Author Topic: Touring bicycle choices  (Read 26331 times)

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Offline aggie

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2011, 08:27:35 pm »
Unfortunately, Cannondale stopped making their touring bike in 2011.  I guess they didn't sell enough of them and they are now making their bikes in China.  If you go online to the Cannondale site you can see the touring bike in their 2010 lineup. 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2011, 11:48:38 pm »
Unfortunately, Cannondale stopped making their touring bike in 2011.  I guess they didn't sell enough of them and they are now making their bikes in China.

Selling enough and making the bikes in China are unrelated.  Like many US manufacturers they saw an opportunity to increase profit margin on each unit by making them in a country with much cheaper production costs.

As for Cannondale not making touring bikes anymore, that is related to not selling enough.  The minimal touring bikes sold did not justify the production, inventory costs of having a touring bike in the lineup.

Its hard to buy a US made bike.  The most expensive 6 series Trek bikes are made in the US.  The only ones.  No Cannondale or Specialized or Surly bike is made in the US.  Small manufacturers and custom bike makers still make their bikes in the US.  And almost all components are from elsewhere.

Offline aggie

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 09:29:05 am »
Nothing in business is totally unrelated.  When production is moved offshore is becomes more difficult and expensive to produce products in small quantities.  Consequently companies will often discontinue items that fit into niche markets.  If they still produced in the US they could have a small inventory to meet demand or produce a few each month to meet that demand.  It doesn't fit a good profit margin to make a dozen bikes in China and ship them to the US.  They would be priced out of the market. 

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 01:02:13 pm »
I think Cannondale is actually a special case.  Cannondale was mismanaged, and their adventures in producing wheel chairs and motorcycles bankrupted the company.  They were purchased for the value of the name, and no other reason.  So the current owners are in it for the money, and got rid of everything that was not on the fast track to making their investment back.  So that would have meant moving production overseas.  Last I heard, a handful of bikes like the Lefty were still made in Pennsylvania.

Too bad about Cannondale.
Danno

Offline DaveB

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2011, 11:10:55 am »
I think Cannondale is actually a special case.  Cannondale was mismanaged, and their adventures in producing wheel chairs and motorcycles bankrupted the company.  They were purchased for the value of the name, and no other reason.  So the current owners are in it for the money, and got rid of everything that was not on the fast track to making their investment back.  So that would have meant moving production overseas.  Last I heard, a handful of bikes like the Lefty were still made in Pennsylvania.

Too bad about Cannondale.
Well, in defense of Cannondale's current owners, without them Cannondale would have disappeared completely.  Cannondale is still making racing and sports road bikes and mountain bikes and is still sponsoring racing teams and all of that would be long gone.

It doesn't do touring riders any good but you wouldn't have had Cannondales of any type without the buyout.

Offline commuter

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2011, 05:14:17 pm »
I own a Trek 520 and I've got about 70,000 miles on it. I use it for self-supported tours, commuting and general riding. I have replaced everthing over the years as they have worn out, except for the rims. I replaced them because I could not keep them in true. The other parts were replaced because they had just worn out, as you would expect with any bike. I compare the Trek 520 to a tank. It is rock solid but very heavy. I think you can get the some quality and the same Cro-Moly frame from Surly (Long Haul Trucker) and it will probably be just as reliable and just as heavy with a cost savings of 200 to 300 dollars. For this reason I would suggest the Surly but I would like to offer for your consideration the Salsa Fargo. It will cost more than either the Trek or the LHT but I think you will get a much better bike that will be as reliable but a lot more verstile and more fun to ride. The versitility comes in the ability to install much wider tires for off road riding. Whether or not it is more fun is subjective but I think the Fargo will have a more agile feeling to the ride.

I don't think there is a correct answer to your question. I think the best thing to do is get a bike that you will enjoy touring and then enjoy.

Offline DaveB

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2011, 09:12:48 am »
I think you can get the some quality and the same Cro-Moly frame from Surly (Long Haul Trucker) and it will probably be just as reliable and just as heavy with a cost savings of 200 to 300 dollars. For this reason I would suggest the Surly but I would like to offer for your consideration the Salsa Fargo. It will cost more than either the Trek or the LHT but I think you will get a much better bike that will be as reliable but a lot more verstile and more fun to ride. The versitility comes in the ability to install much wider tires for off road riding. Whether or not it is more fun is subjective but I think the Fargo will have a more agile feeling to the ride.
Another bike to consider is the Surly Cross Check.  It's a bit lighter than the LHT and more versatile. The current version has fork blade eyelets so you can put both front and rear racks on it just like an LHT, Trek 520, etc.  The rear dropouts are space 132.5 mm so you can use either road (130) or MTB (135) hubs as you wish and it has plenty of clearance for both fenders and fat tires.   

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2011, 09:36:22 am »
Another bike to consider is the Surly Cross Check.  It's a bit lighter than the LHT and more versatile. The current version has fork blade eyelets so you can put both front and rear racks on it just like an LHT, Trek 520, etc.  The rear dropouts are space 132.5 mm so you can use either road (130) or MTB (135) hubs as you wish and it has plenty of clearance for both fenders and fat tires.   

I know that not everybody agrees with me, but I don't like the horizontal dropouts on the Cross Check.  You'll think, plenty of room for big tires and fenders, and then you push the envelope just a bit, and you have to deflate the tires to get the wheels on and off.  I'd go with the LHT for that reason.

