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Fat Rando Bike

Old 12-24-15, 07:51 PM
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Fat Rando Bike

I desire a new bike. N+1 must be satisfied. Wife has given the green light. Conditions are perfect.

Basically I want a Rando (1000k+) bike that can handle gravel as well. I'll also use it to commute.

I just can't decide on a bike. I know I want it to accept the compass tubeless offerings: Rat Trap Pass at 26x54, Switchback Hill at 650bx48, and/or Jon Bon Pass at 700cx35. Said bike doesn't have to accept all sizes, not married to anything.

In addition
  • Road Crankset (narrow tread)
  • Handle lowriders/porteur and maybe even decaleur
  • Fit fenders over said tires
  • be able to have a mini rear rack for light items
  • be able to run a generator hub
  • I don't care discs vs centerpull, but with discs I want thru axles.
  • It needs to be fast. because I am wicked fast.
  • mid to low trail seems about right
  • absolutely no toe overlap (I currently have 585mm front center on my bike and get it with 700x28 tires).

I am probably a size 56 +-.

Bikes I have looked at
  • AWOL -- tire options, load options, no toe overlap, can run belts, but not very lively.
  • Diverge -- Speedy bike, looks like I can get a lowrider on the fork, but limited tire clearance especially with fenders. not sure how I feel about carbon.
  • Soma Grand Rando -- Just doesn't quite have the clearance for 650x48 tires
  • Soma San Marco -- this might work?
  • Soma Wolverine -- I haven't ridden it -- but it looks like a good contender minus the QR + discs combo.
  • NFE Elephant -- awesome -- but too long of a back log
  • Crust Evasion -- killer bike but uses MTN BB

Any others I should consider? Or any thoughts on the above? I will be in the US (UT/WA) for another week and a half.
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Old 12-24-15, 10:39 PM
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you might have to wait a year for road through axle disc. Not sure how that's going to shake out for gravel bikes, but for pure road bikes, they seem to be going to flat mount brakes with 12mm TA front and rear. Which is really annoying, to be honest, because one advantage on a disc bike is that you can use different wheels. I swap back and forth between road tires and gravel tires
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Old 12-25-15, 01:09 AM
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Would a Salsa Fargo work? Not a Jan Hine definition of rando but definitely a long distance all surface machine.
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Old 12-25-15, 01:17 AM
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Boulder bikes is a pretty standard starting place. Or custom. Mine is from Fitz, with very nice work without the big name price. I would say don't go into this with the expectation of ultimate speed. Not that they aren't fast, just expect higher average speeds after a couple hours in the saddle.

That Diverge sounds pretty interesting to me. All the big name brands seem to have something with potential these days.
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Old 12-25-15, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by XXLHardrock
Would a Salsa Fargo work? Not a Jan Hine definition of rando but definitely a long distance all surface machine.
The fargo has MTB BB spacing unfortunately.
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Old 12-25-15, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
you might have to wait a year for road through axle disc. Not sure how that's going to shake out for gravel bikes, but for pure road bikes, they seem to be going to flat mount brakes with 12mm TA front and rear. Which is really annoying, to be honest, because one advantage on a disc bike is that you can use different wheels. I swap back and forth between road tires and gravel tires
I have no problem with canti/center pull. I've noticed some issues with some of the road discs I've ridden that have steel forks. As far as I can tell the only CF fork that can take lowriders is the Diverge -- but it falls very short on the tire clearance unless I stick to 700x35 -- also haven't been able to test toe overlap on a size that fits me.
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Old 12-25-15, 06:49 AM
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Velo Orange Polyvalent or Camargue. Both are currently 30% off on the VO website.
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Old 01-01-16, 06:39 PM
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salsa vaya?
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Old 03-16-16, 12:11 PM
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I am in love with my Soma Grand Randonneur, which is set up with 650x42C Babyshoe Pass tires. I do not feel the need to have bigger tires even on full-blown dirt, but I realize that they're not a tubeless ready tire anyway (though I have heard that even the newer tubeless-ready Compass tires aren't great as tubeless) - that being said, I would be surprised if Compass doesn't have a tubeless-ready 42C at some point soon.

If big tires are a primary factor I'd definitely be keen on the Wolverine myself. I know a couple people with them and they seem awesome. Bit of a different bike than the GR though - the GR will be more comfortable and better suited to a front load.
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Old 03-16-16, 05:15 PM
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This is a bit of a zombie thread so I'm assuming the OP has moved on. But for others looking for something similar, a couple of new options from Rawland appear to be close to being real. The Ravn is designed for 26" wheels, and the Ulv is more of a "650b-plus" bike. Both have disc brakes and, if you believe the marketing, they tick off nearly every box on the OP's list. Very cool looking bikes if you like that sort of thing.
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Old 03-17-16, 11:35 AM
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The Felt V85 I mentioned in another post has a lot of your criteria and might be worth a look. We have had several folks in our shop looking at the Felt for an all purpose distance bike and have sold 2 recently for this purpose. I personally cannot recommend yet as I have not had a chance to take one out on a decent ride, but the bike does look impressive. It comes stock with nice 33mm tires and lists at about $1450. Hopefully one of our customers who purchased one will finally come back from a long ride and give us a full report.

