Author Topic: Touring Bike  (Read 23965 times)

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Offline gregbiske

Touring Bike
« on: November 12, 2008, 11:01:34 pm »
Here is my dilemma. I have been cycling for a number of years. The bike I use for light touring is a mountain bike with many modifications. (please visit my cycling blog at gregbiske.blogspot.com to view my Performance MT201)
I am getting serious about the touring end of cycling and have planned a couple of adventures. My price range is somewhere around $1500. The bikes that I have been looking at are the Trek 520,  Specialized, Fuji touring and the one I am leaning toward, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Im really digging on the Surly but am looking for some expertise in this area. The trips I am planning are trail and some pavement. They are two to three day trips. Any help would be great. Thanks Greg



Offline whittierider

Touring Bike
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 03:39:32 am »
Someone here said the Surly LHT and the Trek 520 had the same frame.  Which one makes it I don't know.  Looking at their websites, the two do look a lot alike, although I see some small differences.  The Surley appears to have the rear cable stop for rear cantilever brakes, wheras the Trek comes with V brakes that are generally better.  The Surly has the braze-ons for mounting a third water bottle cage under the downtube, something I wish all bikes had.


Offline paddleboy17

Touring Bike
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 12:08:28 pm »
There are only a handful of companies that build frames.  I am sure that Surly is not big enough to build their own frames, and I can't comment if Trek builds them under contract or not for Surly.  They probably are not the same frame, but they are probably similar frames.

I think it all comes down to what dealer you trust, and what they can get for you.  I originally bought a Bianchi Volpe because I thought bar end shifters were stupid looking.  The same dealer could have gotten me a Trek 520.  I ended up seeing the error of my ways and buying bar end shifters and retrofitting them myself.  

Pretty much anything you don't like on a bike can get swapped out.  I tend to think that all of the touring bikes in your price range are similar, so it is really a question of which one comes equipped closet to how you want it.  Spend your time figuring out what features you want, and the bike will find you.

Danno
Danno

Offline whittierider

Touring Bike
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 05:58:01 pm »
Quote
There are only a handful of companies that build frames.

There are at least hundreds of companies that build steel frames.  I know a man who's a frame builder who has a little frame-building shop in an industrial park.  He has about four employees.  I know another one building custom frames in his garage.  Trek has always made all their OCLV carbon frames in their own plants in Winconsin, and that takes a much bigger investment in tooling than making steel frames does.  Both Trek and Surly are plenty big enough to be making their own frames.  I just don't know if for economic reasons they might have some kind of alliance on this one.


Offline gregbiske

Touring Bike
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 08:32:26 pm »
OK, Surly though a wrench in the mix. I contacted Surly about a question I had concerning two wheel sets they have listed. They told me that the 700c wheel set only comes on bikes 56 cm and up. I take a 54 cm. which would have 26 wheels. The Performance (if you checked my blogsite) has 26. It just seems to make more sense  to use a larger wheel.  True?
I went back to the computer and dug deeper on touring bikes. The Jamis  Aurora Elite is looking very favorable. Anyone have any pros and cons ?



Offline whittierider

Touring Bike
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 10:38:22 pm »
Quote
(please visit my cycling blog at gregbiske.blogspot.com to view my Performance MT201)

Couldn't find it.
Quote
They told me that the 700c wheel set only comes on bikes 56 cm and up.  I take a 54 cm which would have 26" wheels.  The Performance (if you checked my blogsite) has 26".  It just seems to make more sense  to use a larger wheel.  True?

For a few years, maybe in the early 1990's, the pros were using the smaller wheel in the front for their time trials to reduce wind resistance, but then the UCI stopped allowing that.  The smaller wheel will have a tiny bit more rolling resistance, but less wind resistance-- not enough difference to matter to you and me.  I have long been a proponent of the smaller wheels for smaller frames because I've seen plenty of examples at the juniors races where the parents put the kid on an itty bitty bike with 700c tires so they could use the commonly stocked tire size, then the kid would weave wildly and obviously not have good command of the bike because the geometry was too compromised.  However to start the smaller wheel size at 54cm seems a bit soon.


