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  1. #1
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    too many bikes to choose from

    Hey all

    I've been talking to a bunch of salesmen, been to stores and picked up lots of folders etc. Roaming the web and forums for the last couple of days trying to decide what bike to chose. I've compiled a list of what I think is interesting bikes but there are too many - and I'm still a newbie in this area so i have a hard time just narrowing it down. Would greatly appreciate some help here.

    I will use it to get to and from work each day, other than that i will take it on some touring trips a couple of times per year - mostly to pretty dense-populated modern countries in western europe so it's not a must to have a steel rack etc.

    Trek 520
    http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1432000&f=6

    KONA SUTRA 2006 (is there a 2007 version?)
    http://www.konaworld.com/bikes/2k7/SUTRA/index.html

    Cannondale Touring Ultra
    http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/07/ce...odel-7TS2.html

    Cannondale Touring Classic
    http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/07/ce...model-7TR.html

    Cannondale Touring Rohloff Ultra (pretty expensive)
    http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/07/ce...odel-7TS1.html

    Cannondale T200
    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...odel-7TR2.html

    Cannondale T800
    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...odel-7TR8.html

    Specialized Sequoia Elite
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22258

    Specialized Sequoia
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22259



    The following 3 brands have so many models my head hurts. If i would even try to google up each part to compare with my minimal experience I wouldn't have time to go anywhere this summer

    Thorn http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html
    Stevens bikes http://www.stevensbikes.se/StevensTrekking.htm
    Dawes http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/touring-series.htm



    I live next to a dealer who sells Cannondale, Trek and Specialized. They also got Scott, Nishiki and Giant bicycles but I haven't seen any touringmodels among their bikes, maybe I'm just blind:

    http://www.nishiki.se/index.php?page=cyklar
    http://www.scottusa.com/global/bike/
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-IN/


    I dont think it's worth the extra money for the rohloff version of canondale as I'm not going to china anytime soon - but what do i know.. I-m prepared to put some money into this bike but only if it's worth it

    Cannondale Touring Ultra and Dawes Galaxy Ultra looks pretty cool at first sight, I'm pro canon though as i live next door to a dealer/workshop for it - but then again, im too inexperienced to sort out the bulk of all models mentioned above and would greatly appreciate any thoughts frome some experienced users - this will be my first touring bike.

    Hope my ramblings make some sense - thi isn't my native language hehe.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    I have a Specialized Sequoia Elite - fantastic bike, but not for loaded touring.

    Look you need to try to test ride those bikes... preferably with some heavy panniers to really see what it would be like. Other than that, just go for what's in your budget and feels like it fits perfectly.

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Thorn Audax Classic - you'll get my bill for impeccable consulting services in the mail.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    The Cannondale Touring Classic is the same frame and fork as the T800 and the same frame as the T2000. The difference is that it already has good racks on it. It's weakness is that they are using a Shimano 10 speed drivetrain on it. While you can get an 11-34 cassette from IRD, you can't get one from Shimano (as far as I know). You get more gears with the 10 but you are severly limited in range. It's really too bad since the Classic looks like a great bike.

    The Cannodale Touring Ultra would be a great bike if you are doing an off-road or dirt road tour. But for road tours (with some smooth dirt), the T800 or T2000 are up to the task much better. If the trail is smooth, you can even do hundreds of miles comfortably on the T series bikes. I did around 300 miles of a 1000 mile tour on dirt trails without issue.

    The Trek 520 is on a equivalent to the Cannondales but it's steel. I have a T800 and I like the ride, especially when loaded, but many people don't. The 520 would be a good alternative. Be aware that in a parking lot test ride, the bikes will handle differently when unloaded. The Cannondales will seem harsh and stiff but with a load that harshness goes away and the bike handles a load wonderfully. I test road a 520 before I bought the Cannondale and thought the ride was too much like the ride of my old Miyata. It was nice and plush but my Miyata has never handled loads that well and I didn't want to go down that road again. The stock Trek is also geared higher than the Cannondale which isn't a huge problem but can get expensive if you want to change it down the road.

