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  1. #1
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    Touring bike relative weights

    Hi All,

    I'm thinking about purchasing a touring bike. I'm leaning towards either a Trek 520, a Cannondale T800 or a Cannondale T2000.

    My wife has a T800 mid-size frame (she's about 5'8") and it weighs approx 28 pounds with a rack on it. Does anyone know the approximate or relative weights of the Trek 520 and T2000? I'm not too hung up on the weight of the bike, but I'm curious to know what their relative weights are. Are the aluminum framed Cannondales significantly lighter than the steel framed Trek?

    I would be shopping for a larger frame bike than my wife's (I'm about 6" taller than my wife).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Slowpoach
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    If weight is an issue, are you sure you want a touring bike? You're looking at 40% to 100% heavier than a roadie bike, no matter what you choose.

  3. #3
    Macro Geek
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    I spotted a Cannondale tourer in a bike store last month, and was surprised how much it seemed to weigh. It was no featherweight! My own bicycle, a custom-made steel bike designed for credit card touring, weighs less, but not much less.

    As bicycle tourists, we should not overly concerned about the weight of our machines. I have a neighbour whose racing bicycle is six or seven pounds less than my touring bike. But it's like comparing apples to oranges. I can haul a week's worth of groceries with my bike, while he can carry a tool kit and a pump!

    There are at least two better ways for tourists to save weight than getting a lightweight machine:

    1. Carry less luggage.

    2. Lose weight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Bike companies don't seem to like to talk about touring bike weights. I checked three companies that make touring bikes and none said what their weights are. Trek, Cannondale, and Bruce Gordon. A Bruce Gordon BLT bike with rear rack two water bottle cages, two computers, a Topeak roadmorph pump, 700x38 tires, and a rear strobe weighs between 26 and 28 pounds. I know because I just weighted mine. Stripped down it might weight 23-24 pounds. I am a big strong rider and I use my bikes hard. I've broken a Miyata 1000 tourer and a Bianchi Volpe hybrid so the slightly heavier frame of a Bruce Gordon is what I need. If you and your lady are lighter people who stay on smooth roads with light loads a lesser bike weighting 2 or 3 pounds less should be just fine.

    To the rest of you out there if you have one of the bikes mentioned or some other true touring bike would you please weight them and post the results here so the OP can get an idea of what the rest of us are using and what the bikes weight?
    This space open

  5. #5
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    A pound either way is immaterial with a touring bike, and could be split by the type of rack you choose. It's a fair question, but at the end of the day I wouldn't trust any printed info unless I could actually weigh identically sized frames myself.

  6. #6
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    33 pounds 17" trek 520, 3 waterbottle cages, tubus racks front & rear w/taillight, planet bike fenders, handlebar bag bracket. mooooo

    Didn't we just have a weight thread? Called my bike is obese, or something like that.

    I wish it was lighter, it DOES make a difference.

    ken cummings, how do you like your BG's handling? I almost got one of those, even visited bruce in petaluma (he could maybe vacuum up some cat hair... ) but chicked out about not being able to test ride. I'm happy w/ my 520, but still wonder sometimes...
    ...

  7. #7
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    Hi All,

    thanks for the replies (and please keep them coming). I actually already have a light road bike and a heavy duty Trek 800 mountain bike (which I use as a general purpose commuter/hauler) but I think I'd eventually like to get a touring bike as well. I was also surprised at the weight of my wife's T800. For an aluminum frame it's fairly heavy, but it rides like a dream! I've been using my Trek 800 as a day tourer, but the heels of my shoes sometimes hit stuff on my rack, some I'm looking into a touring style frame with the longer chainstays. I don't think I'm too heavy (around 170 pounds) and initially I plan on doing only moderately loaded tours. For now I think my Trek 800 does a good job as a touring bike, but I think I'd like something with a broader range of gears and with a slightly longer frame.
    Last edited by cynergy; 08-14-07 at 03:21 AM.

