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Sub 20lb bike with upright riding position for 110lb, 5'3 (160cm) person

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Sub 20lb bike with upright riding position for 110lb, 5'3 (160cm) person

Old 06-05-12, 08:43 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by flashpacker View Post
Out of the cyclocross options people are suggesting, does anyone know of options that have the capacity for a front rack?


Virtually any rigid bike can have the excellent OMM [Old Man Mountain] racks attached [front or rear] in a few minutes without needing any dedicated braze ons.

The cross bike shown above was the lightest bike I had setup with racks I could tour with. Don't know the weight...never really cared beyond that it was light and fast. I never did tour with it simply because I have other dedicated touring bikes that were better for the job, but there was no reason it wouldn't have worked.

If you are comfortable on a bike and the gearing makes sense for you there is no reason you can't tour on it. Will it be awesome?....maybe not, but it depends on how much stuff you want to carry and what matters to you most from the ride experience.



I have 3 Bike Fridays and can recommend them without hesitation. They are definitely speedy and fun to ride. You can get lighter versions or heavier duty versions. They are great about getting you just the right bike you need.

I had a boutique touring bike that was, on paper the most awesome thing ever, in practice I enjoyed my Bike Friday New World Tourist shown above more so I ended up selling the other bike and keeping the Friday.
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Old 06-05-12, 10:07 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by flashpacker View Post
Out of the cyclocross options people are suggesting, does anyone know of options that have the capacity for a front rack? Or could a freeload rack be used http://www.freeload.co.nz/pages/9/products ?

Since there are lots of posts in this thread now (thanks all), I just wanted to reiterate that I mostly want this for fast city biking with occasional bike camping (on road but with some hills and I'm not especially fit). I have access to a decent 1 year old MTB around 25lbs that I don't ever use because it's slow and heavy from my perspective. Whereas when I've tried road bikes at the LBS, they feel soooo much quicker and nicer. I just need something that will do occasional double duty.

Definitely won't be pulling a trailer!

I don't have any opportunity to try the Bike Fridays till I get to the US, but I have been checking out their preloved page, so that is an option I'm looking forward to checking out when I can see how they feel to ride for myself since they have an NYC distributor.
Flashpacker, are you aware of the fact that a good stiff rear rack can hold camping equipment and provisions equivalent to more than a backpack necessary to do a standard multi-day hiking? Since you claimed to be an ultralight hiker with a tarptent, I am really really confused as to why you are so concerned about the front rack on the bike. If your camping equipment with provisions weighs no more than 30lbs, then a rear rack is fine. A front rack is needed when that weight exceeds or fish tailing occurs before the 30lbs side load limit hits. Some stiff aluminum or carbon frames can take slightly more or by using the Old Man Mountain racks. If you need a front rack, this means your total gear weight exceeds 30lbs. Adding a front rack means increasing your total touring weight because not only the front rack weighs something, but the combined front panniers weight something as well without anything in them! To me that's not really in any ultralight hiking territory nor ultralight cycle camping for that matter.

Road bikes are better than MTB bikes. That's why Cyclocross bikes are popular with a lot of people because you can take them off-road as well as road by changing the tire sizes. Big wheels roll better than the smaller 26" wheels, though there are mountain bikes now that take 29" wheels, eseentially a 700c so it equals the playing field a bit.
A cyclocross bike is always lighter than a MTB since it doesn't have a front shock and the frame need not be designed so robust for mountain biking applications which means it can be made lighter and stiffer in ways you can feel like you're riding a sports car.
Now, some cross bikes are designed to take on a front rack. But remember this, any bike designed to take on more racks means that the design have to be reinforced for the weight that will be taken upon so no liability issues can be pointed back to the manufacturer as the US of A is a land of lawsuits! So the bike will then become more heavier.
Life's a trade off you know. You can't have the cake and eat it too all the time.

