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Dawes Karakum or Cromo.

Old 10-23-17, 06:59 AM
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Dawes Karakum or Cromo.

Hi, I am going to buy a touring bike (ladies model) and have been happily riding a Peugeot steel frame man's bike for many years but want a step over frame for long distance touring. I love the look of the Karakum because I want butterfly bars but the frame is alloy and all I've read about touring says that steel frames are the best. I cannot find the style of bike that I want (can affort up to 1,000) for the money I have but would the Dawes Cromo with its crommoly frame be OK? I would have butterfly bars put on it. Any advice would be welcome, thank you.
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Old 10-23-17, 07:43 AM
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I personally love the feel of steel as opposed to aluminum but individual bikes can feel vastly different. newer steel touring bikes feel very stiff to me. i have an all city space horse and i like it but compared to older steel touring bikes it is kind of harsh. the aluminum dawes might feel good with the right tires. i would test ride one before you decide its not for you. those butterfly bars look pretty good to an old guy like me who likes to sit upright.
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Old 10-23-17, 07:45 AM
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Having rode the Karakum, I can state that yes, it's a nice bike.
Whilst most of here agree that Steel is the best, for the price of the Karakum, you find much better. Racks all round, three bottle cage mounts, butterfly bars with adjustable stem, good tyres, I'd certainly consider it.
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Old 10-23-17, 07:47 AM
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Also, sticking Butterfly bars on the Cromo would disagree with the geometry of the bike, as its a dropbar as standard. I'd go for the Karakum as it's been designed to fit the Buttlerfly bars in mind
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Old 10-23-17, 10:29 AM
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Thank you!

Hi checoles and 52telecaster, thank you so much for your advice. I wasn't sure whether crommoly was a kind of steel or just as rigid as aluminium. I hadn't thought about the geometry of the Cromo not being as suitable for butterfly bars so thanks for that advice. My road bike is fine for most riding but I do find it a hard ride on less than smooth surfaces and I have an old Raleigh (1930!) which is obviously totally unsuitable for any distance but I just glide over the ruts and bumps without noticing and that's a steel frame too but the comfort is down to the thick and not too full of air tyres! I guess touring bikes will have wider tyres than my road bike so that will help.

Well thanks again for your advice, I'm hoping Spa cycles at Harrogate have a Karakum for me to try. They do their own steel tourer but I can't see a ladies model. I'll let you know what I get.
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Old 10-24-17, 01:49 AM
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Be sure to post pictures!
Spa Cycles are great, but I don't believe they do a female frame (Traditional sloping top tube)
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Old 10-24-17, 02:34 AM
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Aluminum has all but replaced steel as a bike frame material in the middle price ranges. Be sure to test ride aluminum bikes as well as the steel bikes. You're likely to find that the material of the frame makes no difference in how much you enjoy the ride of the bike.
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Old 10-24-17, 05:55 AM
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Thanks again.

Thank you checoles and Trakhak. I'm hoping I can try the Karakum mens' bike and get an idea from the size and ride from that but I can see that there may be drawbacks from doing that as I believe womens' bikes are a different geometry but the chance of me finding a bike to try that's the make, model and size I want is pretty slim. I wish there were more bikes to try before buying. I'm not spending a fortune but even so, I want it to be right. Years ago I went to the Raleigh factory in Nottingham and rode loads of bikes before deciding which one I wanted but I guess those days have gone. How people can order online without even sitting on them puzzles me.

I'm prepared to pay a bit more than 1,000 to get the right bike if it exists! I'd like a bike that's like the Karakum in looks but is made from Reynolds (531?) tubing but having said that, I may find that I couldn't tell the difference between that and aluminium. If the womens' Karakum is just like the mens' version but with a step over frame then that should give me a good idea. People mention the strength and life of different frames but as I'm in my 60's I would expect any bike frame to outlive me so it's not a problem! Thanks.:
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Old 10-24-17, 06:50 AM
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Apart from the Dawes Cromo Ladies, Dawes Karakum Ladies, there isn't much else in terms of a womens tourer in the UK for under 1000. Theres the Bobbin Luna - Click Here, but I don't know if it would be up your street.

Cube Travel - Click Here could be a good one, they get good reviews

After that, you're looking at custom builds like Thorn or Surly, but I really wouldn't bother for what you're doing.

I suppose if you're heading towards Harrogate for Spa Cycles, pop in the Specialized Concept Store there as well. Even just to walk about, its a gorgeous shop. The Sirrus Hybrid might suit you if you don't mind a more hybrid over road set up, but I'm probably way off your mark there.

(Greetings, from a fellow Yorkshireman by the way!)
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Old 10-24-17, 08:24 AM
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I'll point out that it does have a steel fork. Might help with a lot of the road noise. If you are going to pick a bike to replace the bars with butterflies, pick a flat bar, all the controls will transfer.

