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Old 04-22-11, 03:21 PM   #1
fruitbat
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Nashbar touring frame, yea or nay?

Does anyone have any info or experience with Nashbar frames? I'm getting ready for my first tour (Portland to San Francisco), and the $99 aluminum touring frame is pretty tempting. Or is it too good to be true? I'm looking for something middle of the road, that I can put decent/common components etc. on, & potentially resell if I upgrade in the future. The big plus to this frame is that it's available in my size (49cm), which has always been hard to find.

This is one I'm eying...

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product2_10053_10052_511239_-1#ReviewHeader[/URL]

Thanks!
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Old 04-22-11, 03:32 PM   #2
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Try the search function, please.
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Old 04-22-11, 03:52 PM   #3
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It's completely adequate, and the price is outstanding. The Nashbar Touring Frame is an underrated bargain in a touring frame. CS length=45.5cm is a big plus. There's more than one journal over at CGOAB detailing cross-country trips on NTFs.

My neighbor has one, bought years ago when they were sold as a frameset for $150. You can still buy the Nashbar steel touring fork in matching color for another 50 bucks, so it's an even better deal now, 5 years later/same price. The welds are decent and the paint is arguably a better color than anything Surly ever put on a LHT.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_511246_-1___

You might be better off with a frame that takes 26" wheels for your size, since there's less likelihood of toe overlap.

OTOH, the outer diameter of a 26x2.0"-tired wheel is the same as a 700x23mm, so unless you intend to run the maximum tire size on the Nashbar touring frame (700x38mm), it doesn't much matter.

Last edited by seeker333; 04-22-11 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-22-11, 03:57 PM   #4
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It says on the Surly webpage that the LHT frame comes small enough for you.
Trek 520 also comes small enough.

Both these bikes have "decent/common components" and would have a higher resale price than a no-name bike.

I understand buying components one by one is more expensive than purchasing a complete bike of the same quality although I've never done it. However, building a bike from scratch would be a fun exercise.
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Old 04-22-11, 05:17 PM   #5
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Built mine from scratch. Everything went together fine with the exception of one of the bottle mounts. Was no big deal but needed to offset the mount slightly to accomodate the front derailleur. For the price it's hard to beat. .....The ride is better than my carbon road bike.
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Old 04-22-11, 06:56 PM   #6
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Wow, that's pretty good news, and I guess I have some options to weigh. I'd love to get a Surly, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a complete bike. But I'd also really like the project of putting it together myself. A third option would be to get a super cheap used bike and take it all apart. But I've done that once before, and spent lots of time getting mad at stuck bolts. (A couple just couldn't take my mannish strength... ooops.) Anyway, this has all been helpful advice so far. Thanks again!
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Old 04-22-11, 09:46 PM   #7
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This is my nashbar build it's not done yet mom and my wife are both in the Hospt so I had to stop for a while.But it does ride nice I am getting a longer BB for it.
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Old 04-23-11, 07:38 PM   #8
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it's an awesome bike, been using mine as a commuter here in nyc for about 2 months now. it's dope. everytime I'm at my lbs people are asking about it and the mechanics all love it. a couple of the sales guys there thought i was crazy when i started the projdect and kept trying to sell me something in house "guys, you don't have EXACTLY what I need in a bike stock, I'm gonna hve to spend $700 for a bike and then another $$500 to get just what I want, I can build this whole thing from scratch for under $1000 just the way i want it and have fun doing it.


