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Old 05-08-12, 07:46 PM   #1
evand
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Help me choose a new bike CC touring machine needed

I am going for a bike fitting next week. I am going to be upgrading from my specialized sirrus. I am moving past fitness rides and want a semi touring machine. I am 250lb's 6'3 and a ride over some pot hole filled roads.

The only real must haves are a triple crank, relaxed geometry, drop bars and a smooth ride.

No aluminum frames. Steel or Carbon this time. Loose budget of 2500 or less. I can blow the budget completely it if I really love something.

I have come up with a small list of top choices.

1= Salsa Casserole so far my winner

2=Surley long haul trucker disc I saw one in REI bar end shifters would need to be changed and it's really heavy

3=Specialized roubaix

4=trek 520 Looks ok but looks boring

5=Cervelo RS looks hot but no triple crank and I have been reading about cracks on the frame.

6 Civia bryant Looks like a dream bike with the belt drive. I don't think an 8 speed is gonna cut my gear ratio's that I need for hills.

Last edited by evand; 05-09-12 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-08-12, 08:28 PM   #2
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$2500, Cross-country touring, 250lbs. occasional bad roads.

LHT 700c or 26" according to your preferences.
Novara Buzz, 44.2" wheelbase!! 700x 40 tires, $600!!, ok you can convert it to drop bars but try it out.
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Old 05-08-12, 08:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by evand View Post
I am going for a bike fitting next week. I am going to be upgrading from my specialized sirrus. I am moving past fitness rides and want a semi touring machine. I am 250lb's 6'3 and a ride over some pot hole filled roads.

The only real must haves are a triple crank, relaxed geometry, drop bars and a smooth ride.

No aluminum frames. Steel or Carbon this time. Loose budget of 2500 or less. I can blow the budget completely it if I really love something.

I have come up with a small list of top choices.

1= Salsa Casserole

2=Surley long haul trucker disc

3=Specialized roubaix
Reconsider aluminum. I absolutely, positively hate aluminum road bike frames! And yet, my touring bike is based around Nashbar's double-butted aluminum touring frame and I love it! How is this possible? My Nashbar frame rides on 700x32 or 700x35 tires. These high-volume tires tend to smooth out the harshness that's typical when an aluminum frame is mated to skinny 700x23 or 700x25 tires. With those fat tires, the Nashbar is darn near as comfortable as my carbon fiber Cervelo RS road bike! Cheap, too! A nice way to give touring a try without sinking a ton of money into a bike...

I've never ridden one, but like the looks of the Jamis Aurora Elite. Wheelbase could stand to be a bit longer and the gearing a touch lower for heavily loaded touring.

Lots of people here will sing the praises of the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I'm not one of them. The geometry is just about perfect for a loaded tourer, but I can't get excited about the component mix on the complete bikes... or paying $470 for a frame made from cheap-o 4130 steel.

If you like Salsa, it might make sense to look at the Vaya or Fargo rather than the Casserole. The wheelbase on the Casserole seems quite a bit shorter than what you'd want for a touring bike.
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Old 05-08-12, 09:11 PM   #4
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Given your height/weight and budget, I would like to suggest a Rodriguez Rainier. It seems to fit the bill just right with all your requirements. You can get a nicely specd one with top quality 725 Reynolds steel and carbon fork all within your budget. Based in Seattle, these guys have lots of expertise in touring, randonneuring and tandem bikes. With 18 production sizes, your bike will be virtually custom which will insure a perfect fit.

Edit: I see one of your choices is the LHT Disc Trucker. If you want disc brakes (Avid BB7), they will also work with you, but use a steel fork instead of carbon.

