Touring frame

by lazyusername   December 14, 2013  

Morning

My touring frame unfortunately broke following last summers excursion, so I am currently thinking of building up a tourer as I can strip a cross bike for bits which has ceased to have a purpose.

What I'm thinking I would like is a quick tourer, not too upright and not excessively heavy although weight considerations are not massively important. Ideally a race(y) bike with rack mounts? At the moment I'm thinking of getting a touring frame in a size smaller than normal to give more of a drop between saddle and bars and keep out of the wind a bit more.

Has anyone done anything similar or have any advice/recommendations on touring frames in general. I'm hoping in time to LeJog on the bike prob the summer after next as this summer might be too early given the bike might not be built for a couple of months but will be doing a weeks touring somewhere this year which will be the regular duties for the bike.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts, considerations and advice, thanks

13 user comments

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You could use the cross bike as a tourer?

If it doesn't already have eyelets, any frame builder could add rack and guard mounts and a new set of forks could be swapped in to sort out the front. Put some marathon supremes on... et voila!

If it has to be a new frame then I cannot recommend titanium highly enough for mile-munching.

If you are genuinely looking for a tourer then the big drop from saddle to bar is a really really bad idea. Big miles on an occasional basis will make you hate that bike.
If as I suspect you are looking for a sportive style bike with the ability to carry a load, then depending on your budget there are lots of options.
An Audax frame such as the Ribble winter/Audax is a great budget solution. Further up the scale are titanium jobs from Sabbath and Enigma both of which have a range of frames available.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
14th December 2013 - 12:16

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Yeah that was part of the original the idea behind the cross bike when I built it up but it's alloy and transfers alot of road buzz to the rider it's pretty uncomfortable after 25-30 miles.

I do a fair amount of distance year round but not touring with luggage so something of a drop I think will be fine. I'm a 56 basically in a normal road bike so my thinking is to get a 55 for touring as plenty of touring frames do a 55 and then a 57, have done a little touring ona 57 and was too upright.

Yup am looking at Ti but not sure if I can afford Lynskey Viale looks tempting though

posted by lazyusername [140 posts]
14th December 2013 - 12:45

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Aha... Aluminium arse. I boxed a Bianchi because I couldn't solve the impending vibration white arse issue. That's why I now ride titanium or steel for longer distance purposes.

Sounds like you definitely want an Audax frame. I have a Zerofour Ti which I love, but sadly can't ever replace as the company ceased trading a couple of years ago.

If my Zed were to die tomorrow, I'd be looking at an Enigma Etape/Echo or Sabbath September. These are a grand + though.

The Spa Cycles Audax Ti is also worth considering at £850 for the frameset.

Even cheaper than this are the carbon Sportive 365 and steel Winter/Audax from Ribble.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
14th December 2013 - 13:26

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I had a touring frame brake a few years ago,
I decided to get a bob Jackson made to measure custom frame made, ( by simpsons in Kentish town)

Had touring 531 but mountain bike tubbing back triangle for strength ( I'm 1.87 and 100k)

Have as many brazeons as you want.

Transferred parts from old bike

Best choice I made, very comfortable and strong.

posted by Cycleoptic [19 posts]
14th December 2013 - 14:09

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Sabbath September is truly fantastic. Fast and comfortable + with all the eyelets etc.

As mentioned, Spa Cycles Audax Ti is worth a look for the money.

@oddbydefault

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posted by oddbydefault [91 posts]
14th December 2013 - 16:05

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Last year I treated myself to a bike build as a retirement present and, like you, I wanted something comfortable with a sporting look. After a lot of thought I went for a Genesis Equilibrium steel frame, fitted with a carbon fork. It cost a very reasonable £425, with headset, although that may have inched up a bit since then.

Friends were a little sceptical about my choice but the finished article persuaded them it was a worthwhile project. It's pretty light, pretty fast, pretty comfortable and oh, did I mention, it's really pretty.
At tea stops I have never had so many riders come up and chat about a bike as I do with this one.

It has all the guard/rack mounts for light touring and my longer trips have been a joy. It's one of those bikes that looks after you.

Best of luck.

Mike

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posted by mike the bike [126 posts]
14th December 2013 - 19:22

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I'm also coming up to retirement, and considering another custom steel frame (perhaps my last). Although I have some nice steel road and audax style frames already, I find my 1950's Raleigh 3 speed to be a revelation in comfort, surprisingly quick, and one I often use over my more expensive machines.

I suspect this comes from relaxed frame geometry, a longer wheelbase, and quite a lot of fork rake. It is such a step change in ride comfort, albeit perhaps at the expense of responsiveness and a little extra weight, that I'm tempted to get a similar frame built using modern steel tubing.

My advice is to consider custom steel, so the bike is designed around you, rather than the other way around. Sure, it will weigh slightly more but, as a percentage of total weight (ie you and the bike combined) it's almost insignificant.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
14th December 2013 - 23:34

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mike the bike wrote:
Last year I treated myself to a bike build as a retirement present and, like you, I wanted something comfortable with a sporting look. After a lot of thought I went for a Genesis Equilibrium...

...It has all the guard/rack mounts for light touring and my longer trips have been a joy. It's one of those bikes that looks after you

Hi Mike I have an equilibrium, mine only has holes for a rack/mudguards at the cassette end of the seatstays how are you attaching a rack to yours, with one of these http://road.cc/content/review/83283-salsa-rack-lock-seat-collar ???

posted by lazyusername [140 posts]
15th December 2013 - 9:53

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Steel Ribble Audax?

posted by FMOAB [230 posts]
15th December 2013 - 14:09

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lazyusername wrote:

Hi Mike I have an equilibrium, mine only has holes for a rack/mudguards at the cassette end of the seatstays how are you attaching a rack to yours, with one of these http://road.cc/content/review/83283-salsa-rack-lock-seat-collar ???

You are right sir, only the weight-bearing mounts are fitted. But a little fiddling with P-clips soon attaches the top legs of my rack.
To be fair, I don't travel heavy and usually manage with just the one lightweight pannier. Although, and don't mention this to the style police, I usually stuff all my important items into a small rucksack, then when I step off the bike I know I have the essentials- wallet, camera, passport etc: - with me.

Mike

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posted by mike the bike [126 posts]
15th December 2013 - 18:37

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.

Mike

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posted by mike the bike [126 posts]
15th December 2013 - 18:39

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Might I suggest ignoring them numbers and buying what ever seems comfy. You don't buy shoes by the size, you just use the size to show you to roughly the right shelf in the shop.
The world is full of bikes with guard eyes pick something at the sportier end of those.
Bear in mind that the handling of a race bike is foul fully loaded.

posted by mattsccm [247 posts]
16th December 2013 - 8:29

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I have a genesis Croix de Fer that I've toured on, as well as it being my winter bike, commuter bike, potter around forests and bridle ways bike. Does all of them very well, and it's available as a frame set so you could build it up however you like. I think if I had my time again I'd buy the frames et then build it up with a triple and some hope wheels. Worth looking at, much cheaper than ti

posted by psychonabike [14 posts]
16th December 2013 - 9:34

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