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steel frame help, good bye supersix!

gllauragllaura Posts: 42
edited March 2014 in Road buying advice
Hi all.
Basically im looking to make the change over from racing bikes to touring, and would love your help.
I am currently cycling a 56cm cannondale supersix with a sram apex/force setup, which i love!
Unfortunately this is in no way equipped for touring. I am also very low on money so am cannot build one from scratch. what ive been thinking is... Sell my supersix frameset and use the money on a steel touring frame which can take my sram setup?
I've been thinking of the surly lht's but as my supersix is pushing on the large size, i'd be better suited to a 54cm for a better fit. These unfortunately not being available with 700c wheels!!!
Are there any steel framesets (up to £500) which i could get in a 54/55cm and take 700c wheels????
as i'm really struggling finding any.
(also if i could i love a custom built, but only really know of yates as this is all new to me)
(i'm 5,10", with a 32 inseem and short torso )


  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,229
    Genesis Equilibrium?
  • MccariaMccaria Posts: 869

    If the size works for you the Bob Jackson off the peg frames are very good value and there are touring options at or close to your price point
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Are you after full on tour bike, or more of an audax / light tour bike? You will probably need to change brakes for either.
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    Thanks for the comments. The bob Jackson tour frame looks beautiful, they any good?
    Alan, thanks for the heads up, I'm thinking of a the full on touring bike, but as a rule pack as light as possible. What's inadequate about the sram brakes? What would I be swapping to?
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    What gearing do you have on the current bike (SRAM Apex I know - but what ratios)? You might be okay with a compact if you travel super-light, but I know that I need a triple in the mountains with a light touring setup.

    As per Alan Sherman - you may need to change your brakes (for cantis or long-drop calipers) to fit the larger tyres typically seen on a touring frame.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If you're going for light touring and wouldn't want to fit tyres fatter than 28's I'd consider Bob Jackson's Audax End to End frame and fork.

    As above, your SRAM calipers don't have a long enough drop to work in a touring frame; the brake blocks would be hitting the tyres
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    Lowest gear being 34/26, and highest being 50/11, it can currently climb anything, but have no clue what standard touring gearing would be. As for the brakes, that makes a lot more sense. As the clearance in negligible on the apex.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    This change may well cost you a whole lot more than you think (brakes, gears, seatpost and stem may need changing), and not get you the right solution.

    Where are you planning to tour and how are you planning to do it?

    If you are touring somewhere sunny, and not camping, you can travel very light indeed - some kind of beam rack with a racktop bag could work perfectly for carrying a change of clothes (and wash the dirty ones each night - they'll dry quickly in hot conditions). You could easily do this on your current setup. You probably want to change that cassette if you can afford to though.

    If you are heading to northern europe and camping - then you probably need to change the bike (and I am not sure changing the frame you currently have will be the right way to do it). Keep your eye on eBay etc. for a cheap tourer - even an old rigid mountain bike can be ideal for touring.

    Typical touring chainsets are triples with something like 48/38/26 and 12-30 on the back. You'll never want for higher gears when loaded touring. You'll be desperate for lower gears at times! Remember, on a heavily loaded bike, climbing out of the saddle is difficult, so assume you'll be sat for most climbs.

    I've just specified the gearing on our new tourer (it's a tandem, so slightly lower gearing than an equivalent solo bike) - bottom end equates to a 26*34 setup and top end equates to 52*13.

    Lower is always better when touring.
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    Thanks, well I've managed to get down to the Italian alps on the Cannondale with a rucksack and saddle bag last summer staying in hostels, but wouldn't trust a carbon frame any further away incase something where to go wrong. Ideally I'd like to be able to go anywhere on it.
    In terms of tires, I'd be happier sticking on some 32s, so not sure about the audax idea in general.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Do you really need to change the frame? You can get racks like a Tubus Fly than fits to the drop-outs and can take panniers. I fitted a Fly rack to a friends carbon framed bike which she used for JOGLE - with a 28x28 bottom gear it was fine for laden riding on dirt roads. You should be able to fit a 12-32 cassette to your existing drivetrain too. I guess your only concern is whether you want to fit tyres bigger than 25mm and full-length mudguards - which would be the only real reason to need a new frame?
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    I did consider this, but unfortunately the supersix 's seatstays are incredibly thin and really aren't designed to take the extra weight, not to mention the fear I'd have cycling knowing it's really not designed for that.

    The tires would be another issue as im thinking more along the lines of 32s or 35s
  • tonye_ntonye_n Posts: 832
    hypster wrote:
    Genesis Equilibrium?
    Not suitable as a tourer.
    No rack fittings front or rear. OK you could use p-clips, but that is not suitable for touring loads over long distance.
    Also the chain-stays are not long enough.

    The equilibrium is simply a steel racer... Not a tourer.
  • MccariaMccaria Posts: 869
    Yes the BJ are nice frames and (I think) very good value if the off the peg size fits you. If you have a compact chainset then you could certainly build a fast tourer with most of your existing kit.
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    Yes, I've just spoken with the frame builders and they say an off the shelf 21.5" would fit well. Given my dimensions and also the sram setup should pretty much transfer straight over, provided they rig it for a braise on and I change the brakes.
    This sounds like my best option at the moment. Just may struggle actually letting go of the Cannondale.
  • MccariaMccaria Posts: 869
    So much easier to do it when it's theoretical !
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Mccaria wrote:
    Yes the BJ are nice frames and (I think) very good value if the off the peg size fits you. If you have a compact chainset then you could certainly build a fast tourer with most of your existing kit.

    The off the peg BJ size is no less likely to fit the average person than a mass produced bike. The only difference with BJ is that, if you pay the extra, you get the option to have one made bespoke.

    You get a lot of hand made frame for your money with Bob Jackson.

    I suspect your best approach would be to sell the whole Supersix in component form. You can then get the proper touring parts you need from the likes of Spa Cycles - eg touring triple cranksets from around £35. Possibly wouldn't cost a bean doing it that way.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Or you could buy the whole touring bike from Spa. They know all about touring. Got the beards and everything! ... b0s21p2983 for the steel version.
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Condor Fratello size 52. Im 5.10 and have a 55 but have slightly longer legs than you. I wish it were smaller as it has a massive stack height with mudguard clearance.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Yep. Condor Fratello with SRAM Apex climber's kit. Sorted.
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Sell your bike and buy a new one. Example from the beard folk: ... b0s21p2415

    Also check out Edinburgh cycles. Look for offers on old model Dawes, ridgeback etc tourers.

    Lightweight is not the primary driver so the £££££ to save a few grammes doesn't come into play. Get out there and enjoy the road!
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Yes, I'd sell your bike on E-Bay and get a new bike - less hassle and may even be more cost effective.

    See: ... _2014_Bike

    Spa cycles own range of bikes / frames look good. Have a look at the Salsa range of bikes / frames too.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • gllauragllaura Posts: 42
    Thanks for all the input guys it's very much appreciated. I have come to love my sram double tap, and struggle getting on with the shimano levers. Not to mention the money I would need to get a tourer with a groupset I'm keen on. After selling my wheels as well I should have enough to get some decent custom wheels and the bob Jackson tourer. So although it may not be advised, I could only blame myself If I mess up.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I know it's not steel but what about the Tifosi CK7 it has rack mounts too. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Cotic Escapade? Disc brakes only but would suit you for touring. I am biased by the way, I took delivery of mine this afternoon
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