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I'm looking for a commuter, steel. Maybe some touring in its future too.

Feb. 24, 2011, 8:04 p.m.
Posts: 2495
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

A touring bike won't necessarily make the best commuter, and vice versa.

I opted for a flatbar bike for my commuting duties. It's 8spd, with hydro disc brakes, alloy frame/fork. All durable stuff, and discs just make sense in this climate. Obviously being an mtb'er factored in to the flatbar choice a bit, but I am comfortable on drops as well. The fact that I can ride heads up with fingers on brake levers is a much more secure feeling.

I don't like the sherpa's bar end shifters. Not my bag and annoying IMO. You can find deals locally on Cannondale touring bikes which come with STI shifters, MTB drivetrains and hubs.

About my style of bike… there are a few things to expect. The pricepoint for my bike included a really thick handlebar which basically had zero vibration damping. Really a fail when your hands are in one position all the time. It was also suuuper narrow. So I ditched it for a wider, thinner walled bar. This helped… but I wasn't done.
I switched to Ergon grips with integrated bar ends. VERY good ergo grips (distribute force over the width and length of the hand more evenly) and having the option for different hand positions is awesome when you take the long way home. I would not even think about doing a tour of any kind without having at least a couple of different hand position options.

I also had to change my stem out for something shorter/higher rise. Expect to have to do the same sort of fit adjustments as this is important on a bike you're spending a lot of time on…

Last thing I can say is if you're riding year round, maintain it religiously. Mis-shifts, rattles, and creaks are SUPER annoying when you're just trying to get from a-to-b.

Good luck

Feb. 25, 2011, 8:16 a.m.
Posts: 15096
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I use a flat bar or even a j bar with the goofy looking/uncool bolt-on bar ends ,they provide a few more option for grip but also they are really useful for leaning a fully loaded bike up agaisnt stone wall,if you cut yerself a couple of rings from an innertube ,loop them from the bar to the brake lever and …you got a parking brake

the biggest thing IME is the tires ,mounting the right tires for wherever you are gona be riding ,road slick were great in europe but for alaska a 1.9 road/trail

Feb. 25, 2011, 8:26 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Nov. 26, 2006

I don't like the sherpa's bar end shifters. Not my bag and annoying IMO. You can find deals locally on Cannondale touring bikes which come with STI shifters, MTB drivetrains and hubs.

For what the original poster is wanting to do STI makes sense but for touring bar end shifters make a lot of sense. There is just so much less that can go wrong.

vegetarian: an ancient word for "likes to stay home with the ladies…"

Feb. 25, 2011, 9:10 a.m.
Posts: 5738
Joined: May 28, 2005

For what the original poster is wanting to do STI makes sense but for touring bar end shifters make a lot of sense. There is just so much less that can go wrong.

pft, another great "hard core" touring canard. i'm going to make a list

"Nobody really gives a shit that you don't like the thing that you have no firsthand experience with." Dave

Feb. 25, 2011, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 1885
Joined: Oct. 16, 2005

this is one of those great arm-chair tourer cannards, ime. like the ubiquity of spare parts for 26" wheels around the world, and the prospect of having some jungle welder repair your steel frame in darkest peru.

Agreed. Most folks I know who tour unsupported take extra spokes and run 36h wheels (whats a couple broken spokes). They also have their bikes working in pristine order before they leave.

I thought steel was used as much for durability (fatigue resistance) as "repairability."

If repairability is truly a concern go with a straight, or butted 4130 frame. Takes skills to weld "super steels."

pft, another great "hard core" touring canard. i'm going to make a list

I have seen enough broken STI shifters that I'm on the fence on this one.

At least when the indexing on your bar-end shifter fails it still works as a friction shifter.

-D

Mean People SUCK! Nice People SHOVEL!

Trails For All; Trails For Weather

Feb. 25, 2011, 9:42 a.m.
Posts: 5738
Joined: May 28, 2005

Agreed. Most folks I know who tour unsupported take extra spokes and run 36h wheels (whats a couple broken spokes). They also have their bikes working in pristine order before they leave.

I thought steel was used as much for durability (fatigue resistance) as "repairability."

If repairability is truly a concern go with a straight, or butted 4130 frame. Takes skills to weld "super steels."

