Author Topic: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?  (Read 6839 times)

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Offline mattbakerwhite

Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« on: March 30, 2010, 12:22:02 am »
Hi there--

I've ridden a 1999 Trek 5000 (All carbon fiber speed demon racing bike--what Lance won the '99 Tour de France on) for the past two years as a training/pure road fun speed bike.  However, this summer I will be needing a bike which can handle panniers.  The 5000, while it's pretty much the most fun I can imagine is possible on two wheels, wont serve my purposes very well at all.  Because I am on a limited budget (Probably 1500 MAX) I have been looking to sell the Trek and find a bike which will better suit my needs.  I'm looking for a bike which can handle panniers as well as some road riding and training rides--in the near-ish future, I may be looking to get into more touring, starting with some unsupported rides from Maine to NH, then Maine to Mass, and (possibly) next summer working my way up to crossing the US.  Interestingly, I came across the Specialized Tricross Sport, a bike which at first glance might be able to suit all of my needs in the foreseeable future.  If I were to get a tricross sport and an extra wheelset, I could have one set of wheels for touring/commuting with the knobby tires on them and then a wheelset with some road slicks on it for my pure road/training rides.  What are ya'll's thoughts on this idea?  Am I crazy?  How does the Tricross do with panniers and touring?  Is it comfy enough?  What else should I know about this bike?  What other bikes should I be looking at?

Thanks for the help in advance!
Matt

Offline MTNGator

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 05:03:05 am »
I haven't ridden this bike (have you?) but from what I've read it seems to be described as a "cross" bike that can be used for other purposes. I have always been under the impression that cyclocross bikes have a higher bottom bracket than a traditional touring frame like the Cannodale "T" series or a Trek 520. Higher bottom bracket = less stable. Some of the other members who tour on cross frames may tell you that the difference is insignificant.

Regarding the idea of switching wheels/tires for different rides - I had the same idea for my Cannondale T2000. The stock wheels have Mavic A719s with a 135mm rear hub spacing that allows the use of a wide range (with 34 tooth low cog) mountain cassette. I couldn't locate a combination of rims/hubs that would give me enough weight loss and allow a narrower tire (23mm) without spending way more than I cared to spend. In addition, the narrower rim would have required me to re-adjust the reach on my brake pads every time I changed from one rim width to another - something I personally consider a pain. I decided to just change the tires to Conti Ultra Gatorskins in 28mm as a compromise and that works okay for me.

Good luck with your search.

Oh, by the way, there are a few good touring bikes in your price range - The Cannondale T? (what used to be the T1000), the Trek 520, the Raleigh Sojourn, a new Masi (can't remember the model but you could search their site), the Surley Long Haul Trucker, the REI touring bike (at $999 but if you are a member of REI the 20% coupon they have now makes the price around $800 - maybe buy this AND keep your Trek?). Just a few suggestions to consider.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 09:17:35 am by MTNGator »

Offline mattbakerwhite

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 10:22:26 am »
Thanks for the quick reply!

I haven't yet started testing out bikes--I was hoping for feedback on here first to see what I should be testing out.  Both the Cannondale and Trek touring models cost somewhere in the range of 1300-1500 which is pushing my price without having any hint of a road bike in them.  I'm not going to be doing any crazy crazy touring, maybe a week long trip tops at this point....If I do work up to cross country touring, I'll get a real touring bike.  I'm kinda looking for a "do-it-all" bike that with some minor modification can be either a touring/commuting bike or a roadie.  To be honest, the weight for road biking doesnt matter so much to me because it isnt at all for racing, but for cross training for squash, my primary sport.  More weight=harder work=better training, even if its less fun/fast than on a speedy road bike.  I could easily see just riding on one set of tires/wheels as it would save me money and be easier--no adjusting.

I'll look into the bikes you mentioned for sure!  If anyone else has advice/opinions for me, I'd love to hear them!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 10:58:07 am »
Keep your current bike. Buy one of the touring bikes mentioned. The actual price you will pay, as opposed to the MSRP, will not push your budget. There are many touring bikes which can be had new for under $1000, leaving you enough left over for equipment. Don't try to make one bike do it all, as it will end up doing everything poorly.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 12:19:26 pm »
I am a big fan of multiple bikes.  Its good for your local bike shop, and its good for you.  The last great do anything bike was the Schwinn Continental, and that was a long time ago.

