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  1. #1
    Mountain Bikes are Art
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    List of top Touring bikes

    Is there a generally agreed on list of say the top 5 touring rigs? I have heard a little about the Trek and Surly offerings, but was wondering what bikes made in the last 15 years or so are real classics with optimised componentry. Any new developments in Touring bikes if I go new? I think I want to start the process of looking for a high end one to add to my other two bikes. A hardtail mountain bike and my 20 year old Kuwahara mid grade touring bike that I love because it hasn't let me down or got stolen. I think I would like a fully kitted tourer though, as I did two long tours when I was in my teens and twenties and know there is a place for it in my life as I leave middle age. Something at the back of my head says there is an good Canadian brand, but the name escapes me.
    Bob S.
    05 Kona Kula Deluxe

  2. #2
    Senior Member tourbiker's Avatar
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    Higher-end touring bikes & Canadian models

    Hi Bob,
    Canadian brands to check out: Devini Caribou: www.devinci.com/9786_an.html and Marinoni Turismo: www.marinoni.qc.ca/html/en_turismo.html I have friends that own each of them and they all love their bikes.

    Like you, I'm looking for a higher-end touring bike, to replace my 1983 Trek 620. Neither of the above models are quite what I'm looking for. I'm planning to write a letter to Trek's CEO, as suggested by my local bike shop's owner, to suggest they bring out a higher-end touring bike for us baby boomers who now have the time and dollars to upgrade our 20+ year old touring bikes. I'll post a thread about this on this forum later today.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourbiker
    Hi Bob,
    Canadian brands to check out: Devini Caribou: www.devinci.com/9786_an.html and Marinoni Turismo: www.marinoni.qc.ca/html/en_turismo.html I have friends that own each of them and they all love their bikes.

    Like you, I'm looking for a higher-end touring bike, to replace my 1983 Trek 620. Neither of the above models are quite what I'm looking for. I'm planning to write a letter to Trek's CEO, as suggested by my local bike shop's owner, to suggest they bring out a higher-end touring bike for us baby boomers who now have the time and dollars to upgrade our 20+ year old touring bikes. I'll post a thread about this on this forum later today.
    Sounds like you want/would be best suited by a custom frame/bike.

  4. #4
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    Trek 520
    Cannondale T800/T2000
    Surly LHT
    Rivendell Atlantis $$$
    Bruce Gordon (BLT $$$ or RockNRoad $$$$)
    Thorn - gorgeous!
    Fuji Tourist
    Bianchi Volpe (light touring)
    REI/Novara Randonee or Safari
    Huffy (just kidding, but it can be done!)

    Personally, I don't want a "high end" tour bike (i'm a 520 user) I want something that when it keels over in the hold of the ferry, or the bus operator drops it, or it slides down the pole I leaned it against, etc. etc., I don't have a freak-out about my $2400 baby's paint job. THe tour bike is a tool, to be used well and well used. My $0.02. Of course, if someone gave me a RockNRoad or a Thorn, I wouldn't turn it down.

    Tourbiker, I don't think Trek sells too many of the 520's let alone a higher end more $$ touring bike. The tourer market is small & notoriously cheapskate, Trek is a volume biz. The Riv. and BG really do cater to that market. They are beautiful machines.

    anna
    ...

  5. #5
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Trek 520
    Cannondale T800/T2000
    Surly LHT
    Rivendell Atlantis $$$
    Bruce Gordon (BLT $$$ or RockNRoad $$$$)
    Thorn - gorgeous!
    Fuji Tourist
    Bianchi Volpe (light touring)
    REI/Novara Randonee or Safari
    Huffy (just kidding, but it can be done!)

    Personally, I don't want a "high end" tour bike (i'm a 520 user) I want something that when it keels over in the hold of the ferry, or the bus operator drops it, or it slides down the pole I leaned it against, etc. etc., I don't have a freak-out about my $2400 baby's paint job. THe tour bike is a tool, to be used well and well used. My $0.02. Of course, if someone gave me a RockNRoad or a Thorn, I wouldn't turn it down.

    Tourbiker, I don't think Trek sells too many of the 520's let alone a higher end more $$ touring bike. The tourer market is small & notoriously cheapskate, Trek is a volume biz. The Riv. and BG really do cater to that market. They are beautiful machines.

    anna
    I think you left out the Waterford Adventure Cycle... perhaps the best of them all. But then again, I'm kinda partial.

  6. #6
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    I don't know about optimising componentry,sounds like stretch,tourers are traditional,they hate the thought of brifters,aren't fond of carbon forks and DO prefer steel. Marioni makes fine bikes. I'd be hard-pressed to come-up with a valid objection to a Trek 520, I've riden that bike. My Trek 770, Miyatas : 210,310 ,610,710 ,some in multiples have little over the Trek. The 520 is actually a more "stable" rider, as far as it's geom. seems to effect. The others are bit "quicker", JUST as solid but don't "feel" lighter. Do you envission yourself waiting eight months to a year for a bike ?

