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Improved Frame Technology? Worth upgrading frameset

Old 08-28-18, 08:30 PM
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Improved Frame Technology? Worth upgrading frameset

Hi,

I have an older Fuji touring 2010 bike https://archive.fujibikes.com/2011/Fuji/touring4

The frameset is a standard 4130 Chromoly steel tubing you'd find 10 years ago: i) everything symmetric, ii) all tubes circular, iii) pretty same sized tubing etc. It's in great condition.

I was wondering what would I get if I upgraded the frameset to a modern one? Weight? Stiffness? Smoother ride?

I got the bike very cheap essentally so cheap that the frameset was effectively free so I don't mind buying a new frameset if it gets me somethng better.
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Old 08-28-18, 08:41 PM
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Potentially you could upgrade your frame to something more custom. Now that you have ridden your bike a bunch you probably know what you like and dislike about your frame and could build something better. That is what I did with my Co-Motion, I had ridden a Surly Disc Trucker for a while and found what I liked and didn't like and then ordered a Co-Motion. Granted now I have ridden my Co-Motion and part of me wishes I had changed a few things and upped my budget back then but I love the bike a ton and sadly I don't tour as much as I was wanting to due to work.

You may or may not lose some weight off the bike, you may or may not get a stiffer or smoother ride. The nice thing with touring bikes for the most part is they don't change though sometimes as time goes on they get worse due to changes in spec because touring is moving out and all road bikes are moving in at least marketing wise.
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Old 08-28-18, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Hi,

I have an older Fuji touring 2010 bike ...... in great condition.

I was wondering what would I get if I upgraded the frameset.....?
...
...assuming this is not yet another thread designed to cause a steel v. aluminum v. stupid heavy curmudgeon argument...

1. what about the fuji does not satisfy your needs?

2. what specifically do you want to improve?

3. what components/accessories could you upgrade at an equivalent cost?
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Old 08-29-18, 07:18 AM
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Should have mentioned ....

Im not one of those people who have a telekentic connection with their bikes and knows exactly whats wrong with it.

perhaps a better way to frame the question was when you upgraded to a modern frameset what advantages did you see over 10 year old chromoly frameset.
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Old 08-29-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by raria
Im not one of those people who have a telekentic connection with their bikes and knows exactly whats wrong with it.

perhaps a better way to frame the question was when you upgraded to a modern frameset what advantages did you see over 10 year old chromoly frameset.
None. At least not if you are replacing like with like. A 10 year old Fuji touring frame is the same as a modern Fuji touring frame and is the same as a 30 year old Fuji touring frame. Same goes for just about any other steel touring frame you care to consider.

And, although aluminum touring frames are rather rare, the same could probably be said for aluminum at least when it comes to the 10 year window. There have be many advancements in aluminum technology from 20 to 40 years ago, so you might notice a difference between aluminum touring bikes of the 80s and 90s vs the 2000s and 2010s.

But when it comes to steel, especially for production bike frames, there's nothing new.
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Old 08-29-18, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by raria
Im not one of those people who have a telekentic connection with their bikes and knows exactly whats wrong with it.

perhaps a better way to frame the question was when you upgraded to a modern frameset what advantages did you see over 10 year old chromoly frameset.
pun time!


An 8 year old basic cromoly touring frame is no different now than 8 years ago. They used thick butted cromoly then and they use thick butted cromoly now.

A Surly LHT frame from 2018 isnt made better/made lighter/made more reliably than an LHT from from 20010.
A Fuji Touring frame is made with Elios Cromo tubing now and im 85% sure it was made with that tubing 8 years ago(even if it wasn’t labeled as such).

I doubt that entry level basic touring frames are now butted differently to make anything noticeably different and they don’t use aero tubes or anything like that.


The changes to a steel touring frame from 8 years ago will be disc brakes and pack mounting points. On some frames, a threadless headset will now be used instead of the old tech that was still being used last decade(fuji, Windsor, nashbar).

Now with that said, there are frames that are currently produced which will ride differently from your Fuji.
- OS tubes will be stiffer, and if you find your Fuji to be too flexible, then a bike with OS tubes will be good for a change.
- A 1 1/8” fork steerer and threadless stem will give you less flex on the handlebars. If you feel like your Fuji flexes a lot in the handlebars/stem area, then this change would be good.
- If you want disc brakes, then a modern frameset would be good.
- If you want more mounting points, then a modern frameset would be good. Surly for example has multiple points on the fork to mount racks or compression dry bags.
- If you want to ride something wider than 32mm tires, then a modern frameset would be good. I would bet that 35mm tires can fit in your frame, but that you cant then also squeeze in fenders. Many modern touring frames accept a wider tire AND fenders. An LHT for example could fit 38mm tires and fenders.

