lightest touring bike

infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
edited May 2007 in Tour & expedition
Hi

I'm going to turn my Omega Axis into my winter bike after this season.

The daughter passed her test and stole wifeys car. So... wifey nicked mine.

I'd like the lightest, fastest touring frame and forks you can get. I travel light and already have the wheels and will equipe it with campag chorus.

What should I get?

Pete
Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)

Posts

  • satanassatanas Posts: 1,303
    Hmmm, no budget mentioned, so price no object!

    You should get this frame: http://www.sevencycles.com/road_detail. ... e=axiom_sg

    ...and the 5E-XL fork: http://www.sevencycles.com/accessories/carbonfork.php

    Both the frame and fork can be had with eyelets, and rack mounts for the rear are available at no extra charge, as is custom geometry. I'd buy one with S&S couplers today if I had the cash...

    Fixed gears work almost as well as fixed cats...
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    Sorry, I didn't mention a price because the range could be very wide.

    For instance, I've been considering a Specialised Roubaix and adding a Tubus Airy rear carrier with the tubus conversion for bikes without eyelets. (This would probably add 250 grams to the bike).

    I have Tune hubs built with sapin spokes and open pro for wheels.

    I'd build it with Camapag Chorus.

    And this would give me a very light touring bike.

    Another option was the Van Nick Aoleus and have eyelets on the rear dropouts for a 3 point carrier.

    And favourite was the Merlin Works 6/4 as a custom with eyelets.

    On this note. I picked up the latest C+ today. The mags concept of light touring is a little different from mine!
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    You seem to know what you want but for anyone to help you answer the question one would need to ask what type of touring, for how long, are you going to be putting it on planes, are you trained in mending wheels.

    If you mean by a lightweight tourer an audax type bike you may have the right thing but to survive the rough and tumble of a long tour you may want to beef things up.
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    I cycle between 50 and 70 miles a day when I tour with the the boss (over 70 and the "are we there yet" starts). This year we'll either cycle from Nantua to Nice and back to Nantua over the alpes twice or we'll cycle from Brittany to the med again. We can't make our minds up.

    So at best we'll do 800 miles for this tour. The only off road stuff we do is something like a canal tow path or a bit of dirt road in France.

    We don't carry much stuff. The tent is a hubba hubba at 2 kilos, Thermarests at 1.5 kilos and a few clothes. Titanium cutlery, folding plates, swiss army pen knife with a cork screw and not much else. The lock is the heaviest thing I carry after me and the tent.

    My wife rides her Condor Airplane (1 kilo frame) with Carradice Limpets on the front. She carries so little her bike plus luggage weighs just a little more than my Omega without luggage.

    We've got the luggage and what we take camping down to a fine art.

    I now want to get my touring bike to be as nice and as fast to ride as my Merlin Cielo ish.

    I've thought about taking the Cielo but I'd hate it to get damaged and I dont know what the Merlin warranty would be like. I know the Extralight cannot be used with a rear carrier.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • hamstercphamstercp Posts: 639
    How about a Litespeed or another Ti Crosser?

    "It must be true, I saw it on the Internet!"
    "It must be true, I saw it on the Internet!"
  • Philip DavisPhilip Davis Posts: 965
    If you were prepared to lose one of the tune hubs, the new VN Amazon Rohloff would be a damn near perfect lightweight tourer.

    Otherwise, since you seem to have a good budget, I'd second what Satanas says, I don't think there is a nicer, lighter touring frame than the Seven Axiom. Since Seven give you custom options for extra bottle holders, braze-ons, etc., you would end up with pretty much the perfect bike for you. When a bike like that is available, i don't see why anyone should compromise with an off-the-peg bike that isn't set up or designed for touring.



    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.' Hunter S. Thompson

    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they\'ve always worked for me.\' Hunter S. Thompson
  • PHcpPHcp Posts: 2,748
    Your requirements are so specific, I think custom is the way to go. With titanium and carbon there's a scarcity of builders offering this option, locally at least. For that reason I'd consider something in the new Reynolds tubing, 953? Brian Rourke would be my first choice, the bikes he builds for Audax are closer to road bikes than most and he's always open to new ideas.
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    The Seven does look impressive for the dollar price. So it's on my list.

    I've discounted steel because it's not light. My last touring bike was 753 and the one before that was 753. I much prefer Ti. Oh and I'm a lazy sod so they don't get looked after as much as thin walled steel likes.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • moritatmoritat Posts: 10
    Hi Infopete

    Went across the pyrenees last summer on a titanium road bike. Limpet panniers on the front, handlebar bag and an old large brooks saddlebag on one of those bagman things. I got one a few years back when they still did the titanium model. That is enough for mine and boss' luggage if we are not camping. Lightest touring bike I've ever had. I like the look of the Van Nichols in latest mag but I can manage to get by without a pannier rack.

    I think you can put loads of luggage on any half way decent road bike as long as you don't weigh loads. I'm 90 kilos and had about 15-16K of luggage. So - if you are 80 kilos you can get 25k on one.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by infopete

    Hi

    I'm going to turn my Omega Axis into my winter bike after this season.

    The daughter passed her test and stole wifeys car. So... wifey nicked mine.

    I'd like the lightest, fastest touring frame and forks you can get. I travel light and already have the wheels and will equipe it with campag chorus.

    What should I get?

    Pete


    When you say you travel light what do you mean 10, 20 or 30+ pounds. What fittings do you need, eyelets etc. or will you be going with clamp on racks. Also what's your definition of a tourer, a bike that you carry stuff on from place to place or do you require some specific geometry ie chainstays longer than 43cm?
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    Hi nun,

    I dont carry much but i'd like eyelets for a 3 point carrier.

    I carry less than 30 pounds I think.

