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Old 08-29-13, 10:54 AM   #1
Bacciagalupe
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Specialized throws its hat in the ring

Specialized has now added an "Adventure Touring" section to its road bikes: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...venturetouring

The Tricross has been around for awhile, languishing in Marketing Limbo as they're pushing the Crux as their cross bike.

The AWOL is new, and looks comparable to a Salsa Vaya. Steel frame and fork, mechanical disc brakes, 42c(!) cross tires stock.
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Old 08-29-13, 12:50 PM   #2
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One of those might be my next bike in the spring.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:13 PM   #3
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The AWOL has a compact crank.
I'm in love with my granny gear.
Loaded touring without a granny gear is too much like work.
Cyclists with Granny Gears rule the world.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:52 PM   #4
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That's some weird geometry. Looong top tubes and really short stems. I expect they have a reason, as it seems deliberate.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:57 PM   #5
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Japan Made steel Mid 80's expedition sold by Specialized worked well .. though the racks Brice Gordon Made
had it work so much better , actually Touring..

Long top tube FWIW if you read the Toe Clip Overlap problems , becomes a benefit.



I note:

says frame opens up to pass a belt thru so its IGH compatible ,w/o a chain tensioner.
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...frameset#specs

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Old 08-29-13, 04:06 PM   #6
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I have 2 buddies, who when they got back into cycling, asked me for a do-it-all bike. I recommended the Tri-Cross as these guys live near some fine dirt roads. They are great bikes and I will recommend to another friend.
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Old 08-29-13, 04:23 PM   #7
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Disc only? Meh- nothing that isn`t offered elsewhere. Nice to have one more choice of manufacture`s name on the decals though, I guess.
Quote:
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The AWOL has a compact crank.
I'm in love with my granny gear.
It looks like one version has a triple.
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Old 08-29-13, 06:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
That's some weird geometry. Looong top tubes and really short stems. I expect they have a reason, as it seems deliberate.
The AWOL is made more for offroad; the geometry is similar to the Thorns, and very close to the Vaya. And of course, you can always change the stem.
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Old 08-29-13, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
The AWOL has a compact crank.
I'm in love with my granny gear.
Loaded touring without a granny gear is too much like work.
Cyclists with Granny Gears rule the world.
The Comp is a compact, but the other less expensive AWOL model has a triple. $1350 is close in price to a Salsa Vaya. These have BB7s while the Vaya uses BB5s. Other than that they are very similar.
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Old 08-29-13, 07:15 PM   #10
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The frameset is a little steep on the asking price if you ask me, but the full build doesn't look bad for someone looking for something modern (disc brakes, integrated shifters, sloping top-tube). I personally think the gearing is too high (at least for the small chainring), and that they went cheap on the wheelset. 32h generic hubs and generic rims, then they slapped on some tires with little in the form of flat protection. Why not put armadillos on there at least?

Anyway the wheelset would break it for me, just like for the Sojourn. Seems like it'd be better as a beefy commuter/all rounder than a fully loaded tourer, but I'm sure it would work. Sad they didn't throw in any goodies to justify the price either. No fenders, rack, rim brake bosses.... though I imagine they put shiny looking rims on there that aren't machined too, so it wouldn't matter unless you swapped the rims.
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Old 08-29-13, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
The AWOL has a compact crank.
I'm in love with my granny gear.
Loaded touring without a granny gear is too much like work.
Cyclists with Granny Gears rule the world.
With the 48/34 x 11/36 gearing you'll get a low of 25.5".

