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Which bike you recommend me to buy?

Old 04-30-22, 07:04 AM
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Which bike you recommend me to buy?

Hey guys. I'm not so techie in bikes, just started searching to know what is what exactly a bit. From the list I provided, can you tell me which one is better and why?

The bike needs to be convenient for touring expedition [with ability to pack stuff on front/rear racks], bikepacking and a little bit gravel. For this reason, I only need flat bar bikes that I have more upright position. Speed not really matters for me, but a relaxed position.

[erase space before com]

99spokes. com/en-EU/compare?bikes=breezer-thunder-2021,marin-dsx-2-2022,cube-travel-exc-2022,giant-toughroad-slr-1-2022,kona-unit-x-2022,salsa-journeyer-flat-bar-deore-700c-2022,ktm-x-strada-30-fit-2022,genesis-tour-de-fer-10-fb-2022

Thanks : )
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Old 04-30-22, 09:35 AM
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I do not recommend that you let someone on this forum decide what bike you should buy. Different bikes have different fit/ RE; reach and seat to handlebar offset, height differentiation/ different steering characteristics Don't buy A bike because I like it, Buy a bike because you like it. Ya dig?
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Old 04-30-22, 09:55 AM
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Here's your comparison link: 8 different bikes compared

Are you sure you must have flat bars? Drop bars with the bar top up near the saddle height can be very comfortable, and give you more hand positions, very nice on a long day's ride.

Are you bringing camping gear, and going for more than a couple of days? Panniers front and rear, or bikepacking bags?

Touring / bike packing needs low gearing. Divide the front gear by the largest rear to get a ratio. For me, I'd want less than 0.9 at the minimum. That would be a good range for climbing very steep paved roads (like 18% or more) without a load. With a load, or on gravel, I'd want even lower.


Checking a couple of these at random:
KTM X-Strada: 38 front, 11-42 rear. The 38 front-42 rear lowest gear is 0.86.

Giant ToughRoad: 32 / 44 front, 11-42 rear. That 32front-42rear is 0.76. Not bad.

Kona Unit-X: 32 front, 10-51 rear. 0.62. This bike has a lower flat road (or shallow downhill) top speed. At a fast 100 rpm cadence: 25 mph / 40 kph. Just 20 mph / 32 kph at 80 rpm. A little low for day rides without a load, on paved roads.

The comparison page shows top speeds. 28 mph for the Kona. But that's 110 rpm, very fast. A short sprint cadence.

Last edited by rm -rf; 04-30-22 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-30-22, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Here's your comparison link: 8 different bikes compared

Are you sure you must have flat bars? Drop bars with the bar top up near the saddle height can be very comfortable, and give you more hand positions, very nice on a long day's ride.

Are you bringing camping gear, and going for more than a couple of days? Panniers front and rear, or bikepacking bags?

Touring / bike packing needs low gearing. Divide the front gear by the largest rear to get a ratio. For me, I'd want less than 0.9 at the minimum. That would be a good range for climbing very steep paved roads (like 18% or more) without a load. With a load, or on gravel, I'd want even lower.


Checking a couple of these at random:
KTM X-Strada: 38 front, 11-42 rear. The 38 front-42 rear lowest gear is 0.86.

Giant ToughRoad: 32 / 44 front, 11-42 rear. That 32front-42rear is 0.76. Not bad.

Kona Unit-X: 32 front, 10-51 rear. 0.62. This bike has a lower flat road (or shallow downhill) top speed. At a fast 100 rpm cadence: 25 mph / 40 kph. Just 20 mph / 32 kph at 80 rpm. A little low for day rides without a load, on paved roads.
Excellent. You said this way better than I could. For long days in the saddle, regular drop bars make great sense.
Personally, I like the Giant best, with its double-front chainrings and panniers.
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Old 04-30-22, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I do not recommend that you let someone on this forum decide what bike you should buy. Different bikes have different fit/ RE; reach and seat to handlebar offset, height differentiation/ different steering characteristics Don't buy A bike because I like it, Buy a bike because you like it. Ya dig?
Yes, "stack and reach" and other bike geometry and wheel choices will make a difference. I used Stack and Reach numbers to compare my new road bike to my previous one, which fit me reasonably well. The new one had a bit less reach and similar stack -- which worked for me, since the reach was slightly too long on the old one (I needed a short stem for it.)

It's difficult to pick one just from geometry charts without having some kind of starting point. Even test rides probably need more than one session, and a reasonable 30-60 minutes on each test ride. It's hard to decide right away with a new bike that works differently, etc.

