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Dream touring/commuter bike

Old 08-02-15, 02:58 PM
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Dream touring/commuter bike

I posted in the commuter section, but I'm realizing that what I really want is a touring bicycle. Here's a rough idea of what I'm thinking: very light steel frame (I'm used to late 70s to early 90s Colnago/Rossin/Bianchi or custom frame weights) with touring geometry, Rohloff Speedhub, then the rest is a mystery. Should I use vintage components or modern ones to reduce weight? Should I use vintage wheel making styles (32-36 lacing) or a modern wheel? Disc vs cantilever vs road brakes? Carbon fork? What style bars (I'm used to classic bars but open to other options)? I'm kind of open to whatever is lightest and works best for both commuting, road rides (unweighted), and light/not light touring (potentially up and down mountains). Priorities are getting the job done, weight (I have to lift it onto the wall for storage and carry it up flights of stairs), looking low key (lots of theft in the area).

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Old 08-02-15, 03:10 PM
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Tough to have it both ways, high end bike but low key to deal with theft.

If you want a lock up bike, get a beater.

If you want a lightweight commuter, get a sports touring bike like this bike

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ai-4000-a.html

Typical touring bikes are designed to carry a far amount of weight and tend to be a bit heavier.

Pick your poison but locking up a high end bike in an area with lots of theft is probably not a good plan. Personally I'd get a beater (a bike that looks pretty beat but rides well). Craigslist is your friend here.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:18 PM
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Hi, I am an ex store owner/ mechanic/ over 12 years. Wish I could be more helpful but you need to be less wishy washy, vague and more exact. When you say "Classic" bars, do you mean drop/ road handlebars? " Something that will get you up a mountain", well don't most bikes do that? Any idea how much stuff you want to be able to carry? I can say that since you said touring bike, unless you weigh 85 or 90 pounds, I can recommend trying to have 36 spoke wheels. Also Old parts do not weigh significantly more than new parts. A lot of what you are asking is subjective, you need to ride what you like. I would recommend that you try different handlebars, to find what you like.
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Old 08-02-15, 04:24 PM
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You want touring geometry, light weight to carry up stairs, Rohloff.

If you find it, let us know. Touring usually means more weight in the frame for strength, the Rohloff adds more weight. Touring bikes a few inches longer (longer chain stays) which can be a hassle for stairs too.

Maybe look for a hard tail mountain bike that can be fitted with a rigid fork and Rohloff?

Here in the touring section we don't refer to 36 spokes as vintage, most modern touring bikes are fitted that way.

What country are you in?
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Old 08-02-15, 06:21 PM
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I'm in the United States.

I mean road bars/drop bars, you know, the bars you see on any road bike. I'm open to straight bars or the other odd bars I've seen on touring bikes.

To be a little more specific, this is the sort of bike I'm talking about: The Monkey Lab: Co-Motion Americano Touring Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and belt drive

It's not quite perfect, but it's close. I have no idea what the weight is without racks/fenders (and I've looked). Reynolds 753 is good steel, but perhaps there's slightly lighter out there (853 I believe).

Like I said, custom is an option, so anything is possible. Thanks for any help.

As far as looking low key, I think the Rohloff system is inherently lower key looking than a bike with derailleur. I'm also thinking about giving the bike a destroyed paint job or just a clear coat so it looks old and poorly maintained.

Usual weights being carried would be probably 5-20 lbs, max weight being credit card touring loads (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc).

My frame size is 53 cm c-c, so the smallness of the frames I would ride help a bit with the weight.

Another example: https://noviceframebuilder.co.uk/tag/...f-touring-bike not sure of weight.

They seem to call the bike type "Audax" in England.

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Old 08-02-15, 07:41 PM
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I think you need to spend some quality time with three to five different bike shops talking to their staff.

Rohloff hubs are very rare in USA. When people see them, if they know anything about bikes (and most thieves know something about bikes), they look again to see what it is. They add significantly to the cost of the bike. I have a Rohloff on one of my bikes, I have seen one other Rohloff in the USA, they are that rare. A neighbor has been a part time mechanic at a local bike shop for several years, he told me that my Rohloff was the only one he has ever seen.

That Co-Motion Americano you cited is probably three or four times the cost of most touring bikes, or maybe more. It is built to carry a lot more weight than you are looking at.