The Tricross has come up before, so I would advise you to search this site for thread on it.  As I recall, it would not be my first choice for touring.

You can do an overnight tour on almost any crappy bike and survive.  Longer than that, and you want a touring bike.  This is the panel truck of the bike world, so it is not going to ride like a Lamborghini.  But you can carry more than a little tiny under seat bag.

I like steel bikes with panniers.  Others will tell you something else. 

Look at a Jamis Aurora Elite, it may be a good match for your needs.
Danno

Offline tonythomson

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 12:52:50 pm »
Hi, best advice is as above don't try to get one bike as a do it all, doesn't!

Check out the April 2009 edition of Adventure Cyclist mag (not sure if it is on line) but the Q&A by John Schubert (technical editor) will very sensibly answer most of your questions.

Good luck
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline whittierider

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2010, 01:34:34 pm »
Quote
The stock wheels have Mavic A719s with a 135mm rear hub spacing that allows the use of a wide range (with 34 tooth low cog) mountain cassette.
We have a couple of bikes in our stable with that big a cassette on 130mm hubs.  135 is not necessary, because the Shimano/SRAM spacing between cogs is still 4.34mm (center to center) regardless of the size of cogs, so the thickness of the cassette piles up to the same.

I can't speak from experience, but from what I've read from someone very knowledgeable, I would not try using a cross bike for touring.  A true cross bike is a very different bird.  It's not designed to be stable under load, leave heel clearance for panniers, etc..

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More weight=harder work=better training,
Not really.  You can go all-out on the lightest and best racing bikes too-- it just results in a little more speed.  The pros don't reach their incredible levels of performance by riding heavy bikes.

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Don't try to make one bike do it all, as it will end up doing everything poorly.
+1!

There is a rather short list of popular touring bikes that includes the Trek 520, Surly LHT (possibly the same frame, as far as I can tell by looking at the websites), Jamis Aurora & Aurora Elite, and maybe another I'll come back and add here if I can think of it.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 01:53:16 pm by whittierider »

Offline mattbakerwhite

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2010, 02:31:01 pm »
I would love to buy a new touring bike and have a blast on that and keep the beautiful bike I have right now but I just dont have the budget for it.  I can sell my Trek for 800+ (I have offers from a craigslist posting...) and can probably invest between 500 and 700 more total--and closer to 500 the better.  So unless I can get a decent touring bike for 500 (Can I?) I cant see keeping two bikes...Hence my looking for a do-it-all type.  I certainly hear what's being said here in that there isnt really a do-it-all bike out there though.  I might just get a touring bike for the summer I guess.  I really am not one to complain too much about what I'm riding--I did a 2 week touring trip averaging 30+ miles/day when I was younger on a $200 mountain bike with slicks on it.  I clearly am not going to go cross country on something other than a touring bike...Are there any suggestions for road bikes that can mount panniers?  I really only need a commuter bike for the summer that can mount panniers and maybe be used for a night or two of touring, total.  I know that I'm not going to find something that drives like a Lamborghini and has space like a box truck, but I dont really need something that drives like a Lamborghini or something that has space like a box truck.  Is there no happy medium?    Is there the cycling equivalent to an small-midsize SUV?

Again, emphasis on price here--I know that cycling isnt a cheap sport, but I'm a starving college kid.  I'll look into the Trek 520 more, I keep hearing great things about it.  Thanks for all of the great responses!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2010, 03:23:31 pm »
Look at the Winsor Tourist. It will fulfill all your touring needs for $599, which includes shipping.

Offline whittierider

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 04:08:42 pm »
Have you been looking at used?  I would much rather go that route than the Winsor.

