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Bike recommendations - fast touring

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Bike recommendations - fast touring

Old 05-14-21, 01:02 PM
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mikedefieslife
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Bike recommendations - fast touring

It's been a while since I posted here.I've got a tour coming up this year (1500miles mountains) and am looking for a new bike.

My last proper tour was 1000miles in Northern France. I used my Forme Loncliffe 3.0 and mounted a rack and some mud guards a bike backing back and off I went. I believe I also swapped out the cassette for 10 speed with a 36t cog. I also stuck continental GP4000 700x25 tyres on instead of the 700x23. This worked well and I had no problems with the aluminium frame and carbon forks.

The bike was 10kg, with me around 75kg and another 10kg of gear.

I no longer have the bike and am now looking for a replacement and something that might a slight upgrade, and more aero dynamic.

Only got about £1000 to spend on the bike itself but have a bit more budget for modifications.

Any recommendations of popular models to look at (available in Europe)?
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Old 05-14-21, 01:57 PM
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I would recommend posting this to the touring forum.
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Old 05-14-21, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fettsvenska View Post
I would recommend posting this to the touring forum.
didnít really see bike spec posts there. The mods are free to move it. There probably needs to be a dedicated equipment forum.
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Old 05-14-21, 04:20 PM
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Gravel bike, Cannondale Topstone is available in Europe. Get the aluminum model, use bikepacking bags and gear, go as light as possible to gain speed (of that's really a goal ). Aero matters for nothing in this application.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Gravel bike, Cannondale Topstone is available in Europe. Get the aluminum model, use bikepacking bags and gear, go as light as possible to gain speed (of that's really a goal ). Aero matters for nothing in this application.
Thanks I will check them out. No idea what a gravel bike is. I only plan on riding on sealed surfaces. Aero is more important than weight generally especially at lower speeds as the apparent wind starts to move off centre. Itís also part of the reason Iíll be bike packing.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Thanks I will check them out. No idea what a gravel bike is. I only plan on riding on sealed surfaces. Aero is more important than weight generally especially at lower speeds as the apparent wind starts to move off centre. Itís also part of the reason Iíll be bike packing.
Most gravel bikes have mounting points for racks and fenders front and rear plus room for wide tires. Think of a touring bike but lighter and with more aggressive geometry.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:44 PM
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if volvo made a bicycle, I'd question the aero impacts. Since that's not likely a problem to think about, a steel frame with carbon fork, aluminum bars, tubeless ready carbon wheels, & integrated mounting brackets of cargo carrying stowage systems should be able to keep the LBs low.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:10 PM
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The Topstone I have (aluminum 105) has eylets for a rear rack. I might use a under seat bikepacking bag instead, to save weight.

Gravel bikes are road bikes with clearance for wider tires, sometimes up to 50mm, for moderate off road gravel road type use, usually wiith disc brakes, a 2x 30/46 crank and low geared cassette. They are pretty good for moderate weighted touring.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:19 PM
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For touring, aero isn't really an issue, as you'll likely be averaging 12mph or less. You want comfort, as you're going to be in the saddle for long periods. Trek 520 and Kona Sutra are pretty much the touring standards. Have a good trip!
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Old 05-15-21, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

On my last tour I went with a guy who was on a touring bike with some big ortlib panniers. His set up was heavy. despite my 10 speed 11-36t setup I was able to easily outperform him on hills, and was much faster downhill (up to 38mph on super steep hills with my hanging over the bars), and a little faster on flats (averaging around 15mph). Where the heavier less aerodynamic bike setup came into play was momentum, and robustness.

I'll probably be running 700x28 tyres as these have the least rolling resistance (Yes I'm lazy so want to do as little work as possible).

I'll add fenders, like I did on my Forme Longcliffe, but will forego the racks (I had one on my longcliffe) for a seat pack, and an alpkit airlock dual 13 on some aero bars. I used the latter to house my sleeping back and other light gear on my previous bike and it worked well. With aero bars I can mount it length ways which should be better.

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Old 05-15-21, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
didn’t really see bike spec posts there. The mods are free to move it. There probably needs to be a dedicated equipment forum.
There are plenty of bike specific posts there. The people on that forum, as a whole, are better equipped to answer your question. There all types of bike tourers there, some that use traditional touring bikes, converted mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and even lightweight bikes.

