Old 10-12-18, 07:00 AM
mstateglfr's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
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Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '87 Schwinn Prelude, '90 Fuji Saratoga, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

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My touring bike is a 64cm frame from 1990. It has a 25.4 top tube and steerer and a 28.6 down tube and seat tube. Handles my 230# plus gear just fine. I have about 30# on it, give or take.

Everyone’s expectations for ride are different. Everyone’s perception of what is safe is different. Everyone’s level of comfort is different.
Etc etc etc.
There is no right or wrong frame design or tubing for a touring bike as its simply individual in nature and everyone like something a little different than others.

I mention all this because I often see claims that traditional tubing is too flexible and even sometimes see a comment that its flexible to the point of dangerous. I chuckle when I read that since I am in the high 90th% for height and weight and somehow manage to feel totally confident on a traditional tube sized touring bike that’s 64cm. I have never felt unsafe on it.
The tubing is splined, which creates a stiffer main triangle compared to un-splined tubing, but I would guess it’s a small bit stiffer and not something wildly dramatic to where it makes traditional diameter tubing as stiff as OS tubing or something like that.

Anyways, there are a lot of touring bike styles available and that matches perfectly with there also being a lot of touring riders who like different styles.
Nothing is perfect for everyone. Someone may love a huge OS downtube Cannondale touring frame. Someone may love a whippy 531 frame from the early 80s. etc etc.

For what its worth, I have a Cannondale Touring frame from about ’93. HUGE downtube that’s bazooka in size. Its hanging on a hook in my garage waiting to be built up…maybe this winter. No desire to use it for loaded touring due to the tire size limitation, but it should be fun to build into a canti-brake road bike. I will be interested to see how harsh the ride is given the tubing design and riding it unloaded.
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