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  1. #1
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    Light, Loaded, Credit Card, Cyclocross, Sport... OMG!

    I have decided that I want to do a little touring. I think I may start with card style touring and see how it goes. After reading a ton of threads here, loaded touring sounds exciting, but that may come in time. My use would also include charity rides both single and multi-day.

    I like the sporty feel of my Ketral EMS compared to that of my MTB and a hybrid a rented last month. I am assuming I will be happier with 700 tires. I have gleaned from this forum that Surly LHT and the Trek 520 are popular choice for loaded tours. I think these maybe over kill for CC touring and charity rides.

    I like the idea of having a more comfortable bike for my 60-100 mile rides. I have gleaned from the posts here that a "sport" style frame may be what I am looking for? I don't know if these are considered sport, but the Salsa Casseroll, Surly Cross Check, Trek Pilot and Soma ES might be the style of bike I am looking for? I would like the bike to have a longer chain stay as well to eliminate the pannier issues.

    Dealing with a LBS in TX would be a bonus to assure I get a right fit, but will consider all options.

    Is it possible to find a bike with a sporty and comfortable feel for the cc touring / charity rides, but also have the ability to load some lightweight gear on it? Any/all thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnofa View Post
    .

    Is it possible to find a bike with a sporty and comfortable feel for the cc touring / charity rides, but also have the ability to load some lightweight gear on it? Any/all thoughts and suggestions appreciated.
    Yes. Lots of manufacturers make what are essentially road bikes but with slightly relaxed geometry and the braze-ons and eyelets that would allow you to mount a rack. The Kona ***** Tonk is a good example (I chose it because I happen to think Kona provide good value), but there are many many others.

    Incidentally, the chainstay on the Kona is 16.2 inches. Shorter than on a full-on tourer, but adequate if you chose sensible panniers - unless you have truly enormous feet.
    Last edited by chasm54; 08-01-10 at 02:41 PM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnofa View Post
    .I don't know if these are considered sport, but the Salsa Casseroll, Surly Cross Check, Trek Pilot and Soma ES might be the style of bike I am looking for? I would like the bike to have a longer chain stay as well to eliminate the pannier issues..
    That's a pretty good list to start with. The one exception is the Trek Pilot -- while it's got a more relaxed geometry than their more aggressive bikes, I don't think it has the eyelets you would want to allow you to more easily mount racks for carrying stuff.

    But the Casseroll, Cross Check and Soma ES are bikes to look at. Also look at cyclocross-style bikes: the Soma Double Cross, the Specialized Tricross, etc.

    If your budget can handle it, another really interesting option is the Gunnar Sport.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-01-10 at 02:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Yep, you've got lots of options, including numerous cross and "sport touring" bikes.

    I recommend you either pick a bike with low gearing, or mod it to add granny gears.

    You might also be able to go with an "endurance road" bike like the Specialized Secteur. I did a test ride on one, and it was ridiculously smooth.

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    I have a Gunnar Sport for the purposes you describe. My wife has a Salsa Casseroll. I recommend either one.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Look for "sport touring" bicycle, or "Audax" bicycles or "Randonneuring" bicycles ... they are a cross between a touring bicycle and a racing bicycle.

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    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I am going to go to a LBS and look into having a Gunnar Sport built up. Suggestions on components to use and anything else one should know when having a bike built wold be appreciated.

  8. #8
    Senior Member spooner's Avatar
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    I'm slowly building up a touring bike using the Motobecane Fantom CX. This is in spite of just about everything I've read on a touring bike. For example, it has 700 wheels, aluminum frame, 32 spoke wheels, etc. Yet, I think I can build a tourer. Of course, I have to make some concessions. I will use a BoB trailer instead of having panniers over the wheels.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx3.htm

    The bike has all the necessary braze-ons for a front rack and rear rack if you want and you can mount two water cages.

    If you call Cycle Spectrum they might have one in stock for you to look at. They carry a lot of the BD bikes.

    http://cyclespectrum.com/storelocator/

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    I'm kind of getting interested in the style of bikes as well, maybe something a bit more sprightly than my Fargo. Ideally, it could fit 32mm and fenders with long reach brakes. Any specific suggestions?

    I had a Casseroll for a while, but I just didn't care for it for some reason.

