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  1. #1
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    Frame style: Choosing either convention or personal preference

    I have two road bike frames. One is a 58cm 1972 Masi Gran Criterium, a stage racer with fairly slack angles and long stays, sort of sport touring. The other is a 60cm 1985 Trek 760, a criterium bike with a 74deg headtube, 73deg seat tube, high bb, tight clearances, basically the antithesis of a touring bike. The frame to build up for my tour should be obvious right?

    Trouble is I've never gotten comfortable on the Masi and I absolutely love the Trek. I use the Trek as my daily commuter and have taken it on 100+mile rides with no problems. My hands, butt, and back are hurting after riding the Masi 40miles. I've tried setting up the Masi with the same (or even more relaxed) position as the Trek so it should feel similar right? I've been trying for weeks to get a comfortable position but it's not happening. I'm leaving for my tour next week and am really tempted to swap my components over to the Trek.

    So is it crazy to do extended touring on a criterium bike even if it's really comfortable? Should I keep trying with the Masi?

    Pertinent info about my setup: I'm using a seatpost mounted single wheel trailer so the bike will have no racks or panniers. The Masi has 32mm tires with room for fenders. The Trek has 28mm tires with BARELY room for fenders. I'd have to ditch the Trek's fenders to fit my new 32mm touring tires.

    The Trek is currently set up with bullhorn handlebars, which I love. The Masi has ergo-bend drop bars with brifters, for which I'm uncomfortable on the hoods. (Yes I've tried many handlebar/brifter position combinations.) I'm fine with older road levers on drop bars. I'm tempted to ditch the 9-sp brifters and go with friction bar-end or downtube shifters so I can use the bullhorns, though I appreciate index shifting. I have 4 favorite positions on the bullhorns, 6 for drops. Are the 2 extra hand positions on the drop bar worth the lessened comfort of my favorite position on the drops versus the bullhorns?

    I know it's really bad to have so much flux in bike setup so close to the tour, but the bike setup I prefer (singlespeed race bike with bullhorns) is supposed to be a terrible idea for touring so I'm franticly trying to find an alternative setup that will work for me and for touring.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; 05-26-09 at 09:42 AM. Reason: added tire info

  2. #2
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    Have you ever had a professional fitting done on your Masi? Maybe the un-comfort is a result of not making the correct adjustments.

  3. #3
    rhm
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    I think what you want to be told is, ride the Trek, right? Okay, I'll play that game.

    Ride the Trek! I kinda suspect the Masi is too small for you.

    Before you do ANYthing to the Trek, load up your trailer and hitch it up to the bike and see how it feels pulling it with the single speed. If it's good, it's good. If not, keep your bullhorns and put bar ends on there, and switch over whatever else you need from the Masi. Index shifting is overrated.

    If you're comfortable riding the miles on the Trek, and the extra weight is on in the trailer, you don't even need to change your tires.

    That said, assuming both bikes fit, I'd rather be riding the Masi geometry than the Trek, and I'd rather be riding with fatter tires and fenders, and (having never tried bullhorns) I think I'd prefer ergo drops. But that's just me.

    This is your call!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Nault View Post
    Have you ever had a professional fitting done on your Masi? Maybe the un-comfort is a result of not making the correct adjustments.
    No I've never had a professional fitting. I'd like one some day though. I do my fitting based off a mish-mash of the guidance given by Sheldon Brown, Peter White, Grant Peterson, Greg Lemond, and Keith Bontrager. I just don't get why my comfort changes when the relative position between the bottom bracket, saddle, and handlebars is nearly identical between the bikes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    I think what you want to be told is, ride the Trek, right? Okay, I'll play that game.

    Ride the Trek! I kinda suspect the Masi is too small for you.
    The bikes have the same 58cm top tube length, just different headtube/seattube lengths. I've kept the saddle to bar drop the same though. Oddly enough, to get a similar cockpit length I've had to go with a stem 2cm shorter on the Masi than the Trek and I still feel like my seat isn't quite far enough back. (yet I feel more stretched out on the Masi...wierd)
    Before you do ANYthing to the Trek, load up your trailer and hitch it up to the bike and see how it feels pulling it with the single speed. If it's good, it's good. If not, keep your bullhorns and put bar ends on there, and switch over whatever else you need from the Masi. Index shifting is overrated.
    I have pulled the trailer with the Trek and didn't have any handling problems. New Orleans is very flat so I can't judge whether I could pull it with a singlespeed on my tour. (which will go over mountains) I'm guessing I'd regret using a singlespeed. I am taking the singlespeed wheel along as the trailer wheel so I can always try it out!

    You'd recommend barend shifters over downtube for bullhorns? I'm currently using a Nitto RB-018 bullhorn with some early dura-ace non-aero brake levers on the up-bend. Wouldn't the brake cable get in the way of the bar end shifter lever?
    If you're comfortable riding the miles on the Trek, and the extra weight is on in the trailer, you don't even need to change your tires.
    My 28mm commuting tires have worn through nearly to the casing so they won't be coming on the tour. Tuffy Liners are the only thing keeping them going.
    That said, assuming both bikes fit, I'd rather be riding the Masi geometry than the Trek, and I'd rather be riding with fatter tires and fenders, and (having never tried bullhorns) I think I'd prefer ergo drops. But that's just me.
    Now you have me considering switching the Trek back to the ergo drops I was using before I won the bullhorns. My freddy fenders may not fit, but I bet I could make some decent coroplast ones...another project before I go.
    This is your call!
    Always is. I'm just interested in the thoughts of experienced tourers.

  6. #6
    imi
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    The thought of going over mountains on a single speed with a fully loaded trailer is very scary to me but if you've got the legs and lungs for it...

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    hmmm,
    tough call, but its obvious that you have really though this through a bit. I'm not surprised about the bullhorns being very comfortable, I used to use that setup for my distance riding... smallish bike with longer stem and bullhorns, I felt stretched out like superman, but it was comfortable for me over the long haul.

    I would definitely suggest gears with the load and mountains. so: if you like the trek, at least think about adding a rear cluster and a barend or downtube shifter.

    Maybe try the bullhorns on the masi, with the gears etc? it might be the drops that you dont like....

    In the end, youve thought this through, and if you can do a century or more comfortably on the bike, you should be ok. the only issue to think about then is the handling effects of adding the weight. maybe with a trailer this will be ok too. touring on a crit bike? crazier things have happened.

  8. #8
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    Ok, I'm going to build the Trek up with bullhorns, downtube friction shifters, 18 speeds, and 32mm tires sans fenders. I'm going with what's familiar. Maybe I'll throw a set of old aero bars on there! Just when I thought I'd get to spend an evening outside the bike co-op...

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