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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 01-18-14, 09:55 PM   #26
Chris Pringle 
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John,

Not sure if the endurance bike in question is for you, but let's assume it is since you indicate a "yet to buy" in your profile.

As mentioned, no need to spend huge amounts of money on your first long-distance ride. Some of us here have started with inexpensive (incl. used) bikes to test the waters. In the process, you might even realize that you enjoy biking a certain distance, but the enjoyment might quickly diminish after that. The long-distance thing is not for everyone. The most important thing that you'll hear over and over again is "fitting." It's not easy to get this right. Even among fitting professionals there are disagreements on methodology. It takes a lot of trial and error. It's very likely that you'll go through several saddles, stems, handlebars, pedals to find the "sweet spot." I think for me a good rule of thumb is that if you can do at least a full century ride with little to no discomfort, you've got a good fit. The adjustments that you'll make for the longer distances will most likely be minor.

You could start, for example, with a used steel frameset from the 80's (e.g., Raleigh, Miyata, Bianchi, De Rosa.) Then build it from scratch with the help of someone who is knowledgeable about long-distance riding. Then ride that bike for at least a year doing several century rides and brevets. I suggest not spending on top-of-the line new components on the first bike. Go with mid-range components or buy some great used ones in good condition. It's best to save the money until you know what you want out of a bike. At that point, you might even go with a full custom ride - the best you can afford, if that's still what you want.

If you'd prefer going brand new, there are so many bikes out there in the endurance category. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any bike shop that will let you ride a full century ride and then return the bike if you didn't like it. For starters, look at Volagi, Cannondale, Bianchi, Cervelo, Specialized, Trek, Giant. Just about every manufacturer has one. Try to anticipate a bit your own needs. Some people want fenders (many new bikes don't have eyelets or space in the frame for fenders.) Some people want a rack and bag of some sort (again eyelets needed on the frame) while others prefer frame bags or even backpacks in order to save weight. You'll need to have lights for the longer events whether you want it on the bike, helmet or both. Some riders prefer skinny tires while others prefer wider, cushier tires (some frames don't allow tires over 25-28mm.) As you can see, lots of personal preference goes into the mix.

There is really no point in describing what makes a good endurance bike, except for what I said earlier: if the bike is still comfortable to you after a series of long-distance events, you've got yourself a good endurance bike. Upgrading to a new frame with lightest top-of-the-line components, etc. will represent changes in feel/comfort that might be appreciated with diminishing returns, but could make a difference between a 200 Km. brevet and 1,200 Km. one. This might be where the $10,000 bike could make an impact over the $2,000 bike. Other than that, the $10,000 bike might be akin to giving a bottle of Petrus to someone at his first wine tasting -- it will go in completely unappreciated.

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Old 01-19-14, 07:47 AM   #27
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Not my way of saying money is no object, I'm retired military, that is a phrase I've never uttered. I have a friend that does quite a lot of brevets, he uses various bikes, depending on his mood. I know he completed a 300k on a 70's raleigh that updated the components on, I know he also has a couple of pricey bikes that I couldn't afford. There has to be a reason that people that ride RAAM and other long distance races spend the kind of money that they do. Is it the lightness of the frame, the quality of the components, I doubt it's because they like wasting money.
I'm just trying to learn more about endurance bikes, what makes a quality bike, (other than it is comfortable for me), I has seen some that have the seat cantilevered out over the rear tire that are supposed to be extremely comfortable. So again, what bikes would you recommend, $1500 - 15K.
It would not actually help you if I just listed the long distance bikes I think are good.

The best way to learn about long distance cycling (other than actually DOING it, of course), is to read about it - forums, blogs, etc. Absorb info and insights from diverse sources. "LD" is a pretty big tent too - in there you have a number of different types / styles of events. The machine that a person might want to use for Dirty Kansa is not going to the same as what they'd pick for a local 600K or the Sebring 24hr.

On the way you will pick up insight into why each rider picks the equipment that they do.

By this process you will form your own opinion about what you want / need for different types of LD riding you might be interested in. And your own opinion will have 100x the value of the opinion of some random rider.

