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  1. #1
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    Nice steel bike with good tire clearance?

    I'm not expecting to go touring; ride in bad weather, go off road much. I want disks, and clearance for wide tires. But I want a steel frame that has great ride quality. I guess I'm looking for suggestions for a frame that is really comfortable with sacrificing speed. Thought?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    I'm not expecting to go touring; ride in bad weather, go off road much. I want disks, and clearance for wide tires. But I want a steel frame that has great ride quality. I guess I'm looking for suggestions for a frame that is really comfortable with sacrificing speed. Thought?
    Sounds like you need a Surly

  3. #3
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    use a torque wrench

  4. #4
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    That Breezer looks great. I might want wider tires. I wonder if 650Bx42mm would fit.

  5. #5
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    Budget? Custom would be the obvious answer if you can swing it. Lot's to choose from there. Gunnar and Geekhouse would be a couple to look at first and generally speaking prices go up from there. 44 Bicycles Huntsman looks like a really nice bike of that type too but I don't know of anyone who has one so will stop short of recommending them. Worth a look though.
    When I wanted pretty much what you're looking for I got a Honey (which is Seven's line of non-custom steel). Very happy with it.

    Don't worry about the 'sacrificing speed' part. Bike frames have virtually nothing to do with speed beyond the position they put your body in.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    That Breezer looks great. I might want wider tires. I wonder if 650Bx42mm would fit.
    I know the Radar and the Doppler can do the Road Plus, which is 650Bx47mm.

    I'm willing to bet that the Inversion can do a 650Bx42mm.


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  7. #7
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    Specialized AWOL comes to mind.

    Niner RLT9

    Rodeo Labs Flaanimal


    The Niner and the Rodeo will def do 650Bx47 tires IIRC.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  8. #8
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    The Riding Gravel Bike Finder has a list that can be sorted by frame material. But it's outdated and is missing some like the All-City Cosmic Stallion, Specialized Sequoia, Salsa Colossal and CrMo Vaya and the Fairdale Rockitship due next month.

    Gravel Bike Finder - Gravel, Back Road, Gravel Grinder, All Road

  9. #9
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    It's Mueller Time

  10. #10
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    Some good options here.

    I posted about this bike in another thread.

    Norco Search XR Steel

    https://www.norco.com/bikes/road/adv...arch-xr-steel/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    Some good options here.

    I posted about this bike in another thread.

    Norco Search XR Steel

    https://www.norco.com/bikes/road/adv...arch-xr-steel/
    Was about to suggest the same.

  12. #12
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    Check out the Jamis Renegade Exploit:

    renegadeexploit

    Fast, plush ride, room for up to 40mm tires, full Shimano groupo, hydraulic disc brakes. Disclaimer: I own one and love it!!!

    If you are looking for more of a road bike, Jamis makes the Quest Elite which is quite nice. Not sure of the tire clearance though:

    questelite
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  13. #13
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    All good suggestions. I like seeing some I've not heard of.

    I'm starting to think I want 650B x 42mm with disks. I'm not to keen on converting a 700c frame, because of the BB drop might make it too low.

    I'm fairly certain I don't need a gravel/adventure bike. I will rarely go off pavement. I want 42mm tires for comfort and grip, and they shouldn't be all that slow. Seems like custom is the only option, but I don't know that I can afford that given I can't even try it first...
    Last edited by Wish I Were Riding; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:04 AM.

  14. #14
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    Built for 26" but has clearance for 650b x 48's, so would be easy to do with the 42's. I've been riding 650b\42 for a couple of years now and have nothing but praise for the wheel size. been using Compass tires.

    The Crust Romanceur has been getting good reviews from owners.

    https://crustbikes.com/products/the-romanceur-presale/


    I ride a Boulder Bicycle, which I'm very happy with, but I didn't recommend it because no disc brakes which you are wanting.
    Last edited by velodog; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:33 AM. Reason: addendum
    Too old to ride plastic

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    I'm starting to think I want 650B x 42mm with disks. I'm not to keen on converting a 700c frame, because of the BB drop might make it too low.

    I'm fairly certain I don't need a gravel/adventure bike. I will rarely go off pavement. I want 42mm tires for comfort and grip, and they shouldn't be all that slow. Seems like custom is the only option, but I don't know that I can afford that given I can't even try it first...
    WRT 650c size, the issue is the more limited tire selection and availability. You may not be able to walk into a shop and buy one.

    WRT tire width - despite the Internet claims, wide tires (42) are slower than narrow tires (23 or 25) at appropriate pressures ("comfort" means dropping pressure). How much slower may not matter to you. But, noticeably slower with the wallowy mushy rear end feel on high power efforts. If you ride alone that doesn't matter. If you are trying to hang on to a group, it might matter.