  8. #8
    tuz
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    Since aluminum fatigues, they need to built very strong frames for touring applications. And that means a heavier Al frame, which in the end weight as much as a steel frame (Only advantage is that it doesn't rust, although minimal care will prevent your steel frame from rusting).

    So my guess would be that the 520, T800 and T2000 weight more or less the same, depending on components and accessories. The three are fine touring bikes: long chainstays and broad gearing, although a bit on the high side for loaded, self supported touring.

    Or you could keep your moutain bike and haul a trailer. Since you're light you could get away with a lighter road or cyclocross bike with a trailer, but the gearing would be a bit too high.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
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    54 cm Surly LHT frame. Custom equipped. 26" 36 hole Velocity Aeroheat wheels with Conti 1.75" Travel Contact Tires. SKS fenders. Tubus Cargo (rear) and Tara (front) racks. VDO cyclometer. Three Bottle holders. Road Morph bracket. Two spare spokes. Without bottles, bags, lights or pump.

    Weight: 31.7 pounds.

  10. #10
    dbg
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    I tend toward light touring. This is my buildup meant to be the minimal touring machine. It's barely over 20lbs unloaded. Triple front and 11-26 rear give me pretty good gear ranges. I consider the wheels to be pushing the lower limit with 28 spokes front and 32 rear (with an offset velocity aerohead rear rim).
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #11
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    dbg - Great looking (and very light) bike!

    i like the idea of light touring and am planning to do some weekend trips with my road bike. However, I did some day trips with the bike and hit some rough roads along the way and was concerned about the durability of my skinny wheels. Plus riding on bumpy roads is very jarring with the high pressure road tires. Also, I have had some incidents where I slid out while riding on unpaved roads with my road bike (during my little day trips).

  12. #12
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    I like the idea of a light(er) touring bike. That was one reason why I posted the 32 spoke/caliper brake question yesterday. I’m having a bike built and I want it to be as light as is reasonable. Lots of long, fully-loaded tours are not in my future. Much more often, bike camping sorts of affairs (3-4 day trips), but mostly, just riding distances. So I reasoned that if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I wanted a bike that would be a pleasure to ride everyday, would carry light to medium loads with ease and grace and yet be able to haul me and a cross country load, well, across the country. Some compromises had to be made. A set of more robust wheels may be in my future, but at the moment, I’m disinclined to go that route until I’ve taken delivery and seen what’s what. I don’t pack heavy and I prefer a bit of speed to cover distance. Not that I’m at all “fast,” I’m just your average cyclist but I don’t like the idea of an unneccesarily heavy bike. I was told that with certain tube choices and components, such a bike could be built to satisfy those criteria and come in around 20 pounds. I’ve lost 15 of my own pounds and need to lose another five before I’m happy (what’s the point of a light bike if I’m the thing that’s over weight?). It’s one of those things that I don’t understand about MTB’s; What’s the point of all that suspension? The current crop of MTB’s weight a ton. For what? I, for one, wouldn’t want to pedal that mass of metal and oil up anything. 30+ pounds of mountain bike? Not me. Not any bike.

    Oh, yeah. dbg, sweet looking machine you've put together there. Very nice. Super clean.

  13. #13
    tuz
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    IMO it's difficult to stay at 20lbs without making hard compromises. Simply adding fenders, rear rack and handle bar bag mount might raise the weight by 3lbs. Hell my single speed has all such accessories and weights 24lbs, without derailleurs, cassette, extra chainrings and shifters!

    I get your point though, indeed it's fun to have a lighter bike, for lighter touring. But I think to make it practical, i.e. with the above accessories, 25 lbs is the reasonable limit. And in the end 5lbs is just less than 3% of 20+165 lbs! Difficult to notice it.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    Point taken tuz, and I agree with you.

