Author Topic: Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour  (Read 49993 times)

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Offline Tourista829

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2008, 10:30:10 am »
Thanks for the input. I will go with the S&S couplers. I wonder how much disassembling it requires?
Then I suppose a hard case is inorder. Logistics on a long trip must be a nightmare. (Where do I ship the case to) I guess one could ship it to a motel to hold or carry a soft case. We have a tandem, can't imgine how to travel with it. Next Tandem couplers a must.

On our tandem, we have a simple third brake. Arai drum with an old index thumb shifter. When loaded up and descending down hills we dial it in. Works well.
You are probably correct about the disk brakes on an Americano. My dealer felt I should consider it since the upgrade price is only $100.00. I asked if any of them have ever gone touring. 100% said never. I had asked six people. This is reflective of most shops in Tampa that are within a reasonable distance from my home. I like working with them because I know they will stand behind everything we do. I can not say that about every shop. I also like the free lifetime tuneups and their exchange program. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving.




Offline paddleboy17

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2008, 12:35:45 pm »
My buddy with the Americano ordered his bike with S&S couplers.  They have been a mixed blessing.  Yes you can ship the bike for a lot less.  Yes you can take it on an airplane.  Yes shipping is really expensive.  So couplers help with all that.  If you envision lots of shipping, then get the couplers as they will save you shipping costs.  There is a down side to couplers--the couplers can come loose.  So you have to check them every ride.  Here is what the Americano owner did.  Once he got the coupler tight, he put a hash line across the top of the couplers.  If the has marks line up, the coupler is tight.  I don't remember if he scratched the marks or did it with a pencil.

I ordered my Waterford with cantilevers as the primary braking system.  Here is my rationiale:  I was concerned that sudden application of disk brakes would shear spokes on a loaded touring bike.  Cantilever and linear pull brakes have their issues too.  Sustained braking will heat up the rims, and the rims could overheat and dimount the tire.  The brake pads could also glaze.  East coast mountains are straight up and straight down, and present a problem for cantilever and linear pull brakes on a touring bike.

My Waterford has a secondary disk brake on the rear, to act as a drag brake for mountain descents.  It is gradually applied, so I don't have to worry about shearing spokes, and I still have my primary brakes for added stopping power.

Waterford will do any kind of custom framework you want, as long as you agree to pay for the setup charges.  The extra bosses for the disk brake had a $200 set up charge (the actuator is a down tube shifter, and it needs a boss too).

Was this all overkill?  I would have loved to have had the setup on a trip to Cape Breton Island.  In the summer of '07 I was charting a trip in Pennsylvania that followed the old Pennsylvania Canal, and I would want that setup on 12% grades.

You West Coast riders have switch backs on your mountains, and probably don't have to worry about your brakes.

Danno
Danno

Offline whittierider

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 01:51:33 pm »
Quote
There is a down side to couplers--the couplers can come loose.

According to the dozens of reviews at http://www.sandsmachine.com/coment_o.htm , they don't creak, flex, or come loose.  I was on the T@H tandem forum for years and kept hearing people rave about the S&S couplers and they always said the same thing, so I have to wonder if the Americano owner you mention was doing something wrong.
Quote
You West Coast riders have switch backs on your mountains, and probably don't have to worry about your brakes.

I've climbed a lot of roads in the 10-20% range in California, but they're always out-of-the-way roads.  I understand Colorado limits the roads to something like 6% because they don't want cars sliding off in the ice.



Offline Tourista829

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2008, 01:54:33 pm »
Thanks for the input and the link.


Offline MRVere

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2008, 02:26:48 pm »
Tourista829,
If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was the one writing your post.  I am in very much the same position as you. I am waiting for a settlement for a work injury and have been looking long and hard at heavy duty touring bikes. I'm 225lbs right now.  Gained alot of weight from bad back and not working.  Hope to get down to 200 pretty some with 180 or so my goal. LOL. The Americano is at the top of my list right now. Waterford and Independent Fabrications are #2 and #3.  I'd love to talk to you more about Co-Motion and touring in general. I don't know if my email showsa up on this post of not.  Let me know if not and I'll get it to you.  Hope to hear from you soon>  Michael


Offline Tourista829

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2008, 05:58:37 pm »
Michael,

I was very happy with my Cannondale until it took a direct hit from a car. They advised not trying to repair aluminum. I think this time around, I may go for a steel bike. My dealer suggested the Co-Motion. He wants me to go with a NorWester Touring Bike, but I am leaning more towards an Americano. I haven't ruled out the Cannondale or even a Surly Long haul Trucker. It all depends on the settlement.