Your Fuji looks pretty much the same as what Fuji’s touring bike looked like 20 years prior. My touring bike is a frame from 1990 that Fuji(original Fuji) made on contract. Its pretty much identical to the Fuji Saratoga which was the touring bike model back then. Same tubing diameters, quill stem, rack mounts, spoke holder, etc. Mine has 3 bottle mounts, so apparently the frame downgraded in 20 years(kidding).
Steel touring frames didn’t change much in about 25 years(’83-’08).
And most modern steel touring frames aren’t hugely different from what was offered back then. But some are different enough to make the change worth your time and money…if you value the changes.
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Old 08-29-18, 10:18 AM
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One real difference is that the paint on a new bike frame won't be all scratched up.

At least until you take it out and ride it.
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Old 08-29-18, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
None. At least not if you are replacing like with like. A 10 year old Fuji touring frame is the same as a modern Fuji touring frame and is the same as a 30 year old Fuji touring frame. Same goes for just about any other steel touring frame you care to consider.

And, although aluminum touring frames are rather rare, the same could probably be said for aluminum at least when it comes to the 10 year window. There have be many advancements in aluminum technology from 20 to 40 years ago, so you might notice a difference between aluminum touring bikes of the 80s and 90s vs the 2000s and 2010s.

But when it comes to steel, especially for production bike frames, there's nothing new.
I agree with all this.

A question: What do you perceive as outmoded wrt your existing frameset? The material? The geometry? As cyc mentions, the material is the same, and the geometry, with the possible exception of an increasing prevalence of slanted top tubes, is largely the same as well. It would be helpful to know that you have seen or what you are thinking when you talk about "more modern" framesets.
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Old 08-29-18, 09:26 PM
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You don't need telekinesis to know what you like and don't like about your own bike. You ride it so you will know your bike well. One could say, I wish I had another bottle cage mount or I wish I had disc brakes or I don't like the shifters or something like that. You could talk about your fit on the bike or things like that.
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Old 08-29-18, 11:07 PM
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As others have mentioned the frame material has probably not changed all that much.

Frame design for a traditional touring bike has not changed all that much either.

Touring capable frame designs and geometry has evolved though. Frames setup for more offroad comfort i.e. room for bigger tires. More braze on mounts and mounting locations. The general shift to disc brakes. Whether this matters at all depends on your wants and needs.
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Old 08-30-18, 12:31 AM
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Look long and hard at what works and what could be improved on your bike. Pay real attention to your comfort and fit on it. Newer bikes are often build with stiffer tubing (oversized) and heftier steerers. If you feel your are loosing to flex or that the bike doesn't feel secure loaded, newer and stiffer will be a plus If shimmy downhill is an issue, the 1 1/8" steerer can be a real plus. If you go down big hills in the rain disc brakes are a real plus. Newer bikes may well have better/stiffer rack mounts.

But, before you jump to get a newer touring bike, look at that whole bike relative to yours. If the new bike has an better/stiffer frame with that 1 1/8" steerer but has an inferior fit for your body and riding style and you've never noticed frame flex and shimmy doesn't happen, this new, hot frame will be a step down. Fuji got to draw on decades of experience building bikes to do what your bike does. In 1977, they were building the Fuji America, a solid chrome-moly steel touring bike that was very well thought out. They have always had a touring bike that was that bike with newer/better parts and some small tweaks. They had it pretty well dialed in I'm betting, when they built yours.

The job of a touring bike isn't to "do" anything. It's job is to get out of the way so you can do. Good steel touring bikes have been doing just that a long time.

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Old 08-30-18, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
In 1977, they were building the Fuji America, a solid chrome-moly steel touring bike that was very well thought out. They have always had a touring bike that was that bike with newer/better parts and some small tweaks.
Extremely large tweaks. The '78-'83 America is a great bike, but it's the sort of sports tourer that would probably be labelled an "endurance road" bike today.

Its frame is a wet noodle, and although I love how it pedals, it's not fond of large rear loads; the ~420mm chainstays aren't overly conducive to big rear panniers either. Attaching a front rack is a challenge, the headset is in the way and you just about have to use the back of the fork crown as a connection point. Although the SUGINO MIGHTY TOUR triple is a fantastic crankset, it's 110BCD for all 3 chainrings; the stock low-end gear was 32", which although lower than typical road bikes at the time, isn't low per so.