What are you riding now, and when you ride longer distances on it, what do you like and dislike about it? Start the conversation there, perhaps?
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Old 01-19-14, 08:04 AM   #28
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I would build my own... it would most likely end up looking much like my Kuwahara Cascade which is pretty much perfect.
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Old 01-19-14, 09:02 AM   #29
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In randonneuring (specifically) there seem to be a couple schools of thought (and there are pros and cons to each):

traditional franco-centric / constructeur approach: lots of such bikes are seen here - http://www.flickr.com/groups/classicbicycles/

road race bike plus accessories approach: the idea is to take a regular, performance road bike and add in some accessories and other minor equipment mods to make it a bit better for long distances.

touring or cyclocross bike approach: start with either a touring or cyclocross bike and make mods / add accessories.

endurance bike: there is sort of a new genre being marketed out there...these are bikes stylistically similar to modern road race bikes but the bike's design is tweaked to make it better for LD. some companies are entirely focused on this - Volagi for example.

Is there one that I am missing, folks???

(the one I take is different yet, still... http://rothrockcyrcle.wordpress.com/...ndo-and-ultra/ )

Now, if you are interested in ultraracing, that's a bit different still - I don't think you will find many constructeur type bikes used for that (if any...)
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Old 01-19-14, 09:50 AM   #30
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In randonneuring (specifically) there seem to be a couple schools of thought (and there are pros and cons to each):
Easing into LD riding from an old school club rider's perspective I have two "test mules" built up, one a contemporary take on the Audax/Rando style and the other a CF Gran Fondo machine, neither set-up like my old road racers.

With the nasty weather we've been having I appreciate the full fenders and gear stashing capability of the traditional style despite a considerable weight penalty. Having one lousy weather machine and a fast light one available depending on conditions may be the best use of a considerable budget.

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Old 01-19-14, 12:37 PM   #31
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I have two bikes now, a cannondale and a soma, although I am considering adding a third next winter. Appreciate the suggestions, all good advice. As I ride brevets and start riding endurance races this year I will be looking at what other riders ride and asking questions.
John
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Old 01-20-14, 09:40 PM   #32
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I have two bikes now, a cannondale and a soma, although I am considering adding a third next winter. Appreciate the suggestions, all good advice. As I ride brevets and start riding endurance races this year I will be looking at what other riders ride and asking questions.
John
Slight turn of the tables on you, but may I ask which SOMA do you have? I was looking to buy one of their frames and build it up to be my long-distance bike. It won't be the fastest bike, but it should be fast enough and comfy for longer rides.

FWIW: I have to bikes I used to test myself for long distance rides last summer; one is a heavily modifed Trek FX7.3 (drop bars, compact double crank, better wheels), and a 1995 Mongoose MTB (26" wheels with 1.5 inch road tires and drop bars. road crank, etc). They both worked OK, and I could ride them for 100miles, but the main goal of those rides was to test me on 100 mile rides (I passed! ).
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Old 01-21-14, 09:54 AM   #33
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Slight turn of the tables on you, but may I ask which SOMA do you have? I was looking to buy one of their frames and build it up to be my long-distance bike. It won't be the fastest bike, but it should be fast enough and comfy for longer rides.

FWIW: I have to bikes I used to test myself for long distance rides last summer; one is a heavily modifed Trek FX7.3 (drop bars, compact double crank, better wheels), and a 1995 Mongoose MTB (26" wheels with 1.5 inch road tires and drop bars. road crank, etc). They both worked OK, and I could ride them for 100miles, but the main goal of those rides was to test me on 100 mile rides (I passed! ).
Skidder, the SOMA I have is a built up San Marcos frame, although some people will tell you that the San Marcos is not a true "SOMA" frame due to the fact that it is designed by someone outside the SOMA shop. I bought it used, don't remember the exact year, but can get that for you if you want. I bought it used when I lived in Idaho in 2008, and if I remember correctly it was several years old at that point. Nice frame, I would buy another SOMA in a heartbeat. Are your looking at their Randoneer frame?
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Old 01-21-14, 08:41 PM   #34
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Not the Randoneuur, but he Double Cross. The Randoneur needs a few too many unique parts for my taste (1" headtube and 650B rims). The Double Cross uses more standard 700C wheels, 1 1/8" steerer tube, canti brakes. I'll probably put a carbon fork on the front rather than a Soma steel fork, as long as I can find one that'll take 35mm tires.
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Old 01-22-14, 08:05 PM   #35
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I picked up a 2013 Raleigh Clubman the end of last season and it a perfect Brevet bike for me. With the Clubman I enjoy riding Brevets at a brisk but casual pace, I can ride long self-supported stay in hotels overnight touring, and it is a speedy commuter. However, if I want to ride a fast Brevet then the Clubman is not my preferred ride as I learned this past Saturday. Due to the extra weight or something I haven't quite nailed down yet I realized Saturday that I work much harder to keep up with the riders who are one lighter shorter chainstay bikes. I also realized that on the Clubman that there is no need to rush to climb a hill as it climbs well but forget about accelerating uphill without expending tremendous amounts of energy. Therefore, for $10,000 I'd opt to go the custom titanium frame route (I think, would love to ride Ti to know for sure) with the geometry geared for UMCA style riding and keep my Clubman for casually paced Brevets.
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Old 01-24-14, 03:33 PM   #36
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A neat project with that kind of money would be a custom bike that would integrate various interchangeable parts and components. These parts and components would completely change the feel and purpose of the bike -- a "holistic" bike system, for lack of another word. It would incorporate:
...

