Slightly OT – Touring Bike
Not meaning to be rude – I’m genuinely interested, but do you really want to go niche on a tourer? It depends what route you’re planning on but I’ve got a “classic” tourer (steel frame, mtb gearing, but 700cc wheels) and even on that I had problems fixing it sometimes.
When I broke a wheel in the US (admittedly in Alaksa) I had to catch a ferry for 3 days to the closest shop with the right wheel, I’ve had bits of it welded and straightened after bumps, and it was a total mission to find replacement bearings for the bottom bracket (in Mexico). I wonder with rarer parts if you would have to just give up and go home if you had problems with the bike?Posted 4 years ago
Perhaps niche is the wrong word, I am just trying to put together something that will last, be comfortable and easy to maintain but be a bit ‘bling’ at the same time. I have been hanging my nose over a Kinesis ATR Tripster frame for a few days, but was looking for other suggestions. My LBS said a Dawes Galaxy, but it just doesn’t inspire me.I have looked at the Tri cross but again it doesn’t hit the spot.
Link to the kinesis frame http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/products/decade/tripster-atrPosted 4 years agomrmonkfingerMember
Probably what Ben said. Get a made-to-measure steel frame if you’re feeling spendy, or something like a salsa/surly/dawes tourer if not.
But I’d avoid any niche stuff, surely the point of a tourer is to have something you can fix up wherever you are?
(disclaimer, I’ve never been touring)Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
For trans-Europe and US – 700c steel F+F (custom?) with some nice kit, room for tyres up to 42-47c that work on dirt roads, Jones loop bars, dyno hub and mechs/Rohloff as needed.Posted 4 years ago
Ti could be nice but if you’re loading it up stiffness is as important as anything and many ti frames are built to have some twang, that’s not such a good thing when going downhill at speed. Same can be said for steel but there’s more choice in good steel. Depends on whether you’re going for 14lbs of bike-packing light, or 40lbs of tent, hammer and kitchen-sink touring.
My touring bike is starting to creak and groan and show its age (its about 20 years old at the frame, the Brooks saddle is much older). It was originally a Marin Sausalito hybrid but only the bars stem and frame remain.
So the question is if you were building a touring bike to last the rest of your life from scratch what would you go for?
I am thinking Ti frame, disc brakes, carbon forks and nice dynamo hub. But it all seems a bit niche to find in a normal bike shop, so help me with frame suggestions, components to build it up – the more exotic the better – I want to build something really nice then ride it across Europe first then the USA.
Nick.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve built several bikes for people doing very long tours. There’s always a trade off between parts that never need maintenance (Rohloff) vs parts that you can find spares for more easily.
If I was building a round-the-world tourer for myself, it’d be a custom steel frame with BTCs (just in case it needs to pack up) Rohloff hub, 135mm front hub with single sprocket just in case it all goes pear-shaped, and cable disc brakes.Posted 4 years agoflangeSubscriber
I’ve recently done a bit more touring. I use an old Airbourne Carpe Diem (the alloy one) and it seems perfect for the job, even though its as old as the hills and aesthetically its not the best looking.
Things I’ve found
Saddle/post choice (obviously) – the racy Fisik I had was comfy for 3 or 4 hours, not so much after 8. Changed to a Charge Spoon and that’s been ace. 27.2mm seatpost adds much more comfort over the 30.9 or 31.6 ‘standards’ which might be a consideration if you’re looking at cross bikes
Cable disc brakes – no issues with bleeding, pad changes are easy and powerful enough. If I were buying a new frame, I’d look to have the rear caliper mount on the chain stay rather than seat stay to make mounting guards and a rack easier. the last trip I did I bent the back wheel which had I had canti’s would have been a pain in the arse. Plenty of clearance meant it didn’t bother me
Standard parts – I’ve recently converted all the moving parts on mine to Hope – hubs, headset and BB. The reason behind this is that by buying (almost) the best, they should last me a long time and be easier to service.
Anything BB30/pressfit I’d obviously avoid. Given a choice I’d go back to square taper and a nice set of RS7’s but for now, a 105 compact and hope bb do an adequate job.
