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Getting on in years and want to buy a great touring bike for long tours

Old 08-10-23, 01:59 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Nonsense ^^^^^^ If you have no high gears, then it's because you chose stupidly low gears. I have no such problem at 44/ 16T > 20.8 to 109.6, it was 46/ 16T on my last tour. With a big tailwind I was cruising at 27 mph one day. Every 1 off the low takes 5 off the high GI.

OP wants ONE bike that needs NO FIXING and so did I. Only my SA XL-FDD drum brake and Rohloff14 (and SA 3 speed) does this. Even spokes gets even tension with near zero chance of breaking, no broken hangers, no complicated 1x/ 2x / 3x., no CROOKED chainline 80% of the time. NO front/ rear DOUBLE shifting.
R14 can shift 3 or 4 gears at a time including while stopped. I do this EVERY hill dip.
There is NO such thing as between gears, dropped chain, crunching or grinding from shoving the chain. LOL.
The rear cog is now a SIMPLE circlip change, like on SA hubs. Get the sliding dropout and it's an easy change.
There is ZERO need for defaileurs or their mechanics. LOL. Riding thru slush or mud CAN and does clog them. My first tour in China I didn't have a chain cover and had 30 miles off and on of wet CLAY. Fenders and rim brake clogged, but NOT my chain.
My shifter is on the top tube, where it belongs. I mostly shift up with my left hand and down with my RH. The cable never moves.
None of my bikes have a ****mano part.

Pinions are 5% LESS efficient. FACT. A Rohloff can be put on any 135 mm frame. Mine has a bolt axle.
A rohloff doesn't work all that well with a drop bar does it though? At least if you don't want to double the original already pretty hefty price tag.
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Old 08-10-23, 03:27 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
When you get outside of North America (thinking world touring in more remote parts of the world) - I would not want to hang my hat on being able to get an exotic frame repaired, should that be required...

If exotic metal is desired - something that would help is to have some filler metal with you. TIG rods look like spokes, and aren't that much different in size. That filler can be used with both TIG and Oxy/Acetylene welding. So if you have a frame issue that needs repaired - if you can find a place that can do the welding you have what they need at the ready. If you have an aluminum alloy frame, for example - even a well equipped welding outfit that does "aluminum" probably won't have the ideal filler metal for your specific alloy and would have to order it in. If you aren't planning to take a week or two off of your trek waiting for filler metal and a frame repair, have a couple sticks of filler with you.
This seems misplaced concern to me. In particular a pretty low probability event on a rider looking at a coast to coast ride.

I won't say it won't happen and actually had two AL frames break one in Australia and one in Argentina. One repaired/welded by the bike shop in Bariloche, the other replaced by flying back to the US.

The weight of carrying filler material doesn't seem worth it to me and likelihood of needing a frame welded similarly very low probability and perhaps only one of several options.

I did have one cautionary experience that has made me wary of buying my "ultimate" bike. In 2001 I made a trip around Australia. The Memorial Day in 2000, I drove up to Bend OR to visit a guy known for excellent custom panniers but also selling a line of Sakkit touring bikes. We discussed and I decided to order one. Turned out to be a lemon on two main accounts:
1. Despite ordering 10 months before my trip (and clearing communicating my time frame). The bike was not delivered until two months *after* the trip started. I decided not to swap out my tried and true Cannondale I had started the trip - but really give things a go after return.
2. Almost immediately after assembling the bike, the seat post seemed to tear out of the frame. I ended up sending it back for rework.
It was reworked but I never really trusted that ultimate bike after that. On the next long expedition across Asia I ended on a Trek 520 frame with me swapping wheels, saddle, etc.

So I do share a caution on a not-too-unique ultimate bike on a ride in outback Australia, Siberia or Argentina. However:

- not for a ride in US, including coast to coast
- not with expecting frame failures or bringing remedies such as welding supplies with me as baggage

​​​​​
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Old 08-10-23, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
A rohloff doesn't work all that well with a drop bar does it though? At least if you don't want to double the original already pretty hefty price tag.
I have tried several locations for the shifter on my drop bar Thorn Nomad Mk II.

Finally settled on the Hubbub Adapter that allows me to put the shifter on the right side bar end. (I am right handed, would work on left side too.) The reason an adapter is needed is the Rohloff shifter is designed for a 22.2mm handlebar, drop bars are bigger. I also use two V brake noodles to re-orient my cables forward to go under my handlebar bag, so my knees will never get near the cables.



