We had been waiting for our new touring bike frames to arrive via Holland/New York for about 2 months by now. The style of these bike had be carefully considered after exhausting research done by Brian with the help of http://crazyguyonabike.com and http://travelingtwo.com
Finally they arrived at our not so local bike shop Omnium in St Paul, MN around the tail end of September. (We happen to live in Minneapolis and have to drive/pedal past just about every other bike shop in town just to get to this place. Which either says something about this particular shop or something about us? Brian does happen to race for these guys too.)
The Santos Travelmaster 2.6 Alu. This bike will hopefully be the touring bike of our dreams? I sincerely hope so. Since finding out that our previous steeds where great… but ill fitting for the both of us. As it turns out that the geometry of a bicycle changes drastically when you add expedition size tires. Effectively making the stand over height on the edge of unbearable for those of us with external parts and just awkward for the rest of us. That’s where the Travelmasters come into play with more of a mountain bike build it should be a more comfortable ride for the both of us. (In more ways then one)
Anyone in the US who is thinking about these bikes for touring and wants to purchase them needs to know that they don’t sell directly to customers and should contact Rolling Orange Bikes located in Brooklyn NY. While they do not stock these bikes in their store. They can get one (in a myriad for colors) on the next freighter from Europe. And it can get stuck in customs for about 2 weeks while customs agents comb over your frame for drugs. Cause it’s coming from Holland right? That is what happened to us, I suppose it wasn’t just us but the entire container full of bicycles.
Either way we received our frames in an untimely manner but in good shape and pretty good looking to boot. Which if you aren’t really a bike person is actually the biggest issue. “How cool does your bike look?” (and how well it preforms) It’s all subjective and different depending on the kind of rider you are and personality you have. But I think mine is going to look fantastic! The reason why I don’t know this for sure is that as I write this, my bicycle is being built. On the eve of my test trip! Or at least it better be! Lets just call it a little miscommunication down at the bike shop was just kicked into high gear. Cause we need these rides now
There was a moment of two when we had decided to build these bikes ourselves but time got short. This summer has been crazy for work and there has been essentially no free time on either of our parts. It would be nice to know how to build a bike just for the future knowledge. There will come a time that we will have to fix them on our own and basic skills would be helpful. Though I’m not to worried about all that, both of us posses a fair amount of common sense and a small amount of technical skills. Plus there is always the internet and failing even that, people all over the world ride bikes. Someone should be able to help. Lets just hope it doesn’t come to all that. (“knocks on wood”)
So here I sit on the Eve of a week long shake down tour with my bags packed a host for our first night in our pedaling off town and no bikes as of yet!