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Old 07-17-08, 09:55 AM   #1
leapincoog
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specialized sirrus for touring??

hey guys,

so Ive been on a couple pretty big tours in europe when I was a little younger (im now 19). I used more of a mountain bike than a touring bike for those trips and it worked fine as far as I can remember. But right now Im planning on going to Iceland in a month to cycle about 750 km - my current bike is a Specialized hardrock sport from 2003 I beleive - its in pretty bad condition now and to get it back into suitable condition would require about 250-300 bucks of parts and labour. So I'm thinking of getting a new bike. Im thinking Id like something a little bit faster and more efficient - however, I would still like to be able to ride comfortably on gravel roads and such. I was at my local bike shop and looking at the Specialized Sirrus ($630 for the base model). They call it a "commuter bike", which frankly I dont like the sound of, haha, but it seems like the type of bike I'd want. One concern I have is how solid the bike is built, which is quite important for touring.

Do you guys have any thoughts??
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Old 07-17-08, 11:09 AM   #2
Bacciagalupe
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I think it depends a bit on your budget, and what kind of handlebars you like to use. The hardrock doesn't look entirely ideal anyway.

If you still like flat handlebars, you can get a very good touring bike for $650. Sirrus looks OK, it's a kind of general-purpose bike with a bit of emphasis on speed. Components look more or less typical, though I'd get the LBS to set you up with a wider cassette and with bar-ends. Obviously you need to make sure the bike can take a rack and that you have enough clearance for panniers.

Also, if you're going off-road make sure you can attach fenders, very helpful for keeping you & the bike clean.

Don't forget to budget for transporting the bike. Some airlines are charging $80 each way.
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Old 07-17-08, 03:00 PM   #3
leapincoog
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my budget could go up to maybe 1000 id say- note that I'm in Canada also, so Im talking in Canadian dollars, which are about the same as US dollars - but things in the US are usually significantly cheaper..hmm, maybe I'll go down to the states to buy a bike..

anyway. what I want is something that's fast like a road bike, but also good for touring, and can handle gravel roads and such. is there anything that can do this for me?
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Old 07-17-08, 04:16 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, my girlfriend and I have done a few tours and she has an older model Sirrus. It has survived them all We swapped out the gearing for something lower and other odds and ends, but it has been a stout bike. I would double check the wheels though, I ended up rebuilding a rear wheel for her since the spokes didn't seem up to snuff.

Some pics of her Sirrus on tour..

http://www.russrocaphoto.com/gwbr2008/
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Old 07-17-08, 05:29 PM   #5
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I have a 2008 Sirrus Sport that I'm preparing to take on a 350 mile tour. Although it's a great bike that I like a lot, there are two things about it that are problems for touring:

1) It has a carbon fork. Common wisdom says you don't put a rack on a carbon fork. I don't know how true this is but it would be difficult to do since the fork doesn't have any place to attach a rack.

2) There is a damper between the stem and the handlebars that's long enough so that many handlebar accessories won't fit. You'll need things that fit on a 31.8mm tube. My Jandd handlebar bag won't fit, and neither will my Mickey Mouse bell. You can probably use a handlebar extender for light stuff but not for anything heavy. I don't think that every model Sirrus has this so maybe it won't be a problem for you.

Go for it!
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Old 07-18-08, 06:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leapincoog View Post
anyway. what I want is something that's fast like a road bike, but also good for touring, and can handle gravel roads and such. is there anything that can do this for me?
The ideal bike for your uses is a cyclocross bike. It's set up like a road bike, with a few tweaks. Higher bottom bracket for better ground clearance; can take wide tires and fenders. A few options include:

Jamis Aurora
Bianchi Volpe
Surly Cross-Check
Kona Jake
Kona Sutra (comes with racks)

Some of these bikes, like the Surly, might need lower gearing for a real tour. Most shops will change the gearing for you when you buy it.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:46 AM   #7
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Have you been to Iceland before? Not all roads are paved as you get out of Reykjavik, but then again I was there in 1995 (not biking). I remember seeing some guy on a fully loaded bike struggeling to push his big along some dirt road in heavy winds trying to go see a waterfall. He was on a more road oriented bike. Needless to say it didn't look like he was having fun. I would go for something more cyclocross or mtb oriented.

Have fun in Iceland. It is an amazing place. I hope to get back there one day soon.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:49 AM   #8
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yea- the main road in iceland is almost completely paved now. A lot more roads are paved in Iceland these days. Thanks for the recommendation on bikes though - I will check those out.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:58 PM   #9
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What do you guys think of the Specialized Tri-Cross or Crosstrail??
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