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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 06:13 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  2. #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.

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    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?
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  4. #4
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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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.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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..

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    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.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  7. #7
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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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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    Who the heck heat treats whole steel frames at a 595 price point, and why?

  9. #9
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    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.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  10. #10
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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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.

  12. #12
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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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/

  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Soma & BMC offer heat treated steel frames at this price point.
    tubes are heat treated before assembly into a frame, not as a unit

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Flyer View Post
    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,
    Bruce Gordon

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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..

  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgcycles View Post
    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!
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 06:07 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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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.

  19. #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.

  20. #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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    What to you think of your Cross Check as a touring bike?
    Last edited by seat_boy; 12-22-12 at 06:30 PM.

  21. #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)

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The BMC brand is actually a Swiss company, I know you are just dropping a 2nd M.. BM MC ,is less ambiguous..

  22. #22
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 06:33 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    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.

  24. #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.

  25. #25
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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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
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-22-12 at 07:14 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

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