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  1. #1
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    Windsor Tourist (I know... not again)

    First, thanks to everyone that helped out in my "do I need a different bike" thread. Really helped calm my mind.

    Now for something else. A friend of mine has decided that he might like to tour a little with me when I leave. He has a Wal-Mart bike and can keep up with me on rides, so I threw the idea of joining me on a tour out there and he liked it.

    Anyway, he needs a new bike and fast (since I leave in a few weeks). He has $400 he can spend on a bike and I told him I could help out a little, as long as he paid me back. And by "help" I don't mean he can get a new t2000.

    So we have been reading over the forums for a few hours and checking out ebay with hopes of finding something used on the cheap. So far no luck in the used dept.

    And then I ran across a thread on cyclingforums.com about Windsor bikes. We had found a Windsor Tourist on ebay brand new for $600. I blew it off thinking it was a scam or at least a p.o.s. (I had never heard of windsor).

    So I came across some threads here (and other places) talking about Windsor. It seems (correct me if I am wrong, I am going off threads from almost one year ago. There were no really recent threads on them that we found)... it seems that Windsor (the name) was bought by the same guy that owns Bikes Direct. I have heard mixed reviews of BD, but it seems people get what they order (and are happy as long as they no there is basically no warranty.)

    Another thing I read a lot was that these bikes were "the same as the Fuji Tourist". I still didn't find a real answer to this, but they do seem that way.

    Anyway, it does seem like BD over-hypes the Windsor Tourist... a lot. But if you look past that I really can't see why this wouldn't be a good bike for him. The only downside I really read about the bike was spokes breaking (and as I typed that he said he would get new wheels if need be.)

    So, I doubt anyone can really say anything new (I have read a lot about this bike in the past few hours). BUT does anyone have any new information on this thing. Maybe someone who actually owns one? Or has at least SEEN one?

  2. #2
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    could we get a link?

    Also, ive bought from Bikesdirect and there hasnt been any issues.

  3. #3
    nm+
    nm+ is offline
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    Can't speak to winsor, but what I'd do is buy a used MTB with as many braze-ons as you can find. I recommend older trek steels (higher end ones, they have brand name tubing and were made in waterloo) as they're cheap, well made, and well designed. (I used to use an old 930).
    You can find them in various condition. Look for one thats been well treated and ether had upgraded wheels or cheap enough to afford new ones. There's something of a cult surrounding old Trek steel MTBs, so if you find one in good coindition, odds are it has upgraded compontents.
    Granted, as I type this I realize that these bikes are now long in the tooth and not easy to find in good shape, so better advice would be to look for a used tourer. I've seen aq number of 520 on ebay for lowish prices. Note that most people buy em for communting so they don't have as much stress on em as you'd think.
    Or you could just go with any decent MTb and a trailer. Granted BOB's aren't cheap, but it would give you flexibility.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    I'm skeptical personally. Whoever said it was the same as the Fuji Tourist was off base. It has less touring sepcific geometry right off the bat (shorter chainstays for example) and poorer components. However, if your friend will be pulling a trailer instead of carrying large panniers, the shorter chainstays are not such a big deal - it's not like they are so short as to make the bike feel racy and uncomfortable or take only skinny tires.

    Hopefully people who know more about Windsor will see and reply. The fact that I've often seen new Windsors on Ebay for low prices and I've never known anybody who had one or heard of a sbricks and mortar store that carries them makes me skeptical.
    Last edited by pHunbalanced; 06-27-06 at 11:53 AM.

  6. #6
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    Well, this thread basically says they are decent: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t45363-...-bicycles.html (You have to read the whole thread).

    All of the windsors on ebay are sold by Bikes Direct. Like I said, the windsor name was bought by them and they also run the windsor.com site. I emailed them and they told me that the bikes on ebay are for 2006 and the specs on the site are for 2005 (and should be updated).

    The ebay stats for the bike show a longer chainstay, etc... http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ROAD-TOURING...QQcmdZViewItem

    Actually... I just checked it out while typing this. And the geometry is in fact the same. Check out that ebay page and compare it to the 2006 fuji touring bike here: http://fujibikes.com/2006/bikes.asp?id=143#

    Sizes are the same: 43cm, 49cm, 54cm, 58cm, 64cm
    Chainstay is the same: 440
    DRIVETRAIN same: Truvative Touro 30/42/52T triple chainring, Shimano Tiagra, Deore, SRAM mix

    Even the rear rack looks the same.

  7. #7
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    Huh. That seems to be quite a different bike geometry-wise from what they show at the Windsor website. It seems like an amazing deal and indeed a copy of the Fuji - which I've ridden and is a nice ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I've seen posts stating that the Windsor Tourist is the same as the Fuji touring. Then again, I've also seen posts claiming to burn fat, give you a winning lottery number and increase the size of a certain part of the male anatomy, so take that for what it's worth.

    Personally, I'd be inclined to gamble on the Windsor Tourist -if you look at the specs, though not terrific, you could use many of the components if the frame turned out to be terrible (think about the costs of a set of Tiagra shifters, Deore rear derailleur and rear cassette and you pretty much have $150-$200 right there, not even counting the wheelset and the tyres, a cheap handlebar, etc and you get the picture). But honestly, will the frame be that bad anyway? It would seem almost all mass market frames are made in China or Taiwan now (including the big brand names) so -and this is a guess -I wouldn't be surprized if the frame is identical to the Fuji Touring or is made in the same factory to the same quality as some other big name frames that have their frames made overseas.

