Audax without a drop handlebar

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by riddie, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. riddie

    riddie New Member

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    I would welcome any advice on what bike I should get to keep up with my cycling pal, who after 2 months of cycling together to get fit, has turned Judas on me and spent £1000 on a Specialized road racer.

    I have been using an old touring bike I used through Vietnam and Turkey 15 years ago and still (just) manage to keep up with him. I have caught the bug, and after a bit of reading, would like to spend IRO £1000 - £1400 on a light weight touring bike. It would mainly be for evening and weekend runs of up to 60 miles, but with the option of being able to tour with smallish rear panniers, as well as not get too worried about lightly gravelled tracks, living in Northern Scotland. I would like the option of being able to try a couple of sportives next year if I take panniers etc off, but also be able to have lights on it for winter use. I will never race cometitively- too old and fat!

    I phoned a very pleasant lass at Thorns about a Mk 3 Aurax, but was disappointed they only have drop handlebars - I have a fused neck after an accident- and am keen to have butterfly bars that will allow mainly an upright position, but be able to bend down if I am feeling very brave or it is too windy.
    I am not sure if a steel frame is needed (? Reynolds 853), but I would also like to keep it as light weight but versatile as possible.

    I would really welcome any suggestions. Should I buy the frame and forks and build up, or (with the benefit of the "cycle to work" scheme), go for a made up one.
    Lastly! Are disk brakes too much for road biking?
    My mountain bike has hydraulic disks and they are a dream!

    Many thanks
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand ...

    If you want non-standard handlebars, you're just going to have to buy them separately & have them installed on whichever bike you deem to be best suited for where you plan to be riding.

    If there is a bike with 700c wheels that has disc brakes that you have a hankerin' for, then that's the bike you should buy.

    In that vein, I recommend you look at the multi-geared RALEIGH XXIX ... 700c wheels, disc brakes, you can run almost any size tire ...
     
  3. Peter Jenkins

    Peter Jenkins New Member

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    I have a Thorn Club Tour that I ride Audax events on, albeit with drop bars, but I am sure the Thorn mob would build any of their models with flat or riser bars if requested. I have another bike that I also use for Audax rides, which is fitted with Modolo Yuma Mohican bars (purchased from St. John St. Cycles). I have ridden 150KM and 100KM events on these bars without feeling any discomfort although I do wish they were narrower sometimes as I am relatively small. Most riders believe that drop bars are the only way to go, but really it's what works for each of us. I would be tempted to ask Thorn to build up an Audax MK3 with the Modolo bars. I have no experience with disc brakes, but I would think they'd be the brake of choice if I were speccing a new bike. What's not to like? (on paper, anyway). They work in the wet from all accounts and they don't wear out rims. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

    pj
     
  4. JM01

    JM01 New Member

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    I'd buy a flat bar road bike with a factory build. There's a lot of good ones that will suit any riding style or need. Scott, Opus, Giant, Specialized, etc. make some great frames with good builds. Just stay away from those "performance" hybrids, essentially mountain bikes with hybrid frames...like a Trek 7.0 series. You'll know the right bike when you see one.
     
    It's easy to convert drops to flats...takes about an hour, but the trick is finding the right components. You'll need new brake levers (get the canti, not the V-Brake type), shifters (very tricky if you're converting a 10 cog cassette, even 9 cog are hard to find). Maybe a new chain, 4 cables with covers (you may be able to use the old rear brake one), and of course a bar and grips. Plus, it will cost a lot more than getting a factory built bike.
     
    Don't even think of starting until you have all of the components for the build or you may end up with a bike that's half done, and it's tough to go back.
     
    Good luck.
     
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