Anything niche – its just a ballache to find bits for if/when they break.
lizardskin bar tape – the 3.2mm stuff is awesome. I don’t like wearing gloves so this or double wrapped bars means I don’t have to
I run an old steel project II fork and whilst heavy and ugly it’s never bothered me and I know it shouldn’t break. I’d love a carbon one, but finding a carbon disc capable fork with rack/guard mounts is nigh on impossible or silly money. There’s also that nagging doubt with carbon (i’ve got a few carbon bikes so not anti carbon at all) that when loaded up, miles from anywhere is it more likely to break?
Tyre clearence – cross bikes will have decent clearance as will touring bikes. I run 28mm gatorskins on fairly wide H Plus Sons which are comfy and strong. Not sure they’d fit in a dedicated road frame..Posted 4 years agogonetothehillsSubscriber
NJA – I have very limited touring experience, but I recently used my new Tripster ATR for a short, lightweight tour and it was incredible. Busy planning the next one now… They’re very comfortable to ride decent distances on and come equipped with all the necessary for mudguards and a pannier rack. It’s been mentioned on here before that they carry speed well, are beautifully finished, handle superbly and look lovely, so apologies for mentioning it again!
I just can’t look past discs now for a commuter (the primary role for my Tripster), winter trainer, tourer, everything else bike – it just makes sense. It’s such a good all rounder I’m seriously contemplating losing the carbon road bike – you may find you buy a tourer and get a whole lot more! Have a look at the TRP Spyre cable brakes – most impressed with them too.
I guess it’ll be horses for courses – I can see advantages of steel and other factors that may come into play in the middle of nowhere but I’m looking forward to doing a lot more on mine.Posted 4 years agoMSPSubscriber
Depends what you really want from a tourer, If you may want to fit lowriders on the front, that discounts a carbon fork. And I would look at a shand stoater plus, probably with an alfine hub, gates belt drive and those vrs-11 alfine drop bar levers they are selling on on one.
However I don’t think lowriders on the front are really necessary these days, with lightweight tents and equipment I just use lowrider bags on the rear. So now I would be tempted by one of those niner RLT’s on the front page, which look lovelt, but no hub gears.
edit: actually the niner has an eccentric BB, so hub gears may be possible.Posted 4 years agosomewhatslightlydazedMember
There was a review of three mainstream tourers in the last CTC rag. (Dawes Galaxy, Ridgeback and something I’ve forgotten). I don’t think the reviewers were particularly impressed with any of them. Thay have reviewed the Hewitt and Spa Cycles tourers in the past and seemed to like them beter.
One thought about disks – They might make the bike look a bit bling, especially to the un-initiated. If you are going to be leaving it locked and unattended in strange places, do you really want it to look that desirable?Posted 4 years agoMaster Of NoneSubscriber
I recently bought a Kona Sutra Tourer from CRC for £799. its a great bike!!
properly heavy but stable when loaded, bosses for everything (racks, low riders, mudguards, 3 bottle cages). disc brakes but canti bosses on the fork which should give the option of one disc one canti if discs damaged. bar end shifters but fixings point for old school down tube shifters if required… really pleased with it so far and should see me through a few tours.
looks a bit better than the dawes galaxies and ridgeback panoramas too. I have heard plenty of good things about the Spa tourers (available in Ti if required) and met a woman on a train a while ago who had a well used Lee Cooper custom built tourer she spoke very highly of and was having a rough stuff tourer built by him to with clearance for fat tyres… plenty of options for bling custom steel…Posted 4 years agoPickersSubscriber
As above, the Spa Cycles bikes look good, as do the various Thorns (but not if you want discs).
If you want something special then you really need to go to a frame builder. I’d love a Roberts Roughstuff built to fit me and with the braze-ons that I need.
Edit – if you want custom Ti, how about Burls – read good things about themPosted 4 years agograhamgMember
I would HATE to tour with ‘something special’- between flights, ferries and being left in a hedge whilst camped up, they just take far too much abuse. Surly Long Haul Trucker (26″ wheel) works for me, utterly bombproof and if it ends up FUBER’d then it’s £350 odd F+F and whatever components go with it.Posted 4 years agojosemctavishMember
I’ve been riding this the last couple of years and it sounds like exactly what you’re after:
Van Nicholas Amazon
I specced a Kinesis Tripster ATR for a friend recently and that is a lovely bike too. There’s a lot more options for parts for disc-braked road bikes nowadays too.Posted 4 years ago
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