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  1. #1
    Senior Member duffetta's Avatar
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    What are my options for steel frame and disc brakes?

    Hi,

    I've thinking about replacing my current ride with something with the following requirements:

    1) Steel frame and fork
    2) Disc brakes (on the chainstay in the rear would be nice but not required)
    3) Room for at least 38mm tires with fenders

    What I have found through my own research are the following options:

    Kona Sutra
    Salsa Vaya
    Gunnar Fast Lane (nice but WAY expensive)

    If I drop the requirement for disc brakes, I can obviously add a bunch of others including Surly LHT and CrossCheck, Rivendell AHH and Sam Hillborne (again nice but WAY expensive) among others.

    I won't be doing much touring with this. Mostly a commuter. I prefer steel to aluminum, and I'd really like disc brakes as I ride rain (and snow) or shine.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    '06 Fuji Cross Pro

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I have a touring bike built around the 2009 Kona Sutra frame. It has a major weakness: the rear rack mount eyelets are weak. One of mine broke off during my first tour. I had them reinforced by a local framebuilder. Other than that it's a nice frame but I don't like 700cc geometry. I'm going back to 26" frame though. I have my eyes on the new new Surly Troll. The bike is for sale, but it's probably an overkill for what you want: dual racks, touring handlebars, etc.

    Whatever you do, go with disc brakes. They're great.

  3. #3
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    I don't want to tour on that Troll thing, but I like the rear dropout. I like rear ends where there is significant separation between the points of termination of the stays. A looped tube as on some early MTBs or current cheap bikes, or BikeFridays, is a version of it. A lot of people turn up their noses though. But they did a good job on the drop from what I can tell.

    I know it isn't steel, but Cannondale might still have some available.

    There used to be more companies offering touring bikes. I checked some of the big names and they no longer have them. But here is one:

    http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/Html/TurismoExtreme.html

    another:

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tout-terrain.asp

    There are lots of custom buiders who regularly do it, but a cheaper alternative would be to go disc only on the front. There are a lot of cheap disc forks out there, and the front end does most of the stopping. That will save you the cost, weight, and rack complications of the rear brake, and even cantis can easily lock up the rear. Try pedersen self-energizing brakes back there.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1_10000_200456
    Last edited by NoReg; 11-02-10 at 02:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member duffetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    I have a touring bike built around the 2009 Kona Sutra frame. It has a major weakness: the rear rack mount eyelets are weak. One of mine broke off during my first tour. I had them reinforced by a local framebuilder. Other than that it's a nice frame but I don't like 700cc geometry. I'm going back to 26" frame though. I have my eyes on the new new Surly Troll. The bike is for sale, but it's probably an overkill for what you want: dual racks, touring handlebars, etc.

    Whatever you do, go with disc brakes. They're great.
    AdamDZ, I saw your ForSale post. I was tempted. Still am. It is a beautiful build. It is what has me thinking about moving over to steel and disc.
    '06 Fuji Cross Pro

  5. #5
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    IIRC the Salsa Fargo is also steel, can take disc brakes and is available as a frame only.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    On a bike capable of running touring tires, you're not going to notice much of a difference between a steel frame and an aluminum frame. I hate aluminum frames, but my cheap Nashbar aluminum touring frame with a disc-brake capable cyclocross fork on the front and 700x32 or larger tires makes for a great ride... Super-cheap, too! As Peterpan1 says, having a cantilever brake at the rear isn't a big problem.

    That said, I'll toss a few more bikes into the mix:

    Jamis Aurora Elite
    Co-motion Americano or Pangea
    Soma Double Cross DC (cyclocross/commute/light touring)

  7. #7
    Senior Moment grinningfool's Avatar
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    What about the Raleigh Sojourn ? I don't own one, but it should fit your specifications.
    People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.

  8. #8
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Soma Doublecross DC fits the bill.

  9. #9
    It's true, man.
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    I commute on my Vaya - it's excellent for the purpose.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stannian's Avatar
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    Jamis has a new bike for 2011 called the Basanova. Check it out on their website.

  11. #11
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    Any budget figure you are trying to stay under? If you have the funding Co Motion makes some bikes that have what you are looking for.

