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The Absolute Strongest Touring Bike

Old 01-22-05, 07:50 PM
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hoss10
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The Absolute Strongest Touring Bike

I have been touring on my Mountain Bike (a Cannondale Killer V) using slicks etc. for a couple of years. Several people have almost convinced me that I would be so much happier using a true touring bike. I'm a huge old guy who needs a strong bike. If I do make the plunge a buy a new bike what would be a good choice. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-22-05, 08:06 PM
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Hi,
we need to know your budget, your weight, and how much you plan to carry would also help. Are these going to be epic cross country(or across continents) tours, or week long trips which is what I do.
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Old 01-22-05, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hoss10
I have been touring on my Mountain Bike (a Cannondale Killer V) using slicks etc. for a couple of years. Several people have almost convinced me that I would be so much happier using a true touring bike. I'm a huge old guy who needs a strong bike. If I do make the plunge a buy a new bike what would be a good choice. Thanks for the help.
I don't know too many people much bigger than I am and I use a Cannodale T800. It performed flawlessly on a month long tour in 2003. That's with me and 50-60 lbs of gear - maybe 300lb of bike and rider. It's a great, strong, well behaved bike.
Stuart Black
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Old 01-22-05, 09:06 PM
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Well I'm 6'5" about 290 lbs and tend to use a BOB trailer. I have road week long trips but I am hoping to expand to somewhat longer durations. As to budget I guess as little as I need to spend, I know if money was no object I could have a custom frame made.
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Old 01-22-05, 09:18 PM
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Check out the SUTRA by Kona.
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Old 01-23-05, 12:12 AM
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The first question should be what is wrong with the C-dale? You are riding the bike now on week long tours now, is there a comfort issue?
I know a guy who rode a Killer Vee down the east coast 4 years ago over 900 miles and he still tours on it. The only things he changed on his was the handlebars and stem to give him a more upright position. He also has a rear rack on it. He may have changed wheels also.

The bottom line is don't buy a touring bike because someone tells you want a touring bike. Buy a touring bike because you want one.

If you want a touring bike obviously we take into account you are a big guy, IMO a 700c road touring bike isn't going to work very well for you , Most big guys I know are not comfortable on drop bars also a 700c wheelset is seldom as strong as a MTB's. IMO 26 " wheels are more durable and will handle your weight better.

Check out these offerings and see how they differ from your current ride. You may find your C-dale is only an accessory or two short of being one of these bikes

Here is an inexpensive 2005 touring bike that might interest you REI Safari

Here is a higher end Koga Miyata World Traveler( my personal favorite) https://usa.koga.com (click on touring)

Gunnar has a 26" touring bike with a suspension fork https://www.gunnarbikes.com/rocktour.php

The absolute strongest bike has not been built yet. but a 1986-1992 Specialized Stump jumper is pretty close, many of them have been turned into touring bikes.

Last edited by Cyclist0094; 01-23-05 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:43 AM
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Bruce gordon cycles (great value, skilled artesan, "bomb proof").

Waterfords adventure bike (I own one-outstanding, but now very pricey).

The Koga Miyata is killer, but very pricey as well.

Any older hard tail steel mountain bike frame that fits.

Hand built wheels from a master builder. I'd recommend decent wheels for anyone doing a lot of touring. My set is from Peter White, no problems (Budapest to Istanbul+a LOT of commuting).
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Old 01-23-05, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sscyco
Check out the SUTRA by Kona.
Anyone know where to get geometry info on this frame? Specificly the chainstay length? The Kona site is barren...
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Old 01-23-05, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
Anyone know where to get geometry info on this frame? Specificly the chainstay length? The Kona site is barren...
Try this link:https://www.konaworld.com/2k5_catalog...NAL_p56-57.jpg

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Old 01-23-05, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DocF
Thanks. How did you find that?
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Old 01-23-05, 12:06 PM
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Check out this site. https://downtheroad.org/default.htm Tim has given a good account of why they changed and brought what they did. Tim is a big man. But if what you got works why change. If it an't broke don't fix it.
Cheers Brian
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Old 01-23-05, 01:45 PM
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Hi,
I have incredible respect for Tim Travis. It is a remarkable story.
But I must take issue with some of his statements. While it isn't
easy finding touring bikes with 26 inch wheels... you can get them
from a number of hi end steel guys like Rivendell and Waterford.
Mercian and that bike Istanbul Tea got are a couple of British bikes available with 26 inch wheels. Most of these guys will build with your weight in mind, so if you're a big guy they will take that into account.

But... that's not the end of the story. They neglected to treat the inside of the frame, and got rust problems in humid environments. I find it surprising no one gave them the information that they needed to do that.

Next, 26 inch wheels are a great choice, but there are 700c bikes that have done similar trips. The only time I ever even test rode such a bike was the Waterford, I think it's called Adventure or something. It's a tank. With a rugged wheelset it's hard to even imagine what would bother it, except a head on with a bus. It is well beyond rugged. I suspect it might be more rugged than an Aluminum frame, and is repairable almost anywhere; which is not true for Aluminum. I'm not knocking the bikes they are using,their performance speaks for itself. I am justing pointing out there were some pieces of information they missed. Of course, anyone who has gone touring or backpacking knows that's inevitable, and we all have funny stories to prove it.

There are many points where I agree emphatically with Tim. Good geometry is a real plus on a long trip. I recently got some panniers that use an Ortlieb attachment system, and they are SO cool. And I really, really like my Tubus rack; of course, there are tons of great racks out there. My family has 3 of the $25 Planet Bike racks, and they are really very nice for anything short of an expedition.