On road bikes, I have "toe overlap", but it's never a problem. Steering at paved roads speeds never needs a big enough steering angle to let the tire hit my shoe (except for walking speed u-turns, where I'm careful.) On my gravel bike, the toe overlap is quite annoying, and I have to be very careful at slow speeds, especially on loose gravel that needs lots of steering input. At the extreme, it could cause me to crash at a slow speed.
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Old 04-30-22, 12:06 PM
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Are you sure you must have flat bars? Drop bars with the bar top up near the saddle height can be very comfortable, and give you more hand positions, very nice on a long day's ride.
Thank you so much for your time and help : ) I have never had drop bar bike honestly, always rode flat bar. So, I really don't know how drop bar feels, however, according to the search I have done, I understood, with drop bar, I need to sit more aerodynamically, but with flat bar, I can have more upright position.

[Erase space] [cyclingabout. com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Bike-Size-Flat-Bar-vs-Drop-Bar.jpg]

For example something like this maybe. Also the control of the bike is harder for me I guess with drop bar, as I always had flat bar.

Are you bringing camping gear, and going for more than a couple of days? Panniers front and rear, or bikepacking bags?
For start, just short trips 1-3 days, but later, I want to make it longer, for example 1-4 weeks. And yes, Panniers front and rear.

Touring / bike packing needs low gearing. Divide the front gear by the largest rear to get a ratio. For me, I'd want less than 0.9 at the minimum. That would be a good range for climbing very steep paved roads (like 18% or more) without a load. With a load, or on gravel, I'd want even lower.
I guess that site visualized those info in this section:

[Erase space] [i.imgur. com/wP9xQdn.png]

So, if I understood you correctly, this chart shows Kona is strongest to go uphill, but the marin is the fastest generally? As, I don't want to go that fast, so that number is not important for me and I need to focus on the low gear ratio you mentioned?

Thank you : )
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Old 04-30-22, 01:37 PM
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I'm not advising you as an expert, but as a fellow beginner. I recently started this thread: Get started touring bike
I asked questions about touring bikes, got answers, bought a cheap bike off craigslist that not everyone would agree that it's ideal for touring, but then I went on a 165 mile tour over three days and learned more for myself from my own experience.

I also started this thread on upright riding position for touring: How upright for touring?

You'll notice that my goals were to travel casually, not fast, and to travel light but still have minimalist camping gear to avoid hotel costs. I achieved all this, but that's not to say I wouldn't do some things differently. Check it out.
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Old 04-30-22, 01:49 PM
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How much do you weigh and how much weight will you be packing?

You might not want to go fast, but I don't imagine that you want to have to make more pedaling effort than necessary. As your weight goes up, and your speed stays low, rolling resistance accounts for a large part of your effort on flat terrain. At higher speeds, aerodynamic drag accounts for most of the effort. Going up hills, lifting the weight accounts for most of the effort.

It used to be that "touring bikes" were nearly identical to road bikes. Look at classic touring bikes like the Dawes Galaxy or Miyata 1000 LT. Nowadays, "touring" bikes are 32 pounds beasts littered with braze-ons for bolting I don't know, 60 or 100 pounds of junk to them, and they roll on 2-inch tires. They're often lumped together with "all-road" "gravel" and "trail" bikes and even "commuters." Depending on how much you weigh and how much weight you're going to haul and the terrain you'll ride, these might be the best thing. For me, I don't want to tour on an all-terrain, four-wheel drive, heavy cargo freighting truck just to entertain the pretense of being on a transcontinental expedition.

It's not uncommon for people to dismiss excess weight on "touring" bikes because they will be loaded with enough luggage that a few grams in the groupset become insignificant. There is sense in that, but because it's possible to avoid as much as 12 or 15 pounds of excess bike weight, I don't think it should be dismissed, particularly if that's half the weight of the luggage being added.
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Old 04-30-22, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by repentersprite View Post
... So, I really don't know how drop bar feels, however, according to the search I have done, I understood, with drop bar, I need to sit more aerodynamically, but with flat bar, I can have more upright position....
That's just tradition/convention. You can always raise drop bars to the height you like - I always replace the stem on my bikes to raise the bars. I like drop bars mainly because it gives me 3 hand positions, which helps minimize hand/wrist/back pain.
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Old 04-30-22, 09:28 PM
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I don’t think this will help your decision making asking a bunch of strangers opinions. It’s a little like asking which shoe fits better.
But here’s my $.02.
. I’d be shy about 1x12 drivetrains just from the cost of replacing worn chains and cassettes. If you’re on the extremes of body size/ weight that can skew choices . A bikes gear range really doesn’t make you go faster or climb hills better, The bikes you’re looking at have acceptable ranges. What enables a bike to go fast or climb hills better is the rider.
It takes a fair amount of conditioning to be relaxed riding for hours and that isn’t dependent on the shape of the bars but time in the saddle and how you use your body. Loading up a bike with a heavy load just because the bike can carry two sets of panniers is like loading up your car with as much weight as it can carry. It can do it but do you really need that much stuff all the time? The more distance I rode the less I carried. A very common experience for folks venturing out with a big load was that they mailed a fair amount home after a week on the road.
I’d look to starting out with two medium sized panniers front or rear with whatever small load carried at the other end of the bike. The Giant looks nice.
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Old 04-30-22, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by repentersprite View Post
..... I have never had drop bar bike honestly, always rode flat bar. So, I really don't know how drop bar feels, however, according to the search I have done, I understood, with drop bar, I need to sit more aerodynamically, but with flat bar, I can have more upright position.