Better lighting at this photo with snow in background.



Co-Motion has their own shifter that goes near the stem. And someone else makes one like that too. But I prefer the end of handlebar. There have been times on difficult gravel or 4X4 road where I am climbing up a really slow steep hill and wanted to downshift while wanting to keep my hands on the handlebars out far enough away from the steerer tube that I have good leverage for steering. That adapter is the best way to have your hands out where you have good leverage for steering and the ability to shift at the same time. A shifter near the stem would not work for me.

I do not recall where I bought mine, bought it about seven years ago.
https://hubbubonline.com/?product=hu...op-bar-adapter

The OP might go with flat bars, he said more upright position.
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Old 08-10-23, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Nonsense ^^^^^^ If you have no high gears, then it's because you chose stupidly low gears. I have no such problem at 44/ 16T > 20.8 to 109.6, it was 46/ 16T on my last tour. With a big tailwind I was cruising at 27 mph one day. Every 1 off the low takes 5 off the high GI.
....
For riding around near my home with an unladen bike, I use a 44T chainring and 16T sprocket on my Rohloff bike, same as you use for touring. Without a load on the bike, that works ok for up to a 10 percent grade near my home.

But for the steep uphills I climb when touring with a loaded bike, I need a lower gear. I explained my gearing choices above in post number 13.
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Old 08-11-23, 10:46 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I have tried several locations for the shifter on my drop bar Thorn Nomad Mk II.

Finally settled on the Hubbub Adapter that allows me to put the shifter on the right side bar end. (I am right handed, would work on left side too.) The reason an adapter is needed is the Rohloff shifter is designed for a 22.2mm handlebar, drop bars are bigger. I also use two V brake noodles to re-orient my cables forward to go under my handlebar bag, so my knees will never get near the cables.



Better lighting at this photo with snow in background.



Co-Motion has their own shifter that goes near the stem. And someone else makes one like that too. But I prefer the end of handlebar. There have been times on difficult gravel or 4X4 road where I am climbing up a really slow steep hill and wanted to downshift while wanting to keep my hands on the handlebars out far enough away from the steerer tube that I have good leverage for steering. That adapter is the best way to have your hands out where you have good leverage for steering and the ability to shift at the same time. A shifter near the stem would not work for me.

I do not recall where I bought mine, bought it about seven years ago.
https://hubbubonline.com/?product=hu...op-bar-adapter

The OP might go with flat bars, he said more upright position.
I was fairly interested in getting a rohloff for the Disc Trucker, because well, why not. It makes sense in a touring bike and I have a road bike if I want the most efficient drivetrain option.

I did look into it and there are pretty good options for drop bars. The main contender is the Gebla rohbox, but it is shockingly expensive. The cable box is 219€ but I would also need a modified set of GRX levers which would be over 650€ a pair.

Ok, still doable. Expensive but doable.

But...

It turns out Rohloff is a company that... Well if I used the terminology fitting for their current conduct I'd get banned. Let's just say, they are apparently going the Bosch way so they're tapering off the sales of hubs to consumers. It seems that in the future it will only be possible to buy a rohloff hub if it comes with a bike.

Since the DT has 12mm thru axles the rohloff that fits on it is the A12. However rohloff doesn't sell it to consumers and it can only be bought as a part of a bike. They state this explicitly without giving a reasyn why

The same goes for the E-14. But apparently they're doing well enough with the E-14 that they can abandon the consumer hub sales market segment. I estimate the E-14 system is around 4000€ at least from the conclusions I can draw from e-cargo bike prices.

Needless to say, I'm a bit bummed. Hopefully better hubs come along at some point.
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Old 08-11-23, 11:03 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Hopefully better hubs come along at some point.
Kindernay XIV.
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Old 08-11-23, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
I was fairly interested in getting a rohloff for the Disc Trucker, because well, why not. It makes sense in a touring bike and I have a road bike if I want the most efficient drivetrain option.

I did look into it and there are pretty good options for drop bars. The main contender is the Gebla rohbox, but it is shockingly expensive. The cable box is 219€ but I would also need a modified set of GRX levers which would be over 650€ a pair.

Ok, still doable. Expensive but doable.

But...

It turns out Rohloff is a company that... Well if I used the terminology fitting for their current conduct I'd get banned. Let's just say, they are apparently going the Bosch way so they're tapering off the sales of hubs to consumers. It seems that in the future it will only be possible to buy a rohloff hub if it comes with a bike.

