rando bike vs touring bike

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
serbring
Posts: 327
Joined: 6 Feb 2011, 11:14pm

rando bike vs touring bike

Postby serbring » 20 Jul 2014, 10:34pm

Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying a new touring bike. My actual touring bike is a mtb where I turned it as touring bike with racks, hub dynamo, mudguards, touring tyres and so on. I'm fine with my bike, but I would prefer a more comfortable and faster one. I'm also in love with dropped handle bar bikes since I have never had one. I'd like also to try doing a randonee at least a 400km, but I'm not sure about the last point. Anyway my budget is less than 2000€. I'm thinking to get a cyclocross or a rando bike, because they're lightweight, durable, comfortable for long rides and also embedded with all the equipement like hub dynamo, lights and rear racks. Only the front rack seems cannot be mounted.
On paper those bike looks superior to touring bike for on road touring, that it will probably be the most of touring I'm gonna do. What is your feeling about? The main different about it is that rando bike mount road bike equipment instead of mtb components of touring bikes. What is the differences between the two kind of components?

A bike I've in mind to buy is the following:
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/bike/rose-pr ... aid:721780

What do you think about it?

Brucey
Posts: 39498
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby Brucey » 20 Jul 2014, 11:03pm

randonneur bikes are traditionally built with the following features;

- ability to carry a modest load, often at the front rather than the back,
- lightweight, fairly flexible frames and forks
- steering geometry designed for a front load
- wide range gears
- wide, supple tyres
-lightweight equipment
- full length deep section mudguards with mudflaps
- built-in lighting.

the bike you are looking at has the built in lighting but past that;

-rear load only (not a deal breaker in my book, plus it could be converted I suppose)
- a lightweight but very stiff frame, and a fork of unknown stiffness (but probably quite stiff)
-unknown steering geometry
- not very wide range gears (more lower gears and perhaps fewer higher ones would suit better)
- relatively narrow, possibly harsh-riding tyres
- mostly lightweight equipment, except for the disc brakes which add ~0.5kg or more of hard won weight right back on there
- narrow mudguards which are too short and too narrow to be really effective, and no mudflaps

You can of course ride a randonnee on pretty much any bike but that one (despite being good value on paper) wouldn't be my first choice; with wider tyres (28s might be wide in a racing context but they are quite narrow in a rando context) and mudguards it would be considerably more comfortable, but with a different frame and a few other changes it could be a better bike for randos in a number of ways.

A rando bike isn't usually good for much more than 5-10kg load at the front and the rear whereas a full-on touring bike ought to take a lot more than that. If you want to carry a full camping load regularly a genuine rando bike isn't the best thing for the job.

Road gears etc are not much different from MTB ones but 10s + in shimano, the road shifters won't work MTB mechs any more; with 10s + MTB shifters you need MTB mechs. If you have the choice select 36h wheels; they are a lot stronger than 32h ones and the four extra spokes weigh just 30g or something pathetic like that.

hth

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OnYourRight
Posts: 283
Joined: 30 Jun 2013, 8:53pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby OnYourRight » 21 Jul 2014, 1:12am

If you click on the chainset you can select a 50/39/30 triple for an extra £6. That may provide low enough gears (though still needlessly high gears too) for most people, especially for someone seeking a fast bike as a complement to an existing touring bike. However, Brucey’s other reservations stand. I would much prefer a steel frame and rim brakes, a combination that might not actually weigh much more.

Personally, I also find the Rose bike a bit ugly. It’s like too many German products these days: a few gimmicky details oddly juxtapositioned against a drab and unadventurous background. I have a great deal of respect for Germany’s engineering heritage, but the bicycles I see German tourists on tend to be appalling.

On the plus side, the individual components of that Rose bike seem very good for the price. That might be the bike’s biggest strength. It’s all top-notch stuff, e.g. Shimano 105, Schwalbe, Ritchey, Busch & Müller, Tubus, etc. Even the saddle is expensive to buy on its own, though it’s not one I’d choose.

But that’s the problem: if I wanted to build a bike for 400 km rides I’d change almost every component on that Rose for something slightly different, starting with the tyres (I’d want something with less puncture protection). That’s not to say you couldn’t do 400 km on that bike, of course. I’m sure many cyclists would prefer it to my idea of a good bike.

serbring
Posts: 327
Joined: 6 Feb 2011, 11:14pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby serbring » 21 Jul 2014, 9:02pm

Thanks for your reply. You and OnYourRight got interesting points. I didn't care about them because some expensive components impressed me more, but you're totally right, The rack can be loaded up to 20kg. May it be worth changing the rear rack for a one with a higher load rating? Would you use a rando bike for touring? Do you know any better rando bike or a lightweight touring one? Regading the german brands I agree with you, all of them look similar and all the bike with similar price have almost the same components.