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Old 05-09-12, 04:49 PM   #5
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I am going to look at full builds too. I think if I start at the frame it's between the rainier or this gunnar http://gunnarbikes.com/site/bikes/fast-lane/
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Old 05-09-12, 05:04 PM   #6
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If you are looking for steel then the Gunnar is nice we have a few built up in the shop and they are nice riding. i just rode a Salsa Fargo and it's a nice bike but it's to directed toward dirt for my taste. It was a very nide setup. If you have the expertise then building it yourself is a worthwhile endevour. You cant know a bike better then one you put together. While my Origin 700 CX has been a real challange to build up it's finished now after a year and it's one of the best riding haulers I have ever owned. Aside from knowing the bike you can really get exactly what you want in a bike for great price. Don't disreguard bar-end shifters I thought I had made a mistake when I put mine on but after having them for many miles I would NEVER go back to brifters.
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Old 05-09-12, 06:24 PM   #7
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Both choices (Rod Rainier or Gunnar Fast Lane) are super nice. It seems like you're really inclined in getting disc brakes which either Rodriguez or Gunnar can do. One of your choices (#6) is a bike with a belt drive system. Is that something you see yourself having or adding in the future? If you're thinking of adding a more sophisticated belt drive or Rohloff, then the guys at Rodriguez win hands down, IMHO. These guys have tons of expertise with eccentric bottom brackets (EBB) and special rear dropouts which are needed for these more sophisticated systems. Very few builders have this kind of expertise and if they do, they really overcharge. Obviously, they can put a derailleur hanger (parallel with the EBB, Rohloff or belt stuff), if that's all you want for now. I did this recently with a Rodriguez UTB which is more of a hardcore touring bike. You can see more level of detail here. In regard to Reynolds 725 steel, it is top-notch steel that offers a tad of flexibility. It makes them feel really nice (compliant!) on the road. Frames that are too stiff don't feel so good, especially if you're going to be riding with light loads: CC touring, commuting, long ride on Sunday with your buddies. They offer steel upgrades to True Temper Platinum OX or Stainless Steel which people also rave about. The stainless steel options I've seen these guys build look like they truly kick a*s!

If you're just going for a simple ole good derailleur drivetrain, it's a toss-up between Rodriguez and Gunnar. When selecting a builder, it might be a good idea to send an email letting them know you're in the market for a new frame (or complete build!) and they are one of your top choices. State your purposes for this frame. I personally also like to include a couple of tough questions (or concerns) and see how each builder responds. You definitely want to see how promptly they reply, their level of know-how, etc. Basically, you need to feel warm and fuzzy working with a builder at this level to insure they're going to meet all your needs.

Keep us posted!

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 05-10-12 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 05-09-12, 07:54 PM   #8
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4=trek 520 Looks ok but looks boring
Are you buying this bike to go on a cross country tour, or to stare at the bike?
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Old 05-09-12, 08:27 PM   #9
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Are you buying this bike to go on a cross country tour, or to stare at the bike?
It doesn't sound like the OP is doing/planning any kind of cross-country tour. Based on his list of bikes, it seems to me like he's looking for a bike for credit card touring, long comfortable rides, S24O and so on. I'm sure function is on his priority list. I, however, don't blame him if aesthetics and/or other features are also part of his requirements contemplated in his budget.

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Old 05-09-12, 08:32 PM   #10
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Specialized TriCross or Crux in Carbon
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Old 05-09-12, 08:59 PM   #11
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I recommend a cross bike, such as the Surly Cross Check or Specialized Tricross.

Price range on the CC or Tricross should be in the $1500 range. LBS can easily change the CC to a triple; just add another chainring and a slightly different BB.

• Full touring bikes (LHT, Trek 520) are very good but are overkill (and will feel slow) for your purposes.
• Cross bikes can take large tires, skinny tires, racks, fenders etc but are a little zippier than a touring bike.
• You can easily beef up a cross bike to do almost anything a full touring bike can do anyway.
• Endurance bikes (Roubaix, Cervelo RS) are a little too racy, can't take very wide tires, no rack options, kinda spendy. I'd really only choose this option if you will tour very infrequently, but do lots of club rides or centuries.
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Old 05-09-12, 10:22 PM   #12
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I've gotten over 10,000 miles on my 520 in the last year. I leave on my CC adventure on June 18th. The trek 520 is far from boring. Its solid, fast,powerful, and has never once left me stranded on the side of the road.
Tell me this looks boring
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Old 05-10-12, 01:39 AM   #13
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LHT with 26" wheels or the Trek 520 would be good choices.
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Old 05-10-12, 02:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by evand View Post
I am 250lb's 6'3

The only real must haves are a triple crank, relaxed geometry, drop bars and a smooth ride.