The unsung hero of the Fuji America is the wheel hubs. Sunshine Gyromasters with sealed cartridges. The front hub on mine still has its original bearings, spinning super smooth and without play.
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Old 08-30-18, 11:47 AM
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One thing , maybe a clearance in the frame for wider, approaching 29er wheels..

Or the other option: NWT, Bike Friday, a 20" wheel touring bike that can be folded & field stripped a bit,
to fit in a Suitcase.. making the getting thru airports simpler
and domestic air added fees cheaper (or none)..





...
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Old 08-30-18, 01:06 PM
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If you're just jonesing for something new then the New Albion Privateer is a pretty good deal. Tange Infinity, three bottle mounts, pump peg, all the rack/fender mounts and the headtube is taller than yours. Fits a 42c tire. You can get the frame/fork for $400 or less.

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Old 08-30-18, 01:39 PM
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If I were building a new touring bike

Originally Posted by Lazyass
If you're just jonesing for something new then the New Albion Privateer is a pretty good deal. Tange Infinity, three bottle mounts, pump peg, all the rack/fender mounts and the headtube is taller than yours. Fits a 42c tire. You can get the frame/fork for $400 or less.

This is where I would start.
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Old 08-30-18, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Im not one of those people who have a telekentic connection with their bikes and knows exactly whats wrong with it.

perhaps a better way to frame the question was when you upgraded to a modern frameset what advantages did you see over 10 year old chromoly frameset.
Most us don't have a telepathic connection to you to know why you think there might be something wrong with your bike. ;-)

You ride it? It feels good? You're done.

Seriously, after years of riding whatever thrift-store/flea market/garage sale/hand-me-down bike I could find, I accidentally ended up on a bike that fit me, some old, Trek, rigid mountain bike or hybrid. All of the sudden I was riding more than I had since high school, and decided that if I liked that old Trek so much, how much more would I like a new bike?

Not at all, it turns out. I got a new bike just to have new bike. Didn't quite fit me. A little shorter, too, so I kept kicking any bags I had on the rack. Had a wimpy suspension fork that didn't do much other than weigh the front down. Not really a bad bike, but not what I needed. The only thing it had over my Trek was that it was new. Unfortunately I had given that Trek away when I got the new bike.

However, now I had the experience of riding a bike that fit me and fit my uses, and one that didn't. Found myself ticking off the things I'd like to change about my new bike, and features I'd like it have, and what kind of riding I'd like to do, and if another type of bike would suit that better. And that's how I ended up with a Long Haul Trucker that fit me like a glove and took me everywhere I wanted to go.

Except off-road. Then I maxed out the wheel width and wished I could go wider. And it kind of annoyed me that I needed that chain tensioner when I was running a hub gear. And I kind of wished it didn't feel like a loaded touring bike when I hadn't actually put anything on it but my lunch and my work clothes. Then I started doing out-of-state rides on an old Raleigh Twenty just because I didn't want to pay to fly the LHT with me. And that's how I ended up on World Troller.

We're very happy together. So far. I'm no longer sorry I let that Trek go, but I know it was a mistake to swap for another bike when I had no complaints about the Trek.

If you can't tell what's wrong with your bike, there's probably nothing wrong with your bike. Save your money. Or spend it on a completely different kind of bike. Don't replace what works. "New" is not actually a feature unless "new" fixes a problem you're having. If you really think you're missing out on something, ride some other bikes. See what you like and don't like. But in general, a bike you can't find anything wrong with is a bike you don't want to replace.
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Old 08-30-18, 03:26 PM
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Big +1 on that New Albunion Privateer, I use that frame as a flat bar hybrid but would make an excellent touring bike. I saw it and was like OK it is cheap and steel it will get the job done, but I was quite surprised on how much I love the bike and also how much other folks who have ridden it have loved it. It is just really comfortable and easy to ride and is perfect for commuting if you don't mind a little extra work on some hills.

Here is the bike the specs are current but the pictures are old, I need to update that some time soon.
https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/yarrr...ablooner-34927
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Old 08-30-18, 05:39 PM
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I've been riding for decades and had many many bikes but I've never had that "aha" experience that you mentioned.

I try a bike, its fine, but its not like this devine experience where I know I "found the one".