please ignore the improperly tilted rear rack BTW, the color of this frame is awesome
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Old 04-24-11, 01:29 AM   #9
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Looks interesting with nice long wheelbase/chainstay etc. I can't comment specifically about the frame but I used to buy Nashbar stuff years ago like their very cheap but decent touring shorts which held up well over 1,000's of miles. Have ridden a Cannondale 6061 aluminum touring frame from 80's & it was very stout & dependable.
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Old 04-24-11, 07:59 AM   #10
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i should have added that my bike is built with the nashbar carbon cyclocross fork. being new to cycling I don't have any notions of "aluminum is harsh, steel is real" I just happily ride. What I can say is that I love this bike with the 700x 35 nashbar streetwise tires because I don't have to avoid any potholes. IT's so much more of a comfy ride on the bigger tires, I'm confident that makes more of a difference than frame material in ride comfort, especially for me weighing close to 250lbs. I went with the carbon fork because this is gonna be an all weather commuter and I wanted added stopping power of disc brakes up front although I believe the nashbar steel fork now has disc tabs on it so you could still do that. I used to have a giant rapid which is a flat bar roadie not quite as long on the chainstays and I can honestly say, this bike rides so much better and smoother with the rear rack loaded up than my giant did. I'm not sure if it's because perhaps the rack is mounted lower or not, but this bike rides loaded with 30lbs on the back every bit as good as it rides unloaded.
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Old 04-24-11, 09:14 AM   #11
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motobecane, how's the tire clearance with the carbon fork and 38mm tires? Could you have a full front fender that runs under the fork crown?
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Old 04-24-11, 08:36 PM   #12
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clearance is fine with this fork and fender combo, not sure about a full fender although I think i'm going to be going for one very soon. I had 700x37s on there but now i've got 35's on it.
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Old 04-24-11, 09:36 PM   #13
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motobecane, how's the tire clearance with the carbon fork and 38mm tires? Could you have a full front fender that runs under the fork crown?
In the front, 700x38 should work although the toe overlap can be a killer. The rear is where you'll have problems. When I run fenders on this frame, I use 700x32 tires. 700x35 might be doable, but there's less clearance than I'd like between the rear tire and fender...
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Old 04-25-11, 09:09 AM   #14
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thx
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Old 04-25-11, 11:28 PM   #15
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i should have added that my bike is built with the nashbar carbon cyclocross fork. being new to cycling I don't have any notions of "aluminum is harsh, steel is real" I just happily ride. What I can say is that I love this bike with the 700x 35 nashbar streetwise tires because I don't have to avoid any potholes. IT's so much more of a comfy ride on the bigger tires, I'm confident that makes more of a difference than frame material in ride comfort, especially for me weighing close to 250lbs. I went with the carbon fork because this is gonna be an all weather commuter and I wanted added stopping power of disc brakes up front although I believe the nashbar steel fork now has disc tabs on it so you could still do that. I used to have a giant rapid which is a flat bar roadie not quite as long on the chainstays and I can honestly say, this bike rides so much better and smoother with the rear rack loaded up than my giant did. I'm not sure if it's because perhaps the rack is mounted lower or not, but this bike rides loaded with 30lbs on the back every bit as good as it rides unloaded.
Carbon frame tubes are supposedly forbidden on touring bikes, I'm thinking that carbon is mature enough so that a reasonably priced carbon touring frame would work well. Plus carbon's shock-absorbency seems great for touring. Yeah I've seen a pro racer bust his carbon fork in the middle of a race but OTOH I've seen plenty of pros bust up aluminum & steel frames too. All I know is that I get jealous when I go to the LBS & heft some 17 lb carbon racers & compare to my Novara Randonee at twice the weight with fenders & racks. Also I'm a disc fan, I puzzle over why nice commuters have disc but loaded tourers are supposed to squeak by with rim brakes.
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Old 04-26-11, 12:29 PM   #16
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Carbon frame tubes are supposedly forbidden on touring bikes, I'm thinking that carbon is mature enough so that a reasonably priced carbon touring frame would work well.
These days, it's possible to buy tandem and long-travel mountain bike frames built from carbon fiber. A touring frame designed for on-road use should be no problem. My guess is that there just isn't enough demand...
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Old 04-26-11, 01:01 PM   #17
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These days, it's possible to buy tandem and long-travel mountain bike frames built from carbon fiber. A touring frame designed for on-road use should be no problem. My guess is that there just isn't enough demand...
It would be a very limited market. Since a tourist is going to carry 25-50 lbs of gear, it hardly makes sense to spend an extra $500-1000 on a CF frameset to save 0.5 lb.

Most of the extra weight of a touring bike comes from extra equipment, namely triple crank drivetrain with 34t cassette, heavy wheels, tires and tubes, heavy saddle, fenders, racks and panniers. Some luggage sets (f+r panniers+hbar bag) weigh 10-12 lbs alone.

In the case of Motobecane69's CF fork (and most other inexpensive "CF" forks). the fork is actually mostly Al. The steerer, crown and about 1/3 the length of the legs are cast Al. The fork is made by Aprebic in Taiwan and sold under various brand names. The Winwood and Nashbar CF forks are nearly identical.

http://www.evo.com.tw/
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Old 05-01-11, 11:06 PM   #18
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It would be a very limited market. Since a tourist is going to carry 25-50 lbs of gear, it hardly makes sense to spend an extra $500-1000 on a CF frameset to save 0.5 lb.

Most of the extra weight of a touring bike comes from extra equipment, namely triple crank drivetrain with 34t cassette, heavy wheels, tires and tubes, heavy saddle, fenders, racks and panniers. Some luggage sets (f+r panniers+hbar bag) weigh 10-12 lbs alone.

In the case of Motobecane69's CF fork (and most other inexpensive "CF" forks). the fork is actually mostly Al. The steerer, crown and about 1/3 the length of the legs are cast Al. The fork is made by Aprebic in Taiwan and sold under various brand names. The Winwood and Nashbar CF forks are nearly identical.

http://www.evo.com.tw/
Limited market for carbon-fiber tourers yes although I'd venture that a carbon frame would save more than 1/2 pound. Carbon racks would be a nice low-weight plus though undoubtedly expensive plus racks have to be made in so many different configurations. Yet we see tourists buying custom steel or Ti frames for big $$, perhaps a stock-carbon touring frame could beat those prices.
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Old 05-02-11, 09:34 AM   #19
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It would be a very limited market. Since a tourist is going to carry 25-50 lbs of gear, it hardly makes sense to spend an extra $500-1000 on a CF frameset to save 0.5 lb.
I didn't claim there was a market, just that it was possible to build such a bike.

FYI, the primary advantage of a carbon fiber frame, in my mind anyway, is not the weight savings but the ride quality. I would expect that a CF touring frame would probably weigh only slightly less than an aluminum frame, but would have the same pleasant ride as a heavier steel frame.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:27 AM   #20
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I didn't claim there was a market, just that it was possible to build such a bike.

FYI, the primary advantage of a carbon fiber frame, in my mind anyway, is not the weight savings but the ride quality. I would expect that a CF touring frame would probably weigh only slightly less than an aluminum frame, but would have the same pleasant ride as a heavier steel frame.

Good points although I'd speculate that weight-saving with a CF frame might be more than slight. Audi pioneered aluminum-alloy car frames though to make them strong enough to resist high-speed Autobahn crashes the weight bonus was reduced much. Formula 1 & IndyCar both use carbon-fiber for chassis, gearbox & driver-protecting "tub". The suspension & outer carbon parts are engineered to break in a crash while the tub is designed to resist the most massive crashes.

CF for touring bikes makes sense, I'd guess the ride could even be better than steel. My steel Novara Randonee is harsh over rough surfaces even with 37mm tires.
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