- What comfortable steel road/audax/light tourer frameset
As per the title.Posted 4 years ago
looking for a new road bike for quickish road riding and long back to back days.
Not being young or flexible anymore i’m looking for comfort – the kind of set up you’d get from something like Specializes Secteur, but in steel and not boutique (i.e cheapish)
Any recommendations for the brands to be looking at – guessing Genesis for starters?
My Genesis Tour De Fer is lovely. I wouldn’t say it’s fast as such as its meant to be a tourer so it’s a bit heavier than a CDF but my oh my is it comfy. I have a bad neck and need a upright but efficient position and this is perfect. You could build one up from a frameset with a lighter spec if you wanted I suppose. I just saved 370g per wheel changing my standard Marathon tyres so that should pep things up a bit.
You seem to sit “in” the bike rather than perched on top which feels lovely. Handling is stable but not dull, it’s exactly the kind of bike I would prefer to be riding a whole day on.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks both.Posted 4 years ago
Spa steel or at a push Ti frame would be on the list, but right at the other end of the country.
Genesis definitely worth a look, but not looking for discs (just built my own non-disc wheels, slightly kicking myself now) so may check out the equilibrium.
Do you want the option of mounting paniers? If so the Genesis Equilibrium doesn’t have panier rack mounts, though it does have mudguard eyelets (which I presume you absolutely want to have if you’re going to be doing long distance rides).
The Condor Fratello is a good option, albeit a little pricer than the equivalent Genesis Equilibrium, but the tubeset is slightly better (it’s more analagous to the 853 Equilibrium which was a limited run a few years ago).Posted 4 years ago
Light, steel and touring don’t really go in my experience. It’s a bit out of left field but I’ve done quite a bit of light touring on my Kinesis T2. It’s Alu but not far off steel for comfort. It has rack mounts for the back. Ideal for ‘quickish road riding’. In fact, it’s bloody good fun to ride with a lighter set of wheelsPosted 4 years ago
Dickyboy – thanks, but 58 would be too big for me (5ft10).
geetee – pictures of the newer equilibrium frames show rack mounts, but that’s not critical as have other bag options, but mudguards certainly needed.
Will check out the ribble – but first impression is that its a little too sporty, but price is certainly right.
Dawes isn’t something i’d considered, but seen the audax le which looks ideal, but not sure they’re still made.
Anyone experience of the tifosi geometry?Posted 4 years ago
slowpuncheur – thanks, certainly considering Kinesis and haven’t written off alu completely.
It’s just that the vintage steel frame feels so much nicer than the specialized i have, especially on rougher stuff and out the saddle – but that may not just be down to the material.
cheersPosted 4 years agorobdobMember
My proper road bike is a Kinesis T2! You can do light touring on it as you can fit a rear rack but you’re limited to skinnier tyres with mudguards really. It isn’t a bike you can really take off the roads onto gravel paths or anything. I have the carbon forks and carbon bars and it’s still a bit of a harsh ride compared to a decent steel bike.Posted 4 years ago
If so the Genesis Equilibrium doesn’t have panier rack mounts,
Tubus Fly or any minimal rack with a 3-point adapter fits most bikes like that. Compact frames can be a faff with guard stays fouling the calliper brakes when mounting to the seat stay on smaller frame sizes.Posted 4 years ago
Robdob, Interesting to hear your comparison to steel. Next one will be steel I think. I’ve done quite a bit off road stuff but mainly old railway line around Keswick or on the Northumberland coast. I wouldn’t want to do anything rougher than that on a T2 though. 28 tyres with guards is a maximum.Posted 4 years ago
Light, steel and touring don’t really go in my experience.
Yeah, I tend to not worry about the ‘light’ part of all that : ) (I know what you mean though.) Although more so these days I may not worry about the steel bit either.
Alu frame, 1400-1700g. Steel, 2000-2500g. When I put ~8kg on a bike and don’t want a noodly shimmy-prone frame, ‘oversized’ steel looks like a good option. And Al is under-rated here; I really don’t notice much if any comfort difference between a touring-capable steel bike and a good Al CX type of bike once loaded up. Tyre size and pressure and riding position count for a lot more. It’s just that I like steel for an irrational reason and it’s an ingrained habit with touring to go for a steel bike. No real sense in it though. Look at bikes like Velotraum’s and tell us that Alu makes a bad tourer ..Posted 4 years agoransosMember
My definition of ‘touring’ in this case is of the credit card variety – the touring bit is more a reference to the comfortable position than the load carrying..
An audax type bike would be fine, then, and probably more comfortable than a bike designed for heavier loads. My Thorn is built from 531c and really soaks up the bumps.Posted 4 years ago
Re Steel v Alu. I agree, about the idea of Alu not being comfortable being a bit old hat. It’s worth reading up about Gary Klien and his mates’ work at MIT back in the day.
As you say, the weight of the frame isn’t much of an issue when it’s loaded with gear and you’re using a relatively inexpensive (but heavier) groupset and bombproof wheels. I also think Steel is considered the go-to option for tourers as its far easier to weld when you are stuck somewhere in the Mongolian Steppe.
Spa Cycles or what about Hewitt Cheviot:Posted 4 years agoOCBMember
Directly echo’ing nedrapier from the page before …
“Singular Osprey or something from Condor? might be on the pricier end or you might get lucky second hand”.
… but based on the ole’ recommend what you own thing, I’d suggest taking a look at an Osprey or a Fratello. Both of mine get used for comfortably paced days out wandering about in the countryside.
I’m sure you know can easily find out / know what they look like, but photos never hurt.
Posted 4 years ago
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