Touring bike comparison

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by gescom, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. gescom

    gescom New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    At the moment i'm looking around for a touring bike and its interesting to see how manufacturers approach frame design.

    In the following animation i've compared a few production bikes in similar price range which include:


    [​IMG]

    Trek 520, 2004 (green)
    Cannondale T800, 2004 (blue)
    Cannondale T800, 2003 (red)
    Specialized Sequoia, 2004 (silver)


    Looking at handlebar height the differences between the Trek 520 and Sequoia are very noticable. As far as I know it isn't posible to extend the height of a threadless handlebar stem like you do with the seat post. Is this right? :eek:

    The Sequoia with its upright riding position seems the most suitable for touring. The downside with this bike seems the carbon forks (for front loading) and tall gearing.


    I'm hoping to give the 03 T800 a test ride soon and it would be great if I could get it at a lower price due to the new models coming out. My only concern seems to be the reach required for the drops and levers. It looks as though Cannondale have improved this on the 04 model. Anyone have any opinions on the T800? How far down can the seat post go on the T800?


    One last thing I would like to know is how much control do you have over the front derailleur with sti shifting regarding chain rub? I've read that friction (non-indexed) shifting with bar-end shifters may be the best option for a touring bike.


    Thanks

    Gavin
     
    Tags:


  2. stevenaleach

    stevenaleach New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bar end shifters are a better bet. Indexed shifting offers no real advantage... and is less reliable, more expensive, harder to adust, and just plain anoying on a tripple due to chain rub.

    Check out the Rivendell Romulus:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/romulus/

    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html
     
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    The bar height adjustment will need to be done with a different stem and/or by changing the spacers if they left sufficient fork steering column. I use a -17 degree Ritchey stem inverted on my touring bicycle. The stem will also determine the reach. You should consider this in the sizing. The bars, taping, and levers also determine the reach.
    How far down the seat post can go is not usually an issue on a frame that fits you correctly.
    I would agree on your conclusions about the carbon fork.
    Bar end shifters are a good compromise for touring. You can select brake levers that best fit your reach requirements.
    Gearing requirements are an issue, as are room for tires, fenders, racks, and heal clearance.
    Check on Bruce Gordon information at URLS:
    http://www.bgcycles.com/bruce.html
    and some nice comparison information on his FAQs at URL:
    http://www.bgcycles.com/faq.html
     
  4. JoeRider

    JoeRider New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gavin,

    My LBS let me take a Sequoia out for the weekend. My normal road ride was an Allez Comp, but I wanted something more suited to long rides and commuting. I was really impressed. The bike was ultra comfortable on a 40 mile group ride. It handled well in the pack and I didn't have any problems keeping up on the climbs. Actually I returned feeling the best I have in a long time.

    I'm not a big fan of the stem, but infinate adjustments are possible and after the ride I didn't mind so much. Also, I didn't care much for the stock saddle and the suspension stem, but those are easily changed.

    I ordered the Sequoia Ellite. It has the 105 group and carbon seat stays. I'm planning on using it mainly for centuries so I didn't feel I needed Ultegra and for the money, it was hard to beat. I'll put my Selle Saddle and EC90 Seatpost on and be good to go in about 10 days when it arrives.

    Good luck with the search,

    JR
     
  5. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this your limit on price range. There are many other bikes (touring) to choose from... Rivendale is one, Heron, Litespeed, Airborne, and even REI makes a bike special for touring... But the question is how many $$$ you want to spend and that also determines the ease of use, lifetime of parts, maintanance schedules and so forth.

    This is true. I recommend that you get the bike with the fork UNCUT if possible. Then you can cut it for yourself. An option, albeit expensive, is to use something like the LOOK ERGO STEM that allows multi angle adjustments. Leave the fork long and play with the ERGO STEM and then when you get the measurement the way you like, cut the fork and put a regular stem instead.

    This is preference. True I would probably change the gearing. But I'm not a fan of front loading. I'm also not a fan of a fairly upright position. I find that it hurts my lower back over time. Actually for my longer days (130+ miles/day) I prefer to use aerobars so I can take the weight off of my wrists and rotate my hips forward to give my back (and the portion of my bottom) a break.

    Sorry cant help ya on this...


    If the system is adjusted properly then it is not a problem. A lot of folks think this is a problem but I say they don't know how to adjust STI or don't want to learn. Another comment used against STI is also quality. Well I don't know what they base this on... My only comment is you are better off buying at least Shimano 105 STI because like all manufacturers they produce products based upon what they anticipate the customer to use. So if someone is trying to use SORA for 10,000 miles a year then they should expect to have problems. Old Suntour barends also had problems (in the lower price ranges). So I think the issue is not that STI is less reliable than DTs or BARCONs or cannot be set up proper, I think the issue is we are not comparing STIs designed for long-life/heavy-duty against DT and BARCON. I've never had a problem with Ultegra, 105 or DuraAce, esp DuraAce (shifters).

    And 105 has always been Shimano's touring groupo. Of course Ultegra and now DuraAce are available for touring. IMHO the DuraAce STI (shifters) is the way to go. I would use DuraAce shifters and possibly Ultegra/105 for the rest.
     
  6. Greyfox10025

    Greyfox10025 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just my first long ride on a Bike Friday Airglide and it's the best touring bike I've ever owned. I've been doing long distance touring and guiding in Europe since the '60's
    www.todmoore.net
     
  7. rdmartin

    rdmartin New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought a Sequoia around Labor Day. I've been using it for several very long day rides (centuries and metrics). I do ride with a rear rack and trunk for extra fluids and other supplies (the joys of riding in the desert). The bike is fantastic. I have found it to be very comfortable for up to 7 hours on the bike in one day or two days at 80 mi/day. I prefer alternating between upright and having my hands on the hoods so the geometry of the sequoa works very well for me.

