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Thread: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

  1. #41
    palincss is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    I want a Rando type bike for pleasure rides and credit card touring. I love the ride and road feel from my restored Raleigh International with Reynolds 531 Tubing. I worry the Hilsen may feel somewhat dead comparably.

    Couple other options include the Boulder All Rounder and Tournesol Pave. I could have the Hilsen next week though.
    Add the M.A.P Randonneur Project to your list as well.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by canali View Post
    i have a riv atlantis for touring/commuting (26" rims)..

    not sure if to go all rounder that can do loaded touring and also good brevets with a wheel swap out/rack removal (for lesser weight) or get a separate rando/sport touring bike if there is too much compromise
    (still have to hear back from kelly bedford and also hamptsen on this...my 2 cents from what i've gleaned: is that fundamentally the tubing would have to be touring oriented for the weight/stiffness and longer chainstays, so not as good as a true rando/sport touring machine would be.

    2nd issue: to go 650b or 700c? I'm 5'6"...my atlantis has 26" rims...
    ...my dekerf generation '96 HT also--what a pocket rocke!/french touring bike twist, LOL--just had chris dekerf braze
    on rear rack mts last w for panniers/touring.. (he .says it can handle 40-50 lb easily)

    so if i do go rando/sport tourer (fenders/32cm tires handling 25 lb) I'm thinking:
    gunnar sport,
    jitensha's ebisu,
    a used marinoni I've been offered to check out soon
    ('tis a 2002 ciclo model, only $800 group'd out but can only take 25cm tires w fenders or 28 cm tires without fenders..but still the price is sweet),

    velo orange's rando (for value),
    a used riv rambouillet...(or try to buy back the one I stupidly sold a few yrs back: CC Bicycle Gallery: Joe Collins' Rivendell Rambouillet
    the newer boulder bicycles rene herse rando by mike kone and waterford... (700 or 650b)
    hampsten bianca strada
    kelly bedford bikes
    IF club racer.

    oh, almost forgot: also kelly bedford, given my LBS is carrying them.

    want something that is comfortable for long periods in the saddle, can take fenders w 28-32cm tires....has enough zing to also be a good club rider (sure 'tis not a true racing bike, but....)

    thoughts, suggestions?
    My thoughts:
    1. Loaded tourer and rando/sport touring bikes are not the same thing. Especially with your last sentence about wanting it to have enough zing to be a good club rider. You already have an Atlantis, which can do loaded touring.
    2. 25 lbs is a lot of weight to be carrying on a rando bike. Leave the camping stove at home.
    3. 32 mm tires are probably bigger than you need unless you're riding off road. I have some pretty crappy roads on my year-round commute, and 28 mm tires are plenty.
    4. If you want fenders that fit correctly, you don't want a Gunnar. Believe me.
    5. If you want zing, don't get something with crazy long chainstays. I have 42.5 cm chainstays on my Tournesol and it rides like a normal bike should, and fits fenders and 28 mm tires.
    6. You've gotta decide for yourself how you feel about front vs. rear load, low vs. normal trail, etc. This will narrow things down, since certain builders do some things one way or another.
    7. If you want a nice integrated rack, you have a lot fewer choices.
    8. Same with lugs vs tig, etc.

    In my opinion, the best part about buying a custom bike is having the builder listen to you and help you figure out what you really want. I went into the process thinking I wanted 32 mm tires, but in talking to Steve I said things like zing and zippy and "rides like a normal bike" and he nudged me to a different size tire. If I would have bought a VO, Ebisu, Riv, etc I would have never had this conversation, and would probably not enjoy riding the bike everyday as much as I do. A lot of the people mentioned do great work, but in my opinion you need to pick a builder that can do what you think you want, and then trust them when they tell you what you really want.

    p.s. I'm a happy customer of Steve Hampsten (best deal in integrated bikes, period), and Mitch at MAP is killing it (check out his flickr site)

  3. #43
    canali is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Mschol 17...thanks...as per your suggestions, yes i have pretty much thought: stick with something different...so I've even contacted hiroshi about lighter tubing IF were to go the Ebisu all rounder (doug brooks also emailed me saying both that and the hampsten are great bikes)

