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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 10-16-06, 08:23 PM   #1
FROryder
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Wanted:Blatant opinions

Time to get a serious touring bike, one that can take me across the continent without wimping out. My current touring bike suffers from several design issues, issues that were clearly market driven.
****As I have never seen any of these bikes, the list was compiled based on discussions on this forum and several others. As well, they all fall into a theoretical price range that I have to keep in mind.
****Here is the short list of bikes that interest me, Bruce Gordon's Rock&Roll, and BLT. Co-motion's Nor'wester and possibly the Americano. Although the Americano may be more bike than I'll need as I plan on keeping to paved roads as much as possible.
****Another potential brand are bikes by Revendell, I like their quirkiness.
****So, who here has some blatant opinions on my selection, or alternative makes.**
Cheers
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Old 10-16-06, 09:07 PM   #2
Shifty
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The Co-Motion Americano is one tough machine. It may be the best touring bike available today, and you couldn't work with a nicer company. Here's one vote for the CoMo. The Nor'wester is great if you're going to strip the racks and use it for general road rides too, nice all around bike.
The Burley Hudson is a nice touring bike also, get one quickly before they go out of production. http://www.burley.com/products/road-...l?p=Hudson&i=0
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Old 10-16-06, 09:08 PM   #3
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Blatent Opinion: the brands you listed are probably overkill (price-wise) for what is required to go across this continent in the way you describe (done it). Don't get me wrong, I've heard that some of those are sweet rides but you could easily go a little "less" on the bike itself and do just fine.

edit: on the other hand, part of me just wants to say: "oh what the hell, go all out"
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Old 10-16-06, 09:13 PM   #4
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I have an 05 Surly Cross Check. I have not done any touring with it but use it mostly for fitness riding and commuting. If you do a thorough search online, you will not find any negative comments about any Surly bikes. If I was looking for a serious touring bike, I'd definitely consider the Surly Long Haul Trucker. That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to set out for an extended tour on my Cross Check either. In fact, the Cross Check has a slightly shorter wheelbase than the LHT; other than that, they're virtually identical. I have a Jandd Expedition rack on my Cross Check; I don't have any problem with heel clearance when I put paniers on the rack, so for me the extra wheelbase may not be as necessary.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:25 PM   #5
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I have a Bruce Gordon bias.

I helped outfit a Swiss couple with BG BLT's, racks and panniers for a perimeter ride around the US. They were very happy after completing the trip and are still using the BLTs at home in Bern ten years later.

I have been touring on and offroad on a BG Rock N Road since 1990. It has taken me over the Great Divide ride, most of the Western US, Canada, Mexico and parts of South America. It just works well. As do the front and rear BG racks. The somewhat higher initial cost has been amortized over 16 years. An inexpensive investment in healthy fun for me.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:41 PM   #6
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Since you're in Montreal why not go for a Marinoni Turismo or Turismo Disc? As far as custom bikes, go it's a pretty affordable option. I think Machka has a Marinoni so maybe she'll chime in.
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Old 10-16-06, 11:22 PM   #7
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I'm about a thousand times happier on my Trek 520 than my sister is on her Rivendell Atlantis. Seems like those guys are more about retro-grouch-quirky-attitude than anything else. It's a beautiful bike, though. Looks great hanging in the garage. I did just a few minor things to the trek to make it truly loaded tour-worthy.

Can you test ride any of them? That seems to be the crux of the high-end tour bike purchase problem. Seems like you just can't tell how a bike is going to ride until you ride it. I almost bought a BG, but it was impossible to get a test ride, so I chickened out.

If you're going for the higher price point, consider Thorn too, I've seen a bunch of those loaded.

What are you riding now?

Good luck...
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Old 10-16-06, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FROryder
Time to get a serious touring bike, one that can take me across the continent without wimping out. My current touring bike suffers from several design issues, issues that were clearly market driven.
****As I have never seen any of these bikes, the list was compiled based on discussions on this forum and several others. As well, they all fall into a theoretical price range that I have to keep in mind.
****Here is the short list of bikes that interest me, Bruce Gordon's Rock&Roll, and BLT. Co-motion's Nor'wester and possibly the Americano. Although the Americano may be more bike than I'll need as I plan on keeping to paved roads as much as possible.
****Another potential brand are bikes by Revendell, I like their quirkiness.
****So, who here has some blatant opinions on my selection, or alternative makes.**
Cheers
How about a made in Canada custom? Last year I went looking for a new bike and just couldnt find everything I wanted on one bike. After a lot of surfing I found True North Cylces in Ontario. (http://www.truenorthcycles.com/default.asp). After about 6 months of emailing ideas back and forth (they were very patient with me) they built exactly what I wanted: a strong and capable touring machine that gets me to work every day and is great for pleasure rides. It is basically a rigid old style 26" wheel moutain bike. They will build you just about anything you desire.
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Old 10-16-06, 11:35 PM   #9
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Independent Fabrications makes a beautiful touring bike. I have a Club Racer which I've used for touring and it's been bomb proof. http://ifbikes.com/frames2/steelindependence.shtml