I have seen enough broken STI shifters that I'm on the fence on this one.

At least when the indexing on your bar-end shifter fails it still works as a friction shifter.

-D

all good points drew. when you see what binners in the dtes or, people in developing countries, and folks who have actually ridden across continents ride, and in what condition - people who are totally reliant on their bikes for their transportation/survival/livelihood - you (or i, at least) come to realize that most of these "i would never be caught dead with brifters on a tour" or "steel is the only material for a real touring frame" jokers are just killing time coming up with excuses to buy more $hit or not ride their current "deemed insufficient for intended purposes" setups. like every other cycling discipline, touring attracts its fair share of gear snobs, for some reason i just find them a bit more insufferable

"Nobody really gives a shit that you don't like the thing that you have no firsthand experience with." Dave

Feb. 25, 2011, 10:03 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: April 21, 2008

all good points drew. when you see what binners in the dtes or, people in developing countries, and folks who have actually ridden across continents ride, and in what condition - people who are totally reliant on their bikes for their transportation/survival/livelihood - you (or i, at least) come to realize that most of these "i would never be caught dead with brifters on a tour" or "steel is the only material for a real touring frame" jokers are just killing time coming up with excuses to buy more $hit or not ride their current "deemed insufficient for intended purposes" setups. like every other cycling discipline, touring attracts its fair share of gear snobs, for some reason i just find them a bit more insufferable

I for one love brifters on a touring bike. That said, I'm easy on my stuff and I know how to deal with it if things go to hell mid Saskatchewan. Most of the hardcore touring folks I know a) are crazy, b) have wacky setups on the wrong bike but who cares because they're badass, and c) hate and mistrust brifters.

But yeah, especially if you're just considering getting into touring, ride what you got and don't worry about it. You'll figure out what you'd change for next time within the first few thousand km.

Me. Car/Web Work. Twitter. FFFFound.

Feb. 25, 2011, 2:45 p.m.
Posts: 8347
Joined: Jan. 18, 2004

Canard

Feb. 25, 2011, 3:17 p.m.
Posts: 4297
Joined: June 1, 2009

Feb. 25, 2011, 3:32 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

Canard

Feb. 25, 2011, 4:06 p.m.
Posts: 8347
Joined: Jan. 18, 2004

shirk wins!

Feb. 25, 2011, 6:31 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Nov. 26, 2006

pft, another great "hard core" touring canard. i'm going to make a list

You really kill me sometimes. I've had an STI shifter break on a longish tour before. It broke at the perfect moment but there were other points on that trip were it would have been a real pain in the ass. The major lesson I learned on the one longish tour I've done is that you will destroy stuff. You are taking normal gear intended for weekend outings and subjecting it to the equivalent of years of average use. Shit will break. There is no way around it so come with a well stocked repair kit and keep it simple where you can (ie friction shifters).

That said I agree with the general vibe of your comments that any bike will work for touring as long as it fits.

vegetarian: an ancient word for "likes to stay home with the ladies…"

Feb. 25, 2011, 7:39 p.m.
Posts: 2495
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

For what the original poster is wanting to do STI makes sense but for touring bar end shifters make a lot of sense. There is just so much less that can go wrong.

Yeah, STI's do tend to break once in a while… I just can't stand bar end shifters. And if your STI did blow up a pebble or a piece of wood jammed in the right spot can lock in an easy enough gear to get you to the next bike shop. :p

Feb. 25, 2011, 8:39 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Nov. 26, 2006

Yeah, STI's do tend to break once in a while… I just can't stand bar end shifters. And if your STI did blow up a pebble or a piece of wood jammed in the right spot can lock in an easy enough gear to get you to the next bike shop. :p

I have a pair of old suntour thumbies that I really like but true you can totally Red Green it if you need to.

vegetarian: an ancient word for "likes to stay home with the ladies…"

Feb. 25, 2011, 10:08 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: April 21, 2008

Yeah, STI's do tend to break once in a while… I just can't stand bar end shifters. And if your STI did blow up a pebble or a piece of wood jammed in the right spot can lock in an easy enough gear to get you to the next bike shop. :p

…or you know, the limit screws.

Me. Car/Web Work. Twitter. FFFFound.

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