    As other's have said the Specialized bikes aren't really loaded touring bikes. The other three brands you listed don't really have touring bikes as you correctly stated.


    The other three bikes aren't ones that I have experience with. I've heard of Thorn and Dawes but haven't ever seen one. They have good reputations. The Thorn is particularly interesting because of the 26" wheels. All of my touring bikes have been 700C wheels but 26" makes a lot of sense from a strength standpoint. A 26" wheel can take an incredible amount of abuse without breaking and there are lots of tires available for them everywhere.

    As with the Cannondale, I would avoid anything with a front shock, unless you can lock the shock out. It makes for a lot of extra weight, rack mounting problems and a bobbing shock robs you of energy.

    Something else to consider is what you are going to do with the bike outside of touring? Most of the riding that I do on my touring bike is unloaded. I use it for commuting and general riding. It is stiff but I've been riding ultra stiff mountain bikes forever and it doesn't really bother me. Some people want the more compliant ride you get from steel.

    Hope this helps.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Thorn makes 700c bikes too, Stu...the Audaxes being two of them.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Thorn makes 700c bikes too, Stu...the Audaxes being two of them.
    I think I'd go for a 26" wheel anyway. Has it's advantages. Plus the Nomad is on sale!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I've lusted for an Audax for years.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Pedalpower clayface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Thorn makes 700c bikes too, Stu...the Audaxes being two of them.
    And a wonderful 700c tourer: the Club Tour. It's even cheaper than the Nomad on sale!
    Roberto

    Thorn Club Tour

  9. #9
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    Buy local....if you have trouble with the bike, well, you'll know where to take it back to.

    A lot the advice you'll read on this board is really good....but it's mostly touring advice. I believe the amount of touring you'll do on your bike isn't a big percentage. Mostly you'll be riding the bike to work and back, right? Not touring.

    I'd buy a Trek 520...a very good all around bike! And a pretty good touring bike as well. You could get some alu racks and panniers at the same time, if you have the money (I'm betting the bike shop will give a deal the more you buy)

    The Trek 520 rides sorts like road bikes did back in the '80s.... it's fun to ride without touring. It's also the easiest bike to work on that you can buy-- with the longest lasting parts. Valuewise.....I believe the 520 is at the top of the list.

    Feel free to PM if you want more of the nuts and bolts behind my answer.

    I also do not work for Trek in any way.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    Tacomee has good advice. If you trust your shop and they are into touring, buy from them. Having said that...

    I have a Thorn and love it but it might not be the most economical for you due to shipping and the cost of parts for building. But if they have some Nomad frames left and if they are on sale, that would be a good way to go. My only regret is not getting the Rohloff hub. The more I have checked into them the more I am impressed. Stronger wheel, no derailleurs and bombproof. But....you will hear the arguement that when they go, you are stuck, but I have never heard that happening.

    Anyway, you need to define your touring and narrow the field. Another thing to consider is if you are tall, go for a bike w/ a long headtube and steerer tube. A lot of bikes, like the 520, don't have that which requires a stem w/ a steeper angle. I also recommend 26" wheels due to availability and stronger wheels. The more things you decide on, the narrower the field gets and the easier your decision is.

    I have to say I am impressed w/ Cannondale's touring line up. Roholoff, Brooks etc... That's great. To have one of the world's largest bike manufacturers devote that many bikes to touring, really says something.

  11. #11
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Cracks me up to see this thread, a few days after some guy posts about how impossible it is to find touring bikes at LBS's.

    At the risk of adding options, there is also the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Lots of people like that one, it's worth looking into.

    However, I would start out with deciding what you want -- steel vs aluminum? how low of gearing? -- to knock as many bikes out of consideration as possible. Then, test ride what happens to be around.

    I suspect you will have more luck finding Trek 520's, and after that some of the Cannondales, than the others.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    Buy local....if you have trouble with the bike, well, you'll know where to take it back to.

