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LBS's and Touring Bikes

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LBS's and Touring Bikes

Old 05-06-14, 04:44 PM
  #26  
Doug64
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Since I am starting from nothing in regards to touring I will still need to buy much.. Panniers (front and rear), front rack, lights, fenders, and more than likely a Brooks saddle...
Heck, with the 20% off the bike you might be able to score a set of good panniers and some other gear. REI often puts Ortlieb panniers on sale. The Randonee comes with a rack.
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Old 05-06-14, 04:49 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Also check out the selle anatomica. It has longer rails than a brooks which is a big deal in setting up the bike and it is not, in my experience, as much work to break in as a brooks.
Thanks, I will check that out!

Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Heck, with the 20% off the bike you might be able to score a set of good panniers and some other gear. REI often puts Ortlieb panniers on sale. The Randonee comes with a rack.
Ya that's exactly what I am thinking.. Use the savings towards all the other touring related items I will need to buy..

It comes with a rear rack but I believe I'd still need to buy a front rack..
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Old 05-06-14, 05:08 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Thanks, I will check that out!


. . . .
Almost forgot, Selle anatomica has a good deal right now on clearance "b" stock saddles:

Clearance | Selle Anatomica
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Old 05-06-14, 05:17 PM
  #29  
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Cool thanks man!

Looks like I have some researching to do.. To me at least, the saddle is of high importance considering the amount of time you spend on it..

My master plan is a Route 66 ride (prob not until next fall) from Barstow to Oklahoma.. Between now and then I will get all the gear and do a few shorter tours..
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Old 05-07-14, 01:41 AM
  #30  
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In Los Angeles, check out Orange 20 on Melrose near LA City College. Also Topanga Creek Bicycles in Topanga Canyon. Both have touring bicycles, including but not limited to Surly, and very knowledgeable staff. Either one is worth the trip from wherever in LA you are.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:57 PM
  #31  
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There are a lot of posts here and I was mostly just skimming, so sorry if I'm repeating this, but I think you should consider top tube length more than seat tube. It's easier to raise and lower a seat than to adjust your stretch to the bars and have it be comfortable and the bike still handle as it was built if you find out the top tube is noticeable too long or short. Also, head tube height is a factor depending on how you like your bar height. I personally don't fit the LHT at all. The top tube is long and it's built for a bar height even with the seat(it seems). I have long legs for my height and therefore a shorter upper body. LHT is no good even in my "size" based on seat tube. Seat tube height is just to get you in the right ballpark when looking at frames.
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Old 05-08-14, 01:53 AM
  #32  
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My LBS said, "I'll order what you want to test (Surly Trucker), and if you don't want it I'll have no problem selling it." And of course, I wanted it.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:18 AM
  #33  
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Definitely check out the Soma Saga, Salsa Vaya and All-City Space Horse as alternatives to the Surly LHT if its geometry isn't ideal for you. The top tube is way too long on the LHT for me and going with a smaller size makes the head tube too short.

Don't assume that you have to buy a complete bike. Most bike shops can build up frames for reasonable costs, and many will let you supply some or all of the parts. I have built up several bikes this way, using spare parts that I had on hand and others that I bought for reasonable costs on the internet. In every case, I have bought additional parts from the bike shop and paid them for labor, so they had no problem using the parts that I supplied.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:35 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Kinda of a bummer....

I can have any of the LBS's order me a 58cm but it's kind of a roll of the dice... Do I choose the LHT, 520 or Fuji? It would be nice to be able to test ride them all 1st but I guess that's not going to happen...

Are they all true to size? My Specialized bike is a 58cm and if I have to blindly order it would probably be the LHT just based on it's reputation...

I'd hate to order a 58cm and find it's not true to size though...
raqball just saw this thread. A lot of good advice here but this is what I did.

I have a Specialized Roubaix (2012) that is 58.5. I wanted to buy a touring bike and did a lot of research. The closest REI to me was 5 hour drive and no local bike shops stock touring bikes.

I compared the Surly LHT to my Specialized and "blindly" ordered the LHT - Disc model (stock) via one of the LBS. Size 58cm. Some friends I know in other areas really recommended the Surly. To say I have been pleased is an understatement. Bought the Surly racks and mail ordered Ortlieb panniers via REI when they were on sale.

