The Co-Motion Pangea: Could This High-End Touring Bicycle Be Your New Ride?

By Darren Alff on - Download my FREE bike tour starter guide!

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At first glance, the Co-Motion Pangea appears to be a hard-tail mountain bike with drop handlebars and all the braze-ons needed to mount fenders and front and rear racks. At second glance, it looks more like a fast, sporty road bike with disc brakes and 26-inch mountain bike tires. In reality, however, the Co-Motion Pangea is neither of these things.

The Pangea is an American made touring bicycle created by a small, Eugene, Oregon (U.S.A.) based bicycle maker named Co-Motion. The Pangea is just one of the company’s off-road touring bike models (the other being the 29” Co-Motion Divide), and while it may be a bicycle with a few obvious contradictions, the Pangea may very well be the face of the modern touring bicycle.

Over the last 14 months, I have been using the Co-Motion Pangea as my sole means of transportation on an epic 24-country bicycle tour in both Europe and Africa. I’ve tested the bike on smooth tarmac, bumpy gravel roads, windy single-tracks trails and rocky off-road terrain. I’ve used the Pangea to traverse through blazing summer heat in the deserts of Turkey and South Africa and to navigate freezing cold winter snow storms in Slovakia and Ukraine.

Click the play button on the video above to watch my video review.

Over the course of this review, I plan to share with you the Pangea’s many strengths… and its few weaknesses. I’ll tell you how I’ve traveled with the bike on airplanes, buses, boats and trains with the use of the Pangea’s optional S&S couplers (called the “Co-Pilot Option” in Co-Motion’s terms), and I’ll review every component of the bike, starting with its frame (which is the core of any touring bicycle) and moving on from there to discuss the bicycle’s gearing, derailleurs, disc brakes, saddle, wheels, tires, braze-ons and more!

Full bike details can be found right here!

Finally, I’ll give you a detailed breakdown of the bicycle’s strengths and weaknesses, answer commonly asked questions, and I’ll tell you how to order a Pangea for yourself if you decide that this amazing 26” on-road/off-road vehicle is the touring bike you’ve been looking for.

The Frame & Fork

Constructed of super tough, large diameter 725 Reynolds steel, the Co-Motion Pangea starts off with all the qualities at the heart of a proper touring bicycle. The bicycle’s steel frame makes for a strong vehicle capable of carrying heavy loads, yet is flexible enough to provide you with a comfortable ride – something that is super important when you spend hours and hours in the saddle each day, riding for days, weeks or months on end.

The Pangea’s oversized head-tube is probably the most noticeable characteristic of the bicycle’s frame. The head tube is constructed from a Chro-Moly (steel) tube and houses a large Chris King Inset 44mm Internal Steerer. The head tube, which is set at a 71 degree or 71.5 degree angle (depending on the size of your bicycle’s frame) is the perfect angle for steering your loaded touring bicycle with full control, while at the same time giving the bike the strength it needs to carry a heavy load.

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At the rear end of the frame, long touring-specific chainstays allow you to mount rear panniers of almost any size to the rear rack of the bicycle without you having to worry about the heel of your foot interfering with the front portion of the panniers while you ride (a common problem on many touring bicycles, but not the Pangea).

Rather than having perfectly straight chainstays, however, the Co-Motion Pangea features custom curved chainstays that extend from the bicycle’s bottom bracket and bend outward around the rear wheel, providing the extra space needed for the bike’s wide 26” tires and Avid BB7 disc brakes.

While these curved chainstays give you the extra heel clearance you need when touring and provide the bike with a little extra style, I found that the chainstays (especially the one on the left-hand side of the bike, where the cable for the rear disc brake wraps around the outside of the frame) would occasionally clip the heel of my large size 12 US shoes. A cyclist with even larger feet, or an individual who rides with their heels pointed more inward might be confronted with even more resistance in this area. That said, you must acknowledge the fact that shoe, pedal and cleat choice as well as mounting position of the cleat are all factors here too.

The Pangea’s frame is available in seven ready-to-order sizes (44cm, 48cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm and 62cm). However, one of the things that makes ordering a Co-Motion bicycle different than purchasing a stock bike made overseas is that the company goes above and beyond to make sure you get the correctly sized bicycle for your needs. This means that before you even complete your order for a bike with Co-Motion, all your measurements will be taken and an in-depth analysis of your body dimensions will be performed. If Co-Motion determines that you need a custom bicycle frame (maybe because you are either very tall or have really short legs), the company will provide you with a frame that has been customized specifically for your needs.

After my measurements were taken, it was determined that Co-Motion’s largest frame size would be ideal for me. But whether you need a custom fit bike or are fine with one of the standard models, Co-Motion goes above and beyond to make sure your bicycle has the right dimensions for your body. All Co-Motion bikes are made to order, so you know that when you buy a Co-Motion bicycle, you’re getting a bike made for you… and you alone!

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When I first received my bicycle, my very first thought was, “It’s too small for me.” I had been riding touring bicycles with large 700c wheels for several years before getting my Pangea, and the smaller 26” wheels on the frame of the Pangea simply made the bicycle look smaller than my other touring bicycles.

However, once I got on the bike and took it for a ride, I was able to quickly see that the bicycle wasn’t too small for me after all. The bike fit like a glove… and after more than thirteen years of extensive round-the world bicycle touring experiences on multiple touring bikes, I can tell you that the Co-Motion Pangea is the most comfortable bicycle I’ve ever owned.

Finally, when it comes to having the braze-ons needed to mount water bottle cages, fenders and front and rear racks, the Co-Motion Pangea comes fully-equipped. Not only are there two different mounting points on both the front and rear ends of the Pangea frame for racks and fenders, but the bicycle is equipped with mounts for three water bottle cages (two inside the bicycle’s main triangle and one on the bottom of the bike’s down tube). Having room for an extra water bottle, or for a place to carry the fuel for your camp stove, is a nice added touch (although this is a common feature on most high-end touring bicycles).

Custom Paint Job

Another great thing about buying a Co-Motion bicycle is that these bikes are not mass-produced in Asia or elsewhere. Instead, the company’s bikes are hand-made by a skilled set of bicycle makes in the United States of America. When you order a bike from Co-Motion, the frame is built, your custom paint style is applied, and the components are then added.

After the size and other options involving the frame of your bicycle have been sorted (such as the optional S&S couplers, which I will discuss in just a moment), you are given the task of choosing the paint style for your bike.

Co-Motion has three main paint types that can be used, with each type of paint consisting of more than a dozen different colors you can choose from.

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Many Co-motion owners select a solid base color and then select a different color for the “Co-Motion” lettering on the frame. For example, I selected the Ghost White paint color for the body of my Pangea frame and then used a black Co-Motion decal for the lettering on the frame.

