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Touring bike with flat handlebar?

Old 01-13-10, 11:20 AM
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cmcanulty
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Touring bike with flat handlebar?

Does anyone know of a decent touring bike that comes with a flat bar? I also need an extra small frame with standover 27" max. I have looked a lot with no luck. Am considering this frame but would prefer a built up bike. See bottom of page for frame pic. But no standover measurement is given
http://www.bgcycles.com/BasicLoadedTouring.html
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Old 01-13-10, 11:56 AM
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Bruce posts here from time to time. Give him an email. I can't imagine that he wouldn't be more than willing to help.

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Old 01-13-10, 12:05 PM
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Hi are you looking for a 'loaded' touring bike? something to take several changes of clothes and camping gear? or something for weekend trips? I would think almost anyone's higher end Hybrids would fit the bill for a few days of 'hotel' touring.
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Old 01-13-10, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
Does anyone know of a decent touring bike that comes with a flat bar? I also need an extra small frame with standover 27" max. I have looked a lot with no luck. Am considering this frame but would prefer a built up bike. See bottom of page for frame pic. But no standover measurement is given
http://www.bgcycles.com/BasicLoadedTouring.html
Why don't you ask Bruce himself about the standover height? It would be trivial to swap the drop bars for flat bars, if that's what you prefer.
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Old 01-13-10, 01:22 PM
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I custom built my LHT up with a flat handlebar but I would imagine if you went to your LBS to order a bike they might be interested in doing a swap out with you as they would be replacing new parts with new parts. I know that you can order Surlys custom built to some degree and either you could have them put a flatbar on or order it without a bar and brake levers and complete the bike when you get it. And like the other poster said, I'm sure BG would make the swap for you if it meant selling a bike or not selling a bike.
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Old 01-13-10, 01:46 PM
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You're right, standover isn't generally given. But that's because for the most part it's locked in by the seat tube length given as the frame size. But it can get messy if you have a mountain bike with a low top tube style frame and want to get into a road style frame.

You should be able to figure out the standover with a bit of math. Measure your wheels you have now for the axle height and then using the geometry tables you can easily figure out how far off the ground the top tube is by just factoring in the axle height with the bottom bracket shell drop and seat tube length. Include the fudge factor for the angle if you want but for something of this sort of nature it really isn't needed since you're just trying to figure out roughly which size you need. From there the other factors like top tube length will become more important.

Another way would be to stand over your present bike and using a yard stick position the stick at the top tube to steering head tube weld and then lift the rear end up while holding it against the seat post until you have your 27 inch stand over or whatever feels right for you. Mark where the stick sits on the post. Now you can measure up from the BB axis to the mark and you know what generic size of road frame you need. Or it'll be pretty close provided your present bike doesn't have some great honking long set of suspension forks on it.

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Old 01-13-10, 02:18 PM
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Have you considered the Surly LHT? For about the same price as the frame/fork BLT you would have a complete built bike. Then you just need to swap out the bars and shifters.
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Old 01-13-10, 02:42 PM
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Or for a slightly lighter option that isn't quite so focused on loaded touring look at the Surly Cross Check built up into a flat bar tourer. Or a Soma Double Cross. Both are cyclocross bikes that come with the brazeons to support conversion to a pretty decent touring bike. But then once the racks are stripped off would make into a nice performance hybrid ride for the rest of the year. And really with your conversion to flat bars a "performace hybrid" is what you're after. The key is to find one that has all the brazeons for racks. In particular the front fork having the mid leg brazeons and enough dropout threaded points for the racks and fenders.
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Old 01-13-10, 02:43 PM
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You can put straight bars on any bike. Don't let the original handlebars eliminate a model.
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Old 01-14-10, 03:01 AM
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Have a look at this one http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tout-terrain.asp. there is also a ladies frame available for the Boulevard model. http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/product...d-t/index.html

Oliver

Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
Touring bike with flat handlebar?

