Looking for adventure bike



alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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Hi, I'm looking to buy a bike and would love some assistance.

The intended use of the bike is:
* Daily ride to/from work on sealed roads: ~15min each way
* Fast weekend rides 85% sealed, 15% gravel: ~150km
* Occasional touring/camping trips, 85% sealed, 15% gravel: ~1000km

Some requirements:
* Fittings for racks
* Drop handlebars
* Budget approximately = $2,400 / €2,200 / £1,800

I'm not sure about the following:
* Aluminium vs Steel vs Titanium frame
* From what I've read Titanium is too expensive and Aluminium too rigid, so Steel is what I want
* Mechanical vs Hydraulic brakes
* From what I've read, I want hydraulic
* Which brands/models to look at

I haven't found/decided-on the bike I want yet, and am hoping that by asking here I'll get a lead to the right bike.

That said, I have explored a bit and these bikes seem close to what I want:
* Genesis - Equilibrium Disc 30 (Steel)
* Brodie - Tiber (Steel)
* Brodie - Romax (Aluminium)
* Bulls - Grinder 2 (Aluminium)
* Jamis - Renegade Exploit (Steel)
* Masi - CXGR Supremo (Steel)
* Rose - Team DX Cross 2000 AR (Aluminium)
* Niner - RLT 9 (Aluminium/Steel)

If you have any advice I would warmly welcome it, be it a general tip, feedback about one of the bikes in my list, or a recommendation for some other bikes.

Thanks in advance!
 
Apr 26, 2016
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northern Wisconsin
Strongly recommend the Salsa Fargo. It's what Salsa calls their drop bar mountain bike. Wonderful steel bike and I bought it because steel is my favorite. I run mine on a mix of pavement and gravel and it does a fair job on single track until things get seriously technical. It's my "ride any road" road bike that I use when in a new area and am not familiar with the roads. I run 2.2" Continental Race Kings on mine and my average speed is only about one mph less on pavement than my 700x25 carbon road bike. Has MTB gearing, too, which is nice for hill work.
 

alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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Thanks for the tip, but the Fargo is a little too "mountain bike" for my liking, I'd prefer something close to a road bike.
I do agree that steel is nice!
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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I would go with only steel, but that's just me, but steel does hold up better, and if accidently bent steel can be corrected but not aluminum.

The Equilibrium uses too narrow of a rim and only comes with 27 tires which means it could go up to 32 but that would it, and I think the kind of riding you want to do it would be nice to have the option of going up a 35 or a 38 if needed especially for gravel use. The Niner bike doesn't have a front derailleur system so instead it uses a 11 speed rear system only but that could leave you wanting for a very low gear should your travels take you to steep hills. So in my mind that eliminates two of the steel bikes.

But the one bike that seemed to be built with durability in mind in regards to the frame, fork, and wheelset was the Jamis, sure it comes only with 105 instead of Ultegra as the Masi did but the Jamis seemed to put more emphasis on being able to handle rugged riding, and with the emphasis on being able to turn into a complete commuter bike with full fenders and rear rack mounts. I was impressed with the Jamis website. Also the Jamis uses Reynolds 631 vs standard cromoly tubing which is a stronger and lighter tubeset. One of the bikes you mentioned came with 725 which is more of a road bike frameset, it's light and thin, but 631 is built for rugged application and it won't dent as easily, plus it's a tad more comfortable, also 725 is heat treated which makes the steel strong but it's brittle and less comfortable compared to air hardened like the 631 is, 631 is simply upgrade 531 which is legendary.

The Brodie bike was an iffy thing for me, a brand I never heard of and not a lot of detail on the site.

The Kona bike use 853 tubeset which is just 631 heat treated which takes us back to being brittle like the 725 but a bit heavier than the 725 because the tube thickness is about the same as 631, plus the heat treatment makes the frame ride harsher which doing off road and gravel you really don't want that feeling as much.

So again I would go with the Jamis, they have a history of making wonderful bikes, it's also about $400 lower than your budget which leaves room to buy fenders and racks and whatever else you need.

Of course there are other bikes you could consider but if we all start throwing bikes at you all day but you will be so overwhelmed it would do nothing but confuse you. In the long run you won't gain or lose more than couple of percentage points which you would never notice anyways. So stay with the ones you looked at, and seriously consider the Jamis.
 

alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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The Equilibrium uses too narrow of a rim and only comes with 27 tires which means it could go up to 32 but that would it, and I think the kind of riding you want to do it would be nice to have the option of going up a 35 or a 38 if needed especially for gravel use....