......Also the control of the bike is harder for me I guess with drop bar, as I always had flat bar.
please, please, please..........go ride some different bikes.

no amount of intertube searches and crowdsourcing what others like will help you decide what you find comfortable.

go
ride
some
bikes.

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Old 05-01-22, 12:02 AM
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Op, I am a recent noob to touring as well as long distance rides. I always rode a flat bar bike, so I bough a flat bar bike… I got all set up with panniers and put my backpacking gear into them… I quickly realized on my first overnight trip of only 60 miles… flatbars hurt. I went strait to the bike shop and started riding some drop bars for the first time. I found a bike that would suit my needs, but it really wasn’t a touring bike. The geometry was relaxed areo enough that I could ride all day in the saddle without too much discomfort, the problem was it didn’t have provisions for luggage. The LBS owner insisted that before I dump cash down on that bike I wait until a special bike she ordered came in.
She had ordered a shipment of Trek 520 Grando’s in. And ordered an extra on just for me. When they came in I was eager to for for a test ride. And to my surprise: I have almost the same riding stance as I did on my flat bar… after the ride, they tweeted “my” un assembled bike to fit me a little better. Stack height was raised about 1/2” above what the normally set the bike up. Last week I went for my fist 20 mile ride on it and it felt better than doing 8 miles on my flat bar. I started getting a “hot” palm on mile 15. I think my seat post might have been slightly high, so I lowered it down a few mm and am going to try again tomorrow and see how my hands feel.
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Old 05-01-22, 01:44 PM
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Of those, only the Genesis resembles a tour bike, IMO.
Second choice would be get the IGH one if it's possible to convert it to a Rohloff14. It doesn't say if it has an 8 or 11 speed.
1x dR is a laughable concept for a tour bike. And anyway, all these bikes have hollowtech composite CF crank arms, NO reliability or longevity for a tour bike. There was a guy in Africa that had his delaminate and CReeeeK. LOL. Square taper is the only way for me, plus Rohloff of course.
For handlebars, straight bars are evil alright. Swept bars are just fine, better than any drops. Knee overlap can happen tho. Converting straight bar to swept has no complications, except cables or stem maybe.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 05-01-22 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 05-01-22, 06:00 PM
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Bar ends make a world of difference on flat bar bikes.

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Old 05-01-22, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by repentersprite View Post
Thank you so much for your time and help : ) I have never had drop bar bike honestly, always rode flat bar. So, I really don't know how drop bar feels, however, according to the search I have done, I understood, with drop bar, I need to sit more aerodynamically, but with flat bar, I can have more upright position.

[Erase space] [cyclingabout. com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Bike-Size-Flat-Bar-vs-Drop-Bar.jpg]

For example something like this maybe. Also the control of the bike is harder for me I guess with drop bar, as I always had flat bar.



For start, just short trips 1-3 days, but later, I want to make it longer, for example 1-4 weeks. And yes, Panniers front and rear.



I guess that site visualized those info in this section:

[Erase space] [i.imgur. com/wP9xQdn.png]

So, if I understood you correctly, this chart shows Kona is strongest to go uphill, but the marin is the fastest generally? As, I don't want to go that fast, so that number is not important for me and I need to focus on the low gear ratio you mentioned?

Thank you : )

Flat bar does not always mean an upright position. Nor does drop bar always mean a more aerodynamic position. There is so much more to it than that. Bike geometry, stack height, stem rise and length all make a difference as do some other things. You WILL want more than one hand position. That doesn't rule out a flat bar. There are a large variety of bar ends for flat bar bikes.