Another popular option is to have a three-color design, featuring one base color; one highlight color, which borders the Co-Motion lettering on the frame; and then a separate color for the Co-Motion lettering itself. This is what Co-Motion refers to as a “panel” paint job… and is just one of many paint options for your new bicycle.

If there is another design style that you have in mind for your bicycle, Co-Motion will work with you to produce the paint job that you desire (at an additional expense).

Optional S&S Couplers

Discussing the frame on the Co-Motion Pangea would not be complete without mentioning the optional S&S couplers that you can choose to have installed on your bicycle, as I did.

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S&S Couplers are metal attachments/fasteners that are built into the frame of a bicycle that allow it to be split apart when it is being transported (via car, bus, boat, plane or train) and then easily put back together again when you are ready to ride the bike. If you want a touring bicycle that can truly go anywhere, S&S couplers are an optional extra that are seriously worth considering.

The Co-Motion Pangea was my first bicycle with S&S couplers and I was both curious and a little nervous as to how they would perform. Although I saw the benefits of being able to fold my bicycle in half and therefore fly with the bike on most airlines as regular checked baggage (rather than as expensive piece of additional sports equipment), I had some doubts. Would the S&S couplers somehow make the bicycle weaker – opening up the possibility of cracks in the frame or an all-out breakage once I hit high-speed? Would the airlines really let me fly with the bicycle for free when it was folded in half? And what would happen if I took the bicycle apart and was unable to get it back together again?

Luckily, my fears on all three counts were nothing to worry about. Let me address each of these three issues in complete detail.

Do S&S Couplers Make The Frame Of The Bicycle Weaker?

Actually, S&S couplers make the frame of your bicycle stronger and more rigid.

While a good touring bicycle should be both strong and flexible, S&S couplers do admittedly take some of the flex out of your bicycle’s frame. They do not, however, make it any weaker or more susceptible to breakage.

The couplers fit together in two very simple ways. First of all, a series of interlocking tapered interlocking teeth snap together and are then, secondly, secured by a rotating screw like lock which prevents the couplers from disconnecting while you are riding your bike.

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A special S&S coupler wrench is needed to put the bicycle together (tighten the couplers) and take it apart (loosen the couplers), so it is very important that you not lose this wrench while you are at home or on tour. S&S couplers are extremely uncommon and few bike shops will have the tools necessary to tighten or loosen your couplers if you lose the wrench that is included with your Co-Motion bicycle. That said, it is possible to use a simple punch and hammer in an emergency situation. If you do use an emergency measure and manage to damage the coupler nut, it can be replaced by Co-Motion. An older bottom bracket locking spanner can also be used to loosen and/or tighten the couplers.

Other than the possibility of losing your S&S coupler wrench, there is no need to worry about the S&S couplers breaking, coming loose, or causing fractures of any kind in your bicycle’s frame. That is what’s so great about the S&S couplers that come as an option on all of Co-Motion’s bicycle models – you can completely forget about them when you are on the bike and in motion, but they are there to be used whenever you need them.

Can You Really Fly Your Bike For Free With S&S Couplers?

The most obvious reason to take your Pangea touring bicycle apart is when you are transporting it via boat, bus, car, plane or train. In these instances, you may not be able to travel with a full-size bicycle, or you may be severely fined for transporting a full-size bike using these various modes of travel.

With a bicycle built using S&S couplers, however, you can easily transport the bike using almost any means of motorized transportation, and in many cases, you can save massive amounts of money by flying with your bicycle in its broken down state thanks to its built-in S&S couplers.

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Let me give you a few examples of how I was able to transport my bike by bus, car, plane and train using the optional S&S couplers. My hope is that after sharing these stories with you, you will see just how beneficial a set of S&S couplers can be on a touring bicycle like the Co-Motion Pangea – especially if you are looking for a bike that can truly go anywhere.

Example #1 – By Car:

I mailed my bicycle from Poland to Cape Town, South Africa and after picking the bicycle up at the postal customs office, I needed to transport my bicycle back to the house in Cape Town where I was staying. My friend Anthony had driven me to the customs office, but after receiving the bicycle, we realized there was no way for the bike to easily fit inside the back of his tiny sedan. However, this was no problem with the S&S couplers on my Co-Motion Pangea. I simply loosened the coupler attachments, split the bike in two, and easily squeezed the entire thing into the trunk of Anthony’s tiny car.

Example #2 – By Train:

I wanted to take an overnight train from Lviv, Ukraine to Krakow, Poland. The woman who sold me my ticket said taking my bike on the train wouldn’t be a problem, but the conductor in charge of the train itself saw my fully-loaded bicycle and told me there was no way he’d let me on the train. In my very best Ukrainian, I tried to explain to the man that the panniers came off my bicycle and that the bicycle split in half. Still, the conductor continued, “There’s room for the bicycle.” He just kept shaking his head, “No!” I needed to get on that train though, so I ignored the conductor’s negative comments and quickly went about dismantling the bike in front of him. As soon as he saw the bicycle split in half, he smiled with recognition. He could then see just how small the bike was once it was split in half, and he and I both knew there would be room for the bike inside the sleeper train… and there was! Had it not been for the bicycle’s S&S couplers, there was no way I would have gotten on that train. I would have had to have found another way to get to Krakow. The couplers seriously saved the day!

Example #3 – By Bus:

In Ukraine once again, I found myself caught in a freezing cold winter storm and after more than a week of cycling and camping in similar conditions, I decided that rather than riding for one more day in the freezing cold, I would jump on a local bus and ride to the next largest town and continue my journey from there. Unfortunately, the bus I wanted to take was super small and there was no room on the inside the vehicle for my large touring bicycle. Luckily, there was some room in the trunk of the bus (near where the engine was located), so I simply removed the panniers from my bicycle, split the bike in half with the use of its S&S couplers, and threw everything into the bus’s small trunk. The bicycle fit wonderfully and there was still room inside the trunk of the bus for the storage of some of the other passengers’ belongings.

Example #4 – By Airplane:

Finally, I bought a plane ticket with Turkish Airlines from Zurich, Switzerland to Istanbul, Turkey. The airline said I’d need to pay an expensive additional fee to fly with my full-size bicycle, so I split the bicycle in half, cut a cardboard bike box down to the airline’s maximum size for checked baggage and fit my entire bicycle inside this large, yet airline friendly box. The bike flew for free and arrived safely in Istanbul with no problems whatsoever.

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How Difficult Is It To Take Apart And Put Back Together A Bicycle Built With S&S Couplers?

