Author Topic: Help/Advice for New Bike  (Read 8521 times)

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Offline rlc5925

Help/Advice for New Bike
« on: May 20, 2011, 07:12:08 pm »
I have begun my search for a new bike. I am replacing my 20 year old Cannondale ST400. I am asking for any advice or help on selecting a new ride. I am currently limited to 3-4 day camping trips but will be retiring soon and plan to extend my travels to 2-3 weeks at a time. I will be riding paved as well as unpaved roads. So far the Rivendell Atlantis and Co-Motion Pangea have caught my eye. Any feedback will be helpful and appreciated. Thanks

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 07:54:20 pm »
This may not help you, but it may help us.  ;)  Can you describe what you want the bike for, what you like about your current bike, what you want to change?

Otherwise you're likely to get "Buy a Bike Like Mine" 25 times over.

Offline rlc5925

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 08:42:12 pm »
Thanks pblamb
I'm looking for a bike that will carry a full load front and rear as I will be packing camping gear. I would like the tires to be wide/soft enough to ride on unpaved roads found in many national parks and forests. My current bike has very out dated suntour components with shifting levers on the frame. I have been told by a couple of bike shops to upgrade would require bending/cutting of the frame which I am not willing to do. What I like most about my bike is I am used to it. It has 27x1.25 tires which is max for the bike. I would like wider tires. Hope this is more inline as to what you suggest. Thanks

Offline John Nelson

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 11:12:57 pm »
(1) Consult the "Touring Bikes for your Consideration" in the ACA "Touring Bike Buyers' Guide":

(2) Prune the list to only those in your price range. Prune the list again based on how well the parameters of the bike meet your requirements (based on the rest of the text in the article).

(3) Visit all the local bike shops in your area to see which of these they have on the floor (if any) and which they can order for you. Find out if they will order one in your size on a "no obligation to buy" basis.

(4) Test ride all the ones you can find/order.

(5) Buy the one that feels the best to you.

(6) If you are unable to get any bikes to take a test ride, then you'll have to take a chance. Pick any of the popular bikes from a major brand and you'll be fine.

(7) Don't over-think this. There are many bikes that will suffice. You don't need the "best" bike. You just need one that meets your requirements.

I agree that most people here will recommend the bike they personally own. That won't be that useful to you.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 02:27:33 pm »
I agree with everything John wrote, especially the "Don't over-think" part.  I really like to try a bike before I buy, although I also have a custom bike that's very nice.  Because I tried them both, I brought home a Novara Randonee when I'd driven 4 hours to buy a Cannondale Touring bike several years ago.

The only thing I could add is to look for a low gear if you're going to ride in mountains (or even hills).  I'd love to try a low of 20", but I refuse to settle for a low over 25".  This year's Randonee, for instance, is over-geared, as Trek's 520 was for a while (Trek has fixed this).  Check the specs against to see what the stock gearing is for complete bikes, or your choice of build spec.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 06:54:29 pm »
Don't have any suggestions for a specific bike.  But the two you mentioned go for $1850 and $2000.  Frame/fork.  So you could very easily find a somewhat local custom frame maker and have him build you a custom touring frame/fork for the same money.  Might be worth your trouble to find out who is close to you and talk to him.

Offline rlc5925

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 08:39:39 pm »
Thanks Russ
Anyone knowof a frame builder in Florida or Georiga

Offline Tourista829

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 10:33:03 pm »
I don't like to advertise on the Forum but you ask for a resource and there is a custom builder that is excellent.

Villin Cycle Works, Inc.
3003 NE 19th Dr #3
Gainesville, Fl. 32609
352 246-1740

He does awesome work. Was refered to him from Ortlieb, who saw his work at a custom bike builders show. We visited his shop and he took us for pizza and salad at Satchel's. His work is outstanding. We may have my girlfriend's Motebecane Mixte fixed and repainted after an accident she had.

I have a Comotion Norwest Tour, will be 60 this year, I love my bike and I wanted a sport tourer. However, you are looking on the plus side of 4k and close to 5k with S&S couplers. The Pangea is an excelent expedition bike. I would go with the Rohloff drivetrain. Thorn Nomad is also an outstanding expedition bike too. Sold by SJS Cycling in the UK.

Finally, I know 4 people who went to R&E Cyclist in Seattle, Washington. They market a touring bike under the Rodriguez label. They have 18 stock sizes, if you want it customed $200. They build it from scratch. They all "love" their bikes because they fit like a glove. For a shade over 3k you can get a bike with S&S couples and a case to put it in, that is airline legal, if you go with the 26" tires.
5627 University Way Northeast              Ask for Smiley  :)
Seattle, WA 98105-2699
(206) 527-4822

Good luck in your search.

Offline gpshay

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 12:21:11 am »
I have a cannondale T-1000 .. I took was looking for a new touring bike so I bought a Rivendell Atlantis and am currently building it as I type there are some pics of my progress in crazy guy on a bike under glenn shay

Offline bogiesan

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 09:05:51 am »
ONe word, three syllables: recumbent.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 12:11:08 pm »
I generally do not tell anyone which bike to buy exept that if you want to tour, buy a bike made exactly for touring. There are quite a few out there made specifically for touring, both new and used.

Offline DaveB

Re: Help/Advice for New Bike
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 09:02:11 am »
I can personally vouch for Co-Motion and Rivendale sells good bikes if you can get by the pompous retro-attitude.  Other possibilities are the Trek 520 and Surly Long Haul Trucker.  All of these will clear 700x32 or 38 tires with fenders.  As noted, don't agonize over the small stuff but do insist on an adequately low low gear.