For the toughest roads you will ever ride

There is a tough ride called the Oregon Outback, 360 miles of old railroad bed, Forest Service Roads and county gravel, that runs from Klamath Falls to the Columbia River. It looked like my kind of ride, but the website recommended biggr wheels than on my Camono Duro. Plus, I didn't have to fly to get to the trailhead, so why make a bike that would break down and pack in a bag?

The design solution I came up with is to stick with the Camino Duro's basic layout, touring geometry, long front cabin, horizontal top tube, but just go up a step in size on the tubing, and run disc brakes instead of cantis or V-brakes. The Front triangle is Reymolds 853, the same diameter as the tubes on my BMX bikes. I went up a size on the sterring as well, 1 1/8" threadless with Reynolds 853 fork blades in a Pacenti crown. Front brake is an ISO disc and the rear is a flat mount. The top tube has a mild steel internal guide tube for generator wires to the tail light.

Again, because this was a bike that would probably not be ridden in remote lands, I built it to roll on 650b tires and built in enough clearance for 50mm wide rubber. It was a good choice. I had a set of Rolf "Ralos" wheels and got the new Rene Herse "Switchback Hill" high-volume tires.

The "Camino mas Duro" bike on the Outaback Trail with a full load, including set of Black Star bags. I had about 12 K load in frond and a little more in back, plus water. The longest stretch with no decent water was from Fort Rock to Crooked River near Prineville. I got through it with seven liters of water - seven extra kilos of load.

The bike handled everything, including fast descents on loose gravel. Even when it started sliding it was controllable. This bike has become my favorite for 'round town, with it's light steering and a ride feel like the old Schwinn Paramount. I think I'll put on lights and fenders for the long gray, Portland winter coming up.


Top tube: 318mm x .7-.5-.7 mm
Down tube: 34.9 mm x .8-.5-.8 mm
Seat tube: 31.8 mm x .9-.7 mm
stays: .75" x .035" chainstay, .625" x .035" seatstay, aircraft-grade chrome-moly

Geometery (this particular frame)

Seat tube: 59 cm
Top tube: 63 cm
Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
Steering angle: 72,5 degrees
Chainstay length: 46 cm
BB height: 27.1 cm
Fork trail: 49.3 mm
wheelbase: 113 cm

This bike can built with a sloping top tube for those who prefer - a good idea if you are taking it on sigletrack. That's what a custom build is for. You can get the same spec on an 853-tube frame and fork that fits you for $2,200.00.