  7. #7
    Mountain Bikes are Art
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    Thanks for all the quick replies. The Trek would most likely more than meet my needs, and I doubt I could wear it out. If I did, that would be quite a bargain for what they cost. I am surprised to see that you can get one for under a grand, yet it makes the list of most repondents. I also don't want to worry about paint, but do appreciate quality and well crafted/engineered devices. I guess the main thing is the fit. I am in no rush to take a plunge, and probably wouldn't go the custom route due to cost/benefit most likely being small. One thing I would like the bike to have is a disc front brake, which I see none of the traditional bikes offer. Is it that they are not practical to maintain while on the road.?They sure are impressive on my mountain bike.
    Last edited by DonValley; 05-21-07 at 03:26 AM.
    Bob S.
    05 Kona Kula Deluxe

  8. #8
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Most bikes can be used for touring but if you feel the need for adventure then the choice of bike becomes very important

    While I personally ride a Thorn with Rohloff hub gears( which IMHO is simply the best)

    But the Koga Miyata series is well worth a look at
    http://www.koga.com/uk/segment.asp?c...n=7&segment=54

    george
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    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
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  9. #9
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I agree there - Koga Miyata are solidly built bikes and have a reputation as one of the top marques here in Holland and Europe generally. I used to own one before it was stolen (bloody French hoodlums).

    I'll also contribute with a nod to a classic UK bike - the Dawes Galaxy series. Steel frames, classic geometry.

    And yes, tourbiker has nailed it nicely with those links. Note that the Devinci bikes also come with frame/fork design to allow for conversion to discs if you ever want to do that. Although they are Al. Up to you on whether steel is preferred or not.

    Also, I'll give a nod to the Trek 520. I don't know it personally but from what I've seen this is a very popular, reliable favourite.

    And please people, don't encourage the manufacturers to make fancy pants tourers. It's enough difficulty already finding a high-quality tourer that doesn't use STI ("brifters" LOL, haven't heard that before).

    There is a market for those, and I don't like it. I see elderly people riding around here with fully kitted luxury super-fancy-bollocks top of the line Koga touring bikes - and the majority of them are baby boomers who feel like spoiling themselves with a beautiful machine they'll never use fully. It's kind of like 40-something accountants plunking all their money on a ridiculous chromed-up Harley. Except Kogas are actually good bikes.
    Last edited by Nicodemus; 05-21-07 at 04:06 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    Did you just say "minarchist?" I'm going to start a 10-page vaginathon because only Libertarians can define Libertarianism. Also, you're mean.

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Trek 520
    Cannondale T800/T2000
    Surly LHT
    Rivendell Atlantis $$$
    Bruce Gordon (BLT $$$ or RockNRoad $$$$)
    Thorn - gorgeous!
    Fuji Tourist
    Bianchi Volpe (light touring)
    REI/Novara Randonee or Safari
    Huffy (just kidding, but it can be done!)

    Personally, I don't want a "high end" tour bike (i'm a 520 user) I want something that when it keels over in the hold of the ferry, or the bus operator drops it, or it slides down the pole I leaned it against, etc. etc., I don't have a freak-out about my $2400 baby's paint job. THe tour bike is a tool, to be used well and well used. My $0.02. Of course, if someone gave me a RockNRoad or a Thorn, I wouldn't turn it down.

    Tourbiker, I don't think Trek sells too many of the 520's let alone a higher end more $$ touring bike. The tourer market is small & notoriously cheapskate, Trek is a volume biz. The Riv. and BG really do cater to that market. They are beautiful machines.

    anna
    you also forgot the jamis aurora. which is comprable to the 520 and the surley lht

  12. #12
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    The Beckman Sakkit has a brazeon kitchen sink unit.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    lol

  14. #14
    "Big old guy"
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    Hello Bob If you are in the Toronto area (judging by the Don Valley name) you should check out True North Bikes www.truenorthcycles.com in Kitchener. Hugh Black ,the builder is a Mechanical Engineer and a Master Welder a nice combination to have building your bike. The cost of a custom bike might suprise you. I recently picked up my True North touring bike and I love it. So far there is not a thing I would change on it.
    The Older I Get, The Better I Was.

  15. #15
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    Co-Motion Americano.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Trek 520
    Thorn - gorgeous!
    Dont you mean:

    Thorn - gorgeous! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ?

    hehe

  17. #17
    Senior Member adrianlatrace's Avatar
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    of course the waterford would be one of the nicest if not the nicest way to go, but the gunnar is still waterford quality (welded instead of lugged) and a lot more affordable.

  18. #18
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeArcher
    Dont you mean:

    Thorn - gorgeous! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ?

    hehe

    not really ... i have a Nomad which i built up after purchasing the frame ... awesome touring and do all bike, built to get to get you anywhere on earth and back again ... designed and built by andy blanche who does just that, tours to the end of the world and back again ...
    the Sherpa is along the same lines as the Nomad but lower spec tubing, and very nice too ...

    the eXp and the rohloff versions are really nice, but yeah, $$$$$$$$$$
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  19. #19
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    A Thorn with Rohloff may be
    But worth every penny, for peace of mind, minimum maintenance, well built, reliable etc etc.

    You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
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  20. #20
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    The urbane cyclist touring bike is pretty decent too! That frame is tough.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mandrake's Avatar
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    Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
    Earth, USA, California, LaJolla

  22. #22
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    Aarios from Switzerland - handmade steel bikes
    http://www.aarios.ch/

  23. #23
    cyclotourist
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    Most of these bikes will not be found at your friendly local bicycle shop. You have to go to the internet,
    which makes it hard to do a test ride!

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandrake
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
    I'm glad someone finally mentioned this bike! There are those people that would not consider this a "touring" bike because of the "STI" shifters or "brifters" but... whatever. I researched, investigated, and tried to test ride every "touring" bike under $1500. I bought the Sherpa 30 and feel I got the best bike out there for under $1500. I'm sure that the Thorns, Kioga-Miyatas, Bruce Gordons, Rivendells, and Waterfords are awesome bikes but $$$'s were more than I could justify.

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