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Old 05-15-06, 08:04 AM   #1
MassLiberal
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Nor'Wester? Help!

I've found a pretty good deal on a co-motion nor'wester fram/fork brooks b-17/ti combo, and I'm about to pull the trigger. But after reading some threads I see that some feel that the 43.2 chainstays are way to short for loaded touring. I'll be doing a 6000 mile, unsupported tour, and want to make sure I get this right. If I buy this bike, will I be limited to a trailer? I was sort of banking on panniers.

We plan on camping most of the time, yet plan to travel pretty light (or as light as humanly possible).I have a size 43 shoe if that helps.

Thanks1!
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Old 05-15-06, 12:31 PM   #2
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I have a size 45 and toured w/ 42cm stays and it worked fine. Close but I never touched. If you do touch, you can always get a Tubus rack w/ more setback. You can make it work. I like shorter stays for climbing and the bike will be more fun to ride unloaded.

I have a Comotion Espresso but did my research when looking at their bikes. I would seriously thinnk twice about using the Norwester for loaded non-trailer pulling touring. I think it is more intended for credit card touring. They are great company to contact so give them a call or email. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 05-15-06, 12:31 PM   #3
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I have the same size feet as you and have been riding a soma double cross with panniers without problems. It has 42.5 cm stays. So you should be OK. The bike, like yours, ain't as beefy as a dedicated touring bike, but I see that as an impetus not to carry so much **** with me, not a limitation.
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Old 05-15-06, 12:44 PM   #4
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Those are beautiful bikes. The stays are about an inch shorter than the Trek 520 or Cannondale T800. It may be tight on heel clearance, plus that shorter wheelbase is not optimum for handling with heavy loads. Even Co-Motion appears to target the bike more for CC tours, or centuries, than loaded touring. You can get around the heel clearance issue by using a Jandd Expedition rear rack, which is 3" longer than most racks and will allow you to move the rear pans back as much as you need, but the handling may still be a bit quick for heavy touring. I would call them and ask.
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Old 05-15-06, 06:38 PM   #5
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I really can't see myself hauling more than 40 lbs around. But maybe I should take a harder look at the trailer, it is a good deal, I'm not sure if I would want to pass it up.
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Old 05-15-06, 09:22 PM   #6
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The Norwester does use the same fork as the Americano, w/ eyelets, so obviously they want you to put a front rack on it. Their site states it's designed for "moderate loads". The AC write up says it can handle larger tires than 32c. Starting to sound like a great do all bike. If you are getting a great deal, go for it.
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