Does anyone know of a decent touring bike that comes with a flat bar? I also need an extra small frame with standover 27" max. I have looked a lot with no luck. Am considering this frame but would prefer a built up bike. See bottom of page for frame pic. But no standover measurement is given
http://www.bgcycles.com/BasicLoadedTouring.html
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Old 01-14-10, 03:43 AM
  #11  
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Many people in northern Europe (Germany, Holland, Denmark, etc.) don't seem to be aware that touring bikes can have drop-bars, they all use robust straight-bar or butterfly-bar bikes, and call them "trekking" bikes. Maybe you can get hold of one of those.
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Old 01-14-10, 04:41 AM
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Mine is a flat bar, full rigid low-end hybrid. It has seen its share of self supported touring and utility cycling with heavy loads, including towing a kayak trailer. I've enjoyed touring with it very much, but then for me it's more about the tour than it is about the bike. So I'm a bit skeptic on how high in the model range you really need to go to find a suitable tourer. When I bought mine, I didn't worry about the low-end drivetrain components, as much of that will wear out and need replacing in a couple of years anyway. I wanted a frame that fits and has good mounting options for racks etc.

As far as hybrids go, look into either low or high-end models. At least in our market, middle range stuff tends to come with a lot of unnecessary, poor quality and even undesireable bells and whistles. Various el-cheapo suspension arrangements come to mind, for example. Good quality bells and whistles can be found towards the high end of range - or installed to a low end model afterwards, if needed.

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Old 01-14-10, 04:53 AM
  #13  
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you could always just put a pair of cyclocross brake levers onto the drops, that way you have the benefits of flats but with a greater range of riding positions. like this... http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/p...ium/BL3000.jpg. then you can buy the bike you linked to, or in fact a surly lht (which is brilliant).

having ridden long distance loaded with flats and drops, it's definitely the build i'd go for next. if you are planning on any touring do not underestimate the added comfort that a nice pair of drops (morphe 3tt or nitto grande randonneur) or the butterly bars someone else mentioned can give you. flats can give you ulnar nerve palsy if you ride too far on them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulnar_nerve_entrapment. ow.
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Old 01-14-10, 05:54 AM
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Old 01-14-10, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by antfrogboy View Post
if you are planning on any touring do not underestimate the added comfort that a nice pair of drops ... or the butterly bars someone else mentioned can give you.
It's more than just alternate hand positions. Drops and trekking bars give alternate body positions - and that's nice when spending hours in the saddle on tour.

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Old 01-14-10, 08:11 AM
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I need flat bars as my service dog goes in a basket that attaches to handlebars and won't clear front wheel with drops.I am considering the surly LHT but I would have to change bars, shifters and brake levers, and I would change crank to 42-32-22 and cassette to 34t large ring so with all those changes it would be wasting a lot of parts I wouldn't use. It doesn't seem they will customize their bikes at all.
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Old 01-14-10, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
I need flat bars as my service dog goes in a basket that attaches to handlebars and won't clear front wheel with drops.I am considering the surly LHT but I would have to change bars, shifters and brake levers, and I would change crank to 42-32-22 and cassette to 34t large ring so with all those changes it would be wasting a lot of parts I wouldn't use. It doesn't seem they will customize their bikes at all.
Find a good local shop that will work with you. Good shops will swap out parts if requested. May cost very little and it costs nothing to ask.

Good luck in yoru search.
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Old 01-14-10, 12:39 PM
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People switch from drop bars to upright bars far more than the other way. Bike shops buy a lot of upright bars and end up with a surplus of unwanted drop bars.

