Author Topic: Audax/Touring bike recommendations  (Read 2160 times)

Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« on: February 25, 2020, 06:28:21 pm »
I know it has been asked many times before but looking for the latest thoughts from the folks out there. I am looking for something that will cover audax as well as some short tours with panniers.

Below is what I have and what I’m looking/not looking for and what I’m willing to consider.

First off I have been riding a Kenisis T2 for the last 6 years for pretty much every audax, most winter riding and short trips away. It has been a good bike to ride but is getting to the stage that something new is on the cards. My only real gripe with the bike has been the clearance for mudguards and 25mm tyres which takes a bit of fiddling to get right and can rub with a little road crap.

What I don’t want is a steel framed bike, not that I don’t like steel but living on the west coast of Scotland the rain and salt water just don’t work well with steel (I have tried on several occasions over the years). I’m up for any other frame type that matches what I want.

To disc or not to disc?? All the setups I have at the moment are non-disc so not sure if I want to go down that road as yet ( I have several non-disc dynamo hubs still in good condition as well as lots of spare front/rear wheels etc.) but a recent look at what’s out there suggests that disc is the way ahead ( at least that’s what the manufactures are indicating). I’m not against disc if the right bike is out there.

Budget – I can stretch to about £2k as a maximum but would prefer below that (would consider looking at second hand bikes to keep me under budget)

Over to you all now

Roberto

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 08:44:30 pm »
IME aluminium can corrode even faster than steel does when you spray it with salty water, so maybe the steel frames you tried weren't painted/corrosion proofed that well?

FWIW I'd suggest that looking at Ti framesets might make sense.  In theory you should be able to get one which allows 28mm tyres and mudguards under DP brakes; however the reality is that not all frames exploit the available clearance to the full, so caveat emptor and all that. Same with carbon forks really.

Disc brakes?  On a lightish road bike they still seem a bit 'meh' to me; you can end up paying more for a heavier bike which is less comfortable, with weaker wheels, and the mudguards fit less well at the stay ends. Oh, and a rear rack fits less well too.   But they work for some folk.  I've used disc brakes for decades offroad but on roadgoing bikes I'm still not persuaded.
 
Worth looking at what Spa cycles have to offer; they do some quite nice Ti framesets. The Elan model is Ti  with disc brakes and is currently available with a reasonable build for less than £2K

[edit; the Elan comes with 32mm tyres as standard.  It isn't that many years ago that I'd have argued that being able to fit 32mm tyres was of potentially little benefit on a lightweight bike, because nearly all 32mm tyres were a bit heavy and slow. However that has all changed now.]

cheers

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 10:19:14 pm »
Stick with Kinesis and go disc the RTD / G2 / Tripster road?

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2020, 10:19:50 pm »
Spa Elan Titanium is just about your budget in standard spec in 2x11 with hydro discs. I thought I might hate a stiff carbon fork instead of soft springy steel but it's a fine ride. Hydro discs have so much more response than the canti/vee or calipers I've got on other bikes.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 10:35:51 pm »
I know it has been asked many times before but looking for the latest thoughts from the folks out there. I am looking for something that will cover audax as well as some short tours with panniers.

Below is what I have and what I’m looking/not looking for and what I’m willing to consider.

First off I have been riding a Kenisis T2 for the last 6 years for pretty much every audax, most winter riding and short trips away. It has been a good bike to ride but is getting to the stage that something new is on the cards. My only real gripe with the bike has been the clearance for mudguards and 25mm tyres which takes a bit of fiddling to get right and can rub with a little road crap.

I'd go for something that can fit 32mm tyres.

On a recent 300k audax, I ended up in a group with one rider running 23's, one 25's, one 28's and me on 32's. The moment we got anything slightly bumpy (we had some Pavé), I'd surge past the other 3, while they had to slow down a lot to handle the poorer roads. I don't think I'd willing go smaller than 32's now. I only have 28's on right now as I'm trying to wear them out.

Quote

What I don’t want is a steel framed bike, not that I don’t like steel but living on the west coast of Scotland the rain and salt water just don’t work well with steel (I have tried on several occasions over the years). I’m up for any other frame type that matches what I want.

As stated above, aluminium can be just as bad, meaning you're limited to Carbon Fibre, Titanium or Bamboo. I can't advise on any of these, but I ride in salty conditions here in .nl, I do make sure to rinse the salt off the bike after every winter ride in the wet.

Quote
To disc or not to disc?? All the setups I have at the moment are non-disc so not sure if I want to go down that road as yet ( I have several non-disc dynamo hubs still in good condition as well as lots of spare front/rear wheels etc.) but a recent look at what’s out there suggests that disc is the way ahead ( at least that’s what the manufactures are indicating). I’m not against disc if the right bike is out there.