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I really only need a commuter bike for the summer that can mount panniers and maybe be used for a night or two of touring, total.
If you only need a night or two, do you really need a huge load?  A seat-post-clamping rack won't hold as much weight, but you can put it on your current bike (although it might require changing the seat post to aluminum), and leave a lot of dollars in your budget for smaller, lighter equipment, much better than what might have existed back when you did your 30- or 40-mile days.  (You didn't say what year that was.)


Offline mattbakerwhite

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 04:19:12 pm »
I've thought about a seatpost clamp style rack but they look kinda flimsy--plus putting it on carbon fiber can damage it I've heard.  Because of those reasons I'm skeptical.  I also might be interested in buying used for a touring model but havent seen one locally that would fit me.  The 30-40 mile days were in '06--So yes, Im sure far, far better stuff exists than what was around back then.  How good are seatpost-clamp-racks?  Also, how good is the Windsor bike?  Why would you not want to go that whittierider?  and, John, why WOULD you go that way?

again, thanks so much for all the help!  its great to have this sort of resource for someone like myself who isnt so knowledgeable about bikes!

Offline Ryo69

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 04:56:31 pm »
You could buy a BOB trailer and pull it with the bike that you have.  You'd be out the door for less than $500 going that route and you could keep your existing bike.

Offline whittierider

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2010, 05:16:42 pm »
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I've thought about a seatpost clamp style rack but they look kinda flimsy
They tell you the weight limits, whether 15 pounds, 25 pounds, or whatever.  There's quite a range of them.

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--plus putting it on carbon fiber can damage it I've heard
which is why you would probably want to change the seat post to an aluminum one if you currently have a carbon-fiber one.  It won't hurt the frame though.  I've read of plenty of 250-350-pounders riding carbon-fiber bikes with no frame problems.

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How good are seatpost-clamp-racks?
I have a Topeak RX Beamrack which, although I have never used it (I changed my plans after buying it), looks like an outstanding quality piece of work-- really nice equipment.

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Also, how good is the Windsor bike?  Why would you not want to go that whittierider?
The only company that distributes them has a terrible reputation for bad assembly, not coming through on customer service, false advertising, etc..  Some people have had good experiences with them, but there's a disproportionate number of customers who are extremely unhappy with them for these reasons.  It does seem like they're trying to improve, and they got past their "Unsatisfactory" rating with the BBB which was a result of non-responsiveness to customer-service complaints, but it will be quite awhile before I feel comfortable recommending them.

If you had to carry a lot, the trailer mentioned above will work with your bike, but I'm sure you don't need that much for a tour of only two or three days.  Depending on how much you need, you might get away with just a really large seat bag.  They come in sizes up to nearly a cubic foot, kind of like a small duffel bag back there with internal braces to keep it from swinging and swaying.  Here are a couple from Caradice, from wallbike.com :





You can add a handlebar bag too.  If you're just credit-card touring (stay in a hotel, eat in restaurants), you might get away with a smaller seat bag like Jandd Mountaineering's Moutain Wedge III which has nearly two gallons' worth of space:



« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 05:26:28 pm by whittierider »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2010, 11:58:28 pm »
I don't have a Windsor Tourist, but I've heard a number of positive experiences and no negative experiences with them.

Offline MTNGator

Re: Road Training/Touring Bike--Tricross Sport?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 05:37:26 am »
Quote
The stock wheels have Mavic A719s with a 135mm rear hub spacing that allows the use of a wide range (with 34 tooth low cog) mountain cassette.
We have a couple of bikes in our stable with that big a cassette on 130mm hubs.  135 is not necessary, because the Shimano/SRAM spacing between cogs is still 4.34mm (center to center) regardless of the size of cogs, so the thickness of the cassette piles up to the same.


When I tried to replace the Ultegra 9-speed with the Sram 11-34 on my 2000 Cannondale R700 (with 130mm rear spacing and 130mm hub) it didn't fit. The cassette didn't "lock" on the hub - the cassette seemed too wide. I tried many times to make it work because I really wanted that gearing on that bike. I no longer have that bike so I can't go back and re-measure anything but, at least for that Cannondale (using Shimano 105 hubs) the 11-34 and 130mm spacing was not doable.