Re: [CR] Non-steel Touring/commuting bikes

Example: Framebuilding:Restoration

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 06:40:45 -0800
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
To: <>, Steve Frazier <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Non-steel Touring/commuting bikes

Well, that's still a fairly short list, but it seems there are a few available. Do you have links to the websites? I'd be particularly interested in how the carbon frames attach the fittings to the frame tubes. Anyone have photos of the Litespeed tourer? Not sure any of these are going to qualify as KOF, except maybe the Koga-Miyata. A pity Koga stopped making steel frames, AFAIK. Until only a few years ago they made some very nice lugged steel randonneur frames, with lots of brazeons, at a reasonable price. As I said previously, I'm pretty sure no Ti or carbon touring frames were made before 1983, so there is probably no way to call them KOF. Aluminum frames clearly were made as early as the 30's, Barra, Camintargent and others, and while some of these had the tubes bolted, or later glued, into lugs, I believe the Barras were welded, so does that make a welded Cannondale tourer built just after the CR cutoff KOF? I guess only the Omnipotent Listmeister can answer that one. But given his preference for lugged steel, I suspect the answer may be no.

Speaking of more clearly On Topic lugged steel bikes like the ones we both commuted on this morning (although I didn't have to contend with snow in West Texas) - this is the second week commuting on the Romic tourer, which I bought complete for $175 and am using most of the original equipment. And frankly it works in every practical way just as well the much more expensive custom made Caygill I was using for 6 weeks previously. The frame has no tubing sticker, but as most of the original components are Japanese, I suspect Ray Gasoworski may have made this of Tange or Ishiwata. But it might even be something as inexpensive as Hi-Ten carbon steel. But it is true and cleanly lugged and has Imron paint, and the components all function well. There were quite a few mid-priced bikes In The the Day that rode quite well, especially for commuting, where superlight weight really isn't necessary. I think some of the better mid-priced sport/touring bikes in the 70's were Japanese thanks to their use of the inexpensive alloy cotterless Sugino Maxy crank, at a time when many such bikes from Europe were still using cottered steel, and not the lightest cottered steel at that. Also, the Shimano Titlist GS and SunTour VGT RDs were vastly superior to the cheaper stamped-cage Simplex Prestige, the Huret Allvit, or the Campy Valentino usually found on comparably priced European sport/touring bikes. I suspect other CR members may also use such mid-priced bikes for commuting, and since this is clearly On Topic, anyone care to share what they commute on, and if that is a mid-priced model, what disadvantages if any it has to the more expensive bikes that most of us own?


Jerry Moos
Big Spring, Texas, USA

--- On Tue, 2/10/09, Steve Frazier wrote:

> From: Steve Frazier <>

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Non-steel Touring/commuting bikes

\r?\n> To:

\r?\n> Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 2:13 AM

\r?\n> Hi all,


\r?\n> Regarding non-steel Touring/commuting bikes, I was thinking

\r?\n> of this very

\r?\n> topic today while commuting in the snow and slugh on my

\r?\n> vintage lugged

\r?\n> steel touring bike.


\r?\n> I am aware of 3 carbon fiber bikes suitable for commuting

\r?\n> duty, all of

\r?\n> which are much less expensive than the Crumpton CF bike

\r?\n> that was

\r?\n> reviewed in Bicycle Quarterly. The ones I am aware of are:


\r?\n> - The Koga-Miyata Terraliner Carbolite, a CF-framed,

\r?\n> flat-bar

\r?\n> light-touring/commuting bike available only in Europe (see

\r?\n> their UK

\r?\n> website)

\r?\n> - The Orbea Diem, available in the U.S. with a flat bar but

\r?\n> also

\r?\n> apparently available in Europe with drop bars. (see their

\r?\n> US website and

\r?\n> Bike Radar review)

\r?\n> - Pedal Force, the importer of well regarded generic CF

\r?\n> racing frames

\r?\n> from Asia, is introducing in 2009 a Cyclocross bike that

\r?\n> looks very

\r?\n> adaptable to touring use (has mounts for fenders and

\r?\n> racks). (see their

\r?\n> website under "new for 2009")


\r?\n> You also raised the question of whether there were touring

\r?\n> bikes

\r?\n> available in non-steel. Cannondale of course has been

\r?\n> making well

\r?\n> regarded touring bikes in aluminum for many years, and

\r?\n> Koga-Miyata makes

\r?\n> the very interesting aluminum World Traveler, available in

\r?\n> the U.S. from

\r?\n> a dealer in Santa Barbara. A friend has one of these and

\r?\n> it's a

\r?\n> beautiful bike - a bit like a constructeur bike in that it

\r?\n> comes with

\r?\n> integrated racks, water bottles, cages, racks, lock,

\r?\n> kickstand, lights,

\r?\n> etc. Suitable for expedition touring (though I usually spot

\r?\n> him

\r?\n> commuting in downtown Seattle).


\r?\n> Litespeed made a titanium touring bike (the Blue Ridge)

\r?\n> for several

\r?\n> years and of course many custom builders can and will make

\r?\n> a fine

\r?\n> titanium touring bike (Davidson, Moots, Independent

\r?\n> Fabrication, Seven,

\r?\n> etc.). None seem to lack for fittings.


\r?\n> This seems to be very off-topic for this list but as I read

\r?\n> the prior

\r?\n> post as a question (does anyone make a commuter in carbon

\r?\n> fiber?) I

\r?\n> thought I would chip in with my modest contribution.


\r?\n> Sometimes it's OK to try something new!


\r?\n> Best,

\r?\n> Steve Frazier

\r?\n> Mercer Island, Wa.

\r?\n> Long-time lurker, first-time poster

\r?\n> Proud owner of 3 vintage steel bikes and one unmentionably

\r?\n> modern one