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New kid Q: Road? Touring? Road/Touring hybrid?

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

New kid Q: Road? Touring? Road/Touring hybrid?

Old 05-29-13, 09:00 PM
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New kid Q: Road? Touring? Road/Touring hybrid?

My first year of college is over, and now I've got three empty months of summer. I plan on cramming it with as much bicycling as humanly possible.

Trouble is, I don't have a bike that fits me. I have 58 cm 1989 Trek 1000 that I got five years ago (handed down in the family), but at a height of 6'5" (with a 37.5"/95.25 cm inseam) it's both an awkward and uncomfortable ride.

The biggest wall I'm facing is deciding which bicycle type I should buy. Specifically, I'm split between the road and touring categories. Here are the two reasons reasons why:

I want to ride far.
Trans-state far. The physical and mental stress isn't a problem; it's the stress that I'll be putting on my bike which worries me. My own weight (195lbs) doesn't seem to be any issue here in terms of "stress". Instead, I'm talking about additional baggage that I'll be carrying, like saddlebag (pannier?) support. I know I'm ambitious, but I'd like an assurance of strength and durability at least somewhere near what the touring bicycles provide that I've seen in my internet snooping sessions.

I want to ride fast.
Ok, not like $10,000 bike fast......I'll explain. I'm the biker in a relay that'll be competing in an amateur-level, Olympic-length triathlon in August. We're not looking to break records, but I want to be able to keep up with other racers on their purely "road" bikes (at least for the distance I'll be riding, which is 32 miles).
Does a bike that combines my two needs even exist? I can already feel that I might be asking too much with this combination of strength and performance.

I should probably make clear that the highest I'm comfortable going for a bike like this (unless otherwise persuaded) is $1,500. I feel that this limit itself is a hindrance, because its seems like I'm asking a lot for a little (similar to me wanting a Porsche Cayenne at the price of a used Jeep).

Do I have to compromise? Should I consider buying one type, then later on trading/buying for the other type if it doesn't suit me well? If I haven't made it clear, I have absolutely no experience in buying bicycles, let alone bicycles themselves. Even tossing around frame material types (e.g. steel, aluminium) makes me uneasy.

From your experience, what's my best (if any) option here?

Last edited by maxfieldl; 05-29-13 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Format.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:14 PM
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if i was in your shoes, i'd at least check out a specialized secteur. full disclosure i dont know much about bike geometry, but it is tagged as an "endurance bike". it certainly has a less aggressive riding position than my specialized allez. you could find a local specialized dealer and try out a 64cm secteur and make sure it can accommodate a rack (i think it can). it looks to be in your price range, depending on the component group you want.


i'm sure there are other good options out there that will meet your needs, but this one might be a good place to start your research and try out a bike that comes in a frame that will fit you.

ps - i'm 6'4" and the 64cm felt pretty good when i tested it. i'm guessing it will work for you...at least it will be a TON better than what you've got now.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:31 PM
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If you want to go fast on it, you probably don't want to get anywhere near a touring bike.

you can probably hitch a trailer to your seat post and convert your road bike into a touring machine if you need to. The touring forum peeps might have better information for you.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:13 AM
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Maybe you could tow a trailer with a road bike but I doubt it would work real well. Any bike that would be great for multi state touring will not be good for racing. Period. A touring bike under $1500 isn't hard... The Surly Long Haul Trucker comes to mind but it's not light at all. You might consider looking hard for two used bikes. A used surly should be able to be found for $700 and a used Secteur or similar aluminum bike with a carbon fork should also be able to be found for about the same price. Then you'd have a decent touring bike and a reasonable road bike.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:25 AM
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Something like a Trek 1 series, Aluminum.
Has efficient skinny road wheels.
Also has mounts for racks/fenders.

Try to get the option with carbon fork.

A Ti bike like a Lynskey R230, would be fast on the road, and strong enough to mount a rack to. Maybe something like the Jamis Satellite/Eclipse as well, steel faster, some models have rack mounts.

But your making sacrifices all around. One of these bikes is good at neither. E.G. What you really need is a Trek 520 and a Trek Madone/Speed Concept.

Last edited by Menel; 05-30-13 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 05-31-13, 06:04 AM
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Look for something with a label of sportiv, sport touring, audax, randonneuring etc. They tend to be light touring bicycles ... kind of a combination of touring and racing.

You might also check the Long Distance forum and have a look at the Century Bicycles thread.
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Old 05-31-13, 06:16 AM
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+1 what Machka says. These bikes typically have braze ons for adding racks and fenders. Also these frames will allow the use of wider tires. Soma, Salsa, Jamis, among a few others make nice frames that are reasonably priced. If you want to go with a true touring frame and want something you can go faster on I'd stay away from a LHT, they ride like pigs.
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