Paddleboy17 likes his Waterford. He has been extremely helpful. I think it is even more than the Co-Motion. I will call them. The reason that I am leaning towards the Co-Motion is my excellent dealer support. He has reduced the price, free lifetime tune ups, and an exchange program if I want to trade up. I want the support. Others are happy to go direct to the company. I am trying to locate an Americano, close to my size that I could test ride prior to purchase. He is getting in two Norwesters this week.

I am doing a little light touring but my knee's, lower back and shoulder are still hurting. We will see what the insurance company will do. If you would like to write my email address is:  
        robertschneck@tampabay.rr.com

FYI, I started this year close to 220 and am now down to between 157-161. I am 5'9" and 57 yrs. Also lost 18% in body fat. Prior to the accident, I was really doing well especially on my long distance riding. I have a program that really works and is not a diet. It does involve portion control, reduce fat %, and exercise. If interested, let me know.

Bob


Offline DaveB

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 06:03:55 pm »
Quote
There is a down side to couplers--the couplers can come loose.  So you have to check them every ride.

That's not correct.  If you torque them properly they do not loosen ever.  I have a Co-motion Co-Pilot (a single bike) with S&S couplers and once they are tightened they never loosen on their own. I do check them periodically but they never need to be tightened once they are assembled.  


Offline Tourista829

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 07:31:29 pm »
You are the second person with a favorable comment. How tough is it to break the bike down and reassemble it? When touring, what do you do with the case? Ship it home or send it to a future location, ie, motel to hold? Bob


Offline paddleboy17

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2008, 12:49:55 pm »
I did not want to start an argument over if couplers can come loose or not.  My point was, here is this cool thing you can do with a coupler to give you a visual indication if the coupler ever loosens up.  I think we all can agree that a loosened coupler would be really bad.  

A Co-Motion Americano frame and fork is $1835.  A Waterford Adventure Cylcle TIG welded frame and fork is $1750, and a lugged frame and fork is $2150.  So the frames are comparably priced, but you can buy a fully kitted bike from Co-Motion.  I am sure that Co-Motion buys their kit parts directly from the manufacturers.  Your Waterford dealer puts the kit together, and he has to buy from QBP or some other distributor.  A fully assembled Americano will be cheaper than a similarly equipped  Adventure Cycle.

I almost bought an Americano.  I live in the Detroit area.  The Waterford dealer is in Hazel Park, and the Co-Motion dealer is in Ann Arbor, and I live halfway between either.  I had an existing relationship with the Waterford dealer, so I went with the Waterford dealer.  We did review the kit list for the Americano in chosing parts for my Waterford.

If you can swing the Co-Motion, I am sure you will be happy with it.  I don't know anyone that owns an LHT, but my dealer sells a lot of them.

Danno
Danno

Offline MRVere

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2008, 02:40:10 pm »
From what I heard/read, the S&S couplers actually make the frame more rigid than a frame without them.  And, I have never heard of them getting lose.  You could always use a medium strength "loc-tite" on them. You could still get them apart when needed.  As for STI versus Bar-Ends, I've always thought, WHY NOT BOTH. If the bike is spec'd with bar-ends and you are thinking about STI you might get a credit of $40-$50 to upgrade. So just keep the bar-ends installed in the bars with cables removed, use STI's and if you have a major failure just pull a set of cables out of you bag and installl them on the barends. VIOLA.  You could even use one bar-end as a drag brake controller while using the STI's.  All you would need is a clamp-on stop for the cable or even have one brazed on while building a new frame.
What do you all think?


Offline whittierider

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2008, 04:22:57 pm »
Quote
and you are thinking about STI you might get a credit of $40-$50 to upgrade

Dura Ace bar-end shifters cost about $75.  Down-tube shifters are $10-15 less.  Simple brake levers are about $30.  STI levers however start at around $200 or $250 and go up to $500.  There are of course eBay and super-sale exceptions; but on new bikes, most people don't realize how much of the price of the price of the bike is right there in those brifters.  Having both kinds of shifters is an interesting idea, but adding STI will definitely cost a lot more than $50.