An audax or randonneur bike might be better suited for you than a heavy duty touring bike that is designed to haul camping gear, those types of bikes can handle the weight you are looking at and should be comfortable for a long day of riding.
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Old 08-02-15, 07:44 PM
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Martin Luther King's Dream = possible

Your Dream Bicycle = probably not possible
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Old 08-02-15, 11:29 PM
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Had to do this myself... This is with canti brakes, but adjust slightly for disks if so...

BB+crank+chainring+bolts = 816
Stem = 150
headset = 75
Brakes 115 x 2 = 230
Shifter = ~100g (unknown)
Bars (bullhorn) = 175
Levers = 115
Saddle = 360
Post = 140
Spokes 130x2 nipples 20x2 = 300
Rims = 390x2 = 780
Rohloff = ~1700
Front dyno hub = 440
Frame + fork = 2000g
Misc = 300g
Chain = 200g ?

Did I forget anything?

That's about 7.78g or 17.2 pounds.

I would have to do some work to make the bike look "distressed" and even then I'm not sure I would be comfortable leaving it locked up for hours at a time. However it would be one hell of a bike.
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Old 08-03-15, 01:55 AM
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You are certainly not along in wanting to mash these two styles. I take the view that they are not essentially morphable, but people try.

One thing I wouldn't try is lightweight 70s tubing and a Rohloff hub. At least not lightweight stays.

There is this thing where people throw together a bunch of ideas that sound nice but they are somewhat contradictory and can't actually work together. "I'd like some small framed light weight bike I could ride in criteriums on the weekend and use in the mud during the week for my job as a palaeontologist... "
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Old 08-03-15, 06:10 AM
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kyledr, Once tires, tubes, rim tape, handlebar tape, bottle cages, and pedals that 17 lb. bike is more realistically ~20 lb., perhaps more. Add another few pounds worth of seat bag with maintenance items and full water bottles...

When it comes to touring or commuting, reliability and dependability trumps weight savings. Of course nobody wants to have a heavier bicycle than needed, just heavy (duty) enough to perform the task at hand.

Brad
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Old 08-03-15, 06:48 AM
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It's easy enough to make a bike look like crap. You just can't be prissy about your parts. I have a frame that I sanded and spray painted flat black. No clear coat. The spray paint will get wear points fairly quickly. That's good. Some stickers will help too. I have a Chris King headset. The first thing I did after installing it was take sand paper to it and get rid of the name. It looks like crap now. Same goes for my derailers. Electrical tape covers the Shimano SLX on my cranks, so they're just all black, wrapped in black tape now. If you're not worried about "ruining" some nice, new parts, your bike can look pretty crappy very easily. Even if a thief did recognize some nice parts, you don't want them to have any resale value. Taking away quick sale value is the first step to keeping your bike from getting stolen.
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Old 08-03-15, 11:05 AM
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I will be shocked if you get a Rohloff bike put together that weighs less than 20 pounds. A Rohloff can be fitted to most frames, but if you are looking for a frame that specifically is designed for it, you will probably find the frame to be much heavier than you thought.

A friend of mine in college had several nice bikes stolen. One day I saw his bike, white frame with some black spray paint on the front lugwork. I asked what was wrong with his frame, he said that he wanted to theft proof it, so he spray painted the lugs to make it look like bad repair job.

I bought the bike in the photo at a garage sale for $5. It had been stored outside for over 10 years. Put lots of hours and a lot of new parts on it, but I decided to leave the steel handlebars with original rust patina to make the bike more theft resistant. This is the bike I usually ride to campus which is where the most thefts occur.



Part of my point here is that you might want to have a bike for use in theft prone areas and a different bike for the other riding you do.

Take a look at the Thorn Mercury.

https://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/ThornMercuryHiRes.pdf
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Old 08-03-15, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kyledr
I'm in the United States.

I mean road bars/drop bars, you know, the bars you see on any road bike. I'm open to straight bars or the other odd bars I've seen on touring bikes.

To be a little more specific, this is the sort of bike I'm talking about: The Monkey Lab: Co-Motion Americano Touring Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and belt drive

It's not quite perfect, but it's close. I have no idea what the weight is without racks/fenders (and I've looked). Reynolds 753 is good steel, but perhaps there's slightly lighter out there (853 I believe).

