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  1. #1
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    Upgrading my steel frame for tours, or getting a new bike (Jamis Bosanova)?

    Hi all. I'm just having difficulty deciding on a direction in regard to my bike choice.

    My riding requirements vary. I like weekend riding with my mates, and I like the occasional brisk climb with them (they're all on road-specific bikes). I also like to do a little touring. Not months-long, cross-continent touring, just weekends (10 days has been the longest). I live in a small unit in Melbourne, so having multiple bikes is not ideal. Neither is the cost of having multiple bikes.

    Last year, when I first got into cycling, I bought a Schwinn Le Tour Classic (2011) for $649(AUD, which almost equals US dollars). It's a steel frame bike with drops and Sora/Tiagra componentry. It's served me well, and I love the look of it. I've done a fair bit of riding with a mate who has a fancy carbon Giant and kept up just fine, but it was particularly great for the 10 day tour of New Zealand's west coast.

    The Schwinn is a nice ride but doesn't have eyelets for racks, so I have to rig them up with p-clips. Not ideal. And everything is getting a bit creaky now. The shifters are fine, but the crankset is a bit wobbly and it doesn't run quietly anymore, even with the LBS servicing it.

    So I was thinking of upgrading the components to Shimano 105 (from Ribble or the like, for around $650), but I'm wondering it it's worth it. I'd also like eyelets for racks; to do that, with powder-coating, would be a minimum of $250. So I'd have a steel framed, touring-ready bike, with enough sportiness for keeping up with the roadies, for around $1550.

    Essentially, that's what I think fits my cycling best - a steel framed bike with 105 triple-ring components, ready for panniers when I want them. Is there anything out there that fits this description already that doesn't require the hassle of redoing the Schwinn? I like the look of the Jamis Bosanova, but it's Tiagra only. If I'm reading the Shimano compatibility chart correctly though, all the components seem to be usable with the 105 series. But do you have any other ideas for bikes? A cyclocross bike perhaps? Should I not fixate on steel - maybe aluminium?

    Of course, I'd love to have two bikes - one for touring and one light thing for the road (and hills) on weekends, but I can't afford $1500 on two bikes. I'm tempted to buy a new road-specific bike, believe me (!), but it will still leave me without a tour-ready bike.

    Any ideas, tips, recommendations? Any experiences on the Jamis Bosanova?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    tree_stumper, It seems that a replacement bike is in order. The Jamis looks fine for light touring with medium sized panniers, it'll also cover your other interests.

    Steel or aluminum (I ride aluminum) is the rider's preference.

    Brad

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    agreed that steel or aluminum is a rider's preference. Given your riding preferences, I'd look at a cross bike as well. You can go skinny or fat on tire size; cross bikes make for a very versatile road bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I'd look at a cross bike as well. You can go skinny or fat on tire size; cross bikes make for a very versatile road bike.
    This is a good idea. A cross bike is a compromise. It is not the best touring bike and it is not the fastest bike on the road. However, it will do both touring and a brisk road ride relatively well. The only reservation I'd have is the short chainstay length. If you have big feet, you might not have adequate heel clearance with the your panniers.


    This is my Bianchi cyclocross bike that I rode across the United States. The Specialized Tri-cross looks like it would make a good all around bike. If I had to have only one bike, this would be it!


    Take off the racks and fenders, and it make a pretty nimble bike. Our son used one just like this for his first couple seasons of cyclocross racing.



    BTW- Tiagra components are fully functional and durable.
    Last edited by Doug64; 05-06-13 at 04:07 PM.

  5. #5
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    Doug, I think there's very few people who've experienced a Volpe and not found it to be a very good and versatile bike.

    Brad

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    I like the idea of a cyclocross bike, but many of them lack eyelets on the fork. And here in Australia it seems the Bianchi Volpe is nowhere to be found - a nice looking option too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I like the idea of a cyclocross bike, but many of them lack eyelets on the fork

    These work great.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Would not want a carbon fork clamped by that .. steel fork, OK.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Would not want a carbon fork clamped by that .. steel fork, OK.
    That's generally the problem with CX bikes - they generally have carbon forks.

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