Bike Friday are excellent bikes. I used to own one myself which is a NWT and toured with it extensively. But aren't we talking light weight here, because their light weight bikes aren't cheap even for a preloved ones. For the kind of money you get from a preloved one of any weight savings and a high end Grouppo, you can get yourself more on a cyclocross equipped with a light frame, Ultegra Grouppo with Ultegra rear end, carbon fork and a relatively nicer ride since the bigger wheels rolls better than 20" small wheels which will transmit all the potholes you'll ever hit in the big apple of NYC. I tour with my Dahon now as it offers a stiffer ride than the NWT, but I still need suspension on the front wheel and a Thudbuster at the rear to make a ride equivalent to my Trek carbon bike on crushed gravel or even on normal roads. I test rode a cyclocross and I found that it is the best compromise in terms of being able to do Sunday fast rides and then touring it around and do light touring on some weekends.
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Old 06-05-12, 10:31 AM
  #28  
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there is stiff vertically but not laterally as a factor.. round tubes

IMHO, a horizontal oval top tube, to add lateral stiffness , but keep vertical compliance,
would be a good thing.
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Old 06-05-12, 01:06 PM
  #29  
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I'm the same size as you, and while we might have different body geometry (I'm short in the torso/arms), I think I've probably been on a similar bike hunt.

I could only find one cyclocross bike that was small enough for me (the Specialized Tricross in 46 cm). On a frame that size with 700cc wheels, you won't have room for fatter tires and fenders, which I really wanted. I ended up with the 42 cm Long Haul Trucker. The 26" wheels give plenty of room for stuff, and the long chain stays mean that heel strike isn't an issue.

Is the 20 lb thing sort of arbitrary, or have you tried hauling around a bunch of bikes? I think most sub-$1k road bikes are in the 22-23 lb range, and they certainly don't feel heavy. 20 lbs is close to where the price to weight ratio starts to exponentially increase.

For your needs (mostly city riding, some light touring, upright riding position, low cost, fairly light), have you considered a hybrid/commuter bike? If you don't like drop bars, then there's no reason to get them, and most hybrids I've seen have eyelets for racks. Something from (for example) the Jamis Allegro Series looks like it would fit the bill, and they come in women's sizes (this is the result of a quick internet search, I've never actually seen one).
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Old 06-05-12, 07:31 PM
  #30  
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Check out a folding bike from Dahon, or Bike Friday. Both have great touring bikes. 20" wheels. Dahon has a couple of bikes sub 20Lbs up right
riding position that might fit your needs at very affordible prices. If in NYC check out NYCE wheels.
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Old 06-06-12, 04:42 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Herb View Post
Check out a folding bike from Dahon, or Bike Friday. Both have great touring bikes. 20" wheels. Dahon has a couple of bikes sub 20Lbs up right
riding position that might fit your needs at very affordible prices. If in NYC check out NYCE wheels.
Be sure to give them a good trial first. I find the folders I have ridden to be pretty poor in terms of how little rigidity the frames have with the long mast for a stem. I always had the bars as low as they would go and still wanted them lower. I would guess that with them higher it would be worse. It is especially bad when climbing. I would guess that it would also be worse with any load.

I also found it impossible to adjust the riding position to anything like my preferred road bike posture without major modifications. This might not be an issue for you since you specified an upright riding style.

I have not ridden a Bike Friday so they may be better in this regard, but have tried a variety of Dahons including a Helios that I own. I find the Helios fine for short errands especially in flat country, but I personally wouldn't want to tour or even do long rides on it.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:38 PM
  #32  
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Am hoping the OP will return here and let us know if a satisfactory bike was found.
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Old 06-08-12, 05:28 PM
  #33  
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It's 6 more weeks till I'll be able in the US to actually try out some of these bikes, but will definitely update! Love the pic of the loaded bike friday. So many of the comments have been helpful. Yes I have tried hauling a bunch of bikes (in apt buildings w/out elevators etc).
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Old 07-27-12, 12:11 PM
  #34  
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I finally have an update! I bought a preloved Bike Friday. I compromised a little on the weight and a little on the price, but gained the convenience of a folder for travel. I am going to start a thread about my purchase in the folding forum so please check that out if you're interested in the details. Thanks again for the help. Took quite a few weeks of scanning their preloved section, hence the delayed update.
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