Looking for a new tourer

All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.

Looking for a new tourer

Postby Major Taylor » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:03 pm

I am looking at replacing my ancient bike and am looking for suggestions for models. I found that Fuji makes a touring bike but not in my size (60/61). Kona makes one which looks nice to me (Kona Sutra) but there don’t seem to be any dealers in Brisbane. I don’t want a Surley as everyone and their uncle owns one plus I think they cost a bit much. Who makes a reasonably priced steel touring frame that I can purchase right here in Brisbane?
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by BNA » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:14 pm

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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby RonK » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:14 pm

The Vivente World Randonneur, discussed in this thread is highly recommended for its local support and "bang for the buck" inclusions, and is available from Epic Cyles, Baroona Road Paddington, also highly recommended - all the staff are helpful, but talk to Mark for a fellow cycle tourists perspective.
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:31 pm

That thread's pretty convincing, I don't think you could get better value for a good touring bike.

There's a reason why everyone and their uncle has an LHT by the way - they're well proven. But the Vivente is better value, is local and is a great ride.
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby Major Taylor » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:02 pm

RonK wrote:The Vivente World Randonneur, discussed in this thread is highly recommended for its local support and "bang for the buck" inclusions, and is available from Epic Cyles, Baroona Road Paddington, also highly recommended - all the staff are helpful, but talk to Mark for a fellow cycle tourists perspective.

Thanks for that. It looks like a good option. I may call epic and ask about them.
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby il padrone » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:48 pm

Some good touring options (not many available in Australia, but that interweb thingy is marvellous)

I reckon the Thorn Raven Nomad is the best tourer for my needs.

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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby Meditator » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:28 pm

Why does it have to be steel? How far/where are you going on this bike?

Are these touring bikes that are discussed made of steel? If you are not touring in Australia but overseas, what difference does it make where the bike originates - except that's its obviously easier to get one?
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby Baalzamon » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:00 am

It took about 1 week for me to get my Thorn Raven Nomad from sjscycles. Would have been quicker except I got the frame prepped. Shipping took 4 days too my door.
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby GregLR » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:22 am

Meditator wrote:Why does it have to be steel?

Titanium, for example ? As noted in the very helpful link posted by IP, Spa Cycles in the UK offer several brands of ti touring bikes (Sabbath & their own Chinese-made model). See:
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 87s21p1995
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s21p2554
CTC's review of the Spa Cycles ti touring bike is here: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201107062.pdf

But are there many traditional touring bikes made in other materials these days, robust enough to support the rider & luggage and with fittings & clearance for pannier racks ? Cannondale made an aluminium tourer for years but my quick search suggests that it's no longer offered. But I found others in the following CTC reviews:
- Santos 'Travelmaster' aluminium expedition bike, reviewed along with the Thorn 'Nomad': http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201007054.pdf
- 3 aluminum expedition bikes: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201011058.pdf
- Dawes 'Vantage' (budget tourer): http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201105064.pdf
- Edinburgh Cycles' 'Revolution Country Traveller' has an aluminium frame - there's a CTC review of this and another (steel) budget tourer, the Raleigh 'Royal', in the Dec '11/Jan '12 issue of CTC's "Cycle" magazine but it's not up on the website yet.

This page on the FW Evans site in the UK gives a rundown of the variety of touring bikes they offer at various price points, with prices in $A which would exclude the 20% VAT (though I haven't investigated Evans' shipping costs).
http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/b ... =AUSTRALIA

Here are links to CTC reviews of some steel touring bikes:
- Surly 'LHT' is reviewed on the 3rd page of this article: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201111056.pdf
- Thorn 'Club Tour': http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/200909060.pdf
- Dawes 'Super Galaxy': http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/200803062.pdf
- Tout Terrain 'Panamericana' expedition bike: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/200903058.pdf

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Looking for a new tourer

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:57 pm

Spa Cycles refused to ship a bike to me in Australia, and the CTC thread about Spa has quite a few postings by disgruntled customers, so they can be discounted. For Sabbath look to fatbirds.co.uk, that's where I eventually got mine.
Aluminum is the frame material of choice in Europe - as well as Santos there is Koga Miyata, idworx and many others, and for ti, Van Nicholas, now owned by Koga is the go. If you can get one delivered, the idworx Off Rohler or Ti Rohler are very innovative and excellent quality bikes.


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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby elStado » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:16 pm

Major Taylor wrote:I am looking at replacing my ancient bike and am looking for suggestions for models. I found that Fuji makes a touring bike but not in my size (60/61). Kona makes one which looks nice to me (Kona Sutra) but there don’t seem to be any dealers in Brisbane. I don’t want a Surley as everyone and their uncle owns one plus I think they cost a bit much. Who makes a reasonably priced steel touring frame that I can purchase right here in Brisbane?


Go the Vivente World Randonneur mate, or at least put it at the top of your short list for consideration. Aussie company (made OS though), well thought out and designed (Noel McFarlane tours each model through the year and takes on any suggestions for improvements from customers too), great bang for buck and almost perfect off the shelf touring bike in terms of design and features. Not much you would want to change or modify unless you have a specific purpose for it.

I got one a couple of weeks ago (the 2012 drop bar STI version) and I am very happy with it. Only a few small niggles and things that need modification/changing, e.g. changed the saddle and the rear rack, plus I have to clean up the cables (which the bike shop offered to do but I was happy to DIY anyway).

I just started up a cycling/touring blog (link in my sig) and I will be doing a in-depth user review of the VWR in the next few days (maybe on Wednesday as I've been stuck home with a bad cold for the past few days).
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby Baldy » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:49 pm

Checkout the Trek 520 if you have a local dealer.
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Re: Looking for a new tourer

Postby elStado » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:49 pm

elStado wrote:I just started up a cycling/touring blog (link in my sig) and I will be doing a in-depth user review of the VWR in the next few days (maybe on Wednesday as I've been stuck home with a bad cold for the past few days).


Got this review done today, can be found here for anyone interested: http://velophileaustralia.wordpress.com ... s-version/

Any questions feel free to leave them on the blog.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
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