So maybe I got lucky, don't know but when comparing to my current bike I felt the geometry was close enough. Oh yeah, the stock saddle has been fine for me. I've done one 500 mile tour and also have over 1,200 miles on the bike as my secondary bike. So far I really love my Surly, especially on chip/seal and rough roads. Most of my fast miles are still on my carbon roadie but I also ride my Surly every week. (have over 3,200 miles this year so I do some riding)

Anyway, I've been happy but if you can test ride something it's always better. There are a lot of good touring bikes out there, just have to find them. Have fun in your research.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:39 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by GP View Post
If you want to travel to Oceanside, the picture was taken at Pacific Coast Cycles. Home | Pacific Coast Cycles : Oceanside, CA : Bike Shop
I second the motion! Chuck at Pacific Coast Cycles has been in the business for a long time. If they have the bikes in stock, taking the time to go there and get the proper size will be worth the effort and time.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:33 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Thanks! Yes that is what I was thinking as well as I've read that the LHT has a long top tube..



I won't be touring outside of the US so I really don't have a need or interest in 26" wheels..

If all things are pretty equal and assuming the Randonee (Large) fits me, then I am probably going to go with it.. REI is having their yearly sale on the 16th of this month (I think) so I may be able to knock another 20% off the Randonees price.. If that's the case, then I can score it for $960 which is quite a bit less than the LHT or the Trek 520..

Since I am starting from nothing in regards to touring I will still need to buy much.. Panniers (front and rear), front rack, lights, fenders, and more than likely a Brooks saddle...
I have a 56 LHT with 26 inch wheels and love it. I wanted the 26 inch rims since, theoretically, they are stronger, although that is obviously debatable. It all depends on the actual rim and design. I also wanted more toe room, and a choice of wider tires. I have zero toe overlap issues with the 26 inch wheels. I also like the way the bike handles with the 26 inch rims. Another benefit is that I was able to attach my pump to the back of the seat tube between it and the rear wheel. I have the Road Morph.

The wheels have held up very nicely after three years of riding, hoping curbs and rough roads as well as fully loaded touring. They are still in true. I will say that my LBS de-tensioned and then tensioned and trued them when I bought it, something I would recommend for any machine built wheel. They did a great job.

These are of course personal preferences and yours may be completely different. The LHT does have a very long top tube, I wanted to be more stretched out and got a 56, I am 5' 11". I could very easily fit on a 54 very comfortably and have toyed with the idea of swapping frames.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:53 AM
  #37  
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^Wow. I'm ~5'7" and ride a 55-56cm and have the bars even with the seat on my 55cm road bike. Even at 5'7" the bars end up even with the seat(at Best) or lower on a 54, so I only ride a 54cm if it's a "go fast" bike for shorter distances. I feel like I'm too leaned over/the bars are too low for comfort on longer rides. You must be comfortable with your hips above your head to ride a 54cm at your height. ...Unless you have really short legs and a long stem?
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Old 05-08-14, 01:23 PM
  #38  
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All my road bikes, including a LHT are 58cm. The stand-over height on the LHT is an extra 1/2 or so; that's owing to the fatter 700C tires though. The top tube is about an inch longer than the other bikes, which is fine for me and my long arms (of course the stem length can be adjusted to accommodate overall reach length if that's an issue). I test rode the LHT and 520 before buying and obviously preferred the LHT.

Re: REI 10% member benefit. I would think if you end-up having the local store order a LHT this would still apply.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:19 PM
  #39  
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Thanks for all the replies.. You've all been very, very helpful and I seriously appreciate it!
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Old 05-09-14, 03:37 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Thanks for all the replies.. You've all been very, very helpful and I seriously appreciate it!
I'm glad you were able to get some good advice and reasonably local help. I had an LBS (who handled both TREK and SURLY) tell me several years ago that I had no choice but to order a custom titanium frame because, "nobody makes touring bikes anymore." It gets pretty rough out there.

