The Chainlink

I have a road bike now, but wish to get into long distance bike touring and centuries. I would ideally like something comfortable, able to haul a moderate amount of gear, and if possible not super slow. I am a larger rider 6'1 and about 210 lbs.  Thanks.

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What kind of budget are you working with?  What you're describing sounds like a Randonneur style bike.  You might be a bit too tall for the classic 650B geometry but there are many variations out there.  Look up Jan Heine.  Rivendell Bikes sells many good frames for your purpose as well.  If you're thinking stock rather than building up a bike, The Jamis Long Haul Trucker is popular.  Bicycle times has a lot of good reviews.  http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/web/10176.

Read this article. It is agood primer on touring bikes, plus it has a list of nearly all available.
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm

You will find that most touring bikes from the big bike manufacturers cost between $1000 and $1500. Budget etxra money for racks, fenderd, panniers, and lights.
http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/suggestions-for-a-touring-...

This is the thread from when I was looking. I ended up for a Trek 520 and love it.

You're thinking of the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Jamis' touring bike is their Aurora.

It looks like there's some pretty good information here. Though, I would probably want a different bike from doing loaded tours versus doing centuries and brevets. 


Joon Kim said:

What kind of budget are you working with?  What you're describing sounds like a Randonneur style bike.  You might be a bit too tall for the classic 650B geometry but there are many variations out there.  Look up Jan Heine.  Rivendell Bikes sells many good frames for your purpose as well.  If you're thinking stock rather than building up a bike, The Jamis Long Haul Trucker is popular.  Bicycle times has a lot of good reviews.  http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/web/10176.

Yes, Surly LHT.  Pre-coffee this morning.  :)


Jim S said:

You're thinking of the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Jamis' touring bike is their Aurora.

It looks like there's some pretty good information here. Though, I would probably want a different bike from doing loaded tours versus doing centuries and brevets. 


Joon Kim said:

What kind of budget are you working with?  What you're describing sounds like a Randonneur style bike.  You might be a bit too tall for the classic 650B geometry but there are many variations out there.  Look up Jan Heine.  Rivendell Bikes sells many good frames for your purpose as well.  If you're thinking stock rather than building up a bike, The Jamis Long Haul Trucker is popular.  Bicycle times has a lot of good reviews.  http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/web/10176.

By the way, I agree - centuries and brevets require a different set up than fully loaded touring.  I was caught between the competing needs when I was selecting a bike. I ended up with a Rivendell Sam Hillborne with front and rear racks to handle medium loaded touring while also nimble enough to go fast and keep up on brevet type rides.   Most importantly it's fun to ride and comfortable for the long haul.  

Jim S said:

You're thinking of the Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Jamis' touring bike is their Aurora.

It looks like there's some pretty good information here. Though, I would probably want a different bike from doing loaded tours versus doing centuries and brevets. 


Joon Kim said:

What kind of budget are you working with?  What you're describing sounds like a Randonneur style bike.  You might be a bit too tall for the classic 650B geometry but there are many variations out there.  Look up Jan Heine.  Rivendell Bikes sells many good frames for your purpose as well.  If you're thinking stock rather than building up a bike, The Jamis Long Haul Trucker is popular.  Bicycle times has a lot of good reviews.  http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/web/10176.

Thanks for all the great posts. I was looking for something in the 1000-1500 range, but I might test ride touring bikes vs Randonneur models. I heard great things about Rivendell, but they are pretty expensive. Would a Surly LHT while great for touring be very slow for a century? I will do some test riding. I can't really afford two bikes though.

I'm not sure if ilter posts much anymore, but he's got an LHT and another Trek he built up as well. If I recall correctly, once he got bitten by the randonneuring bug, he opted to NOT use his LHT. I've talked to a lot of people who have said that the LHT is built like a tank and rides like one - awesome for loaded touring, but maybe not so much so for brevets, centuries or populaires.

I haven't had my Schwinn Voyageur for long, but my goal was to immediately get all kinds of racks to set it up for touring. When I came to the startling realization that I work for the man, and therefore would probably not get to do any touring past a S24O, I switched gears and started setting up for comfortable long distance riding. Now I've got randonneur handle-bars, front rack with handlebar bag, and a saddle bag. The bike is super comfortable without having un-nessecary accessories. I also moved my rear rack to my other hybrid bike. 

Dave, do you live here in the city? If so, you should go to REI and check out/test ride their randonee. The 2013 model they have is really nice. It's got bar-end shifters though, so take that into consideration.

Hi Dave.  Like Laura, I sought advice here on thechainklink.org when I was looking for a new bike.

I like to do longer rides, and I plan to do some bicycle camping in the coming seasons, so I wanted something I could load with gear and disappear on.  After a couple months of research and a lot of helpful input from people here I ended up buying the Surly Long Haul Trucker.  In 6 weeks, my LHT has basically become a new appendage - it's solid as a rock -  heavy without being too heavy, and the long wheelbase makes riding trails, LFP, or the road equally smooth.  Best way I can summarize handling: it's a block of steel wrapped in butter.

With panniers removed I can manage a steady 16.0 - 18.0 mph on my training rides; on my long rides, with a little more gear, I average 15.0 - 16.5 mph.  I ride about 125 - 175 mi per week, including a 20-mile daily training ride on the LFP 5-6 mornings a week, daily commuter use, and a couple of long rides a month (50mi - 75mi) when I can block the time.  

I have found the LHT is a perfect fit for my day-to-day needs, and I've read extensively that it's happy with 150 lbs of gear on it.  I've only put about 35lbs on it so far, but I can say first-hand that didn't affect the silk-smooth handling at all.  Good luck in your search!

FOREGROUND: BEST BIKE IN THE UNIVERSE
BACKGROUND: BEST CITY IN THE UNIVERSE

All City Space Horse.

Right in between the Long Haul Trucker and the Cross Check geometry wise and it comes with STI shifters.

Wow, that is a pretty bike and city.  Also, I'm digging your TiGr lock.  :)

Chi Lowe said:

Hi Dave.  Like Laura, I sought advice here on thechainklink.org when I was looking for a new bike.

I like to do longer rides, and I plan to do some bicycle camping in the coming seasons, so I wanted something I could load with gear and disappear on.  After a couple months of research and a lot of helpful input from people here I ended up buying the Surly Long Haul Trucker.  In 6 weeks, my LHT has basically become a new appendage - it's solid as a rock -  heavy without being too heavy, and the long wheelbase makes riding trails, LFP, or the road equally smooth.  Best way I can summarize handling: it's a block of steel wrapped in butter.

With panniers removed I can manage a steady 16.0 - 18.0 mph on my training rides; on my long rides, with a little more gear, I average 15.0 - 16.5 mph.  I ride about 125 - 175 mi per week, including a 20-mile daily training ride on the LFP 5-6 mornings a week, daily commuter use, and a couple of long rides a month (50mi - 75mi) when I can block the time.  

I have found the LHT is a perfect fit for my day-to-day needs, and I've read extensively that it's happy with 150 lbs of gear on it.  I've only put about 35lbs on it so far, but I can say first-hand that didn't affect the silk-smooth handling at all.  Good luck in your search!

FOREGROUND: BEST BIKE IN THE UNIVERSE
BACKGROUND: BEST CITY IN THE UNIVERSE

I can't comment on the ride, but I can say that Joon's Sam Hillborne is absolutely beautiful!  

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