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  1. #1
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    Help buying good touring bike.

    I have decided to buy a quality touring bike and am prepared to pay a fair amount of money for it.
    At the moment I am leaning towards the Cannondale Touring Classic http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/09/ce/model-9TR.html, but have read in other threads that most tourers prefer steel frames over aluminum ones.

    What other good touring bikes would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    You might get better advice if you said where, how, and how far you plan to tour, how much you weigh, and how much you plan to carry.

    Since you mention the Cannondale Touring Classic I assume you are in Europe. Do they offer something more like the US model the Touring 2 there? The Classic looks like the component choice is biased more toward a road bike type gearing than I would choose if there will be hills or mountains on your tours..

    I personally would not shy away from aluminum frames. Tire width and pressure with have way more effect than frame material on the ride.

  3. #3
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    more info

    You might get better advice if you said where, how, and how far you plan to tour, how much you weigh, and how much you plan to carry.
    Well, I'll have 4 panniers, two at the back and two at the front.
    The next tour I'm planning is just over 1000km (London - Munich)
    I'm 185cm and weigh just over 70kg.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Since you mention the Cannondale Touring Classic I assume you are in Europe. Do they offer something more like the US model the Touring 2 there? The Classic looks like the component choice is biased more toward a road bike type gearing than I would choose if there will be hills or mountains on your tours..

    I personally would not shy away from aluminum frames. Tire width and pressure with have way more effect than frame material on the ride.
    The Touring Classic has some slight problems with the gearing. However anything on a bike can be changed...sometimes at the point of purchase. If you buy the bike, Zweibel, ask if they can change the crank to a Trekking crank (48/34/26). Shimano makes several different flavors. The LX (FC-M583-K) comes with those chainwheels. I'd change out the inner ring for a 24 or 22 but that's just me

    The rear cluster is more problematic. It's a Shimano 10 speed and Shimano doesn't make 10 speed cassettes for mere mortals. IRD does but it would have to be special ordered.

    Before you buy the bike, just inform the shop owner that you would like to make changes and what would those changes cost.

    And there's nothing wrong with aluminum. I've been riding on it for eons...road bike and mountain bike... without issues. It's a lot tougher than some people give it credit for.
    Stuart Black
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  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    The guys that have Cannondale touring bikes like them. You will have to deal with the shifting issue. Shimano needs a shrink or something. Because it's new, you should be able to swap out the rear cassette for a 9 sp with a 34T bailout gear. The question is if that will be low enough for you over the long haul with a 30T low gear up front...

    Bar end shifters are one possibility.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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  6. #6
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    I'd stick with a 9 speed drivetrain personally. Newer Tiagra parts (9 speed) are very good-- buy the lower model C'dale if you want. It's cheaper and still a good bike.

    Cannondale really invented the modern touring bike-- those Alu frames are really stiff and strong. You can't go wrong buying one form a good shop.

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/cusa/model-8TR2.html

    I'd rather own the cheaper touring 2. It's lower geared and 9 speed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
    I'd rather own the cheaper touring 2. It's lower geared and 9 speed.
    Yes, I've also been looking at the Touring 1 and 2, but unfortunately I can't find a dealer in the UK who has them. Also had a look on eBay, but no luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Could you special order one?
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zweibel View Post
    I have decided to buy a quality touring bike and am prepared to pay a fair amount of money for it.
    What other good touring bikes would you recommend?
    You might want to check out the Touring Equipment from Bruce Gordon Cycles - any questions - feel free to give me a call.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    www.bgcycles.com

  10. #10
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgcycles View Post
    You might want to check out the Touring Equipment from Bruce Gordon Cycles - any questions - feel free to give me a call.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    www.bgcycles.com
    Bruce, one of your bikes is tempting me on craigslist at the moment. I am not particularly looking for a new tourer, but at half the cost it is hard to pass up!

  11. #11
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I have a Waterford Adventure cycle (http://waterfordbikes.com/now/models...ommand=refresh) and think it is a great touring bike. It isn't cheap, but it rides like a dream either loaded or unloaded.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  12. #12
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    Aluminium isn't as strong as steel. It is softer though, but it's ultimatly a choice of preferance. And if I'm not wrong, the frame on the Cannondale Touring Classic comes with a lifetime warranty. At least it did with my 2007 model.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zweibel View Post
    Yes, I've also been looking at the Touring 1 and 2, but unfortunately I can't find a dealer in the UK who has them. Also had a look on eBay, but no luck.
    If you're in UK and can afford, you should take a look at these

    http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    If you're in UK and can afford, you should take a look at these

    http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html
    I was going to mention the same - I think the OP is in the UK and given the recent decline in the value of the pound against the dollar, a US sourced bike is not as good a deal for a UK-based cyclist as it was a year ago.

    Thorn always seems to have a few clearance/demo/"customer canceled the order" bikes in stock - check out the website at SJS Cycles. I think you can get a Thorn for about the same price as the Cannondale if you don't go crazy on the spec.

    Also, right now a Bob Jackson World Touring frame is going for GBP 389; Bob Jackson also will build a complete bike, which I'm guessing would get you in the same price range.

    (Note to others: A non-EU purchaser can get these bikes for less because VAT is deducted for bikes sent out of the country. If I'm doing the match right, a lugged steel Bob Jackson touring frame + fork is about $500 US right now, plus shipping to the U.S.).
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 01-19-09 at 11:37 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Check out the Bob Jackson World Tour and Mercian King of Mercia frames. Both are excellent values, still made the old-fashioned way with steel lugged frames.

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