As for aero, if you are using panniers, a more aero bike won't help, however, if you post this in the touring section, you will get people answering who can show you how to mount bags that are more aero, though that will include more than simply buying a bike, you will need new bags, and they will not hold as much, but it will get you more aero, as you seem to want. There are many people touring like that. You can use frame bags, and bags mounted behind the seat. You will give up carrying capacity though. It all depends on what id important to you. Going light may be freeing.

Last edited by phughes; 05-15-21 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
didnít really see bike spec posts there. The mods are free to move it. There probably needs to be a dedicated equipment forum.
Also take a look at this article. It elaborates on some of what I was talking about. https://www.cyclingabout.com/fascina...cycle-touring/
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Old 05-15-21, 03:24 PM
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Let me get this straight, you want a lightweight, fast, aero touring bike setup for a thousand pounds in 2021?

Sorry to be blunt, but that's ...improbable?
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Old 05-15-21, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Let me get this straight, you want a lightweight, fast, aero touring bike setup for a thousand pounds in 2021?

Sorry to be blunt, but that's ...improbable?
Nope. I want the best possible for the money, with room later on to upgrade and improve the spec. I was relatively happy with my old bike (which was well below £1000). Some new rims to allow 28mm tyres and a few other mods and I'd have been enjoying a tour on that. Unfortunately I don't have it anymore to need to find something new (which may of course be used).

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Old 05-15-21, 10:26 PM
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Giant Diverge Base model. It's a 2x8, mechanical disc, aluminum frame. Seems like a decent fit. Not sure you're gong to find stock anywhere though.

Kona and Giant have drop-bar adventure bikes in your price range. Wider tires than you want, but you can probably go down to 30mm. Not very aero though.
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Old 05-16-21, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Nope. I want the best possible for the money, with room later on to upgrade and improve the spec. I was relatively happy with my old bike (which was well below £1000). Some new rims to allow 28mm tyres and a few other mods and I'd have been enjoying a tour on that. Unfortunately I don't have it anymore to need to find something new (which may of course be used).
Can you find another Forme Loncliffe? Did you record its measurements to be able to start with a close match?

I think I understand your interest in cutting through the air efficiently. A small reduction has a lot of leverage, and itís largely influenced by riding position, wheels, and frontal area relative to the actual wind direction, including the size and shapes of the luggage. If you save 10% of your power over 1600 km, your freshness at the end of the day or of the whole venture is much better.

A recent USA concept and product for bike aerodynamics is called Aerodefender (I have no relationship with it!!!). Itís a cover for the upper 30% of a wheel which makes a pocket of still air where the tire tread is moving forward at twice the speed of the bicycle. Itís worth googling it to see the particulars and how it was tested.

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Old 05-16-21, 07:13 AM
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Sounds as if either the Diverge or Topstone would be a good fit. Most brands have something of that genre. With the shortages you probably should start with what you can actually get in your size, then narrow it down from there. If you have choices....
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Old 05-16-21, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
(averaging around 15mph)
An aero bike will not give you noticeable advantage at those speed especially packed with touring gear. PLUS, you'll be limiting your options if you try to add aero into your specs and given the bike shortages.

I'll probably be running 700x28 tyres as these have the least rolling resistance (Yes I'm lazy so want to do as little work as possible).
You'll have less rolling resistance with wider tire since you're only averaging 15 mph on tour. A wider tire will also be more puncture resistant and fortunately for you, newer bikes will acommodate wider tires with touring frames often allowing up to 40mm wide tires.
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Old 05-17-21, 03:26 AM
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For fast touring, just get a mid range road bike (Shimano 105 level) like an RC 520 from Decathlon, a Giant or one of those UK house brands like Sonder or Ribble.

Then get a full set of bikepacking bags (big saddlebag, framebag, handlebar bag and maybe fork bags and gastank bag) to suit your budget. I.e. from Roswheel at Aliexpress, Woho in Taiwan up to Apidura or Revelate. Lots to choose from.

Work out hydration, food, sleep and shelter. Lots of info on that available. Check out the Trans Am racer loads etc. Even look at the tailfin system.

