Author Topic: One Bike to Do It All  (Read 10440 times)

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Offline Saburo

One Bike to Do It All
« on: February 04, 2016, 09:12:05 pm »
I have two bikes now: an old specialized allez road bike i use for faster rides and a Rivendell Bleriot that I have used for road tours and even GAP and C&O tours.  I love my Bleriot but its limited clearance  made the muddy C&O and off road rides difficult.  I really need to have one bike now as I've had to downsize the house for a new job.

So the question is: What would you consider to be a great do-it-all bike?  Surly LHT? Surly Troll? Trek 920? Specialized AWOL? Or some other bike?  Funds are limited to what I can sell the current bikes for let's say $1000 to 1500.

Offline planeguy5

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 01:38:07 am »
I have heard that the Surly Crosscheck is one of the best all-round bikes. I'm in a similar position as you, and am giving it serious thought--especially given its price ($1000).

Offline RonK

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 02:47:37 am »
Salsa Fargo
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 07:22:07 am »
I think you will find the LHT ill suited for faster rides rides, unless your definition of a faster ride is relatively slow.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 09:36:21 am »
I think you will find the LHT ill suited for faster rides rides, unless your definition of a faster ride is relatively slow.

I hear stuff like that when I'm doing a "fast" group ride on a touring bike, but I'm not sure.  First, they lose me going up a couple of good hills, but losing 5-8 pounds off the bike won't do anywhere near the good taking 50 pounds off the middle would.  Second, when the "18-21 mph" group accelerates to 25-28 up a half mile false flat, I have to back off and admit I'm not in that good a racing shape.  (OTOH, I've pulled a group of stragglers that caught them 2-3 miles down the road!)

A heavier bike won't be as good accelerating or climbing as a lighter bike.  But unless you're below 10% body fat or riding criteriums, it's not likely to limit you.

Offline John Nelson

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 10:03:40 am »
There's no such thing as a "a great do-it-all bike". You'll have to find room and money for more bikes. Anything currently hanging from your bedroom ceiling?

Offline RussSeaton

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 11:16:09 am »
an old specialized allez road bike i use for faster rides and a Rivendell Bleriot that I have used for road tours and even GAP and C&O tours.

So the question is: What would you consider to be a great do-it-all bike?

The problem is there really isn't a great do it all bike.  Yes one bike can do it all.  Some of the ones you mentioned will probably ride in the mud and rocks and paved road OK.  But when you are riding on the road, you might compare it to your former road bike, and it will not measure up.  Bikes are not great at everything.  They can be OK at everything, but not great.  Or acceptable at everything, but not great at everything.  And if you have a great road bike now, riding an unloaded touring/cyclocross bike on the road will not seem as great.  It will still work, but not feel as nice.  I own a carbon electronic shifting racing bike.  More fun on paved roads than the loaded touring bike.  But the loaded touring bike is better on gravel roads and carrying panniers.  Each has a specialty and I don't try to make one do the other's job.  If you want to widen the extremes.  Compare a full suspension mountain bike to a carbon fiber road racing bike.  If riding on a paved road or gravel road, both will get you from point A to B.  One might be more fun than the other.  Then ride on a rough rocky and dirt trail and maybe the racing bike will not work at all.  So is the full suspension mountain bike the better do it all bike?

Offline Biggus Duckus

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 02:25:18 am »
I bought a Soma Wolverine that I'm happy with, very versatile.  Velo Orange has a new frame called the Piolet that sounds pretty much like what you describe.

Not sure about the VO frame, but the Wolverine is doable with $1500.

Offline tomenator

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2016, 09:15:54 pm »
It's going to be a compromise, but I ride mostly road and some cyclo-cross & recently reentered mountain biking with a full suspension 29r bike.   Then I got bit by the Great Divide tour bug and sold the mountain bike (had best resale value of my collection) and got a Salsa Fargo .  That thing feels smack between the mountain bike and my cyclo-cross bike (Bianchi Axis):  so much fun!   Has tons of attachment points for racks and bottles.  And can run a wide tire -  unlike most touring and cross bikes. 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 02:52:32 pm »
And can run a wide tire -  unlike most touring and cross bikes.

Hmmmm.  My touring and cyclocross bike can fit 38mm tires just fine.  I use 35 or 38 on them.  What is the purpose of a wider tire than that?  Snow, sand and mud benefit from a 2 inch or wider tire.  But other than those very soft and porous surfaces, width is not a benefit once you get past a certain point.  35-38mm is roughly the point where wider is better no longer makes sense unless you are talking about snow, sand, mud.

Offline kubikanton

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2016, 03:29:06 pm »
I bought Kona Sutra ltd. That bike great for all.

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Offline hirundo

Re: One Bike to Do It All
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 08:13:29 pm »
After years of cycle touring, commuting, randonneuring, and noodling around, I can suggest an authoritative voice on do-it-all bikes. Read the blog Off the Beaten Path, by Jan Heine.