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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’m looking for a Touring bike to use for commuting (20 miles each way, carrying a bicycle garment bag and briefcase) and credit-card touring (to carry rear panniers and possibly a handlebar bag).

I already have a 1983 Trek 620 touring bike that I’ll continue to use for fully-loaded touring. But, I like the speed of my nimble little 47cm Trek 1500wsd road bike which is the reason I’ve decided that I need a 3rd bike that would be a compromise between them – a lightweight but durable touring bike. Although I don’t intend to use the new bike for fully-loaded touring, I’d like to keep my options open. Some criteria: preferably an aluminum frame, 700c wheels, lowest gear must be an extremely low hill-climber gear.

As far as budget…. can’t afford a Bruce Gordon but want something better than a Trek 520. So probably around $1400-$1600. One consideration is the Cannondale T2000.

Additional info added 4/8/06: I'd like a lightweight classic touring bike (as defined on Sheldon Brown's website: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ta-o.html#touringbike) that is capable of fully-loaded touring but will use it initially for commuting and light touring. Not a road bike. I'm 5'2"and 110 pounds so a lightweight bike with a smaller frame with suitably-sized crank, brake levers, etc is important.

Does anyone have an opinion on the T2000 or any other suggestions?

Thanks!!
 

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I would also say LHT but it's steel and it's not that light but still a nice ride that won't break the bank and within your budget. Here is mine finally built up and it's my main commuter and hopefully a tour sometime in the near future.

 

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an Option

If you like Gordon's, the BLT is just slightly out of your range. One thought would be to get the BLT as your loaded tourer and convert the 520 to be the dedicated commuter.

Scot
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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FWIW, the term "credit-card touring" refers to touring on a road bike with nothing more than a wedge pack. The "credit-card" bit is because you need to pay for eveything, such as lodging and luggage transfer, and you only have enough carrying space for a credit card on your bike. Any bike with panniers is not doing "credit-card touring".
 

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Alternate definition

Dave_Stohler said:
FWIW, the term "credit-card touring" refers to touring on a road bike with nothing more than a wedge pack. The "credit-card" bit is because you need to pay for eveything, such as lodging and luggage transfer, and you only have enough carrying space for a credit card on your bike. Any bike with panniers is not doing "credit-card touring".
Where I come from, "credit card touring" means you only carry clothes, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Having someone transfer your luggage is more like supported touring, and you obviously need to have a tour company following you to do this, even if they don't provide any other service.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Where I come from, "credit card touring" means you only carry clothes, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Having someone transfer your luggage is more like supported touring, and you obviously need to have a tour company following you to do this, even if they don't provide any other service.
I agree. I used to credit card tour with a quix bag which was the size of a rack bag but attached to the seatpost. I would carry a pair of running shorts, a tshirt, and some flip flops. At the end of the day, you check into a hotel, shower and wash your cycling stuff, hang it up to dry in the bathroom, put on the shorts and tshirt and go eat. I did that for up to three days at a time. Since you are on your own schedule when you do this, you can hang around the hotel in the morning until your stuff is dry. I did use a laundromat once.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Where I come from, "credit card touring" means you only carry clothes, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Having someone transfer your luggage is more like supported touring, and you obviously need to have a tour company following you to do this, even if they don't provide any other service.
I agree with Kerry on this one. Credit card touring in no way means that you only carry your credit card. The main difference would be you don't camp and carry all the food you need to eat.

However I will defer to "The Man" Sheldon Brown

"Light-touring, or "credit-card" touring bicycles are intended for inn-to-inn tours, randonnés, or organized tours with sag-wagon service, in which the rider will carry perhaps a large touring bag or handlebar bag. A light-touring bicycle may be a modified road-racing bicycle, or a bicycle made for the purpose. It will usually have:

Conservative road-racing geometry.
A triple chainwheel crankset.
A close- or medium-ratio cluster.
Medium (25-28mm) width tires.
Clip-on aerobars.
Clipless pedals. "
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Clarification of what I'm looking for

Hmmmm.... one thing I'll clarify first of all... I'm a woman so my definition of Credit-Card Touring means more than one change of chothes plus a small hairdryer, etc, etc. You get the picture.

After reading everyone's comments, I guess I'm looking for a lightweight classic touring bike (as defined on Sheldon Brown's website: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ta-o.html#touringbike) that is capable of fully-loaded touring but will use it initially for commuting and light touring.

I'd be using the new touring bike for 'light touring' (what I considered credit card touring) with rear panniers and staying in Bed & Breakfasts and going to restaurants (such as my last trip to Hawaii).

I'll use my Trek 1500 road bike for supported touring (such at the STP Seattle-To-Portland ride).

I'll use my old Trek 620 for fully-loaded touring with front/rear panniers, camping gear, cooking gear... the works (such as my trips to the San Juan and Gulf Islands).

Eventually, the new touring bike may replace the Trek 620 for fully-loaded touring (as it gets harder to upgrade a 1983 bike or if I get hooked on the new one).

Next I'll need to find room in the garage for a 4th bike (also have a MTB).

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback so far and helping me clarify my needs. (sorry for the long reply.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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Au Cotrere, Monsieur Irons....

Kerry Irons said:
Where I come from, "credit card touring" means you only carry clothes, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Having someone transfer your luggage is more like supported touring, and you obviously need to have a tour company following you to do this, even if they don't provide any other service.
On the continent, any decent hotel can send your baggage to any other hotel within about 100km. This is a very common service provided for people who are doing hiking holidays, or following a religious pilgrimage. Cyclists use this service all the time, and it it available widely across France and Italy.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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Long Haul Trucker won't work with that criteria... The 54cm frames and smaller only fit 650C wheels IIRC... At 5'2" I'm guessing you won't be on a 56cm bike.

Plus it's steel. Shame really, I'm a fan of the Surly family. However, I did a few extended test rides on the Giant aluminum touring bike and really liked it. Disk brakes were a bit of a novelty for me, and seemed to work well.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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fbagatelleblack said:
Before you take the disk brake plunge, make sure the bicycle in question has the ability to mount all the racks and fenders you will be wanting as a cyclotourist. Many disk brake models cannot.

- FBB
Oh I didn't buy it... I built up a Cross Check instead. Very happy with it too.
 

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Suggest you join The Adventure Cycling Association... Phone in and ask for the current issue of their magazine with your membership... it has a list of touring bikes, all types, from different manufacturers. Great organization and resource.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/
 

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sell your 1500.

It sounds like you're on a budget, yet you're looking for a third road bike. Why? Assuming you don't race (most don't), you only need a sport/tour bike and perhaps a dedicated tourer if you're really serious about loaded front/rear panniers. In other words, a sport/tour frame that occasionally accommodates a rear rack and light panniers is also totally suitable for unloaded riding ("fully supported tours", centuries and such).

In other words, it seems that your Trek 1500 is unnecessary. If it's a recent model, race inspired, carbon frame, etc., then it probably doesn't match your needs at all (once again, assuming you don't earn your salary as a racer). It's incompatible with most of your needs as you stated them. So sell it and then buy a suitable bike.

The Jamis Aurora gets excellent reviews for sport/touring, and was recently reviewed in Adventure Cycling. FWIW, its specification matches my semi-custom sport/tour frame that cost three times as much (and also handles wonderfully on day rides, centuries...).

http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/06_aurora.html

Get used to recommendations for steel frames, since you're in the Commuting/Touring forum and we enjoy steel more than Al...
 
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