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Old 03-17-16, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DPGCeleste
The fargo has MTB BB spacing unfortunately.
What is unfortunate about that?
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Old 03-19-16, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cs1
What is unfortunate about that?
The high Q of MTN cranks can cause knee issues for some folks...
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Old 03-19-16, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by guidoStow
The high Q of MTN cranks can cause knee issues for some folks...
According to Salsa the Fargo is a MTB. So it would make sense that it has that. Do you have knee problems?
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Old 03-28-16, 09:29 PM
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I can put out more power, for longer, with low q cranks. With a road double, I have to have short spindled pedals to get to my optimum placement while still being over the body of the pedal. on my MTBs I go for a single which gets me down to 160-170 on the crankset, compared to road at 140-150. I have a sweet MTB that I use for MTB, but want a road bike that pushes the limits. For now I have a SOMA Wolverine that I swapped to thru axle rear dropouts. Thinking of swapping out to the RLT9 Steel before I get the custom fork done so that I can go tapered headtube and internal DI2.
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Old 03-29-16, 08:13 AM
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The Soma GR checks all of your boxes except the tire size. Although you're splitting hairs at that point. At under $500 for the frame it's in the right price class for a commuter. It can be built up to be reasonably fast. At 1000k+ the only "fast" is average-speed-fast, and comfort and handling are probably the most important traits toward that end by that point.

The Diverge is a one of the most interesting bikes on your list, IMHO.


Originally Posted by DPGCeleste
I desire a new bike. N+1 must be satisfied. Wife has given the green light. Conditions are perfect.

Basically I want a Rando (1000k+) bike that can handle gravel as well. I'll also use it to commute.

I just can't decide on a bike. I know I want it to accept the compass tubeless offerings: Rat Trap Pass at 26x54, Switchback Hill at 650bx48, and/or Jon Bon Pass at 700cx35. Said bike doesn't have to accept all sizes, not married to anything.

In addition
  • Road Crankset (narrow tread)
  • Handle lowriders/porteur and maybe even decaleur
  • Fit fenders over said tires
  • be able to have a mini rear rack for light items
  • be able to run a generator hub
  • I don't care discs vs centerpull, but with discs I want thru axles.
  • It needs to be fast. because I am wicked fast.
  • mid to low trail seems about right
  • absolutely no toe overlap (I currently have 585mm front center on my bike and get it with 700x28 tires).

I am probably a size 56 +-.

Bikes I have looked at
  • AWOL -- tire options, load options, no toe overlap, can run belts, but not very lively.
  • Diverge -- Speedy bike, looks like I can get a lowrider on the fork, but limited tire clearance especially with fenders. not sure how I feel about carbon.
  • Soma Grand Rando -- Just doesn't quite have the clearance for 650x48 tires
  • Soma San Marco -- this might work?
  • Soma Wolverine -- I haven't ridden it -- but it looks like a good contender minus the QR + discs combo.
  • NFE Elephant -- awesome -- but too long of a back log
  • Crust Evasion -- killer bike but uses MTN BB

Any others I should consider? Or any thoughts on the above? I will be in the US (UT/WA) for another week and a half.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:20 AM
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And now the RLT9 fork has TA and mid-blade bosses for a rack...
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Old 05-15-16, 02:15 AM
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How about the All City Space Horse?
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Old 04-05-17, 05:14 PM
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OP, I'm in the same boat.

I'm currently riding a Pake C'mute, if any of you remember that company, and it has served me well but I'm looking for something a little higher end. It's my commuter and I built it up to be cheap and not attractive to thieves but in the time I've owned it I've only parked it outside a handful of times... who am I kidding, I don't need a new bike... I just want a new bike

My C'mute runs 36H 105 hubs with Mavic A319 rims and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 35c. I also have a Brooks flyer (sprung) saddle. The ride is awesome. I run front rack, basket and rear rack and it's a great bike but holy crap is it heavy. My plan is to use as many of the parts from my C'mute on my new "Fat Rando" bike.

To add to your list, I'm also looking at:

Soma Pescadero - requires special brakes unfortunately - Tange Prestige tubing
Crust Romanceur - not sure if this one is just hype but the bike looks awesome
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Old 04-05-17, 08:03 PM
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he probably bought a bike sometime in the last year and a half. Didn't tell us what it was though
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