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Old 09-04-07, 10:56 AM   #1
mosquito
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Frame recommendation

Hi all, I'm starting to build a dream touring bike and would like some input on a frame.

Requirements:
- Cheap. Under $400. Give or take $50.
- Steel. Lugged steel preferable.
- Uses 700C wheels.
- Has enough clearance for fenders and wide tires. (what's wide enough?)

Any input would help. I want to start right away and finish the build by summer.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:56 PM   #2
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Kogswell porteur, Uses 650B, Excellent value for an all day ride.

http://www.kogswell.com/PR.html
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Old 09-05-07, 08:49 AM   #3
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Kogswell porteur, Uses 650B, Excellent value for an all day ride.

http://www.kogswell.com/PR.html
The 59cm model comes in 26" and 700C variants as well.

They all take 40mm tires and 50mm fenders.

We tried lugs, but found that proper geometry and lighter tubes made for a better ride.
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Old 09-05-07, 11:43 AM   #4
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KOG group

Hey.....how come I tried joining the KOG and couldn't get approved? I waited over a month. I wanted to converse/learn more about the Kogswell frames. Availability, options,optional color/cost, owners experiences, etc. I think I e-mailed also with some ?? still waiting.

To the O.P. my recommendation would be a Surly Long Haul Trucker. While not as nice as the Kogswell that I was considering purchasing, I'm happy so far, although the LHT is hard to get these days also. It seems there is a larger market for stout, all rounder style, touring type, upright bikes. Maybe some day I'll end up with a Kogswell they seem very nicely made with thoughtful features not found on other frames unless you go custom ($$$$). Regardless my LHT rocks and I commuted to work 56 miles round trip the other day, loaded up with work clothes,tools and my lunch. Solid on the descents and fine climbing plus fast as any bike I own except my recumbent.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:08 PM   #5
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Hey.....how come I tried joining the KOG and couldn't get approved? I waited over a month. I wanted to converse/learn more about the Kogswell frames. Availability, options,optional color/cost, owners experiences, etc. I think I e-mailed also with some ?? still waiting.
My bad. I haven't been paying attention to new list member approvals. Sorry. Try again, pls.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:57 PM   #6
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Mmmmm. 59cm and 26 inch wheels, now that has touring potential. If that was sitting in my local lbs as a frame I would buy it.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:36 PM   #7
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Mmmmm. 59cm and 26 inch wheels, now that has touring potential. If that was sitting in my local lbs as a frame I would buy it.
Our dealers, bless their hearts, have not ordered any 26"-wheeled frames.

So for now calling the home office is the only way to get one.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:41 PM   #8
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"Our dealers, bless their hearts, have not ordered any 26"-wheeled frames."

Bless them indeed, I guess this is the difference between the vintage inspired market and the "trudgery" inspired one. The 26" should be flying off the shelves!
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Old 09-05-07, 11:17 PM   #9
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You aren't going to find under $400 and lugged unless you go for a used frame. That being said, check out the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's a great steel frame, although not lugged.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:35 AM   #10
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I've considered Porteurs, and I DO plan to get one in the future. It's just not a priority now because from my understanding it is more of an "all round" bike rather than touring.

I am very close to getting a LHT because it is a dedicated tourer. I'd still like a lugged frame, but haven't come across any thread recommending frames vintage or new other than rivendell and the other pricey sorts.

By the way Kogswell, that front rack is beautiful. Is it suitable for touring? Does it come with the frame?
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Old 09-06-07, 11:07 AM   #11
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"it is more of an "all round" bike rather than touring."

That is the marketing. "Hey it's a "porteur". Hey those are good for everything". On the other hand the front end options and the tire choices are very touring friendly. I wouldn't buy it at 650b for touring, and maybe that's all there really is in quantity. Seat stays are shorter than I like, but that probably won't adversely affect most. 440 is in the touring range.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:10 AM   #12
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Another reason preventing me from purchasing the Porter to tour is their forks. There are three different ones and I don't think any of them are excellent for loads in the front and the back. Or am I wrong?
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Old 09-06-07, 11:22 AM   #13
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I've considered Porteurs, and I DO plan to get one in the future. It's just not a priority now because from my understanding it is more of an "all round" bike rather than touring.

I am very close to getting a LHT because it is a dedicated tourer. I'd still like a lugged frame, but haven't come across any thread recommending frames vintage or new other than rivendell and the other pricey sorts.

By the way Kogswell, that front rack is beautiful. Is it suitable for touring? Does it come with the frame?
Thanks for the kind words.

Before I talk about the racks, I think it's REALLY important to talk about why the Kogswell P/R is a superb loaded tourer.