Valbrona
Posts: 2293
Joined: 7 Feb 2011, 4:49pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby Valbrona » 21 Jul 2014, 9:52pm

Spa Cycles do custom bike builds using steel and titanium frames. So you could perhaps opt for a more touring orientated frame but spec faster and more lightweight components. And if your budget can extend to titanium, there now quite a few others out there apart from the Spa one.
I should coco.

serbring
Posts: 327
Joined: 6 Feb 2011, 11:14pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby serbring » 21 Jul 2014, 10:43pm

Valbrona wrote:Spa Cycles do custom bike builds using steel and titanium frames. So you could perhaps opt for a more touring orientated frame but spec faster and more lightweight components. And if your budget can extend to titanium, there now quite a few others out there apart from the Spa one.


interesting, The bike components are a bit different than the most of touring bike: sora and tiagra instead of deore. How are these groups with respect to the deore? The bad thing is that it is hard to buy a bike from italy. No information about dealers

Brian73
Posts: 462
Joined: 11 Aug 2010, 10:32pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby Brian73 » 21 Jul 2014, 11:02pm

Sora is a road groupset. 9 speed, similar to the older 9 speed Deore MTB group In having external bottom bracket cups.

Latest Deore is currently 10 speed similar to the Tiagra road group.

The great thing about Shimano road and MTB groups is that they're mix and match, unlike SRAM.

My Dawes has a Sora 9 speed front mech on an Alivio MTB triple chainset.

The road groups are generally lighter than the MTB equivalents.

Brucey
Posts: 39498
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby Brucey » 21 Jul 2014, 11:27pm

serbring wrote: Would you use a rando bike for touring?


not with any real load on, that is not what they are meant for. It varies with the bike of course but 20kg total (split between front and rear) would be about the maximum for a rando bike or a light touring bike.

Do you know any better rando bike or a lightweight touring one?


In new bikes the spa cycles ones are worth a look for sure and they are good value.

But otherwise there have been bikes built for about 50 years with light steel frames, sensible gears (or at least the possibility of them) up to 32-35mm tyres, a modest luggage carrying capacity and a total bike weight of around 26lbs with mudguards fitted. For decades almost any English lightweight clubman's bike or light touring bike would fit that description.

If you do most of your riding with no load on, but spec a frame and wheels etc that will take a 20kg+ load front and the same again at the rear, you will often find that you have a bike that is stiffer than it needs to be and is that little bit harsher and less comfortable to ride the rest of the time. So (say) a surly LHT is a great touring bike but I think not such a good choice if you ride mostly unladen.

For example one of these;

Image

from 1982 weighed in at 26lbs (with pedals, you need those.... :roll: ) and was an extremely competent machine, in the mould of a lightweight English touring bike; not built to take a really heavy load. It wasn't even particularly expensive, and IIRC at the time a better frame (like a Bob Jackson or a Mercian) built up with nice bits would only have been a few quid more. [You can still buy a CB dalesman today; it is good value and may even take a load better, but it isn't quite such a nice bike to ride as one of the above, having a stiffer frame and fork].

If you go all spendy on a rando bike you might think about buying a (newly manufactured or old) Singer or Herse machine, or similar. They can be beautifully made and nice enough to ride but arguably differ only in detail from a 1982 dalesman etc, primarily by being able to accept fatter tyres still and by having steering geometry that is well suited to a front-only load.

It is very easy to compare online specifications etc and these days you can just push a button and new bike will turn up in a box a few days later. But no amount of online research will tell you how a bike feels to ride, and that is far more important than any (real or imagined) difference in the specification of the gear shifters etc. That IMHO is the reason you should ride as many different kinds of bike as you can.

If you get a chance to swing your leg over something with a really lightweight steel frame that is fitted with nice supple tyres I would expect you to notice the difference between that and (say) an aluminium frame immediately; for some folk it is like the difference between your favourite song and a cover version; difficult to describe but you know instantly, and one is certainly much better than the other.

hth
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12973
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby 531colin » 22 Jul 2014, 8:55am

Brucey....OP is in Italy, probably has better access to Italian & French old bikes than British....?

I agree that modern trend is for "touring" bikes to be "load luggers", and therefore stiff and uncomfortable unloaded, at least for small, light riders. (I think most manufacturers use the same tube sizes for all frame sizes?)
The other thing is that I have seen some dreadfully floppy frames from 30 years ago, presumably built by bored operatives in a factory on piecework.
It may even be the case that a tall/heavy/powerful rider is better off with a new frame, and a short/light rider with an old frame with narrow tubes....?

Brucey
Posts: 39498
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby Brucey » 22 Jul 2014, 9:54am

I agree, absolutely.

