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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-09-06, 10:50 AM   #1
bfloyd
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Am I the only one?

Hello all. Does anyone see a problem with wanting to purchase a touring road frame but not for actual long distance touring? My reasoning, I am a road rider and as I get older I am finding myself wanting a more relaxed frame geometry. Of course I would still be wanting some of the performance of a road bike and still want to be able to hang with some of my roadie friends. Perhaps still do a local time trial or two? Does any touring experts see any problems with this? Would I still be able to run my normal 23 width tires? Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfloyd
Hello all. Does anyone see a problem with wanting to purchase a touring road frame but not for actual long distance touring? My reasoning, I am a road rider and as I get older I am finding myself wanting a more relaxed frame geometry. Of course I would still be wanting some of the performance of a road bike and still want to be able to hang with some of my roadie friends. Perhaps still do a local time trial or two? Does any touring experts see any problems with this? Would I still be able to run my normal 23 width tires? Thanks for the help.
Nothing wrong with what you want to do except that you may not get what you are looking for. Generally Touring bikes use thicker tubing which usually is going to ride harsher when unloaded. I don't keep up with new bikes but there are several companies that make bikes with a little more favorable geometry to older riders such as Specialized's Paris Robaix .It has gotten many favorable reviews and quite a few are riden by Bike Forum Members.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:17 PM   #3
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You might look at the Trek Pilot, I have a Pilot 1.2 and it is set up with a more upright
riding position than a normal road bike. It comes with 700x28 tires which I think give a
lot better ride than the 23s but that is a personal thing.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:22 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're looking for something like a Trek Pilot or the Specialized Sequoia or Specialized Roubaix. Just a thought if you haven't tried those frames out.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:30 PM   #5
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I would not buy a full-on touring bike if you're not going to carry a load. Instead i'd go for a 'light' touring bike or cross bike, such as the Bianchi Volpe, Jamis Nova, Surly Crosscheck, Soma Doublecross. They all have relaxed geometries and all are steel frames, which imo ride much smoother than alu, but ymmv.
I have a cross bike and a touring bike, and the cross bike feels faster and smoother when not carrying a load.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:41 PM   #6
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You are not alone in your desire for a more relaxed roadie. Are you planning on doing any actual touring, or do you have a reason for the extra bulk that is built into a dedicated touring bike?
If you're looking for something that is a little more sporting in nature, you might want to look at what the different companies have to offer for a more ergonomic roadie like the Specialized Sequoia, the Trek Pilot series, etc. Most of the big companies have bikes that are more ergo but are still lighter and quicker handling than the touring specific bikes.

Even with the "touring" bikes I found it hard to get an off-the-shelf bike with the bars high enough. The touring bikes are generally going to be heavier than a typical roadie. Another possible drawback is their tendancy to be geared more like a mountain bike than a roadie. I like the range of gearing but when trying to keep a pace the closer gear spacing of the dedicated roadie can be an advantage. Touring wheels are generally heavier because of the extra weight handling capability. The rims are generally wider to be able to handle fatter tires. Generally a 23 or 25 shouldn't be a problem but double check before you buy.

One of the big reasons it seems a lot of people go for touring bike, even when not planning to do any heavy touring, is for their ability to carry luggage for commuting and running errands, and their ability to handle bigger tires for a comfier ride.

Bottom line from my perspective is this; if you are looking for a more utilitarian bike the touring platform may be better. If you are looking more for recreation and speed, look to the ergo-centric roadies.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies all. The frame I am considering is this:

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

Click on the "more pictures" for the frame specs and geometries. Please let me know what you's think. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-06, 12:17 AM   #8
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bump . . . sorry.
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Old 05-10-06, 01:23 AM   #9
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I use my 520 for this as well with higher gearing and racks removed for long rides.
But then I have a slight problem of breaking other road bikes. Most people would be better served with a different bike.
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Old 05-10-06, 02:11 AM   #10
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If you are building up a bike from the bare frame, you have a whole lot of flexibility to make it more comfortable compared to buying a bike off the bike shop floor. Just about the biggest thing for me was getting that bar up to seat level. If you want to build up a versatile bike with an inexpensive frame, that frame or their cyclocross frame look fine. The price is sure right on the touring frame right now. I like the fact that they both have room for big tires and racks so they can be more useful and comfy on rough roads. I also like being able to run canti or V brakes, since I'm another clydesdale and like strong brakes.

