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Which sub 700c wheeled touring bike to buy?

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Which sub 700c wheeled touring bike to buy?

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Old 07-11-07, 06:40 PM
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Schwinnrider
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Which sub 700c wheeled touring bike to buy?

I am in the market for a relatively inexpensive bike to use as a bad weather commuter/grocery getter/touring bike. I am 5'6.5"(gotta get the .5) and usually ride a 52cm. That, on my 700c wheeled bikes, leads to toe overlap(because my bikes are fendered). I have three choices within my budget.

1) Surly Long Haul Trucker. In my size it will have 26 inch wheels. Price for the complete bike is right around $1000. Tires available everywhere, in a pinch.

2) Kogswell Porteur/Randonneur. Frame/fork/fenders painted to match/seatpost are $540, and with judicious shopping I could likely get it for the same price as a LHT. 650B wheel size, so tire availability is an issue, regardless of what the devotees say.

3) Rivendell Bleriot. $750 frame/fork, plus whatever it takes to build it up. Probably end up about $1500 or so. 650B wheel size, but it's lugged. Lugged, I say.

I am not in a position to actually SEE any of these. My LBS sells Surly but doesn't stock them, and nobody in my area has a Kogswell or a Bleriot.

The LHT is the safe choice. The P/R is the super-functional choice---I would likely build it up with a huge front basket. The Bleriot is the purely aesthetic choice. I've never had a lugged bike, and that is just about the only Rivendell I can afford.

Mike
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Old 07-11-07, 06:47 PM
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I guess I'd go for the LHT, partly because it's a good value for the price, and the 26 wheels are just going to be so much less of a hassle in terms of finding replacement parts/upgrading.

I'm not at all envious of your dilemma. it helps to be a decent height, and I don't know of any other touring or road bikes with 700 wheels.

Your cheapest option, I suppose, would be to take an old rigid mountain bike and completely rebuild it with drops. and whatever else you want.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:43 PM
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I would first make sure none of these bikes have the dreaded toe overlap. They have smaller wheels but who knows the geometry might change as well. Contact them.

Other than that the choice is quite personal, and I agree with your desciptions. I would go for the kogswell: it's a good mix between the bleriot (too expensive) and the LHT (maybe less exotic?). If you carry a spare tube (and tire for longer distance) then you don't have to worry about availability.
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Old 07-11-07, 08:18 PM
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I don't think I would get a Rivendell to use as a bad weather commuter and grocery getter. Touring? - yes. But I would be afraid of nicking it up constantly when locking it up at grocery stores. If you want to go with the utility of a front basket, I'd probably get the Kogswell to be different.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:40 PM
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[QUOTE=M_S]I guess I'd go for the LHT, partly because it's a good value for the price, and the 26 wheels are just going to be so much less of a hassle in terms of finding replacement parts/upgrading.

I'm not at all envious of your dilemma. it helps to be a decent height, and I don't know of any other touring or road bikes with 700 wheels.



Are you saying my height is indecent? Just kidding. It is tough to ride a smaller frame----and if it was up to me all bikes 54cm and smaller would have smaller wheels. It makes them look more balanced and it helps prevent TCO.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcap
I don't think I would get a Rivendell to use as a bad weather commuter and grocery getter. Touring? - yes. But I would be afraid of nicking it up constantly when locking it up at grocery stores. If you want to go with the utility of a front basket, I'd probably get the Kogswell to be different.

Well, the Bleriot is [I]sort[I] of a Rivendell. If you consider a frame made by Maxway in Taiwan a Rivendell. Let's put it this way---the Bleriot would be a lot less expensive than my Gunnar, and just a bit more expensive than a Surly.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:53 PM
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They are all good. The Kogswell and Bleriot are 650b, which are wonderful pillow-like tires. Quite addictive. I built up a Bleriot for my wife, and I am livid with jealousy.

But the Surly is also terrific, and just to drive you crazy; the Surly Pacer is
an all rounder. I think it's the best bike Surly makes, check the reviews at Road Bike Review.

You may be underestimating the cost. You planning on using the QBP build program? Get the frame thought them at your LBS and they offer a nice package deal for all the parts needed to turn it into a bike.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by late
They are all good. The Kogswell and Bleriot are 650b, which are wonderful pillow-like tires. Quite addictive. I built up a Bleriot for my wife, and I am livid with jealousy.

But the Surly is also terrific, and just to drive you crazy; the Surly Pacer is
an all rounder. I think it's the best bike Surly makes, check the reviews at Road Bike Review.

You may be underestimating the cost. You planning on using the QBP build program? Get the frame thought them at your LBS and they offer a nice package deal for all the parts needed to turn it into a bike.

I just had a new Pacer built up. Nice frame---it's the new silver one. Looks great, rides great. But, I have it set up as a fast commuter--no rack, just a Carradice Barley. The new bike would need to carry more than that.

I know the cost on a complete LHT is around a grand---but that's the complete LHT Surly sells. That's not counting the cost of racks or fenders of course. As for the Kogswell and Bleriot, I would likely seek out parts on Nashbar/Performance/eBay. Trinity Cycles offers a super cheap 650B wheelset. Probably underestimating cost a bit though. But I'll be the Kogswell could get built up for less than a grand if one was careful.
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Old 07-13-07, 06:04 AM
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Is there a reason you're not considering a folding bike, either with 20" --xootr swift is real nice-- or 16" wheels --dahon curve is well regarded; I commute on a Downtube Mini, which I like very much?
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Old 07-16-07, 09:52 AM
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I love my 54cm LHT complete w/ 26x2" big apples subbed in! Would have gone for 2.35s but wanted to be positive of fender clearance.
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Old 07-16-07, 12:00 PM
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Any REI's near you? My Novara Safari would be perfect. Wide gear range,disc brakes,rear rack with provisions for mounting a front rack,and the lovely trekking bar. I rode mine through the winter crud,haul groceries,and beat the crap out of it at polo,and it's been stone-axe reliable.
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Old 07-17-07, 05:46 AM
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Surly LHT with 26 inch wheels would be my choice. An old rigid MTB is also a good option.

I'm the same height as you. Inseam somewhere between 30 and 31 inches. Here's what's in my commuting stable right now.

1980's 17" Specialized Hardrock (steel rigid MTB) converted to single speed. This bike has fenders and Northroad bars. No toe overlap at all.

1980's 53cm Raleigh Pursuit (cheap steel road bike) converted to single speed. This bike usually has fenders, but I took them off for this summer. It has some toe overlap, but that doesn't bother me.
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Old 07-17-07, 06:30 AM
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BikeFriday New World Tourist, perhaps?

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Old 07-17-07, 06:57 AM
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If you're looking to build up your own 650B bike, check out Harris' super-cheap wheelset ($140!): http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels/584.html

I'm tempted to convert my steel road bike to a 650B touring bike, if I can. But that's another question. Still, might come in handy for a cheap Kogswell build.
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