New Touring Bike

New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:18 pm

Look, just a big shout out to everyone that comments in this sub forum and indeed other areas of the forum.Was looking for a touring bike as my rides on a Giant STP1 have been getting longer and longer. I have the camping equipment so just a matter of getting a bike to hold all this so I could go further. I am really looking at the moment at weekend tours to find out any niggly problems then I hope within 6 - 8 months to do the Mawson trail over a couple of weeks.

The information gleaned form the internet in general but specifically from Australian riders on this forum using those same bikes (and accessories) in an Aussie environment helped me to decide on my new bike which will hopefully arrive in about a week or so.

For those interested it was a toss up between Surly Disc Trucker and Vivente World Randonneur. These were the ones I could find most information on that many people appeared to be happy with. They both had problems (for me), the Vivente because it did not have 26" wheels (I really wanted these) and did not have full disc brakes, Surly because I wanted trekking bars.

In the end I went with my gut instincts and put a deposit today on a 2014 Surly Disc Trucker 56cm (Maroon) with 26" wheels along with Brooks B17 Imperial, Surly rear rack, SKS black guards and a Pletscher BiPod stand. I still need to look at a dynamo, lighting and bags. I will have to live without trekking bars for a while but who knows maybe I will like drop bars in the end.

Thanks again BNA!
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by BNA » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:57 pm

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Tim » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:57 pm

Although I own a Vivente I think you have made the better choice for your purposes.
The Vivente is great on bitumen and good dirt surfaces but hard work on rougher surfaces. Relatively narrow, 35mm tyres and drop bars aren't ideal on loose or rocky, bad roads.
If I were you I'd be fitting flat type bars and around 2 inch wide tyres if, as I presume, the Mawson Trail is all dirt.
Trekking bars are popular but I have read that they posses a disconcerting amount of flex that can be quite disturbing to the unaccustomed rider.
I like front disc brakes but don't think they are that important on the rear. There is very little stopping power from the back wheel. I find rear cantilevers fine and many find them perfectly adequate and less prone to problems, front and rear.
Once again, for rougher gravel roads I'd ditch the drop bars and fit wider flat bars that provide better leverage and control on loose surfaces.
Good luck with the new bike. I have only taken to touring within the last year or two but have now covered a bit over 4000km's of travel on various trips and absolutely love it. Like you the advise and information on this forum has been invaluable.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Aushiker » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:52 pm

All the best with the new bike. I am a happy owner of Surly Long Haul Trucker with drop bars and my preferred riding is dirt roads. Haven't had any issues riding through the Gascoyne on badly corrugated roads so I would suggest giving the drop bars a bit of go first before deciding if you need to swap them out. I have done 100 km days on these roads okay with the bike.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:07 pm

Andrew

Your own website was another one I poured over .. especially your reviews. Thinking of the ExtraWheel based on your review there and further comments here - so thank you :).
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Tim » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:39 pm

I should have said drop bars and bar-end shifters aren't ideal for me on rough roads.
Andrew is right. Give them a try.
I just find it is difficult moving my hands down to the ends of the bars to change gear and maintain steering control on a very bumpy road. I'd rather have the changer right where my hands are located ie. alongside the grips on a flat bar.
I don't think STI shifters are a good choice for touring, too easily damaged, quite likely beyond repair, in the event of a fall.
On smoother surfaces I find the bar-end shifters excellent and easy to adapt to.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:07 pm

Thanks Tim

I suppose when all is said and done, if everyone liked the same thing then these discussions would not be happening!

My problem with flat bars is the lack of different holds you can have. On the Giant I find myself wanting to change hand position, but cannot with flat / mtb bars. The variations on the trekking bars was why i was interested in them.

Will have to wait and see re the bar end shifters. Pro and cons for every little option!