Since the DT has 12mm thru axles the rohloff that fits on it is the A12. However rohloff doesn't sell it to consumers and it can only be bought as a part of a bike. They state this explicitly without giving a reasyn why

The same goes for the E-14. But apparently they're doing well enough with the E-14 that they can abandon the consumer hub sales market segment. I estimate the E-14 system is around 4000€ at least from the conclusions I can draw from e-cargo bike prices.

Needless to say, I'm a bit bummed. Hopefully better hubs come along at some point.
The Rohoff was really designed for a quick release type axle and dropouts. The shifting mechanism is in the axle. So, through axles really mess that up. I am aware that they are trying to modify their hub to fit in a through axle frame, but I do not really know how they are doing that. I think they are trying to put an adapter on each side? They might be trying to make sure that the frame is stiff enough to hold it all together since they would not have a normal through axle rod running between the dropouts.

E bike stuff, I am clueless and prefer to stay that way.

I bought my Rohloff mail order from a firm in Germany when I built up my Rohloff bike. I just checked. I could buy the same hub from them today that I bought nine years ago (it is 1042 Euros plus shipping at 40 Euros to ship to USA, that excludes VAT which is not charged on sales shipped outside EU), only difference is mine does not have the disc brake mount and now they do not appear to sell the rim brake version, or the retailer in Germany does not sell rim brake versions.

So, I would expect that consumers will continue to be able to buy quick release versions of their hubs. I could be wrong, but that is my opinion.

Gates says that they have to approve bikes for use with the belt drive, they want to make sure that the chainstays are stiff enough to maintain chainline (or is it beltline?). Some manufacturers that sell belt drive bikes are not approved by Gates, but that is a different issue. My point is that Rohloff may have a good reason to not want to sell the through axle version to consumers.

I would assume you could buy a cheap set of brifters and modify them to fit the Rohbox. One to downshift and one to upshift, should be rather simple. Older Campy brifters that can be disassembled and reassembled might be the best choice to try. It would be very simple, the Rohloff uses two cables, one to downshif, one to upshift.

Much cheaper, you could probably use a pair of bar end lever shifters like the Shimano ones from half a century ago to shift the Rohbox if you find a used pair.
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Old 08-11-23, 04:53 PM
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Belt drive: I am using Wipperman Connex 8Sx stainless steel chain and wearing it to 1.0, which involves also flipping the rear sprocket once during that time. Using Chain-L chain lube, I am getting 2 years/10,000 miles out of my chainring/chain/sprocket set. After that I can flip the chainring, put a new sprocket and chain on. I see this as superior to belt drive for me.
Drop bars with Rohloff: Co-Motion makes a shifter for 31.8 mm diameter drop bars. I have one. It is superb.

A Rohloff Speedhub is really excellent for those who put a lot of miles on their bike. No down sides in my 6 year experience. The 526 percent gear range is great for me, similar to what I used to have with a triple and derailleur.

co-motion shifter
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Old 08-11-23, 06:30 PM
  #34  
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I'm more of an old school shiny silver guy. Rohloff + drop bars w/ Gilles Berthoud shifter.


Last edited by tcs; 08-11-23 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-11-23, 07:32 PM
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Some people have commented that they do not like metal Rohloff shifters in either very hot or very cold weather. Has not been a problem for me, in really cold weather i am wearing warmer gloves and you won't find me in the Southwest in summer heat.

Berthoud shifter has exposed cables, which some prefer to avoid.
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Old 08-12-23, 08:26 AM
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There is no need to put them on the bars. Cables flopping and rubbing the frame.
Here's mine if you can see it in all the clutter. LOL
I now have both cables on one side of the seat tube, so I can take it all off.
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Old 08-14-23, 05:18 AM
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Rivendell. Either an Appaloosa or an Atlantis are the current touring models. They'll take you wherever you want to go,. Here is my Hunqapillar which I have been touring with for the past 11 years, We've covered thousands of miles in that time and, despite being 71, I plan on thousands more.
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Old 08-14-23, 06:19 PM
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Any "endurance" type bike frame will work very well. With touring it helps to have a slightly larger size frame. For normal day rides my bikes have a 54cm frames but for touring I had a custom 58cm frame built for me. I needed to go with a custom frame as in 1970 there were only frames with geometery meant for criterium racers and not very stable at speed on downhill grades. The larger frame makes for more room for rear panniers that will not be hit by your heels whe pedaling.