To split the Co-Motion Pangea in half with the use of its S&S couplers, there are really only two things you need to do.

First of all, unscrew the three cables that run down the length of the down tube. These are the cables for the rear brake and the front and rear derailleurs. If you order your Pangea with the optional S&S couplers, the cables on your bicycle will have a special attachment in the middle of them that allows the cables to be split in half. If you order the regular Pangea frame without the S&S couplers, the cables on your bike won’t have this special attachment in the middle of them.

After you’ve undone the cables, use the S&S coupler wrench that is included with your Pangea to loosen the two coupler attachments. This is easily done with just one short twist of the wrench. After the outer S&S coupler screw attachment is loosened, you can use your hands to loosen it further – doing this to both the S&S coupler on the top and down tube. Once both couplers are unscrewed, the bicycle will easily split in half without you having to do much of anything. The two parts will simply fall away from one another.

If you are packing the bike for transport in a car, boat, bus or train, there usually isn’t anything else you have to do. You can keep the front and rear racks, fenders, water bottle cages and anything else on the bike just the way it is. However, if you are planning to fly with the bike and need it to fit inside either the Co-Motion Co-Pilot Case or an airline friendly cardboard box that you cut down to size yourself, you will need to remove the fenders, front and rear racks, water bottle cages and anything else you have on the bike… and fitting it all inside the case/box requires a bit more work.

Putting the bicycle back together, however, is not at all complicated. In fact, it’s very easy!

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To prepare your S&S coupled touring bicycle for the road, simply align the front and rear halves of your bicycle so that the interlocking teeth on the S&S coupler attachments line up with one another. Once you have the two halves of the bicycle lined up, simply slide the metal screw attachment from one or both S&S couplers over the interlocking turrets and turn with your hand in a clockwise fashion, thereby locking the two halves of the frame in place. Once you’ve tightened the couplers on both the top and down tubes as tight as you can with your hand, use the S&S coupler wrench to lock the frame in place.

Then re-attach the cables on the front and rear halves of your bicycle. There are no special tools needed to do this. Simply shift your gears to their lowest positions and use your hands to screw the interlocking cables into place. A small amount of pressure will need to be applied to the cables at this point, but not nearly as much as you might think. The cables go back together rather effortlessly.

As soon as you’ve locked the S&S couplers back together and reattached the cables, you’re ready to ride! The entire process takes less than three minutes with just a little practice.

The Gearing

The choice of gearing on the Co-Motion Pangea is probably the best there is for a touring bicycle of its kind. Touring bicycles like the Pangea tend to feature a gearing set up similar to what you see on most modern mountain bikes. There will be three gears in the front of the bike and seven or more gears in the back – allowing for 21 or more total gear combinations.

On a touring bicycle, the large chainring is probably the least important (as it is used for traveling at high speeds – something many touring cyclists will rarely ever do). The small chainring, however, is of great importance, as it is the gear that allows you to climb steep hills (even with a heavy load) with minimal effort.

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The Co-Motion Pangea has an FSA Afterburner crankset with a (48, 36, 26) gear combination. It is the 26 here that is probably the most important number to pay attention to. This number means that there are only 26 teeth on the bicycle’s smallest gear, which is an excellently low gear to have on an off-road touring bicycle like to Pangea. Many other touring bicycles have a smallest gear with 30, 32 or as many was 36 teeth, meaning that climbing steep hills with these bikes can be a total nightmare.

I rarely ever used the Pangea’s lowest gear. Even on the steepest hills, I would usually climb in the bicycle’s second or third lowest gear, meaning there was still room to switch to a lower gear if I needed it. This is what you want in a good touring bicycle!

While the lower gears on the Pangea are ideal, cyclists with a preference for speed may be disappointed with the Pangea’s higher gear options, which top out at a speed of somewhere around 35 kilometers per hour. However, the top few gears on the Co-Motion Pangea will be ideal (and rarely ever used) by most long-distance cyclists, as high-speed travel (especially for long lengths of time) is not a typical activity on most bicycle tours.

Overall, I would say that the Pangea has one of the best bicycle touring gear set ups of any bicycle on the market. The small gears are perfect for climbing. The middle gears are excellent for city bike travel, where quick starts and stops are necessary. And the big gears are ideal when cruising at high speed on flat roads or speeding downhill.

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The Derailleurs / Drivetrain

The components on the Pangea are high-end, which is just part of the reason why the bike is so much more expensive than other mass-produced or introductory touring bicycles.

The front derailleur on the Co-Motion Pangea is a Shimano 105 and the rear derailleur is a Shimano XTR. These two derailleurs are commonly used on high-end road bikes and are designed to give you as few problems as possible on your long-distance bicycle tours.

Since first purchasing the Pangea more than a year ago, I have not even touched either derailleur. I’ve never had to make any adjustments or repairs of any type to either component. I’ve cleaned the derailleurs with soap and water, and added a small amount of lube when necessary, but that’s all I’ve had to do.

Sometimes the sign of a good bicycle part is the part you never have to touch or even think about at all. In the case of the Pangea touring bicycle and the derailleurs that have been selected for this bike, this is certainly the case!

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STI or Bar-End Shifters

Just like you have the option of adding S&S couplers and selecting your own custom paint job, you also have the option of equipping your Co-Motion Pangea with either STI Shifters (commonly found on most road racing bicycles) or with traditional bicycle touring bar-end shifters.

This, like the disc brakes that we will discuss in just a moment, are one of the Pangea’s first touring bike contradictions. While a traditional touring bike would use bar-end shifters because they are inexpensive and easy to repair just about anywhere in the world, you do have the option of adding more expensive, more complicated, and more difficult to repair STI shifters to your Pangea bicycle (for an extra $250 USD).

While STI shifters are probably preferred in most instances by anyone who has ever ridden a road bicycle, because the brakes and shifters are combined into a single competent, which makes it easy for you to brake or shift gears without moving your hands around on the handlebars, if something were to go wrong with your STI shifters on a bike tour in a remote region of the world where these types of shifters are uncommon (or even worse, impossible to find), you could be in a whole lot of trouble!

This is why even though I have used STI shifters on my previous road bicycles and even a few of my touring bicycles in the past, I decided to equip my Co-motion Pangea with bar-end shifters.

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Bar-end shifters are less expensive, and they are relatively easy to repair should something go wrong with them in a remote region of the world, but they do take a little getting used to. With bar-end shifters, each time you want to change gears, you have to move your hands from the top of your handlebars down to the bar ends, and move the shifter manually into the correct position.