Looks like a nice bike, though, I am jealous of some of the trekking bikes available in Europe!
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Old 10-24-17, 10:47 AM
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Choice, choices.....

Hi, thanks again for your help. I looked at the Bobbin and like the style but not the colour (!). I want black or dark green, not a girly colour. I checked out the Cube bikes and like the Cube touring trapeze which is aluminium but I'm still determined to have butterfly bars because of the hand position options. I'm not going round the world but just want a bike that's very comfortable for say 40 - 50 miles a day with variations depending on how I feel and what the weather is like.
Checoles, I'll look at the other store you mentioned and hey to you too from a Yorkshire lady; Doncaster is my nearest town. I've cycled over the Humber bridge a few times and remember it's great fun when very windy! The Sirrus looks OK, just needs mud guards. ah .... all these choices.
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Old 10-24-17, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Aluminum has all but replaced steel as a bike frame material in the middle price ranges. Be sure to test ride aluminum bikes as well as the steel bikes. You're likely to find that the material of the frame makes no difference in how much you enjoy the ride of the bike.
My commuter bike is an aluminum framed endurance road bike with a carbon fork. It has 37 mm tires and rides very, very comfortably. I could easily adapt this bike for light touring, and could ride it 8-9 hours a day with little effort.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:34 PM
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Frames again.

Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Aluminum has all but replaced steel as a bike frame material in the middle price ranges. Be sure to test ride aluminum bikes as well as the steel bikes. You're likely to find that the material of the frame makes no difference in how much you enjoy the ride of the bike.

Good point. I think I just need to go on how much I enjoy riding the thing as that's what I'll be doing! I must be keen, it's 1.33am here and I'm still looking at bikes .......... the Koga Randonneur looks good..........
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Old 10-25-17, 01:31 AM
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Well if you want Butterfly bars on the Cube or any other flat-bar bike, it'll cost you around 20 for the bars and 10 for bar-tape, and the shop will happily install them for you. If it's drop bar, then it'll become quite expensive.
Koga Randonneur? Now you're looking high end quality! Lovely bit of kit, that. I suppose if you spend the extra dosh, you could potentially buy the last bike you'll ever need to buy. Just upgrade/replace worn parts as you go, that bike will last a lifetime quite happily.
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Old 04-22-18, 02:17 PM
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You were right checoles!

Originally Posted by checoles View Post
Well if you want Butterfly bars on the Cube or any other flat-bar bike, it'll cost you around 20 for the bars and 10 for bar-tape, and the shop will happily install them for you. If it's drop bar, then it'll become quite expensive.
Koga Randonneur? Now you're looking high end quality! Lovely bit of kit, that. I suppose if you spend the extra dosh, you could potentially buy the last bike you'll ever need to buy. Just upgrade/replace worn parts as you go, that bike will last a lifetime quite happily.
Hi checoles, I didn;t get the randonneur but the Koga Traveller is a superb bike and it will certainly last me a lifetime and you're quite right; it is a lovely bit of kit. Superb engineering. I got a display model that just happened to be perfect for me. Can't quite believe my luck as I'd have had to pay twice as much to have exactly the same bike made.
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Old 04-23-18, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Old lady View Post
Hi checoles, I didn;t get the randonneur but the Koga Traveller is a superb bike and it will certainly last me a lifetime and you're quite right; it is a lovely bit of kit. Superb engineering. I got a display model that just happened to be perfect for me. Can't quite believe my luck as I'd have had to pay twice as much to have exactly the same bike made.
oh fantastic news! Get some pictures of it up when you can, would love to see it Glad you got a great bike, which hopefully, you'll never need to replace anytime soon
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Old 04-23-18, 08:11 AM
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Photos of Koga.

Originally Posted by checoles View Post
oh fantastic news! Get some pictures of it up when you can, would love to see it Glad you got a great bike, which hopefully, you'll never need to replace anytime soon
Hi checoles, I've posted 2 pics of the bike so hope you like it! It is so well made that I know I'll never need to replace it. I'm in my mid 60's and the bike will have a much longer life ahead than I've got so the only problem I have is finding it a good home when I can't ride it any more. No kids to leave it to so at some point I'll find it a new home and hope someone loves it as much as I do.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Old lady View Post
Hi checoles, I've posted 2 pics of the bike so hope you like it! It is so well made that I know I'll never need to replace it. I'm in my mid 60's and the bike will have a much longer life ahead than I've got so the only problem I have is finding it a good home when I can't ride it any more. No kids to leave it to so at some point I'll find it a new home and hope someone loves it as much as I do.

I'm sure you'll find a decent home for it, people who will see that bike advertised will want it for the same reason you've got it

theres no pictures, did you post them elsewhere?
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