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Messages - Tourista829

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Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 27, 2008, 01:05:18 am »
I really have to wait for the insurance company to come back. I would like a custom frame but may have to consider other options. I am leaning towards the Americano. I know I will kick myself if I listen to my dealer. He has a bug about the Norwester Tour but does not have much experience about touring. He is getting two in next week for another customer. I will get a chance to look at them, possibly ride one. I know the grade of steel is better and lighter weight on the Norwester Tour. There are differences in the geometry and 16.7" chainstays are not as good as 18". I will make the final decision.

My mission is to have a comfortable more upright bike, built like a tank, capable of gong very long distances, loaded, with good heal clearance,and with a minimum of repairs. Stability and good braking are also critical especially on long descents fully loaded. I also know that with either Co-Motion, frame flex wil not be an issue. Speed is not paramount on a heavier longer wheel based bike but I don't want a total dog either.  

My continuing dialogue, do I really need the S&S Couplers? I think they would come in handy. I wonder how much I would use them.

For an extra $100 I can get disk brakes. What do you think? Too much extra weight, more complexity to go wrong with? I can tell you the brakes on the Surly was not good, and it was not loaded.

I was using STI's before accident, leaning towards them. However, I have had maintenance issues with them. They go out of sync I have to adjust cable tension or the stops. Using friction shifting, for a backup until I get to camp and can work on the bike may not be a bad idea. I have barcons on my Santana tandem. It is a toss up.

Thank you for your willingness to contact your friend when he gets back. I would love to write to him, if he is receptive.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your input. You and others are helping me fine tune what is important to me and I am getting closer. Once I get the bike, I want to focus on the sights and riding, not the bike. If this was a Surly LHT, I'd buy it assembled for $1095, add a few things and if I made a mistake no big deal. Spend close to 5K on a bike, it better be near perfect.

You like paddling, I like airplanes. No matter what I read and what people say, I would not buy one or build one without getting to understand the flight characteristics of it. Now I realize, comparing an airplane to a bicycle may not be fair but both have important implications to health, comfort and safety.

FYI, I will call Waterford on Monday.

Have a good Thanksgiving


Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 26, 2008, 09:25:52 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. I will have to give it some serious thought. I really liked the Surly LHT. My problem with the Surly is I am truly a 54c which would require 26 inch tires. I could go up to a 56c but I will have to check the fit. The 56c top tube is a little long, it could be adjusted in stem length and the position of the saddle. I rode one and think it was great. Very smooth and comfy. My dealer is trying to get me into a custom frame Co-Motion. We will see. Depends on how much the insurance pays. What extra's did you add to get your bike ready to tour? Thanks again for the feedback. Happy Thanksgiving  Bob

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 26, 2008, 09:27:48 am »

Thank you so much for your excellent feedback. I always loved the Canadian Maritimes but have not bike toured it. My brother-in-law, Bill Taylor, biked toured there years ago said it was not easy. He went to the U of M. I graduatef from OSU and try not to hold that against him. We use to vacation in Bar Harbor Maine and go over to Halifax, NS.

Thank you for the info on your Waterford. I will investigate them further. I believe they are out of Wisconsin. I also did speak to Bruce Gordon. He is an interesting guy who knows his craft well.

The reason I was leaning towards the Co-Motion was that my local dealer has worked with them and has had great success and feedback.

He is trying to get me into a Norwester Tour but I want a real "heavy duty" touring bike. He thinks the ride will be too sluggish and heavy. If it goes faster than my Breezer Uptown, then I will be happy. The Americano may fit the bill. I like to do self supporting tours. I am use to a longer wheelbase bike, in the Cannondale Tourer, and it is fine with me.

I also am a fan of tandem wheels and spacing. It would give me a third wheel or other braking options like I have on my Santana Tandem. I wish I could correspond with your friend who purchased an Americano. If that is possible please let me know.

Fit and comfort are very important and if I get as close to your success, I will be happy.

As to my dealer, top notch, very friendly and professional. I know his dad better than him. He came over from Cuba in 1949 and built up quite a business.
My only concern is, they like most dealers, are not versed in touring bikes and touring in general.

Have a good Thanksgiving.


Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 24, 2008, 06:02:28 pm »
Thanks for the info. I have been riding the Cannondale for awhile. I pretty much know the fit.
It rode a harsher than a steel bike. Newer geometry may fix this.

