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Narrowing down touring bike options

Old 07-19-23, 12:26 PM
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Narrowing down touring bike options

Please bear with me. I've been thinking about this for a LONG time and I'm trying to figure out what is best for me for getting a touring bike. So, I'll start with these that are kind of far from me, but all in the same region, so I could go look at them all if they seem worth it. And, these are all very affordable. These are all basically the cheapest route for me to go and I could get them now.
  • One Cannondale has been switched (at a bike shop) to a hybrid type bar and doesn't have the racks, but looks to be in fine condition (photo 1) $275
  • One Cannondale is complete in a size small. $350 Photo 2), $350
  • The Novara Randonee seems to be missing the racks, but has the dynamo hub. $600. (photos are in a previous thread from yesterday, but I included one photo).
None of them are disc brakes. Two are aluminum... and I'm not sure about aluminum on a vintage bike. My plans for these bikes are to START with doing more rail trails and as I build up stamina, to do more riding. I would like to do Rabrai hopefully next year (I wanted to do it this year, but I'm caring for my MIL with dementia and she broke her pelvis a few months ago and I had to give up this year's ride). And then I want to continue on with more touring. I will be camping along the way, so I will be carrying a lot of gear.

I did 3.5 days last year on a bike and it all worked, but I want something that has front rack capability so I can better distribute the weight and I think a TRUE touring bike would be better. I rode the 1993 Bianchi Advantage last year.

If I go look at these three - what are thoughts on these bikes? And as always sizing questions. I'm 5'6 female. Long legs short torso.And I'm a heavy rider around 200-210 pounds. A professional bike fit says I should get a 52/53cm bike. The Bianchi is a 46cm with spacers and it actually was made to basically perfectly match what the bike fit said I should ride and that wasn't discovered until AFTER the bike fit and that bike is very comfortable for me - just not really meant for for true touring. I will keep this bike, but I will use it on the bike trainer.

OR.... should I save up and get a much better bike that I will never need or want to replace? My DREAM is to get a much newer bike with all the bells and whistles.

Like there is these listed near me:
  • Rodriguez Adventure bike with S&S Couplers for $2900.
  • Or maybe buy this used Salsa Marrakesh for ($950 - if it is still available).
  • Or this Velo Orange Polyvalent (small) since I do prefer step through/low bar bikes $1200.
Or, I could just buy new and not worry about how it was taken care of. In that case, I would look at:
  • Kona Sutra
  • Bike Friday Diamond Llama.

For rides right now I have the Bianchi Advantage which will go on the trainer and a Bike Friday NWT but I worry about weight since with touring, I would be over the weight limit since I'm a heavy rider at 200-210lbs (before adding gear). And I have a 6 year old Pedego Stretch electric pedal assist bike I use for getting around town that I bought new.

I've been thinking on this for like a YEAR I want some gurus to help me narrow down possibilities because I'm driving myself crazy.



$375 - no racks - switched to a different bar - Cannondale ST800 2006 Size small (not sure what size - medium or small would be better at 5'6"

Complete Cannondale ST800 2006 - $350. (not sure what size - medium or small would be better at 5'6")

Small Novara Randonee with Dynamo hub, no racks (I assume).

Rodriguez Adventure bike $2900 with S&S Couplers. 53cm

Small Salsa Marrakesh - $950

Small Velo Orange Polyvalent $1100.
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Old 07-19-23, 01:51 PM
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You might be interested in a couple of the various Decathlon tourers, not necessarily because they meet your needs, but because they can give you an idea of what 800€ and 1400€ can get you, i.e. to give you some perspective with respect to the 2nd hand options you may consider.

https://www.decathlon.fr/p/velo-de-v...0/_/R-p-332407

https://www.decathlon.fr/p/velo-de-v...0/_/R-p-332461

As it happens, I bought a 520 a few months ago, for my other half, so she could join me on a 500km tour. Good value for money.
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Old 07-19-23, 02:11 PM
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Just to further complicate your life, this is a heckofa deal:

https://www.campfirecycling.com/prod...rise-tour.html

Bombtrack touring bike, front+rear Tubus racks, dynamo+light, fenders for $1500.

Sale price not sure when it ends.

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Old 07-19-23, 02:23 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with that Cannondale with Brooks saddle for $350, if it fits. If it's in decent shape.
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Old 07-19-23, 06:39 PM
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Maybe that Rodriguez is worth $2900, but I would not consider that kind of price for a used bike unless it had a Rohloff or Pinion 18, along with the S&S couplers.

I used to have a co-worker that had a Rodriguez, rode it across part of Europe and Africa. I never saw it in person, but I know that she really loved it. It was custom made for her.
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Old 07-19-23, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Maybe that Rodriguez is worth $2900, but I would not consider that kind of price for a used bike unless it had a Rohloff or Pinion 18, along with the S&S couplers.

I used to have a co-worker that had a Rodriguez, rode it across part of Europe and Africa. I never saw it in person, but I know that she really loved it. It was custom made for her.

I know, it's pricey but it was also minimum a $5,500 bike.
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Old 07-23-23, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Just to further complicate your life, this is a heckofa deal:

https://www.campfirecycling.com/prod...rise-tour.html

Bombtrack touring bike, front+rear Tubus racks, dynamo+light, fenders for $1500.

Sale price not sure when it ends.

This seems to be a really good bike with an amazing price point.
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Old 07-24-23, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
I know, it's pricey but it was also minimum a $5,500 bike.
Irrelevant. Is it 7+ times better than the Cannondale? 4+ times better than the Novara?

I like those two bikes. I think you posted the wrong picture for the Cannondale, isn't that a straight tube steel bike?

If you are this unsure go for the Cannondale, it is a capable bike at a good price. I would better be dead certain before I spend twice as much on another bike. I would also consider the Novara.
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Old 07-25-23, 02:32 PM
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As a first filter for winnowing the field, you might limit yourself to the ones that fit. A great bike that doesn't fit you is not a great bike for you.
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Old 07-29-23, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
I know, it's pricey but it was also minimum a $5,500 bike.
Irrelevant if the fit isn’t ideal at that price. For $3k I’d want the fit to be perfect.
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Old 07-29-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Pratt
As a first filter for winnowing the field, you might limit yourself to the ones that fit. A great bike that doesn't fit you is not a great bike for you.
ditto
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Old 07-29-23, 11:27 AM
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You’re kinda all over the place wrt price and type. From your other posts mentioning step through frames the Piolet looks good with some handlebar changes possibly. Might I suggest getting the bike that works for you now instead of The Bike That Does It All. Or The Bike That Has All the Stuff. Once you have The Bike it should disappear underneath you and your focus is road, body and breathing. Test riding is where your energy should be more than comparing images and numbers because the activity is riding. There are few rewards in catalog/internet searching but it does occupy the squirrel cage in our brain.
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