Marc
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Old 05-09-14, 05:58 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
^Wow. I'm ~5'7" and ride a 55-56cm and have the bars even with the seat on my 55cm road bike. Even at 5'7" the bars end up even with the seat(at Best) or lower on a 54, so I only ride a 54cm if it's a "go fast" bike for shorter distances. I feel like I'm too leaned over/the bars are too low for comfort on longer rides. You must be comfortable with your hips above your head to ride a 54cm at your height. ...Unless you have really short legs and a long stem?
I'm not on a 54, I'm on a 56. And are you talking about a LHT? With a 56, my bars are even with my seat, and I have only a fistful of seatpost showing, if that. The steerer tube on the LHT comes uncut, so I could get the bars way over the seat if I wanted. But once again, I am on a 56.

The LHT isn't like a road bike frame.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:27 AM
  #42  
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Maybe I'm in the minority but the last two bikes I've purchased - including a LHT - were sight unseen. No test rides. LBS did a fit and suggested to me a couple of models that would fit me well, I worked with them on a budget and build specs and ended up with what I have now. And I'm completely happy. My wife ended up on a Soma Saga the same way and is completely happy.

So for whatever that's worth
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Old 05-09-14, 09:15 AM
  #43  
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The REI annual sale starts next Friday and I won't know until then if the Randonee is part of the extra 20% off..

The more I look at the
Randonee the more I like what I see, other than the color.. Green? LOL.. It already has a back rack included, lower granny gears already there and the price can't be beat! The price gets even better if it's included in the extra 20% off.. That would really make it 30% off.. 20% off for the member sale and 10% member cash back..

The REI that's close to me has both the Large and the X-Large in stock, built and ready for me to test ride..

Assuming the bike fits me well, I believe it's my choice!
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Old 05-09-14, 03:21 PM
  #44  
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Bikemig is right about the Brooks having short rails. I bought 4 Brooks off Ebay for $88 each, and that was a great price. 3 of the 4set up was easy. The 4th, happens to be on my new 520,, and I had to buy a set back seat post-which, haha, set me back another $70! Oye! Anyhow, when I took the LBS stock 520 for a 30 miler, it was fine. But I didn't buy that one. Long story, with a happy ending.
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Old 05-10-14, 03:12 PM
  #45  
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Awesome and thanks!

I will take a long look at the Selle Anatomica saddles..
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Old 05-10-14, 04:03 PM
  #46  
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Pretty sure REI will not give you the extra 10% off. Check before deciding. Still a great deal at 20% off.
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Old 05-10-14, 04:11 PM
  #47  
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If you buy something during the annual 20% sale you don't get the 10% member credit? I thought you did...
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Old 05-13-14, 08:52 AM
  #48  
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Looks like the Randonee went on sale today for 20% off.. Now it's listed for $958.93

Novara Randonee Bike - 2014 at REI.com

Think I will go grab one then use the 20% off members sale for something else..
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Old 05-13-14, 09:17 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by raqball View Post
Looks like the Randonee went on sale today for 20% off.. Now it's listed for $958.93

Novara Randonee Bike - 2014 at REI.com

Think I will go grab one then use the 20% off members sale for something else..
You can't go wrong with any of the bikes you are looking at. And I will definitely support the Randonee as a great bike. My uncle has one and loves it for long tours. I got my Surly Cross-Check as a light touring bike from REI and love it as well. Unfortunately, you cannot use the member discount during the sale, that is correct. I have the REI Visa so you get 15% back on all full price purchases, which is fairly nice. That, and their bikes are usually very decently priced.

Go grab it and make sure to post a picture when you have it!
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Old 05-13-14, 09:21 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by mvallejo View Post
You can't go wrong with any of the bikes you are looking at. And I will definitely support the Randonee as a great bike. My uncle has one and loves it for long tours. I got my Surly Cross-Check as a light touring bike from REI and love it as well. Unfortunately, you cannot use the member discount during the sale, that is correct. I have the REI Visa so you get 15% back on all full price purchases, which is fairly nice. That, and their bikes are usually very decently priced.

Go grab it and make sure to post a picture when you have it!
Ya I am definitely going to get it.. At that price it can't really be beat!
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