I traveled though the high sierras with a bike that had 42/52 chainrings and a 12-28t 5 speed freewheel. Riding around town I used a 12-24t freewheel but needed the 28-tooth cog as an ultra low gear that I could use to go up anything. These days I need a 32t or 34t cog as I have gained quite a bit of weight in the past 50 years.

There is an exaggerated notion of what one needs for touring. The Vietnamese forces defeated the Americans and the Vietnamese transported a great deal of their supplies through the jungles using simple bicycles. When I first started doing multi-day rides along the California coast I would often encounter a hobo on his bicycle with a hand pump tied to the top tube with string and a book rack on the back on which he had his belongings wrapped in newspaper and tied with twine. No fancy bike clothing or shoes with cleats and a 3-speed bike that was very heavy, but he managed as he preferred life on the road to having to ask for handouts from motorists.
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Old 08-14-23, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Any "endurance" type bike frame will work very well. With touring it helps to have a slightly larger size frame. For normal day rides my bikes have a 54cm frames but for touring I had a custom 58cm frame built for me. I needed to go with a custom frame as in 1970 there were only frames with geometery meant for criterium racers and not very stable at speed on downhill grades. The larger frame makes for more room for rear panniers that will not be hit by your heels whe pedaling.

I traveled though the high sierras with a bike that had 42/52 chainrings and a 12-28t 5 speed freewheel. Riding around town I used a 12-24t freewheel but needed the 28-tooth cog as an ultra low gear that I could use to go up anything. These days I need a 32t or 34t cog as I have gained quite a bit of weight in the past 50 years.

There is an exaggerated notion of what one needs for touring. The Vietnamese forces defeated the Americans and the Vietnamese transported a great deal of their supplies through the jungles using simple bicycles. When I first started doing multi-day rides along the California coast I would often encounter a hobo on his bicycle with a hand pump tied to the top tube with string and a book rack on the back on which he had his belongings wrapped in newspaper and tied with twine. No fancy bike clothing or shoes with cleats and a 3-speed bike that was very heavy, but he managed as he preferred life on the road to having to ask for handouts from motorists.

A proper touring bike has longer chainstays,no need to buy a bike one size bigger. The OP is in his sixties and has some money to spend. He is looking for a proper high end bike . He is not a 19 year old that can throw bags on any old bike and tough it out. Exagerated notion of what one needs for touring? As a senior with dough you might as well have the proper tool for the job.
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Old 08-14-23, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Any "endurance" type bike frame will work very well. With touring it helps to have a slightly larger size frame. For normal day rides my bikes have a 54cm frames but for touring I had a custom 58cm frame built for me. I needed to go with a custom frame as in 1970 there were only frames with geometery meant for criterium racers and not very stable at speed on downhill grades. The larger frame makes for more room for rear panniers that will not be hit by your heels whe pedaling.

I traveled though the high sierras with a bike that had 42/52 chainrings and a 12-28t 5 speed freewheel. Riding around town I used a 12-24t freewheel but needed the 28-tooth cog as an ultra low gear that I could use to go up anything. These days I need a 32t or 34t cog as I have gained quite a bit of weight in the past 50 years.

There is an exaggerated notion of what one needs for touring. The Vietnamese forces defeated the Americans and the Vietnamese transported a great deal of their supplies through the jungles using simple bicycles. When I first started doing multi-day rides along the California coast I would often encounter a hobo on his bicycle with a hand pump tied to the top tube with string and a book rack on the back on which he had his belongings wrapped in newspaper and tied with twine. No fancy bike clothing or shoes with cleats and a 3-speed bike that was very heavy, but he managed as he preferred life on the road to having to ask for handouts from motorists.
There are a lot of unique concepts here to unpack.

Let’s begin with upsizing 4cm to prevent healstrike. One or both of the bikes are clearly the wrong size for you. But upsizing till your heals don't hit the panniers is terrible advice.

The 70’s had countless longer wheelbase bikes and all larger manufactures made dedicated touring rigs. From Schwinn on there was no problem getting a long wheelbase touring bikes. US, French, British and Italian they all made them.

Your gearing choices are ludicrous, you are going to tell everyone back in the day people did loaded self supported touring in the high mountains with vintage heavy gear with 43-28 gearing? Your current touring gearing is 42-34?