  12. #12
    Senior Member duffetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoMotionRider View Post
    Any budget figure you are trying to stay under? If you have the funding Co Motion makes some bikes that have what you are looking for.
    Hmm. Budget. Probably $1500, maybe a bit more. I could certainly afford a new disc-ready fork, new front wheel, and the brake mechanism. Co-Motion and tout-terain are probably out of the question unless the rain makers make it rain on me. The Basanova and Aurora Elite are definitely doable.

    Thanks for all of the ideas.

    Mark
    '06 Fuji Cross Pro

  13. #13
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    Not to thread jack to hard but I'm in the same position. I've been riding a Kona ***** Inc solidly for the last year. The bike is cool but I really dislike the braze-on mounts. Fenders do not really fit and racks run into the chainstay disc. I'm over it.

    I really like the components and would just like to swap them over to another frame.

    Price range $400 max.

  14. #14
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    Jamis Aurora Elite.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Yup, saw it. Pretty rad, what's the cost on that frame? Maybe I'll call them on Monday.

  16. #16
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Surly 1x1, Troll and Karate Monkey all fit your needs.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  17. #17
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Within the 1500 budget, +/-, and if your terrain allows for a heavier bike, I'd definitely consider the Surly Pugsley in steel bike options. Beautiful bike over soft ground. The weight is an issue for me but it sure is a capable platform. Surly has recently started offering them as full bikes too.

  18. #18
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    Within the 1500 budget, +/-, and if your terrain allows for a heavier bike, I'd definitely consider the Surly Pugsley in steel bike options. Beautiful bike over soft ground. The weight is an issue for me but it sure is a capable platform. Surly has recently started offering them as full bikes too.


    The Pugsley does make a fine touring bike and can be built up with "normal" 29er rims if you want to use narrower tires for a paved tour, but have the option for 4" rubber for snow/dirt tours. When my buddy and I rode the CDN GDR on our Pugsleys we were no slower than the other folks on more "normal" bikes and we managed a 140km day fully loaded uphill on dirt....we aren't uber fit. The Pugsleys roll along much better than the 4" tires make people think they do.
    safe riding - Vik
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  19. #19
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Loving your photography Vik. How much did that Pugsley weigh in at, fully built with racks and bags but sans your luggage? It looks like a wickedly fun ride.

  20. #20
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    Loving your photography Vik. How much did that Pugsley weigh in at, fully built with racks and bags but sans your luggage? It looks like a wickedly fun ride.
    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry I don't know the weight of my Pugs. I haven't weighed a bike in years. The tires are not as heavy as they look.
    safe riding - Vik
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  21. #21
    Senior Member WolfsBane's Avatar
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    Would love to give Surly a try, but right now their extremely limited color selection for the Cross Check and LHT is downright unappealing, in fact a huge turn off. Blues, browns, and lots of black. Uggg...
    Welcome... to the house of Rock!!!

  22. #22
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfsBane View Post
    Would love to give Surly a try, but right now their extremely limited color selection for the Cross Check and LHT is downright unappealing, in fact a huge turn off. Blues, browns, and lots of black. Uggg...
    $75 - $100 will get a Surly frame powder coated any [within reason] colour you like. I'm getting my GF a Cross Check frame for X'mas in what looks like a pretty sweet light blue colour.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Raleigh Sojourn is steel and comes with disc brakes
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  24. #24
    Senior Member VintageRide's Avatar
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    You might want to consider the Steelwool Tweed. Only problem is they are dropping the model - but not because it is not popular - they are re-prioritizing their production and cannot accommodate it presently so not sure if it will be back. Currently at 680.00 cdn. but there are no dealers in the U.S. You can have it made as a custom when they are sold out of the Taiwan made frames , but at a higher cost. The tubing is Tange Prestige and it is a very good commuter/ light touring design. After looking at cost versus a good steel frame with disc brake capability the Tweed fit the bill. I believe they only have small and large sizes left though.

    http://www.steelwoolbicycles.ca/bikes/tweed.html
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    Last edited by VintageRide; 11-26-10 at 02:54 PM.

  25. #25
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    If you are into 'do-it-yourself, you could get a LHT frame and a disc fork to build up with the components YOU want. I went with a regular MTB frame and did this, and really like the results.
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