Like I said, custom is an option, so anything is possible. Thanks for any help.

As far as looking low key, I think the Rohloff system is inherently lower key looking than a bike with derailleur. I'm also thinking about giving the bike a destroyed paint job or just a clear coat so it looks old and poorly maintained.

Usual weights being carried would be probably 5-20 lbs, max weight being credit card touring loads (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc).

My frame size is 53 cm c-c, so the smallness of the frames I would ride help a bit with the weight.

Another example: Rohloff touring bike | Novice Framebuilder not sure of weight.

They seem to call the bike type "Audax" in England.
R + E Cycles in Seattle can do what you are asking but it won't be cheap ($4000 plus)

Rohloff Bicycles, from Rodriguez Custom Bicycles in Seattle

The Co-Motion bikes are built for heavy touring and use tandem grade (thick, heavy) steel tubing all over the bike. That plus the heavy Rohloff hub is going to be even heavier.

That said, I can easily lift my Rohloff steel touring bike up stairs (It's from R + E).

If you want lower weight and cost is no issue, look into a Seven Cycles titanium touring bike

Seven Cycles | Touring

A Rohloff is NOT stealth and thieves know they are so valuable that it is worth cutting the rear wheel spokes to take the hub alone rather than deal with the entire bike.

Now, if you really want something unique that the thieves might not be onto yet and can't be stolen just by cutting spokes, get a Pinion drive bike. But... they are NOT light.

Tout Terrain from Peter White Cycles

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Old 08-03-15, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
Once tires, tubes, rim tape, handlebar tape, bottle cages, and pedals that 17 lb. bike is more realistically ~20 lb., perhaps more.
+1

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I will be shocked if you get a Rohloff bike put together that weighs less than 20 pounds. A Rohloff can be fitted to most frames, but if you are looking for a frame that specifically is designed for it, you will probably find the frame to be much heavier than you thought.

+1

I'm on board with these guys, a viable & ridable bike like you're specifying, will easily be over 20 pounds (before racks or any other accessories). That said, I'd love to see it if the OP can pull it off.
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Old 08-03-15, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura
+1




+1

I'm on board with these guys, a viable & ridable bike like you're specifying, will easily be over 20 pounds (before racks or any other accessories). That said, I'd love to see it if the OP can pull it off.
If that's possible, it would be on something like the Seven Cycles Expat, a titanium bike with a Rohloff option.
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Old 08-03-15, 03:45 PM
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I thought that there was a short list of Rohloff frames on another thread, found it.

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/98...ing-frame.html

I do not know how much experience or knowledge you have on Rohloffs, but they do generate a lot of torque. I mentioned above that you can put a Rohloff on almost any frame, but that frames designed for Rohloff are usually heavier. Here is one reason for the more robust frame construction, specifically at the rear left dropout.

https://www.pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-001/FAIL-123.html

The photo shows that the dropout and frame construction on my Rohloff bike is pretty robust. There is an extra brace between the chainstay and seatstay on both sides, I think the one on the right side of the bike (left in photo) is just so that it looks symmetrical with the left side where the extra torque is applied to the frame.

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Old 08-03-15, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kyledr
I posted in the commuter section, but I'm realizing that what I really want is a touring bicycle. Here's a rough idea of what I'm thinking: very light steel frame (I'm used to late 70s to early 90s Colnago/Rossin/Bianchi or custom frame weights) with touring geometry, Rohloff Speedhub, then the rest is a mystery. Should I use vintage components or modern ones to reduce weight? Should I use vintage wheel making styles (32-36 lacing) or a modern wheel? Disc vs cantilever vs road brakes? Carbon fork? What style bars (I'm used to classic bars but open to other options)? I'm kind of open to whatever is lightest and works best for both commuting, road rides (unweighted), and light/not light touring (potentially up and down mountains). Priorities are getting the job done, weight (I have to lift it onto the wall for storage and carry it up flights of stairs), looking low key (lots of theft in the area).
Five years ago I spent a fair amount of time and money building up a lightweight touring bike. Aluminum frame, carbon fork. XT drivetrain. The total came to something like $1,500 The second I took the bike on a loaded ride - cruising up a hill in the granny gear with 30+ lbs - I realized I should have just bought an old steel MTB and been done with it.

