Author Topic: Touring bikes...  (Read 6828 times)

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Offline Cat

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 01:47:25 pm »
Hello again and thank´s a lot for your thoughts!

Just booked the air ticket and will stay a couple of days in the area of Portland to handle possible jet lag and to fix other practical things like cell phone etc. And then there is this Northwest String Summit Music Festival during four days west of Portland, up in the mountains. That will give me the time to get used to the camping gear and so. Then I´m off!

I think I will try to get the bike in Sweden. It would be good, like you say, to really try it out and get a feeling for it before the TransAm. I just found a little store in Gothenburg that put touring bikes together based on customers wishes. He does have a Surley LTH and a Cross-Check at home and he talked about frames from Thorns. It is not exactly around the corner, he might be far too expensive, but I´m very exited to go and see what these Surleys are like.  :)

Offline DaveB

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2013, 03:50:44 pm »
Surly frames and complete bikes are very conventional.  They are TIG welded Cr-Mo steel and their geometry is very "middle of the road" so there is nothing unusual or unconventional about them.  What they offer is a combination of very reasonable prices and all of the fittings a tourist will need whicjh is why they are so popular. 

The LHT is their fully loaded tourer and the Cross Check would be a slightly lighter tourer but both have fittings for front and rear racks, fenders, wide tires, etc.  For the price, you can't do better.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 02:14:53 pm »
The LHT is their fully loaded tourer and the Cross Check would be a slightly lighter tourer but both have fittings for front and rear racks, fenders, wide tires, etc.  For the price, you can't do better.

Well...you probably can do better.  Surly/QBP thinks their stuff is gold plated.  The person who started this thread is from Sweden.  Not the US.  So if they buy a Surly in Europe they will pay that extra price.  Doing a search I found the Surly LHT for 945 Pounds in UK.  $1.55 per Pound equals $1465 for a LHT.  In the US the LHT costs $1275.  $190 upcharge for Britain.  Then I found a place in Sweden selling the LHT for 12699 Swedish Krona.  6.35 Krona per $1.  So that works out to $2000.  A $725 premium.  If you buy a Surly in Europe you are paying more than the US price.  A Surly may be a poor economic choice in Europe.  You can likely find a much lower cost alternative that will perform the same.  In the US the Surly LHT is competitive with others like the Trek 520, REI Novara Randonee, and othr touring bikes.  All are similar in price and components and function.  But in Europe Surly adds a premium because of its "American" name.  More than likely you will find other brands with the same function at a lower cost in Europe.

http://www.cyclecomponents.com/cgi-bin/air_ibutik.fcgi?avd=1&extra=&Ref=&funk=visa_artikel&artnr=SUR0458r

http://www.ukbikestore.co.uk/product/194/5sulh/surly-long-haul-trucker-complete-bike.html

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 06:15:21 pm »
If your choice is to buy in the U.S. I'd be very careful about arranging the purchase well ahead of arriving in the U.S.... This as in my experience you cannot assume that touring bikes are in stock or even available from the distributors on short notice during the TransAm touring season. I ran into this problem in 2010 while looking for 2 bikes and in 2012 while looking for another one.  In 2010 I found Trek 520s but had to compromise on frame size by going a size smaller on one of them than what I wanted. In 2012 I went looking for a 3rd Trek 520 and ended up with a LHT. This time with a frame one size larger than desired and at the maximum that could be ridden safely. The 2012 experience happened in May but if I'd done it in March I could have had another Trek and could have gotten the frame sized I wanted in either...

Offline dkoloko

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2013, 11:59:40 am »
I don't think much about trying a bike before buying. Local bike shop having touring bike I want in my size is remote. I have bought several bikes by mail. I don't get much from giving a bike few blocks trial ride. If you are having a bike ready for you here, know your size to order and allow time to make adjustments. Touring bikes are not that popular here; don't expect a number on floor for you to choose from. There may not be any. Order and pay in advance to know there will be a bike here for you. If rather order in Sweden that is your choice. You could save airfare by having to ship bike just one way.

Offline Cat

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2013, 03:32:52 am »
Many thanks for your advises!

So - I have decided to buy the bike in the US. It is so very much cheaper and also saves me the trouble and cost bringing it over. I would order it in advance.
I was going for a Surley LTH or a Surley Cross Check. I understand it would never be wrong, especially not with the Surley LTH.

But how about Specialized? How about this one?
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/secteur/secteurexpertdisccompact#specs

The fork and the saddle thing is made of carbon, and it has discbrakes. I don´t know about that.
I have a Specialized Roubaix – so it would practically be almost the same bike but this one is more for touring, well... kind of.
I guess I can get both the Cross Check and the Specialized Secteure with a triple crankset?
Or am I way off the road now??   ::)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 03:48:36 am by Cat »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 05:44:16 am »
I haven't seen that Specialized in person, but when I clicked on it, my first question was, "How are you going to carry a load?"  The Cross Check and LHT (and any other "real" touring bike" have eyelets to mount a rack.  That capability, along with a bit more weight and reliability for the load, separate touring bikes from non-touring road bikes.

Of course, if you're going to put everything for an inn-to-inn (or motel-to-motel) tour in a great big Carradice saddle bag or the like, all this is moot.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2013, 09:56:33 am »
I would order it in advance.
It's never too early to order. When I ordered my touring bike, it took 6 months to come in. But I ordered in June when the current year models were already sold out. If you order now, the current year models will likely still be available. The longer you wait, however, the greater the risk that the wait might be very long or you may have to settle for your second choice. Touring bikes are made in limited numbers because of limited demand.

