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Inexpensive, yet comfortable Clyde touring bike?

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Inexpensive, yet comfortable Clyde touring bike?

Old 12-29-14, 10:29 AM
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Jarrett2
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Inexpensive, yet comfortable Clyde touring bike?

*** UPDATE: I've found a solution. Check towards the end of the thread. Pics and everything. No need for further recommendations for me. But if you just want to post one anyway, I doubt anyone will mind ****


I'm getting the itch to do some light touring in 2015. That basically just means adding a rear rack, bag and some panniers to a road bike at this point. But I've got a minor, first world type problem with my plan

I've got my Specialized Roubaix that I love which I think would be perfect for this, but I'd rather leave it as my dedicated road bike. One because I like to be able to grab it and go fast when I want and two, I don't like the idea of trying to take racks on and off of it and finally, the idea of having to leave it chained up to a pole for an extended period of time while touring makes me nervous.

I also have an aluminum Specialized Secteur that I don't ride much, so I thought that would make a good touring bike initially but I've reconsidered after doing a short ride on it yesterday. I originally bought the Roubaix because after trying bigger tires and more comfortable seat posts, the Secteur was still just too uncomfortable to ride for more than about 35 miles. So while it is a great bike to throw racks on, I still hate riding it more than 10-15 miles or so on the rough roads. Due to that, I just don't see myself enjoying doing tours on it, no matter how much sense it makes.

So I'm at a point now that I want to either sell or trade the Secteur and get something that is first of all comfortable to ride long distances, capable of handling my weight and some small luggage, and not terribly expensive as I don't want to invest much into a second/touring bike.

So I'm asking my Clyde touring friends. Knowing that I enjoy riding a CF Roubaix for miles, but dislike riding an aluminum Secteur, what relatively inexpensive, yet comfortable road bike would you recommend to me to use as a touring bike? Used carbon? Steel? Titanium?

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Old 12-29-14, 11:22 AM
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Wondering if this might be the way to go:

Save Up to 60% Off Touring Bikes | Commuting | Commuter Bikes | Windsor Bikes - Tourist

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Old 12-29-14, 11:32 AM
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I guess it depends on what kind of touring you're expecting to do. I love me some brifters, but on my touring bike I'm still going with bar-cons. The ability to go to friction shifting if anything goes wrong on the road and you can't rely on indexing. But for light touring, like overnight or just day trips around, you should be ok with something like that.
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Old 12-29-14, 11:35 AM
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Trek 520
Kona Sutra
Surly Long Haul Trucker (& Disc Trucker)

All have good reputations as touring bikes. What do you get with them that you don't with the Windsor? Usually, slightly better parts and a dealer network if you need one. I'm admittedly ignorant about the Windsor line. The only thing I've noticed about them are that they are readily available online, and relatively inexpensive.

Happy shopping, and let us know what you choose!

PS - I, personally, wouldn't buy a new bike without having ridden it (for at least an hour). Within the hour, I could tell if the bike would fit, whether or not I liked the handling, and what I thought of the parts mix. Of course one doesn't have that luxury with internet goods, so the decision you must make is whether the savings are worth the risk. If the bike doesn't really fit then no amount of parts swapping will really change that. The Windsor is also one of the damnable "compact frame" models with the sloping top tube that makes fit an even iffier thing...
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Old 12-29-14, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by JReade View Post
I love me some brifters, but on my touring bike I'm still going with bar-cons. The ability to go to friction shifting if anything goes wrong on the road and you can't rely on indexing.
Can you please explain what this means?
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Old 12-29-14, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
Trek 520
Kona Sutra
Surly Long Haul Trucker (& Disc Trucker)
Can't find any of those used, what about this?

Surly Cross Check
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Old 12-29-14, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Can you please explain what this means?
A lot of serious touring cyclists don't go with brifters on their touring bikes because if something goes wrong out in the middle of nowhere and your indexed shifting fails, you are SOL. Bar end shifters can be set to run in friction mode, which will at least get you to the nearest bike shop or even allow you to finish your tour.
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Old 12-29-14, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
A lot of serious touring cyclists don't go with brifters on their touring bikes because if something goes wrong out in the middle of nowhere and your indexed shifting fails, you are SOL. Bar end shifters can be set to run in friction mode, which will at least get you to the nearest bike shop or even allow you to finish your tour.
This sums it up.
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Old 12-29-14, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Can't find any of those used, what about this?

Surly Cross Check
You could probably set that up for touring.