2=Surley long haul trucker disc I saw one in REI bar end shifters would need to be changed and it's really heavy
didn't notice this, kinda funny comment from a 250lb person. Yeah, it is heavy, with heavy wheels. About an extra 1% of total weight compared to a sport bike made up of rider, bike and touring rig w. 5lbs of racks and fenders but it's not designed to be a semi-touring machine. It's meant to be a heavy touring machine. The issue with it is more of handling, the 700c version really isn't in the sport/tour category, it likes to go straight. The 26" wheeled version handles like a sport bike but carries weight like a truck. It's a funny mix but it works.
The 520 fits the category of sport/tour bike better for a big person than the LHT. You should test ride it.
The Gunnar Fastlane looks like a great choice.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:24 AM   #15
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Tell me this looks boring
OK, "it looks boring"

The OP is doing a credit card tour, not a "cross country" tour. I.e. hotels, minimal baggage etc.

Everyone has their own preferences. The 520 is stable, which is great when you're bringing along the kitchen sink. It will work for credit card tours, of course, but might also feel a little too stable (boring) when it doesn't have a lot of bags, especially compared to something like the Cervelo RS.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:41 AM   #16
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By CC do you mean "Cross Country" or "Credit Card"? This is what's confusing people in this thread. I think the OP means credit card given the bikes he has listed. If that is the case, the Salsa Casseroll would be a great choice. I've ridden a Casseroll for the past year, mainly commuting but also on two supported tours. It's been great for those purposes, but it is not designed for loaded touring -- particularly someone your size.

If you are talking about Cross Country touring, then the Surly LHT or the Trek 520 would be the best choices of the bikes you have listed. I would also recommend looking at the Soma Saga for loaded touring or the Soma ES for credit card touring. If your budget is higher, the Gunnar Sport is one of the nicest sport touring bikes and Gunnar also sells a loaded touring frame.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:42 AM   #17
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credit card tour sounds boring. Wheres the challenge. I can keep a 25mph average without my bags on. I think the 520 is a good all around bike personally though.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:02 AM   #18
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You can add a third chainring to the Surly CC, but acording to Surly, you would need to replace the FD.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:15 AM   #19
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Co Motion.. frames are built in an Oregon shop.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:16 AM   #20
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I've gotten over 10,000 miles on my 520 in the last year. I leave on my CC adventure on June 18th. The trek 520 is far from boring. Its solid, fast,powerful, and has never once left me stranded on the side of the road.
Tell me this looks boring
In an effort to not cast aspersions on your ride, I'll just say that all heavily loaded touring bikes, including my own, are boring to me.

Personal preference, but I'd rather ride something sportier if credit card touring or even lightly loaded touring with cooking and camping. I rode an older Cannondale Criterium bike on my last long tour (San Diego to Sarasota). I packed real light (14 pounds of gear and bags and 24 pounds of bike racks and tools). That still allowed me to cook and camp, but provided a livelier more enjoyable (to me at least) ride. I was glad I left the heavy touring bike home.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:34 AM   #21
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In an effort to not cast aspersions on your ride, I'll just say that all heavily loaded touring bikes, including my own, are boring to me.
yeah, but you're old, old people are usually boring.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:45 AM   #22
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yeah, but you're old, old people are usually boring.
Gee thanks, for reminding me of that
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Old 05-10-12, 11:58 AM   #23
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I can keep a 25mph average without my bags on.
No, you can't. 25 miles in an hour is pretty much the gold standard for a time trial, and roughly the speed at which the Tour de France is won. Nobody maintains a 25mph average over touring distances.
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Old 05-10-12, 12:11 PM   #24
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No, you can't. 25 miles in an hour is pretty much the gold standard for a time trial, and roughly the speed at which the Tour de France is won. Nobody maintains a 25mph average over touring distances.
He might manage a 25mph average for five minutes?
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Old 05-10-12, 12:21 PM   #25
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He might manage a 25mph average for five minutes?
I might be prepared to be more generous than that.


For a moment I thought I must be in the road forum. Almost everyone can average 25mph, there...
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