This, at first, seems like a lot of work and something that would become annoying at the very least on a long-distance bicycle tour. But after about a week of riding with bar-end shifters, you stop thinking about the work you are doing when you shift gears. Just like the shifters you’ve used on any bike before, a little practice with the bar-end shifters on your Co-Motion Pangea and you’ll feel 100% at home on your new bike.

When it comes time to decide whether you want STI or bar-end shifters on your Pangea touring bicycle, consider your personal preferences, but more than anything, consider where you will be riding in the world and the types of spare parts they are going to have in those regions if your shifters were to break or need repair.

In general, if you are planning to cycle in North America, Europe or Australia/New Zealand, you’ll be perfectly safe riding with STI shifters on your touring bicycle. Shifters of this type are commonly found at most bike shops in these regions of the world and you should be able to find spare parts or make repairs to your bike if the circumstance calls for it.

However, if you are planning to ride your Co-Motion Pangea in South America, Africa or the undeveloped parts of Asia, consider equipping your bicycle with bar-end shifters. While I have had no problems whatsoever with the bar-end shifters on my Pangea over the last 14+ months, if your shifters were to break or need repair, you’ll have a better chance of getting assistance in these corners of the world if you have bar-end shifters on your bike.

The Disc Brakes

Another contradiction of the Co-Motion Pangea is the bicycle’s front and rear cable disc brakes. Once again, a traditional touring bicycle tends to use the simplest parts and components, so that in the event of a break down in a remote part of the world, the parts and supplies needed to make a repair can be found just about anywhere. But with Pangea equipped with Avid BB7 disc brakes and 160mm Rotors, you run the risk of not being able to repair your brakes in remote corners of the world, should something go wrong.

That said, the Avid BB7 disc brakes found on the Co-Motion Pangea are wonderful brakes to have on a touring bicycle. While some users may complain of the slight squeal that Avid brakes tend to make if not adjusted properly, the brakes do an excellent job of slowing down and bringing to a stop a heavily loaded touring bicycle such as the Pangea.

On steep downhill terrain, whether it be on paved roads, rocky single-tracks or snow-covered dirt roads, I found the brakes on the Co-Motion Pangea to be both effective and reliable. During my 14+ months of travel with the Pangea, the only adjustment I needed to make to the brakes was adding a new set of brake pads to the rear brake after 10+ months of use. I had worn a hole through the center of the rear brake pads, but they were easily replaced with a new set of brake pads I was able to find at a small bike shop in Cape Town, South Africa.

There are two great features worth noting about the brakes on the Co-Motion Pangea.

First of all, the brakes are cable brakes, and not hydraulic brakes. While mountain bikers will claim that hydraulic brakes are better (more responsive), cable brakes (especially on a bicycle that splits in half with the use of S&S couplers) is ideal.

Cable brakes are better on a touring bicycle like the Pangea because they are easier to repair. If a cable were to break, you could find a replacement just about anywhere in the world. And the fact that the cables on the optional S&S coupled Pangea split in half further add to the benefits of the cable brakes on this particular touring bicycle.

The other benefit to using cable brakes, versus hydraulic disc brakes is that hydraulic disc brakes require special tools, liquids and more to keep them properly maintained. If the liquid in your hydraulic brakes were to leak out and you were in the middle of Peru, for example, you’d have no way of repairing the brakes without carrying all the tools needed to either fix the brakes yourself… or finding a shop that specialized in hydraulic disc brakes to help you repair your bike.

The other major benefit to the brakes on the Co-Motion Pangea is that they are so incredibly easy to adjust. On each side of the brakes is a small reddish circle that can be turned left or right, depending on whether you want to move the brakes pads closer to or further away from the disc brake rotor. These two circles on each side of the brake allow you to easily adjust your disc brakes without the use of any special tools and adjust the sensitivity of your front and rear brakes, depending on both your personal preference and the needs of your specific tour.

While disc brakes may not be ideal in a traditional bicycle touring sense, I have a feeling that because of their superior stopping power and the growing popularity of bicycles equipped with disc brakes all around the world, almost all of the touring bicycles of the future will likely be built with disc brakes of some kind.

The Saddle / Seat

When you ride a bicycle, your body makes contact with three distinct parts of the bike – your pedals, your handlebars, and your saddle (or seat). The most important of these when it comes to comfort on your bicycle, is the saddle. On a touring bicycle, where you are surely going to be spending several hours on the bike each day, the saddle becomes even more important.

When I first saw the flat, hard, aerodynamic racing-style saddle on the Co-Motion Pangea, I was sure I was going to have to swap it out for something more comfortable. But before I went about doing that, I wanted to give the Selle Italia Nekkar Flow saddle that comes with the Pangea a try. “Who knows,” I thought to myself, “Maybe the saddle will end up being incredibly comfortable.”

And you know what? I was right! The saddle on the Co-Motion Pangea does look like a hard, uncomfortable seat for a long-distance touring bicycle, but it is actually more flexible and forgiving than it looks, and it is a great bicycle touring saddle.

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When you are looking for a bicycle saddle, you want to approach it in just the same way you would if you were searching for a mattress for your bed. You want something that is firm at its base and will provide you with the support you need, but that has some give to its surface so that it is comfortable at the same time. That is exactly what the saddle on the Co-Motion Pangea is like. It looks hard and stiff, but it is actually quite comfortable once you sit on it. And it has just enough give to it that you never really feel the stiffness of the saddle underneath you – even on the longest bicycle touring days.

Over the course of the last 14+ months, I have not complained about my saddle even once. I ride in complete comfort each day, without pains of any kind in my lower back, butt or groin.

Like so many other traits and components found on the Co-Motion Pangea, the saddle is just another example of a great piece of equipment that does its job so well you don’t even have to think about it.

Co-Motion also offers the Selle Anatomica saddle to its customers, which is another popular saddle for touring bicycles.

The Wheels & Tires

The Co-Motion Pangea is unique amongst touring bicycles because instead of using 700c road wheels and narrow touring tires, the bicycle is equipped with 26 inch wheels and wide 2.1 inch on-road/off road tires.

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The wheels on the Pangea are constructed from high-quality DT540 Hubs, Velocity Aeroheat Rims and 36 steel spokes (per wheel). During my 14+ months with the Pangea, I had no problems with the bicycle’s hubs, spokes or rims.

The 26” x 2.1 Continental Town & Country tires that come with the bicycle however, only lasted 34 days before they needed to be replaced.

While the original Continental tires that came with the bike were still in use, I like the tires overall. The tires were perfectly smooth down the center of the tire, making them ideal for on-road use.

As you moved from away from the center of the tires, however, the tread made a quick drop downward, enabling the bicycle to navigate in off-road conditions with some skill.