Offline DaveB

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2008, 07:18:26 pm »
Quote
You are the second person with a favorable comment. How tough is it to break the bike down and reassemble it? When touring, what do you do with the case? Ship it home or send it to a future location, ie, motel to hold? Bob

Disassembling and packing an S&S bike is about a 30 minute job if you are experienced and a lot longer the first few times.  The actual couplers come apart in seconds and, assuming you have cable splitters for the shift cables and rear brake, they disconnect very quickly too.  You also have to remove the pedals, rear derailleur (let it hang from its cable)and the bars/stem assembly.

The slow part is padding each frame tube with the Velcro-fastened padded wrap that comes with an S&S equipped bike.  Cutting them to custom length for each tube the first time takes quite a while but you only do that once.  

Once the padding is in place, the various parts are placed into the case in a specified order.  The tires of a 700c bike have to be deflated (not removed) to get the wheels in and the whole case closed on the resulting jig-saw puzzle.

Reassembly is a bit faster but still a 20-30 minute job. Be sure to pack a good frame pump or strong mini-pump.  The Topeak Road Morph pumps are particularly good for this.  

I've never traveled point-to-point with my bike so the case remains at my starting point and I pick it up for the return trip or I just take day trips. I use mine only for vacation and business trips.

I think if I were going to tour so that I couldn't return to the start, I'd either not bother with the couplers and pack the bike in a cardboard bike shipping box from an LBS or disassemble it but use a disposable packing carton that was smaller than a bike box.

Note to MRVere: NEVER Loctite the couplers.  S&S recommends a teflon based high-pressure DuPont grease which works very well and absolutely prevents seizing and galling of the coupler threads.  As I said above, tighten them properly and they stay tight until you want to uncouple them.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 12-2-08 @ 4:23 PM

Offline MRVere

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2008, 07:22:51 pm »
Thanks for the info on using, or rather NOT using, any type of loc-tite.  I got and therefore gave bad info.
As far as the STI upgrade, I didn't mean the upgrade would cost $40-$50.  I meant that if the new bike has Dura-Ace Bar ends and you are thinking about upgrading to STI, KEEP the bar ends rather than trade them in for STI because you would not get very much ie. 40-50 at the most in trade in value for the bar ends. Then just buy STI's. And yes STI's are very expensive.
Thanks for keeping me straight.


cyclesafe

  • Guest
Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2008, 05:53:15 pm »
I have 12k miles on my disk brake and STI equipped Americano Co-Pilot (S&S couplers).

A disk brake for the front wheel allows for sure stopping while barreling downhill with heavily loaded front panniers.  Yes, they weigh a bit more but so what.  They are easy to adjust and brake pads are readily available.

S&S's plus the bag are really too costly in today's airline fee environment.  If I were to do it again, I'd forgo the couplers and use a bike box instead.  Figuring out what to do with the bag before you start your trip is a PITA.  Actually, for my last trip, I just used the bike box and paid the fee.

STI couplers are for sure more complicated than bar end friction shifters, but they have never caused me any trouble.  Tuning for cable stretch is no big deal.

After selling my carbon bike, I bought a 11-21 cassette and 28mm tires for my Americano to use while not touring.  OK, I now have a heavy road bike, but I smoke just about everybody but the Lance wannabes along Pacific Coast Highway here in San Diego.

I think the choice between the Americano and the Norwester really hinges on whether you think that your touring will challenge the latter.  If you are a clydesdale, carry more than 50 lbs in panniers, AND will find yourself on rough roads, the Americano might be the better choice.  OTOH, if most of your time riding will be unloaded on asphalt, the Norwester might be the better option.    


Offline driftlessregion

Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2008, 10:53:52 pm »
"I have a Brooks Professional. It is about 15 years young. I have stretched it out and conditioned it, and once broken in has served me well, but I fear it is at the end of it's life. You are the third person, I have come in contact with who raves about the Brook B-17. "

After 30 years on a Brooks Pro I bought a B-17. It broke down in 2 years so I put back on the old Pro for 2 more years. I bought a new  titanium Pro weeks before the price went up (yea!) and will ride it until I die probably.

If my frame wasn't 64 cm I would definitely have had Waterford build it with S&S. Mine won't fit in the box.