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  1. #1
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    'Performance' touring bike?

    Hi all

    I'm looking for the perfect touring bike that will double as a road bike. My last loaded tours were in the late 70's on a modified Colnago - since then it's been touring sans panniers going from town to town with the baggage transported in a vehicle. I want to reenter the self-contained world ... but when I get to a town, I want ditch the panniers and do some road riding for a few days. So...I am looking for a bike that is sturdy enough for loaded touring on rugged roads, but not nervous in the corners on the Alpine downhills. I'm 5'4" and weigh 160 (148 when in fighting shape.) Is the T2000 best, or perhaps a 'cross bike?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticado
    Hi all

    I'm looking for the perfect touring bike that will double as a road bike. My last loaded tours were in the late 70's on a modified Colnago - since then it's been touring sans panniers going from town to town with the baggage transported in a vehicle. I want to reenter the self-contained world ... but when I get to a town, I want ditch the panniers and do some road riding for a few days. So...I am looking for a bike that is sturdy enough for loaded touring on rugged roads, but not nervous in the corners on the Alpine downhills. I'm 5'4" and weigh 160 (148 when in fighting shape.) Is the T2000 best, or perhaps a 'cross bike?

    Thanks
    The Cannondales are good bikes but they are stiff. Unloaded they are even harsh. But they are great for loads and downhills even on rough roads.

    I have a T800 that I think is a great bike. I even think it's a bit better than the T2000. I'm not a big fan of straight blade forks.
    Stuart Black
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  3. #3
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Litespeed Blue Ridge. Strong, comfortable and light. Try and find a used one on ebay.

    http://www.litespeed.com/bikes/2005/blueridge.aspx
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    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    The Litespeed looks great but I would like something with rack mounts on the forks for front panniers. Also, I would like to avoid the hefty price tag with Ti (I already have a Merlin) and flash (I plan to go to eastern Europe.) Are there any good cross bikes sturdy enough for touring that are worth a glance?

  5. #5
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    Surly- Long haul trucker. Not cross but I have heard great stuff from the friends that have them... I'm actually gonna go try and test ride one tomorrow, so if that happens I'll post with what I find out.
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  6. #6
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticado
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    The Litespeed looks great but I would like something with rack mounts on the forks for front panniers. Also, I would like to avoid the hefty price tag with Ti (I already have a Merlin) and flash (I plan to go to eastern Europe.) Are there any good cross bikes sturdy enough for touring that are worth a glance?
    If something is set up as a true cross bike it will not have a triple or the low gears you need for loaded touring.

    The cost of converting to a triple makes that a more expensive choice. Most bike companies, if not all make touring bikes. My steel Jamis Aurora Touring bike is 26 lbs. stripped and handles a load well. It handles very well.
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  7. #7
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiotBoi
    Surly- Long haul trucker.. I'm actually gonna go try and test ride one tomorrow, so if that happens I'll post with what I find out.
    Please do! I'm interested because I have the "kissin' cuzin" of the LHT: The Klein Navigator. I haven't finished building my Navigator yet & am eager to "vicariously ride" on your Surly test ride.

  8. #8
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticado
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    The Litespeed looks great but I would like something with rack mounts on the forks for front panniers. Also, I would like to avoid the hefty price tag with Ti (I already have a Merlin) and flash (I plan to go to eastern Europe.) Are there any good cross bikes sturdy enough for touring that are worth a glance?
    It's not a cross bike and has been discontinued for 2006, but if you can find one (saw one on ebay yesterday for like $1100 US) you might consider a Fuji World. http://www.fujibikes.com/2005/bikes.asp?id=23 I use mine for touring, commuting and running with the roadies. Jamis Aurora is also a good choice.
    Last edited by chipcom; 12-06-06 at 09:07 AM.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    I've heard that the surly cross check is an excellent frame of an all around bike. For something a little cheaper, the Bianchi Volpe seems to be a good light tourer/road bike depending on what tires you put on it.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a bike with midfork eyelets stock you've only got a couple small handfuls of choices; the cheap touring bikes (520, Fuji world Jamis thingie), the full bore touring bikes (kicking down for a custom, or ordering from overseas) or a frame you build up yourself. For a frameset with midfork eyelets the LHT is great, makes an absolutely great bike.