I've been riding 42/26 x 11/34 on one of my bikes for ages and I'm thinking of setting my Cervelo RS up with 46/34 x 11/36. I'm glad to see that doubles for touring are becoming more popular.
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Old 08-29-13, 07:45 PM   #12
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I have had a Tricross for 3 or 4 years now and this is pretty much the same as my Sport, albeit with a steel frame (and disk brakes of course). Dont get me wrong, I still love my bike and find it to be a great all rounder sort of bike, but to me this "expedition stuff" is certainly marketing cuz it still has a 50/39/30 crank and a 11-32 cassette, and 32 spoke wheels, so certainly isnt a true tourer stock. That said, my bike even with its carbon fork (with front rack mounts) has performed perfectly well with 40lbs of front, rear and handlebar bags on it--mind you, Im a light guy so I can get away with it (plus I easily switched the granny to a 26t, no adjustments to rd)

There are lots of bikes out there like this, same gearing more or less, ability to put somewhat wider tires on, fenders, etc while being nippier than a LHT for example. Lets face it, as Ive said before, companies know that the vast majority of people tour fully loaded very little, and these bikes get used as commuters and all-rounders, so they do make a good choice for lots of people, in my opinion better than an entry level road bike just cuz you can put panniers on them and not worry about rough roads so much.

I suspect its the same frame as the steel framed Tricross that probably didnt sell much in the last few years--and without seeing the specs of the steel tricross, I suspect its all the same stuff except for maybe the brakes--so yes, back to marketing mumbo jumbo.

oh, and as for gearing. My switch to a 50/39/26 and a 12-27 gives a 25.something g.i. but with so much nicer tighter jumps (for the 9 speed) Off the top of my head I think its 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27. I know shimano makes a 10 speed tiagra cassette 12-30 thats all the same except has the 30 at the end, a real nice cassette range. I find Im not crazy about bigger jumps between gears now, but a 10 speed 11-36 is probably like my 9 speed 11-32 with the 36 added on, so no diff really than the 11-32 that came with the tricross stock (and with the 26 granny gets the g.i. down to 21ish)

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Old 08-29-13, 07:47 PM   #13
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I was looking at the AWOl today and it looks pretty sweet...
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Old 08-29-13, 11:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
The Comp is a compact, but the other less expensive AWOL model has a triple. $1350 is close in price to a Salsa Vaya. These have BB7s while the Vaya uses BB5s. Other than that they are very similar.
The Vaya comes with BB7s since 2012 model year. I've got the entry level 3 and it's got the BB7s
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Old 08-30-13, 01:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Specialized has now added an "Adventure Touring" section to its road bikes: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...venturetouring

The Tricross has been around for awhile, languishing in Marketing Limbo as they're pushing the Crux as their cross bike.

The AWOL is new, and looks comparable to a Salsa Vaya. Steel frame and fork, mechanical disc brakes, 42c(!) cross tires stock.
Nice to see another major major manufacturer enter the touring niche. The AWOL isn't a bike that is going to appeal to the expedition level tourers nor will it make anyone who's personalized their current tourer into their version of "perfect" rush out and buy one. It should be a good choice for those who prefer light to medium level touring, commuting and a somewhat livelier handling bike than an expedition level tourer.

Brad
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Old 08-30-13, 06:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Nice to see another major major manufacturer enter the touring niche. The AWOL isn't a bike that is going to appeal to the expedition level tourers nor will it make anyone who's personalized their current tourer into their version of "perfect" rush out and buy one. It should be a good choice for those who prefer light to medium level touring, commuting and a somewhat livelier handling bike than an expedition level tourer.

Brad
Brad

Shifting gears a little to my use of the Vaya (insert AWOL here) as an example of what you stated, that is exactly - or that is everything, that I do with the Vaya. First, it is a beautiful bike so I enjoy just riding around on it (for leisure). Somewhat geeky now by bike, but the same as I used to do in my old convertible car. Then, I ride it to and from work often (15 miles round trip) and it makes the commute easy since it rolls so well and is a comfortable position. The Schwalbe Supremes at 40mm wide help this a lot. Last, but not least, is its touring capabilities. i got it so that I could ride multiple day tours of between 200 and 600 miles (like the C&O and GAP trails). I pack light (am a bit of a minimalist) and the bike handles everything with front Tubus lowrider rack or Tubus rear (depending on my mood). I also used to pull a BOB trailer and the trailer loaded didn't wag the bike (tail wagging the dog) like it did with my Marin Highway One.