If you have no plans to use a rack, don't have plans to run tires bigger than a 25 or 28, don't need the extra weight handling capability of the touring or cyclo-x frame, and are ok with regular road type brakes, you very well could be better off with their road frame or Alu-C frame.

If comfort is a big concern, remember that an unloaded touring frame is, by its very nature, going to be rather stiff. Especially considering this frame is aluminum vs. the steel that is used in other touring frames such as the 520 and LHT. Combine this with 23mm tires and you could have a very jarring ride. This could very well go against your comfort goal. Conventional aluminum road frames often have different styles of tubing that give a more compliant ride. The Alu-C frame with its carbon stays is going to be smoother, too. The touring frame will be stiffer so it doesn't turn into a noodle when loaded down.

Since you have total control over the components and the build, I'm sure you could get the ergos where you want them with a conventional road frame, touring frame, or cyclo-x frame. The most important advice I can offer is: don't cut you steerer tube until you are 100% sure you have the right stem/bar type/spacer combination.
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Old 05-10-06, 06:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a77impala
You might look at the Trek Pilot, I have a Pilot 1.2 and it is set up with a more upright
riding position than a normal road bike. It comes with 700x28 tires which I think give a
lot better ride than the 23s but that is a personal thing.

The Trek Pilot series is designed for exactly the things you describe...a more upright position with road bike performance and characteristics. Am currently saving my shekels for a 2.1 or maybe possibly hopefully a 5.0. They apprear to be great bikes. Several are also in a straight bar model.

".........and then the wheels came off"
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Old 05-10-06, 06:19 AM   #12
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+1 for something like the Surly Crosscheck (the Soma is maybe a pound lighter). I'm very happy with mine. I don't know if the higher bottom bracket would be an issue for you--I like to take mine off-road so it isn't a problem for me.
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Old 05-10-06, 06:39 AM   #13
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This is a bit pricey, but quite elegant. It was made with people just like you in mind and will last a lifetime.

http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_ra...letframes.html
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Old 05-10-06, 08:54 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for the great help!!
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Old 05-12-06, 12:45 AM   #15
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If you don't need the load carrying ability of a touring bike, a Surly Pacer perhaps?
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Old 05-12-06, 12:46 AM   #16
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Or even a Soma Smoothie ES?
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Old 05-12-06, 01:42 AM   #17
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My urbanite touring frame is just as good loaded or not loaded. They seem to have designed it closer to a classic frame without the extra build up of an LHT, no 1.125 head tubes, oversized tubes etc... It is a wonderful bike. Now I haven't loaded it with a lot of gear, I try to keep my load, minus bike, under 300.

I like the Nashbar bike, but I fear that frame will be harsh unloaded. A number of folks seem to like them for comuting so it can't be terrible, and you can always adjust you tires if you have to,
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Old 05-12-06, 05:15 AM   #18
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i take it that you want a "more relaxed geometry" because it will give you a more comfortable ride. i think that opting for an aluminum frame will pretty much negate any increase in comfort you'd gain with the touring geometry. it sounds like you're looking for a "light" touring frame. i'd put the bianchi volpe (inspite of what the ad copy states) and the jamis aurora in this category. they'll be ok (but not great) for touring unless they're really loaded down
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Old 05-12-06, 07:25 AM   #19
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Regarding the discussions here about the Trek Pilot, does anyone know if it has front or rear brazons, so racks can be attached?

Thanks,
David in FL
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Old 05-12-06, 08:12 AM   #20
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I have a Trek Pilot 5.2. Yes, you can attach a rear rack, and another great feature is it has Shimano long reach brakes, allowing you to add full fenders in the winter. I live in Portland, OR, and the full fender make a HUGE difference on a long winter ride.

I love my bike.
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Old 05-12-06, 08:25 AM   #21
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If you don't need the load carrying ability of a touring bike, a Surly Pacer perhaps?
I ride a Pacer and like it a lot. I consider it a sport-touring bike. It would be great for credit card touring.
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