FRONT LOADING - HISTORY

When we set off to design the P/R, we wanted to make a bike that could be ridden with a load on the front. Lots of us like to see the stuff we're carrying. We like to use a handlebar bag for maps, camera, food and clothes. We like the idea of putting weight on the front wheel since it is naturally too lightly loaded to start with. And like the idea of using low-rider racks and panniers to put the load down low.

We call ourselves -front-loaders-.

Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly showed us that there was a class of touring bikes from that past that were not only designed to carry loads in the front, but that did it without any compromise to handling.

Together we reasoned that if we studies and perhaps copied these vintage geometries, we could make a bike that handled the same way with a load on the front.

So we took some measurements and found that these bikes were pretty normal except for one thing:

fork offset, the amount of bend in the fork

We didn't have anything better to do so we made some forks with more offset and lots more offset and we ran some tests. And to our amazement, we found that they did indeed handle front loads well.

This lead us to wonder why. And Heine thinks he knows why.

FRONT LOADING - HANDLING

Wheel flop.

A fork with more offset reduces the tendancy for the wheel to turn when leaned - it reduces wheel flop.

That reduction of wheel flop allows you to shift your load to the front of the bike while maintaining good handling.

FRONT LOADING - SAFETY

The other thing that having the load at the front of the bike does is to improve it's emergency braking performance. If you have the load at the rear of your bike, rapid deceleration puts the bike into a state where the load wants to come forward. And if you lean or steer at all during braking, the load will try to spin the bike.

All of this is contrary to conventional touring wisdom. We know that lots of folks have put lots of miles on bikes that were loaded at the rear and that nothing bad ever happened as a result.

But the front-loaders who have tried the P/R are now very happy. So if you see a P/R on the street, don't take my word for it. Ask the owner if you can take a quick test ride and see for yourself.

And about racks, we've taken a year and really thought out how to best make them and we have a couple of designs that will go into production soon. One will be a handlebar bag rack meant to be used with low-rider racks. And the other will be a porteur rack designed to carry large loads above the fender.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:26 AM   #14
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I have a couple of friends who are nuts to get a Porteur style rack. Big problem to me is how to maintain the all brazed intergrity and look and yet make it shipable...
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Old 09-06-07, 12:14 PM   #15
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I have a couple of friends who are nuts to get a Porteur style rack. Big problem to me is how to maintain the all brazed intergrity and look and yet make it shipable...
Shipability is a big issue.

The other big issue is fit. Aluminum racks are easy to bend and fit to a frame or fork. Steel racks are nearly impossible to bend, which is good for use, but works against installation and fit. And doing it for multiple forks of different offset compounds the problem.

We've found solutions, but it was not the trivial exercise we thought it would be.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:30 PM   #16
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Kogswell: Which fork do you recommend for loaded front and rear touring?
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Old 09-06-07, 11:54 PM   #17
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Please, I still don't understand.
Is 650B the same as regular MTB wheel? My guess is not, because always people say that 650B are rare.
Thanks
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Old 09-07-07, 12:06 AM   #18
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Kogswell: Which fork do you recommend for loaded front and rear touring?
We measure forks by trail.

We used to produce three different trails: 50, 40 and 30. But no one used the 50. So we're down to 30 and 40.

A lot of formal testing has been done and a lot of real-world testing has accompanied it. The current thinking is that the 40 does a better job with heavy front loads, those above twenty pounds. And the 30 is better for lighter loads.

But now I should answer the question. What loaded tourers have done is to rearrange how the think about load bias. They now put most of the payload in the front and only light items go in back. So things like sleeping pads and sleeping bags, things that can be lashed down for the whole day go on a rear rack. Heavy, dense stuff goes in the low-rider mounted panniers. And things like cameras, jackets, maps and lunch, the on-the-road stuff, goes into a handlebar bag where you can get to it without stopping.

The Generation II frames now have a third bottle braze-on under the down tube for fuel bottles or extra water.

Randonneurs like front loading too and being able to use a handlebar bag while riding no hands is a dream-come-true for them. The other benefit of low-wheel-flop geometry is tendency for the P/R to hold its line. This is a welcome -feature- for randonneuring: a bike that does not need a lot of rider input in order to keep it line is a blessing for tired riders.

But I digresss.

In summary, if you're carrying a lot of stuff on the front, get the 40 fork. Otherwise use the 30.
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Old 09-09-07, 07:04 AM   #19
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I have a couple of friends who are nuts to get a Porteur style rack. Big problem to me is how to maintain the all brazed intergrity and look and yet make it shipable...
These racks look great from Velo Orange if you need something sooner

http://www.velo-orange.com/voporteurrack.html

and

http://www.velo-orange.com/courierrack.html

Who knows how much shipping will be but Chris said they would run in the neighborhood of $150. I've got my name down for one...who knows which will come in first the VO rack or the P/R Generation 2 but I'm sure I will have that rack way before the Kogswell racks are a reality instead of just a really good idea!
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