Froze,
I've asked this question on a number of forums and that was, without a doubt, the most helpful reply I've had. I very much appreciate the time you took to reply!

The bikes on my short list, along with thoughts/questions/concerns:

* Kona - Roadhouse 2016 (853 Steel)
----> (-) not sure about suitability for touring, especially about room for rack, reviews suggest it would be tight

* Genesis - Equilibrium Disc 30 (725 Steel)
----> (?) why do you say the rims are too narrow? they're cycle cross rims, shouldn't they fit cycle cross-size tyres?

* Jamis - Exploit (631 Steel)
----> (-) a little heavy
----> (+) like that it has through axels and that the BB is not press fit

* Masi - CXGR Supremo (Steel)
----> (-) have not found it only at any European shop

BTW, if you have more bikes to suggest that may fit PLEASE suggest them. I don't mind being temporarily overwhelmed, while I search for nearby stores that sell ANY of these bikes
 
Last edited:

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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FYI ...

While hydraulic disc brake calipers MAY-or-may-not be better, I would be inclined to opt for cable actuated calipers ...

While most mechanical disc brake calipers have one stationary pad & one pad which moves, TRP (Tektro) now has a mechanical disc brake caliper whose pads move concurrently toward the rotor ...

AFAIK, there is one model for Road levers & one for MTB (aka V-brake) levers.​

I don't know if there are other brands of mechanical disc calipers which have similar, symmetrical clamping.​

I would think that mechanical calipers which use cables would be easier to maintain on a tour than hydraulic brake calipers unless you are wise enough to carry extra hoses + brake fluid (unless you are doing cold weather trekking, I recommend that if you opt for hydraulic calipers that you choose ones which use mineral oil ... let THAT be a possible factor when looking at ready-to-ride options) + whatever tools are needed beyond the Allen Wrenches which you will be taking along; but, maybe not!?!

If you aren't riding on "mountain" roads or through hilly country in the rain (or, on wet roads), then disc brakes may be unnecessary ...

Consider that Tandems used comparatively plebeian frame-and-fork mounted calipers for decades ... sometimes with a "drag" brake mounted on the rear hub if the anticipated situations warranted.

 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
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NE Indiana
The Genesis, according to the factory specs, only come with (700) 27 wide tires, that's way narrow, of course you could buy wider tires but the max that rim will probably take is a 32 which is too narrow for gravel, it can be done but a lot more caution is necessary, I've ridden on gravel with 25's but it was slow and go and sketchy. Usually manufactures put the middle of the size range that a rim will accept so 32 will be the max. Plus that frame is the 725 which is heat treated and makes the frame more brittle and harsher riding, but it is lighter.

The Jamis comes with 36c size tires which is on the lower end of the size scale for gravel (gravel bikes typically run 40's), but you will be doing combo riding so once you transition from the different surfaces you'll have a tire that can do both. Also if you want to ride on just all dirt and gravel on a particular ride you could put on a set of 40 tires, or if you want to ride on nothing but asphalt you can put on a set of 32's with smooth tread. This business of swapping tires for different types of riding is a cheap alternative to buying 2 or 3 different bikes!

I've been looking at a lot of bikes for this post (I had a mild surgery so I'm home doing nothing! LOL!!) and really I couldn't find anything that I thought was better than the Jamis. If mail order isn't a concern for you there is one bike that would be better, plus it's made of titanium, and it uses the same tire sizes as the Jamis, is the Motobecane Fantom Cross Team, I think this bike has an eyelet on the fork for a fender and rear has rack and fender braze ons, but I would email them to make sure it has eyelets for fender on the front. This bike has been highly reviewed and there was a person on another forum that was cyclocross racing it with no problems, it's made in Taiwan by ORA which is the foremost TI builder in Asia, anyway see this: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_ti_xi.htm BUT, if you live outside the US getting it shipped to whereever you're at could be impossible unless you know someone in the states you can send it to then they forward it to you...a very very trustworthy person!
 

alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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The Genesis, according to the factory specs, only come with (700) 27 wide tires, that's way narrow, of course you could buy wider tires but the max that rim will probably take is a 32
what makes you think it can only take a 32? where are you getting that info from?
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
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NE Indiana
what makes you think it can only take a 32? where are you getting that info from?

I'm guessing because most manufacturers put on the middle size tire that will fit the rim, which means usually you can go up or down from that tire the manufacturer put on by 2 sizes.

