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Old 11-02-10, 01:40 PM   #1
duffetta
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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
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Old 11-02-10, 02:01 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-02-10, 02:19 PM   #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.
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Old 11-02-10, 02:56 PM   #4
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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.
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.
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Old 11-02-10, 03:32 PM   #5
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IIRC the Salsa Fargo is also steel, can take disc brakes and is available as a frame only.
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Old 11-02-10, 07:23 PM   #6
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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)
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Old 11-02-10, 07:46 PM   #7
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What about the Raleigh Sojourn ? I don't own one, but it should fit your specifications.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:59 AM   #8
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Soma Doublecross DC fits the bill.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:20 AM   #9
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I commute on my Vaya - it's excellent for the purpose.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:28 AM   #10
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Jamis has a new bike for 2011 called the Basanova. Check it out on their website.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:58 AM   #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.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:13 PM   #12
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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.
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
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Old 11-06-10, 10:13 PM   #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.
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Old 11-06-10, 10:16 PM   #14
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Jamis Aurora Elite.
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Old 11-07-10, 12:47 AM   #15
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Yup, saw it. Pretty rad, what's the cost on that frame? Maybe I'll call them on Monday.
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Old 11-07-10, 09:20 AM   #16
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Surly 1x1, Troll and Karate Monkey all fit your needs.
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Old 11-07-10, 09:32 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-07-10, 10:05 AM   #18
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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.


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.
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Old 11-07-10, 12:49 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 11-08-10, 11:17 AM   #20
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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.
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.
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Old 11-24-10, 08:07 AM   #21
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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...
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Old 11-24-10, 09:04 AM   #22
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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...
$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.
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Old 11-24-10, 09:39 AM   #23
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Raleigh Sojourn is steel and comes with disc brakes
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Old 11-26-10, 03:46 PM   #24
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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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Old 11-27-10, 08:20 PM   #25
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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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