Some might prefer having two or three different bikes with that kind of money. That's fine! But for purposes of this hypothetical exercise, a single bike that can do a couple of things really well seems interesting to me.
I'm in the camp of "do any ride with what you've got" rather than the "specific tool for the job" approach. The bike I've got right now fits with my philosophy, yet incorporates much of the above (one bike to be as versatile as possilbe):

- track bike with S&S couplers, so I can race/train on the track or use it on the road just by changing the handlebar/stem/caliper brakes of the road configuration to the handlebar/stem of the track config.
- the summer fork (ENVE carbon) is used with the caliper brake setup.
- the winter fork (Wound Up) was built for use with a front disc brake, attached to the winter bar/stem, so I'm using a disc front/caliper rear. The front disc saves wear on the front rim on wet days with all sorts of grit on the road. I've worn out too many front rims riding in the dirty Pac NW winter. I've found it also stops better in the rain, even if it is a mechanical disc. I can't wait to try a hydraulic disk on the front!

Now, it occurred to me that I could broaden the scope of this bike just by going back to the builder and having them build a new back end, also with S&S couplers, that would be set up to fit into the existing couplers on the front of the bike. This way, I could use a rear section with vertical dropouts and derailleur tabs to turn this into a geared road bike. (Note that both front & rear derailleurs fit onto the back section.) But with a changeable back section, the possibilities expand dramatically.

The one thing I'd disagree with would be building with titanium. Ti has been known to break, especially when built in any environment that is anything less than 100% pristine. I'm not convinced of its superpowers. A steel frame that breaks in some primitive part of the world stands a much greater chance of being successfully repaired than one made of Ti. And you'd come nowhere near $10,000 to have all this built.

Luis
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Old 01-24-14, 04:00 PM   #37
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I apologize in advance for the thread hijack, but I want to ask about this:

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I'd have Peter Weigle duplicate the geometry of my 1974 Raleigh Pro in a new bike...
What is it about the Raleigh Pro that would make you want to duplicate it? What do you particularly love about it?

I have a selfish reason for asking. I recently bought a pristine '76 Raleigh Pro frame/fork with 3 miles on it. Beautiful frameset. I'm currently trying to decide whether to go whole hog when I build it up.. you know... use Chris King, Phil Wood, etc... or go sort of budget. I know that if I go the budget build route and I love the frame, I'll only end up tearing it apart and rebuilding with the good stuff. So I'm basically looking for input to try to help me decide how to proceed. I'm currently leaning toward going big... I did that when I built up my 650B Kogswell PR MkII, and I smile every time I straddle that bike.

Opinions?
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Old 01-24-14, 04:40 PM   #38
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What is it about the Raleigh Pro that would make you want to duplicate it? Opinions?
Not to speak for C_42 but the '74ish Raleigh/Carleton "Fastback Pro" is the only frameset I've sold that I would gladly buy back at current prices. It was an honest beast, rode like a lumber wagon but held a line with precision whether cutting a tight criterium apex or judging a 43mm gap in a sprint finish.
Good enough then, better than most now. They deserve good kit if one has a project.

