Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Is a touring bike good enough for Randos/Brevets?

Old 04-24-19, 06:59 AM
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Is a touring bike good enough for Randos/Brevets?

Thread title pretty much says it all.

However, to expand:
I'm doing my first 200k rando/brevet this summer.

I only have flat bar bikes and am in search of a new drop bar bike for the longer distances.

The only bikes I can find in my price ($1,200-1,500) range are touring bikes / comfy-geometried, glorified commuters.

Will these types of bikes fit the bill? Will the weight be significant hindrance once I crossover to the 300k, 400k and longer randos/brevets?



Thanks in advance for any input and advice.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:16 AM
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touring bikes are not ideal. It really depends on how strong you are though. If the longer distances will be a stretch for you, then using a touring bike might make the difference between finishing and DNF. However, there are plenty of people using touring bikes on brevets. I think of the ideal rando bike as a racing bike that will fit fenders and lights. More like the all-road bikes they are making now. Can't think of one in your price range though
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Old 04-24-19, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
touring bikes are not ideal. It really depends on how strong you are though.
I'm currently doing 100k training rides on a Mt. Bike and 26x2" nobby tires, and averaging 13.5-13.7 mph

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
If the longer distances will be a stretch for you, then using a touring bike might make the difference between finishing and DNF.
Is this because of the touring bike geometry is more relaxed and the rando geometry more aggressive?


Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
However, there are plenty of people using touring bikes on brevets. I think of the ideal rando bike as a racing bike that will fit fenders and lights. More like the all-road bikes they are making now. Can't think of one in your price range though
Ah!
I was at REI yesterday. They have the Salsa Journeyman line of 650b All-Road bikes (the Claris and the Sora) .I'll have to give them another look.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-24-19, 07:30 AM
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I would not hesitate to ride a brevet or two on my touring bike. But if I were buying a new bike for primarily randonneuring purposes, I don't think it would be a 'touring bike.' I'd have to look at the specifics, of course.

Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
I'm currently doing 100k training rides on a Mt. Bike and 26x2" nobby tires, and averaging 13.5-13.7 mph
I would put some smooth tires on there ASAP! First choice is Compass Rat Trap Pass (very fast, but not cheap) but there are other options. I've been riding Panaracer Ribmo 26 x 2 for the winter, and they are fine.


Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
Ah!
I was at REI yesterday. They have the Salsa Journeyman line of 650b All-Road bikes (the Claris and the Sora) .I'll have to give them another look.

Thanks for the input!
Oh, yeah, that Claris defintely deserves another look. I got something pretty similar a few months ago (Rawland xSogn). The tires may be too knobby, but (perhaps with smooth 48 mm tires) that bike has potential.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I would not hesitate to ride a brevet or two on my touring bike. But if I were buying a new bike for primarily randonneuring purposes, I don't think it would be a 'touring bike.' I'd have to look at the specifics, of course.
Any opinions on the Slasa Journeyman all-roaders (Claris and Sora drop bar models)

I would post links but I don't have enough forum mojo yet.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:47 AM
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Oh, right. Okay, here's the links:

https://www.rei.com/product/133412/s...-sora-650-bike

https://www.rei.com/product/133411/s...laris-650-bike

Looking a little closer, I see they're not that similar to my xSogn-- the Rawland has a steel frame, 1x11 drive train. I don't see frame angles etc so can't compare those.

In general I like the idea of an 'allroad' bike for normal road riding. Last year I did the whole SR series as well as a 1200 km ride on my bike with 26 x 2 tires, and had no regrets about that.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:48 AM
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I've ridden a lot of brevets including a 1,200k on a 2012 Jamis Aurora Elite that I bought for the low end of your price range when I was getting started in randonneuring. Lately I've seen a lot of new randonneurs riding gravel bikes in your price range.
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Old 04-24-19, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post

Looking a little closer, I see they're not that similar to my xSogn-- the Rawland has a steel frame, 1x11 drive train. I don't see frame angles etc so can't compare those.

In general I like the idea of an 'allroad' bike for normal road riding. Last year I did the whole SR series as well as a 1200 km ride on my bike with 26 x 2 tires, and had no regrets about that.

The frame angles are towards the bottom-middle of the links.


And I have heard very good things about the Compass Rat Traps you mentioned above.
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Old 04-24-19, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
The frame angles are towards the bottom-middle of the links.
Ah, yes, I see that now. All that stands out to me is that the head angle is pretty slack. If I'm understanding this correctly, trail is around 6.7 cm, which is pretty high. A lot of bikes designed for randonneuring have low trail, making the bike more stable with a load on the front wheel (such as a handlebar bag). I'm not going to pass judgement on that; some like low trail, others do not.

