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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 03-14-07, 11:44 AM   #1
betanzos
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Bilenky

Hi folks,

I'm planning my first tour this summer: Northern Tier eastbound Seattle to Chicago. I'm still unsure what the right bike is for me. My persistent dream bike has been the Bilenky Midlands with S&S couplings. I know there are less (and more!) expensive solutions but I keep telling myself that the value of handbuilt steel and the couplers is an investment that will pay for itself. Price is a limiting factor as I'm a fourth year college student, that's why I linked to the cheapest touring bike BCW makes!. Any experience with BCW or S&S couplers, or even northern tier?

Tomas from Michigan
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Old 03-14-07, 12:15 PM   #2
kesroberts
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Bilenky installed S&S couplers for me and my wife on our touring bikes and did a great job. I'm sure that they're a good choice for a frame too.
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Old 03-14-07, 04:52 PM   #3
canamdad
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I had an older Mercian converted to S&S by Bilenky as well as some other braze-ons done and a new paint job with new decals. Stephen was great to work with. I also had a friend order an S&S frame from them that he's very happy with. Go for it!
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Old 03-14-07, 09:11 PM   #4
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I purchased a Tourlite with S&S couplings from them last year, and I couldn't be happier. I feel the fit is spot on, and the bike is great looking and functional. I did my first tour on the Blue Ridge this past year, and with 25-30lbs on the rear I never once felt like the bike was unstable or I had to hold back while descending. I've also used it for group rides and some commuting with no issues.

Coupling are nice although packing is fairly involved, and not something I would want to do if I travelled a whole bunch.

If I have one knock I think the paints a little soft. It seems to chip and scratch easily, although I had a rush order and I'm wondering if the paint was fully cured. Personally if I got another coupled bike I'd have it powder coated.

Bottom line is if I get a dedicated touring bike it will be from them.

Mark
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Old 03-15-07, 08:32 AM   #5
betanzos
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Thanks for the advice guys, I think I'll go for it!
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Old 03-31-07, 06:29 PM   #6
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go for it

I've had my Bilenky (with S+S) for 12 years. I can't imagine a more versatile or durable bike.
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