    WRT "grip" on the wide tire (42) vs narrow (23 or 25) - if you only ride on the road, I don't see how a wider tire's grip would matter. People turn 90° corners at speed on 20s, 23s, and 25s. If you have trouble keeping the rubber side down, it is technique not equipment.

    I think the Gravel Cyclist: The Gravel Cycling Experience - Gravel Cyclist - The Gravel Cycling Experience - Rides, Races, Calendar, Reviews dude (JOM) is riding a 650 bike now. The site has a bunch of info. There is definitely info about 650 tire size and bikes there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    WRT tire width - despite the Internet claims, wide tires (42) are slower than narrow tires (23 or 25) at appropriate pressures ("comfort" means dropping pressure). How much slower may not matter to you. But, noticeably slower with the wallowy mushy rear end feel on high power efforts.
    I haven't put 42mm tires on my gravel bike, but I can say one thing for sure. My gravel bike with 36mm tires feels no slower than my road bike with 23, 25 or 28mm tires (all 700c) - pressures adjusted appropriately for tire width. The 36mm tire gravel bike feels like a very comfortable, stable, sturdy road bike, not like a hybrid or mountain bike. Nor do I feel a "mushy, wallowy rear end" on higher power efforts. If I feel that sensation, it is because my rear tire is going flat.

    Going to a smaller diameter like 650b has only two advantages - tighter turning ability and lower low gearing.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    WRT 650c size, the issue is the more limited tire selection and availability. You may not be able to walk into a shop and buy one.

    WRT tire width - despite the Internet claims, wide tires (42) are slower than narrow tires (23 or 25) at appropriate pressures ("comfort" means dropping pressure). How much slower may not matter to you. But, noticeably slower with the wallowy mushy rear end feel on high power efforts. If you ride alone that doesn't matter. If you are trying to hang on to a group, it might matter.

    WRT "grip" on the wide tire (42) vs narrow (23 or 25) - if you only ride on the road, I don't see how a wider tire's grip would matter. People turn 90° corners at speed on 20s, 23s, and 25s. If you have trouble keeping the rubber side down, it is technique not equipment.

    I think the Gravel Cyclist: The Gravel Cycling Experience - Gravel Cyclist - The Gravel Cycling Experience - Rides, Races, Calendar, Reviews dude (JOM) is riding a 650 bike now. The site has a bunch of info. There is definitely info about 650 tire size and bikes there.
    Have you much experience riding high volume tires? This "wallowy mushy rear end feel" of which you speak has more to do with tire pressure than tire size. My 650b\42's do squirm when pressure is too low, but when properly inflated there is no problem with squirm.

    And if tire size doesn't influence handling on the road, why have 20mm tires lost favor to 23's and 25's and 28's more recently?

    Yes, 650b tires are not as available as 700c tires, but that is changing, and while not able to just walk into any shop and pick up a tire it is easy enough to keep an extra tire or two stockpiled so as not to have an issue. Shucks, I have a stockpile of 700c tires, both 23mm and 25mm, so why would it be any different with my 650b\42's?

    As far as being slower than 25mm tires, while 650b\42 may not be as fast as 700c\25, I think tire construction and frame geometry has more to do with that than tire size. A bicycle frame designed for fast riding on 650b\42's may not be as fast as a bike on 700c tires and wheels, but it isn't going to be so slow as to not be able to ride in a fast group.
    Too old to ride plastic

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I haven't put 42mm tires on my gravel bike, but I can say one thing for sure. My gravel bike with 36mm tires feels no slower than my road bike with 23, 25 or 28mm tires (all 700c) - pressures adjusted appropriately for tire width. The 36mm tire gravel bike feels like a very comfortable, stable, sturdy road bike, not like a hybrid or mountain bike. Nor do I feel a "mushy, wallowy rear end" on higher power efforts. If I feel that sensation, it is because my rear tire is going flat.

    Going to a smaller diameter like 650b has only two advantages - tighter turning ability and lower low gearing.
    A third advantage is weight, a 650b\42 tire wheel combination will be lighter than a 700c\42 tire wheel combination of the same quality components. So it has an advantage in acceleration.
    Too old to ride plastic

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Have you much experience riding high volume tires? This "wallowy mushy rear end feel" of which you speak has more to do with tire pressure than tire size. My 650b\42's do squirm when pressure is too low, but when properly inflated there is no problem with squirm.

    And if tire size doesn't influence handling on the road, why have 20mm tires lost favor to 23's and 25's and 28's more recently?

