Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by burntoutbanger, 8 Jan 2018.
I'm more of a comedy audaxer than serious. I use a Ti bike, this one, it's geared 50/34 with a 32 sprocket at the rear, which will get me up most things in the peaks and lakes, although having lived the other side of the Tamar to you I understand why you might like lower, that said I haven't found a road I can't walk up yet. I do do a lot of riding on the big ring, but then again I do a lot of riding on the Cheshire plain.
It's still not the lightest machine once I've got all my kit on it but if I was truly worried about weight I'd not be carting several kilo's of stale beer and a stuffed toy around. The Ti is much more forgiving than the alu bike it replaced, you see everything on audaxes, from full on TT machines to beautiful old Pashleys, for me the only real must have are mudguards, hours on end with a soggy arris is no fun, but opinions vary and that's a tin of wriggly things.
I'm not a serious Audaxer. But I do the odd one here and there. I'd say comfort first, and capacity to carry a light load of spare clothes for changing weather conditions, some food (yes I know you often get fed at controls and can live off petrol station pasties) a comprehensive toolkit, spare batteries, charger etc etc. Oh yes, and mudguards. That said I see plenty of people riding just regular road bikes with a little under-seat pack. These people are not as pessimistic and fretful as me. And they are faster.
Yes. I’m not the strongest rider by any shot of the imagination and the fitter I get, the more I use it. Typical amateur that starts out too strong on the big ring and by the end of the ride I’m on the 39. I’m learning I keep telling myself.
Not an Audaxer here either, but I did build an Audax/Winter/Night-ride bike and went Custom 853 from Rourke. I was looking for almost the ultimate do-it all road bike for long rides and local faster club runs.
Going this route allowed me to have a frame that fits my particular shape (could never get standard frames quite right for long distances), allowed DT shifters, 3 bottle cages, odd brazings for racks, cables and other paraphernalia, equiped with hub-dynamo lighting, 28mm tyres and guards. I opted for 853 forks which are stiff making the bike feel nice and lively when stripped-back but not too bad either over 200 plus miles. Carbon is cheaper but you can't add braize-ons.
Gearing is currently 48/38/28 with an 11-27T 9 speed rear which when the chain wears-out will be replaced with a 32 or 34T rear. There are some ferocious steep hills around Folkestone and Dover...and I'm not getting any younger!
All in all I'm chuffed with the result. It's not super light due to componantry/lighting, Brooks saddle etc. But it's a fast lively ride that will take medium loading such as a large fully stuffed saddle-bag and bar-bag really well (hostel/CC touring, lightweight camping). Fully loaded with Rack and Panniers works, but is nowhere near as happy and stableas a proper tourer would be.
It's unique, idiosyncratic and does exactly what I wanted!
Thanks everyone maybe I'll stick with a triple. Definitely need to change the brakes over to mini v.
I rode long distance (100-600km) on a fairly cheap Felt alu bike. Only upgrade was a triple chainset and better wheels. Early last year I bought a "gravel" bike in a sale, - out of curiosity really. Probably a bit like the Diverge E5 you mention above in terms of geometry and also with room for 40mm tires. I rode London-Edinburgh-London last year on this new bike and it was great. 30mm tires give a lot of comfort. The gearing is SRAM Rival 1x11 with a 10-42 cassette. I swapped out the 44 tooth chainring for a 36 or 38 (can't remember) to give me a really low granny gear with an acceptable top gear (just under 100 gear inches, which tops out for me around 45-50km per hour). Never missed my triple. In fact having no front derailleur is very nice on the longer rides. Gears up or down on the rear cassette and thats it. And of course it takes a rear rack and mudguards too. Its my most comfortable bike now and gets the most use. Maybe gravel/adventure bikes would work out for you too, who knows?
Nice to hear you've not missed the top gears. Got to admit the Diverge does have me tempted. There's a couple of Specialised dealers locally, maybe I should see one in the flesh.
A high top speed is not the most important thing for me on a long distance event. Even riding with friends locally the bike is usually OK for keeping up and of course "easily" gets up the climbs. I might get a 40 or 44 chainring though for that extra bit of speed when I am not going to ride for 10 hours plus.
Condor Fratello is my weapon of choice for Audax.
You can build is up pretty much any way you want. I'm currently it with SRAM 1x11 which works very well.
I did a conversion on my Ridgeback Voyage. It transformed the bike.
Thanks @Dirk. I flipped the stem this week to bring the handle bars up and a little closer, been out on it for a two hour ride and definitely more comfortable.
I have a triple on my Audax bike but find the front shifter has its problems time and time again. Probably go to a 48 / 26 front chain ring next bike. Then a rear cassette up to 34. Riding the Alpine roads on my ?Brompton was enlightening as to what you can get up on relatively high gear inches. On Audax you're average speed will be hampered by your climbing speed not your top end speed.
Another SW resident here. I run a couple of Ti Audax/touring bikes. One has 48/38/26 with a 13-26 cassette. The other is either 63 or 67" fixed. Both get me up most hills (I seldom use the granny ring).
Both are bespoke frames with fittings refined over the years. Both have done long distances.
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