    ...also have contacted Steve of Hampsten...very helpful chap, too.....and you're right mike: we did have a good conversation and he was helpful in steering me towards narrowing my options'
    ie, like you he suggested sticking with 28-32cm max tires with fenders as plenty, too, for a variety of surfaces....given he's only 2-3 hr away (i'm in van bc) it might be wise to drop down to see him for an actual fitting and discussion, going forward, should I lean towards him.

    as per the other suggestions, Cielo bike by Chris King, it also looks interesting...and also the suggestion made about jim kish's bikes...
    always great to hear of more innovation by seasoned bike people out there.
    can't wait to see what interbike will release....should be interesting.

    seems that there some 'renaissance' of sport touring/randonneur-ish like bikes happening nowadays...whether it be the surly pacer, or vo rando, cielo, the hampsten...or pelican by rogers...or boxer bikes...or banjo bikes etc etc..

    or with the soma es smoothie ....on this note (soma) it will be interesting to see the Riv/Soma collaboration out due next yr on their 'san marcos' project....ramblings) and also S O M A f e e d: Rivendell Collaborates With Soma on Frame Project and also Soma Riv i think it's a great niche that's been overlooked: a bike not as tight/compact as a racer...yet more nimble/snappy riding than a tourer that can accept fenders/wider tires and, depending on the builder, even accepting a load of 20lb or so....or even how many people use their cross bikes as an 'allrounder/rando/touring' gig....think it's great offering more variety

    and both trek and raleigh have come out with 'sport tour'ish models, too**
    (sure I know they're not of the same 'pedigree as the other higher end brands'--and i'm not interested in them-- but as a
    way to get people buying more into this niche, 'tis a good thing.)
    **EcoVelo Blog Archive Sneak Peek: 2011 Raleigh Port Townsend
    **Trek Bikes | Bikes | Urban | Portland
    "There is nothing wrong with getting older: just don't grow old.''' (George Burns)

  4. #44
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    Have you (or any of the others here) had a chance to ride the Hilsen?

    Apparently Rivendell has several larger 650B Hilsen frames and forks. As it happen, I have an entire 650B build kit with nothing to do as my builder appears to have lost interest.

    I want a Rando type bike for pleasure rides and credit card touring. I love the ride and road feel from my restored Raleigh International with Reynolds 531 Tubing. I worry the Hilsen may feel somewhat dead comparably.
    I have not ridden a Hilsen but I have ridden a Saluki and have seen a few Hilsen's in the flesh. They are pretty refined bicycles, I doubt they would feel dead compared to an old International. Funny I am not a big fan of 650B even though I have two of them but I am now a huge fan of the Pacenti Pari-Moto tire which has great road feel. It really increases the appeal of 650B.

  5. #45
    Ken C is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by mschol17 View Post
    My thoughts:

    4. If you want fenders that fit correctly, you don't want a Gunnar. Believe me.
    Hey Michael:

    Which Gunnars did you have? I am able to attach fenders on my Sport, which is the most recent version (all OX instead of the 853/OX blend) no problem. I am able to get a very even fender line. Granted since I live in CO I only use fenders for Oct through April so I am using SKS because they are easy to put on and take off without too much hassel. I don't know if stainless fenders would mount well or not.

    KEn
    Last edited by Ken C; 09-22-2010 at 12:28 AM. Reason: added content

  6. #46
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by canali View Post
    ...also have contacted Steve of Hampsten...very helpful chap, too.....and you're right mike: we did have a good conversation and he was helpful in steering me towards narrowing my options'
    ie, like you he suggested sticking with 28-32cm max tires with fenders as plenty, too, for a variety of surfaces....given he's only 2-3 hr away (i'm in van bc) it might be wise to drop down to see him for an actual fitting and discussion, going forward, should I lean towards him.
    Reading this from the outside I'd say your choices just got narrowed to one. You've already over thought it. Jump in your car and visit the USA :)

  7. #47
    Matthew J is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by andys View Post
    I have not ridden a Hilsen but I have ridden a Saluki and have seen a few Hilsen's in the flesh. They are pretty refined bicycles, I doubt they would feel dead compared to an old International. Funny I am not a big fan of 650B even though I have two of them but I am now a huge fan of the Pacenti Pari-Moto tire which has great road feel. It really increases the appeal of 650B.
    650B is one of those things I think may work but will not know for sure until I try for an extended period.

