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Specialized Tricross for Touring???

Old 06-02-12, 08:29 AM
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Specialized Tricross for Touring???

Hello all

I hope i've posted this in the correct thread.

I'm currently looking for a touring bike for a 3 week trip through France in September.

Several members of staff at my local bike shop have recommended the 'Specialized Tricross 2012.' The 2010 model actually has a better spec. because it has Carbon fibre forks but they are out of stock - i don't know how much of a difference that will make. I have also never used a bike with drop down handle bars.

The Specialised Tri cross cost 615 ($945 US) which is within my budget and can be fitted with panniers etc. Anyone experienced this bike??
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Old 06-02-12, 08:42 AM
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I would not tour on a bike made out of carbon Fiber, and expect to fit pannier racks on it..

Your local bike shop only sell Specialized Brand?

I'd look for a Bike builder in France on the Web, since that is where you are headed,
and have a bike ready to ride , when I got there .
myself..
Just take public transport with the panniers, to hang on the racks. once there on the ground.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-03-12 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:46 AM
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I think the 2012 is better for touring with the low rider mounts for a front rack. I would stay away from a carbon fork for touring.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:54 AM
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Looks vaguely ok. 17" chainstays, all metal frame, might have front rack mounts. Ride it and see what you think. I know a number of BF regulars use a Tricross as their town bike, but I think most of 'em are using a model with a carbon front fork and no front luggage option. There aren't a whole lot of bikes that are utterly impossible to tour on. What matters more is how you tend to pack.

For me, an aluminum front fork like that would probably be uncomfortable. I do a fair bit of riding on gravel or dirt roads, so I like natural suspension stuff like fattish tires and my steel fork. While I try hard to ride light and let my body be the suspension, I don't always succeed.
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Old 06-02-12, 10:06 AM
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For 3 weeks, I'd seriously consider renting a bike. Getting to and from the airport is bad enough these days; hauling a bike with you will make it much worse. You have to box up the bike, drag it to the airport, most likely pay a moderate fee, hope the TSA or baggage handlers don't screw it up, get it out of Charles de Gaulle, set it up again -- and do it all over again in 3 weeks.

Looks like you can rent a road bike from https://www.bikerentalsplus.com/ for about 18 a day. You might find something better with a little more Googling. (Bing-eing? )


If you still want to buy a bike: I say "thumbs up" to the Tricross -- if the bike fits and you like how it rides. The base level Tricross has a triple, decent geometry, rack mounts, and can take reasonably wide tires & fenders. After the tour, you can use it as a commuter or as a reasonably cushy road bike. Cyclists have used cross bikes (notably the Bianchi Volpe) successfully for years and years and miles and miles on their tours.

It's unlikely you will score a 2010 model. It also doesn't matter if the fork is metal or CF, the bike will ride fine either way.

The only thing I'd do is get a little wider cassette; the stock is a 12-26, I'd step that up to a 12-28.


On a side note, the fears of carbon fiber are, IMO, slightly silly. Cyclists have used CF forks safely for years and years now. A CF fork will not spontaneously explode because you attach a rack to the rack mounts.
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Old 06-02-12, 11:56 AM
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Don't worry about the carbon fibre fork. People have fear of things that they heard from random people. Take a look at the Burley Travoy thread for an example. Even though they have absolutely no experience with it, they will talk about the trailer like they've used the trailer for a long time.

Except for my commuter, I have carbon forks on all my bikes. I have done some intensive tour with my Douglas Ti road bike with Reynold Ouzo Pro fork and it's absolutely rock solid. Carbon fibre came a long way since the last decade.
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Old 06-02-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
For 3 weeks, I'd seriously consider renting a bike. Getting to and from the airport is bad enough these days; hauling a bike with you will make it much worse. You have to box up the bike, drag it to the airport, most likely pay a moderate fee, hope the TSA or baggage handlers don't screw it up, get it out of Charles de Gaulle, set it up again -- and do it all over again in 3 weeks.
I am defintely going to buy the bike because i need to train on it and get used to riding it. As I live in the UK I'll be be getting to France by train so Airports won't be a problem.