I liked the new Cannondale and I rode one. I was concerned the insurance company said they did not want to repair aluminum and was worried about the stuctural integrity of the frame, if hit by a car. I also wasn't thrilled with the color selection. White and jungle green. I could blend in with the vegetation in Costa Rica.

My dealer is pushing me to go with Co-motion.
When spending $4000 plus, I would like to ride the Norwester and the Americano and then decide which one I liked better. I may get a chance to ride a Norwester Tour after Thanksgiving.

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 24, 2008, 05:44:38 pm »
Thank you for your input. Let's hope that the Co-motion Americano doesn't handle and ride like a Ford 350 truck. However I do understand your anology. I will look into Waterford as well. Which frame did you end up purchasing? What size wheels? Tell me about some of the components you chose. Thanks Bob

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 23, 2008, 11:24:55 am »
Thanks, what size is yours? What size rims? Do you like them? Any additional items to add?

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 23, 2008, 05:33:55 am »
I recently had a mishap with an auto which totaled my Cannondale Touring Bike. Depending on what the drivers insurance will pay, determines the direction to go. I think this time around I may go steel. I was looking at a Surly LHT but my local bike shop suggested I upgrade to a Co-motion. There recommendation was the Norwester Tour. At 5'9", 157 lbs, and age 57 they felt it would be a better bike. I live in Florida. I want a true touring bike, that can carry larger rear/front panniers, feel comfortable, yet go at a decent speed. I would use the bike 30% for heavy touring, 30% lighter touring, and 40% for recreation riding. Can one have their cake and eat it too?

Is the Americano too heavy, slower, & overkill? Will the Norwester Tour work? Or should I stick with the Surly LHT?

I rode a LHT, the other day, with 700c wheels I really liked the way it road, very comfy. The Co-motions are fit, order, pay, and hope for the best. I hear they are great to deal with but..., I have never purchased a bike without a test ride. Any direction or comments would be most appreciated.
              Thanks Tourista829

General Discussion / What Touring bike would you suggest?
« on: January 01, 2009, 12:40:59 pm »
Have you purchased a bike yet? There is a good book from Adventure Cycling called "The Essential Touring Cyclist," by Richard A. Lovett that was very helpful to me. There are several factors to consider. Frame material, fit, weight, chain stay length, portability and saddle. I have toured on both aluminium and steel. Each has it's advantages. I like good steel for comfort and fixability & aluiminium for stiffness and weight. The one thing in steel to watchout for is frame flex. Getting out of the saddle to climb a hill or a fast techincal descent is not the time to discovery frame flex especially with a fully loaded bike. Fit is vital for a comfortable and more upright ride especially at my age. If you haven't purchased a new bike in 18 years, like me, I would take a trip to your local bicycle shop. Have them measure inseem for seat tube length, torso and arm length combo for the correct top tub and stem combo, femur to knee for correct crank length and your shoulder width for correct handlebar width. If you are like me 157 pounds and do not carry more than 60 pounds tops (including bags), or sometimes use a trailer, then you will have a lot of choices. If you weigh 230 and have 80 to 100 pounds of gear and bags your choices are fewer. 1 am the first scenario, fit and comfort, at age 57, very important so I purchased a Comotion Norwest Tourer. Chain stay length I would not go less than 430mm or 17 inches especially if you have a large foot. 460mm or 18 inches is better. Check your bags for heal clearance. Picking bags is a whole other discussion. Portability, S&S couplers, quick disconects for the cables, and a good hard case is the only way if you travel alot and value your bike. There are several shops in the states that do this retro fit. Bilenky in Phila, Pa. does a good job at a reasonable price. Saddle, as you already know if you purchase a Brooks saddle, buy it before your tour and break it in 300 to 400 miles or you may be very uncomfortable for the first few weeks. I am sure this post will generate some discussion. Let us know what bike you end up with. Have a happy and safe riding new year. Bob  

General Discussion / What Touring bike would you suggest?
« on: November 23, 2008, 01:38:13 pm »
Tony, Co-motion Americano Copilot. Not cheap but worth every penny. It will be comfortable, very durable, and fit like a glove. The Co-Pilot can be ordered with S&S couplers which allow you to break the bike down and put it in a bike case. You can even get it with disk brakes. The pound is still better than the dollar. Let me know how you make out. Bob

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