Another thing that you will want to look at is chain stay length. Several of those bikes have 425 and 430mm chain stays, That's pretty short and can result in your heels striking the panniers.
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Old 05-02-22, 09:09 AM
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For the bikes you have in the link, the Giant Toughroad looks like a good choice. The Genesis "Tour De Fer" also would be a good choice, but the components on the Giant are a good bit better.

Many have mentioned drop bars instead of flat bars. I happen to agree that for touring drops are more comfortable, but this is a personal decision.

I have a suggestion that may not have been mentioned yet. Buy a beefy used hybrid bike w/flat bars. You can do light/med. touring on it, and gain some experience. You might even find that it does everything you need.
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Old 05-02-22, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I'm not advising you as an expert, but as a fellow beginner. I recently started this thread: bikeforums. net/touring/1249089-get-started-touring-bike.html
I asked questions about touring bikes, got answers, bought a cheap bike off craigslist that not everyone would agree that it's ideal for touring, but then I went on a 165 mile tour over three days and learned more for myself from my own experience.

I also started this thread on upright riding position for touring: bikeforums. net/touring/1249954-how-upright-touring.html

You'll notice that my goals were to travel casually, not fast, and to travel light but still have minimalist camping gear to avoid hotel costs. I achieved all this, but that's not to say I wouldn't do some things differently. Check it out.
Hey thank you so much, both of the links were so useful for me : )
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Old 05-02-22, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
I don’t think this will help your decision making asking a bunch of strangers opinions. It’s a little like asking which shoe fits better.
But here’s my $.02.
. I’d be shy about 1x12 drivetrains just from the cost of replacing worn chains and cassettes. If you’re on the extremes of body size/ weight that can skew choices . A bikes gear range really doesn’t make you go faster or climb hills better, The bikes you’re looking at have acceptable ranges. What enables a bike to go fast or climb hills better is the rider.
It takes a fair amount of conditioning to be relaxed riding for hours and that isn’t dependent on the shape of the bars but time in the saddle and how you use your body. Loading up a bike with a heavy load just because the bike can carry two sets of panniers is like loading up your car with as much weight as it can carry. It can do it but do you really need that much stuff all the time? The more distance I rode the less I carried. A very common experience for folks venturing out with a big load was that they mailed a fair amount home after a week on the road.
I’d look to starting out with two medium sized panniers front or rear with whatever small load carried at the other end of the bike. The Giant looks nice.
Thanks a lot for your help and advice. You're right.

As I'm still learning about bikes, this giant bike has only 28 spokes, is this a problem for putting front panniers, while others have around 32-36.
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Old 05-02-22, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Flat bar does not always mean an upright position. Nor does drop bar always mean a more aerodynamic position. There is so much more to it than that. Bike geometry, stack height, stem rise and length all make a difference as do some other things. You WILL want more than one hand position. That doesn't rule out a flat bar. There are a large variety of bar ends for flat bar bikes.

Another thing that you will want to look at is chain stay length. Several of those bikes have 425 and 430mm chain stays, That's pretty short and can result in your heels striking the panniers.
Thanks a lot Paul for this information. Can you please tell me how long the chainstay should be? I have found some other bikes, ranges from 425 to 450. How long is good?
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Old 05-02-22, 10:34 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
For the bikes you have in the link, the Giant Toughroad looks like a good choice. The Genesis "Tour De Fer" also would be a good choice, but the components on the Giant are a good bit better.

Many have mentioned drop bars instead of flat bars. I happen to agree that for touring drops are more comfortable, but this is a personal decision.

I have a suggestion that may not have been mentioned yet. Buy a beefy used hybrid bike w/flat bars. You can do light/med. touring on it, and gain some experience. You might even find that it does everything you need.
Hey thanks a lot for your help : )

The giant has 28 spokes, do you see this as problem? Also, what do you suggest between the giant and this one from decathlon?

[Erase the space]
99spokes. com/en-EU/bikes/riverside/2022/touring-bike-touring-900

I searched and it seems this bike from decathlon is a very good choice, I will be happy to know what others think about it.

Thanks
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Old 05-02-22, 11:14 AM
  #21  
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28 spokes is probably OK. Much depends upon use case. Each of the Giant and the Riverside have benefits and drawbacks. Steel vs aluminum? 2x vs 3x gearing? Riverside (premium tires, 36 spoke, thru axles, lots of mounts), Giant (hydraulic brakes, 10 lbs lighter) Lots of variables.

I gave you my opinion based on the selection of bikes that you presented. More now than ever, there are a ton of options.

