tourer that's fun to ride unladen

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Erudin
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Erudin » 14 Aug 2014, 3:09pm

I'd go for an steel audax/light tourer bike. I've got a 26" wheeled LHT and while it can carry heavier loads and copes better with expedition type roughstuff it is not as capable of clocking up the miles or as comfortable as my Thorn Audax Mk3.

I have two sets of wheels for the Thorn, Sputnik rims with 28mm Gatorskin tyres for loaded touring and general use, and Chrina rims with Grand Prix 24mm tyres for Summer roads and long unladen rides. I usually weigh over 100kg and have not problems with the wheels, the rear wheels have 135mm mtb hubs.
Last edited by Erudin on 14 Aug 2014, 3:17pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Brucey » 14 Aug 2014, 3:15pm

I quite like bicycler's suggestion of a Cross-Check; unlike audax bikes it will also accept wider tyres if you want to use them.

cheers
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Jezrant
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Jezrant » 14 Aug 2014, 10:23pm

A slight potential problem with the Cross Check is the horizontal top tube on that kind of frame; it's fine if you don't mind a big stack of spacers or very low handlebars. Those big stacks of spacers look bad enough on tourers with sloping top tubes. The horizontal top tube on the Cross Check seems to make it even worse.

Brucey
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Brucey » 14 Aug 2014, 10:50pm

fair point but didn't the OP want a horizontal top tube? Also, for all but those who must have the shortest reach, it is easy enough to solve the spacer stack issue simply by buying a larger frame size than you might have otherwise. This;

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check/geometry

shows that the nominal reach is less than 0.5" greater on the 58cm frame vs a 50cm frame. [In the same frames the standover varies by nearly 2.5" and the head tube by 2"]

cheers
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fatboy
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby fatboy » 14 Aug 2014, 11:02pm

OnYourRight wrote:Dawes still makes so-called Audax bikes: the Clubman and Century SE (same frame with different components).

I have a Clubman and generally like it. Check the geometry (PDF) suits you though; the frame is fairly long and the seat tube is on the steep side, especially if you hope to fit a Brooks saddle. It’s designed first and foremost for riding quickly.

Although the Clubman isn’t as stiff as some aluminium or carbon bikes I’ve ridden, it is considerably stiffer than a classic lightweight steel bike from decades ago. But maybe that would be a decent half-way house for you?

I’ve enjoyed day trips on mine with minimal luggage, and I see no reason it wouldn’t work just as well for reasonably light touring with rear panniers. Certainly I intend to do that with mine in the future.

Stripped of mudguards/saddlebag/rack, it’s a real racer. On the downside, I doubt it would accept tyres wider than 28 mm.


As an owner of a Century and a tourer I wouldn't recommend it as a tourer. As my tourer is off the road I'm using the Century with a rack and panniers and it's not great. Too bumpy (I don't think that 28 would fit with guards), bit floppy when out of the saddle and too short chainstays so the bags were too far back. I love my Century but if I had to get rid of a bike it would go before the tourer.
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Jezrant
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Jezrant » 14 Aug 2014, 11:19pm

Brucey wrote:fair point but didn't the OP want a horizontal top tube? Also, for all but those who must have the shortest reach, it is easy enough to solve the spacer stack issue simply by buying a larger frame size than you might have otherwise. This;

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check/geometry

shows that the nominal reach is less than 0.5" greater on the 58cm frame vs a 50cm frame. [In the same frames the standover varies by nearly 2.5" and the head tube by 2"]

cheers


He did indeed my lord; I'm just pointing out a peculiar detail about the Cross Check that isn't immediately obvious. :)

johnrph
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby johnrph » 21 Aug 2014, 10:39am

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions.

The solution is obviously to buy 2 bikes! Take my budget of £1300 and get a good 2nd hand Audax and a good 2nd hand tourer. After all I'd never buy a new car, so why should a bike be different?

My touring is limited to developed world destinations so there are many bikes that can cope with that. (Very nice 2012 Dawes Classic for sale on this forum for £550 at the moment. Only 1000 miles on the clock.) That exaggerated slope on the top tube (to my eye), puts me off, but I'm an oldish codger......

I did look at the Surly Cross Check and liked it a lot. Would need 3rd chainring and new front derailleur fitted, but it rode very nicely, and better than the LHT in my opinion.

Bicycler
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Bicycler » 21 Aug 2014, 11:07am

One good thing about Surly is that they do think about versatility (even when they do something silly like providing a double to begin with).
From their FAQ:
Can I make my Cross-check into a triple?

