Help Recommendations: Lightweight touring bike

Jan 15, 2011
6
0
0
Tokyo
#1
Hi all,

I'm looking for a drop or straight-bar touring bike that is light enough for easy disassembly and bagging for the trains for daily rides but is strong enough to load up with racks and panniers for longer treks. Budget is in the 100-150,000 yen range. Gios' Pure Drop is one option I've seen around at Y's. Giant's Great Journey is an example of too heavy overkill. Surly's Long Haul Trucker is another possibility.

Any other recommendations/comments?
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
804
4
38
39
Tokyo
#2
Hi Greg,

If you don't mind assembling a bike yourself (or letting it be assembled by somebody else), you can take a look at

http://somafab.com/frames_main.html

..as I am currently riding the "lugged road sport" (ex-Speedster, now Stanyan) and quite pleased with it - inexpensive and light steel frame. Commuting, light touring (haven't tried panniers with it, but i think it's not impossible), training, it does everything for me.

It is also possible to put a rack and fenders on it. The clearance allows pretty thick tyres (upto 32mm).
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#3
Tried and True

The best touring bike invented is the Bridgestone CB-0 in my opinion
I has 26 inch wheels, but if your loaded this can be better for stabilty.

Get a used frame and build it up with that amount of cash. If you dont know how, learn along the way. If you really want a special bike you will love this is the one.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/pdfs/bstoneCB01991.pdf
http://www.daystarbotanicals.com/bicycles/cbzip/touring.html
http://randalputnam.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/bridgestone-cb-0/
http://www.ibikedb.net/bikes/19641-bridgestone-cb0-zip-city-limits

The surly is not a bad choice either, but really I think alot of the bikes labeled "touring" days are heavy pieces of junk. with low end parts. Your better off getting a frame, buying some used mountainbike drivetrain get friction shifters and spend the money you saved on panniers and a brooks saddle and some camp gear.

It wont be easy at all and time consuming but the end result will be a bike that you can appreceate that also is a well trusted set up.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#4
One thing to consider when thinking of touring frames (vs non-dedicated touring) is what kind/size of pans you want to use on the back. For example, this bike is what I'm getting along with as a light tourer:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi4.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fy142%2Fjdd489%2FcannondaleC600.jpg&hash=5c8177a22ae66c710a5f908f261bc9fb


When I put Ortlieb front roller pans on the back (with the most rear-ward position available with that rack), there is just enough clearance so that the heel of my shoes don't hit the pans. And I mean just enough. (I use the lower, fender-level part of the rack to clip them on, which gets them a little further back, also a tad lower.) Any other position but most rear-ward and these front ones wouldn't work. Standard ortlieb rear ones would not work for me on this bike.

Look again at a built up LHT, a trek 720, the above bridgestone, or some similar dedicated touring design (vs the pic of my bike, above), and take note of the chain stay length.

True touring frames have a longer wheelbase, and that usually shows in pics of a bike--the space between the seat tube and the front of the back wheel--i.e., longer chainstays. In the case of mine (above pic), it's not much at all, but enough for a fender. Look at a LHT, and depending on the tire size, there'll be 2" or more there.

Part of that is for the clearance thing that I've tried to describe, the other is that a long wheel base is what handles right over long touring distances. (Head tube angle and/or fork rake affect that, too.)

Also, another touring design thing to note is that, unlike road bikes, true tourers tend to be pictured with zero--or even negative--drop (seat to bars). For example, in your own surly link, the top of the LHT's bars are actually above the level of the seat--again a characteristic of a dedicated touring design (vs road or cross).

PS--With the help of some folks on this forum, I've since replaced the stem on the bike pictured above--the bars are now as high as the seat. :) (And there's a brooks B-17 on it now, too.)
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
I'm getting more and more attached to my coupled bike. On the train in less than 5min and the raw Ti frame is practically indestructible and light. I'm actually putting together a touring version for a friend.

1) Very slight TT slope - to give more standing room. Nice for touring when you are oftentimes straddling the bike. Plus allows for slightly taller head tube to reduce drop.
2) Extra clearance to run up to 42mm tires.
3) Disc Brakes
4) Internal gear hub with no front derailleur. Shimano Alfine 11 speed
5) S&S Couplers for easy packing
6) All the braze-ons for adding various racks, fenders, etc
7) Titanium custom rack
8) All told (without panniers) should come in around 9kg.

Here's mine on the train - obviously not in 'touring trim' - but actually, I'd have no problems touring on this anywhere in the world - even as a fixed gear.
picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=80
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#6
I'm getting more and more attached to my coupled bike. On the train in less than 5min and the raw Ti frame is practically indestructible and light. I'm actually putting together a touring version for a friend. ...
Could I ask that you put me in the loop for this touring version? The above pictured bike is pretty old, and while something like a LHT looks pretty good, I've got wide open ears for an alternative. That it breaks down like that is a big plus.
 
