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Endorphin Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting a yen to do some more loaded touring, which I've not done in years. I let my old touring bike get away when my now-ex and I got a tandem for touring. I've been browsing E-bay and rec.bicycles.marketplace for something in my size, but not finding the right thing in the used market. So, I might get a new bike. I'm not sure how often I'll ride it, so I was going to see if I could build up something without spending an arm and a leg. The Soma Doublecross isn't too pricey and might do the job, but I'd like a dedicated tourer with rack and fender eyelets. I'm not sure a 'cross frame is the right thing. Anybody got one of these and care to comment?

Kathy
 

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a cross bike is alot of things... but most of all it's a cross bike.
If you don't plan to ride dirt on it then it really doesn't make sense. It happens to be one of those bikes that does alot of things well and that's great, But a bike that would excel at touring sound more like what your after. I assume your discounting a full out tourer because it's not versatile enough to be a good road bike at the same time... Why not look in the "sport Tourer" line of things. depending on your size there's a couple nice lyon frames at gvh that fit the bill and the one I'm currently looking (very seriously) at is the marinoni ciclo $700 canadian incl custom geometry and paint your can't go wrong.
If you plan on carrying large loads a full on tourer can't be beat...check out the marinoni tourismo.. but if you can commit yourself to the lightweight regime then a sport tourer is absolutely perfect.
 

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You talking to me?
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Frith has some good recomendations.

I had a Double Cross that I used as a commuter. I don't think I would recommend it for loaded touring. I would look for something specific to the task. Both Giant and Trek sell fully built up touring rigs in the $1,100 range (I think). If you can swing something more in the $1,500 range take a look at the Lyon and Marinoni frames Frith mentioned and spruce it up with a nice build.

Bryan
 

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Lots of good tourers out there

Kathy,

I've ridden the DoubleCross. While it's a good, versatile bike, it's not one I'd use for loaded touring. Not that you couldn't, but I'd want a bike with longer chainstays and more relaxed handling. If you don't want to bust your budget, there are several good touring bikes out there in the $1000 or under price range, including if you shop around the venerable Trek 520 and the Cannondale T800. If you want to go for less, the Jamis Aurora is a screaming deal (around $600, I think), and the Fuji Touring is quite good. REI has a couple of good touring models, including one built around 26" MTB wheels (the Safari, $799). Unless you could get the DoubleCross for free, you'd be hard pressed to do better pricewise, and any of these bikes would be better for loaded touring.

Trent
 

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Endorphin Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys!

I'm looking for a dedicated loaded tourer, and it sounds like the Soma isn't "close enough". Good input. I've looked at the Trek, C'dale and Giant, and they're on the list. I'll go have a look at the Jamis, Fuji and Marinoni touring rigs and the Surly frame. I'm torn between saving the bucks and buying off-the-shelf, but there's always the temptation to upgrade this, that and the other thing until the savings disappear. Might just pony up for a frame I can build up the way I want it. I have some parts, including wheels, that could be used.

Unfortunately, I'm not in a hurry. I've got a cast on my arm that won't come off for a few more weeks. With rehab, I'll be lucky to be back on any bike sometime in May. Shopping and dreaming helps to pass the time.

Kathy
 

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Touring bikes for touring...

I'd second Trent's suggestions--my "real" touring bike is an old Novara (REI) Randonee that's given me terrific service over the years. It's a perfectly acceptable commuter and general riding bike; you wouldn't want to race crits on the thing, but it's roadworthy. The current model is somewhat lighter and spiffier, but it now suffers the same failing nearly all production touring bikes do--the gearing is all wrong. A 52/42/30 triple combined with a 12-27 is not gonna cut it when you're lugging 40 or 50 pounds in the panniers up a long hill. I've seen some bikes with an 11-32, but even then, your lowest gear is going to be around 27 inches. When you're ready to do some serious shopping and you've settled on a few candidates, see if the shop will cut you some slack on upgrading the drivetrain.

FWIW: I'd guess the most common brand of touring rig I run across (on the road) is Cannondale, with Trek a sorta distant second.

Touring is possible, even practical on a 'cross bike with a trailer. I did several trips on an Axis with a B.O.B. Yak, and it was fine. I'd vote against loaded touring on any 'crosser I've ridden because they're not burly enough, specifically in the top tube; get up to speed with a good load, and the bike shimmys, especially on fast downhills. It's kind of a tail-wagging-the-dog sensation, and it ain't pretty.

Finally, a good source of maps and touring-related info (trips, tech info, reviews, etc.) is the Adventure Cycling Association (www.adventurecycling.org).

Take care of that arm and get on the road soon!
 
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