    Yes, 650b tires are not as available as 700c tires, but that is changing, and while not able to just walk into any shop and pick up a tire it is easy enough to keep an extra tire or two stockpiled so as not to have an issue. Shucks, I have a stockpile of 700c tires, both 23mm and 25mm, so why would it be any different with my 650b\42's?

    As far as being slower than 25mm tires, while 650b\42 may not be as fast as 700c\25, I think tire construction and frame geometry has more to do with that than tire size. A bicycle frame designed for fast riding on 650b\42's may not be as fast as a bike on 700c tires and wheels, but it isn't going to be so slow as to not be able to ride in a fast group.
    I think the number 1 driver in all this move toward higher volume tire size is due to:

    1. the (aging) demographic wanting to ride something more comfortable and yet still perceived as "racy".

    2. marketing. Simply put, manufacturers will always be happy to concoct new products as long as people are willing to spend.

    And then there's the so-called science talk in all this. I think the science stuff is more like pseudo-science. Nothing is conclusive, there are give and take. A wider tire may roll better on a rough surface, but you're need to use low psi for this to happen. But then wider tires also give back any rolling advantage (on rough pavement) in the aero department when the speed picksup, and aero resistance trumps rolling resistance at higher speed. Well, if bigger is better, then world class time trial and track pursuit events would be using 40, 42, 45 mm tires and not 23, right?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I think the number 1 driver in all this move toward higher volume tire size is due to:

    1. the (aging) demographic wanting to ride something more comfortable and yet still perceived as "racy".

    2. marketing. Simply put, manufacturers will always be happy to concoct new products as long as people are willing to spend.

    And then there's the so-called science talk in all this. I think the science stuff is more like pseudo-science. Nothing is conclusive, there are give and take. A wider tire may roll better on a rough surface, but you're need to use low psi for this to happen. But then wider tires also give back any rolling advantage (on rough pavement) in the aero department when the speed picksup, and aero resistance trumps rolling resistance at higher speed. Well, if bigger is better, then world class time trial and track pursuit events would be using 40, 42, 45 mm tires and not 23, right?
    Pursuit\track events are run on a glass smooth surface, not the road. Not only do they use smaller diameter tires, they use them at pressures that aren't \wouldn't be used on the road. apples\oranges

    As far as your pseudo science, if nothing is conclusive why are you so willing to believe in low volume over high volume? There is more to the ride than aero.

    Perceived as "racy", maybe in your world, but I really don't care what another persons perception of me is. I ride my bike for my reasons, not someone elses.

    And as far as marketing, how you enjoying that nice full carbon lightweight wonderbike, oh I'm sorry, I meant that nice full carbon aero wonderbike.

    Oh yeah, if bigger isn't better why aren't you riding 19\20mm tires that were once the bestest fastest tires?
    Last edited by velodog; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:24 AM. Reason: an oh yeah
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I think the number 1 driver in all this move toward higher volume tire size is due to:

    1. the (aging) demographic wanting to ride something more comfortable and yet still perceived as "racy".

    2. marketing. Simply put, manufacturers will always be happy to concoct new products as long as people are willing to spend.
    I think it's that people are discovering that being able to ride on multiple surfaces is a blast.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    A third advantage is weight, a 650b\42 tire wheel combination will be lighter than a 700c\42 tire wheel combination of the same quality components. So it has an advantage in acceleration.
    And there lies the overblown "rotating weight is so much more important than static weight" theory. Once you are up to speed, it's a wash.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    And there lies the overblown "rotating weight is so much more important than static weight" theory. Once you are up to speed, it's a wash.
    And that's why I said the advantage is in acceleration.

    But even if that is discounted, A savings in static weight, all else being equal, is not a bad thing.
    Too old to ride plastic

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    And that's why I said the advantage is in acceleration.

    But even if that is discounted, A savings in static weight, all else being equal, is not a bad thing.
    That depends on how much static weight. I think people blow this one out of proportion as well. Weight will make a difference, but less than you might think.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  25. #25
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    I'm following along.

    I'm currently riding a 700C frame (too small for me) with 35mm tires. I want larger tires, but I don't need reeally big ones because as I said I will rarely be on anything but crappy paved roads.

    And I want to "feel" racy regardless of whether anyone else thinks I am.

    Yeah, I'm fully buying into Compass bikes "marketing", but that's because it sounds on point to me.

    Basically I want as large a tire I can run without it feeling like being too much. There just aren't any off the shelf 650B options with disks I like yet. Most of the frames are 700c "adventure/gravel" bikes. I want a 650B bike that has been designed for the tire size I want to run, otherwise if I don't run "road plus" the BB drop might be too low.

    I will most likely end up with another 700c (that fits better), but probably won't run 42mm. Maybe 38? My current 35mm are pretty good, I just want "more"...

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