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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Anyone riding a Specialized AWOL?

    Just looking ahead to the day my Specialized Tricross dies. The AWOL caught my eye, so I'm curious if anyone here is touring on one. Thoughts?
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  2. #2
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    I took a close look at a AWOL Transcontinental at a bike shop. It seemed a remarkably unique take on what a touring bike should be. The propreitary bags were a bit odd, but the bike as a whole was impressively considered. I really liked the modulation & feel of the hydraulic disc brakes, though I can only imagine that they'd be the least field-serviceable component possible. I did wonder if the Alfine hub had a true touring gear range.
    Unfortunately, the transcontinental AWOL is pricey like a carbon fiber speed bike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Aunt Roady's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Just south of Normal
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    Specialized Roubaix, Specialized AWOL, Salsa Vaya, Surly Moonlander, Surly Big Dummy, GT Gutterball fixie
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    I own an AWOL (Sora components). I actually had a Salsa Fargo 2, and happened to test ride the AWOL when it came in. It instantly felt like the bike I had been looking for. Just enough more road-oriented to nudge the Fargo from its spot in my stable. I've had my AWOL for two months. I love the bike, it has quickly become my go-to bike. No mechanical issues thus far. I have seven bikes and yet I continue to look for the perfect bike. The AWOL is the closest I've found so far. The bike IS heavy. I was riding with a group the other day and we were all on carbon road bikes except for one AWOL Comp rider. He was a little disappointed in the effort it was taking to keep up. But that's to be expected given the steel frame and the tires. I have not had the bike off-road, per se, but I have been in gravel, mud and snow and I've jumped curbs and navigated the treacherous gullies that have appeared in our streets. It's a great bike.

  4. #4
    Member
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    I just got an AWOL Comp, though I am not touring on it yet (noob muscles aren't ready for it). I had been looking for a road oriented bike similar to the Velo-Orange Rando I had before downsizing to an RV when I stumbled on the AWOL at the LBS. The flexibility (and ride) spoke to me and I took it home. It seems a good fit for the one bike my situation now allows. An Ortlieb Ultimate6 Pro was just added and a Brooks Cambium saddle, Pletscher kickstand, and SKS Longboard fenders are currently being installed.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Load it up and Go.. touring is the trip, the bike is a tool to get you along the way.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Roady View Post
    I own an AWOL (Sora components). I actually had a Salsa Fargo 2, and happened to test ride the AWOL when it came in. It instantly felt like the bike I had been looking for. Just enough more road-oriented to nudge the Fargo from its spot in my stable. I've had my AWOL for two months. I love the bike, it has quickly become my go-to bike. No mechanical issues thus far. I have seven bikes and yet I continue to look for the perfect bike. The AWOL is the closest I've found so far. The bike IS heavy. I was riding with a group the other day and we were all on carbon road bikes except for one AWOL Comp rider. He was a little disappointed in the effort it was taking to keep up. But that's to be expected given the steel frame and the tires. I have not had the bike off-road, per se, but I have been in gravel, mud and snow and I've jumped curbs and navigated the treacherous gullies that have appeared in our streets. It's a great bike.
    Any cycle tours so far? I'd love to know what it's like for mid-weight dirt touring...

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    denmark
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    cross check, trek 6000, salsa warbird ti, spesh awol transconti
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    I've got the Transcontinential and just got back from my first loaded test ride. 3 days on gravel, singletrack and tarmac.
    The stability is impressive, so is the ride comfort and speed. The Fatboy tires are not meant for anything but tarmac, but it was a fun challenge

    My only issue is the rocker drop outs, which makes the belt tensioning a pain.
    Also, the cable for the rear light snapped in shipping, and Supernova has not made it easy to replace.

    I got the DLX version for my girlfriend and really dig that as well, though the Sora shifters are a bad choice for 42cm or less handlebars on a touring bike.
    An Ortlieb handlebar bag is having a bad time with the gear cables, so if you can make a deal with your LBS for a 105 shifter upgrade - do it!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I went to a couple stores today to check out the Salsa Vaya and the AWOL. Both very nice. I may have liked the AWOL a touch more, but need to ride both before making a call on that. The Comp looked like the way to go, but don't know if I can stretch to two grand. Interested to hear any more input on the AWOL for sure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member budfan08's Avatar
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    Just finished building up my Specialized AWOL about a week and a half ago. Ordered up the AWOL Comp frameset last October, took almost 6 months to get it here. Built it up with SRAM Rival components. Bike rides and handles like a dream. Figuring out what racks I would like to run at the moment so haven't done any loaded trips yet. Just some singletrack as well as quite a bit of road riding and it has been truly awesome. Slightly heavy, which is to be expected with the steel frame, but definitely adds to the stability in the windy conditions here in Nodak.

  10. #10
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Maybe you should look at this Niner before you buy, pretty hot bike and AL frame comes in pretty light.

    Review: Niner RLT 9 Gravel Road Bike
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I got an AWOL Comp. No touring on it yet, but hopefully end of the summer.

    Love the bike so far. It is a bit slower then my road bike, but that is to be expected with the big, beefier wheels/tires, heavier steel frame, etc. Riding position is very comfortable, feel like I could ride it forever except for the stock saddle, which just doesn't work well for me. I plan to pick up a new saddle soon.

    I got a Tubus Logo Evo from Wayne at the touring store and it seems to work great. I also got a Tubus front rack but haven't had time to install yet (and don't really need till later this summer).

    Hope to do some other upgrades in the future, like a set of new wheels with a dynamo hub.

  12. #12
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    I have a Comp built with C-Record Ti, a Racing T 50-40-30, White hubs, 36 spoke victory 700c rims, and BB7s. Naked its 27 lbs. after 250 miles my impression is that its comfortable...and oppressively heavy. I expected some hit on performance due to the geometry. This isn't fun when compared to my other bikes. I recently completed an 880 mile ride with 40k ft of climbing at an avg of 15 mph. Unloaded its difficult to maintain 15 mph over 50 miles on an AWOL. The frame and fork are just too damn heavy. So, I'm going to chuck the fork for a WoundUp, the seatpost for almost anything else, cf drop bars, and the BB7s for TRPs. There are some other aesthetics that I may change if I can get the bike into a more tolerable riding state. As it stands now, this AWOL Comp in a Small might be available at the end of Oct. Frame only.

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