If you're planning to do a real loaded tour with it I'd say save your money, get a used 90s rigid cro-mo MTB like a Specialized Rockhopper/Stumpjumper - with a nice wheelset, leather saddle.

If you want a commuter/sometimes tourer, a newer Trek 520 is steel but pretty light.

I have old Cannondale T-1000 that I use as a commuter and it's great. Something like this with a carbon nashbar fork on it:

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Old 08-03-15, 08:19 PM
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I'm thinking more of general transit + occasional credit card touring. One bike I like the look of is the Cannondale Synapse. I could probably snag a used one for cheap enough, maybe convert it to 650b and put some fenders and rack on it. Another option would be to convert my 15-16 lb track bike into a 650b, but it can't accommodate very wide tires (wide enough for me, but not very wide), and the rear triangle is pretty small, so there might be heel strike if I choose to tour with panniers, although perhaps a basket/crate on top of the rack would work. I'm also thinking Alfine is probably the way to go. I wonder if thieves would cut spokes for it.
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Old 08-03-15, 10:05 PM
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Just discovered cheap carbon cyclocross frames on eBay. I could build a bike for a reasonable price this way, I think. I assume there's some weight limit that's not too high for such a rack mount. I suspect quick release mounted fender would be sturdier so maybe save the eyelets for just the fenders.
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Old 08-04-15, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by kyledr
Just discovered cheap carbon cyclocross frames on eBay. I could build a bike for a reasonable price this way, I think. I assume there's some weight limit that's not too high for such a rack mount. I suspect quick release mounted fender would be sturdier so maybe save the eyelets for just the fenders.

I think the sky is the limit if you have the money or high tolerance for discomfort. And credit card touring means you just need to carry clothes.

You'll be able to find people touring on converted road and even fixed gear bikes.

If you have the money to do a project like converting a track bike to 650b and building an Alfine wheel, maybe you should look at the available touring bikes from Salsa. The Fargo and the Vaya. Or they new Deadwood coming out next year. They're as cool as a production touring bike is going to get, and good commuters.



edit... Looks like they're coming out with a 4th touring option called the Marrakesh


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Old 08-04-15, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kyledr
Just discovered cheap carbon cyclocross frames on eBay. I could build a bike for a reasonable price this way, I think. I assume there's some weight limit that's not too high for such a rack mount. I suspect quick release mounted fender would be sturdier so maybe save the eyelets for just the fenders.
Now your're talking. I've seen those and always thought they would make a great lightweight touring machine. Ditch the Rohloff and the dyno, build a strong wheelset, use more standard touring group-set, and then you'll be able to drop below 20lbs.

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Old 08-04-15, 06:18 AM
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OP, this is the bike you're looking for. It's upwards of $4000 US, though...
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Old 08-04-15, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
OP, this is the bike you're looking for. It's upwards of $4000 US, though...
The toughest requirement OP had was that the bike be stealth enough to leave locked up outside in the Oakland, CA area as well as all of the other criteria.

No Van Nicholas Rohloff titanium bike is going to last even one night locked up outside in Oakland.
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Old 08-04-15, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist
The toughest requirement OP had was that the bike be stealth enough to leave locked up outside in the Oakland, CA area as well as all of the other criteria.

No Van Nicholas Rohloff titanium bike is going to last even one night locked up outside in Oakland.
That's true. But that goes for virtually any frame he can buy, if it's rohloff-equipped.

Anyway, my point was really that the bike he wants exists, but probably not in a form that is affordable/unattractive to thieves.
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Old 08-04-15, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist
The toughest requirement OP had was that the bike be stealth enough to leave locked up outside in the Oakland, CA area as well as all of the other criteria.

No Van Nicholas Rohloff titanium bike is going to last even one night locked up outside in Oakland.
Is there any bike that would be safe to lock up outside in Oakland? Also I didn't see where the OP said he was going to leave it overnight. From what I have heard from other BF members, titanium bikes don't get much notice out on the street compared to more colorful ones. Wrap the tubes in hockey tape and it might be enough urban camouflage to deter most target-of-opportunity thieves.
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