Thanks for the tips about the Tricross though, glad you have confidence in it.

And thanks everyone else for your comments.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:19 PM
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Here's a link to an earlier discussion on Tricross for touring. I posted my Tricross that I used for touring, with front and rear racks. It worked for me with light(ish) loads. I'm not up on the newer models though.
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Old 06-02-12, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura
Here's a link to an earlier discussion on Tricross for touring. I posted my Tricross that I used for touring, with front and rear racks. It worked for me with light(ish) loads. I'm not up on the newer models though.
Cool. Thanks for the link.

When you say light load, what did that include?
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Old 06-02-12, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion
When you say light load, what did that include?
25 pounds for ALL gear including four panniers, solo tent, sleeping quilt & mattress, clothes, tools, cooking stove, helmet, and shoes. Plus about 6-7 pounds of supplies (food, water, and fuel). Total for me and everything on the bike was under 200 pounds.

Last edited by BigAura; 06-03-12 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 06-03-12, 02:22 PM
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Hi ryanlikealion
I have just finnished a FLBT of Ireland with some of the most difficult terrian in Ireland with climbs of over 6/8km using a 2012 Specialized Trycross Sport carrying 4 panniers total weight of approx 25kg and a Vango 3 berth tent @ 3kg on a topeak back rack this rote has turned away many of cyclists because of the defficult terrian, my Tricross Sport covered over 1200 miles no trouble at all and would recommend this bike for you FLBT no problem I have this bike for over a year no problem at all george12345
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Old 06-03-12, 04:47 PM
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As I live in the UK I'll be be getting to France by train
UK still has some people making nice steel touring bike frames ,
I'd get one of those instead of a Chinese carbon bike..
that happens to have been made under contract to a US importer, Specialized.
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Old 06-04-12, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura
25 pounds for ALL gear including four panniers, solo tent, sleeping quilt & mattress, clothes, tools, cooking stove, helmet, and shoes. Plus about 6-7 pounds of supplies (food, water, and fuel). Total for me and everything on the bike was under 200 pounds.
Thanks that gives me a starting point for what I may need. I'm hoping to take a DSLR camera too with a light prime lens but am aware this may have to be sacraficed!

Originally Posted by george12345
Hi ryanlikealion
my Tricross Sport covered over 1200 miles no trouble at all and would recommend this bike for you FLBT no problem I have this bike for over a year no problem at all george12345
Thanks George. Good to get some direct feedback on the Specialized Tricross. Sounds like a great ride. I nearly chose Ireland as a destination before I decided on France.

Originally Posted by fietsbob
UK still has some people making nice steel touring bike frames ,
I'd get one of those instead of a Chinese carbon bike..
that happens to have been made under contract to a US importer, Specialized.
Interesting - can you recommend any of the companies?
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Old 06-04-12, 08:15 AM
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I have a 2010 Tricross Sport (Tiagra brifters, 50/39/30 with 11-32, Deore LX RD) which has the carbon fork with eyelets and mid fork holes for a lowrider rack. I havent used a front rack with it, but others have. The key issue here is limiting how much weight to go on front, although the 2012 versions may have an aluminum fork (I didnt check)

I am very happy with the Tricross for my uses, and I know that a change to a 26 tooth granny would lower the gearing to be more appropriate for heavier touring. The model you are looking at has (Im pretty certain) a mid length long rear derailleur, so most likely can only take a cassette up to 28 teeth, which really isnt low enough. Dont get me wrong, as an all around bike the Tricross in my opinion is a great bike, just be aware that your model is not geared low enough, and the money spent changing to a long-cage rd and wider cassette (and or a smaller granny) could end up being enough to find another bike that comes stock with lower gearing that would suit a loaded trip more.