In theory, the tires that come with the Co-Motion Pangea are ideally suited for on-road/off-road use. And the tires certainly give the bicycle a look that makes if different from so many other touring bicycles on the market. But I had two major problems with the tires during the short amount of time they remained on my bike.

First of all, the tires provided little traction in off-road conditions. I struggled the most when there was a hard dirt or asphalt surface covered with light sand or gravel. In this type of environment, the flat center section of the tires were unable to grip the road surface and my rear tire would spin and spin without making much forward progress.

Secondly, and most importantly, the tires themselves wore out in only 34 days. After about two weeks I could see that the tires were beginning to crack and weather near the rims and on the sides of the tires. After just 34 days, the tires split apart entirely, forcing me to purchase new tires for a practically brand new touring bike.

In all my years of bicycle touring, I have never had a set of tires die so quickly. For example, the tires that I replaced the original Town & Country tires with were a no-name brand that I picked up at a bike shop in Belgium. While the Continental Town & Country tires that came with the Pangea lasted only 1 month, these inexpensive commuter tire replacements ended up lasting the remaining 13+ months that I was on the road in both Europe and Africa.

I don’t know why the tires on the Pangea died so quickly. I know I did not have the tires under-inflated, and I treated them no differently than the Belgian tires I eventually replaced them with. I suspect that I simply received an old pair of tires when I purchased my bike. Maybe these tires had been sitting around the shop for a while, had some pre-existing sun damage, or something like that… and this is why the tires only made it through the first 34 days of my bicycle tour. I guess I will never really know.

The Ride (Or “How Does The Bike Feel?”)

One of the best things about the Co-Motion Pangea is just how comfortable it is.

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While the bike looks like a fast, sporty road bike and the saddle looks kind of stiff, the bicycle itself is a joy to ride. During my 14+ months on the road, I never once complained of having a sore back, butt, neck or hands. I felt completely in control of the bike at both low and high speeds, whether I was slowly making my way up a steep mountain pass or bombing downhill on the opposite side. In wind, rain, sun and snow, the Pangea drove like a dream. In turns I never had to worry about my feet or pedals hitting the ground underneath me and in off-road environments I felt comfortable driving over dirt, rocks, sand, and snow.

As I said before, the Pangea touring bicycle is truly the most comfortable touring bicycle I have ever owned. It rides like a road bike, but feels like a touring bicycle should – extremely comfortable.

Commonly Asked Questions

Below you will find some of the most common questions I received in regards to the Co-Motion Pangea touring bicycle, along with my answers to those questions. If you have another question about the bicycle that is not answered here or elsewhere in this review, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and I will get back to you just as soon as I can with a quality response.

How much does the Co-Motion Pangea cost?

You can purchase the Co-Motion Pangea frame and fork for $1,965 USD and then build up the rest of the bicycle by yourself. The complete bike, however, costs $3,925 USD… with extras such as the optional S&S couplers, STI shifters, and more being added to this price.

Please note that these prices can and will surely change.

How much does the Co-Motion Pangea weigh?

The complete bicycle with pedals and both front and rear racks and fenders weighs approximately 34 pounds (15.5 kilograms).

The weight of the bicycle once it is fully-loaded, however, will vary greatly depending on the gear you choose to carry with you, the length of your tour, the type of accommodations you plan to be using during your travels (camping vs. hotels), and a number of other factors. That said, the Pangea can support as much as 65 or more pounds (30 kg) of additional weight. The less weight you carry, however, the more you will enjoy your tour.

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What sizes is Co-Motion Pangea available in?

The Pangea’s frame is available in seven ready-to-order sizes (44cm, 48cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm and 62cm). However, you can have the frame custom built to your specific needs. Just contact Co-Motion or your local Co-Motion dealer for more information.

Why does the Co-Motion Pangea have drop handlebars?

Many people assume that drop handlebars are used on road bicycles so you can tuck down low on the bike and assume an aerodynamic position. However, drop bars are common on touring bicycles not because of the need for speed or decreased wind drag, but because of the numerous hand positions that they afford.

If you ride a bicycle and keep your hands in one position all day long for days, weeks and months on end, you will likely experience some pain in your palms, wrists, elbows and arms. It is also extremely likely that you will suffer from slight to severe nerve damage if you never move your hands around while riding your bike.

Drop handlebars allow you to move your hands around as you ride. They provide you with at least 12 or more different hand positions and they greatly reduce the chance that you will experience pain or long-lasting nerve damage on your long-distance bicycle tours.

Why does the Pangea have 26” wheels/tires on it?

There are two main benefits to using 26 inch tires on a touring bicycle like the Co-Motion Pangea.

First of all, 2 inch tires are better suited to off-road travel.

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Secondly, 26 inch tires are standard just about everywhere in the world. This means that if you are planning to conduct a bicycle tour in a remote region of the world, it is better to be using a bicycle with 26 inch tires/wheels than a bicycle with 700c tires/wheels. Finding replacement parts for 26 inch tires/wheels is easy – no matter where you are in the world. The same can not be said for bicycles with 700c tires/wheels.

If you are looking for a touring bicycle with 700c or 29 inch wheels/tires, Co-Motion does make other touring bike models that will fit your needs. See this page for more information.

Do the wide 26 x 2.1 inch tires on the Pangea slow it down on paved roads?

The wider tires on the Pangea do probably slow the bicycle down just a little bit when compared with skinnier, more traditional road tires. However, in a long-distance touring scenario, speed is usually not the main concern and most bicycle travelers will be unable to feel any decreased slowing caused by the wider tires found on this particular touring bicycle.

Why does this off-road capable touring bicycle not have suspension on it?

The Co-Motion Pangea is a bicycle that has been built to handle the demands of both on-road and off-road bicycle touring. It performs wonderfully on paved roads, but it performs just as well in off-road environments.

That said, a touring bicycle loaded with two or four panniers and driven in a rocky off-road environment is never going to handle as well as an unloaded mountain bike with front and rear-suspension. The two bikes are simply designed with different purposes in mind.

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That said, the Co-Motion is rugged enough to handle the roughest terrain. Of course you aren’t going to want to be jumping the bike off of steep ledges or crashing it down rocky single-track trails at high speed. You need to be a little more careful with it. But it performs off-road in just the way that it should.

The Pangea doesn’t have suspension on it because even though suspension might make the ride more comfortable to you, it decreases your overall efficiency on the bike, saps your power, and makes the ride that much more difficult. Even when touring off-road, you generally want a rigid, yet flexible touring bicycle frame like the one found on the Co-Motion Pangea.

Do the S&S couplers in any way reduce the strength or reliability of the bicycle?

No, the optional S&S couplers actually make the bicycle frame stronger. See my comments earlier in this review.