It is hard to drop $$ on a bike w/o a test drive. You really need to know what you want in a bike in terms of stiffness, ride position etc. If you know all that though, these high end manufacturers will get it right for you. (Otherwise they wouldn't still be in business).
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Old 10-17-06, 12:03 AM   #10
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Versus a Trek 520, a Co-Mo gets you a custom fit, more appropriate gearing, better wheels, and the availability of options including disk brakes, brifters, many more colors, and S&S couplers - not to mention a better quality Cr-Mo steel frame. Do you need a BMW 3 series when a Camry will do? If you plan to tour for years to come, Actos is right, the higher initial price seems less important as the years roll by.

BTW, the Nor'Wester is designed for the light loads of credit card touring. If you are fully loaded and self-contained, and especially if you weigh more than 180lbs, you might want to re-consider the Americano. Potholes can come up suddenly when you're flying down a hill. The Nor-Wester would be fine with a BOB. Both models are roughly the same price.
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Old 10-17-06, 01:02 AM   #11
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I've been real happy with my Rivendell, both on fully loaded (front and rear panniers) camping tours and on day rides with a light load. If you don't want to go the custom route then an Atlantis frame with your choice of components would be a good way to go.
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Old 10-17-06, 01:18 AM   #12
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GM Bertrand in Gatineau will build a custom bike for you. They're actually made by Marinoni.
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Old 10-17-06, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sth
How about a made in Canada custom? Last year I went looking for a new bike and just couldnt find everything I wanted on one bike. After a lot of surfing I found True North Cylces in Ontario. (http://www.truenorthcycles.com/default.asp). After about 6 months of emailing ideas back and forth (they were very patient with me) they built exactly what I wanted: a strong and capable touring machine that gets me to work every day and is great for pleasure rides. It is basically a rigid old style 26" wheel moutain bike. They will build you just about anything you desire.
I've looked at Truenorth's site, very nice looking bikes, may still consider them.
To answer some of the other responses, my current touring bike is a 2000 Litespeed blueridge, terrible handeling due to the crappy aluminum fork.
My race bike is a Marinoni. Wanted to try something different, Marinoni's are thicker than fleas around here, awesome value though.
May have to give some serious consideration to the Americano as my racing weight was 190 and I've(ahem) gained a bit since then.
Thank you everyone for the responses
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Old 10-17-06, 04:20 PM   #14
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If you want an expedition bike that out Sakkitt's Sakkitt's, which in turn out rock and roads bruce gordon, then why not one of Arvon's bikes? He is in Alberta.

http://www.sandsmachine.com/a_arv_r1.htm

by the way the Sand machine links are a good place to look around for custom touring machines.

More here:
http://www.antipodes-expeditions.com...ke-Development

Some of his irrelevant bike interests:
http://www.geo-gea.info/

Unfortunately his touring and tandem site is down, he sent me a pic of one of his more recent touring machines and it has some new ideas, better paint, unfortunately it is way oversized for including here, and I can right click reduce in W98.

My feeling is that you need to start with some basics. How much you want to carry, like is your tent 18" long and doesn't fit on any rack you have so far owned. That sort of stuff. It all starts with the load. Some like Sakkitt and Arvon seem to be actually dealing with the reality of buildin a road bike that carries the stuff actually carry. Customizing racks, and then building a long frame that carries the load. They both do 48 spoke wheels, Arvon even makes his own hubs. That's one end of the spectrum.

I try to work through every major aspect of the ride, and fix all the problems that my bike has presented in the past, as far as load carrying, component failure, fit, and ride quality. It has nothing to do with what someone else likes.