  15. #15
    dbg
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    And I also tend to get on a soapbox about low spoke count wheels on a tour. This years Wisconsin trip saw lots of broken spokes, but they were on 36 spoke wheels and could be ridden to the evening destination where deeper repairs where completed. On a previous trip we had a 24 spoke wheel break a spoke. We left him on the side of the road waiting for a sag vehicle.
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  16. #16
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    It's barely over 20lbs unloaded.
    DBG, Can you please elaborate a little more about how you have been using that Lemond Buenos Aires for touring? For example, whether or not you have had front and back racks on it, how much weight on it, etcetera? Thanks.

  17. #17
    dbg
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    Since the picture (above) I added a rear rack. I use a small-ish trunk bag on that rack to carry spare tubes, minimal tools, jacket, snacks, (iPod and speakers), some other stuff. I've never loaded it with overnight stuff nor had I intended this specific bike for heavier loads. I consider this bike my experiment for lower limit weight configuration --my "minimal lightweight tourer." My next step up in heavy-duty would be this bike:
    http://dbg.home.att.net/featurebike1.htm
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  18. #18
    Senior Member geoffs's Avatar
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    Hi Cynergy

    How about looking out of the box and think about a tandem. It's the best way to tour as a couple by a long way provided you still like one another's company )
    We have a Co-motion Mocha Co-pilot which is a great machine to tour on. A standard Mocha weighs 36lb and the Co-pilot is 38lb. Ours has the road setup with drop bars and Tubus racks.
    We have 9,700 trouble free kms of mainly touring on ours so far in the last 2 years.

    Cheers

    Geoff
    Co-motion Mocha
    Santana Sovereign

  19. #19
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    Low spoke count vs. 36 spoke standard is such a tiny difference I wonder why anyone would bother. If one wants to reduce wheel weight and resistance go for 26" wheels set up with road components, you would notice that difference in a heartbeat, and it makes for sturdier wheels.

  20. #20
    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Low spoke count vs. 36 spoke standard is such a tiny difference I wonder why anyone would bother. If one wants to reduce wheel weight and resistance go for 26" wheels set up with road components, you would notice that difference in a heartbeat, and it makes for sturdier wheels.
    Yup. And all the road bikes I see in stores seem to feature super low spoke count wheels. For training and touring and just about anything ..I don't see them being appropriate. I keep thinking I'd be asking to replace the wheel with a decent 36 spoke hubs and rims.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA (Trek 5900 Superlight), (Lemond BA), (Peugeot UO8 (SS)), (Dozen other muts)

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  21. #21
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    For good ways to lighten up a tourer, I'd recommend:
    1) 32 spoke wheels, with double butted spokes and alloy nipples. These spoke aren't weaker but give you lighter rotational mass. Lace em up to some Open Pro rims or an asymetric rim (for less dish) for a nice balance of durability and weight. You can replace the spoke easily and you could likely make it to the next rest stop if you were down a spoke or two.
    2) Lighter cranks, cassette, and pedals. Lighting up a part that you have to spin over and over just makes sense. For touring application - lighter for these parts won't affect durability (unless you got to extemes). Think SRAM 980 cassette, XT/Ultegra/Centaur level or better cranks and Eggbeater SL pedals - you'd be amazed how much weigh can be saved.

    Lightening up the gear which you take along is a whole other forum. Ultralight camping gear is one of the fastest growing segments in the outdoor goods sector and there's a ton of knowledge, ideas and options out there. Once you try it, those 45kg loaded bohemith tourers will start to look like dinosaurs.

  22. #22
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    geoffs,

    i like the idea of a tandem, but since we already have my wife's bike, i thought i'd get my own dedicated tourer as well. right now i'm thinking about building a bike using a Surly LHT frame. I have been riding my Trek 800 a lot and I really appreciate it's durability. The weight does slow things down, but when I've been riding down some steep hills and have hit some rough road, I appreciate the durable steel frame and the fairly stable ride my mountain bike offers. Eventually, I think I'll put together a steel framed dedicated touring bike with a slightly longer chain stay and with a wider selection of gears. Currently my Trek has a 6 speed free wheel.

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