Jan 15, 2011
6
0
0
Tokyo
#7
Thanks for the feedback

Obviously build-it-yourself is a popular option around here but unfortunately I'm not in a position to do so for various reasons. I've got an opportunity to obtain a Surly LHT at a very good price and although it's not the lightest of the bunch it does have all the right basics. I've noted negative comments elsewhere about the stock canti brakes on the LHT and will look for alternatives there.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#8
... I've got an opportunity to obtain a Surly LHT at a very good price and although it's not the lightest of the bunch it does have all the right basics. I've noted negative comments elsewhere about the stock canti brakes on the LHT and will look for alternatives there.
And if it's a 58cm frame, and you don't buy it, can you let me know where it is?

:D
 

Siddall

Warming-Up
Jan 12, 2011
31
0
0
n/a
#9
Hope you're short.

If you're buying in Tokyo, hope you're not over 5'9", since they never carry big enough bikes (despite plenty of young Japanese men over that height). You may have to order from overseas. Even have to use a freight forwarding service.

In your price range, unless you need to carry a lot of weight on very bad roads, look for a randonneuring bike: Salsa Casseroll, Masi Randonneur, Bianchi Volpe or Campione... (yes, I am partial to steel). Consider a cyclocross bike, but be sure it does not have a high bottom bracket, unless you need to jump rocks.
 

Siddall

Warming-Up
Jan 12, 2011
31
0
0
n/a
#10
I'm getting more and more attached to my coupled bike. On the train in less than 5min and the raw Ti frame is practically indestructible and light. I'm actually putting together a touring version for a friend.

1) Very slight TT slope - to give more standing room. Nice for touring when you are oftentimes straddling the bike. Plus allows for slightly taller head tube to reduce drop.
2) Extra clearance to run up to 42mm tires.
3) Disc Brakes
4) Internal gear hub with no front derailleur. Shimano Alfine 11 speed
5) S&S Couplers for easy packing
6) All the braze-ons for adding various racks, fenders, etc
7) Titanium custom rack
8) All told (without panniers) should come in around 9kg.
3) is not how I would go, but otherwise I WANT THAT BIKE!

A road and fixed gear rider so far, but can you imagine a Ti frame with Alfine 11 29er? Want.
 

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
#14
Hi Snoogly, I asked on your YouTube Costco video but that posted some time ago so you probably haven't seen it. What was your bike setup for the Costco trip? Tamasakai I suppose, since you're in Machida.
Oh, sorry. I thought I had replied on YouTube. My 'shopping' bike is a specialized MTB with hydraulic forks swapped- out for some Salsa steel forks. Old Man Mountain racks front and rear. Ortlieb panniers front and rear, backrollers, I think.

Right now I can't remember the names of the different Ortlieb pannier models, but if you do end up buying Ortliebs for your bike, make sure you get ones with the mountain system that lets you tilt the mounting angle (think it's the Q2 mounting system). That way it's much easier to have enough heel clearance.

I heartily recommend Old Man Mountain racks.
 
Jan 15, 2011
6
0
0
Tokyo
#15
I ended up getting the LHT. The price was too good to pass up. Now I have to accessorize. Any good source for the Old Man racks? I went to the Y's at R1 and Kampachi yesterday and they have an insane collection of parts. I also hit Cyclo Paradise today based upon a recommendation elsewhere on the BBS and found a fantastic stock of well-priced parts. I can see myself being a regular visitor.
 

sunil

Warming-Up
Dec 5, 2010
12
0
0
Tokyo
#16
Carbon Frame for touring?

Been looking at a new bike as well for touring. I currently have a Trek MTB that I use for long rides (400km +) and would like to get get something lighter that can act as a all around touring road bike. Would also like to use it for some races like the Sado longride coming up in May.

Have been looking at the Trek Ion Pro which has a Al. frame with carbon forks and the Trek Cronus which is all carbon. Both are designed to be an all purpose bike and both support rear racks. ( I am a Trek fan)

Any advice for a novice?

thanks.
 

sunil

Warming-Up
Dec 5, 2010
12
0
0
Tokyo
#19
Carbon Frame for touring?

Yes stay clear of Trek.... They seem to have a very high failure rate on thier carbon frames.
Thanks. Where can I get some information on this? I have been told by numerous people that the carbon fiber process that Trek uses is better than other the other bike makers as it is near military grade. Also my understanding is that most of the bike manufacturers outsource the carbon frames to Giant out of Taiwan.

thanks
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#20
Yair here on the forums had 2 frames in about 4 months go and another member of the PE bloggers Jimmy Shinagawa had a frame go last year also.

This is personal experience with people I ride and race with on a regular basis.

However I have been very impressed with thier dealingsin getting the frames swapped over.