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Old 01-24-14, 05:08 PM   #39
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What I love about it? The fit is just right, for starters. It has that "springiness" or whatever that makes me feel like I'm getting back some of what I put into it; hard to describe, but I have a much stiffer, much lighter modern road bike (Fuji Team Issue, which I don't ride much at all actually) that absolutely doesn't have it. Maybe it's planing, maybe it's something else. But on the Raleigh it feels like the bike is working with me, and on the Fuji it feels like the bike is just a lump. It's a harder comparison because the Fuji has gears and the Raleigh is fixed, but it's not just that.
And I love the handling of the Raleigh. It's quick and precise and goes where I want it to almost before I know that's where I want to go. It's easier to corner hard even though it has a longer wheelbase. It's stable with no hands even with a small handlebar bag, or loaded for a brevet. And I can get around obstacles without feeling like I have to yank the bike around to do it. It doesn't have especially generous clearance, but it has a lot more than many modern road bikes, and even just with 25mm tires it rides quite nicely on dirt roads.
It's possible that some of it is just sentimentality or the fact that I've ridden so many miles (and all of my longest rides) on that bike, but I really did love it from the start.
When I originally built it up I did it on the cheap, but everything has been gradually upgraded over the years so that it's fairly whole hog now.
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Old 01-24-14, 05:23 PM   #40
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The one thing I'd disagree with would be building with titanium. Ti has been known to break, especially when built in any environment that is anything less than 100% pristine. I'm not convinced of its superpowers. A steel frame that breaks in some primitive part of the world stands a much greater chance of being successfully repaired than one made of Ti. And you'd come nowhere near $10,000 to have all this built.
Luis: Really good points if considering building with Ti, which still seems to be the most coveted material for bikes. The substantial savings could be used for many other things.
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Old 01-25-14, 11:43 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
I'd have Peter Weigle duplicate the geometry of my 1974 Raleigh Pro in a new bike, with S&S couplers and a few more braze-ons,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
What is it about the Raleigh Pro that would make you want to duplicate it? What do you particularly love about it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coluber42 View Post
What I love about it? The fit is just right, for starters. It has that "springiness" or whatever that makes me feel like I'm getting back some of what I put into it; hard to describe, but I have a much stiffer, much lighter modern road bike (Fuji Team Issue, which I don't ride much at all actually) that absolutely doesn't have it. Maybe it's planing, maybe it's something else. But on the Raleigh it feels like the bike is working with me, and on the Fuji it feels like the bike is just a lump. It's a harder comparison because the Fuji has gears and the Raleigh is fixed, but it's not just that.
And I love the handling of the Raleigh. It's quick and precise and goes where I want it to almost before I know that's where I want to go. It's easier to corner hard even though it has a longer wheelbase. It's stable with no hands even with a small handlebar bag, or loaded for a brevet. And I can get around obstacles without feeling like I have to yank the bike around to do it. It doesn't have especially generous clearance, but it has a lot more than many modern road bikes, and even just with 25mm tires it rides quite nicely on dirt roads.
It's possible that some of it is just sentimentality or the fact that I've ridden so many miles (and all of my longest rides) on that bike, but I really did love it from the start.
When I originally built it up I did it on the cheap, but everything has been gradually upgraded over the years so that it's fairly whole hog now.
when i was planning to get a custom ti frame made
i found old pictures of my first good mtb
and took measurements
and used those as the basis for the custom frame

my reasoning was that the fit is most important
and other aspects like handling and balance and flex
will all become secondary or just part of the ride
if the bike fits so well that it feels like an extension of your body

unless the handling is peculiar to the point of being dangerous
then a good fitting bike will encourage you to ride
and you will ride with more comfort and ease
and ride more often
and find the limits of the bikes cornering and braking and climbing
until your skill and confidence completely negate anything that
on paper
could be considered a negative

what drives me crazy is when someone has a bike that is not quite comfortable
and someone suggests a different stem
or a seatpost with a different amount of setback
and somebody comments that the stem and seatpost that came stock on the bike
somehow represent the perfect setup
and any deviation will be making the bike inferior
as if bike manufacturers know exactly what every rider needs and how they ride
and exactly how their body is proportioned
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Old 01-28-14, 06:47 AM   #42
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I'd have Peter Weigle duplicate the geometry of my 1974 Raleigh Pro in a new bike, with S&S couplers and a few more braze-ons, maybe slightly more clearance in places if possible, but basically not too far off. I'd probably get some fluted Honjo fenders and have him paint a stripe on them in a matching shade. I'd have him build it with a little notch to support clamp-on shifter bosses, and have someone machine me some that clamp on and accept indexed shifters, and I'd have indexed downtube shifters that clamp on so they can be removed without leaving ugly shift bosses sticking out. And I'd use a clamp-on cable guide at the BB shell, and horizontal dropouts and build two rear wheels so I could easily switch back and forth between having a geared bike and a fixie. I mean, I'd probably keep doing brevets fixed most of the time, but if I'm designing my be-all-and-end-all endurance bike, having the option would be cool.
Other than that... Ritchey bars, Chris King headset, TA cranks, SKF bottom bracket, Open Pro rims, Phil Wood rear hub, dyno front hub (I'd have to think about which one...), Umm, come to think of it, that's all the parts my bike has on it already. What can I say, I like my rando bike.