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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Aushiker » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:11 pm

Tim wrote:I should have said drop bars and bar-end shifters aren't ideal for me on rough roads.
Andrew is right. Give them a try.


and I should have added that I have tried it on single track and it didn't work for me so it will really depend on your riding style and the riding. Maybe I was lucky and got away with it; of course trekking bars might be a better all-round option anyway. I have just not tried them.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby il padrone » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:19 pm

I don't really favour the 'trekking bars'. Their bend tends to place the main steering/shifting/braking position to the rear of a normal straight bar. I use a straight bar (10deg sweep) with really comfy Ergon GC3 grips and bar-ends.

I have recently seen a photo that intrigues me, as it combines the 45 deg sweep comfort of the North Road bars (which just puts a smile on my face when I ride the pair on my roadster Shogun Metro) with forward climbing position of good, reasonable width bar-ends. My next bike may well have this.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby barefoot » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:50 am

philmart wrote:My problem with flat bars is the lack of different holds you can have. On the Giant I find myself wanting to change hand position, but cannot with flat / mtb bars. The variations on the trekking bars was why i was interested in them.


Trekking bars give you an almost infinite number of uncomfortable hand positions :-D

I had a set on my LHT for a few hours. I couldn't find any setup (height, length, angle) that gave more than one hand position I'd want to use.

I'm native to flat bars, I now ride drop bars more than anything else... but I found trekking bars disappointing.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Aushiker » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:25 pm

il padrone wrote:I have recently seen a photo that intrigues me, as it combines the 45 deg sweep comfort of the North Road bars (which just puts a smile on my face when I ride the pair on my roadster Shogun Metro) with forward climbing position of good, reasonable width bar-ends. My next bike may well have this.


Note quite the same but in a similar vein is the Velo-Orange Crazy bar which was recently reviewed by the The Epicurean Cyclist.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby durianrider » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:07 pm

Touring with 26 inch wheels??? There is so much on the net about the benefits of touring with 29 vs 26. Bigger wheels = better tyre longevity, higher av speed and more comfort on rough roads.

Someone would have to pay me to do that again. Since riding with a 29er, the end of day comfort after riding 10 hours on corrugations is SO much nicer than the 26 bone shakers.

My xc touring bike is a Giant Anthem carbon 29er with a topeak journey trailer, stages cycling power meter and bags done by relevate designs. Not the cheapest set up out there but sure is the best efficiency wise, extremely durable and functional.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:44 pm

durianrider wrote:Touring with 26 inch wheels??? There is so much on the net about the benefits of touring with 29 vs 26. Bigger wheels = better tyre longevity, higher av speed and more comfort on rough roads.

Someone would have to pay me to do that again. Since riding with a 29er, the end of day comfort after riding 10 hours on corrugations is SO much nicer than the 26 bone shakers.

My xc touring bike is a Giant Anthem carbon 29er with a topeak journey trailer, stages cycling power meter and bags done by relevate designs. Not the cheapest set up out there but sure is the best efficiency wise, extremely durable and functional.


Well I got it today and rode home from the bike shop. Only a 12k ride mind you but it was smooth compared to my last ride (Giant STP1). It seems smooth and certainly no corrugations on the ride home, but it does seem more "pliable" than my STP1 which I felt was bone jarring even with front suspension. Of course this might be my rose tinted glasses in action so I will need to test further :D

Anyway will post some pics here soon, while the bike is still nice and shiney!

I suppose I will never know if 29 is better or not though .. but I chose 26 for what I thought would suit me. Pics soon!
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby Wingnut » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:49 pm

I think 29 is more suited to larger riders, apparently 26 inch wheels build up a fair bit stronger too...currently there are a lot more tyre choices for 26 with regard to touring tyres also...

