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what to buy??

Old 03-03-09, 10:50 AM
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lwomack58
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what to buy??

I'm trying to decide between three touring bikes all within the same price. I can pick up the new Raleigh Sojourn, a Fuji Touring and the Novara Randonee for around the same price. I have read about the concerns with the Fuji spoke problems and gearing, the Sojourn and the 32 rims, the weight and gearing and really not much complaints about the Novara.

Right now I can get all three bikes for under $1000. I am new to touring but have been dreaming of doing touring for years. I am a big guy right now at 6'2 and about 260lbs. I want a bike that is going to last for years and not have problems with on the road. I plan on touring in Europe in the fall and the bike is my main transportation as I do not own a car.

Any advice from some of you pro's would be great. As with most shops I have to order the bike so no test ride is in the cards.

Thanks
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Old 03-03-09, 12:53 PM
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Captain Jake
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The Sojourn comes with a Brooks saddle and grip tape, and the rear rack it comes with is very nice, if you are touring weight is usually less of a concern as you will be adding a lot to it anyway. I don't know much about the other bikes, but Raleigh has the bike set up really nice, aside from maybe the wheels.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:31 PM
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staehpj1 
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Originally Posted by lwomack58 View Post
I'm trying to decide between three touring bikes all within the same price. I can pick up the new Raleigh Sojourn, a Fuji Touring and the Novara Randonee for around the same price. I have read about the concerns with the Fuji spoke problems and gearing, the Sojourn and the 32 rims, the weight and gearing and really not much complaints about the Novara.

Right now I can get all three bikes for under $1000. I am new to touring but have been dreaming of doing touring for years. I am a big guy right now at 6'2 and about 260lbs. I want a bike that is going to last for years and not have problems with on the road. I plan on touring in Europe in the fall and the bike is my main transportation as I do not own a car.

Any advice from some of you pro's would be great. As with most shops I have to order the bike so no test ride is in the cards.

Thanks
I'd avoid the Raleigh Sojourn. The other two are fine except I would want lower gearing than the Fuji has stock. I would ask them to swap the crank for one with 48-36-24 or similar.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:44 PM
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neilfein
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I love my Randonee, but I can't speak to the other bikes. REI has a good return policy, so you really can't go wrong with them.

I replaced the saddle and swapped out the handlebars (I'm short and have wide shoulders for my height), but the bike is pretty much stock otherwise. I replaced the rear rack, but more because I had an awesome Tubus rack; the one it comes with is a damn good rack.

The only other problems I had are pretty small and fiddly.
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Old 03-03-09, 02:16 PM
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Mr. Jim
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Have you also looked at the LHT? i also have a bike as my only transportation and it has been a gem. Best investment I ever made.
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Old 03-03-09, 02:39 PM
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The Randonee is a no risk bike. If you order it and it doesn't fit you don't have to purchase it. Heck for that matter if you don't like it after a week you can return it. If you have that option with the others they would be fine also. I'm partial to STI shifters so I'd go Randonee. I don't have one but have ridden it and run into people touring with them. Seem pretty happy to me. I like STI's much better in traffic as well. I can keep my hands where they belong and shift to my hearts content.

The one that fits should win. All of the above would work.

My 2 Cents... good luck
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Old 03-03-09, 04:47 PM
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Forget the bike and just get the biggest hit of acid you can afford! The trip that will take you on is like no other! Talk about a REAL tour! hahaha just playing!
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Old 03-03-09, 08:56 PM
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thanks everyone for your help. I went ahead and purchased the REI Novara Randonee. For the money and the reviews all over the place it seems like a fine bike. Went on small ride after work and it rode well. Will post in another thread about advice on panniers. I have a large foot and I have seen comments about the sizing to ensure I don't hit the bag with my feet.
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