If I were upgrading, and while I can dream, that’s about all I can do at this point, I’m currently fixating on a few items.
For my drop bar, go-fast bike; I’d really like to try a low-trail fork that I could switch over my 700c wheels to on a steel frame. The VO Pass Hunter has caught my attention, as well as the Ocean Air Rambler. The Pass Hunter has VO’s reputation behind it as well as a less expensive price tag, but the added tire clearance on the Rambler is appealing.
Unless I replaced everything with all chrome bits, I doubt the new frame would look nearly as nice, but this is probably how I’d go if I ever upgrade the X bike. Another option that has floated around in my head is just picking up a Cross Check frame, maybe even in black.
I’m too in love with the LHT to part with it, but the thought of having a tourer that could take on some rougher roads is out there. Ideally I’d just go with a third bike and use something like a Fargo, but with upright bars; but I don’t think a third bike would get much use.
That brings us to the only frame I think I’d consider at this point – a Rivendell Hunqapillar. I think a set up with Albatross bars and a set of Schwalbe Big Bens could do double duty for pavement and dirt while still having fender clearance. I’m not crazy about that mid-tube, but I suppose it grows on you. If the stars were in alignment Grant would go with a low trail fork, but I’m asking for a lot. Of course there would be some major groans about allowing my cheapo components on such a frame, so we’d be looking at some major outlay.
I should also mention that if I do have any rough trail touring in the forecast, I can pull the Kenda knobbies that I have and fit them on either the LHT or the X bike. They’re pretty easy to mount on the rims, and they haven’t seen any action in quite some time.
Finally, I know this is going to rub some people the wrong way, but someone has to say it. Yes, it does seem to be a very popular flavor lately that all of the lemmings want to try, but the Nitto Bosco bars touted by Rivendell for the last few months have got to be the butt-ugliest set of handlebars I have ever seen.
Completely out of scale and just plain weird looking. What a way to ruin beautiful bikes. Put me down for a no thanks.
There…it’s all out of my system.