With the rest of your imaginary screed not sure what to say. The Vietnamese pushed the bikes through the jungle and didn’t ride them. Well the Hobo story although detailed in description not sure how it relates to anything.

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Old 08-15-23, 08:25 AM
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The https://bikeinsights.com/ website helped me find a long chainstay touring bike.

https://bikeinsights.com/search?fram...12dd00049c1a10
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Old 08-16-23, 12:31 PM
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I've been super happy with my Rodriguez Touring Bike. Lots of information on the site, fully customizable. They have opinions based on decades of experience, but they will build what you want.
I had mine built up by a local shop from their custom frame and using their general plan for how to do it. (My body is not quite standard proportions so I got a custom frame and like I said, works fantastic.)

https://www.rodbikes.com/catalog/adv...ture-main.html
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Old 08-16-23, 12:33 PM
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They also do a shifter dohickey for Rohloff shifters which goes on the end of drop bars.

https://www.rodbikes.com/articles/po...doohickey.html
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Old 08-16-23, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Any "endurance" type bike frame will work very well. With touring it helps to have a slightly larger size frame. For normal day rides my bikes have a 54cm frames but for touring I had a custom 58cm frame built for me.
.
I have never heard this kind of advice given. Might have worked for you, but going what is essentially 2 frame sizes up from what might otherwise be a good fit, just to gain chainstay clearance is bad advice. If a rider is shorter and would usually ride on a bike with a 54cm ETT bike, they are not going to fit on a 58. You cannot make it fit with a shorter stem. The reach to the bar is critical and better to just find a proper touring bike that comes with 44cm chainstays then try to gain that with an incorrect frame size. They are plenty of touring bikes made with long chainstays, this fit method is just bad advice.

Last edited by Steve B.; 08-16-23 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-16-23, 04:24 PM
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I am having a Ahearne pinion ATB built for my retirement present to myself. If you have the funds I would recommend a custom build.
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Old 08-17-23, 03:18 AM
  #46  
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I have, at various times, owned touring bikes made by Nashbar, Jamis, Bob Jackson, Surly, Cannondale, and Co-Motion. The Cannondale and Co-Motion were head and shoulders above the others. However, I suspect that the difference was largely attributable to better fit and, perhaps, better wheels.
Given your goal, I don't think that you can go wrong with a Co-Motion.
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Old 08-17-23, 05:42 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by frogshawn
I am having a Ahearne pinion ATB built for my retirement present to myself. If you have the funds I would recommend a custom build.
For a smidgen more, I highly recommend a CS-RK3 in the rear hub. In combination with 1:1 ratio chainring/sprocket, it provides an overdrive gear for use in descents over 35kph, and a granny gear in ascents over 8%, otherwise it's direct drive for the Pinion's normal 18 gears.
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Old 10-24-23, 08:25 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Doug64
You might want to consider a custom made Co-Motion touring bike. My wife has over 28,000 on her Co-Motion that I gave her as a retirement present 12 years ago. She has toured 22,000 miles in 11 countries. Co-Motion builds excellent bikes, and has great customer service. Their shop is less than an hour drive from our place, and they did all the measurements and adjustments there.

Co-Motion Cycles

Wisconsin
Man if this bike was a 58cm, I would probably jump on it. Love it. I'm 6'2" however and I just don't know if I could stretch it enough. I have short arms, so that part might be okay, but damn seat would be pretty high and the handlebars would need to be pretty high as well. I sure do like it though.

https://aroundthecycle.com/products/...BoCbz8QAvD_BwE

Or eBay link.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/37493168811...hoCOaQQAvD_BwE

Last edited by h_curtis; 10-24-23 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 10-25-23, 06:28 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
…My shifter is on the top tube, where it belongs.
^^^^^ Nonsense! Shifters belong on the downtube!
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Old 10-25-23, 10:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by h_curtis
I was thinking of possibly Titanium, or steel. I am going on road, so maybe a Rolloff and Gates belt. I'm 6'2", so a big frame with an upright position is wanted. I don't think I want carbon involved.

All this being said, I am open for suggestions. My budget is pretty high as I am selling off a collection of bikes that are worth some money and cycling is my favorite activity, so I don't mind spending on this bike. I also want hydraulic brakes.

What do you all think? I enjoy reading and watching videos from cycling about. Is he an okay source?
Firefly in Boston will build you a great touring bike! Talk to Kevin, he will elaborate you a custom geometry. You will own a unique personal bike.
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