    I am tall enough that the proportions on the large wheel 26" road tourer I had seemed off. On the other hand, a 700 frame that can properly accommodate fat tires is somewhat too big for me.

    I have ridden a friend's Boulder with Pari-motos and Hetres. Amazing ride.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    I've put metal fenders on a couple Crosshairs. It works fine if you have access to a machine shop to make custom sized spacers, since the bridge positioning isn't consistent. Plus, the Crosshairs I had didn't have threaded inserts for bolts on the bridges.

    Ask Dave Wages how the bridge position is chosen on Gunnars... you probably just got lucky with bridge spacing on your Sport.

  9. #49
    canali is offline VSalonistas
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    Talking Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Yeah mike kone of boulder bicycles (using waterford to build them) and his Rene herse bikes is cool.
    http://www.renehersebicycles.com/

    as an aside, yes I've read great things on that Hetre 650b tire too....but my version of a 650b french country bike is my dekerf 96 generation hardtail (I just got rear rack brazeons put on by chris dekerf for panniers..it can now take 40 lb!)...

    sure i know that i'm cheating as my dekerf uses a 26 rim and not a 650b... but using that 2.0tire and front suspension on the dekerf (i call it my pocket rocket) gives me both huge cush and speed ...my dekerf always makes me smile....bought it used at a LBS where the money went to help street kids...I knew nothing of 'Dekerf' (but soon found out after i was riding it from other envious cyclists) so maybe the karma gods gave me something back in terms of an amazing bike..

    Chris used to design and build for Rocky Mtn bikes before he went his own way ...he now has a very devoted following behind him and his bikes are being sold once more in LBS ('Different Bikes') http://www.dekerf.com/...like so many other artisans i think it was about 10 yrs ago that he was about to hang up his welding torch (burnout, whatever) which caused the devoted to come out of the woodwork and give him approximately 100 orders to fill... so it reinspired him once more to keep going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    650B is one of those things I think may work but will not know for sure until I try for an extended period.

    I am tall enough that the proportions on the large wheel 26" road tourer I had seemed off. On the other hand, a 700 frame that can properly accommodate fat tires is somewhat too big for me.

    I have ridden a friend's Boulder with Pari-motos and Hetres. Amazing ride.
    "There is nothing wrong with getting older: just don't grow old.''' (George Burns)

  10. #50
    giordana93 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    not much I can add to the discussion other than this: do you plan on keeping this bike for a long time or buy it, try it, sell it and move on to something else?
    answering that will go a long way in choosing between a mass-produced, albeit nice, bike that does the job, vs a bike you can spec down to the last braze-on and tubing choice and then your favorite color--and one, hopefully, you will never want to sell because it's just so right. if it's the latter, do the math and think amortization--what's a couple dollars a day over 5 years for perfection?

  11. #51
    canali is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    i'm not one to depart too quickly with my steads: i would be keeping this baby for quite some time. (esp given the thought into it)
    this said, I stupidly sold my riv rambo (last link in my signature) a few yrs back...dumb dumb dumb
    Quote Originally Posted by giordana93 View Post
    not much I can add to the discussion other than this: do you plan on keeping this bike for a long time or buy it, try it, sell it and move on to something else?
    answering that will go a long way in choosing between a mass-produced, albeit nice, bike that does the job, vs a bike you can spec down to the last braze-on and tubing choice and then your favorite color--and one, hopefully, you will never want to sell because it's just so right. if it's the latter, do the math and think amortization--what's a couple dollars a day over 5 years for perfection?
    "There is nothing wrong with getting older: just don't grow old.''' (George Burns)

  12. #52
    fixednwinter is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    I own two Hampstens, a Strada Bianca and a Classic, both using 57mm brakes. The SB can accomodate up to 33.3mm tires, which, as already been mentioned, are great for off-road (or insane rides like Hell of the North). But 28mm, even on gravel, is more than good enough.

    Steve designs really well for fender placement. I'd encourage anyone buying a fender-capable Hampsten to also have Steve install the fenders (with Sheldon nuts) for you. With his correct installation, you can remove/install the fenders (Honjo's are nice) in a few, short, hassle-free minutes.

