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Road Tour Tough - Bit of off-road

researcher_ashresearcher_ash Posts: 4
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
This is a help question;

You've heard it all before I'm sure, but I'm stuck (partly as inner city - London - dealers seem a bit tight on allowing multiple tests on different bikes).

My cycling to date;

Standard Trek 4500 MTB with road tyres. I've given it like 3 services in 10 years. I try and race road bikes / couriers on it! London canals, roads, tracks. I want to cycle more. I like strong, tough things as I'm not too delicate with stuff.

My future cycling;

More comfort (back etc). Faster - much faster. Touring for 2 weeks in Iceland and 2 weeks in Cot d'azur this summer. City Commute. City blasts. Odd trail but nothing MTB like.

What do I need? I've got apprx £1K to spend

My thought process;

Tough road bike. (No idea what though?)
Specialized Tricross Comp
Other off-the shelf tricross bikes (Cannondale, Kona Jake the Snake...)
Classic fast tourer??? Can't seem to make my heart get too excited

Grrr. Going round in circles. I'm 6ft, 28 and medium fitness. Any ideas???javascript:emoticon(':?:')

Help would be much appreciated....


  • To add to your list you could build one up to your own spec:

    I'm getting a Kona Jake for almost the same riding you will be doing. If I had more to spend I'd be looking at building up a Planet X Kaffenback - tough, steel and pretty (or maybe Uncle John) frame. You can customise it through their website.

    I think for an all purpose bike with a bit of touring, a cyclocross frame is the way to go (make sure it has the attachments for rack and guards - some of the higher end ones don't). Maybe with two sets of wheels - treaded touring/cx wheels and tyres for trails and touring, and a set of 25mm road wheels and tyres for blasts in the country.

    Also think about the chainset if your touring includes heavy loads and hills.

    where there's two wheels, there's a way....
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I agree on the Kaffenback - they handle more like a race bike than a barn-door tourer and being steel, plenty tough enough for offroad abuse. The cheap frame means you can spend more on a pair of decent wheels too. A road triple chainset will give you a big enough gear for fast road riding, but low enough for touring. You can fit 32mm tyres to ordinary road rims, so you just need some tougher tyres for touring / offroad - something like Schwalbe Marathons
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thanks for the advice - I'll take it in consideration. Steel might be the way...
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 791
    I ride a Kaffenback as my winter bike. It's a really tough beastie with attachments for mudguards and racks and enough space for chunky cyclo-cross tyres. My only advice is to fit it with canti brakes, rather than mini-v brakes, as their much easier to set up and keep working properly.

    Mine is set up with a position close to my race bike but it'd be no problem to raise the bars a bit to make it less aggressive.
  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    I did the Camino de Santiago on a hybrid converted to drops and 700x35 Schwalbe Marathons. This worked well, pumped up for the road bits and let down for the off-road. They had enough grip to handle dry trails while not being a killer on the road like knobbly cyclocross tyres- I have a Tricross and the stock knobblies are painful on-road IMHO.

    Other than that the Tricross would be a good choice I reckon, I stuck a rack and mudguards on mine and use it for commuting. It is quite a leisurely bike though. A road bike would not be suitable for what you describe at all, you would not have the clearances for big tyres/mudguards and it probably wouldn't take a rack either.

    If you have the money, I'd certainly suggest a Van Nicholas Amazon, it is my current tourer and has the tyre clearance for big tyres/mudguards while being very fast indeed unloaded on slick tyres, I have done several big climbs in the Pyrenees on it unloaded and it did not feel much off my road bike. Certainly felt more sprightly than the Tricross.
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,331
    On the strength of my Tricross Single, I'd say the geared version!

    The new Pearson Compass (link to Review from Home page) is the first *new* bike for ages that tempts me to sell all the current garage-full and buy just one, new, bike. Bit over your stated budget though!

    Good luck in your search: I've been looking for something, anything really, at about a grand second hand (I avoid new on principle - let someone wealthier than I take the 40% depreciation hit I say) for months. Can't find anything that really appeals! Just had too many bikes I guess...
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • oh wow -

    the Van Nicholas Amazon looks just amazing.

    how have i managed to miss the fast tourers?

    (heres the web site for others:

    my budget's kinda creeping up and up....

    thanks for the advice. its not making life easier, but i feel the right choice'll get made eventually.
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