    The only thing i would change is the gearing. I would prefer at least a parity gear for climbing.

    The secondary break levers are rather nice, or at least nice for those of us coming from mountain bikes. The downside with the secondary levers is that there is not much room for lights, etc.

    I plan on using the bike for some credit card touring next spring. I should have no problem with that. I have the feeling that fully loaded touring would be pushing it on this bike. Then again, I have no basis for comparison.
     
  8. izella

    izella New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    You may also want to check into Marinoni.....a Canadian bike company building out of Montreal. I have a full Marinoni touring bike with Campy Veloce components. I have owned the bike since 95 and have toured on it every year riding an average of 100mi/day. The bike is steel, comfortable, affordable(just check out the prices and compare!) and Campy parts are repairable unlike Shimano, which is only replaceable.
     
  9. gescom

    gescom New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I haven't really tried many bikes since I posted this thread only a Trek 520 and cheap hybrids. I never heard back from the shop that was supposed to order in the Cannondale which was dissapointing. I prefer non-sloping top tubes anyhow so didn't follow it up.


    I finally decided to go with a Soma Double Cross frame (http://www.somafab.com/doublecrosspix.html) and get it built by my lbs to my specification. The geometry on the Soma frame is as close to what I ride at the moment without getting a custom frame made which is great. I like the fact it can take 700x35+ tires, is steel and that I can cut the steerer to a height I require. I plan to get the adjustable 'look ergo stem' as prestonjb mentioned so I can finetune reach and position.

    Hopefully if it comes in one piece ;) I can post a pic when its finished.
     
  10. FishMan473

    FishMan473 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    At the moment i'm looking around for a touring bike and its interesting to see how manufacturers approach frame design.

    Trek 520, 2004 (green)
    Cannondale T800, 2004 (blue)
    Cannondale T800, 2003 (red)
    Specialized Sequoia, 2004 (silver)


    You have to bear in mind that none of these are actually touring bikes, they are light-touring bikes. Thier frames and wheels are too lightly built and their gearing is too high for actual loaded touring. I'm sure, as people have commented, they are great for recreational use.

    As far as I can tell the cheepest actual touring bike available in the US is the Bruce Gordon BLT. I bought this bike and can recommend it, but it costs $1500. Surley is coming out with their Long Haul Trucker touring frame soon. Looks like it will be a good deal, you could build up a Deore equiped touring bike for probably around $900.
     
  11. gescom

    gescom New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    How much do you take with you when on tour Fishman? I find that two large rear panniers and a handlebar bag give enough room for what I need. If I'm too loaded I spend more time walking the bike (uphill) than riding.

    I probably should have waited and got the Surley frame as its a good deal. I've already got the Soma cross frame so a bit late now! I'm yet to build it but atm it looks great, although I should have got a size smaller to allow for the extra reach drop handlebars require. Looks like I will stay with flat handlebars and bar-ends (I sized the frame on my current bike which is a flat bar).

    I'm not going to use an adjustable stem as there seems to be plenty of different stem lengths available. Using the same handlebars I know what length I need anyway.

    One item i'm going to replace is my rear rack as its starting to bend near the bottom on one side. Can anyone recommend a strong, preferably steel/cromoly rack? Are Tubus racks any good?
     
  12. FishMan473

    FishMan473 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. luceberg

    luceberg New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    sjscycles.com in the UK are a useful source of touring bike info and also ship worldwide.
     
  14. aland

    aland New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. frusso

    frusso New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    I replaced my 12-25 with a 11-34. That little change now makes it a great touring bike
     
  16. Vintage Cyclist

    Vintage Cyclist New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. Stephen Coulson

    Stephen Coulson New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Check out the Thorn Raven Nomad bikes. Thorn is a British company and these bikes are built for touring like no other.

    Karen and I have been riding 'em for over 20,000 km over the last 2 1/2 years.

    Their performance has been superb and Thorn's after sales support is great too.

    Steve

    http://www.my-bicycling-adventure.com
     
  18. stormpriest1066

    stormpriest1066 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was a "520 man" for years, havin bought and toured on one in '95. as of 2 yeras ago however, ... not so much. They started outsourcing the work on the frames and the end result is a change in frame geometry and tubing thickness. They are now being lauded as a "2 year bike" cuz that's how long they are likely to last under full load.
    Then there was the advent of the Ralleigh soujourn,700c, road bars, bar end shifters ( a must for me) and disk brakes. to me, it was still an untested ( no one I knew had toured on one..) model, so I shied away from that too.
    Cannondales' T1000... um, the frame s bloody aluminum!!!! NO. the forks may be chromalloy but, an alum. frame for touring? I dont think so.
    The Surly Long Haul Trucker is chromalloy, Period. 26' or 700c, your choice. road bars, bar end shifters, full rack mount braze ons, and their racks are also chromalloy and rated for 70 kilos ea. most jandd, blackburn etc are rated at best, 25 kilos ( 53 lbs)
    no, the best bang for your buck in the touring frame world is the LHT by Surly.
     
  19. ben80south

    ben80south New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the Surly LHT also because you can take just about any wheel width. So if you want to go on the road you can take skinny tires or if you want to go unpaved you can switch to something fatter. Most other bikes don't let you do that.

    The friction shifter for the front derailleur is so much nicer than an index shifter. It means you don't have to have your bike perfectly tuned and you can still eliminate the chain rub on the shifter for a nice quiet ride.

    I wish that I could have delayed my purchase until the deluxe frame came out so I could have the SS-couplings and be able to disassemble the frame for easier transport on buses, planes, and trains.
     
Loading...
Loading...