Also worth considering is the Salsa Vaya. I was very close to buying one of these a couple of years ago before ultimately going with the now discontinued Salsa Casseroll, which might also be set up for light touring. I am hoping to do some light touring next summer on my Casseroll, which already has a mini front rack, and will also mount a back rack for some panniers or a large trunk bag. FWIW, the plan is for my wife to put some panniers or a large trunk bag on the back of her Jamis road bike, and maybe add a small handlebar bag to the front, as we have no intention of buying two new touring bikes for what will basically be short 2 to 3 day tours where the only thing we need to haul is a change of clothes, food, water, and basic tools.
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Old 12-29-14, 11:56 AM
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REI Safari. Not the light fast nimble touring thing, but I find mine very comfortable. Part of that comfort is the relaxed (butted chromoly steel) frame, and part is the larger tires. Mine carries loads very well. "Touring" for me is day long trail rides, but use mine on heavily laden grocery rides too. My wife has an even older REI Randonee that is more of conventional touring setup. I don't find it uncomfortable, but the larger tires on the Safari really make a difference on rougher roads/shoulders.

Those I know with Surly Long Haul Truckers like them as well.
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Old 12-29-14, 12:22 PM
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This looks like a good deal as well:

Novara Verita Bike - 2014

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Old 12-29-14, 12:42 PM
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Old 12-29-14, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Wondering if this might be the way to go:
I have a Windsor Tourist and for the price, it's a good bike. I've used it the past 3 years on a 5-day tour of the Katy Trail. I also use it for night riding and when the roads are wet or may have some snow or ice on them.

I did need to swap out the saddle as the one that came with the bike did meet the legal definition of a saddle, it sure wasn't comfortable for me. A nice Brooks B-17 fixed that problem!
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Old 12-29-14, 01:09 PM
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Pretty much any touring bike will work since they come with stout wheels and frames. Probably the best value out there now is a fuji touring bike, Fuji Bikes | LIFESTYLE | CROSS TERRAIN | TOURING
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Old 12-29-14, 02:02 PM
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I suppose I would start with asking what it is that you like better about your Roubaix than your Secteur?

Can your Secteur fit fatter tires? Different Seat?

Before you solve the question about what is better about the Roubaix than the Secteur, it is pointless to shop for a new bike, especially online (never hurts to browse your favorite bike stores).

Most of my riding has been on a Colnago Super, which I've had a few 100+ mile rides, and a few overnight rides. It has a steel frame, and I've connected a rack into the triangle hole of the campy-style dropouts, and with P-Clips at the top. The rack is a bit low, with a bit of an angle, but it has been very stable, and has treated me well. I just don't worry about the extra half pound of weight of the rack on days I don't need it.

I'm not sure I'd Jerry-Rig a rack to a Carbon Fiber bike, but I would have no problems with adding a rack to just about any other bike for the purpose of light touring. Long touring? Perhaps a touring specific bike, but the old Colnago has treated me well. I now have a cargo bike for heavy loads around town, but I wouldn't take it touring, at least not mine.
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Old 12-29-14, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Can't find any of those used, what about this?

Surly Cross Check
1. What do you consider light touring? You can carry a lot of weight on a rear rack and in a bag and rear panniers. Are you taking credit card touring, where you sleep indoors, or tenting it? Will you be carrying cooking gear or eating out?

2. What do you consider relatively inexpensive?

If you are talking credit card touring, your Roubaix could work if you don't go overboard on the load. You don't need much carrying capacity at all. A simple bag attached via the seat post might be sufficient. One problem with using a road bike for touring can be seat stay length. It tends to be shorter on road bikes, resulting in your heels hitting the panniers. Even then there are ways to work around that. One such way is a trailer, but that creates a noticeable weight penalty right out of the box. A B.O.B. Yak weights something like 18 lbs with the dry bag. A decent rack and rear panniers will be much less. Maximum tire size on the Roubaix could also be an issue depending on where you plan to ride.

The CC is made for light touring, i.e., light to medium loads. I know a coupe of guys who do self-contained tours on them. They simply pack on the lighter side.

Have you thought about gearing? If you plan to ride in hilly terrain, the Roubaix and the CC, as sold, may not have a low enough gear for you to feel comfortable. What you will need could depend in part on how much you carry. Unless Surly has changed the build recently, the crank of the CC can accommodate a third chain ring. However, I believe you would need a new FD if you want to add a third ring.

The Salsa Vaya, which someone else has mentioned, is also a good choice for light touring. Same with the Randonee and Safari.

I like my LHT, but I tour fully loaded and sometimes on unpaved forest-type roads including. If you don't see anything like that in your future, an LHT would probably be overkill.

Having had extensive wheel trouble on my first tour, I can tell you that your wheel set needs to be up to the task, whatever that task may be. Wheel trouble can be a real PITA.