I feel sorry for myself now :-( I can't walk up to my bike and say "you complete me".

Originally Posted by Rob_E
I accidentally ended up on a bike that fit me, some old, Trek, rigid mountain bike or hybrid. All of the sudden I was riding more than I had since high school, and decided that if I liked that old Trek so much, how much more would I like a new bike?

And that's how I ended up with a Long Haul Trucker that fit me like a glove and took me everywhere I wanted to go.
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Old 08-30-18, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
I've been riding for decades and had many many bikes but I've never had that "aha" experience that you mentioned.

I try a bike, its fine, but its not like this devine experience where I know I "found the one".

I feel sorry for myself now :-( I can't walk up to my bike and say "you complete me".
I found that bike just a few weeks ago. A 1985 Trek 720. It just feels "right." Nothing against the bikes I've had, and the bikes I still have, but the 720 is my soul mate.
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Old 08-30-18, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Big +1 on that New Albunion Privateer, I use that frame as a flat bar hybrid but would make an excellent touring bike. I saw it and was like OK it is cheap and steel it will get the job done, but I was quite surprised on how much I love the bike and also how much other folks who have ridden it have loved it. It is just really comfortable and easy to ride and is perfect for commuting if you don't mind a little extra work on some hills.

Here is the bike the specs are current but the pictures are old, I need to update that some time soon.
https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/yarrr...ablooner-34927
The first time I heard of New Albion was when I saw them on Soma's webtite. I looked at the price and figured they were gas pipe tubes, then I saw it was Infinity and was surprised. I wouldn't mind building one up with Tiagra triple as a do it all tour/bikepacking/gravel/ect bike. If you could have only one bike for everything that would be the perfect frame.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Hi,

I have an older Fuji touring 2010 bike https://archive.fujibikes.com/2011/Fuji/touring4

The frameset is a standard 4130 Chromoly steel tubing you'd find 10 years ago: i) everything symmetric, ii) all tubes circular, iii) pretty same sized tubing etc. It's in great condition.

I was wondering what would I get if I upgraded the frameset to a modern one? Weight? Stiffness? Smoother ride?

I got the bike very cheap essentally so cheap that the frameset was effectively free so I don't mind buying a new frameset if it gets me somethng better.
A lighter frame makes no sense for touring unless you are touring ultralight, which is fun if you’re ultra trim.

If you want to spend $2k for new bike or frame go for it. It won’t make a difference unless there’s something wrong with your “old” bike.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
The first time I heard of New Albion was when I saw them on Soma's webtite. I looked at the price and figured they were gas pipe tubes, then I saw it was Infinity and was surprised. I wouldn't mind building one up with Tiagra triple as a do it all tour/bikepacking/gravel/ect bike. If you could have only one bike for everything that would be the perfect frame.
I know right? It actually is a solid bike, not super heavy, a good number of mounting pimples and pretty good paint.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:44 PM
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New Ablion Privateer

Hmmm. This frameset has me interested and for $300 its worth a try.

But ive not found much details such as a review or details including weights.

But i think your saying this frameset would be no different in performance than the Fuji?

Originally Posted by Lazyass
The first time I heard of New Albion was when I saw them on Soma's webtite. I looked at the price and figured they were gas pipe tubes, then I saw it was Infinity and was surprised. I wouldn't mind building one up with Tiagra triple as a do it all tour/bikepacking/gravel/ect bike. If you could have only one bike for everything that would be the perfect frame.
Originally Posted by veganbikes
I know right? It actually is a solid bike, not super heavy, a good number of mounting pimples and pretty good paint.
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Old 08-30-18, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Hmmm. This frameset has me interested and for $300 its worth a try.

But ive not found much details such as a review or details including weights.

But i think your saying this frameset would be no different in performance than the Fuji?
I cannot say it will preform better or worse than your Fuji as I haven't ridden your bike but I love it. I don't remember weight but it was probably a 4. something for the frame. I liked it because it was a bare frame with no fork and endless possibilities. With a good set of components you could have a pretty sweet little bike.
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Old 08-30-18, 08:37 PM
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4.9 lb per one site

The cooper color looks great

what fork(s) do you reccomend?
Originally Posted by veganbikes
I cannot say it will preform better or worse than your Fuji as I haven't ridden your bike but I love it. I don't remember weight but it was probably a 4. something for the frame. I liked it because it was a bare frame with no fork and endless possibilities. With a good set of components you could have a pretty sweet little bike.
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