And I have heard very good things about the Compass Rat Traps you mentioned above.
Yup, there are reasons for that!
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Old 04-24-19, 09:24 AM
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Touring bike? Try it, you'll like it!

The only real downside is the weight of the bike. At my weight, though, the difference in full load weight (me + bike + accessories + food and water) falls into the negligible category. I started noticing the extra bike weight about 20 miles before the end of my last 300k, and the last 50 miles of the 400k.

Pluses: room for wider (than racing) tires and fenders, you can get the bars up so you're not limited by flexibility (and neck loads), low gearing for the hills those insane brevet riders like to throw in to the course.

Unless you're very lucky in where you live, you'll find you're spending a fair bit of change on travel -- gas, motels, and food -- if you really get into randonneuring. At that point you can assess if you want to spend more on a better bike. But for your first 200k, a touring bike is a good choice. It's also good for commuting and better for weekend road rides than the mountain bike you've got now.
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Old 04-24-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Touring bike? Try it, you'll like it!

The only real downside is the weight of the bike. At my weight, though, the difference in full load weight (me + bike + accessories + food and water) falls into the negligible category. I started noticing the extra bike weight about 20 miles before the end of my last 300k, and the last 50 miles of the 400k.
I'm currently 225 lbs at just a smidge over 6" tall. Aiming for sub 200lbs by the end of the year. And not really looking at anything longer than 200-300kilometer brevets until next year.

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Pluses: room for wider (than racing) tires and fenders, you can get the bars up so you're not limited by flexibility (and neck loads), low gearing for the hills those insane brevet riders like to throw in to the course.
I've grown very fond of the the 3-chainring options more common on touring bikes I've seen.

As small as 26-36 on my Marin Muirwoods and 22-34 on my mtn bike.

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Unless you're very lucky in where you live, you'll find you're spending a fair bit of change on travel -- gas, motels, and food -- if you really get into randonneuring. At that point you can assess if you want to spend more on a better bike.
The price range really is the biggest limit but touring and bike packing is something I will be undertaking next year when we move back west so it might be a good longterm investment too-- and possibly worth increasing the budget by a few hundred bones.

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
But for your first 200k, a touring bike is a good choice. It's also good for commuting and better for weekend road rides than the mountain bike you've got now.
Can't disagree with you there. But the hum of 2inch nobbies on pavement is somehow comforting.

I switch between the mtn bike and a Marin Muirwoods 29er on 700x38 road tires. The 29er has slightly more aggressive geometry though, and my upper body fatigues earlier with just the flat bar.
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Old 04-24-19, 10:04 AM
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Touring bikes usually come with heavy wheels, so you can knock a pound off the total weight by upgrading the wheels.
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Old 04-24-19, 10:37 AM
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If you haven't already, you should check out the other thread with a similar question
Poll: Which bike for my 200k attempt?

While bike weight isn't really that critical, tires and fit are pretty important. I can't remember ever seeing anyone with a flat-bar on a brevet.
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Old 04-24-19, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
... I can't remember ever seeing anyone with a flat-bar on a brevet.
Oh, I've seen that a few times. One of the PA regulars rode the 200k and the 300k on a fat bike this season. Flat bar. His only complaint, that I've heard, is that he has more wind resistance on the fat bike.

I don't intend to try it myself, though.
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Old 04-24-19, 11:18 AM
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The longest I've ridden my flat-bar Trek 700 is about 72 miles. My wrists don't appreciate the lack of ability to change positions that my road bikes give me. My wrists hurt for a couple days afterward.
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Old 04-24-19, 11:34 AM
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Your budget max is $1500?