Yes, but you'll need to buy some stuff. The crankset that comes stock on our complete bike will accommodate a 74mm bolt circle granny ring. You'll need a 74mm BCD chainring, some bolts and spacers for it, and a longer bottom bracket (think 118ish) . You can probably get this done for around $100 at a bike shop. The stock shifters and front derailleur will work fine with it

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horizon
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby horizon » 21 Aug 2014, 11:50am

I was posting my own thread when I came across this one. I've posted it anyway but it looks like they overlap completely:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=89729
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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horizon
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby horizon » 21 Aug 2014, 11:54am

Jezrant wrote:A slight potential problem with the Cross Check is the horizontal top tube on that kind of frame; it's fine if you don't mind a big stack of spacers or very low handlebars. Those big stacks of spacers look bad enough on tourers with sloping top tubes. The horizontal top tube on the Cross Check seems to make it even worse.


Jezrant: don't you mean the short head tube? Whether the top tube is horizontal or not doesn't affect the number of spacers, it affects how much seat tube is showing, surely? You're right in that the Cross Check has a short head tube and this will create either low bars or many spacers but it's not to do with the horizontal top tube, AIUI.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Jezrant
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby Jezrant » 22 Aug 2014, 8:59am

It’s a bit more complicated than that I’m afraid. The head tube doesn’t necessarily have to be lengthened to raise the stack, but in practice the two tend to be directly related for mass produced road bikes. :)

reohn2
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2014, 11:56am

Jezrant wrote:It’s a bit more complicated than that I’m afraid. The head tube doesn’t necessarily have to be lengthened to raise the stack, but in practice the two tend to be directly related for mass produced road bikes. :)


I think manufacturers are trying to unnecessarily cover all bases ie;from total racing crouch to relaxed more upright position,hence Surly,not to mention Thorn leaving a long steerer tube with their short head tubes.
It's all so much fashion IMO.
The Cross Check could be an even better bike with a longer head tube keeping the TT horizontal or making the frame (semi) compact by raising the front TTube/HTube intersection.
If anyone wishes to ride a more 'aero' position there's enough deep drop handlebars and enough scope to have no spacer stack beneath the stem with such an arrangement,although most people who ride such a bike prefer a more relaxed position,Google images of Cross Check and there's more saddle/'bars level or 'bars just below saddle height/upright stems/large spacer stacks than not,which to my mind proves the point:- https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&s ... A#imgdii=_
Take a look at this bike for an example of what I mean by a better HT/TT arrangement:- http://salsacycles.com/files/bikes/bike ... comp11.jpg
Unfortunately it has crazy seat tube angles in all sizes :? otherwise a great machine and one I would possibly have bought instead my second Vaya.
Low stand over is a big plus IMHO and so is a long headtube also compact frames look 'right' to my eye.
IMO horizontal TT's aren't all they're cracked up to be as they're a bit like compact chainsets in offering the worst of all worlds ie;high SO,short HT,inducing the aero riding position the vast majority just aren't comfortable with.
Another trickle down from racing we could all do without :?
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PH
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby PH » 22 Aug 2014, 1:33pm

A lot of it is fashion, horizontal top tubes used to mean no more than a fist full of seatpost showing, as those example of CC builds show, that's no longer the case. As for the Casseroll, in what way is a headtube that extends above the TT better than spacers? Nothing I can see wrong with it (My SOMA has the same) I just don't see any advantage other than that fashion says lots of spacers=BAD.

reohn2
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2014, 3:29pm

PH wrote:A lot of it is fashion, horizontal top tubes used to mean no more than a fist full of seatpost showing, as those example of CC builds show, that's no longer the case. As for the Casseroll, in what way is a headtube that extends above the TT better than spacers? Nothing I can see wrong with it (My SOMA has the same) I just don't see any advantage other than that fashion says lots of spacers=BAD.


Nothing wrong with spacers under the stem but a longer h/tube sets the headset bearings further apart and allows for a more compact frame design.
Also,taken to the extreme a huge stack of spacers below the stem,above the top headset bearing,does lead to more chance of flex of the steerer tube especially when out of the saddle with the rider tugging on the handlebars.
If we take the photos in the link as a fair cross section of owners,given that the vast majority of people who ride CC's with a spacer stack under the stem,and a good proportion of those with 6,10 or more degree upward facing stem,it seems sensible,to me at least to have a longer headtube.In fact Surly's site shows the CC with an upturned stem and spacers under it and the ,bars are still lower than the saddle!:- http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check
So IMO there's room for improvement :wink:

EDIT:-
Some figures:-
From Surly CC geometry table,for a frame with a 57cm ETT(my size) the stack height is 576mm headtube length 121mm
Salsa Vaya same size 57cm ETT the stack height=628mm head tube length=185mm.
The tops of my handlebars are 40mm higher than the saddle,but I have 30mm of spacers beneath a +or- 6deg 12cm stem.With a 10degree stem and no spacers,the tops of the bars could be 10mm below the saddle,and that with what can only be described as a big stack height.
So to get a CC to fit me with the same stem I'd need an 82mm spacer stack beneath the stem.
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yostumpy
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Re: tourer that's fun to ride unladen

Postby yostumpy » 24 Aug 2014, 9:00pm

might I humbly suggest this. I very nearly bought it myself, but went for a Bob Jackson in the end. Its a bargain.
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=76130.0