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Old 12-21-12, 11:44 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Monstercross or Touring frameset for the Katy Trail?

At the risk of splitting hairs;

I'm considering two frame-sets for light touring and credit card touring along the Katy Trail. The bike will also do double duty as a long distance Gravel Grinder bike. I'm looking for a sports touring frame-set that will accept 700x45 tires. I would also like to carry about 35 lbs of racks, bags and clothes for 3 day touring trips that will cover about 250 miles. I'm 210 lbs and am a strong cyclist who can complete a 6 hour solo-century. I find that some bikes are not rigid enough for me. I also want a 25 lbs bike once all the racks, bags and other touring accessories are removed.

I'm considering these two framesets;

The Bruce Gordon BLT: http://www.bgcycles.com/blt.html

The Black Mountain Monster Cross: http://www.blackmtncycles.com/p/blac...es-frames.html

I have about 15,000 miles on a Soma Double Cross. I'm seeking a beefier frame-set. The Double Cross feels overly flexy whenever I need to climb, even when unloaded. It also feels flexy when loaded.

I'm not expecting Long Haul Trucker load capacity, but I do need a more solid and stable frame than the Soma.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12-21-12, 01:26 PM   #2
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I looked in to the BMC Monster Cross frame as a possible Cross Check replacement for myself. In the largest 62cm, it's tubing has the same OD as my CC (28.6 top tube, 31.8 down tube), but thinner walls (0.8/0.5/0.8 vs. 0.9/0.6/0.9). I'm not sure what your Double Cross has, but I'd guess it's in this range--ie, if it's not stiff enough, the BMC won't be any better and might be flexier. I want a frame that's less stiff than my CC, so I'm still tossing around the idea of the BMC.

You could take a look at the Velo Orange Campeur. That would let you try low(ish) trail geometry while you're at it.
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Old 12-21-12, 01:37 PM   #3
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I looked in to the BMC Monster Cross frame as a possible Cross Check replacement for myself. In the largest 62cm, it's tubing has the same OD as my CC (28.6 top tube, 31.8 down tube), but thinner walls (0.8/0.5/0.8 vs. 0.9/0.6/0.9). I'm not sure what your Double Cross has, but I'd guess it's in this range--ie, if it's not stiff enough, the BMC won't be any better and might be flexier. I want a frame that's less stiff than my CC, so I'm still tossing around the idea of the BMC.

You could take a look at the Velo Orange Campeur. That would let you try low(ish) trail geometry while you're at it.
Yes, I'm also concerned that the BMC Monster Cross might not be the right tool for touring with a heavy & strong cyclist.

I found a BMC Monster Cross owner and sent him a PM. I'll gather what I can & report back. What to you think of your Cross Check as a touring bike?
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Old 12-21-12, 01:47 PM   #4
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I'd get the BG with the racks. 35 pounds is certainly not a ton of weight, but you might as well get a bike designed to carry a load. Besides, you have cross bikes coming out of your ears.

Or, if you're considering more gnar touring in the future maybe something like a Salsa Fargo. If you're less than satisfied with the Soma you could swap parts over from that. Not gonna weigh 25 pounds though.
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Old 12-21-12, 02:07 PM   #5
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What to you think of .. Cross Check as a touring bike?
I'm out where people tour , some of them on Crosschecks

I'd get Bruce's Bike particularly because of the superior racks.. he makes
the one with the 26" wheels, BLT-X, also uses a Higher Rack to clear Brush on narrow tracks.

I have had the racks 25 years, thru 2 bikes.. Low Rider Front, in my case..
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Old 12-21-12, 03:03 PM   #6
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I'd get the BG with the racks. 35 pounds is certainly not a ton of weight, but you might as well get a bike designed to carry a load. Besides, you have cross bikes coming out of your ears.

Or, if you're considering more gnar touring in the future maybe something like a Salsa Fargo. If you're less than satisfied with the Soma you could swap parts over from that. Not gonna weigh 25 pounds though.
LOL. Actually, this new bike needs to replace both the Soma and the Origin 8 CX700. I'm seeking something in-between these two.
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Old 12-21-12, 03:41 PM   #7
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I have a tourer and a monstercross bike (LHT& Vassago Fisti) and I strongly recommend a monstercross setup for touring. My fidsti is outfitted with a Bagman Expedition 2 for carrying my Swift Trunk Bag and a Ortlieb handlebar bag for lightweight/credit card trips. I find the fisti to be a bit faster than my 26" LHT.
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Old 12-21-12, 05:09 PM   #8
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Who the heck heat treats whole steel frames at a 595 price point, and why?
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Old 12-21-12, 05:13 PM   #9
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Who the heck heat treats whole steel frames at a 595 price point, and why?
Soma & BMC offer heat treated steel frames at this price point.
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Old 12-21-12, 05:56 PM   #10
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I personally would stay away from the BLT or any bike with a threaded head set. It is an added complication and old technology, which could give you grief on tour.
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Old 12-21-12, 06:22 PM   #11
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Have you checked out the Rawland Nordavinden? With front and rear rack eyelets and 430mm chainstays, it seems to fit the bill for gravel grinding and touring. Tire clearance a bit on the narrow side though.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:34 PM   #12
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Just curious, how did you come down to two Northern California frames? Actually, two north bay frames from guys who hang out together?