    Thanks,

    Eric

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    Consider a Soma Smoothie ES or as previously suggested a Gunnar Sport.
    ride long & prosper

  11. #11
    Senior Member Geo Cruise's Avatar
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    To see if a frame may be okay for touring the first place I look is teh distance between the rear wheel and the seat tup, the bigger the better for touring. Also 32 but preferably 36 spoke wheels would be in order with MTB hubs with sealed bearings.

    My bike is a race style bike I am trying to adapt for the time being and it is not the easiest but it should work out in the end but I would prefer a bike properly suited for the job.
    Geo

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving" - Albert Einstein

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  12. #12
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    best listed so far is going to be the oh so sublime Soma Smoothie ES.

    extra smooth.

    cross bikes generally have a slightly higher BB, it fairly easy to discern a difference in handling and stability and ride quality from the Smoothie ES versus a Crosscheck or a DoubleCross.

    they are both great bikes, as is the casserol and all the others, but the 'best' bike -nicest steel, best handling characteristics - listed so far IMO is the Smoothie ES.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    best listed so far is going to be the oh so sublime Soma Smoothie ES.
    How does the ES compare to the Gunnar Sport?

  14. #14
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    last time i looked, none of the gunnar bikes were as 'plush' a geometry as the smoothie es.

    actually, the sport geometry looks very nice. MORE bb drop than the smoothie es. the angles look a little more relaxed too per size.

    has gunnar been doing that frame for a long time? i guess i must have always missed that long reach brake, low BB frameset from them. It looks fabulous, except for the fork, although i am sure it rides nice, a straight fork is not my style on a roadbike. maybe that's why the gunnar sport dropped off my radar.

    Gunnar sport looks like a great choice if you like straight forks.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 08-08-10 at 09:34 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnofa View Post
    Is it possible to find a bike with a sporty and comfortable feel for the cc touring / charity rides, but also have the ability to load some lightweight gear on it? Any/all thoughts and suggestions appreciated.
    sure, bit if you're a 130lb person a CrossCheck might feel like a tank compared to a CrossCheck ridden by a 225lb person. Go ride them.

  16. #16
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    Personally, I'd much rather ride a "sport touring" bike than a touring bike for everything but long distance heavily loaded tours. Ok, to be fair, I'd rather ride a cyclocross than anything else for almost everything.
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I think loaded touring is a niche in the bicycling world. You can buy an "all-around" bike to perform various functions: weekend rides, centuries, commuting, training, shopping, credit card touring, etc. But for loaded touring it's best to have a real tourer that's designed of it - not mandatory, but best.

    If you have enough money it's nice to have a stable of bikes for the types of riding you commonly do. I have four: a Surly LHT for loaded touring; a Specialized Allez for weekend rides, centuries, etc; a mountain bike for, well, mountain biking; and an old Stumpjumper with slick tires and a Bob trailer that I ride to the supermarket (it can hold four shopping bags!)

    If you don't have enough money for a stable, you'll need to make compromises. If you know you're going to want to do some loaded touring, a tourer can make an acceptable all-around bike that will handle all the other uses okay. If you don't think loaded touring will become a significant part of your lifestyle, you might be better off with a different type of bike that you can use for occasional loaded tours.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I have always been a big fan of the Bianchi Volpe. Its a good price too!

  19. #19
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    How big of a tire can the Soma really fit? The website says only 28mm with a fender. I'd like to go a bit bigger, if possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    best listed so far is going to be the oh so sublime Soma Smoothie ES.

    extra smooth.

    cross bikes generally have a slightly higher BB, it fairly easy to discern a difference in handling and stability and ride quality from the Smoothie ES versus a Crosscheck or a DoubleCross.

    they are both great bikes, as is the casserol and all the others, but the 'best' bike -nicest steel, best handling characteristics - listed so far IMO is the Smoothie ES.

  20. #20
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    32 mm schwalbe marathons fit nicely on my Smoothie ES, no fenders. not sure if 35 mm would fit.
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    ride long & prosper

  21. #21
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    35s cross tires fit on my IF (with shimano 'long' reach brakes) - similar brakes / spacing as the casseroll and others listed here using a 47mm to 57mm reach brake.
    i can actually squeak in 40s, but would be tight if i tweaked a wheel.


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