I've got one wheel with nice, fat 700x37 tires that fits well on bikes with vertical dropouts, but I go through that rigamarole every time I put it on the bike with horizontal dropouts.  And that's the bike the wheel/tire combination was built for!

Offline DaveB

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2011, 12:33:37 pm »
I know that not everybody agrees with me, but I don't like the horizontal dropouts on the Cross Check.  You'll think, plenty of room for big tires and fenders, and then you push the envelope just a bit, and you have to deflate the tires to get the wheels on and off.  I'd go with the LHT for that reason.
Have you had specific problems with a Cross Check or just with horizontal dropouts in general on other frames?  My Cross Check has coarse-treaded  700-32 tires and fenders and there's to be enough clearance to almost get your fist between the front of the tire and the fender.  I've never had the slightest problem removing the rear wheel. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2011, 10:35:04 am »
I know that not everybody agrees with me, but I don't like the horizontal dropouts on the Cross Check.  You'll think, plenty of room for big tires and fenders, and then you push the envelope just a bit, and you have to deflate the tires to get the wheels on and off.  I'd go with the LHT for that reason.
Have you had specific problems with a Cross Check or just with horizontal dropouts in general on other frames?  My Cross Check has coarse-treaded  700-32 tires and fenders and there's to be enough clearance to almost get your fist between the front of the tire and the fender.  I've never had the slightest problem removing the rear wheel. 

Mine is a Fuji Touring.  Have you tried 37 tires?  If you have no problems removing or replacing a wheel with 622x37 tires, I'll withdraw my objection.

Offline Shawne

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2011, 06:36:33 pm »
I rode the TA on a 2009 completely stock Trek 520 and only replaced a few tubes and the chain along the way.  I was self supported and fully loaded and the bike rode like a dream and seems to be pretty much bombproof.  I recently built a Gunnar Grand Tour which took the place of the 520 which I passed along to another TA traveler.

Offline ddg

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2011, 11:26:50 pm »
Although the bikes of choice currently seem to be the Trek and LHT, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with the 2011 Norco Cabot.  It was one of those in the initial list and (to me at least) looks like a decently setup commuter/tourer.  Specific reviews of it are seemingly non-existing online so far.

Offline mikeedgar

Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2011, 03:35:58 pm »
Have you considered the Gunnar line? The Fastlane is for light touring and the Grand Tour is for serious loaded touring. They only make the frames, so you'd have to add your own components. This may be a plus or minus.

Offline PedalOn

Totally different suggestion
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2011, 04:35:59 pm »
I'm guessing from your weight that you might not be very fit? In your specific case I think your goal might be to make you as comfortable as possible on the bike with respect to the contact points (seat, handlebar, and overall position) and to match the gearing to your weight and fitness level. I have my doubts that a standard off-the-rack bike will meet your needs. 

I have something completely different to suggest: a fully customized steel-framed Jamis Coda or Jamis Coda Sport (the Sport has a carbon fork). This is classified as a street bike, but the specs below will turn in into a fabulous touring/do-everything bike.

SPECS:
--Full mountain gears to get you up the steepest hills: 22-32-44 front; 11-34 rear.

--Nitto North Road handlebar for a more upright position: http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6397&currency=USD. For climbing hills you simply move your hands forward.

--A wide but not ridiculously soft seat: Selle Royal Ellipse Moderate Women's. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_507970_-1_201632_10000_202448

--SRAM X-5 twist grip shifters: Very comfortable and simple to use. Get the X-5 rear derailleur too.

--Soft ergonomic grips. This shape: http://www.meritline.com/ergonomic-double-density-bicycle-handlebar-grips---p-59594.aspx?source=fghdac. Get the thickest gel gloves you can find and make sure the gel is in the palm, not just the heel of your hand.

--Rims: Definitely agree with 36H

--Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Pro 700 x 35

I have this exact bike (except my tires are 700x32). For me personally, this is as close as you can get to heaven on wheels. If you find the right shop the modifications aren't prohibitively expensive. The Coda should come in at under $700 fully modified, from a base price of $500. The Coda Sport will be about $850 modified.

I know my suggestion is not something you were thinking of doing, but consider that thousands of Europeans tour on bikes very much like the above---not on dropped bars. And there are many bike tourists in the U.S. who favor this set-up.

I have biked up to 2000 miles a year on a hybrid with an upright, swept-back handlebar. Don't be worried about multiple hand positions with this bike. I find that when the bike is set up right and I have thick gel gloves, I don't need more than one or two hand positions. As a former carpal tunnel sufferer I can tell you that this upright bar is great for your wrists.

mbooks

  • Guest
Re: Touring bicycle choices
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2011, 05:15:26 pm »
I just bought a Surly Cross Check to go touring with, and it's awesome! Surly makes really solid bikes. I chose a Surly specifically because I have a log torso and long arms, and both the CC and LHT have long top tube lengths. I started to have back/wrist problems on my last bike that was slightly too short for me.

I chose the CC over the LHT because I've had lots of problems with broken spokes (and I weigh about 140, I guess I'm just hard on my bike). I built my own wheel and have not broken a spoke since. If you get a LHT that's smaller than 54 cm, you have to get 27" wheels, and the wheel I had built was a 700c. I was able to put my wheel on my 50cm CC, but I had to make many other modifications.

When I was doing research, the Trek 520 was on the top of my list, but the Surly cheaper and more versatile.