I suggest you first do some reading and decide first on steel vs aluminum (or carbon or titanium), and 1x,2x, or 3x cranks. The more rings you have, the less difference between gears. The "jumps" between gears really matters a lot if you are carrying a lot (which it seems you may be intending to do). How wide a tire do you need? Road touring can get by with 28c (28c-38c maybe typical), gravel sizes are typically 40-47c. A 47c tire will not be optimum for the street, a 28c tire will not be optimum for bikepacking in the dirt. Do you need mounts for bikepacking bags, or are you going to do panniers?

A "do all" bike will be a compromise. You want to decide how you want to compromise.




Originally Posted by repentersprite View Post
Hey thanks a lot for your help : )

The giant has 28 spokes, do you see this as problem? Also, what do you suggest between the giant and this one from decathlon?

[Erase the space]
99spokes. com/en-EU/bikes/riverside/2022/touring-bike-touring-900

I searched and it seems this bike from decathlon is a very good choice, I will be happy to know what others think about it.

Thanks
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Old 05-02-22, 03:29 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by repentersprite View Post
Thanks a lot Paul for this information. Can you please tell me how long the chainstay should be? I have found some other bikes, ranges from 425 to 450. How long is good?
As with most things there are no hard and fast rules. Most touring bikes have chainstays of at least 440mm. This allows clearance for larger tires and reduces the likelihood of your heels striking the panniers as you pedal. It also makes for a longer wheel base and a less sporty, more compliant ride.

Based on the price range of the bikes that you are considering and your intended use, I think it would be very hard to beat this bike.

https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/...g/touring-disc

It has a very relaxed geometry, and if you wanted it more relaxed yet, its a simple stem swap to get you there. Nice touches are the very good and simple TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, Deore 3x10 drive train and a serviceable rack already installed. The Alex rims aren't super sexy, but based on my experiences, they hold up well, and the Deore hubs are bomb proof. Even the Vittoria Randonneur tires are good spec. Most bikes that I look at, I find things I'd change out. I don't see a thing to change on that bike.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:33 AM
  #23  
timdow
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Very good point about the stays... chainstay length is a major consideration when running panniers, especially expedition sized ones.

I recently purchased the "Fuji Touring." It's perfect for what I do (commute, road tour and light off-road). The spec is really good for the price. Tires and seat suck, but easy to change out (wearing out the tires first though). One thing I might mention that is a positive for road touring, but could be considered a negative for off-road/gravel is that the bottom bracket is a bit low. I highly recommend considering it to the OP. The only reason I did not mention ti previously is that I believe that he is in Europe.


Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
As with most things there are no hard and fast rules. Most touring bikes have chainstays of at least 440mm. This allows clearance for larger tires and reduces the likelihood of your heels striking the panniers as you pedal. It also makes for a longer wheel base and a less sporty, more compliant ride.

Based on the price range of the bikes that you are considering and your intended use, I think it would be very hard to beat this bike.

https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/...g/touring-disc

It has a very relaxed geometry, and if you wanted it more relaxed yet, its a simple stem swap to get you there. Nice touches are the very good and simple TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, Deore 3x10 drive train and a serviceable rack already installed. The Alex rims aren't super sexy, but based on my experiences, they hold up well, and the Deore hubs are bomb proof. Even the Vittoria Randonneur tires are good spec. Most bikes that I look at, I find things I'd change out. I don't see a thing to change on that bike.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:53 AM
  #24  
Paul Barnard
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
Very good point about the stays... chainstay length is a major consideration when running panniers, especially expedition sized ones.

I recently purchased the "Fuji Touring." It's perfect for what I do (commute, road tour and light off-road). The spec is really good for the price. Tires and seat suck, but easy to change out (wearing out the tires first though). One thing I might mention that is a positive for road touring, but could be considered a negative for off-road/gravel is that the bottom bracket is a bit low. I highly recommend considering it to the OP. The only reason I did not mention ti previously is that I believe that he is in Europe.
There is quite a bit of bottom bracket drop on my Lynskey as well. It's been a minor annoyance at times.
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Old 05-10-22, 10:33 PM
  #25  
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Not everyone likes drop bars. I have flat bars but they MUST have bar ends or you can't change your hand position, which is hell after half a day.

even better are trekking bars.

keep in mind that a bike must fit you and be setup well. I rode for decades with crippling back pain that went away instantly when I lowered my seat below what I had thought was the "proper" seat height.

Many of these things can only be learned from experience so having someone to help you can be invaluable. Unfortunately it is harder than it used to be to find knowledgeable bike store staff.
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