However I am not sure how widely available traditional rando/touring bikes are in Italy (new or used); I have always had the impression that most weekend riders in Italy will tend to gravitate towards a bike that is very similar to a road bike, but with the concession of lower gears only; no mudguards etc. In my travels I've seen very many of those and quite a few with racks nailed on (somehow), loaded up, in apparent defiance of the laws of physics.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OnYourRight
Posts: 283
Joined: 30 Jun 2013, 8:53pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby OnYourRight » 22 Jul 2014, 9:56am

serbring wrote:The rack can be loaded up to 20kg. May it be worth changing the rear rack for a one with a higher load rating? Would you use a rando bike for touring?

The rack on the Rose bike is a Tubus Fly evo. I haven’t seen one of these in person yet, but the Tubus racks I have seen have been exceptionally high quality. In fact, Tubus racks are a good example of German design at its best: simple, clever, elegant, and durable.

The Fly is a small and very narrow rack, but that might be a good thing on your second bike, since your first bike is a heavy-duty MTB-style touring bike. If I were you I would try to keep my second bike genuinely lightweight and make sure to pack lightly when using it. Twenty kilograms – the Tubus Fly evo limit – is already a lot of stuff to put on a bike, in my opinion.

I like the look of that Claud Butler Dalesman. It’s a shame those narrow tubes have gone out of fashion. Is anyone building such frames today? I’m 65 kg, and I do like the springiness of a lightweight steel frame. I think they also teach you to pedal better.

serbring
Posts: 327
Joined: 6 Feb 2011, 11:14pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby serbring » 22 Jul 2014, 10:48am

OnYourRight wrote:
serbring wrote:The rack can be loaded up to 20kg. May it be worth changing the rear rack for a one with a higher load rating? Would you use a rando bike for touring?

The rack on the Rose bike is a Tubus Fly evo. I haven’t seen one of these in person yet, but the Tubus racks I have seen have been exceptionally high quality. In fact, Tubus racks are a good example of German design at its best: simple, clever, elegant, and durable.

The Fly is a small and very narrow rack, but that might be a good thing on your second bike, since your first bike is a heavy-duty MTB-style touring bike. If I were you I would try to keep my second bike genuinely lightweight and make sure to pack lightly when using it. Twenty kilograms – the Tubus Fly evo limit – is already a lot of stuff to put on a bike, in my opinion.



This is an interesting tip. On my MTB there is almost all the things of a real touring bike; of course it's a bit uncomfortable for long cycling. With a butterfly handlebar may the comfort improve?

I like the look of that Claud Butler Dalesman. It’s a shame those narrow tubes have gone out of fashion. Is anyone building such frames today? I’m 65 kg, and I do like the springiness of a lightweight steel frame. I think they also teach you to pedal better.


what about this: http://www.pinarello.com/it/bici-2015/city/veneto?

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12973
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby 531colin » 22 Jul 2014, 10:52am

OnYourRight wrote:...............I like the look of that Claud Butler Dalesman. It’s a shame those narrow tubes have gone out of fashion. Is anyone building such frames today? I’m 65 kg, and I do like the springiness of a lightweight steel frame. I think they also teach you to pedal better.


See if you can score a ride on a Titanium frame.
Fashion being what it is, people "expect to see" oversize tubes irrespective of the material.
To me, 31.8 top tube/38.1 down tube in plain gauge Ti feels not too different to 25.4 top/28.6 down in butted 531. (I miss 531c forks, though :( )

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 12973
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby 531colin » 22 Jul 2014, 11:10am

serbring wrote:.............

This is an interesting tip. On my MTB there is almost all the things of a real touring bike; of course it's a bit uncomfortable for long cycling. With a butterfly handlebar may the comfort improve?

what about this: http://www.pinarello.com/it/bici-2015/city/veneto?


If you have a straight bar now, a butterfly bar will give you more hand positions, including variations in forward reach.....Bar ends added to your existing straight bar will give a different hand position with longer reach.....you can also change the reach/angle of the stem.

The Pinarello uses the same fork offset for a 3 degree range of head angle, so how it handles will depend entirely on frame size. ....everything from full race handling on the 73 deg big size to wheel flop on the 70 deg small size.

OnYourRight
Posts: 283
Joined: 30 Jun 2013, 8:53pm

Re: rando bike vs touring bike

Postby OnYourRight » 22 Jul 2014, 11:29am

I guess you need to decide whether you want to replace your MTB-style touring bike with a new touring bike with drop bars (and if I were you I would probably do that, since I consider drop bars essential) or whether you want to add a faster, much lighter bike that would unfortunately be less suitable for full-scale touring.

Since you mentioned the 400 km randonnée, I thought perhaps you wanted to optimise the new bike for that kind of thing. But on rereading it seems touring is your main requirement.

I believe in packing light on a bike. So for me, I could happily do long-distance touring on a bike with the 20 kg limit imposed by the Tubus Fly evo.

The Pinarello is pretty, but it doesn’t seem to have anywhere to attach a rack or mudguards. I’m sure 531colin’s remarks about the geometry are on the mark too.

As for me, I’ll consider a titanium frame when I’m feeling a lot richer than I am at the moment. But thanks for the tip, 531colin.