See this, but scan down to about the bottom quarter of the page and find the graph with the red and green squares: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html So according to that chart the 36 wide tire (which isn't on the chart but rather a 35 and 37 are) you should be able to go up to 44 and down to a 28, but I think a 28 may be pushing it on the narrow end but you would have to ask the dealer if that's all possible. For sure a 32 and a 40 would fit, the other sizes seems like they should but again you would have to ask to make sure.
 

alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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Jamis Renegade Exploit: WTB i23 STS Disc
Genesis Equilibrium Disc 30: Fulcrum Racing Sport DB CX - C17 (23mm OD/17mm ID)

I'm having trouble uploading a screen capture of that table here, which would make discussion easier, so I'll try with words...

That table suggests that:
17mm (inner) rims can hold 25mm-37mm tyres
23mm (inner) rims can hold 40mm-50mm tyres

Given that I think the Jamis has 23mm rims and the Genesis 17mm rims, doesn't that make the Genesis sizing more flexible/well-rounded?


Anyway, again, thank you very much for the help you've given already and sorry to pull you into the same pit of endless searching that I'm currently living in! :)
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
113
NE Indiana
Jamis Renegade Exploit: WTB i23 STS Disc
Genesis Equilibrium Disc 30: Fulcrum Racing Sport DB CX - C17 (23mm OD/17mm ID)

I'm having trouble uploading a screen capture of that table here, which would make discussion easier, so I'll try with words...

That table suggests that:
17mm (inner) rims can hold 25mm-37mm tyres
23mm (inner) rims can hold 40mm-50mm tyres

Given that I think the Jamis has 23mm rims and the Genesis 17mm rims, doesn't that make the Genesis sizing more flexible/well-rounded?


Anyway, again, thank you very much for the help you've given already and sorry to pull you into the same pit of endless searching that I'm currently living in! :)

Where are you getting the Genesis rim width information? I don't see it on the site you gave, just tire size.
 

alexaverbuch

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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Fulcrum Racing Sport DB CX
With the UK's infamous weather in mind we've opted for the 'CX' version of Fulcrum's new Racing Sport DB wheelset - getting the upgraded 'double gasket' hub seals for more time spent riding and less maintaining! The wheels also utilise Fulcrum’s new C17 new-school wider rim profile (23mm OD/17mm ID) and weigh in at a very competitive 1892g per pair. Not too shabby!
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
113
NE Indiana
I don't know much of anything about hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes but I did find this info:
http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/13813/hydraulic-vs-mechanical-disc-brakes
And this: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/13813/hydraulic-vs-mechanical-disc-brakes
And here is a review on the Shimano hydro brakes that are on the Jamis: http://road.cc/content/review/181892-shimano-105-rs505-hydraulic-sti-road-disc-brake-set

I hope that info helps with the braking thing. I don't own a bike with disc nor do I want a bike with disc brakes, but I don't ride in the rain a lot or in mud etc so rim brakes are just fine for me and I don't have any problems stopping in the rain unless I'm on my cheap black Shimano pads those suck in the rain, I much prefer kool Stop Salmon pads. I think in the long run rim brakes are cheaper to maintain even when pricing a new wheelset after about 30,000 miles of pad wear. Disc brake pads can last anywhere from 100 to 900 miles depending on conditions, and rotors will last about 2 years (depending on how much a person rides of course but that is the average). But rotors alone will cost $20 to $40 each depending on what you get, and the pads run $17 to $20 each, those are expensive brakes to maintain...but in the conditions it sounds like you'll be riding in disc may be better, and of course they're idea for carbon fiber rims.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
113
NE Indiana
To make sure we're reading the same page, that was taken from: http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/road/sportive/equilibrium-disc-30

Ok, I saw it, I was looking at the spec chart where they didn't list the rim size. That rim is a 17mm inside measurement which means it could accept up to a 37c which is just bare minimal for comfortness, efficient and safe gravel riding. You have to decide what you want more of. I haven't seen the kind of riding you do, or the surfaces etc, so I'm sort of guessing what bike would suit you the absolutely the best.

I do know the Genesis weighs at just over 22 pounds which is about a pound lighter than the Jamis, but the Jamis does have a beefier wheels, frame, and fork, either of those are at least 10 pounds lighter than my tank of a mtb!

If either of those bikes are available for you to ride you should ride each and see what you think. If you think gravel is a secondary concern and speed of traveling on gravel is not an issue than the Genesis would be the better bike if asphalt is your primary concern. But again if you travel on loose dirt a wider tire is a lot better for that too. Lots of stuff you have to decide which way you want to lean towards knowing that if you lean towards asphalt you'll gain speed but it won't be as good on the other surfaces, and vice a versa.