I'd use Dill Pickle bags, obviously.
Why Dill? Is she local to you?
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Old 01-28-14, 07:51 AM   #43
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Why Dill? Is she local to you?
Coluber42 makes them
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Old 01-28-14, 08:06 AM   #44
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price between 7k and 15k. At which point do you think that the law of diminishing returns for the amount of money spent kicks in?
John
Quote:
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the advantages of bikes over about $2500 start to taper off pretty fast. It really depends on the riding you want to do.
i agree with unterhausen

around 2000 or 2500 bucks you get a bike that is practically the equal
of anything pricier

for that amount you can get a full carbon frame and fork
with 105 or maybe ultegra
or the sram or campy equivalents
from a number of manufacturers

i think the electronic shifting starts at a slightly higher price
but that is not something that typically makes a bike measureably better

spending 5000 or above
you will get a damn fancy bike
but you arent going to go any further with the same amount of effort
compared to a 2500 dollar bike
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Old 01-28-14, 09:24 AM   #45
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Why Dill? Is she local to you?
As local as it gets.
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Old 01-28-14, 03:28 PM   #46
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Coluber42 makes them
Sorry, all, but i had no idea.
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Old 01-28-14, 11:00 PM   #47
unterhausen
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they are nice bags
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Old 01-29-14, 09:55 PM   #48
ythe1300
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Originally Posted by DaHaMac View Post
I picked up a 2013 Raleigh Clubman the end of last season and it a perfect Brevet bike for me. With the Clubman I enjoy riding Brevets at a brisk but casual pace, I can ride long self-supported stay in hotels overnight touring, and it is a speedy commuter. However, if I want to ride a fast Brevet then the Clubman is not my preferred ride as I learned this past Saturday. Due to the extra weight or something I haven't quite nailed down yet I realized Saturday that I work much harder to keep up with the riders who are one lighter shorter chainstay bikes. I also realized that on the Clubman that there is no need to rush to climb a hill as it climbs well but forget about accelerating uphill without expending tremendous amounts of energy. Therefore, for $10,000 I'd opt to go the custom titanium frame route (I think, would love to ride Ti to know for sure) with the geometry geared for UMCA style riding and keep my Clubman for casually paced Brevets.
it's not just the extra weight, the bottom bracket wobbles around when your climbing it's the most noodlely thing in the world. I'm glad there are no hills in FL, because climbing at anything above 12mph is impossible...... Compared with my F100 it is a slow heavy pig that won't do anything past 21 unless your in a dead sprint.... I like how it's stable and comfortable, and how I can peddle and turn at low speed. There's something else about it though that I can't explain.... I feel like if anyone tries to take it from me I would have no problem pummeling them with the frame pump...

As far as advice I would find something that I wouldn't ever want to get off of and buy that.......
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Old 03-03-14, 02:53 PM   #49
Weatherby
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I would have Bob Parlee do me up a custom touring geometry bike from carbon with provision to allow for a rack, fender, and three bottle mounts. Titanium rear rack for credit card touring. Longer wheelbase. No internal cables. Disc brakes. Shimano MTB XTR 985 double crank, 42x28, 180mm with a Stages meter on the non-drive side. Sealed ceramic BB, cartridge if possible. 11 Speed SRAM components. Red. 11x28 SRAM Red cassette. Dura-Ace chain. Woodies custom wood fenders with lots of figure in the wood. Specialize S-Works carbon seatpost with setback. Gilles Aravis saddle. 3T aluminum stem. 3T ErgoNova Carbon bars, 44cm. HED Belgium 25mm rims. White hubs. Sapim x-ray spokes tensioned up by a real expert. 28H front and 32H rear. Speedplays. Not sure whether to go mechanical or hydraulic on the brakes.

Last edited by Weatherby; 03-03-14 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 03-03-14, 03:00 PM   #50
Weatherby
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Steel is really nice until it fails. One of my favorite bikes, a 531ST framed Dawes, took me all over the place touring loaded but when the downtube rusted away from the BB shell in the middle of nowhere, I became a believer in aluminum and then carbon.
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