The key to comfort is tyre width and pressure...29 inch doesn't guarantee comfort...
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:19 pm

Well here it is .. still need to get front racks and need to sort out how high the handlebars will sit (got them to set it at maximum an can work down)

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IMG_6754 by Phil Photos, on Flickr

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IMG_6756 by Phil Photos, on Flickr

Off for a ride tonight!
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby alanm » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:59 pm

Looks great, I like them. Enjoy.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:42 pm

Wingnut wrote:I think 29 is more suited to larger riders, apparently 26 inch wheels build up a fair bit stronger too...currently there are a lot more tyre choices for 26 with regard to touring tyres also...

+1

And on top of that, if you tour to remote locations, through small towns, and especially overseas, 26" tyres are far more accessible when it comes to tyre replacement time. I have yet to tour overseas apart from Europe, but I use 26" because I can run 1.25" or 2.3" should I choose. Versatility is a good thing.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby rifraf » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:31 am

philmart wrote:Well here it is .. still need to get front racks and need to sort out how high the handlebars will sit (got them to set it at maximum an can work down)


Off for a ride tonight!

Hi Philmart,
the LDT looks great - enjoy.
Dont be in too much of a rush to chop that steerer.
Judging from your saddle height, and many reports of saddle comfort when its slightly below the bars, you may have things about right where they are.
Keep us updated.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:51 pm

It has been a hard few days since getting the SDT. I am not used to that Brooks saddle at all. Sore sit bones while trying to do the kms to soften it up.Have done about 150km so far, so from all accounts I still may have some 500km more to go before it is "broken in".

There are other issues I am working through, but I feel I will love the bike - at least once I have everything dialled in and I can ride without buttock pain!

I may look at different options for handlebars as well, as so far I am not really comfortable with the drop bars. Perhaps the Nitto Moustache handlebars? I seem to find it more of an ergonomic thing so it may just be the type of drop bars and perhaps I persevere with trying different drop bar types. I would prefer not to change over the gears and brakes etc at this early stage, but if it doesn't work out I will need to look at alternatives. Some of the previous posts in this thread have certainly given me food for thought.

Has anyone had a similar problem and then found a suitable drop bar that changed their minds about moving away from them? I have read about some Nitto and VO drop bars being more comfortable for longer rides due to the design of those bars.
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New Touring Bike

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:31 pm

philmart wrote:Has anyone had a similar problem and then found a suitable drop bar that changed their minds about moving away from them? I have read about some Nitto and VO drop bars being more comfortable for longer rides due to the design of those bars.

You haven't described what your problem is, or where you're placing your hands on the bars. I'm using Nitto Noodle bars but without understanding the problem it's difficult to recommend anything.

Looking at the height of the bars I get the impression that you think you must place your hands in the drops. The reality is that most riders would rarely use the drops. And with them set that high it would very likely be uncomfortable to place them on the hoods, leaving only the tops.

I'd also question if it is safe to have so many spacers under the bars - the usual limit is 50mm.

Read this page on the Vivente web site for a useful discussion about handlebars. The Humpert Horn bar they are currently using looks to be a better option than trekking bars.

I fear you have made a big compromise in order to have 26" wheels and a rear disc brake. The VWR would probably have been a better choice.
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby alanm » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:45 pm

Phil,

Re the Brooks, you're not really breaking in the saddle, that takes quite a long time. You're breaking in your sit bones, if you over do it you'll bruise them and be in for hell. Have a rest until your bum feels better, then start off with 20 minute rides on the seat, do this for ~ a month and you'll have no problems. Then you can go about breaking in your saddle.

Re the drop bar, don't cut the steerer, remove the bars, drop off a few spacers, replace the bars, put the spacers on the top of it. Tilt the bars upward a bit to bring the brake hoods up a little and try that. Don't stress about the length of the steerer length, you'll be hard pressed to crack it, unless you hit a stationary car on a downhill run, and then I suspect that'll be the least of your issues! I've run converted quill heads on A head steerers that have a rise of over 200 mm and given them hell and not brocken them. I've also run double extenders on A heads and not cracked anything.