OK this resize might work
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bob.jpg (65.7 KB, 82 views)
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Old 10-17-06, 05:51 PM   #15
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Blatant opinion:

http://www.merciancycles.com/frame_king_mercia.asp

About $850 frame and fork delivered to your home. SPECTACULARLY GREAT BIKE.
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Old 10-17-06, 06:54 PM   #16
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http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/index.php

More specific to what you are looking for.......

http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d...k/ac/index.php

...... from hand carved lugs to tig welds they will do it for you.
With a bit of research you'll find that Waterford made the Rivendells before they imported thier bikes (yes, ONE Riv model is still made here) .
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Old 10-17-06, 07:32 PM   #17
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Save yourself time and trouble and look no further than the Rivendell Atlantis. Bruce Gordon's are fine if you can get past their ugliness!
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Old 10-17-06, 07:33 PM   #18
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On the cheap--- go Trek or Surly. Great value for the money.

For the kind of money you're talking about-- Go custom. You can get the bike you've always dreamed of! Who cares if it doesn't say Bruce Gordon on it?
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Old 10-17-06, 08:19 PM   #19
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The King of Mercia is a beautiful bike, lusted after a top British bike for many years.
I looking to spend about $1200 for frame and fork, have a collection of parts to throw on the frame that will help keep the cost down. Total cost $3000CDN, I hope!
The Waterfords, also beautiful, but the price for a T-14 is more than I'm willing to pay for a bike that is going to see hard use.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:32 PM   #20
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I haven't ridden the bikes on your list. I bought a Burley Hudson this year and I'm very happy with it. I weight 220 pounds and I've been fully loaded on some weekend tours - Panniers not a BOB. I did Cycle Oregon this year. I also commute to work on this bike. I am really pleased with the Hudson. Certainly you should add it to your list.
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Old 10-17-06, 10:56 PM   #21
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By the way, on the arvon, I think they do provide rubber for the wheels. The normal wheels appear to be 700c so the one above must be for a giant.


"Bruce Gordon's are fine if you can get past their ugliness!"

Gordon will make you a purdy bike if you are willing to pay for it. I can't say I interpreted this:

"a serious touring bike, one that can take me across the continent without wimping out"

as the request for proposal for a fashion show, though so far some pretty cute lugs seem to have drawn most of the glances.

Last edited by NoReg; 10-17-06 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 10-18-06, 01:14 AM   #22
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I vote for a Waterford 1900 - just changed out the running gear on mine - plus new 40 hole hugi's on
t217 with tubus racks - I have number of touring bikes and this is my ride across America un-supported steed.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:59 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sisddwg
Save yourself time and trouble and look no further than the Rivendell Atlantis. Bruce Gordon's are fine if you can get past their ugliness!
I do have a fancy lugged touring bike for sale on my web page http://bgcycles.com/specials.html

It is the third bike down - it is a 56cm (center to center) frame with 57cm top tube and an 11cm 20 degree rise stem.
Any questions - feel free to call
Regards
Bruce Gordon
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Old 10-18-06, 02:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgcycles
I do have a fancy lugged touring bike for sale on my web page http://bgcycles.com/specials.html

It is the third bike down - it is a 56cm (center to center) frame with 57cm top tube and an 11cm 20 degree rise stem.
Any questions - feel free to call
Regards
Bruce Gordon
Hi Bruce
Love your custom bikes, would buy one if I had the bucks. But until then I have to stick to my budget. If I ever win the lotto, you, Dave Kirk and Sacha White would be the first people I'd call
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Old 10-18-06, 10:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FROryder
Time to get a serious touring bike, one that can take me across the continent without wimping out. My current touring bike suffers from several design issues, issues that were clearly market driven.
****As I have never seen any of these bikes, the list was compiled based on discussions on this forum and several others. As well, they all fall into a theoretical price range that I have to keep in mind.
****Here is the short list of bikes that interest me, Bruce Gordon's Rock&Roll, and BLT. Co-motion's Nor'wester and possibly the Americano. Although the Americano may be more bike than I'll need as I plan on keeping to paved roads as much as possible.
****Another potential brand are bikes by Revendell, I like their quirkiness.
****So, who here has some blatant opinions on my selection, or alternative makes.**
Cheers

I love my Fuji touring: excellent bike for the price. Went across the USA this summer with a grand total of two flat tires, minor cable adjustments, and a few twists of the spoke nipples. This after two years of solid riding in the hills of new england. ROCK ON FUJI!

roughstuff
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