Don't buy a real touring bike, there are a ton of endurance and endurance style road bikes in that range. Hell you can buy a fully equipped randonneuring themed bike from Masi for that much: https://masibikes.com/collections/ad...andonneur-2019

Or a carbon racing bike: https://www.diamondback.com/road-bik...y-4-carbon-d41

Or an endurance road bike: https://www.raleighusa.com/merit3

Or a gravel bike: https://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/a...adar#radar-pro

Or a slightly different style gravel bike: https://www.raleighusa.com/willard-4-r141

Or a commuting road bike: https://www.konaworld.com/rove_dl.cfm

With the exception of the carbon race bike all the bike I linked have fenders or will take fenders. Some can accomidate racks and all will take alternative luggage in the form of bikepacking bags or rackless bar bags.
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Old 04-24-19, 12:01 PM
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I did my first 200k on a Worksman cruiser. Not necessarily the recommended starter bike, but you can do a 200k on a LOT of different bikes, right or wrong. Some of the locals use various carbon-fiber race-oriented bikes, some are on tandems, some on recumbents, some on steel frames with fenders, etc. Whatever floats your boat.
My rando bike for several years was a Raleigh Sojourn, which was $800 or $900 new. I did a 300k with rechargeable lights, spent another $700 or so for a hub-generator setup prior to jumping into a 400k, though. I don't think the Sojourn is made anymore, but there's a number of similarly equipped bikes out there.
I'm currently riding a "gravel bike", which works okay. When I did some rides in Colorado, I found I was under-geared there. So if you have a lot of long steep hills, make sure you have the gearing (or the legs!) for them.
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Old 04-24-19, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
I've grown very fond of the the 3-chainring options more common on touring bikes I've seen.

As small as 26-36 on my Marin Muirwoods and 22-34 on my mtn bike.
There are plenty of threads on the double vs. triple debate, and I am squarely in the triple camp so I would recommend sticking with a triple if you like low gears and don't mind having three chainrings. I have bikes with both and always prefer to ride a triple unless the ride is so flat that I won't need low gears. If I only had one bike for randonneuring, it would have three chainrings.
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Old 04-25-19, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Your budget max is $1500?

Don't buy a real touring bike, there are a ton of endurance and endurance style road bikes in that range. Hell you can buy a fully equipped randonneuring themed bike from Masi for that much:
Or a carbon racing bike:

Or an endurance road bike:
Or a gravel bike:

Or a slightly different style gravel bike:

Or a commuting road bike:

With the exception of the carbon race bike all the bike I linked have fenders or will take fenders. Some can accomidate racks and all will take alternative luggage in the form of bikepacking bags or rackless bar bags.

Oooh. I like the MASI-- but I'm partial to 3-rings up front- especially with a 26T inside to get my 225lbs up the steeper inclines.

I also like the Kona Rove, but there are no front braze ons, and I do plan on touring/packing in the future.

If I were looking only a Kona bikes, I would go with one of the Sutra models .
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Old 04-25-19, 08:01 AM
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the bike company hive mind has settled on the 45mm rake they can't seem to get past and a little slacker head angles on all-road bikes. It makes for a front end where you can definitely feel the flop while standing on a climb. I just rode 100km on my all road bike and the flop annoyed me somewhat. But I have narrower than normal bars on it, most people use wider bars on these bikes. I think it would be really nice if someone got outside their comfort zone and spec'd a 55mm rake fork, or even a 60mm fork. But nobody is courageous enough for that, apparently.

Replacing the fork on that bike is on the short list right now. I have to make a bending form for the blades
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Old 04-25-19, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
... I think it would be really nice if someone got outside their comfort zone and spec'd a 55mm rake fork, or even a 60mm fork. But nobody is courageous enough for that, apparently.
That was one of the reasons I had my Squarebuilt frame made. I spec'd that with 6 cm fork offset (the frame geometry is copied from a 1948 Raleigh RRA). I have no complaints about the geometry of that bike.
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Old 04-25-19, 09:00 AM
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Rake?

Is that somehow related to trail?
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Old 04-25-19, 09:11 AM
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Any opinions on the Slasa Journeyman all-roaders (Claris and Sora drop bar models)
Salsa Journeyman ? https://salsacycles.com/bikes/journe...eyman_sora_700

Salsa is now a QBP Brand ... ask your dealer with a QBP account.

don't like their parts pick? you can change them.. at point of sale..
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Old 04-25-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
Rake?

Is that somehow related to trail?
Can someone explain in layman's terms what rake & trail mean? I've heard low trail but have no idea where the bike I ride falls.

Here is my most recent bike. It handles similar to my 2003 Litespeed Vortex:

https://allcitycycles.com/blog/check...e_new_mr._pink

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-25-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
Oooh. I like the MASI-- but I'm partial to 3-rings up front- especially with a 26T inside to get my 225lbs up the steeper inclines.
32x34 is a pretty low gear if you don't mind the wide cassette. About the same as a 26x28. With 11 speed cassettes, the advantage of a triple is more with the spacing than the range, and most people don't seem to mind a couple of teeth between shifts.
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