Good luck.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby GregLR » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:03 am

philmart wrote:I'd also question if it is safe to have so many spacers under the bars - the usual limit is 50mm.
Edit: the quote is from RonK's post.

That sounds more like the guideline for a full carbon steerer (though I think it's closer to a max of 3cm in that case for a 1 1/8" diameter steerer - I have that amount of spacers of both of my bikes that have a carbon steerer). However, in this example the steerer is steel so I wouldn't think there'd be a concern about it snapping due to leverage/weight on the handlebars. But I'd be interested to see any tech analysis/advice on this.

My wife's Sherpa has 7cm of spacers, putting the drop bars just above the level of the saddle with a modest riser stem. For reasons I don't understand for a firm that specialises in touring & audax bikes, the Thorn frames (unlike the Surly LHT) do not have much of a head tube extension and the bars on the Sherpa would be too low for my wife without that amount of spacers. Even my LHT has close to 5cm of spacers, putting the drop bars roughly level with the saddle, again with a modest riser stem, and that's with the 3cm head tube extension built into the frame.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:09 am

GregLR wrote:For reasons I don't understand for a firm that specialises in touring & audax bikes, the Thorn frames (unlike the Surly LHT) do not have much of a head tube extension

Such head-tube extensions are generally fairly non-standard frame treatments even amongst touring makers. However the Thorn Sherpa DOES have a head-tube extension.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:26 am

RonK wrote:You haven't described what your problem is, or where you're placing your hands on the bars. I'm using Nitto Noodle bars but without understanding the problem it's difficult to recommend anything.

Looking at the height of the bars I get the impression that you think you must place your hands in the drops. The reality is that most riders would rarely use the drops. And with them set that high it would very likely be uncomfortable to place them on the hoods, leaving only the tops.

I'd also question if it is safe to have so many spacers under the bars - the usual limit is 50mm.


Hi Ronk

The problem is just getting a comfortable position. My wrists get uncomfortable on the tops as I keep my elbows to my sides and then my wrists are not straight, they are bent sideways slightly. This gets uncomfortable for me fairly quickly so I move to the hoods, but now my wrists are bent as my hands are pointing outwards (I am thinking that perhaps the brake levers could be pointed inwards more?). In the drops is where my wrists and hands are straight and this feels OK.

I suppose I must have weak wrists .. I have been used to a very wide handlebar on my old bike and am used to riding with my wrists straight and not bent either horizontally or vertically.

The steerer was left uncut to allow me to find the best position by moving spacers around. I have already dropped the handlebars by 2 inches and am trying that out. Once I am absolutely sure I have everything dialled in then I will get the steerer cut back

Not sure if there is any limit.

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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby philmart » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:32 am

alanm wrote:Phil,

Re the Brooks, you're not really breaking in the saddle, that takes quite a long time. You're breaking in your sit bones, if you over do it you'll bruise them and be in for hell. Have a rest until your bum feels better, then start off with 20 minute rides on the seat, do this for ~ a month and you'll have no problems. Then you can go about breaking in your saddle.

Tilt the bars upward a bit to bring the brake hoods up a little and try that.


Thanks for these comments .. I thought coming from my other bike it would be just get on and ride, but doesn't look to be the case. Will try the handlebar being tilted. Comments welcome as I just have not had much experience with drop bars having given up on them the first time I tried them.

That said I have seen so many variations of a drop bar for different purposes so was thinking maybe there is a drop bar out there that isn't so hard on my wrists, but maybe it is a setup thing there as well.

Phil
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Re: New Touring Bike

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:37 am

Phil, have a look at this site, which shows the common hand positions for drop bars.

Also, do you wear cycling mitts?

I've had the exact reverse experience to you - I find prolonged rides on flat bars cause me intense pain in my wrists that I don't get with drop bars. However I still change hand positions quite often. I've noticed a bit of discomfort is common at the beginning of a tour, but disappears after a few days - I assume that's due to my core strength increasing with time in the saddle.
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