I fix bikes for people in my neighborhood, and I'm stocking up on upright bars and brake levers and grips for this reason. I recently converted a road racing bike for one neighbor.
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Old 01-14-10, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
I need flat bars as my service dog goes in a basket that attaches to handlebars and won't clear front wheel with drops.I am considering the surly LHT but I would have to change bars, shifters and brake levers, and I would change crank to 42-32-22 and cassette to 34t large ring so with all those changes it would be wasting a lot of parts I wouldn't use. It doesn't seem they will customize their bikes at all.
If a 27 inch stand over is essential, be sure to try the LHT before buying. The smallest LHT has a 27.7 inch standover height.
http://surlybikes.com/frames/long_haul_trucker_frame/

If it does fit, the cassette shouldn't need changing. The LHT complete comes with an 11-34
(http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker_complete/

I bought a LHT complete last year, added a stem riser, changed to flat bars, put on MTB brake levers, moved the bar end shifters to Pauls Thumbies, and changed one chain ring to get a lower granny gear ... went to 48-36-24 from 48-36-26. The LBS wouldn't go for substitutions, so the mods did cost a couple hundred $... but I do have the bike of my dreams now.

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Old 01-14-10, 09:35 PM
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[QUOTE]I custom built my LHT up with a flat handlebar but I would imagine if you went to your LBS to order a bike they might be interested in doing a swap out with you as they would be replacing new parts with new parts. I know that you can order Surlys custom built to some degree and either you could have them put a flatbar on or order it without a bar and brake levers and complete the bike when you get it. And like the other poster said, I'm sure BG would make the swap for you if it meant selling a bike or not selling a bike./QUOTE]

I actually work at the LBS in our area and had a customer that wanted a Surly LHT with a flat bar and high end grip shift. My boss had me put on the new bars, brake levers, shifters, and grips and then kept the purchasers original equipment and gave him a credit towards his new setup. Maybe your LBS could do the same
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Old 01-15-10, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the LHT specs the page I saw earlier didn't give the LHT standover figures. I have a friend who can order me one for less than $700 but I would have to do all the changes at my own expense. I have a crank I can use but would need to install new bar and levers. or would their be something else to change also and do you know if I could install downtube shifters or would they need to be on the bar? The reason I ask is the dog basket leaves little room between the basket and the bar.
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Old 01-15-10, 10:47 AM
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On the bike in your photo, the handlebars appear to be set higher than the seat. You might consider a stem riser to get the same position on the LHT.

You could install downtube shifters on the LHT. But the bar end shifters attached with Pauls Thumbies will not extend forward of the brake levers. They will take up a little bar width though. The shifters on the Thumbies are always right at hand, and, personally, I find them more convenient that downtube shifters. YMMV

If your LHT has the Surly standard issue Tektro cantilever brakes, be sure to get short pull, high tension brake levers, not standard MTB levers for V-brakes (long pull, low tension). See the Cantilever Brake Compatibility/Interchangeability table at the bottom of http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html for why.

Here are some photos:

http://customized-applications.com/surly/StemRiser1.JPG
http://customized-applications.com/surly/StemRiser2.JPG
http://customized-applications.com/surly/IMG_2813-1.JPG

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Old 01-15-10, 10:58 AM
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The Jamis Coda Femme has a standover of 27.4, which may be tight for you, but it does have a full set of brazeons for racks. Rear cogs are fine, front would need to be changed.
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Old 01-15-10, 11:47 AM
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REI Novara Safari? Touring bars, but they would be easy to switch out since it uses flat bar shifters and brakes, right? Comes in pretty small sizes as well.
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Old 01-17-10, 08:25 AM
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I am considering the trekking or the mustache type bars. But I have to see some pics. The shops just show the bars without brakes and gears attached. What I am not sure of is do they accept the same shifters and brake levers that the drop bars dp. Also I need to see pictures of each built up with the brakes and shifters so I can visualize whether the dog basket will fit. The other problem with the drops and dog basket is that the basket is too wide to fit between the drops on the 2 bikes I have with drops, so I definately have to go with some other option. If I go with a flat bar could I use the bar end shifters on the Surly LHT and also use bar ends? Also the Surly has cantilever brakes so could I use mtn cantilever brake levers or do I need something else. I was considering also just installing friction downtube shifters as I love using them. Would they work with 9 speed? Thanks all.
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