    I never ride on anything wider than 23 mm.

    I'll be happy with no mudguards.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by infopete

    Hi nun,

    I dont carry much but i'd like eyelets for a 3 point carrier.

    I carry less than 30 pounds I think.

    I never ride on anything wider than 23 mm.

    I'll be happy with no mudguards.

    Pete


    Why not get mercian to adapt this

    http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/frame_velocita.asp
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    Hi,

    I've been into Mercian several times throughout my cycling life and each time I've found them un-friendly and stuck up. I don't think I'll be shopping with them.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • satanassatanas Posts: 1,303
    Okaaay, I reckon that (apart from Seven), I'd be looking at Moots, Kent Ericksen (sp? Moots' founder), Independent Fabrications, Serotta, Baum (Oz builder, will do steel - inc. 953 - or Ti), for Ti, or Parlee, Crumpton, Calfee and the like for carbon. Sounds like you've had enough bikes to know what you like, so I'd find somebody who either a) makes exactly what you want as a standard model, or b) is happy to do custom (ie Seven). Seems to me that most (or all?) UK builders do steel, steel or steel, but I'm in Oz and could well be mistaken about this.

    If you're okay with alu, then there's lots of choices. (I don't like alu much so won't attempt to suggest anything.)

    With Limpets there's not necessarily any need for a rear rack (except perhaps to carry a tent/poles), which saves problems with attaching said rack, with heel clearance, and with dodgy handling due to flex/bad weight placement. Note that Old Man Mountain racks also attach to the skewer (Carradice sell them in the UK) but that the platform is a bit higher than ideal on a road bike; attachment at the top may be "interesting" too, depending on what sort of seatstays/brakes you have.

    Don't quite understand what exactly you're after apart from a good fitting, light road bike - 23C tyres aren't exactly big, no guards, etc...

    Fixed gears work almost as well as fixed cats...
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by satanas

    Okaaay, I reckon that (apart from Seven), I'd be looking at Moots, Kent Ericksen (sp? Moots' founder), Independent Fabrications, Serotta, Baum (Oz builder, will do steel - inc. 953 - or Ti), for Ti, or Parlee, Crumpton, Calfee and the like for carbon. Sounds like you've had enough bikes to know what you like, so I'd find somebody who either a) makes exactly what you want as a standard model, or b) is happy to do custom (ie Seven). Seems to me that most (or all?) UK builders do steel, steel or steel, but I'm in Oz and could well be mistaken about this.

    If you're okay with alu, then there's lots of choices. (I don't like alu much so won't attempt to suggest anything.)

    With Limpets there's not necessarily any need for a rear rack (except perhaps to carry a tent/poles), which saves problems with attaching said rack, with heel clearance, and with dodgy handling due to flex/bad weight placement. Note that Old Man Mountain racks also attach to the skewer (Carradice sell them in the UK) but that the platform is a bit higher than ideal on a road bike; attachment at the top may be "interesting" too, depending on what sort of seatstays/brakes you have.

    Don't quite understand what exactly you're after apart from a good fitting, light road bike - 23C tyres aren't exactly big, no guards, etc...

    Fixed gears work almost as well as fixed cats...

    Most of the weight of a bike is in the bits you put on it, not the frame so how about this as anice light tourer

    http://pompinos.blogspot.com/2006_04_01 ... chive.html
  • quote:Originally posted by infopete

    The Seven does look impressive for the dollar price. So it's on my list.

    I've discounted steel because it's not light.


    Sure, each to his own, but I don't quite get it. The difference in weight between a ti frame and a well made steel frame that's reliable (ti is more difficult to weld reliably) is going to be 1lb at the most.

    That's 500g - ie a water bottle containing half a litre of water.

    And that's going to make touring less pleasurable...?

    I weigh 100kg, my touring bike weighs about 11 kg, my tent weighs 2kg, and my clothes and stuff another 3kg. 500g represents less than 0.5 % of my total payload.

    I'd still have a good time, I think...
    BTP,

    Perth, WA
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    Hi Bike the planet,

    The reason is simple. When I ride my Cielo it's a joy, it goes like a dream.

    When I ride my Omega Axis it's just not as nice. So I want a touring bike that rides like my Merlin and something I'll be less worried about touring on. So before I decide I thought I would see just how light you could go.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    quote:Originally posted by infopete

    Hi Bike the planet,

    The reason is simple. When I ride my Cielo it's a joy, it goes like a dream.

    When I ride my Omega Axis it's just not as nice. So I want a touring bike that rides like my Merlin and something I'll be less worried about touring on. So before I decide I thought I would see just how light you could go.

    Pete


    My best guess would be that geometry, and mostly wheelbase/chainstay length, is yopur most important criterion. Anything light ie TI etc, but with a long enough wheelbase will perform ok. Trying to get a tourer that feels as responsive as your current road bike will be difficult as the design of a tourer trys to eliminate that feeling and replace it with stability, hence the long wheelbase and low BB.

    I think your best bet is a Ti sport tourer or Audax type bike from someone like Litspeed or Merlin
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    Serotta's not the lightest but they are the most comfy if you get the ST rear stays. As you're such a minimalist I think your ultimate tourer would be a Uniscasi with ST stays and no rear rack, just a saddlebag or Carradice SQR Tour on the back, and Reynolds Ouzo Pro Cross forks with an Old Man Mountain lowrider at the front.

    If you don't want the S&S couplers you could save a bit of weight and go for the all carbon MeiVici frame instead. That would be mental!


    What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    At just over a kilo in weight for the frame I think the Roubaix with a Tubus Airy and raceguards is the best option. Especially as there appear to be some good offers around and a 56cm frame just went for œ650 on ebay.

    Pete
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
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