The cool thing about this bike is that if I see a dirt path or trail over the next three days I can simply take it (except thick Florida sand). I used to tour on a Trek 520? (in the early 80s) and that was not a possibility.

In fact, later today I'm heading out for what started as an S24O, but now that I have another day off this weekend it will be a S48O! Just using the rear panniers to carry a hammock and a few other minor items (will be eating out or just not eating at all so no food, plus I don't like to attract raccoons and coyotes at night).

Just looking at the bike sitting in my office at work starts me scheming about my next adventure. I also have a family that encourages me to do these type of things.
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Old 08-30-13, 12:36 PM   #17
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I am seriously considering getting an AWOL Comp, but non available yet to try/look at. Anyone know when they will actually be in stock in the US??

My LBS said its extremely similar to the Salsa Vaya (comp aligns well with Vaya 2, regular AWOL with Vaya 3). I have been considering the Vaya 2 as well, but don't have in my size and I really love the black look of the AWOL vs off white of the current Vaya 2 (I guess color shouldn't make my decision). I have also looked at the Tricross, and seriously debated the 2013 Tricross elite steel disk at a great price. Main reason I didn't want to go with the Steel Tricross was the components were not the level i wanted so savings would instantly be wiped out upgrading (derailers, brakes, etc). The higher end 2014 tricross has better components but steel is no longer offered. I really want a steel bike for the ride and load bearing capability.

I want this bike for regular commuting (17 miles each way) plus some light to medium touring. Mix of weekend camping or longer credit card touring, so probably would't load up TOO heavy. I do wonder if the gearing will be OK when it gets loaded up. Also like the fact that with the right tires I can tackle gravel or dirt roads. I think the AWOL will fill a niche nicely between my much more aggressive road bike and mountain bike.
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Old 08-30-13, 01:55 PM   #18
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The LBS that carries Specialized , would , You Might contact them now, the Interbike Trade show is coming Up.

Pre season orders from dealers helps the Importing Companies Judge Popularity,

and so the Batch size they order from the Manufacturers , is influenced by the pre season orders.
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Old 08-30-13, 03:25 PM   #19
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Best answer I got from my LBS is October, but not early October. So hopefully this means Mid and not late October. At least one LBS I spoke with said they didn't plan to stock the AWOL but could certainly order it.

Thoughts on buying a bike without trying it? I assume some parts of the fit could be adjusted (swap a stem, etc.). They said I can always choose a different bike if I didn't like it, but don't think they will give a refund.
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Old 08-30-13, 04:23 PM   #20
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Completely different frame from the Tricross--different geo (more slope, more top tube, more head tube), larger tire clearance (I've heard the AWOL can fit a 2.0" or so 29er tire), plus the AWOL has the single speed options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
I have had a Tricross for 3 or 4 years now and this is pretty much the same as my Sport, albeit with a steel frame (and disk brakes of course). Dont get me wrong, I still love my bike and find it to be a great all rounder sort of bike, but to me this "expedition stuff" is certainly marketing cuz it still has a 50/39/30 crank and a 11-32 cassette, and 32 spoke wheels, so certainly isnt a true tourer stock. That said, my bike even with its carbon fork (with front rack mounts) has performed perfectly well with 40lbs of front, rear and handlebar bags on it--mind you, Im a light guy so I can get away with it (plus I easily switched the granny to a 26t, no adjustments to rd)

There are lots of bikes out there like this, same gearing more or less, ability to put somewhat wider tires on, fenders, etc while being nippier than a LHT for example. Lets face it, as Ive said before, companies know that the vast majority of people tour fully loaded very little, and these bikes get used as commuters and all-rounders, so they do make a good choice for lots of people, in my opinion better than an entry level road bike just cuz you can put panniers on them and not worry about rough roads so much.

