1st purchase touring/commuter

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by joelikestobike, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. joelikestobike

    joelikestobike New Member

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    Looking to buy a new bike for my daily commute, but am very interested in doing some touring as the thought of real miles put on a bike and camping out nights sounds like heaven! So my brother, who is an avid cyclist, and I checked some bikes out and have a few to consider and would appreciate some feedback and thoughts from a third party (s).

    Currently considering the following:
    Surly Long Haul Trucker - nice ride, fast, high quality build and particularly liked the extra strong hubs, but not a fan of the bar end shifters - thoughts on those?
    Salsa Casserole - again nice ride, but seemed much more of a commuter only that could be modified to a touring bike
    Fuji Touring - actually a fan, but as set up, many of the components are basic build so may cost quite a bit to make it work for me

    Backround, newly enjoying being a cyclist only a few years, loving every minute on my bikes, looking to travel and likely ride to travel from south Jersey to whereever and whenever so long as for now I can pull off in a weekend. Advice is appreciated.
    Joe
     
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  2. fatandslow

    fatandslow New Member

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    I think the LHT is a great package as a tourer or commuter or all-rounder. It can also be purchased as a frame only ( at $420 or so) and built any way you want in terms of components. Too bad the color is so boring. I'm embarrassed to say I don't know much about the other two. In line with the LHT price-point and geometry , check out the Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite. If $ is not an issue take a look at the Co-Motion Americano or the Rivendell Atlantis.
     
  3. joelikestobike

    joelikestobike New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. All of the bikes i was looking at were as complete bikes, so all components already included and they were between 800 and 1300 with the LHT running in the middle at about 1100. Like you say kind of bland style on the LHT, and from what i have seen the bar end shifters are on the low end cost wise, but what i have heard is that they can offer benefits if you run into a break down on a trek as apparently they can still float to a low gear to allow you to get to a shop (nice piece of mind). Issue i found when test riding was that it was uncomfortable to shift then be able to slide the hands back to the breaks, can just see riding down a road with 60 lbs on the bike and coming up on a light where i would want to down shift to be able to get restarted and having issues doing this in a fluid motion. Starting to lean toward the Surly based on the fact that the as built bike appeared to be set up with close to top of the line components which would mean that upgrades would be more on the line of cargo racks and bags vs shifters and gears, though like i said more of a commuter so not sure how much weight the hubs and bike can handle. Again thanks for the insight.
     
  4. fatandslow

    fatandslow New Member

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    In case of a shifter breakdown, I think the bar-ends are easier to fix on the road or at the nearest shop, while the "brifters" are oft-times unrepairable. If anyone knows different please post. I think the limp-home capability is more a function of the derailer than the shifter. Any "low-normal" (or Rapid-rise in Shimano's terminology) derailer will do the same. They also tend to downshift a little more smoothly. You can also accomplish the same thing on a high-normal derailer with a twig or something jammed in the derailer to counteract the force of the spring.
     
  5. nonfeel

    nonfeel New Member

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    Recently, I would also like to buy a[​IMG]
     
  6. fatandslow

    fatandslow New Member

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    ?
     
  7. joelikestobike

    joelikestobike New Member

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    equally confused, thanks for a moment there I thought it was just me
     
  8. slowbutnotdead

    slowbutnotdead New Member

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    in the touring section of this forum there is an entire thread about bar end shifters. the convention thought is that when the bar end shifter indexing has a problem, switching to friction mode will allow you to continue to shift until a repair can be made. this may be the case but I have never had problems with brake shifters failing and my thought is that it is simple enough to carry a set of down tube shifters to use if the brake shifter were to fail.

    I too am looking for a touring bike to purchase and am looking at the LHT and Aurora Elite, I think that the LHT has a longer rear chain stay length than the Jamis. I am not sure that this matters since the Jamis rear chain stay is 17.3 inches, this dimension is important because you want to keep the panniers further back so you heels won't hit them when peddling. The lbs here don't have touring bike setup with racks and panniers to see if this is a problem when test riding.
     
  9. fatandslow

    fatandslow New Member

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    The chainstay length on the LHT is .8 inch longer than the Aurora's. Whether there is a practical difference would depend on how long the panniers are, how big your feet are, and how long the crank-arms are I suppose.
     
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