Offline WesternFlyer

Touring Bike
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 11:08:26 pm »

Quote

There are only a handful of companies that build frames.


I think the more correct answer is there are hundreds of companies that have a few companies making their frames.  For all but the high-end bikes you would really have to do some serious research to find out who actually made what bicycle.  What you are really buying is a particular logo and branding that appeals to you.  Much like choosing between Nike and Adidas shoes both of which are manufactured by nameless offshore sweatshops, in various parts of Asia.

Surly, in their blog, states that they tried to find a USA manufacturer to work with them, but no one showed much interest and had to go to Taiwan.  Even top-end lines like Rivendell with the appearance of American made are almost entirely made in Asia.  

I ride a Bianchi Axis, which is a step up from the popular Volpe, but shares the same basic cyclocross geometry albeit with an aluminum frame.  My Axis was produced and assembled in an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Taiwan. The following is its lineage as far as my research has been able to inform me. (Others are welcome to correct or make additions.) The aluminum tubing was made in the United States  Easton, the carbon fiber forks were produced in Japan - probably Toray Composites. The drive train and other components are Japanese and Taiwanese with some of the parts subcontracted to Indonesia - Shimano, Sugino and Sram. The wheel sets and tires were junk from Korea and subject to a recall. The SPD compatible pedals were of unknown origin and fell apart quickly.

It was designed by a woman, Sky Yaeger, AKA Chick Design, an employee of Bianchi USA, in Hayward CA, which is a licensed logo branding agent of the F.I.V. Bianchi Company, which is wholly owned subsidiary the Cycleurope Group, which is controlled by the Swedish holding company Grimaldi Industri AB.  Bianchi no longer exits as a bicycle manufacturer, but my bike came with eleven (11!) official, brightly displayed, Bianchi logos.

I think you will find a similar maze for most lower and mid level bikes on the market today.  If we get too loyal to a particular brand then we have been had.

All that said I love riding my bike.
 

 



Western Flyer

A wise traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.
           Lao Tzu
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline bogiesan

Touring Bike
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2008, 09:16:49 am »
> I am getting serious about the touring end of cycling and have
planned a couple of adventures. My price range is somewhere around
$1500. The bikes that I have been looking at are the Trek 520,  
Specialized, Fuji touring and the one I am leaning toward, the Surly
Long Haul Trucker.<

I have a touring partner with a Surly LHT. He's about 5'6" and really
likes the smaller bike. He's got it tricked out with all the racks.

You can research touring bikes on the main AC site. Several articles
from past issues, they do a comprehensive "how to buy a touring bike"
issue every year.

My prejudice is always to point such inquiries toward recumbents
because of the outrageous comfort. When I'm done with a long
segment on a group tour, I'm as tired as everyone else but nothing on
my body hurts.
I don't do self-contained touring and there's no question that a bent
and a trailer or a fully loaded bent might not cover as many miles as
you'd like. However, the reason to tour isn't to get there, it's all about
getting there.

see bentrideronline.com for a 'bent buyers' guide (a bit outdated but
the basics are still applicable) and tons of touring suggestions.

Have fun shopping, try not to make a quick decision. Don't forget to
look for used touring-appropirate bikes on cragslist.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Touring Bike
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 10:58:16 am »
I contacted Surly about a question I had concerning two wheel sets they have listed. They told me that the 700c wheel set only comes on bikes 56 cm and up. I take a 54 cm. which would have 26 wheels. The Performance (if you checked my blogsite) has 26. It just seems to make more sense  to use a larger wheel.  True?

The reason for the smaller wheels on small frames is two fold; 1)they reduce stand-over height a bit and 2)they eliminate toe-overlap (i.e. the front tire hits the tip of your shoe) on tight turns.

