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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-19-11, 04:12 PM   #1
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What features to look for in a long-distance road bike?

It'll probably be a little while before I end up getting such a bike, but my current 80s road bike (Raleigh Technium 440), while OK for commuting and even some bike camping, isn't really the greatest fit for me and at some point I'll probably want to change it out for something I'm more comfortable on for long distances. Basically, I want to be able to keep an eye out for craigslist deals for bikes that would be good for this and want to know what features make a good long-distance ride.

The main requirements I'd have:
Plenty of gears for when I get tired/big hills
Able to carry a large (Carradice) saddlebag's worth of day-ride supplies, but doesn't need lots of weight capacity - I'm also looking at getting a dirt-road worthy rig for touring
Capacity for both fatter tires (32 or even 35 mm maybe) and fenders; I don't like riding rough roads on skinny tires
Keeps me in a comfortable position all day. I know fit is a major component of this but so is frame design, I just don't know what to look for.
Speed is less important than comfort, but still up there in case I'm riding with a group.


Edit: Also, examples of good frames to keep an eye out for would be great.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jude View Post
...Keeps me in a comfortable position all day. I know fit is a major component of this but so is frame design, I just don't know what to look for.
You can be comfortable on just about any frame that is the right size for you and has the proper components. There are subtleties that a frame designer can impart to a particular frame that can affect the ride quality but that is in the realm of skilled frame builder vs not so skilled frame builder, not geometry. Your being comfortable has nothing to do with whether you are on a race geometry bike or one with touring geometry.

Other than that, I think you answered your own question...Get a bike that matches those criteria.
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Old 11-13-11, 06:55 PM   #3
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I'm riding a 1978 entry level Schwinn, weighing in at 35 lbs. fully loaded. All you really need are strong legs.
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Old 11-13-11, 07:02 PM   #4
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Two features, really: it shouldn't beat you up. And it should convert pedal effort into speed down the road. You have those two things, and everything else can be dealt with. It's gotta be fun or it sucks. Tire size, wheel configuration, braze-ons, all that stuff doesn't matter much if you have those first two things. You gotta rock 'n roll.
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