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Touring and road: some compromise?

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Touring and road: some compromise?

Old 08-18-05, 11:34 AM
  #1  
akkahagar
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I am looking for a new bike, after riding a beaten up old Schwinn Sprint.

My purposes are 1) rides with a group of friends and with the local cycling club - for which I want to be as fast as possible 2) solo rides of the order of 100 miles, done for leisure, not speed. at some point I might go touring on the bike.

I test rode a "road" bike - Specialized Allez Sport, and while it felt a lot lighter than my Sprint (I dont know how much use lighter is though, given that I am in the heart of prairieland), I have a few misgivings about such bikes. One major gripe is that there is no room for mounting a rack on the rear fork. Also, I the wheelbase was much shorter, though I dont know what exactly the implications of this are, besides possibly increased nimbleness. The other untested unverified gripe is about the harshness of aluminium frames.

I just wanted to pose this question: what bikes are a decent compromise between racing and touring? Basically, I dont want the bike to be super light, but also not super heavy like by 32lbs Sprint. I dont want it to be completely relaxed, but at the same time I dont want to be stuck to only an agressive racing position. I want holes for mounting a rack over the rear wheel, and I want a bike that would be comfortable to do 100 miles on. And at the same time fast enough that, with a little adjustment to my fitness, I dont lag behind the people I ride with.

I have one partial answer: Bianchi Brava, which too I test rode. But I really dont like the shifters on it, and comparing with other bikes, it seems to be not so good value for money.

Any suggestions? And my apologies for the long winded post.

Last edited by akkahagar; 08-18-05 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:47 AM
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I didn't realized they'd taken the rack mounts off the Allez Sport - I'm certain my wife's '04 has them. Not sure how far I'd want to tour on it...

Cyclo-cross bikes might be worth a look. Surly Cross-Check, LeMond Poprad, Bianchi Volpe are good budget cyclocross options. All have steel frames, rack mounts, can take larger tyres and fenders etc, and the riding position is generally somewhere between agressive and relaxed. You'll be giving up some speed and taking on some extra weight, but with skinny road tyres they're not too much slower than a road bike.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:59 AM
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I just got the Allez sport, and it certainly does have braze-ons on (or should I say 'upon'?) the seat stays. However, I don't think i'm really going to use them as this would not be the bike to get for an extended tour. Century might be ok, but I won't be able to comment on that with any certainty for at least a couple of more weeks

Std. answer though: try out a bunch of bikes. I would say though, lean towards perhaps a cyclocross bike. The tires are wider, and usually a little knobby, but probably faster than most hybrids and bikes that are touring specific. The Jamis Aurora would probably be worth checking out.
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Old 08-18-05, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gurana
I just got the Allez sport, and it certainly does have braze-ons on (or should I say 'upon'?) the seat stays. However, I don't think i'm really going to use them as this would not be the bike to get for an extended tour. Century might be ok, but I won't be able to comment on that with any certainty for at least a couple of more weeks

Std. answer though: try out a bunch of bikes. I would say though, lean towards perhaps a cyclocross bike. The tires are wider, and usually a little knobby, but probably faster than most hybrids and bikes that are touring specific. The Jamis Aurora would probably be worth checking out.
I forgot about the Jamis. Aurora is a great option to consider, as is the Nova.

Jamis Aurora
Jamis Nova
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Old 08-18-05, 12:57 PM
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Trying a lot o bikes is good advice. I have a touring Bianchi (old School, steel '85) but have put it through a couple of centruries and several club rides. I also have converted a Windsor Fens for much the same purpose with 105 group and a much lighter AU frame. My girlfriend just bought a Giant OCR3, and it has great adapability. You should check it out, at $600 it is a good value. See roadbikesreview.com for more info. Good Luck
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Old 08-18-05, 02:42 PM
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a couple of my friends ride Volpes and are happy with them. I ride a Giant OCR3 which I realized just yesterday has all the holes for racks. It is Alu thought...
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Old 08-18-05, 02:55 PM
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The Specialized Sequoia has, line for line, similar components to the Allez, and weighs just about the same, but has a more relaxed geometry and lots of braze-ons. It's a lively, responsive, yet stable and very, very comfortable bike. To my untrained eye, there's room for wider touring tires if need be--certainly 700x28.
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Old 08-18-05, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bernmart
The Specialized Sequoia has, line for line, similar components to the Allez, and weighs just about the same, but has a more relaxed geometry and lots of braze-ons. It's a lively, responsive, yet stable and very, very comfortable bike. To my untrained eye, there's room for wider touring tires if need be--certainly 700x28.
I put larger tires on my allez (23 to 25). It fits fine, but the brakes don't open up enough with the valve to allow an inflated tire in. Not a big deal, but it means I have to have my pump around if i want to take off the tire without messing up the brake. Just something to keep in mind.
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