Tourer / Roadie Combo

Fixxxer87 Posts: 45
edited March 2011 in Road buying advice
Apologies if this has been posted before, I tried the search function but couldn't find anything specific to my question.

I'm looking for my 3rd bike - already own a single speed (commuter) and hardtail for XC trails. I have something of a problem... I'm interested in sticking on some aero bars to do some triathlons but also want a bike that I can comfortably do some UK (and possibly European in a couple of years) touring. That said, I'm not looking for something to take me around India or the like for months: I'd like to use the bike to travel home from London to South Wales every few months and I'm aiming to be able to be able to do an Olympic length triathlon in a couple of years.

I think I need something with a triple chain ring for covering comfortable distances, which limits my options.

What would be a good option? Budget wise, I'm trying to go for something second hand in a range between £500 - £600. I could up the budget for a new bike, but it would need to have something convincing over a second hand. I'm patient, so I can wait for the right bike on eBay.

Thanks :)

Edit: The Marin Toscana caught my eye, although the BR comments on the review suggest that £1,000 is an enormous rip off and it's too heavy to consider for cyclocross. Which, I assume, puts it in the same category as too heavy for triathlon training??

...And finally, I'd rather avoid (but won't completely rule out) a Specialized. Why? Look at my sig...
|| Commuter: Specialized Langster 2010 [FCN 4] ||| Offroad: Specialized Hardrock Comp 2009 ||


  • New bikes
    Ridgeback Voyage or Horizon
    Dawes Horizon

    Used Bikes
    Any of the Dawes Galaxy range.

    All drop bar steel bikes and capable tourers with triples built to take the weight of a rider and his kit.

    Any heavy bike would be good for training, it would make you fly when on a race bike.
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Touring bikes come in light, med and heavy styles. This refers more to the load they carry rather than their weight although that usually follows. Also heavier duty required more tyre clearance.

    The heavy-duty expedition bikes usually have 26" MTb wheels. Can feel a bit sluggish unladen.

    The classic English medium tourers (eg Galaxy) are good for general purpose commuting, day rides, Audax, endurance events, annual 2 week loaded euro touring but capable of expedition touring.

    Light touring bikes are typically Audax style with lightweight steel frame, clearance for 28mm tyres, caliper brakes and a full set of threaded eyelets. Lighter and quicker than med tourers but still good for most things up to 2-week loaded Euro tour. Not recommended for expedition touring.

    You sound in need of a light tourer.
    Light tourers also come in the form of "winter training bikes" the classic example being Kinesis TK.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I have the aforementioned Kinesis TK, and it would fit your requirements perfectly if you could stretch the budget a bit.

    Ditto the 2011 alu Synapse, which unlike it's carbon counterpart, now comes with clearance / mounts for proper mudguards & fatter tyres
  • Fixxxer87
    Fixxxer87 Posts: 45
    Thanks for the advice. I love the idea of a steel bike, although in the past I didn't know where to turn. Condor's Fratello is fairly tempting, although it does lack that triple chain ring. The names provided are really helpful. I've found two Kinesis bikes on eBay, although both are too large: ... 311wt_1139

    Is that the right model? The whole bike looks geared a little too much towards being a standard aluminium full roadie.

    Is there any reason here to avoid a cyclocross bike? When I first started looking, I assumed a CX bike would fit the bill as I could reasonably expect one to be pretty nimble with some thin slicks and aero bars on it, whilst still being rugged (and comfortable) enough to carry a load. The only down side is that like most road bikes, they have a double chain ring - although is a triple really essential for a light tourer?
    || Commuter: Specialized Langster 2010 [FCN 4] ||| Offroad: Specialized Hardrock Comp 2009 ||
  • Fixxxer87
    Fixxxer87 Posts: 45
    Also, I just realised that the £599 price for the Fratello is just for the frameset. Urk.

    I like the idea of the Kinesis TK Racelight, but wouldn't the aluminium frame be a bit uncomfortable over long distances?
    || Commuter: Specialized Langster 2010 [FCN 4] ||| Offroad: Specialized Hardrock Comp 2009 ||
  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    For other suggestions see the thread on buying a nippy commuter bike.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Yep, your Ebay link was to the right model. In 2008 when I got mine it was called the TK. The following year they changed the paint scheme to the one in the pic and called it the TK2.

    I didn't know Epic sold off stuff on Ebay! That's where I bought my bike from. I specced every component, and went for a 105 triple which has performed faultlessly. With 25mm tyres and a carbon seatpost my TK has been comfy enough for me up to 50 miles. Can't tell you about longer trips cos I haven't managed one yet!
  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    Hi there

    Have suggested this option recently on this forum to someone looking for a flexible road bike with possible touring aspirations.

    If you are willing to consider a new bike - what about the Ribble Audax (link below). You can opt for a Shimano Tiagra Triple option for £633 or if you can push your budget you could get a 105 for £790. Only problem is that the triple is 50/39/30. ... BRW&bike=1

    Not sure that you will be able to find your "holy grail;" of 52/42/30 without going down the rebuild route using individual chain rings. I'm sure you would get used to the new style triple and with judicious selection of your rear cassette set up you will probably find the same or very similar ratios.
  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561

    Brain Fade Alert :shock:

    Sorry about the confusion. There was another poster looking for a specific triple combo. So ignore my ravings about the "holy grail" bit.

    Hope the Ribble Audax gives you an option to consider.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Off the peg 631 steel frame & fork from Bob Jackson? Bit cheaper than the Fratello F&F. They do an Audax to take 25mm tyres with guards, and an End to End to take 28's and guards. Both have separate eyelets for a rack as well as guards. You get to choose the colour.

    I must say I'll be tempted if I get a bonus this year. (Don't throw anything; I'm not a banker!)