How long does it take to split the bicycle in half and put it back together again with the S&S couplers?

The answer to this questions depends on the circumstance and your mechanical abilities.

If you are taking the bicycle apart really quick to fit it on a bus, boat or train, you can remove the front and rear panniers from the bicycle and split the bike in half in less than 3 minutes (with a little practice – maybe not the first time you try it). The same is true with putting the bicycle back together again. It takes about 3 minutes to put the bicycle back together using the S&S couplers.

That said, if you plan on taking the bicycle on an airplane and you need it to fit inside an airline friendly travel bag or box, the break down process takes quite a bit longer. You will need to split the bicycle in half with the S&S couplers, remove the front and rear racks, remove the front and rear fenders, remove the water bottle cages, and remove the pedals. Once you do all that, you have to carefully fit the two halves of the bicycle frame and the two wheels into the travel bag/box. This part is not easy. It’s a very tight fit and takes a large amount of trial and error to get it to all fit properly. The first time you do this it could easily an hour or more. Putting the bicycle back together again will probably take about 45 minutes. However, after you have done this one or two times, the process does become somewhat easier.

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Is it worth the extra money to have S&S couplers installed on the bike?

If you plan to travel with your bicycle a lot (especially on airplanes, where some airlines are now charging as much as $350 USD per direction to fly with a bicycle), it makes sense to purchase a bike with S&S couplers and can fly for free or as regular checked baggage on most international airlines.

The S&S couplers that come on the Co-Motion Pangea cost about $750 USD. Even if you were only charged $150 USD per direction to fly your bicycle on an airplane, this would mean you’d only have to take your bicycle on 2.5 round-trip flights before they coupler’s had paid themselves off. Every flight after that you would be saving money!

Where can I purchase a Co-Motion Pangea touring bicycle?

The best way to purchase a Co-Motion bicycle is to contact your local Co-Motion dealer – if you have one. Otherwise, you can contact the company directly. Their website is www.co-motion.com. Their phone number is (866) 282-6336 and you can contact them via email using the web form on this page.

Is the Co-Motion Pangea available Internationally?

While it is possible to purchase a Co-Motion bicycle and have it delivered to you if you live outside of the United States, there are some additional costs associated with the purchase. You will need to pay extra for shipping (and insurance, if you decide to insure the bike during its transport). Then you may need to pay additional customs and/or import fees. Each country is a little different in regards to how they handle delivery of bicycles, so be sure to do your research before ordering a bike so you know what, if any, extra fees you may need to pay in order to receive your bicycle once it makes it way to your country. For more information on international orders, contact Co-Motion directly.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the Co-Motion Pangea?

If you have any additional questions about the Co-Motion Pangea that I have not answered here, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page, visit the official Co-Motion website at www.co-motion.com or give the company a call at (866) 282-6336.

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The Co-Motion Pangea: My Overall Rating

The Co-Motion Pangea is a beautiful, well-designed and incredibly well-built on-road/off-road touring bicycle capable of short trips near your home or round-the-world adventures. While the high-price of the Pangea may scare away some, those looking for the best bicycle touring in the world may have just met their match.

Strengths

  • High-quality on-road/off-road touring bicycle capable of round-the-world travel.
  • Comfortable frame, handlebars and saddle allow for long hours on the bike.
  • Excellent stopping power thanks to cable disc-brakes.
  • Three water bottles cage mounts (instead of the standard two).
  • Customizable shifters, frame and paint allow for a truly unique bicycle.
  • 26” wheels/tires make replacement parts easy to find just about anywhere in the world.
  • Optional S&S couplers allow the bike to be split in half and taken on buses, boats, planes and trains at no additional cost.

Weaknesses

  • Tires wear out too quickly (but maybe I was just given a bad batch?).
  • Tires are slippery on loose gravel roads due to tread pattern.
  • Parts for the optional STI Shifters, S&S Couplers and disc brakes may be impossible/difficult to find in undeveloped parts of the world.
  • High price may not be affordable to some individuals.

How To Purchase A Co-Motion Bicycle

To purchase a Co-Motion Pangea touring bicycle, contact your local Co-Motion dealer or contact Co-Motion directly by calling (866) 282-6336 or visiting their website at www.co-motion.com.

 Additional Photos

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58 Comments

  1. Hans Erdman

    July 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Nice bike. Excellent, highly informative review. How do you take all of those pictures of yourself if you’re riding solo, particularly the ones where you are riding? When I retire, I may opt for a Co-Motion Divide as a retirement gift.

    Ride safe,
    Hans

  2. Jim

    July 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Awesome pics! Would be nice to have some comments for each of the pics ….. name of place, some details …. what you experienced …… Wish I could ride around the world, but I’m not able to. So you guys who tour the world are my eyes to travel around the globe on two wheels …..

  3. Linn

    July 30, 2013 at 6:39 am

    One big difference between STI and bar end shifters, STI shifters limit handle bar bag use. With larger bags the STI is not allowed its full motion thus limiting shifting or the bag interferes with the cabling again limiting shifting. With bar end shifters you don’t have either issue and are not limited small or no handle bar bag.

    I am surprised you did not mention anything about the rear cog/ sproket gear ratio. You only mention your crank set gears. Doesn’t the Pangea have a internal Rohloff option. From your pictures I see you don’t have a Rohloff but your discussion on gearing make it should like the rear sprokets ratio does not matter.

  4. Allison Murray

    July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

    AWESOME article! Very thorough and inspiring. Thanks for the balanced review.

  5. L D Clark

    July 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Very thorough review! IF I were in the market for an upright diamond frame bike, this one would be high one my list. I am, however a total convert to recumbents. Excellent pictures! You look like you love it.

    LD

  6. Marc Wilson

    July 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Awesome photos, and a very through and complete review of a great bicycle. I’ve just completed a 3,200 mile tour, and can now say that your are living my dream life! I can’t think of better companion for travel than a Co-Motion bike.

  7. John Power

    July 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Interesting looking Bike nice ,not gone on the white colour. Most of the Bikes I have had I seem fated to have them in black not of my choosing but because of price or else that is the colour they came in. I would like a Bike in a nice semi dark Bottle green for a change. I have a Surly LHT in black since nov 2010 and I just missed the Olive green version but I am very happy with it.

    It is a 26″ Wheels 58cm with Cantilever Brakes and 2 ” tyres and Bar Head brakes and I have just added a central prop stand under the botton bracket. If I was getting a new Bike in future I would go for Disk Brakes because of more stopping power. Like you I am not to happy with my RIBMO tyres which are smooth in the centre and fall away at the sides and seem to be skittish on the back but they are lasting very well and have them on the Bike for two years. I still have the original 26″ + 1.5 ” Continental tyres that came with the Bike as spares. I find the Thicker Tyres very comfortable and better for carrying loads of weight.