Personally I love disc brakes, would say they are the best option. It's a religious choice tho.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 11:44:05 pm »
I recently took a gamble on a secondhand 2008 Enigma Etape which has a Ti frame and Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes and oh my, it is such a nice ride and most definitely a perfect audax bike with the capability for light touring.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 07:34:25 pm »
Ive' ridden in lots of wet weather over the time I've had the bike and there has been very little sign of corrosion on the Kenesis, the only spots that have shown anything are the rear stay where the mudguard connects behind the bottom bracket and also the fixing points for the rear rack and mudguards (which I've had to re thread a couple of times over the years).

Had a look on the Spa website and the Elan does look pretty impressive for the price so possibly a visit to them will be on the cards.

Anything else out there worth considering?

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 07:53:45 pm »
I’ve not ridden one (yet) but Sonder / Alpkit have carbon and titanium road bikes under £2k.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 08:03:12 pm »
On One Free Ranger can take a pannier rack and carbon doesn't rust.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2020, 10:44:39 pm »
Sabbath Silk Road - available now at Spa Cycles for only £1210.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2020, 03:58:46 pm »
Genesis Datum or some

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2020, 05:16:20 pm »
I know the op asked for non steel suggestions
Spa do  a disk steel
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p3866/SPA-CYCLES-Wayfarer

or the standard  touring canti. which I have with Tektro CR720 Cantis
it can take 37mm with mudguards

I have to say that the paint quality is excellent.

"All Spa Cycles branded frame and forks are ED Coated.
(ED stands for Electrophoretic Deposition. For steel frame bicycles, what this means is that the conductive steel frame and fork are placed in an liquid that has paint particles suspended in it. The bath is put under the influence of an electric field, and the paint particles are attracted to the charged frame and fork. The particles are fused to the frame and fork in a perfectly uniform thickness. The thickness of the coating can be adjusted based on the strength of the electric field.)"


The frame is really confidence inspiring, even fully loaded, on what the pundits call * technical descents*

And you can peel the decals off and add you own.

Or of course go for one of the Spa Ti Frames for and extra £900 or so.

Or the standard Audax frame in Ti or steel but  the panniers may be behind the rear axle

PM me for pics as I dont know how to post images on the forum.
As well as my summer touring frame, it's become my main winter bike.
As I can change the wheels and tyres with no fuss.. dyno, 25s, 28s or Clémant MSO 32s Vitorria randonneur 37s.

I hope this helps


:)

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2020, 11:04:27 pm »
I know the op asked for non steel suggestions
Spa do  a disk steel
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s225p3866/SPA-CYCLES-Wayfarer
Also coming shortly a steel version of the Elan.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2020, 09:53:31 pm »
Albannach titanium frames are worth a look too. 
http://www.albannach.cc/frameworks/

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2020, 01:31:31 pm »
Albannach titanium frames are worth a look too. 
http://www.albannach.cc/frameworks/

Have not heard of that company before, a quick look on the website indicates £1500 for the frame only (with 50% initial deposit) and 16 week lead-time on the frame build. Don't think that option is for me although they do look nice.


Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2020, 01:47:35 pm »
Spa Cycles Elan owner here with a 105 triple set up. Ideal for your requirements.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2020, 10:05:38 pm »
Roberto. Have a look at Burls cycles. They do Ti, use the best Russian fabricators, lots of experience. Told me does not built Ti just does the drawings. Sorted me out with Ti forks with all the fittings for touring for my good 6/4 airborne torch. Have had them for 14 years still perfect.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2020, 10:16:31 pm »
Sabbath Silk Road - available now at Spa Cycles for only £1210.
Looking around a bit, this looks like astonishingly good value. Carbon fork, 11spd 105. Complete Ti bike for £1200.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2020, 07:33:17 am »
Roberto have you tried Big Al at Wheelcraft. He has some Van Nic frames.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2020, 08:40:26 am »
If it's Ti your after Neil has a brand new Van Nic frame still with wrapping on.He's had it up for sale as he's never going to use it. Non Disc though.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2020, 04:44:12 pm »
PX have announced they're starting to build up bikes using the GRX groupos which I'm informed are pretty flippin good for audax/touring as well as "gravel", being optimised for low gears from the box.

https://www.planetx.co.uk/s?q=GRX&fbclid=IwAR1M9EPLpX7zaOFDnfYAKbhgyhp_L0Bx1LQwTaTlb4amxMVEtQ5lldWKEoo

Currently in 1x configuration only though...
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Re: Audax/Touring bike recommendations
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2020, 07:19:03 pm »
Bit of a belated update on this one, my initial hunt was put on hold due to C-19 and subsequent lockdown/restrictions.

I eventually opted for the Dolan RDX which arrived a few weeks ago, it's ALU with carbon forks and has come with Ultegra disc setup and standard shimano wheelset.
I had a front dynamo hub built by SPA cycles, put it all together and also fitted a rear dynamo light (never had a dynamo rear before- always used a battery light ) as well as my existing front light.

So far pretty impressed with how it rides and the braking is a bit more responsive but will be able to judge it better when I ride a hilly audax route. The build with the dynamo wheel etc included came in at just under £1.5k which I think is a good price.

Will see how it copes with a winter but hopefully it will be as good a servant as the Kenisis was.

Cheers
Roberto