Taking some time to more clearly define what potential touring you might do will help you and us get a better idea of what might work well.
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Old 12-29-14, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Can't find any of those used, what about this? Surly Cross Check
The Cross-Check is pretty good. The one thing I don't like about it is that the bottom bracket height looks higher than it should be for touring. Otherwise, though, I see things I like - Lots of room between the rear tire and the seat tube + handlebars up at seat height + what looks like ample distance from the seat tube to the handlebars.
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Old 12-29-14, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
A lot of serious touring cyclists don't go with brifters on their touring bikes because if something goes wrong out in the middle of nowhere and your indexed shifting fails, you are SOL.
I can think of several ways to lock a derailleur into a single gear if the brifter attached to it fails. That's all you need in order to be able to pedal to the closest bike shop. The perils of brifters on touring bikes are greatly exaggerated by Luddites who have never ridden a grifter-equipped bike...
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Old 12-29-14, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
I'm getting the itch to do some light touring in 2015. That basically just means adding a rear rack, bag and some panniers to a road bike at this point. But I've got a minor, first world type problem with my plan

I've got my Specialized Roubaix that I love which I think would be perfect for this, but I'd rather leave it as my dedicated road bike. One because I like to be able to grab it and go fast when I want and two, I don't like the idea of trying to take racks on and off of it and finally, the idea of having to leave it chained up to a pole for an extended period of time while touring makes me nervous.
I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago. I attached a handlebar bag and Carradice seat bag to my Cervelo RS, which has geometry similar to your Roubaix. I absolutely hated the way it made the bike handle! I could have gotten used to it, but instead I bought a $99 aluminum touring frame from Bike Nashbar. I'm not normally a fan of aluminum frames, but I love the way the Nashbar frame rides (on 700x32+ touring tires). I have the riding position setup to be similar to my Cervelo, but the longer wheelbase and less aggressive geometry mean the bike handles better when loaded.

Sadly, they've discontinued the aluminum version of the frame. They have, however, replaced it with a cro-moly touring frame. I'm not sure I'd be happy with the geometry tweaks they've made, but for the price it might be worth a look...
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Old 12-29-14, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago. I attached a handlebar bag and Carradice seat bag to my Cervelo RS, which has geometry similar to your Roubaix. I absolutely hated the way it made the bike handle! I could have gotten used to it, but instead I bought a $99 aluminum touring frame from Bike Nashbar. I'm not normally a fan of aluminum frames, but I love the way the Nashbar frame rides (on 700x32+ touring tires). I have the riding position setup to be similar to my Cervelo, but the longer wheelbase and less aggressive geometry mean the bike handles better when loaded.

Sadly, they've discontinued the aluminum version of the frame. They have, however, replaced it with a cro-moly touring frame. I'm not sure I'd be happy with the geometry tweaks they've made, but for the price it might be worth a look...
That's actually a cool option, thanks.
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Old 12-29-14, 07:36 PM
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My LBS is suggesting I trade my Secteur in for a 2014 Roubaix Sora and use that as my dedicated touring bike. Better frame, worse components. Definitely a more comfortable ride though. Not sure what price difference they are talking about. See any down sides there?

I guess if I get into serious touring (which I don't foresee) then it would be a bad move, but for credit card touring it seems ok in theory I guess.
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Old 12-29-14, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
My LBS is suggesting I trade my Secteur in for a 2014 Roubaix Sora and use that as my dedicated touring bike. Better frame, worse components. Definitely a more comfortable ride though. Not sure what price difference they are talking about. See any down sides there?

I guess if I get into serious touring (which I don't foresee) then it would be a bad move, but for credit card touring it seems ok in theory I guess.
I don't see any mount points for a rack.
The Specialized Zerts are designed to give the frame flex between what would be the upper and lower mount points for a rack (both front and rear).

CF?

I don't know, it just seems like an odd choice. I certainly wouldn't buy it without taking all your gear to the LBS, and having them install the racks/panniers, and allow you to ride it out of the shop fully loaded (with a 24 hr no questions asked return policy in any condition it comes back).

And, since it is being sold as a touring bike, make sure Specialized will honor the warranty.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:17 PM
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Yeah, I wonder about CF for touring, but for now it's really light touring. More like doing multi-day group rides with some clothes in a bag.

The LBS says they sell a rack specifically made to go on a CF bike. Very lightweight, rubber clamps instead of bolts. They are saying with that plus maybe a handlebar bag, I could do the credit card type stuff and still have a light bike to ride.

Another option on the far end of the spectrum is they have an AWOL Elite in stock in my size as well:

Adding so I can compare geometries.


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Old 12-29-14, 08:27 PM
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How often do you plan on touring?

What do you consider light touring?

Have you considered a seat post rack? I have this on one of my road bikes, add a trunk bag and handlebar bag. I use this setup for CC touring.
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Old 12-29-14, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Sadly, they've discontinued the aluminum version of the frame. They have, however, replaced it with a cro-moly touring frame. I'm not sure I'd be happy with the geometry tweaks they've made, but for the price it might be worth a look...
Hmm...I want longer chain stays(heel strike from my giant feet), perhaps I'll buy a frame+fork and transfer my parts over...
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