    What are you concerned about that you could NOT do on an unloaded touring bike is my question?

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    How bout pulling a trailer with a CX bike? I haven't yet tried this combo, but i've heard it works fine. Theoretically you don't need a stout touring frame because the trailer helps share the stress of the weight, and it allows you to have a shorter wheelbase and chainstays for a more responsive handling, lighter and faster bike when unloaded. And perhaps you might want to bring some thinner tires along too for those unloaded days.

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    Dear sophisticado, if I were you, I'd retain my road bike and tour the way you used to do. Why compromise the joy of biking the Alps? If you want to camp occasionally, include ultra light tent, sleeping bag and pad with your baggage. Why cook, when you can sample the continental cuisine? If you enjoy full loaded touring, then trailer would be my only poor alternative. BTW, I suppress my dire desire for accelerated blasts till I get back home from a long hard tour.
    Good mentor= success

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a mountain road yet that I wouldn't ride either my Trek 520 or my LHT down, and probably drop a lot of roadies on the descent.

    You specify mid fork eyelets, that's going to give you not that many stock bikes to choose from.

    Bianchi Volpe, Trek 520, There's 2 Burley bikes with midforks I believe, some of the Koga Miyatas, the Cannondale tourers (do they have midfork eyelets? I've not looked) There's a Fuji tourer (may be discontinued as per above) The Jamis touring bike.

    I might have missed a couple of american market touring bikes, but i don't think so.

    then you get into frames. The LHT frame. I'm not sure if Gunnar puts eyelets on any framesets.

    Then you've got all the British, overseas, custom and semi custom options, and also swapping out a fork with midforks on an sprightlier bike.

    I think you're interested in a full bore, long chainstayed touring bike with front rack midforks, and are asking if this traditional touring bike will hold you back while unloaded, and my opinion is NO.

    Ride,ride like the wind!
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  14. #14
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I think you're interested in a full bore, long chainstayed touring bike with front rack midforks, and are asking if this traditional touring bike will hold you back while unloaded, and my opinion is NO.
    Very true.

    I agree, the benefits of the right touring bike will be a big advantage when loaded, but not a big liability when it's uloaded and you want to blast around. To me the true touring bike is the winner, even if it is 26-27 lbs.
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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I haven't seen a mountain road yet that I wouldn't ride either my Trek 520 or my LHT down, and probably drop a lot of roadies on the descent.

    You specify mid fork eyelets, that's going to give you not that many stock bikes to choose from.

    Bianchi Volpe, Trek 520, There's 2 Burley bikes with midforks I believe, some of the Koga Miyatas, the Cannondale tourers (do they have midfork eyelets? I've not looked) There's a Fuji tourer (may be discontinued as per above) The Jamis touring bike.

    I might have missed a couple of american market touring bikes, but i don't think so.
    Looking at the Bianchi website, the Volpe for 2006 doesn't appear to have rack mounts or fork mounts. Fuji is still offering the Touring bike but not the World Touring bike. The Fuji is an excellent value but is kind of bland. The Cannondales both have fork mounts as does the Jamis.

    Another bike to consider is the Bruce Gordon BLT. They are legendary but rare.
    Stuart Black
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    US tourers tend to be heavy duty to cope with local conditions. In the UK, we prefer a lighter style. There is no reason for a small-size touring bike to weight over 25lbs.
    Connondale tourers are fine but extra stiff and better suited to big guys.
    For UK styles, see Bob Jackson, Mercian, Thorn, Orbit
    Check out Marinoni as well.
    Any other US sources at reasonable prices?

