Author Topic: New touring bike recommendations  (Read 280 times)

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Offline jnorthrup

New touring bike recommendations
« on: November 23, 2022, 10:08:34 pm »
I've decided to purchase a new bike for a 2023 Transamerica trip.  I don't want to be limited to tarmac, but will primarily be on tarmac.  My short list is Kona Sutra, Surly Disc Trucker, and maybe Stanforth Kibo.  I am leaning towards the Sutra but still very much undecided.  I like the Kibo but import taxes and shipping are cons.  Gearing for climbing is important, as well as capability to handle some gravel and dirt.  Other bikes I should be looking at?  Very interested in recommendations!  Thanks.

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: New touring bike recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2022, 09:17:23 am »
Trek 520 disc. Masi Giramondo (if you can find one). Salsa Fargo for lots of off road. I splurged and went with a Lynskey Backroad titanium (and now I need a big lock)...

The Fargo and the Backroad give me the best reach to stack ratio allowing for a more upright position and I have them both.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: New touring bike recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2022, 09:46:37 am »
If you can find what you are looking for, consider buying a lightly used bike as you get much better bang for the buck.  Plus, if you decide you don't like the bike for some reason, you lose a lot less money when selling it.

Offline froze

Re: New touring bike recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2022, 11:59:48 pm »
I went through a major search for a touring bike that would have the stuff I wanted.  The Trek 520 and the Surly disk Trucker were overpriced with lower quality components compared to what I thought were the two top contenders for the price. The Kona Sutra, and the Masi Giramondo 700c.  I settled on the Masi because it was about $500 less expensive than the Kona, but the Kona is a fine bike.

Both the Kona and the Masi have slight differences.  At the time I bought the Masi in 2019, the Kona came with a Brooks B17 saddle, the Masi had a cheap WTB saddle which I replaced with first with a Advocet Touring saddle, then recently I bought a Brooks Cambium, not sure what I think of that saddle yet.  Kona comes with a really nice steel front rack, but Masi came with not only the same front rack but also the same rear rack that Kona does not include.  Kona came with fenders the Masi did not, but for $45 I got a set of Topeak Defender fenders that are better than my Planet Bike Cascadia fenders I had on the old bike.  Kona does come with a bit nicer Schwalbe Mondal 40c tires while the Masi had cheap heavy Kenda Drumlin 45c which I have since replaced those with Schwalbe Almotion 38c which is way better than the Mondal tires.  The Masi has the best gearing in the business for climbing a steep grade with a heavy load.  Both bikes come with Microshift bar end shifters, they are cheap plastic  but they are functional, though I will probably replace mine this spring with something that is all aluminum.  Both come with cheap wheelsets, I had to adjust my spokes because the wheels were flexing under load, that took care of the issue.  Neither bike come with pedals.

I can't think of anything else.  I got the Masi because it had a bit more for what I was looking for with less expenditure to get stuff it either didn't have or needed improvement than the Kona would have cost not only new but to get a Tubus Grand Tour rear rack alone is about $225!  Plus better gearing another $45 or so I would have had to spend that to get the Kona up and running right.  I' didn't include the cost of the pedals since neither bike comes with pedals so there is no advantage with either bike in that area. 

Problem with the Masi is that it hasn't been in stock since Covid hit back in 2019, I got mine just about a month before the covid shutdown.  Modern Bike claims they have 2019 27.5 x 2.1 tires in stock...2019?  I find that odd, but when I clicked on various sizes they put a bike into the bin!  I would call before ordering it just to make sure it's not some sort of error.  That Masi is essentially the same as the 700c but with different tire size, more for off road adventure, but you could put narrower and smoother tread on it; also that bike does not come with racks or fenders, so it will end up costing more than the Kona would.

I haven't had any problems with the Masi, so if you get the Kona that should be the same experience since they both use the same transmission and the same brakes.