    A lot the advice you'll read on this board is really good....but it's mostly touring advice. I believe the amount of touring you'll do on your bike isn't a big percentage. Mostly you'll be riding the bike to work and back, right? Not touring.

    I'd buy a Trek 520...a very good all around bike! And a pretty good touring bike as well. You could get some alu racks and panniers at the same time, if you have the money (I'm betting the bike shop will give a deal the more you buy)

    The Trek 520 rides sorts like road bikes did back in the '80s.... it's fun to ride without touring. It's also the easiest bike to work on that you can buy-- with the longest lasting parts. Valuewise.....I believe the 520 is at the top of the list.

    Feel free to PM if you want more of the nuts and bolts behind my answer.

    I also do not work for Trek in any way.

    Good luck!
    oh i don't know i am looking for a bike for that specific purpose to tour on i have a good road bike that i absolutely love for tooling around town a 1999 trek 2100 which does take a rear rack but wouldn't be any good for more than a very touring. comuting or just seeing how fast i can get it to go down a 5% grade.. LOL. i will never part from it but i need a long distance fully loaded tourer.. as for which one well i am leaning towards the t2000 i like the gearing and i like the sti.. not sure i could handle bar end shifters since i like to ride on my hoods. stem shifters i could get used to again but i have never used the bar end and before the 520 the only bike i ever saw them on was a pugeot.

    i have looked at some of these bikes on the web and i see you did miss a few the surely LHT and the jamis aurora i have looked at the jamis on a show room and it looks like a good bike too...

    ok so much for my two cents... LOL

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the input it helped me out a great deal. Especially when talking to the salespeople in the stores here in town I decided on the cannondale classic and it will arrive in a couple of days. New thread inc with some specifics about that bike..
    Thanks again!

  14. #14
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    Wherever you are, consider importing this puppy:

    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=36#a13

    Probably end up costing the same as a 520 or similar bike, and check out those specs!
    Hydraulic brakes, nice European hub generators and lights, steel frame, 26" wheels, Tubus rear rack, LX level components, full fenders, kickstand and full braze-ons.

    As soon as I can 'wear out' my current touring bike, this baby's next in line...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by awc380
    Wherever you are, consider importing this puppy:

    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=36#a13

    Probably end up costing the same as a 520 or similar bike, and check out those specs!
    Hydraulic brakes, nice European hub generators and lights, steel frame, 26" wheels, Tubus rear rack, LX level components, full fenders, kickstand and full braze-ons.

    As soon as I can 'wear out' my current touring bike, this baby's next in line...
    personally i like this one with the deora xt front crank set
    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=84#a14
    wonder where i can find one....

  16. #16
    Golden Member JR97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffwolf
    personally i like this one with the deora xt front crank set
    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=84#a14
    wonder where i can find one....
    Looks similar to this: http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/07/ce...model-7TR.html

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR97
    it does doesn't it... except for the lights and a few minor details... kewl and the thing is i probably can't get either one in the US...

  18. #18
    cyclotourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffwolf
    personally i like this one with the deora xt front crank set
    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=84#a14
    wonder where i can find one....
    Supposedly Koga-Miyata are available in the U.S.

    http://usa.koga.com/

    Don't be afraid to mail order a bike if you can't find your heart's desire locally. I've had good luck with mail ordering hard to find bicycles.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skookum
    Supposedly Koga-Miyata are available in the U.S.

    http://usa.koga.com/

    Don't be afraid to mail order a bike if you can't find your heart's desire locally. I've had good luck with mail ordering hard to find bicycles.
    there are currently three shops that sell the kogas according the the website.. one is in chicago, another in california and another in maryland... don't see me getting to one soon tho chicago is only 370 miles from here... hmmmm maybe??? LOL

  20. #20
    cyclotourist
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    370 miles... You could ride there!!

  21. #21
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    yep was thinking about it too....LOL would love to look at one

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