    The only caveat? My guess is it would be good idea to have a knowledgeable friend who knows how to fine tune the derailleurs and give the bike a good once over. I'd say go for it (but then again, it's not my money is it?). Failing that, if you can pick up a cheap mtb on craigslist locally -cutting out shipping costs -and putting trekking bars on and a set of slicks, a rack, etc, that might turn out to be cheaper even still. I've seen some older model Treks advertized for less than $100 that would probably only need another $100-$200 in them to make them decent touring bikes.

    If it makes a difference, I did seriously consider a Windsor Tourist for a while until I stumbled onto an Ebay frame deal I couldn't say no to -plus I had alot of the parts I needed already.

  9. #9
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    It's too bad you in a time pinch! I have run up on some very nice older bikes, which were easily converted, to a loaded touring bike. My favorite is a Specialized Hardrock. What makes it my favorite touring bike is the all steel frame, V brakes up front and a U brake mounted low on the chain stays where a kickstand would normally be mounted. This gets it completely out of the way of a rear rack! The extra heavy duty MTB wheels can take a load front and back and slick tires make rolling resistance extremely low. It's loaded with eyelets and mounts as well. As a comparison the only difference between the old specialized stump jumper and hard rock MTB bikes and the Surly long haul trucker is the extra spoke holder on the left chain stay. I can live with packing an extra spoke or two taped to the underside of my rack, thank you! If you keep a close check at your local thrift store you will eventually find a bike worth purchasing and restoring for touring use. Specialized sold tons of those bikes in the 80's and it's not difficult to find them. They show up on Ebay but the prices can go pretty high for one of them there.

  10. #10
    Senior Member littlefoot's Avatar
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    I also think a used MTB...

    ...might be the way to go...there have been some sweet Bridgestone's..I think there's even a Bridgestone tourer/crossbike or two on ebay. Do a search with Bridgestone....most of the bikes are kinda small sized from what I remember.

    I looked into the Winsor when I first started looking into getting a new bike for commuting but It seems too good to be true that it's the same as a Fuji.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Buy the Winsor-- it's a qualty touring bike. Yeah, folks will tell you the chainstays are a inch shorter than the Surly LHT, yeah folks will tell you it has a road crankset on it, yeah, Winsor isn't the bike of choice for cool cyclists......but that's a hell of a bike for $600. I could tour with it right out of the box. Hell, strap a sleeping bag to the rear rack, toss some peanut better sandwiches in a backpack and hit the road already!

    You are going to have to tear the bike down and jube and adjust everything-- as with any bike Bikes Direct sells. If you're not able to do that, well, it's not a good deal.

  12. #12
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    I bought a Windsor Tourist in March, 2005, unable to resist the priceand apparently decent components.
    They shipped what they promised (mostly, see below), reasonably promptly, and I was able to put it together
    without tons of experience.

    For $600 I expected some shortcuts, and the obvious ones were there:
    > The toe clips were super cheap plastic
    > The rear pannier rack is black anodized aluminum, which looks snazzy until you put a pannier on it.
    Then it has it's first gleaming scratch.
    > The handlebar end caps popped out within a couple weeks
    > The paint is not particularly durable; opening a car not too hard onto it will chip it.
    > The tires are wearing fairly fast.
    > The brake pads wore out faster than I'm accustommed to, but did stop the bike well.
    Then there was the unforgivable shortcut. I came to understand why they included
    braze-ons for *2* spare spokes. As reported elsewhere the spokes are worse
    then worthless. One of the main reasons I bought a new bike was that my old one was
    popping spokes too frequently. Within 6 weeks of moderate commuting (not touring),
    rear, gear-side spokes started popping. I became proficient at changing spokes, but
    there was a lot of down time. I complained to Bikes Direct, suggesting that they should
    replace the wheel, but they just sent me 18 new (better) spokes, and a tire changing kit.
    I started popping spokes on the non-gear side too, when I was riding slowly on flat
    ground. After most of a year I finally got around to having the rear wheel rebuilt with good
    spokes. I haven't broken a spoke since. Aside from the spokes the bike has always ridden
    fine for me.
    If you buy one, either convince them to build it with much better spokes, or plan to spend
    $50-100 rebuilding the wheel before you ever ride it.
    I've almost worked up the nerve to try some longer rides, and hope to do a bit of
    touring. Then I'll be able to report about whether it can live up to its name.

  13. #13
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    bocotourist,

    Thanks for the honest report. Sorry to here about the wheel troubles, but it's not uncommon with most off-the-shelf touring bikes. One of the reasons I think the Windsor tourist isn't a bad bike is that the low price allows for upgrades like a hand built wheelset with nice rims ($300-400) and good tires ($75)

    I think you can buy a Tourist, upgrade the wheels, brake pads and tires and better racks for say, $1100.
    Not cheap, but a good price for a better quality touring bike.

  14. #14
    Slowpoach
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    I wonder if these are the same bikes as those labelled "Allegro" and available over here - the track and the tourer look the same, and the tourer looks the same as the Fuji tourer. Maybe all made in the same factory and sold under different brands?

  15. #15
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    There's a good chance of that Cave....after all, most mass production steel touring frames (Surly, Novara, Jamis) are made at the same frame shop.

    Of course the specs are different, (set by the brand) but the quality of the welds is the same. The powder coat/paint is different, but all in all....many touring bikes are very simular.

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