It seems the 26" wheels are on MTB rims (ISO 559),   not 650C (ISO 571).  They give you a wide choice of tire widths and types, so are very versatile.

I don't see any downside to these 26" wheels for a touring bike. 700c wheels can be lighter and use thinner, lighter tires with a bit less rolling resistance but none of that is germain for touring.

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-17-08 @ 5:15 PM

Offline gregbiske

Touring Bike
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2008, 05:55:20 pm »
Could not find the blog site or the bike? The bike is the first post ( or very last in the way that it is in order.)
Thank you all for the replys ! I do not plan on any touring over the winter so it will give time to do some research and spend time on my trainer. I am leaning twards the Jamis. Someone commented on the bar end shifters, any reason that they would be such a plus?


Offline whittierider

Touring Bike
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2008, 09:39:17 pm »
Quote
Quote
Quote
(please visit my cycling blog at gregbiske.blogspot.com to view my Performance MT201)

Couldn't find it.

Could not find the blog site or the bike?

The bike.  Doing a search on that page for "MT201" or "Performance" turns up nothing.  Pictures, from top to bottom and left to right, are:  a Jamis, Einstein, Lincoln, cartoon, treee on wet lawn, Robin Williams, wet road video, Ivan Baso, you with your bike, I&M Canal State Trail, Aluminum Trek by stairway, blue helmet, Carlos Sastre Podium, Jens Joigt video.  No MT201.
Quote
Someone commented on the bar end shifters, any reason that they would be such a plus?

See the nearby discussion, "STI vs. Bar ends", and the older discussion at http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=2185 .  Bar-end shifters on the aerobars are better for me because that's where my hands usually are, even all day.  They're so comfortable.  My hands don't spend very much time at or near the brake levers.


Offline paddleboy17

Touring Bike
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2008, 04:54:13 pm »
I guess I would have to disagree on the 26inch wheels.  There is something called a 26inch road wheel.  I don't know what Surly uses for their 26inch rims.

A friend of mine got a custom touring bike built for his wife.  Based on her size, the dealer and frame vendor elected to build the frame based on a 26inch wheel.  The dealer fabricated a wheel based on a 26inch road rim.  The bike has ended up being a disappointment as there are limited choices for tires that fit the bike.

You should be able to find a 54cm touring frame that takes 700 tires from a different vendor.   I think you will have more touring tires to choose from with the larger wheel size.  If you are committed the a Surly LHT, check Schwalbe and Continental's web site to see if they make a tire that fits you.  

Danno
Danno

Offline gregbiske

Touring Bike
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2008, 05:22:55 pm »
Danno
I have moved my attention to the Jamais Elite. I have done long rides on my 26 wheel mountian bike and the same with 700c road. Both bikes seem to have a lot to offer, but the Jamis won out with wheel size.
Also, if you scroll down to the bottom of my blog spot, you can click on previous posts to see the performance MT201


Offline RussellSeaton

Touring Bike
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 09:51:40 am »
"The dealer fabricated a wheel based on a 26inch road rim.  The bike has ended up being a disappointment as there are limited choices for tires that fit the bike."

You had a bad dealer.  26" wheels come in two variations.  Road, which is 650C, 571mm bcd.  And mountain, which is 26"(note the inch symbols), 559 bcd.  The 26 road, 650C, is the triathalon wheel size.  There is one 28mm width tire made for it sold by Terry Bicycles.  Otherwise its 23 and 20mm widths.  The 26" moountain bike wheel is available in tire widths from 1" to 2.2".  This is the size Surly uses on its smaller bikes.


Offline WesternFlyer

Touring Bike
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 11:48:11 am »
I put a 1.25 Panaracer and a 1 Hutchinson 26 road tires on my wifes mtb for the paved portion of a seven day paved/dirt ride around the Crater Lake area of southern Oregon.  They worked great on some very standard mtb rims.

Western Flyer

A wise traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.
           Lao Tzu
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden