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Touring Frameset

Old 09-06-13, 04:26 PM
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Touring Frameset

Hey All,

I'm looking at getting into some light touring in the near future and I was hoping to get some experienced thoughts on a couple of frames that I'm considering.

So the bikes I'm presently looking at are the Specialized AWOL, the Salsa Vaya (Cromo), and the Velo Orange Campeur. I've considered some others (Surly, Soma, Bruce Richards, etc...) but for some reason or another I've ruled them out and I continue to come back to these three models.

So the dilemma that I'm having is in regards to the steel on the Specialized AWOL frameset. I'm not sure what tubing the Salsa or VO uses but Specialized uses Reynolds 725/520 Cr-Mo on the AWOL and I wanted to know if anybody had any experience with that steel in relation to what the Salsa and the VO uses. I want the bike to feel relatively zippy without sacrificing it's ability to haul me and some gear.

Thanks for any insight and comments on the matter!
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Old 09-06-13, 06:32 PM
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We don't get a lot of information on the materials that price point. Those types of materials (water pipe) aren't offered to us. I think those frames mentioned are around $40.00 FOB. I add that much value to a BB shell before welding it into a frame.

I would buy a 30 year old Trek before any of those you mentioned. Long before.
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Old 09-23-13, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tjsummerhays
Hey All,

I'm looking at getting into some light touring in the near future and I was hoping to get some experienced thoughts on a couple of frames that I'm considering. So the bikes I'm presently looking at are the Specialized AWOL, the Salsa Vaya (Cromo), and the Velo Orange Campeur. I've considered some others (Surly, Soma, Bruce Richards, etc...) but for some reason or another I've ruled them out and I continue to come back to these three models.

So the dilemma that I'm having is in regards to the steel on the Specialized AWOL frameset. I'm not sure what tubing the Salsa or VO uses but Specialized uses Reynolds 725/520 Cr-Mo on the AWOL and I wanted to know if anybody had any experience with that steel in relation to what the Salsa and the VO uses. I want the bike to feel relatively zippy without sacrificing it's ability to haul me and some gear. Thanks for any insight and comments on the matter!
OP: Nor sure what the info shortfall is... I went to velo orange and the Campeur listing clearly shows that its frame and fork is made from 4130 Chromoly double butted. It doesn't give any specific "pedigree" for those tubes which I would prefer to see for a $500 frame, but not a real disqualifier. The frame also has the 135mm OLN, canti studs, lots of touring friendly braze-on fittings, etc., so it would be a decent frame for touring. If there is one thing I would drop it down one star on is the 1" (25.4mm) threaded fork...as I would prefer to see a 1 1/8" (28.6mm) threadless in that price range, but not really a disqualifier overall.

So look at a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame specs list and compare it and the price and make your bets.

I didn't look up the other frame you mentioned as I suspect it will also have the info there for you to find and read.

Hope this helps ... let us know your thinking after you have pondered it a bit.

/K

On the side, I agree steel is the better choice for touring, but if you are also considering aluminum... the Nashbar Touring frame and fork are good at under $150 delivered. I built one up and it tours fine and rides nice, stiff and comfortable. I would recommend getting the combo canti/disk brake fork (It is chromo and the dimensions and paint are the same as the normal fork they sell for that frame) as it is heavier duty. Actually, as I usually do, I order an extra fork to hold back as a spare for the realities that sometimes happen. At $35 it is cheap insurance. PM me if need info or a build sheet for it (circa May 2013).
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Old 09-23-13, 06:35 PM
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I doubt that there's a heck of a lot of difference between the three bikes/frames you mentioned. They're all made of reasonable quality steel. I'd focus on three different questions.

The first is what kind of riding do you want to do? The frame geometry matters when it comes to the kind of riding you do.

The second is why do you want a frameset as opposed to say a complete bike. I love building up frames but it costs a lot less to buy a complete bike than it is to buy a frame and build it up.

The third is how much it is going to cost you to prep the frame properly. Velo Orange claims on its blog that its frames are prepped and ready to go. I have no idea about Salsa or Specialized but I know that Surly frames (and QBP owns Salsa so I imagine the same is true for Salsa) need prepping. Do you have a shop that will do this for you? Cutting tools are a bit of a lost art at least where I live.
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Old 09-23-13, 08:00 PM
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bikemig has a good point in asking about your riding wishes but stops before the real point is made. Some of the answers you seek depend on what you call "light touring" to some this is weekend club riding, no race numbers but racing non the less, But because these riders aren't licensed and stop for lunch along they are touring in some views. At the other end of the spectrum is self contained touring, carrying tent/bag/stove/food weighing 50-75lbs but because you're on pavement and stop at stores each day still light touring by some.

If you're going to carry ft and rr bags, going to be on the road for longer then 3 days, and/or have a non touring bike too I'd say you want to lean toward the Surly LHT or Trek 520 type of bike. Their stiffness and stability will be appreciated when loaded and rolling.

I have built a number of loaded touring bikes for myself over the years (and for a couple of others) and the biggest mistakes I've made were with using too light/small diameter tubing and flexible fork crowns. There's a BIG difference to how a bike feels when unloaded, with 30lbs on the rear and a 70lbs ft and rr load.

Has the OP ever ridden a bike with the load he expects to carry? Andy.
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Old 09-23-13, 08:07 PM
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I should also add that the alloy of steel has very little to do with the bike's ride. As steels have pretty much the exact same Young's Modulus the ride, instead, differs with tube diameter, wall thickness and overall geometry. The only aspect that the alloy of steel influences is how thin the walls can get before strength is not enough for the task of handling the forces. This is a factor when one's trying to minimize weight. But for a touring bike being concerned about weight is somewhat miss guided. Andy.
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Old 09-28-13, 12:17 AM
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All those frames get heavily discussed in, yes, the touring forum. This really isn't the place for that.

I have the Nashbar touring frame, and it isn't really a touring frame of the type Americans seem to groove, which is to say, somewhat traditional. It really looks like someone without a lot of experience on touring frames, but a background in MTBs designed it. I have a post on that on the, yes, touring forum.

Prep is a pretty good point. The nashbar is prepped, and it all looks nice, but I can't get the BB in one side. I keep trying, just for the experience. I have a BB tap, so when I get serious about the whole thing, I guess I will run it through the tight side. Which is to say that one can't even trust the frames that are prepared.

So far, I don't quite know what the deal is on the Campeur. Not enough people have made it up, and it takes a lot of people to do a frame to break through the happy talk factor. When you are the only person to buy it, for one thing to have the courage to be the first, you probably really wanted whatever it is that makes it special. Then regardless it is lonely to admit it sucks. Not that it should or anything. I do know Chris wanted to bring out a Cyclotourist 650b serious camping bike around 06, but it would have made it to market around the point the world fell in, and people were going under, or adjusting their plans. Some of which were made.

On the touring forum, the new frame only gets a few posts before the thread disolves into a 5 page fight over threaded stems. Mostly being discussed by people who must never have ridden with them. I bought all my tooling for threadless, because, seriously. But conversely, most of my bikes have been threaded, since I tend to stick with bikes. Hard to get too excited either way.

Last edited by MassiveD; 10-01-13 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-30-13, 05:54 PM
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ROC contract frame factories make them all , why fuss over reynolds tubesets,

they probably have a tube mill on the Island making their own tube for the millions
of bike frames made by Taiwan's factories..
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Old 10-01-13, 01:34 PM
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Yeah, there was an argument here somewhere, where some of the big names were going on about the costs in asia, and one of those dudes went on to point out they roll their own tubes and the sets run about 10 bucks. I could use some of that love. They were trying to sort out what to do about it. Dude went on to start Nahbs.
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