  17. #17
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    I just finished building my Independent Fabrication Club Racer. The frame is steel and costs 1600$. With tubus racks front and back, but no panniers the whole package weighs a respectable 23 lbs. The main different between it and a racing bike is a slightly longer chainstay (42.5cm). I love it. I took thirty pounds of groceries home along with ten pounds of computer and work stuff yesterday and it was rock solid. I have it setup with a Sugino XD2 triple up front and an XTR cassette (12-34) in the back which gives me 18-107 gear inches, which is basically one gear shy of my road triple's top end.

  18. #18
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    I think an audax/randonneur bike would work well for touring and road riding as long as you don't
    go mad with the weight.

    What about a Rivendell Rambouillet

    http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_ra...letframes.html

    or a Kogswell Model P

    http://www.kogswell.com/index.html

  19. #19
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I have a Trek 520. I bought it because of the price, steel frame, fork eyelets, and "touring" geometry. I use it to commute with little to no load, and occassionally for long road rides with the handlebar bag, camera, and a jacket tied to the rear rack. It works well - but I can't "race" on it...

    I weighed options, and then weighed some more. This is my utility bike - I ride it in the ugly weather, with full fenders, and usually some bags. I debated a custom from Vanilla, a "custom" production from Rivendell, and even a Thorn. The Trek is priced low, respectable, and if I trash it I'm not going to worry too much about it.

    My Trek is rock solid loaded or not... even at 35 -45 mph and I've had it beyond 55 mph with no problems. (rear panniers full for work)

    That said I'm searching for more of a credit card touring setup... and I may even use my LeMond with a light seat rack for it... just not sure yet.

    Find something you can leave out in the rain, get dirty, and strap all sorts of stuff to. Ride your nice road bike when you get back... or just go inn to inn with minimal set-up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Another bike to consider is the Bruce Gordon BLT. They are legendary but rare.
    They are not rare or hard to get - they are in stock. Check them out -www.bgcycles.com
    Any questions - give me a call.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon

  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgcycles
    They are not rare or hard to get - they are in stock. Check them out -www.bgcycles.com
    Any questions - give me a call.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    I didn't mean to imply that they are hard to get only that they are rarely seen. I've been riding for 25+ years and never run across anybody riding one. But they are legendary
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  22. #22
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    Canon T2000 light fast fun

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    Thanks everyone. Lots of fodder to digest.

    Wheelin, I enjoy touring the way I have (credit card and toothbrush touring is pretty dang nice); however, I miss the spontaneity of deciding on a whim what I want to do, where I want to go, and where I want to stop. Can't do that if I'm expected at such and such a town. Given that, travelling as light as possible is still my choice.

    Lots of fodder to digest.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticado
    Hi all

    My last loaded tours were in the late 70's on a modified Colnago - since then it's been touring sans panniers going from town to town with the baggage transported in a vehicle.
    Thanks
    This is the reason why I suggested you adhere to your road bike. After experiencing a Calnago, I doubt if you'll be satisfied with a touring bike on your Alps holiday. I once read about a man who would choose a town as a hub and do daily exploration from his hotel. If you have a light seat post rack, you could carry ultra light tent- sleeping bag-pad, and change of casual clothes for an over night stray. The leader of my gang recently accompanied me with a tour group around the borders of Thailand, on a Trek 520. While he left behind every body, every day, he moaned for his carbon stays Villier (spelling). He is selling the Villier to me, and has gotten himself a chromoly Chinelli (spelling). BTW I cannot afford a Colnago.
    Incidentally, how about a trailer? I'm thinking of getting myself a Burley Nomad.
    Last edited by wheelin; 12-09-05 at 07:19 AM.
    Good mentor= success

  25. #25
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Check out the new Specialized "Tricross". It's seems to be adept at just about any type of riding and includes all the touring goodies. I have test ridden one and was suitably impressed. Reasonably light, efficient, stable, and damn strong. And, it'll take a nice fat tire for when the going gets tough.

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12393

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