member
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    A frame that recently caught my eye is the Gunnar Sport. It is costlier than a Novara but after the frame, you already have everything else needed to build the bike. http://gunnarbikes.com/site/bikes/sport/

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    A few other options:

    1. If you don't mind going with 650b wheels, another bike to consider is the Rawland rSogn. Keep reading great things about it! It's sold as a stock frameset at a very competitive price. I personally get a lot of joy building a bike from scratch with specific components that I like rather than going through a series of upgrades that end up being more expensive in the long term. This bike is designed for long distance riding on pavement and for gravel grinding with a front rando rack/bag. It's similar in many ways to the Casseroll without being too "mainstream" (Salsa) or "pretentious" (Rivendell.) This is a small Californian company (their stock frames are made in Taiwan though.) The owner/designer has won several design awards.

    2. Have you given any thought to a custom frameset? If so, the guys at Rodriguez in Seattle (city with a long standing tradition in randonneuring) do a fabulous job. Pricing comparable to a stock frame S. Hillborne, but given that it's custom you get a "Made in the USA" frame made out of Reynolds 725 tubing. Look into their Rainier or Adventure models built around 700c. They recently built for me rando/touring bike for 26" tires - their UTB model. I just don't have words to describe how awesome it rides! See pic below.

    3. The Gunnar mentioned above (also sold as a custom frameset) gets high marks, too.


    Here's my rando/touring Rodríguez UTB:
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 06-09-12 at 10:46 AM.

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    The Rawland Nordavinden is another bike to consider, if it ever makes it past the vaporware stage.

    Cheap and cheerful option would be the Pake C'mute, a Crosscheck knockoff with vertical dropouts (for easier fendering and wheel mounting compared to the xcheck's horizontal dropouts). I have been randoing and knocking around on a crosscheck for years and find it more than adequate.

    I would not get an LHT unless you intend to do lots of "true" loaded touring. It is a pretty uncompromising touring frame... ultra stiff and all in all a bit heavy for your purposes.
    Last edited by mander; 06-09-12 at 12:16 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hairy Hands's Avatar
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    If your looking for steel the Boulder Bicycles Allroad is a good choice and cost is way less than a Rivendale. It is specifically designed for Rando Riding. They have 2 models, one for 700c rims and one for 650b. If you take your time on Ebay you can find a used Specialized TriCross in Carbon for under 500 bucks. It has long chainstays, long wheelbase, will take up to a 38mm tire with fenders, has mounts for Fenders, mounts for front and rear racks, and has a relaxed geometry I found my full Carbon Tricross as a NOS frameset for 600.
    ~John~

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    Senior Member Kurious Oranj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairy Hands View Post
    If your looking for steel the Boulder Bicycles Allroad is a good choice and cost is way less than a Rivendale. It is specifically designed for Rando Riding. They have 2 models, one for 700c rims and one for 650b.
    I just ordered a 700c Boulder Rando frame. I will have to wait a few weeks to get the frame but there is no need to wait with praising Mike Kone and the service at Boulder Bicycles. He is very responsive to questions and extremely helpful. I can't wait until I see the final product.

  10. #10
    Senior Member boatsinbottles's Avatar
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    Did you end up replacing the frame? I guess you're looking for something like a sport touring model. The Boulders get top marks, the new Ocean Air Cycles Rambler should be fantastic, as would the Rawland Nordaviden mentioned above. You might also look into an older bike. Maybe like a late 70s/early 80s Trek designed for 27" tires. They'll take a nice plump tire with fenders since 700C is a little smaller.
    You might also consider the Handsome Devil, although there's a lot less info available on them.
    FWIW, Grant Peterson (Rivendell) did design a bike for Soma (plus Soma has a few bikes that take moderately wide 700C tires and fenders) and they're hinting that they hope to bring a $1400 (complete) bike to market. I think the # was $1400, anyway.

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