Also, the BMC frames are just about sold out, unless you're huge and can fit a 65 cm, or tiny and fit a 53 cm frame.
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Old 12-22-12, 08:40 AM   #13
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I have some big and tall friends that ride Gunnar frames and really love them and you can get just about anything you want from a company that knows steel.

http://gunnarbikes.com/
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Old 12-22-12, 10:08 AM   #14
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Soma & BMC offer heat treated steel frames at this price point.
tubes are heat treated before assembly into a frame, not as a unit
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Old 12-22-12, 10:34 AM   #15
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I personally would stay away from the BLT or any bike with a threaded head set. It is an added complication and old technology, which could give you grief on tour.
I do have threadless steerer forks for the remaining 52cm and 39cm BLT's - although I see nothing wrong with the conventional threaded steerers.
Regards,
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Old 12-22-12, 10:36 AM   #16
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The BMC brand is actually a Swiss company, I know you are just dropping a 2nd M.. BM MC ,is less ambiguous..
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Old 12-22-12, 12:14 PM   #17
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I do have threadless steerer forks for the remaining 52cm and 39cm BLT's - although I see nothing wrong with the conventional threaded steerers.
Regards,
Bruce Gordon
Just a sidebar. The Bruce Gordon BLT is a touring bike that can take a 700x45 tire. The Bruce Gordon BLT has 460mm chainstays. It can take a heavier rider with all the gear needed for multi-week touring.

The Black Mountain Monster Cross is a Cyclocross bike that can take a 700x45 tire. The Black Mountain Monster Cross has 432mm chainstays. It can be used as a sport-touring bike with more moderate rider weights and moderate touring loads.

Both bikes would useful for the kind of shorter tours I have in mind, but the two models are not equivalent. The Cyclocross bike would be better suited for credit card and ultra-light touring. The Bruce Gordon BLT could be used with heavier loads.

The two bikes are apples and oranges. I wouldn't mind having either, or both!
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Old 12-22-12, 07:02 PM   #18
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This is true only for the grey color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Also, the BMC frames are just about sold out, unless you're huge and can fit a 65 cm, or tiny and fit a 53 cm frame.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:04 PM   #19
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With 7/4/7 tubing, I wouldn't consider this for someone who thinks a Double Cross is too flexy. The Rawland will certainly be more flexible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
Have you checked out the Rawland Nordavinden? With front and rear rack eyelets and 430mm chainstays, it seems to fit the bill for gravel grinding and touring. Tire clearance a bit on the narrow side though.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:06 PM   #20
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It's OK. Compared to my Fargo, which was rock solid with any loading at any speed I could obtain, the CC has noticeably more shimmy if, for instance, I bang my hand on the handlebars. So the cure is not to do this. That being said, for the limited amount of loading touring I do, the CC is good enough, and the Fargo was too stiff to be enjoyable to ride unloaded (for me), so it's been sold.

I've never ridden a Double Cross, but from what I've read of comparisons between the two, I don't think it would be substantially different.

Maybe a Vaya? Especially if you want discs.

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What to you think of your Cross Check as a touring bike?

Last edited by seat_boy; 12-22-12 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:08 PM   #21
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BMC is also short for Black Mountain Cycles (it threw me as well the first time I read this abbreviation)

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The BMC brand is actually a Swiss company, I know you are just dropping a 2nd M.. BM MC ,is less ambiguous..
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Old 12-22-12, 07:29 PM   #22
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It's OK. Compared to my Fargo, which was rock solid with any loading at any speed I could obtain, the CC has noticeably more shimmy if, for instance, I bang my hand on the handlebars. So the cure is not to do this. That being said, for the limited amount of loading touring I do, the CC is good enough, and the Fargo was too stiff to be enjoyable to ride unloaded (for me), so it's been sold.

Maybe a Vaya? Especially if you want discs.
Very good info on the CC & Fargo, thanks'

I'm trying to avoid disc brakes. Mostly because I have multiple rim brake wheel-sets that are ideal for touring. Buying a disc brake wheel-set would at several hundred dollars to the cost on a completed bike.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:45 PM   #23
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Soma & BMC offer heat treated steel frames at this price point.

Just curious what this achieves. And what does it mean. To harden the whole frame so it has higher tensile strength, they even somewhat gave up on that with 953. I just don't see what they are doing here. It is a non-trivial task to fully heat treat a steel frame. To do an aluminum, that is close to powder coating temp, but steel... Serious gear required, lots of problems.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:58 PM   #24
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I was on the BMC site where I read their bikes are "Precision Handmade by machines in Switzerland". With wording like that you can see why a person might be suspicious.
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Old 12-22-12, 08:10 PM   #25
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Usually, heat treating is done to the tube-set before the bike is built. Heat-treated CrMo steel include Tange Prestige HT, TrueTemper Verus HT, Reynolds 725. This is a good explanation of the process;

http://www.fastenal.com/web/en/73/he...57202!11453240

A few tube-sets are formulated to strengthen from the welding process. These air-hardened steels actually gain strength in the weld area after welding, but not along the whole tube.
Heat-treated air hardened steel: Reynolds 853, Columbus Foco, TrueTemper OXPlatinum.
Cold-drawn air hardened steel: Reynolds 631

Lower level steel frames are not heat treated;
Cold-drawn 4130 CrMo: Reynolds 525, TrueTemper Verus, Tange Prestige/Infinity
High tensile steel:cheap dept. store bikes, cheaper bike shop bikes
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 08:14 PM.
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