    I am not to happy with your very narrow Saddle it just would not suit me. I have a Brooks B 17 flyer with springs and it is extremely comfortable. I just got rid of the WTB Saddle soon after I got the Bike it was just to narrow.

    I would be very interested in your Co Motion Pangea if I was getting a new Bike but I would have to actually see it in person and have a good poke around with it before I would even consider it. I dont know if there are any of these in Europe yet but I will certainly look out for them ,nice review.

  8. John Power

    July 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Sorry I meant Bar Head Shifters.

  9. Mike

    July 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Great review thanks
    Whilst the bike will break down into an airline friendly size, when you add your panniers etc to your luggage wouldn’t you be overweight and oversize for most airlines?

  10. Steve in New York

    July 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Darren,
    For what the cost of the Co-motion costs, why didn’t you order one with the Rohloff hub? Co-motion makes one. I built up a Surly using the Rohloff hub, and from what I’ve read, most round the world riders who have ridden over 10,000 miles (16,100 km) have never have a problem with that hub. Since I built up my bike with a Rohloff hub, I’ve done a NY to west coast with nary a problem. I will never go back to a cassette driven bike. Every one I’ve spoken to who has that hub says the same thing. Steve in New York

  11. Louis Melini

    July 31, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Linn makes some good comments. STI shifters does affect handlebar bag selection and I was also curious about the rear cassette as the small chainring on the touring bikes that my wife and I have are smaller than your 26. I also wanted to know about the spacing of the rear wheel. I assume it is 135 mm mountain bike standard?

    I just returned from Canada on a 1300-mile, 3 week tour. My wife had a spoke pull through her rim. Of the 4 bike shops in Fernie, B.C. only one had a road wheel (700C), with 130 mm spacing for non-disc wheels. I could have waited a couple of days for a new rim to be shipped in and have the rear wheel rebuilt but we were on a time budget. It seems that touring bikes need to go to mountain bike specifications for the rear hub.

    Overall a very good review.

    Lou.

  12. Jason

    July 31, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Interesting comments on the Town & Country tires. I have been running the same tires for the last several years. I have ridden approx 50K gravel miles on these tires and the longest I have gotten a tire to last is 8k miles.

    I have noticed there are sidewall issues on some tires, some tires don’t experience them. Currently I have a rear tire that is needing replaced because the sidewall is starting to bulge in a couple areas. I think the main flaw is that of a poor sidewall design. Regardless, I love these tires to much that I will keep running them. The low rolling resistance is hard to beat and the tread wear is great as well if the sidewall do not fail.

  13. Joseph C Blankenship

    July 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Great review Darren.I’m impressed with your bikes specs.It sure seems to get the job done.I just bought a Surly LHT as my first touring bike and I love everything about it.

  14. Norm

    July 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    What an Epic tour you took! Glad to see a younger person seeing the world in their prime of life youth.

    To: Linn; to me it looks like a 10 speed 11 – 34 rear cassette which would provide about 19.8″ – 113.25″ Gear inches with 2.1″ tires but I am sure BTP will confirm or correct this as I do not want to give out bad information.

  15. Paul

    August 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Darren,
    I’ve been using a Marina Toscana as touring/commuting bike for over four years, great bike, carbon forks take a lot of the road buzz and what would appear to be much the same gearing ratio as yours but with 700c wheels, did a nice and easy Normandy tour last month, lots of good food, cider and good weather. Not often that you see an Irishman with a suntan!
    Cheers,
    Paul

  16. Bob Plachta

    August 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Darren, when you need to replace any of the three rear cables on a bike with the S&S couplers, how do you install the new cable? It seems you must need to cut the cable to install the cable coupler. Do the two ends of coupler then just fit over the cut cable ends without a problem or any special tools? Does cable fraying cause a problem fitting the replacement cable if you don’t get a clean cut?

    Thanks, Bob

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      September 4, 2013 at 2:09 am

      Bob, the cables on the Pangea Co-Pilot featured in this review do not need to be cut in order for the two halves of the bicycle to split apart.

      I spoke about this in the review, but you may have missed it. Here is what I said:

      Then re-attach the cables on the front and rear halves of your bicycle. There are no special tools needed to do this. Simply shift your gears to their lowest positions and use your hands to screw the interlocking cables into place. A small amount of pressure will need to be applied to the cables at this point, but not nearly as much as you might think. The cables go back together rather effortlessly.

      Also, see this article: http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/s-and-s-couplers-bicycle/

  17. Steve Oxley

    August 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Darren , really interesting to read as is all the comments , my bike is a Lynskey Backroad tourer in titanium , spaced 135mm for a Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub gear with Hope 160 rotors , the forks are Surly LHT disc in steel , racks front and rear are Tubus in tubular steel , easy to weld if they broke , I changed the gearing downwards as to high for touring , using a SRAM 24 on the rear and the front ring is a 38 and Sheldon Brown says it gives 22.8 to 90.4 , would like to go lower but cannot with this chainset as is 130 BCD, only other problem was fitting Hope levers to road bars as different diameters , so got courier bars from On One @Planet X bikes , they are oversize @ 31.6 down to 22.4 , does the job and are very comfortable on long rides , wheels are Mavic 771 Disc 29 (700c) laced with 36/36 Sapin strong spokes , there is no dishing with hub geared wheels so very strong . Have now done 5tours with no problems , hope to ride to where my frame was made one day to say thanks to the guys who made it , best wishes -Steve Oxley .

  18. Daniel

    August 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Hi,
    Nice bike and awsome review however in my opinion the Rims are not wide enough which might also be the reason why your tires wore out so quickly. The Velocity Aerohead rims are 24mm wide on the outside so I’m guessing they are about 20-21mm wide on the inside (I mean the distance between the clincher hooks on the inside of the rim.) For 2.1 inch wide tires a rim with a width of 25mm (the inside width) might be suited better.

    If you use a large tyre with a rim that ist too small and put some decent pressure in the tyre the wear on the tyre sidewalls and the cord casing might be to much and the tyre sidewalls wear out prematurely or the cord casing rips.

    Having said that, the tyre might also have been faulty.

    If you ever need new Rims you might want to take a look at the Rigida Big Bull in 26 inch.
    Has a 25mm “Jaw Width” and is very sturdy.

    P.S. Pleas excuse my less then perfekt english but I’m no native speaker and a bit out of practice

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      August 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      You might be right Daniel. The rims may be too narrow for those fat tires? Maybe?