I suspect its the same frame as the steel framed Tricross that probably didnt sell much in the last few years--and without seeing the specs of the steel tricross, I suspect its all the same stuff except for maybe the brakes--so yes, back to marketing mumbo jumbo.

oh, and as for gearing. My switch to a 50/39/26 and a 12-27 gives a 25.something g.i. but with so much nicer tighter jumps (for the 9 speed) Off the top of my head I think its 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27. I know shimano makes a 10 speed tiagra cassette 12-30 thats all the same except has the 30 at the end, a real nice cassette range. I find Im not crazy about bigger jumps between gears now, but a 10 speed 11-36 is probably like my 9 speed 11-32 with the 36 added on, so no diff really than the 11-32 that came with the tricross stock (and with the 26 granny gets the g.i. down to 21ish)
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Old 08-30-13, 06:37 PM   #21
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I think the AWOL is wheel flop city but this vid is kind of cool
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Old 08-30-13, 07:33 PM   #22
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Best answer I got from my LBS is October, but not early October. So hopefully this means Mid and not late October. At least one LBS I spoke with said they didn't plan to stock the AWOL but could certainly order it.

Thoughts on buying a bike without trying it? I assume some parts of the fit could be adjusted (swap a stem, etc.). They said I can always choose a different bike if I didn't like it, but don't think they will give a refund.
Back in '97 Trek advertised their new mountain bike line up for 1998. One struck me as perfect for my wants so I asked my favorite LBS about availability. He had just received "the papers" on the new mountain bikes and the new sizing reference (sloping top tube). He ordered two for me in different sizes. Maybe your favorite LBS will do the same.

Brad

PS I still have the mountain bike.
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Old 08-30-13, 08:03 PM   #23
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Best answer I got from my LBS is October, but not early October. So hopefully this means Mid and not late October. At least one LBS I spoke with said they didn't plan to stock the AWOL but could certainly order it.

Thoughts on buying a bike without trying it? I assume some parts of the fit could be adjusted (swap a stem, etc.). They said I can always choose a different bike if I didn't like it, but don't think they will give a refund.
I don't think you should buy a bike without at least riding something with similar geometry. There are a lot of Specialized dealers (at least around here), so maybe you can go a little farther to one that will stock it.
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Old 08-30-13, 08:56 PM   #24
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seatboy, what I meant was more in the meaning of "in the general sense" they are similar. I unfortunately am not versed enough in geometry to know how the differences you mention translate into real world feel of a bike. I can say that the Tricross I have, 2010 sport model, steers reasonable quickly to be fun, yet is much much zippier in handling and feel out of the saddle compared to my old steel touring bike, or even a friends 4 or 5 yr old Trek 520 that I have ridden and felt like a truck. My tricross certainly isnt twitchy like a road bike, I can ride it all day, day after day on 28 slicks and its relaxed enough that its not nervous. Its also very stable at speed, Ive had it up to close to 80kph numerous times and its very well behaved at those speeds too. With a low rider and a light load in front panniers, plus a handlebar bag, it can even be ridden no hands.
I must admit that Id be curious to ride one of these ones, partially to feel how the steel frame feels, but also for the BB7's, Ive never had the chance to ride a disk bike, so that would be neat.

Given how happy I am with mine, Im sure this would be a neat bike for lots of people, but I guess it comes down to how much weight you want to put on it.

ps, you got me curious so I compared the geometry of both. The Awol has a longer wheelbase by about 4cm and the chainstays are a bit longer (comparing a 54 tricross with a med Awol) but the seattube angles and whatnot seem pretty close. The longer wheelbase usually translates into a more relaxed feel to a bike, and Im speculating that the material differences of steel vs alu and carbon might mean that the Awol feels a little "softer" or less harsh in general-I could be wrong but I suspect that.

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Old 08-31-13, 04:09 PM   #25
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Leave it to Specialized to add "Comp" to an "adventure touring" bike
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