Offline Cat

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2013, 01:05:47 pm »
No pdlamb, I´m not doing a motel trip. I do need a good bike. I´m just so afraid of getting to much a bike that it will feel too heavy. I tried a Surley Cross Check. I guess it felt pretty good, but like someone here said – riding around the block doesn´t give that much. The Cross Check has the 700 tires and with a triple crankset it is slightly lighter then the LTH.

The girl that bought the Specialized mentioned above, reasoned that she is very light herself (50 kg) so that she could easily bring another 20 kg on the bike without any problems. It is possible to put on fenders and racks both front and rear. I have to admit though that it doesn´t look that much ”stronger” than my own Spec Roubaix.

Ok – I should hurry up and decide and order...

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2013, 02:23:55 pm »
I suspect the Specialized bike you linked to would work OK for a loaded tour.  Might not be ideal though.  Gearing is 34x30 low.  Not super low for a loaded bike.  You could probably change the cassette and go lower but extra hassle.  Since your trip is a loaded tour with camping and cooking and you are carrying everything, it makes sense to get a loaded touring bike.  Surly LHT, Trek 520, REI Novara Randonneee are all candidates.  $1200-1500 in the US.  All are identical.  All will work fine.  Racks, fenders, bags, super low gearing is all possible with these.  Make sure you get super low gearing when you buy the bike.  You already have a Specialized racing bike.  So might as well get a strong, do everything loaded touring bike for its partner.  Use it for commuting and groceries when you get back home.  And riding across the USA here.

A loaded touring bike is probably what you want for a loaded tour.  If after you start you decide to go ultra light and carry minimal gear, that is good.  The bike will still work.  You won't notice a problem riding it.  Once you get some bags on a bike, they all ride the same.  10 pounds, 20 pounds, or 30 pounds.  They all ride sort of bad.  So having a light bike or a heavy bike won't matter.  When I say bad I don't mean awful, horrible, terrible.  Just bad as in not quick and agile and light.  Its got pounds of bags hanging on it.  Its no longer a quick lively bike.  Its a beast of burden.  You're not going to sprint up the hill carrying luggage on the bike.  So whether its the Surly LHT, or Cross Check, or that lighter Specialized bike, it makes no difference.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2013, 03:04:17 pm »
I would check REI in Portland. They seem to have the Surly CrossCheck as well as their Novara touring bikes. Good return policy.http://www.rei.com/stores/portland.html
They should have most everything else you would need for a bike tour as well.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2013, 05:34:00 pm »
No pdlamb, I´m not doing a motel trip. I do need a good bike. I´m just so afraid of getting to much a bike that it will feel too heavy. I tried a Surley Cross Check. I guess it felt pretty good, but like someone here said – riding around the block doesn´t give that much. The Cross Check has the 700 tires and with a triple crankset it is slightly lighter then the LTH.

Ok – I should hurry up and decide and order...

This is the reason why in an earlier post I questioned directing the querist to the niche of ultra-lightweight bicycle camping. It is nearly a month since this woman posted her initial question, and she has yet to decide even the type of bike she should  buy. I suggested she concentrate on that. Touring bikes are best for bicycle touring. On Touring List, another online forum, using a cyclecross bike for touring often comes up. If that's all you have, tour on that. Buying new for touring, buy a touring bike. There should little weight difference between the popular touring bikes mentioned here. More weigh differences between sleeping bags, tents, etc, your next buying decisions if you don't have all of your bicycle camping gear.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2013, 07:39:07 pm »
I agree that if you are buying a new bike for touring, your best bet is to buy a touring bike. A touring bike has more than a dozen distinct features that make it more suitable for touring than other bikes, and some of those features may not even be evident to you until your third week on the road. Admittedly these features come at a cost of some weight, which may make you go one MPH more slowly. And you'll never be able to keep up with your friends on their weekly club ride on a touring bike. But if you look for a bike that will do everything well, you'll never buy a bike at all, or you'll have a bike that will do nothing well.

It's a different story if you're willing to go ultralight. But once you cross the line, the weight multiplies. Heavier gear requires better racks and better panniers, which are heavier, which then requires a stronger bike, which is yet again heavier.

Offline Cat

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2013, 03:45:53 am »
I agree that if you are buying a new bike for touring, your best bet is to buy a touring bike. But if you look for a bike that will do everything well, you'll never buy a bike at all, or you'll have a bike that will do nothing well.

Yea, I guess that is what I am trying to do... ???

Today I have been reading a lot about Salsa Vaya 3. That would be a good touring bike, right? As I would need a 54, I would get 700 tires. The disc brakes don´t seem to bad. I´ve been reading about them both here and elswhere. It seems that it is possible to take care of that squeeking.

If no new ideas will pop up in my head, I will probably end up with that one or a Surley.




Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring bikes...
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 03:14:10 pm »
Today I have been reading a lot about Salsa Vaya 3. That would be a good touring bike, right? As I would need a 54, I would get 700 tires. The disc brakes don´t seem to bad.

The Salsa bike will make a fine touring bike for heavy loaded touring.  And lightly loaded touring too.  Pretty much identical to the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, REI Novara Randonnee.  All are 9 speed I think.  Triple crankset.  Bar end shifters.  Steel frame and fork.  All will work fine.