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Touring bike choice(12 posts)

Touring bike choiceEssdeegee
Aug 20, 2001 4:23 AM
After years of exclusively mountain biking (my present ride is a very sweet brand new Titus Racer-X) I am considering a road bike to give me more options for riding. I am looking at getting a touring frame. I will not do any loaded touring but I would like to take half or whole day rides that end at a B&B, or something similar. I am considering a Litespeed Blue Ridge or a Seven Cycles Tsunami. I would appreciate any comments from those who have experienced either or both. I would also welcome any other suggestions. Thanks
Bruce Gordon Rock n Roadclub
Aug 20, 2001 5:04 AM
not sure if crabby Bruce is even still making then, but if he is, or you can score one somewhere, you won't find it wanting in any way. Does everything those others you mentioned, with way more tire clearance and versatility
I'd agree unless...Rich Clark
Aug 20, 2001 7:03 AM
...flat rides without full loads are the primary purpose of the bike. BG's are geared like MTB's, and you can run out of gears if speed is what you want.

buy a frame, gear it how you likeclub
Aug 20, 2001 3:38 PM
Lsst complete bike I bought was a Falcon in 1978. I can't imagine a 48/11 "MTB" gearing would be tall enough for a non-racing bike, and the same drivetrain could give you a 24/32 or 34 low, so pop on some knobbies and terrorize the singletrack, or hump 50 pound up the mountains in the panniers. The Litespeed he mentioned doesn't come built up either, does it?
buy a frame, gear it how you likeRich Clark
Aug 20, 2001 4:11 PM
That's my point, that the Gordons -- which AFAIK are only sold fully built up -- has gearing that might not be what the original poster wants in a road bike. And it's not hard to spin out a 44/11 even if you're not racing (26mph at 80rpm).

And yeah, the built-up Blue Ridges I've seen have been built totally with road bike parts -- possibly going too far in the other direction for the intended application.

So I agree with you. Buy a frame. Have a trusted shop build the bike for you if you don't want to do it yourself. Gear it as you like. The combo of road front/MTB rear is not uncommon on mass-produced touring bikes, like the Trek 520, the Cannondale T-series, the Bianchi Volpe. It's very attractive for light touring, but for some reason it's harder to find higher-end bikes set up this way.

re: Touring bike thoughtsBreezydz
Aug 20, 2001 5:10 AM
Get a bike with a low bottom bracket and long chain stays for tire clearance comfort. Eyelets for a rear rack are a good idea as it's nice to be able to carry a jacket, change of clothes, food or any other stuff. I like small shop steel bikes and there are some frame builders make bikes like this as a regular part of their work and you may want to consider them. Rivendell, Jeff Lyon, Steve Bilenky, Giuseppi Marinoni and probably many others.
Litespeed is sweet, but why not a cyclocrosser?MB1
Aug 20, 2001 6:52 AM
Instead of a touring bike why not look for a cyclocross bike with rack mounts. If you have been riding in the dirt you will probably end up going off road at least occasionally with your new road bike. Cyclocross frames make great tourers with more ground clearance than a typical touring frame. Just look at the BB height for an idea of the dirt worthiness of your new frame.

I got a cyclocross frame and built it up as a general purpose bike. Now I ride it more than any of my other bikes, not that I would give up any of my other bikes though.
Good PlanRich Clark
Aug 20, 2001 7:16 AM
For the rides you describe, I think you're looking at the right kind of bike. You can mount your rear rack and panniers and carry what you're likely to need for credit-card touring; add a handlebar bag with a cue-sheet/map holder for snacks and daily necessities, and/or a rack trunk.

These bikes also make killer commuters, assuming you have a safe place to park them at work.

I have an Airborne Carpe Diem, built up as a light tourer as you describe. I put an Ultegra road triple on the front, and an XTR on the rear with an 11-32 cassette. This gets me up the hills of eastern PA, but it would still probably not go low enough for a fully-loaded tour with a whole lot of long, steep climbs.

I also bought the 36-spoke Mavic 519 rims, with 700x32c Continental TopTouring tires and 14/15 spokes. Depending on your weight this might be overkill, but I'm paranoid of wheel problems when in the middle of nowhere.

The Carpe Diem has a higher bottom bracket than some touring bikes; you could put dirt tires on it and use it for cyclocross. But the setup I have works fine on dirt and gravel roads.

Sorry I've never ridden the Litespeed or the Seven, but if they fit (and if this is your first road bike, be sure your bike shop is really good with fitting roadies; it's a specialty, and you don't want to get it wrong) I can't imagine anything but a great ride on one.

Have fun!
Check out Atlantis, too...cory
Aug 20, 2001 8:03 AM
I've had mine about six months, and it works for everything I've tried. Just a tire swap, or sometimes not even that, lets me do anything from fire trails to hammering (relatively speaking, of course) on tours and day rides w/my friends. Frame is $950, Rivendell's great to work with and it's the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden.
Annother to consider Airborne Carpe DiemChris M Zeller
Aug 20, 2001 1:11 PM
You sound exactly like me a month ago. I was looking for a bike for exactly the same reasons, and after trying some of the full on touring bikes, Bruce Gordon, Trek 520 Novara Randonee etc, I decided that I really didn't want a fully loaded touring bike that rides like a truck if I'm not riding it loaded (or even fully loaded) most of the time. I can hardly imagine bringing more than 15-20 lbs when credit card touring. I think that the light Ti bikes are an excellent alternative. Outfitted correctly they can provide racebike like performance riding unloaded and uphill, provide pleanty of all-day comfort, and give you all the stability you need for moderately loaded touring. But you don't need to spend $3000+ for all that. Plus, by spending less you actually get more bike and can configure it yourself to your own needs online. Even better, you get to try it out for 10 days with no obligation.

I bought an Airborne Carpe Diem. Check out

The Airborne frame has nearly identical geometry to the LS Blue Ridge and Seven Tsunami with braze ons on the rear. All three frames weigh almost the same with the same Ti alloy. I configured my Airborne with heavy duty cyclocross carbon forks (the same as on the Seven, but better than the LS). I chose an Ultegra triple group with an Ultegra triple crankset on the front and XTR MTB derailer and cassette on the back. This weighs just about the same as an equivelent road setup, but gives me the extra gearing for climbing steep hills. I added XTR v-brakes for powerfull braking while fully loaded. I opted for rather conventional 32-spoke Mavic Open Pro rims on Ultegra hubs. There is pleanty of frame clearance for wider tires and rims if I decide to do any heavy touring, but many people credit card tour on these wheels. I ended up with a bike weighing 19.5 lbs (with pedals) that is comfortable and stable enough for touring. The bike handles great unloaded too and I can keep up with my riding buddies on fittness rides as well. And all this for $2500, a good $1000 less than a comparably equipped LS and much less than a custom Seven. If you must spend the extra money, you could always upgrade to some Dura Ace components and easily bring the weight down into the 18 lb range. Neither LS or Seven can match this.

I'd go with the Airborne.
Great ideas! ThanksEssdeegee
Aug 20, 2001 3:37 PM
Check out the Jeff Lyon Excursionbianchi boy
Aug 20, 2001 5:43 PM
You can see it at the website. GVH has some nice deals on these frames for about $700, and very reasonably priced build kits.