Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Rando Bike - What to Get?

I was thinking of fixing up this old 1980's miayta for brevets, but the frame is so damn heavy that I'm kinda leaning towards just getting a whole new bike. Luckily now that I ain't a broke-ass student anymore, I can actually think about a new bike without too much concern.

What I'm looking for: something to do a Brevets on, possibly up to 1200km! (More likely a 600k will be my longest ride this year, we'll see).

The bikes I'm looking at:

  • Waterford S22 - their lugged rando bike [link]
  • Kogswell Porteur/Randonneur - their classic-style bike. I love this one but it uses obscure 650b wheels [link]
  • Rivendell has some nice bikes too! BUT they also rely on 650b tires... well I guess I could just buy a couple of replacements to have them around... and carry them on brevets? Not sure if I want to make the jump to this tire-size.. - [link]
  • Surly Cross-Check - lots of clearance for wider tires (32c+ w/ full fenders), eyelets for fenders & racks [link], longer wheelbase
  • Surly Pacer - their sport-tourer with decent tire-clearance - a little lighter than the cc [link]
  • Of course there's Vanilla and other custom frame makers, but I don't want to wait two friggin' years for a frame to show up.
  • What else? There's Kona, Soma, Salsa, and others... so many choices it makes my head hurt.
After sleeping on the idea of getting a whole new rig, I've decided to just stick with what I've got, and build it up with used components. This weekend is the Issaquah->North Bend ride with SiR (Capitol Hill to North Bend & back for me), so it'll be a great time to give it a (long-distance) whirl.

The Miyata at least has the advantage of more clearance for fenders & such, whereas the Bianchi Eros is really lacking in that area. Plus, the Miyata has that classic lugged look that I love. Did I mention down-tube shifters? Yes, this will be the kind of bike that somebody will say "you rode over the Pass on that?!"

My (planned) response: "fuck yeah! and I'd do it again too."


kreger said...

i was in a similar quandary. i had a cyclocross bike, upgraded to an all carbon Look, which i sill have and i love. but for lsd i was looking for something, special, was thinking steel. my savior? ebay, no kidding. i found a circa 1993 steel, lugged Davidson on there for a price that was a joke, i wanted to pay more, it was worth alot more, but ebay doesnt let you do that. when i told the guys at elliot bay what i paid they called me a thief.

so now my road stable has a racy Look and a Davidson (plus the cyclo cross serving SS) and i added up the distances i rode both in 2007, the davidson won, by almost 1000 miles.

so keep looking, check out some online sites with classified ads (rbr ive had luck with) look on ebay, and hell, give craigslist a shot.

good luck, keep pedaling

matt m said...

davidson makes some great bikes, i kinda forgot about them. thanks for the reminder!

Unknown said...

i got my Rivendell through the Rivendell Owners Bunch (a Google group) for a steal last year. It runs 700c tires and can go as fat at 33mm with fenders. You should check the group out.

If I was in the money I'd totally get one of their new A. Homer Hilsen frames. Very tasty.

Unless you can wait then go with a custom Pereria (out of Portland I believe.) Jon Muellner (with SIR) just had a sweet 650b built. You'll see it on brevets this summer. Maybe a year wait...he would know.

BTW - look forward to rolling with you this year (it'll be my first with the SIR bunch. the WTS hasn't worked with my schedule thus far but i'll be at the Populaire on my Romulus.)

Jansen said...

Old post resurrection.


I'm wondering if you could comment on the cross check as a brevet bicycle?

mattm said...

Hi Jansen,

I haven't ridden one, but they are a popular choice among the local randos for sure.

The CC has better clearance than the Pacer does, but I ended up going with the Pacer due to it weighing a bit less.

Anyway the CC seems like a good, if a bit heavy, rando bike.