Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Which bike?

arumarum Posts: 413
edited March 2009 in Tour & expedition
I was trying to decide between the Ridgeback Horizon and Voyage for a bike for light touring. I suppose either would do. However, I've now spotted the Kona Dew Drop, which some web shops list as a hybrid, others as a road bike. On my hybrid and MTB, I've been used to mechanical disc brakes - an attraction on the Kona. Has anyone used the Kona for touring, and could you offer your opinion please?
EGmld

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    A couple of comments:

    - the gearing on almost all of the bikes listed is a bit on the high side. My personal preference would be for a bike with MTB gearing (ie a chainset with 44-34-22 chainrings), but the 48-38-28 on the Ridgeback Voyage would be OK. (I should say that some people would prefer the slightly higher ratios). The 52-42-30 on the Kona Dew Drop seems a bit too high to me;

    - all the bikes you are looking at have an aluminium frame. A lot of people (me included) prefer steel frames because they give a les harsh ride. You could get a steel frame tourer for the price you are considering.

    - I like disc brakes, and I think the Avid BB7s are a nice bit of kit. But I'm not convinced you really need them on a road bike. I wouldn't choose one bike over another simply because it had disc brakes. If you do want a tourer with disc brakes you might want to consider the Kona Sutra - it costs a bit more but has a steel frame and has had good reviews.

    - check out Spa Cycles for some alternative choices.

    I should say that you don't need a special bike to go touring: the hybrid or the MTB would do the job (or at least if it's a hardtail MTB). If you haven't done any touring before then you might want to consider using the hybrid or the MTB at least to start with until you get a better idea of your likes and preferences.
  • arumarum Posts: 413
    Thanks for the reply. I've done a bit of light touring (Carradice Camper Longflap) on my hardtail MTB, and I like the gearing for the hills. I'm at the age where I need all the help I can get, so I know the gearing on my GT Avalache 1 makes sense. Also, I've put slick 1.5" tyres on it, which helps, but I do find it uncomfortable over medium distances. I reckoned that the varying positions possible with the drop bars would help comfort-wise, as would the geometry of a tourer - I must admit that I'm not knowledgeable enough about this last bit, but I've heard so many comments about the geometry issue, so I'm influenced by them.

    Also, I have cycle-to-work voucher coming soon, and I have the excuse to buy a new bike. I really must lmit myself to about the £650 mark, so the only other steel bike I can think of is the Raleigh Royal, and I'm not sure how good/bad it is; I've heard disparaging comments about it, but that may be due to it being 'just a Raleigh'. The Dawes Horizon has shot up in prce and simply isn't good value. Anyway, having had recent experience of a Dawes 501 hybrid, I don't want to touch Dawes again.

    I take your point about the disc brakes - I could live with cantilever/dual pivot/v-brakes. Again, thanks for the reply.
    EGmld
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    arum wrote:
    I reckoned that the varying positions possible with the drop bars would help comfort-wise, as would the geometry of a tourer - I must admit that I'm not knowledgeable enough about this last bit, but I've heard so many comments about the geometry issue, so I'm influenced by them.

    As a stopgap you might find that bar end would help - or even 'butterfly' bars.

    I think the point about touring frames is that tourers are designed with a longer wheelbase which makes them more stable. They may also have a longer top tube.
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    arum wrote:
    Also, I have cycle-to-work voucher coming soon, and I have the excuse to buy a new bike. I really must lmit myself to about the £650 mark, so the only other steel bike I can think of is the Raleigh Royal, and I'm not sure how good/bad it is; I've heard disparaging comments about it, but that may be due to it being 'just a Raleigh'. The Dawes Horizon has shot up in prce and simply isn't good value. Anyway, having had recent experience of a Dawes 501 hybrid, I don't want to touch Dawes again.

    I take your point about the disc brakes - I could live with cantilever/dual pivot/v-brakes. Again, thanks for the reply.

    There's not much wrong with the Raleigh Royal. I ride Audaxes with a Royal owner and he's very happy with his purchase. He's ridden around 8 x 100km Audaxes on it and the only weakness has been a tyre whose carcase nearly gave up the ghost on a ride but was saved by a tyre boot.

    I wouldn't get too hung up about the aluminium vc steel argument. I have ridden both and the difference is marginal when fatter tyres are being used.

    Gearing is important. My Dawes Galaxy has a 48 36 26 chain set and a MTB 11-34 cassette.

    My fast tourer had a 50, 42 30 chain set with an 11-32 cassette. I've had to swap the granny ring for a 26 tooth one to make the hills more manageable.

    My cantis do a reasonable job and I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a bike with discs.
  • arumarum Posts: 413
    Vernonlevy:
    I am seriously looking at the Raleigh. Haven't been able to find out anything from Raleigh's website about the gearing.

    Andymiller:
    I'l be keeping the GT Avalanche, and will be fitting bar ends.
    EGmld
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