Author Topic: rondanee vs long haul trucker  (Read 4282 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jfurlong

rondanee vs long haul trucker
« on: February 08, 2012, 10:43:54 pm »
hi. we are thinking about our transam trip, strting with western express from Sacramento. we currently have cannondale t800's, but thinking we may need more mountain gears since we will be self-supported/have heavy packs. any thoughts about the REI rondenee vs surley long-haul trucker? or just keep what we have?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 11:53:51 pm »
The Cannondales are nice frames.  Unless you just want a new bike (always a good reason to get a new one!), you should be able to make the trip on them, with a few possible modifications.

Not sure what gearing you have on your T800s.  IIRC Cannondale played around with the gearing a bit over the years.

The cassette in the rear is (relatively) cheap and easy to change, if you don't have at least a 32 in back.  Changing the crank is a bit more difficult and expensive, but if you don't already have a 26 or smaller chainring, the crank can be changed for something smaller.  If your front derailer can handle it, go for a 24 or even 22 small ring.  (Front derailers are sometimes a bit fiddly to set up.)  I'd guess your LBS can set you up for $250, worst case.

If you do have a bad case of new-bikeitis, this year's Randonnees have gone to 10 speed.  Unfortunate, since replacement parts will be more expensive.  OTOH, they've got nice gearing.  LHT is pretty similar as far as frame and weight, and still has the less expensive 9-speed setup.  Either will work, I'd call it a toss-up.

Offline hem

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 12:22:32 am »
What gearing do you have now on your T800?
2007 T800        48-36-26 and 11-34
LHT                   48-36-26 and 11-34
Randonee         44-32-22 and 11-32

I don't see much to gain by changing bikes in terms of gearing unless you have something far different. In any case I would prefer the T800 and STI over either of your alternatives.

edit: Latest Adventure Cycling magazine has a review on the Randonee. 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 12:30:51 am by hem »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 10:21:57 am »
I agree with the others, keep your current bikes and make sure the gearing is low.  I'm guessing you are not a bike mechanic, so take it to a bike shop.  Get the lowest possible inner chainring.  Probably a 24 tooth chainring ($20) if you have a road type triple crankset.  If you have a mountain bike triple crankset then 22 teeth will be the lowest inner chainring.  Get the biggest cog possible in the back.  Either 32 or 34 teeth cog, whether 8 or 9 or 10 speed cassette ($30-60).  Your bike may or may not be able to shift a 34 cog, so you may have to try it to see if it works.  My touring bike fits a 32, but not a 34 cog.  The rear derailleur hanger is not long enough.  But a 32 rear cog is big enough.  <Maybe need a new chain if you get a bigger rear cog ($20).  No new chain is required if putting on a smaller inner chainring only.  But its good to start a long ride with a new chain anyway.

Offline jfurlong

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 12:37:25 pm »
thank you all very much! our T800's ahve been great (did the Pyranees with them ahead of the Tour in 2005, but did not have packs on them that day)- got the bikes new in 2004... getting them refitted in probably our best choice. Front is 48-38-28. and we are 11-34 in back.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 01:01:30 pm »
got the bikes new in 2004... getting them refitted in probably our best choice. Front is 48-38-28. and we are 11-34 in back.

Take the bikes to a shop and have 24 tooth inner chainrings installed immediately.  Positive you have road type triple cranksets that take 74 mm bolt circle diameter inner chainrings.  So 24 tooth is the smallest possible.  Going from 28 to 24 will provide a noticable difference.  Not a huge difference lower, but noticable.  Well worth the $20-30 cost of the chainring and labor.  If you have the tools you could do the job yourself in a few minutes easily.  Or if you have friends who are knowledgable about bike mechanics, ask them to install the inner chainring.  Buy the chainrings online cheap.  Its easy with the right tools.  Only a few minutes job.

Offline jfurlong

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 01:05:43 pm »
thanks for the info! will start that change-out today. Any thoughts on whether the aluminum frame is too old?

Offline staehpj1

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 01:16:18 pm »
thank you all very much! our T800's ahve been great (did the Pyranees with them ahead of the Tour in 2005, but did not have packs on them that day)- got the bikes new in 2004... getting them refitted in probably our best choice. Front is 48-38-28. and we are 11-34 in back.
For the TA I think they are fine as is, gearing wise.  If you want you could change the inner ring to a 24T for $10-12, but I am not sure if I would bother since you have a 34 on the back.

Personally I'd probably prefer them over either of the other choices you mentioned.

Give them a good "tune up" and replace anything that is close to worn out and enjoy your tour.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 05:14:40 pm »
Any thoughts on whether the aluminum frame is too old?

Assuming you're taking the bike to a shop (possibly for a chainring change, probably for lube, new tires, etc.), ask them to inspect the frame.  If it's not cracked, and there's no evidence of paint buckling or major dents, the frame's fine.  The T-800 is one of the bikes I would have liked to have bought, but couldn't find one.  They were well made.


Offline jfurlong

Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 09:21:15 pm »
you all helped a lot!!! thanks. gonna  keep the T800s and do some mods... love that bike, so not really disappointed to hear no need to shop for new one