If this comes across as critical, my apologies. I just wanted anyone seeing this thread to have some of the information Tim didn't get before he set out.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
Thanks. How did you find that?
I make my living finding information, a lot of it on the internet.

The link was there; it was just buried.

Doc
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Old 01-23-05, 03:50 PM
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The absolute strongest purpose-built "tour bike" would be the Co-motion Americano with the optional 48-spoke wheels. The rear is spaced to 145mm so both wheels are built dishless on tandem hubs and rims. Riding it in the drops is quite pleasant, as the bars are the same height as the saddle. Mine ('01 model) has performed flawlessly.
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Old 01-23-05, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for the ideas guys. Velonomad, No the Killer V is not uncomfortable in fact I love how it feels. I have it pretty well custom tuned for me. Hand built Ryno Lites with Xt hubs and the rear wheel tied and soldiered, Race Face Crank, etc. Why I made the post I guess is the conversation I had recently with a guy who tours with a group and he was difficulty keeping up with his mountain bike, so he went to a Cycle cross bike which he claims was much faster. I plan on really upping the mileage this year and don't to be left behind. If I keep using the CDale what handle bar would be a good choice I have a 26 inch wide downhill riser bar on it now, which I like for the width but sometimes I really would like to get down out of the wind. And if I do go on an extended tour should I put the stock fork back on replacing the Mar Z-2 suspension fork that I now use. Thanks for the ideas.
ps I'm not a Junior member far from it how do I change the heading under my long in name.
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Old 01-23-05, 06:05 PM
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Hi,
you ask 10 guys, you'll get different opinions.
I really like my Biomax.
https://www.bikemannetwork.com/biking...HBRDRIT/HB3265
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Old 01-23-05, 06:38 PM
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To get a better profile in the wind Bar ends would be the simpliest solution. the ones with the L bend are my favorite. you can get aero bars to fit your bike, that will help you a bit in the windand (I have seen them on touring bikes). But on the other hand if you are riding with 180 lb guys there isn't anyway you are going to hang with them unless you got a rocket strapped to your butt. I went up close to 260 a couple years ago so I know where you are coming from.
This isn't my touring bike but it is the exact same setup
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Old 01-23-05, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by late
They neglected to treat the inside of the frame, and got rust problems in humid environments. I find it surprising no one gave them the information that they needed to do that.
it had crossed my mind before, how do you do it?


Originally Posted by hoss10
I'm not a Junior member far from it how do I change the heading under my long in name.
click on the User Control Panel above the Welcome hoss10 and then Edit Profile then youŽll see Custom User Title.
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Old 01-24-05, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by scrantr
The absolute strongest purpose-built "tour bike" would be the Co-motion Americano with the optional 48-spoke wheels. The rear is spaced to 145mm so both wheels are built dishless on tandem hubs and rims. Riding it in the drops is quite pleasant, as the bars are the same height as the saddle. Mine ('01 model) has performed flawlessly.
Mmmmmmm, the Thorn eXp is a pretty darn strong bike, hand built in many sizes to suit all sorts of body sizes and it is very strong indeed ...
Thorn eXp

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Old 01-24-05, 01:42 AM
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Several of the bikes suggested in previous posts were not designed and built with 250+ pound people in mind. The Kona is a new model, and no one should suggest it right now, especially for somebody who is a heavy guy. I'm sure it's great, but I doubt anyone is familiar with it enough to confidently recommend it. Kona does offer a Clydesdale line of mountain bikes called the Hoss and Hoss Deluxe.

I second the other poster's recommendation to look into Co-Motion. Even if you don't buy a new bike, you might want to call them and just ask them about their models, and ask what they would suggest for you. Also, they may be putting into production a project prototype of Rivendell's called Buffalo that was specifically designed for the heavyweights. Co-Motion has taken over the project, I gather.

The idea of using tandem hubs is a great one, and it shows that Co-Motion is really thinking about this stuff.
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Old 01-24-05, 10:35 AM
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YUp: my vote: The Koga Miyata is killer, but very pricey as well.
Rather hard to find in the US, but I got my steel frame on ebay for @ $125!
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Old 01-24-05, 10:41 AM
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Velonomad, do you know much about the Koga-Miyatas? I have a steel world traveller and I wonder when they made the switch from steel to AL. Any ideas?

Originally Posted by velonomad

Here is a higher end Koga Miyata World Traveler( my personal favorite) https://usa.koga.com (click on touring)
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Old 01-26-05, 07:55 PM
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Well-built wheels cover a multitude of sins. 40 spokes--or even the 48 spoked Co-Motion Americano option--wouldn't hurt a bit and could save your tour.
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Old 01-28-05, 08:48 AM
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Any well-built steel frame touring bike would be very very strong, and easy to repair in the field if something goes wrong. On a budget, check out the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Get some good wheels, too. The strongest would be wheels designed to be used on a tandem bike. I have a friend who uses tandem 700c wheels on his steel touring frame - 42 straight-gauge stainless steel spokes front and rear. Hasn't had to have them trued for years - and that's with thousands of miles per year. Invest in a good headset with steel cups - it'll last longer.
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Old 01-28-05, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by lala
Velonomad, do you know much about the Koga-Miyatas? I have a steel world traveller and I wonder when they made the switch from steel to AL. Any ideas?

I think it was the 2003 model year they introduced the Aluminum frame, The steel frames were discontinued at the end of 2003 I haven't ridden the new one. but I got to see one. and judging from how heavy the bike was and from tapping the tubes with coin the frame tubes are thick walled and it weighs almost the same as the steel.
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