We think discs are the perfect match for long-distance touring and can’t fathom why more people don’t use them – braking performance unaffected by rim trueness or weather conditions, prolonged rim (wheel) life, increased clearances (tyre/frame/fork/mudguards). The long list of pro’s far outweigh the con’s.
As you might’ve already deduced from our thoroughly un-original naming (sorry, the project name kind of stuck), the Tour de Fer uses the ever-popular tried-and-tested Croix de Fer frame platform with a few choice tweaks to transform it into a capable, new-age, disc-equipped tourer ready for duty straight from the box.
It’s not that the ‘Croix can’t be used as a long distance load carrier - it’s just that we felt we could make a better bike, much more suited to the task of carrying rider and luggage over long distances in comfort. So, what’s different I hear you ask?...
For starters we lengthened the chainstays (455mm) to allow for ample heel clearance with panniers. The stretched chainstays also give room to mount a handy kickstand plate behind the bottom bracket. We also beefed up the wall thickness of the downtube to improve overall rigidity and handling when fully laden. The BB was dropped 5mm (75mm) to improve stability and balance and we also increased the fork offset to 55mm (provides a medium trail measurement of 60mm) meaning the bike handles great with a front loads but isn’t too overly twitchy without.
Build-wise, we dressed the frame with durable, no-nonsense components that we knew from personal experience are tour/expedition worthy and should last the sorts of high-mileages for which we intended. We went with a low geared, MTB-based drivetrain that gives a nice low 18.7GI climbing gear alongside a not-too-spinny 108.7GI high gear, and a whole load of useable range in between. Bombproof Microshift barcon shifters, TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes and the cycle tourist’s favourite, Schwalbe Marathon 35c tyres round off the considered, well thought through spec that makes the Tour de Fer expedition-ready straight from the box – just add rider, luggage and a sense of adventure.
The Tour de Fer has an RRP of £899.99 and will be available in sizes 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60.