Author Topic: Best touring bike under $1,000  (Read 20652 times)

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Offline jl_longstaff

Best touring bike under $1,000
« on: March 04, 2007, 01:42:24 pm »
Bianchi Volpe, Novara Randonee, and the Surly Long Hual Trucker are my current considerations.  I intend to use the bike for commuting and randoneuring. I like the idea of self supported weekend or even weeklong trips.  Sizing is confusing, I'm currently riding a bike with a stand over of 35 and 3/4 inches (90.8 mm). It's tight, though I can just flex my knees, I bought this Puch ten speed at a flea market just to have something to ride after a 35 year hiatus.

Offline cfessler

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 07:56:05 pm »
I own a 2006 Fuji Touring which I bought barely used for about $450.00, it retails new about $800-$900.  I am using it next summer for a cross-country trip. I like it so far, it rides smoothly with plenty of control.

Offline bruno

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2007, 09:07:08 am »
i say surly.

Offline RussellSeaton

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 01:21:38 pm »
The Surly Long Haul Trucker is a frame and fork only.  About $400 I think.  Quite reasonable.  But you then have to buy a parts kit, $?, and install everything yourself, or pay a shop to do it.  If you've had a 35 year hiatus, you will likely have to buy $100-200 of bike tools to do the installation yourself.  Or pay $100+ to a shop to install everything.  Or are you planning on putting all of the parts from your flea market Puch on the new frame?  Doubt too many would fit.  I really doubt YOU will get a Surly rideable for less than $1000.  Someone with all the tools and knowledge to swap parts, and a fair number of parts sitting around the house, they could get it rideable for under $1000.

As for using a touring bike for randonneuring, I would not.  Believe it or not, you need to carry very little gear with you on a brevet.  Even a 1200k brevet.  A rack pack on a simple bolt on rack, or even setpost rack, or one of those Jandd big saddle bags, or Carradice bag, or even a medium sized saddle bag, will hold all you need.  A Camelbak is very, very useful for drinking and carrying warm clothes.  You don't need huge bags or panniers or handlebar bags or all of the other stuff touring bikes can carry.  And believe it or not, racing bikes are very stable in the middle of the night after 600 miles of riding.  You don't need a very heavy touring bike to not ride off the road as some seem to think.  Racing style bikes have triple chainrings and very low gears today.

Of the four road bikes I own, three racing style and one loaded touring, the touring bike would be the absolute last one I would use on a brevet.  I would not ride brevets over 200k if I had to use it.

Offline jl_longstaff

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 04:55:12 pm »
Surly makes a complete bike for $940 now. the Randonee can be had for $949 and REI now offers a 20% discount but I have to drive 193 miles one way to get it. The Volpe is $899 retail and available within 40 miles of my home.  I don"t know what kind of deal I can get on either the Surly LHT or the Volpe.  The Randonee weighs 29 lbs, the Surly 27 lbs, and I don't know what the volpe weighs.  The Volpe seems to be more of a cross type bike and is geared higher than touring bikes, seems to be a light tour/road bike.

Thanks for your input.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 11:45:09 am »
Check out the thread I started a couple of weeks ago, called "Volpe vs. ??" Personally, I checked out all of the bikes you mentioned, and while there is nothing at all wrong with the Novara or the Trek 520 (also in your price range, as is the C-dale T-800) I found the Bianchi to be the most comfortable bike I have ever owned.

Ride safe,

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Offline TCS

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 02:00:38 pm »
Jamis Aurora?


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Offline jl_longstaff

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 09:21:34 pm »
I'm definately looking at the Volpe.  Trouble is, the list of dealers close to me contains two dealers who no longer sell Bianchi and a third tried to sell me a Soma.  It looks like I'll to drive nearly 100 miles just to see one. The Jamis seems to be geared too high, and, again no local dealers.  There is a local Fuji dealer, did'nt like the bike. The Novara?... 192 miles to the nearest REI store.  I can get a Surly locally but none available to test ride, I'd have to buy it and hope I'd like it.

Offline chris_r

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 11:57:43 am »
Has anyone got any thoughts when considering the weight of the bike itself as a key criteria. I'm pretty keen on touring as light as possible and therefore would not like to invest in an overly-robust bike.

Offline wanderingwheel

Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 04:05:57 pm »
For a touring bike, even a light-duty touring bike, I don't think bike weight should be a large consideration.  Without question, light bikes are fun to ride and more enjoyable than over-built bikes, but I think that the difference between a very light touring bike and an average touring bike is not very significant.  For example, take a sport touring bike or a reliable racing bike and assume it weighs a generous 18 pounds.  An average touring bike may weigh up to 25 pounds, giving a difference of 7 pounds.  Certainly you will notice it when riding unloaded, but once you add your gear to it it becomes less obvious.  Add your weight and that 7 pounds becomes a small fraction of the overall system weight.  The only time it will negatively affect your riding is while climbing, and then only by the difference in the total weights.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that light weight is a good trait, but don't pursue it to the detriment of other attributes such as handling and reliability.  Use it as a tie breaker if you want, but don't buy the lightest bike simply because it is the lightest.



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Best touring bike under $1,000
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2007, 12:19:56 am »
The complete bike version of the Surly LHT will be available in about 5 to 6 weeks for $930. Specs are good and include XT rear derailleur and 36h XT hubs. Any LBS in the US should be able to order the LHT for you.

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