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Buying a touring bike in Italy?

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Buying a touring bike in Italy?

Old 08-18-19, 06:50 AM
  #26  
Tourist in MSN
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Originally Posted by The 585 View Post
...
You know, I was thinking, if upright touring bikes are what they use in Europe, maybe I'll check those out. Heck, I rarely even ride in the drops on my roadie, I'm on the hoods almost the whole time, so drop bars really aren't necessary for me. I want to pick up something that's traditionally European, ideally with trekking bars though.
...
A friend of mine almost never used the drops on drop bar bikes, even in a strong headwind. He switched to bullhorn bars, uses bar end shifters on them. That way his hand positions are very similar to the way they were on the hoods of drop bars. I recently posted a photo of his bike on a different thread:
https://www.bikeforums.net/21077928-post42.html

Originally Posted by The 585 View Post
... what are some good options for German and Swiss touring bikes? ...
I have no suggestions for German or Swiss, I mentally lump all continental Europe together in my mind when I am thinking about stuff like bikes. A couple brands from continental Europe (but not German or Swiss) that I have seen during some of my tours include:
https://www.koga.com/en/bikes/trekking/collection
https://www.santosbikes.com/en/

Originally Posted by The 585 View Post
...I'm also sort of concerned about getting things that will be tough to service and find parts for back here in the US. Rohloff hubs look like a real cool concept and I'd love to try them, but is servicing them difficult here in the US where they're very uncommon?
Regarding Rohloffs:
They do take an oil change each year, there are you tube videos that explain that easy enough. I have had no problems getting my threaded sprocket off the hub, but I have a really big adjustable wrench and a shop sized chain whip. But some people had trouble getting the threaded sprocket off. Rohloff recently switched to a splined sprocket that should be easier to remove than the old threaded sprockets, you pry off a spring circlip with a small screw driver instead. For 90 to 95 percent of Rohloff owners, the oil chain, cable changes and sprocket changes are the only service that is needed. I had no problems changing cables, but there are two different cable systems, mine is the EX box that I think is easier than the one that uses the internal cable. I think there are you tube videos for both cable systems.
You occasionally hear of a Rohloff hub owner that needed service other than what I listed, but that is quite rare. I am guessing here but I think that about 1 or 2 percent of hubs might need to go back to Germany for service during the first year, but usually after that they just keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. Occasionally you hear of a flange failure, but Rohloff started providing flange support rings with all new Rohloff hubs so even a flange failure would not stop someone from finishing a tour.
I am not sure but I think that Cycle Monkey might be able to service the innards of them. I have had no communication with them, so I do not know their capabilities, all I know is that they sell a lot of Rohloff parts according to their web site.
There are a few custom USA bike makers like Rodriguez and Co-Motion that sell a lot of Rohloff bikes, but I do not know if they have anyone capable of working on the hub itself. They might be able to provide some thoughts.
My Rohloff bike is chain drive. Not sure if belt drive bikes are more difficult or not because I have no pertinent experience.

Other components,
The Pinion gearbox is trying to compete with Rohloff but so far they are pretty expensive and I have never seen one, but time will tell if they start to develop a following or not.

I think that European bikes are more likely to come with a dynohub and dyno powered lighting. But any components associated with that that need replacement or service can probably be handled by Peter White. I suspect that dyno powered stuff in USA is more likely to be for charging up batteries, less emphasis on lighting. My last bike tour, I decided to skip the dyno powered lighting so I only brought battery powered lights, I only used my dynohub for charging up my assorted batteries. One consideration for dyno lighting, a dyno powered taillight does not flash, they are constant on. I prefer flashing taillights during daytime and you need battery lights for that.
Just about anything else is pretty much an expendable item, like derailleurs, chainrings, etc., that stuff is available pretty much anywhere.

Side note - if you consider getting a new touring bike, if that bike is one that you might want to travel with on airplanes, then you might want to consider S&S couplers. Now that American and later Delta no longer charge their oversize fees for traveling with a bike, S&S couplers might not be as useful as they were, but I find that being able to put my S&S case in a taxi to go to the airport is a huge advantage over logistics of a full size bike box. A 700c wheel does not fit in an S&S case as well as a 26 inch wheel however (my S&S bike is 26 inch), so talk to others about their opinions first before you buy S&S couplers.
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Old 08-18-19, 07:07 AM
  #27  
ironwood
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Originally Posted by The 585 View Post
You know, I was thinking, if upright touring bikes are what they use in Europe, maybe I'll check those out. Heck, I rarely even ride in the drops on my roadie, I'm on the hoods almost the whole time, so drop bars really aren't necessary for me. I want to pick up something that's traditionally European, ideally with trekking bars though.

If I go that route, what are some good options for German and Swiss touring bikes? fahrradmanufaktur looks like they make some sweet options. Anything else along those lines to keep an eye out for?
Cycle tourists in Europe might ride all sorts of bikes. On flat ground you'll see a number of upright bikes. Someone might be touring with his city bike. But not so much in the mountains. Among experienced tourers, I would guess that drop bars would be the most common style. But the decision to choose one type of bar depends on the rider, not what other people do. What would be the most comfortable on long tours?

Other European makers to look at? Kogo- Miyata in the Netherlands has some nice bikes. Cyfac in France has revived the Meral mark and has a nice Randoneuse. I still thin the Cinelli Hobootleg might be the best choice in a production touring bike.
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