Touring or gravel frame?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 25 Aug 2020, 4:41pm

The Almotion is a flexible tyre, so while originally it was narrower than its nominal width, it has grown quite a bit in use. Just for the fun of it, I am adding a picture of the bike during my recent camping tour in the north of Germany.
IMG-20200812-WA0000.jpeg

Bmblbzzz
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Location: From here to there.

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Aug 2020, 6:33pm

Nice photo. What's the hub gear you're using?

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 25 Aug 2020, 7:35pm

Rohloff with Mittelmeyer shifter for a drop bar. It is an m-gineering custom frame with many nice details and some classic Nitto and TA parts and Magura HS66 brakes plus SON lighting.

nsew
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Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby nsew » 25 Aug 2020, 8:29pm

That’s a very tidy set-up on a nice machine.

Bmblbzzz
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Location: From here to there.

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Aug 2020, 8:42pm

willem jongman wrote:Rohloff with Mittelmeyer shifter for a drop bar. It is an m-gineering custom frame with many nice details and some classic Nitto and TA parts and Magura HS66 brakes plus SON lighting.

Thanks. Had a feeling it would be Rohloff but could have been something else.

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 25 Aug 2020, 8:51pm

The panniers have been a lucky find: the discontinued Altura Arc15, 33 litre for a pair, and weighing only 1050 grams for the pair. They are smaller than Ortlieb backrollers, but still big enough for compact kit for a summer tour, and they weigh little more than half of the Ortliebs. The bike is a dream bike, both responsive and smooth, and a mix of tradition, with a steel frame, drop bar, TA and Nitto parts, and some innovation, with fillet brazed extra oversized thin walled tubes, wide 26 inch tyres, hub generator lights, hydraulic rim brakes and, of course, the Rohloff hub. Never before did I have a bike like this, and I do not expect I will ever need or want another tourer. It can easily handle some 35 kg of luggage (with front panniers), but the sweet spot is 12-15 kg - just how I like my luggage weight.

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 10:09am

In short, think of it as a gravel tourer. I used this route: https://www.hanzefietsroute.nl/website/ ... -overzicht but only the part from Stralsund to Groningen. The gps tracks are excellent, and also the detailed information on campsites etc. The route itself is often very nice, but it has a bit too many really rough stretches of very coarse gravel. I quite like off road trails, but some of this was a bit too much. The tarmac was excellent, of course.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Aug 2020, 11:09am

Ortlieb panniers are rightly praised but yes, they are heavy. Probably even heavier than Carradice.

slowster
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Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby slowster » 26 Aug 2020, 12:40pm

willem jongman wrote:In short, think of it as a gravel tourer.

My favourite type of bike, and I very much like yours.

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 12:57pm

In part, this is of course because traffic has changed so much. When I first started touring in the UK in the late seventies there was not that much traffic, and it was mostly quite slow and well-behaved. This has changed and cyclists have more or less been driven away from the larger roads with smooth surfaces and moderate slopes. We have been forced to ride the minor roads and trails to avoid the heavy trafic. This has resulated in a demand for a different kind of bicycle, with wider tyres, lower gears and better brakes. Fortunately this has been facilitated by the rise of mountainbiking and the supply of new components for that, and the availability of lighter camping gear. But it is not all out of necessity: I must admit I also like these minor roads and trails quite a lot. You simply get closer to nature. In my case, however, I also wanted to retain some of the feel of the old drop bar tourer, and that is what I tried to achieve with my bike. M-gineering fortunately shared that respect for the touring tradition, so we managed to come up with a bike that, to me at least, seems to be the optimum compromise between the different demands.
Interestingly I have noticed a rise in the number of modern bikes that try to achieve roughly the same, now under the name of gravel bike. I am not sure how many of those are suitable for carrying a camping load, but with modern ultralight gear this should not be as much of an issue as it was years ago.

Bmblbzzz
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Location: From here to there.

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Aug 2020, 2:16pm

Yes, and that's something which those who decry "gravel bikes" and the general trend to wider tyres fail to take into account. The wider tyres are not just a reaction to the new "wide is fast" theories or a result of the adoption of disc brakes, they're mostly a reaction to riding on different surfaces; both off-road and smaller roads, as well as (in the UK at least) the general decline in standards of road surfaces.

Cowsham
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Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Cowsham » 26 Aug 2020, 2:19pm

Is that a fire extinguisher slung under the down tube? :)

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 2:29pm

Nope. A Trangia fuel bottle in a Bikebuddy. I don't like smelly fuel in my panniers, and I don't like to use the dirt collecting position under the down tube for drinking water. My (cold) drinking water is in a Thermos on the seat tube (again, with a Bike Buddy) and in an extra large stainless Nalgene bottle in a larger VeloOrange Mojave bottle cage.

Cowsham
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Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby Cowsham » 26 Aug 2020, 3:03pm

Great setup although my bike is packed a lot heavier than this with panniers front and rear ( bags on top of them too ) handle bar bags seat bag stuff in the frame triangle bag and other rucksacks on my back too. But I setup base camp and explore one or maybe two destinations therefore not carrying all the stuff all the time.

willem jongman
Posts: 2092
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring or gravel frame?

Postby willem jongman » 26 Aug 2020, 3:54pm

Wow, that sounds like a lot of weight. Mind you, my maximum weight, and that is for tours in cold weather, is about 18 kg. But I have lightweight gear and I try to leave everything behind that is not strictly necessary. For me the comfort of a ligher load is greater than the comfort of stuff like a chair. But that is a personal preference, in part imposed by 'old' age. I do not like to just ride along towpaths and disused railways.
Last edited by willem jongman on 26 Aug 2020, 10:02pm, edited 2 times in total.