Be warned, though. There was once a bitter internecine conflict in the touring subforum between proponents of fully loaded touring and light touring. This rears its head at the mention of certain types of drivetrains, when posters will issue angry fatwahs against 1x setups. Such arguments only ever lie dormant around here, it doesn't take much to fan the embers into a brushfire.
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Old 05-17-21, 04:29 AM
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What kind of gearing are you capable of pushing up those mountains? The answer to your question has to start there. You mentioned using a 36 cassette before, but unless I missed it, you didn't mention what you used up front. It sounds like you are getting back into cycling. COVID has inventories thin and prices high. So you not only have to identify what bikes might work, you have to find them in stock, in your size. Are you in the UK?
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Old 05-17-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
What kind of gearing are you capable of pushing up those mountains? The answer to your question has to start there. You mentioned using a 36 cassette before, but unless I missed it, you didn't mention what you used up front. It sounds like you are getting back into cycling. COVID has inventories thin and prices high. So you not only have to identify what bikes might work, you have to find them in stock, in your size. Are you in the UK?
I had a 10 speed 11-36 cassette (original was 12-28) with a 34/50 chain rings which if I've calculated correctly is 26 gear inches on the low end, and 120 on the high end. That was enough, though it would also be nice to have more. Shimano has a 11-40t cassette, fitting probably wouldn't be easy though. I already had to put a long arm derailleur on last time.

I won't be in the UK but have easy access to the UK market so can stick a bike in my luggage, though it would save me some hassle buying from in the EU.

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Old 05-17-21, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
I had a 10 speed 11-36 cassette (original was 12-28) with a 34/50 chain rings which if I've calculated correctly is 26 gear inches on the low end, and 120 on the high end. That was enough, though it would also be nice to have more. Shimano has a 11-40t cassette, fitting probably wouldn't be easy though. I already had to put a long arm derailleur on last time.

I won't be in the UK but have easy access to the UK market so can stick a bike in my luggage, though it would save me some hassle buying from in the EU.
This or one of the Fuji Jari bikes. https://www.wiggle.co.uk/octane-one-...avel-bike-2021 https://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycle/adventure-bikes

Gearing can get tricky. I like 20 inches at the most for loaded climbing. You can't get there with a road double I don't think. It's easy to get there with a 1X
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Old 05-17-21, 06:53 PM
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www.ribble.co.uk has a couple of aluminum models that might qualify.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
I had a 10 speed 11-36 cassette (original was 12-28) with a 34/50 chain rings which if I've calculated correctly is 26 gear inches on the low end, and 120 on the high end. That was enough, though it would also be nice to have more. Shimano has a 11-40t cassette, fitting probably wouldn't be easy though. I already had to put a long arm derailleur on last time.

I won't be in the UK but have easy access to the UK market so can stick a bike in my luggage, though it would save me some hassle buying from in the EU.
I think the penalty of having a triple is much less than the penalty or insufficient gearing 800 km from home. You could set up a triple with 50/38/26 if your chain wrap can handle it with 11/36, and have gearing as low as 20 inches with a top end roughly 122 inches.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:18 PM
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I read the original post again. I'd look for a bike with a 2x9 Sora groupset, find an Alivio rear derailleur--look for the 45 tooth total capacity one--and put an 11-40 9 speed cassette on it with a Wolftooth Roadlink to get the derailleur down below the largest cog. 9 speed is good because the Alivio derailleur will work just fine with STI brifters; 10 speed and above don't work like that. Pay attention to the chain; with longer chainstays it may seize up in the 50-40 combo, maybe look for a KMC 9 speed 120 link chain?

Most road frames--as opposed to gravel, cross or adventure--won't have fender and rack mounts. I'd go for a full set of Roswheel bikepacking bags--the Attack series probably--from Aliexpress and I'd be looking for an RC500 at my local Decathlon, or a Sora equipped Giant. It will be difficult in 2021, but perhaps not impossible? Bikes are about to be released, and while many will be spoken for already, you may get lucky? Genuine 11-40 Sunrace cassettes are easily available from Aliexpress and CRC had KMC chains. Alivio derailleurs are thin on the ground right now--they're as rare as rocking horse poo really--but bags should be easy to get if you go for the cheaper Aliexpress ones to keep to your budget.
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