    The other thing I wanted to add is that I'm short like the OP, and finding a 700c, fender-capable bike has always been a problem. Steve has been able to intelligently balance those requirements into really sweet riding bikes for me.

  13. #53
    canali is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    being a shorter rider: did you ever consider 650b? I
    did and am no longer in that realm (as per using my dekerf ht as my 'french country bike' for cush..esp given I've not got rack braze-ons now for panniers/touring)

    Quote Originally Posted by fixednwinter View Post
    I own two Hampstens, a Strada Bianca and a Classic, both using 57mm brakes. The SB can accomodate up to 33.3mm tires, which, as already been mentioned, are great for off-road (or insane rides like Hell of the North). But 28mm, even on gravel, is more than good enough.

    Steve designs really well for fender placement. I'd encourage anyone buying a fender-capable Hampsten to also have Steve install the fenders (with Sheldon nuts) for you. With his correct installation, you can remove/install the fenders (Honjo's are nice) in a few, short, hassle-free minutes.

    The other thing I wanted to add is that I'm short like the OP, and finding a 700c, fender-capable bike has always been a problem. Steve has been able to intelligently balance those requirements into really sweet riding bikes for me.
    "There is nothing wrong with getting older: just don't grow old.''' (George Burns)

  14. #54
    fixednwinter is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by canali View Post
    being a shorter rider: did you ever consider 650b?
    Hi canali;
    I did - Steve suggested it as an option early on during the design phase of my first bike with him. But once we realized I was looking for a bike to handle mostly road rather than rough stuff surfaces, we were back on 700c wheels. We wanted to maintain that road racing (albeit, 60's road racer) feel.

  15. #55
    canali is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    good to hear it as per thinking of 650b but staying with 700c...i too was heavily considering it.

    ...yes most of my riding is also to be on roads...and as mentioned for rougher surfaces i'll use my ''dekerf french country bike" kickass HT...actually it has more versatility than a 650b IMO: can take 50 lb load and with front fork suspension and 2.0 tires can take very rough trails, too....so a win win for me..and given the paint is scratched up i can also use it often as a bad weather/winter bike too.

    love my dekerf
    "There is nothing wrong with getting older: just don't grow old.''' (George Burns)

  16. #56
    Hawker is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Just wondering if they are any nice bikes that *haven't* been mentioned in this thread yet?

    Here's one: the new Salsa Casserroll, introduced at Interbike today:

    Salsa Cycles | Culture

    Seems to fit your needs perfectly, though from some of your posts I know you believe that less expensive bikes ride poorly.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawker View Post
    Just wondering if they are any nice bikes that *haven't* been mentioned in this thread yet?
    No one has mentioned the new Surly Troll, which might be appropriate for this thread.

    Oh, and it is 650B compatible.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawker View Post
    Just wondering if they are any nice bikes that *haven't* been mentioned in this thread yet?

    Here's one: the new Salsa Casserroll, introduced at Interbike today:

    Salsa Cycles | Culture

    Seems to fit your needs perfectly, though from some of your posts I know you believe that less expensive bikes ride poorly.
    No, the Casseroll was already mentioned...

    I think your first thought was on the mark.
    GO!

  19. #59
    krooj is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Got nothing to add other than I took a look at HamCo's website, and I've got one on for the Team Pro. That's a fine lookin' machine.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: thinking of hamptsen bianca strada vs other idea: gunnar, riv rambo, ebisu etc

    Quote Originally Posted by davids View Post
    No, the Casseroll was already mentioned...
    I saw the reference to the Casseroll, but not sure if the crowd now gathered around this particular campfire has noticed that the *new* Casserroll that was announced today is even more in line with what the OP is looking for.

    (There may also be a reference to the new, 2011 Casserroll above, but I am not going to go back and re-read the thread).

    BTW, to the OP -- I've been lost in bike decisions before, too. As someone mentioned above, 2 or three things that will help you focus are:

    1. Geography. Pick a bike that is made close to you so you can visit the builder, or sold by a shop that you know and love.
    2. Budget. Pick one, and stick to it. Or else everything is on the table.
    3. Passion. Walk away for a couple of weeks, come back to the bike that beckons you.

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