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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new touring bike 26 inch

    I'm looking for a new bike, EU made or at least sold in EU. After reading much about bike touring i can't understand why are there so few 26 inch models, given that many people tour outside North America/Europe. For now i want to tour in Europe but i would like to buy a 26 inch in case i want to tour later in countries where 700c wheels are not available. 26 inch models that people choose for touring are very expensive and are "expedition" type, but i only want to ride in asphalt. I don't mind touring with cheap gearing system, which i suppose play a big role in making prices skyrocket. Looking at nice german trekking bikes, some models for about 500 euro (excepting nice racks) seem enough for the task, but only 700c wheel. Example: the VSF t50 is 500euros (ok, good racks would cost some more 200euro) and the VSF t400, the most affordable touring bike in the brand, is 1300euros.
    . Which bike should i look for?

  2. #2
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    The VSF TX-400 you link to is a good 26" bike which was on my short list too. Da Silva is a small German brand who also sell a 26" touring model, sold in e.g. La Maison Du Vélo in Brussels. More expensive options include Velotraum, Thorn, Santos, Snel, Avaghon, Koga etc.

    Since there are some modifications I wanted to make to the TX-400 (square taper BB, more expensive lights, normal v-brakes and a different saddle) I ended up buying a Surly LHT frame and most components from bike-components.de, wheels from Meilenwet.net and some small stuff from roseversand.de . I built up the bike on my own, which actually allowed me to save money.

    Good racks don't cost 200 euros: you can find the Tubus Cargo for 60 euros and the Tubus Tara for 50 euros in the German webshop I mentioned, so 110 is enough
    Last edited by Lasse; 10-14-12 at 03:16 AM.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a Koga Miyata Trekking bike , it was the WTR model in 04,
    came fully outfitted with racks and midguards, as well.

    Currently the same bike can be purchased off a Bespoke menu, thru their
    signature program.. list choices picked and installed in NL factory shop
    then shipped out to dealer for delivery. yup, they put your name on it, too..

    Koga.com..

  4. #4
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    thorn sherpa ?
    ride long & prosper

  5. #5
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    It looks like i didn't make myself clear

    1200€ or 1300€ is a lot of money, and i was looking for a cheaper solution, like some 500 or 600€ german trekking bikes which could do it if they were not 28 inches (in some cases they also have front suspension which i don't need/want). The Da Silva model "da Gama" (why are all the names so Portuguese?) is 1400€ and the other brands Lasse mentions, and also Thorn Sherpa are even more expensive. It's just i feel that these bikes are made to handle some serious offroad conditions i don't need.

    That said, do you think the VSF t-50 could handle a world tour if made 100% on road?

  6. #6
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    The T-50 is 28", if I'm not mistaken?

    You could buy a good frame like the VSF TX-400 or Surly LHT for around 400 euros and save money on extra's like dynamo lights, saddle, cranks, fenders etc.
    I just combined the parts needed at Bike-components.de to build a simple Surly LHT with 3x9 Deore gears, Deore v-brakes, Deore hubs, square taper Alivio cranks, Schwalbe Marathon tires, Tubus Cargo rear rack, some Ritchey components, etc. Total price about 900 euros, so quite a bit higher than you're looking for, but I wouldn't mind starting a round the world tour on it. Bonus when building the bike yourself: you learn how to adjust everything, which probably will be needed on long trips.

    Alternatively you could look for a rigid mountain bike, second hand maybe. I've used mine for many years, commuting and touring, after swapping the tires, adding a good rear rack and fenders (it had mostly Alivio parts). Finally bought the LHT simply because the mountain bike became too small and therefore tiring on long trips...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasse View Post
    The T-50 is 28", if I'm not mistaken?
    You're right.


    I've translated the link you gave me, it looks like a very nice project. Anyway, i have read somewhere that VSF don't sell frame only, just assembled bike. I am pretty much clueless about assembling a bike from scratch but it does look like a nice way to spend time, learning and eventually sparing money.

  8. #8
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by nondo View Post
    I am pretty much clueless about assembling a bike from scratch but it does look like a nice way to spend time, learning and eventually sparing money.
    Nice way to spend time and learn, yes. Sparing money, not likey. It`ll probably cost you considerably more to build up yourself than if you buy the whole bike. Only if you already have a good stash of parts, or are very careul and patient watching for closeouts or used parts, can come off cheaper buying piece by piece.

    Maybe a used bike would suit you? That`s my personal preference, but some people don`t like the idea.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    +1 to used bike idea.
    My thoughts are, within reason, you pay now, or you pay later. Wheels that crap out, or shifters that quit just ruin my day if I'm not in position to replace them easily... Access to a repair shop is not a certainty on tour. I consider my Koga Miyata World Tour the Hummer of touring bikes. It cost a pretty penny up front, but I haven't had a problem with any of the Shimano Deore XT components. My other choice, at the time was a Thorn Sherpa or Nomad, but I got a real deal on a display bike from dealer that was getting out of Koga Miyata.

    I would try to find a bike with LX components or better and 36 spoke wheels. Save a bit of money by not getting Tubus racks, or Brooks saddle, but keep them on your wish list.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I am pretty much clueless about assembling a bike from scratch but it does look like a nice way to spend time, learning and eventually sparing money.
    certainly a good background for jury-rigging fixes in the middle of nowhere..

    80's MTBs from just before the suspension fork craze, are good basis to build from. sturdy steel.

    but you may need a companion with that knowledge
    to keep from getting a bent lemon..

    new wheels, drive train , etc , a reliability preparation..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nondo View Post
    Anyway, i have read somewhere that VSF don't sell frame only, just assembled bike.
    When I contacted a VSF dealer last year to ask if I could buy the T-400 frameset. He said it was no problem and would cost 360 euros, with 6 to 8 weeks delivery time.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chop61's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about this shop, or the bikes, but it's link I discovered a little while ago and it might be helpful. http://www.rad-spannerei.de/en/fort-bicycles.php
    When I was young I prayed to God for a new bike. Then I figured out God didn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop61 View Post
    I'm not sure about this shop, or the bikes, but it's link I discovered a little while ago and it might be helpful. http://www.rad-spannerei.de/en/fort-bicycles.php
    The Fort model does look nice. i will try to find some info on it.

    It is a pity that the VSF T400 is not what it used to be. Who needs 3x10 gears for touring? And all that lightweight transmission arrrrg. I would also prefer the v-brake. Maybe i will end buying the VSF T400 frame and building it from there.

    Winter is coming, i guess i will have to put some info on a spreadsheet to calculate the costs of building the whole bike. For a total noob, if some of you that have passed this experience of building a bike from frame can give me some links with basic tips, like basic erros and things to keep in mind, i would be glad. It looks like a challenging puzzle!

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by nondo View Post

    Winter is coming, i guess i will have to put some info on a spreadsheet to calculate the costs of building the whole bike. For a total noob, if some of you that have passed this experience of building a bike from frame can give me some links with basic tips, like basic erros and things to keep in mind, i would be glad. It looks like a challenging puzzle!
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
    http://bicycletutor.com/

    A great start is to refurbish a garage sale/dumpster find or two. Don`t buy anything, but tear them down to parts, clean all the grunge from everything, pack all the bearings, reasemble and adjust everything, give it away and do another if you want.

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