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.
Sounds like you should really look into the cyclocross/sport touring type of bikes Cameron mentioned, like the Bianchi Volpe and Surly Cross-Check. You can use them for moderate loads, but they're quicker than many true touring bikes, and they're good for centuries.
Thanks for all of the great tips.
So far I test road the Surly LHT in a 58Cm. Does anybody know where I could test ride a 58cm Rivendell Atlantis? I am curious how it compares with the Surly LHT? I am also going to try out a Surly Cross Check, but I do have an Aluminum/Carbon Fork race bike, so I am leaning towards a touring bike. Something with 35-38mm 700cc tires, and the handle bars the height of the saddle.
Finding an Atlantis may prove difficult.
You can see the last reply here for a very brief comparison:
You can also post at rbw-owners-bunch group to try to locate an Atlantis owner in Chicago. I saw an Atlantis rider on the lake front once, seemed not far from your size..
After looking around locally with no luck, I ended up having to go to Walnut Creek, CA to test ride. Luckily, I have friends who live in the area so I could justify visiting them at the same time. The Riv's are sized differently. I ended up with a 60cm Sam Hillborne while my normal frame size is 58cm. Check out the sizing methodology: http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=39. I came out with 34.25 in (86.99cm) for PBH and have a 60cm frame. As for ride quality - it feels like a fast and nimble tank. Sort of best of both worlds. I went with the Sam Hillborne because it is in between a full touring Atlantis and faster riding AHH. I loaded it down and the ride is more than adequate. If you live on the north side, I could let you try it out sometime.
Hey Joon wow all the way to Walnut Creek! I had a friend measure me and he came up with 33.75 inches for the PBH and I am about 6'1. I live in Andersonville and am free most weekends. I would love to test ride. I ride an aluminum 58cm Specialized Secteur now, but wanted something more touring, off season winter, and the flexibiity of bigger tires for some of the rail road trails that have gravel, plus a more comfortable upright road riding position.
I've seen some well built LHTs at Johnny Sprockets for about $950 or so. That's about half the price of an Atlastis frame, fork and headset from Rivendell or just a little less than the same for a Hillborne. I think there was a shop on Broadway in Lincoln Park that had a Riv of some kind on hand. Can't remember which one it was, though. I looked but it was way outside my budget.
Dave - I live near Andersonville in Ravenswood so we can meet sometime and you can check the Hillborne out. Send me a private message and we'll work out the details. It's a great frame and makes for a really nice ride. I guess it all depends on your budget and your intended purpose. The LHT is a good bike that will be a solid workhorse. The Rivendell is a great bike that you will want to ride all the time. The Riv frames have tolerances for large tires and fenders and the riding position is designed to be more upright. Here's a lengthy review: http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2012/04/rivendell-sam-hillborne-2-ye...
Hey Joon I sent a friend invite on here.