Advice on a new touring bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
pwillis
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Advice on a new touring bike

Postby pwillis » 18 Mar 2009, 11:24am

I'm looking at getting a new touring bike and I plan to do Lands End to John O'groats next year but also a few one day rides / races this summer.

I'm looking at both the Dawes Audax Sport and Dawes Horizon. I prefer the Audax but am not sure whther this is strong and durable enough (and comfortable enough) for the whole LEJOG trip. Can anyone advise whether the Audax would be suitable to carry 2 full panniers for that distance or should I stick to the Horizon?

Here's links to the 2 bikes:

Horizon: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/dawes/horizon-2008-touring-bike-ec000393
Audax: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/dawes/audax-sport-2009-touring-bike-ec000398

Thanks

Paul

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Punk_shore
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby Punk_shore » 18 Mar 2009, 12:17pm

Hello Paul,

In my (limited) experience, the only way you can find out if a frame is too flimsy is when it has broken. I rode a "touring" duty Dawes for many years and it gave good service.

Peter
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Big T
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby Big T » 18 Mar 2009, 12:19pm

Depends on how much luggage you are planning to carry.

If credit card touring (staying at hotels/B&B/Travelodges) with minimal luggage you can get away with using the Audax.

If you wish to camp or take more luggage with you, then the Horizon is what you need. With 2 full panniers, I'd go for the Horizon.

The Horizon is quite heavy but has much sturdier wheels/tyres than the Audax and comes with racks/mudguards. Also, has a wider range of gears.

Both have STI levers/gears. Horizon has cantilever brakes, the Audax has dual pivot. The jury's still out over which is better.

You wouldn't be able to race on an Horizon (well, you'd be putting yourself at a disadvantage), but you could race on an Audax.
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pwillis
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby pwillis » 18 Mar 2009, 12:26pm

Thanks Guys.

I'm planning on staying in B7B's so no tent to lu around but will obviously need to carry spare clothes and a few additional supplies. Will I be able to fit a rack to the audax?

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby Big T » 18 Mar 2009, 12:29pm

Yes, the Audax has rack fittings (the sticky out bits on the seat stays, below the saddle).

I've done a 2 week tour of the Alps with just a saddlebag and handlebar bag. 2 sets of cycling clothes and one set of normal clothes.
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wilbo
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby wilbo » 18 Mar 2009, 1:37pm

How can people judge that a certain bike is not suitable to carry panniers? Assumming the weight of riders of both these bikes varies between 60kg and 90kg, then having 10-15kg of luggage in panniers seems less relevant. If a bike is too fragile to carry panniers, shouldn't the manufacturer sell it with a notice giving a maximum rider weight of 75kg or something?

pwillis
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby pwillis » 18 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Good point Wilbo.

If I can lose a few pounds before the ride then I can take extra luggage ;-)

ransos
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby ransos » 18 Mar 2009, 3:56pm

Panniers provide loads at specific points on the frame, so the ability of a bike to carry heavier luggage isn't directly related to its ability to carry a heavier rider.

I used a Thorn Audax for my LEJOG - staying in hostels meant I could keep to two panniers. I did find that there was a bit of wallow in the frame at higher speeds, but generally it was fine. I would think that a Dawes Audax would be similar.

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby jake » 18 Mar 2009, 11:18pm

I had an '05 Dawes Audax (before the Sport was introduced) for nearly 3 years. I only ever used it with a bar and rack bag and it rode really well. I read somewhere (probably on this forum) that it was only designed to carry a max 10kg of luggage. I wouldn't have been happy to use it with loaded panniers.

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby rogerzilla » 19 Mar 2009, 6:36am

The rear triangle needs to be stiff for heavily-loaded panniers. Pencil stays would cause the whole back end to flex.

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby gbnz » 19 Mar 2009, 9:48am

pwillis wrote:I prefer the Audax but am not sure whther this is strong and durable enough (and comfortable enough) for the whole LEJOG trip. Can anyone advise whether the Audax would be suitable to carry 2 full panniers for that distance or should I stick to the Horizon?


Without any hesitation,I'd go for the Audux. A full steel framed, tig welded frame, with double butted fork, will have ample strength to carry a couple of panniers, on what is perhaps a 2-3 week tour. The specification on the wheels is fairly skimpy, but even if they proved to have light weight hubs and rims, you'd still get several thousand miles out of them (I.e. I got 5000 miles out of a set of extremely cheap and nasty rims and hubs, carrying four panniers, total weight being 120-125kg). I wouldn't have any issue with the double pivot caliper brakes, I've descended alpine passes carrying 125kg without an issue. In any case, you'd have to replace the Tetro Oryx brakes fitted to the horizon, as they are absolutey dire

My only serious reservation would be the lack of gears. I priced upgrading my 16 soro geared town bike to 24 gears last week, costs using brand new equivalent quality components was £40, though that doens't include the sti (I found the front sti worked fine on a triple, though it was a generic flat handle bar sti - not sure if the same would apply to the drop handle bar sti). I'd negotiate upgrading it on purchasing the bike

I toured approx 16000km on an alloy and carbon audux bike during 2007-2008. Obviously on this forum, touring on alloy or carbon is deemed impossible, as touring bikes have to be made of steel, leather and genuine rubber. I found the frame too flexible with four full panniers (I.e. carrying gear for 12 months), though with two heavily loaded panniers it was perfect

pwillis
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby pwillis » 19 Mar 2009, 11:59am

GNBZ,

Thanks for the excellent real life advice. You have confirmed what I'd hoped was the case. I'm going in to my local supplier tomorrow to check the size.

Many Thanks

Paul

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby Big T » 19 Mar 2009, 1:10pm

The weak point of the Audax will be the wheels which won't be as sturdy as those on the Horizon. That said, I weigh 120kg and commute daily on a similar bike to the Audax, with a single pannier :shock: and have had no problems.
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gbnz
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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby gbnz » 19 Mar 2009, 6:55pm

I'd agree on the wheels, the fact that Dawes specify the Shimano hubs used on the Horizon (Though they are cheap shimano's), while the hubs on the audux are merely listed as "hubs" gives the game away. That said, I've found Rigida rims to be higher in quality than any shimano, campag or mavic rims I've used. It's not possible to check what the Rigida Nova's are like, given the Rigida web site seems to be down

Having said that, I've found that nominally "sturdy" wheels, poorly machine built out of second rate components, are far worse than properly built light wheels out of decent components. I.e. My original audux wheels were advertised at capable for touring, taking up to a 38mm tyre. They struggled. The replacement wheels in contrast, are fantastic, despite actually being built on rims narrower than on my road bike (13.5mm internal width - Rigida Chrina and XT hubs, from Spa Cycles),though I'm running on 25-28mm tyres

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Re: Advice on a new touring bike

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 19 Mar 2009, 7:34pm

I have the Audax sport. It has front and rear pannier mounts. I think Dawes have enough experience not to fit them if the bike isn't sturdy enough.I am no lightweight and ride on rough tracks - the wheels are holding up fine. However it is more "racer" than "tourer" with 700x23 tyres as standard and gives quite a firm ride. As to the gearing - I fitted and MTB rear mech and 13-34 cassette which is adequate for any hill I would ride up! The bike is great for day rides and light & fast touring, but for anything heavier, what else but the Galaxy?

If I was doing LeJog, I'd probably take my old Raleigh for comfort or the Viking Hosteller I'm rebuiding would be even better.
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