Being in the UK you will have to shop around and see what is available in your area to compare to the Tricross.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:22 AM
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Re UK builders
Interesting - can you recommend any of the companies?
Mercian, bob jackson are well known,
M Steel/joe waugh , is in Newcastle, northumbria..
they whipped out a custom front mini rack for me, in a couple days,
to shift some load up there [film camera bag went on it]
Then I took a ferry to Norway.. 91

FW Evans had their own steel bikes, but 88 is a long time ago, maybe they stopped.

And of course Thorn/ SJS in the south..https://www.sjscycles.co.uk

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-04-12 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:32 AM
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re budget, if 700 pounds for a bike and then more for accessories is your budget range, do be aware that any UK builders will be most likely a great deal more. You know what you can spend, but can still have a great time on a reasonably priced bike (whatever model you decide on) but as with all things in life, very inexpensive always means compromises on quality, and putting weight on a bike along with your body weight will show up things like wheels that arent up to the task, and potentially giving you problems during a trip. (here of course are so many factors, your weight, the weight of your stuff, are the racks and panniers of reasonable quality etc etc. You dont have to have the best, but the cheapest is usually not worth it in the short of long run either)
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Old 06-05-12, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion
Thanks that gives me a starting point for what I may need. I'm hoping to take a DSLR camera too with a light prime lens but am aware this may have to be sacraficed!



Thanks George. Good to get some direct feedback on the Specialized Tricross. Sounds like a great ride. I nearly chose Ireland as a destination before I decided on France.



Interesting - can you recommend any of the companies?
Sorry rayanlikealion I bought me Trycross Sport is Killarney in South Ireland
when I was touring South Ireland there was some great places of the tour that where breath taking and turned away a lot of tourers that found it to difficult they had to give up and return home, as they burned themselves out maybe on the wrong diet
www.fullyloadedbiketour.com
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Old 06-05-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by george12345
as they burned themselves out maybe on the wrong diet
george12345
I'm really going to have to have a look at my diet over the next few months as I build myself up for this tour of france. I'm not over weight or anything, but boy do I eat some crap!!! Just want to be as fit as possible by 1st September.
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Old 06-05-12, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I would not tour on a bike made out of carbon Fiber, and expect to fit pannier racks on it..
The fork is carbon. The frame is AL. People have toured using these.

Originally Posted by fietsbob
I'd look for a Bike builder in France on the Web, since that is where you are headed,
and have a bike ready to ride , when I got there .
This is a bad idea. It doesn't give him any chance of getting used the bike or working out any issues before his trip. And it doesn't solve the problem of returning.

Originally Posted by fietsbob
UK still has some people making nice steel touring bike frames ,
I'd get one of those instead of a Chinese carbon bike..
that happens to have been made under contract to a US importer, Specialized.
For about twice the cost (at least).

Bob Jackson has "off the peg" frames that are cheaper than custom.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-05-12 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-05-12, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion
The Specialised Tri cross cost 615 ($945 US) which is within my budget and can be fitted with panniers etc. Anyone experienced this bike??
It's a fairly reasonable choice. It's not strictly a touring bike (which tend to have a longer wheel base) but people have toured on them.
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Old 06-05-12, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
For 3 weeks, I'd seriously consider renting a bike.
In the US, it's about $150 (on the low side) to rent a road bike for a week. It would only be feasible to rent a bike if he started and ended at the same place. And it's probably nearly impossible to rent a touring bike.
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Old 06-05-12, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I would not tour on a bike made out of carbon Fiber, and expect to fit pannier racks on .
It's an aluminum frame.
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Old 06-05-12, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion
I'm really going to have to have a look at my diet over the next few months as I build myself up for this tour of france. I'm not over weight or anything, but boy do I eat some crap!!! Just want to be as fit as possible by 1st September.
really rayanlikealion you don't have to look at your diet, but you need to enjoy the tour take you time, take plenty of photos, talk to the local people along the way, relax, and just love what you are doing, and you will finnish your tour and feel really good, and begin to think of the next one, and it could be Ireland next time, if so give me a call george12345
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