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All-Rounder Question(6 posts)

All-Rounder QuestionKurt H
Nov 26, 2001 5:09 PM
Hey folks,
I've recently been looking at a number of frames from various makers generally classified as "all-rounders". Most of them seem to be based on the Bridgestone XO-1. My question: why do so many of these frames (at least in sizes small enough to be ridden by non-giants) get designed around 26" wheels? Is it just a matter of what will fit under the rear bridge with plenty of room for rubber and fenders while still achieving the others goals defined by the geometry? Or does it have something to do with wanting a better selection of off-road tires and the smaller tire=better climbing and acceleration notion?
Thanks!
Kurt
P.S. If anyone having one of these would like to post their views of the bikes, that would be fantastic.
re: All-Rounder Questiongtx
Nov 26, 2001 5:50 PM
I guess it depends what you mean by an all rounder. Rivendell was/is using that name for their XO-1 type frame, and yes, I think it has to do primarily with tire selection, though the new 29" trend should result in a better selection of fat 700c tires (right now I think it's still mostly the WTB). Keep in mind that for the price of a Rivendell Atlantis, you can get a custom ride built however you like. If you need a small frame, it will be pretty tricky to fit a 700c wheel and have plenty of tire/mud/fender clearence. For most types of riding, including fire roads, I prefer 700c wheels, which roll over small stuff better. I of course like my mtb for mtb racing and for more hairy technical off-road riding.

Check out this "all rounder"--very small frame

http://www.steelmancycles.com/Bike%20of%20the%20week.html

here's another "all rounder" type bike but with 700c wheels

http://www.steelmancycles.com/cc.html

here's Sycip's pretty 29er

http://www.sycip.com/Pages/twentynine.html

I think you can fit really fat 700c tires on the Surley Cross-check, and that frame is pretty affordable.

Lots of options. If you can afford $1000 plus for a frame/fork I'd say custom from a good builder is probably your best bet. Just a matter of what you want to spend and what exactly you plan to do with the bike.
Miss M has a Rivendell-I just got through overhauling it.MB1
Nov 26, 2001 6:02 PM
There is a really wide selection of tires available to fit the thing. For street she uses Continental Grand Prix 1" folding tires. All sorts of other tires fit with room for fenders. With the normal Shimano 30/42/52 triple setup and a 12-28 cassette she has gears for almost anything.

I think the main deal with "All Rounder" bikes is that the manufacturers want to set these bikes apart from the normal run of the mill touring bikes. I got Miss M the Rivendell because she is fairly short and a 48 or 49 CM frame with 700C wheels has to be modified a lot from normal 700C designs. Her Rivendell with 26" wheels fits her a lotbetter than her Merlin.

For the same type of riding I use a Bianchi Cyclo-Crosser with 2 sets of wheels and gears-one set for road and one for dirt/heavy duty use. I ride a 58CM and don't need a custom frame. I keep thinking about a Rivendell for me though-sooner of later I'll find a reason to get one. Problem is I like that Bianchi a lot......

BTW everyone should have at least 1 bike set up with fenders, it makes a real difference on rainy/crummy weather days.
What's Miss M stuff? Is she your dominatrix? (nm)Terry Salazar
Nov 27, 2001 10:04 AM
Wife, riding buddy, best friend...the usual. Rides a bit moreMB1
Nov 27, 2001 10:10 AM
than I do (I ride a lot). She has been known to dress up in lycra and hurt me and Humma bad.
"all-rounder" (Atlantis) owner's reportRetro
Nov 27, 2001 9:30 AM
I've had an Atlantis (64cm, so 700c wheels) for about 10 months, and while I agree with the poster who said you could go custom for the same money, I can't imagine a better bike for everyday riding. I looked at probably half a dozen alternatives, from full custom to Trek and Cannondale, but between LBS guys determined to sell me what they had instead of what I wanted to vague answers about delivery time, I finally went with Rivendell.
It's built up mainly with midrange Shimano stuff, a combination of things I had and things I bought, with an emphasis on comfort rather than flat-out speed. I've been riding more than 30 years, and I've never been so comfortable on a bike. No kidding, I can knock off 50 miles the way i used to do 20. Haven't done a century on it yet (busy summer), but at 75 miles, I'm still just sitting there watching the scenery.
I was worried about it feeling sluggish, but it doesn't at all. My usual tires are Pasela 35s, and they give a great combination of comfort and speed. With 26mm Armadillos (I'm a Clyde; I like big tires), it rides harder but doesn't go faster to speak of. Handling is smooth, sure and lively--it carves the turns without a wobble and handles bumps and potholes with confidence. I like the lugged steel frame (looks cool, and aluminum is just sort of...aluminum). I've also used it offroad (mostly trails, some singletrack), and it does that about as well as my old rigid mountain bike. If all my bikes disappeared tomorrow and I had to pick one to use for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even have to think.
As for the 26-inch vs. 700c wheels...the 26s are usually stronger, and the 700s theoretically roll over obstacles more easily because of the larger circumference. I'm not convinced I could feel the difference, though.