  19. Daniel

    August 31, 2013 at 8:57 am

    As I mentioned in my last comment, I don’t know the precise inner width of your rims so it is hard for me to say if they are to small.

    I base my argument on the ETRTO standart (ETRTO stands for European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation).
    They updated the standard in 2006 but up to then 54mm tires (about 2.125″ ) where only recomendet on 25mm rims. In 2006 they changed the standard and allowed wider tyres in smaller rims but the change in the standard was due to the practice of mountainbike riders to mount wide tires ( wider than two inches) on smaller rims but with very low pressures. If you don’t use the sometimes very low pressures some mointainbikers use offroad and pump your tires up to a pressure which is more road usable (especially with heavy loads) I recommend sticking to the pre 2006 ETRTO standard.
    Here is a link about the ETRTO standard:http://de-rec-fahrrad.de/technik/etrtotabelle The page is in German but the chart should still be understandable. Horizontal is tire width in mm and vertical is Rim width in mm (the c stands for a hook bead rim), The small x is the ETRTO standard pre 2006 the large X is the ETRTO post 2006.

    The tire width which is wirtten on the tire is might also not be the same on evey tire- rim combination.
    Every tire size is measured on a measuring rim which has a specific width so that equal standards in measuring can be achived.
    The measuring rim for a 50mm (2inch) tire is 27mm wide so a 50 mm tire will only be 50mm wide on a 27mm rim. It will be smaller on a narrower rim and wider on a wider rim.

    You can also have a look at motorcycle tyre/rim combinations. As far as I know the rim/tire width ratio is often 2 to 1 with a tendency for a lager rim. So for example a 110mm tire with a 2.5 inch (63mm) rim.
    Of coursse the rim/tire combination on a motorcycle needs to be much more on the safe and rugged side since the motorcycle has to withstand much greater stresses.

    I’m writing all of this because I think its highly unlikely that a high quality tire like the continental fails like that. (I have used continental myself for a long time without such failiers albeit with a 50mm (2inch) tire on a 25mm rim.

    As I mentioned above: the tire was a dud but in my opinion your rim is not wide enough for the stresses of loaded touring with decent pressure in your tyres so if you ever have the same type of tyrefailure again (ripped sidewall, ripped carcase (chord chasing) seperation of the beads from the sidewalls) think of me and try out a wider rim :o). (As I mentioned the rigida big bull is very good, very sturdy and pretty affordable)

    I wish you all the very best and godspeed

    P.S. I found another site about the ETRTO. Sadly it is in german again but you can find the width of the measuing rims on it: http://tandem-fahren.de/Technik/Reifentips/REIFEN.HTM

  20. Orival

    September 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Darren,
    I own a Pangea and love it. Mine has the Rohloff rear hub which is so nice. The gear ratios are very low on the bottom end which makes for easier climbing. I’m not sure but I want to say the low is either 16.9 or just or 18. Either way it’s pretty low. I also have the opitonal Gates Belt drive which is nice because it doesn’t require cleaning and lubing.
    I also have the S&S couplers which are convenient for travel and they definitely do not weaken the frame.
    I also converted over to a Son front hub for powering headlight, taillight, and charging phone, GPS, tablet and such. It’s very convenient on those long stretches. Now I see Co-Motion offers this as an option. I asked when I had mine built but they did not supply them at the time.
    A couple of other changes I’ve made are Brooks Champion Special Flyer saddle with the springs. A bit heavier but extremely comfortable. Plus I put a set of the Salsa Woodchipper 2 dropped bar on the bike. These were designed for off road use but I love the way the bars bend outward on the drops. Super Comfortable.
    Overall I’m extremely pleased with my purchase although I’ve wrapped up way more money than planned. As long as my wife doesn’t find out I’ll be a happy camper. It’s a great bike.

  21. Rich

    November 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I don’t know if that would be the bike for me….it does look too small for you…top tube looks too short…looks more like a cyclocross bike. But each to their own…if it works, great. Plus it looks like you travel pretty light- at least relative to many touring cyclists. Just wondering how that bike would handle, let’s say twice that weight??? I have had a Surly LHT for about 10 years and have ridden on many trips around the world. I am totally happy with and can’t think of any negatives other than it being heavy…but that is a plus at the same time. I bought it second hand with all XTR parts for $800…so I scored…then I put the S&S couplers on….tubus racks, ortlieb panniers(of course). I would never pay $4,000 for a bare bike and then have to add everything. I think the Surly is the way to go…but again, each to their own…..

  22. Peter de Visser

    January 21, 2014 at 10:04 am

    You mention three bottle cages.
    How about the bottle cages we use in The Netherlands.
    They carry a 1.5 liter CocaCola bottle.
    Two of them are 0.8 gal.

  23. Werner

    February 2, 2014 at 6:44 am

    @Bicycle Touring Pro,
    as I understood Bob Plachta’s question of installing new cables (I am no native English speaker):
    If you have to REPLACE them, you have to cut them!

    You have 2 cables joining with the ‘cable-splitter’ (hope this is the term)
    1-) one cable fits to the brake lever or gear shifters and joins with the upper cable-splitter,
    fixed with a small Allen screw.
    The cable has to be adapted to your levers, road brake levers need other cables than MTB
    2-) the second cable fits in the lower cable-splitter.
    For brake cable replacement it has to be a road brake cable.
    For shifting cables it is helpful to use a small spoke washer,
    makes it easier to rotate the cable-splitter in some cases.

    In case of replacement of broken cable type 1-) it needs a clean cut.
    At least for the splitters I have. Cable fraying will cause problems!
    Without a good cable cutter it is ‘imopssible’ to do, as you may know.

    Or you like to prepare at home a set (or more?) of clean cut cables type 1-).
    Means two gear shifter cables and one brake lever cable, each cut to the appropriate lenght.
    The cable 2-) that fits to the lower cable-splitter could be uncut / bought in Río Gallegos or elsewhere ;-), as you join it as usually with your brake or derailleurs.

  24. omar

    February 11, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Hi Darren,

    May I know what your comments would be if I were to ask you to choose between those solar panels and a dynamo hub option from Co-Motion? Thanks…

    omar

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      February 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Omar, I’ve never used a dynamo hub, so I can’t really say. I think I have never used the dynamo though, partially because of the resistance created with a dynamo… and partially because solar power is so much more faster to recharge larger devices.

  25. omar

    February 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks Darren 🙂

  26. Chris

    April 18, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Great video and great review!!

    I’ll probably never tour or even do rides longer than one day but as a 400 lb rider, a bike like the Pangea really appeals to me. The one reservation I have about the Co-Motion bikes is the headset. I may get the terminology wrong but are the “races” integral to the frame so that if they become pitted, the frame must be replaced, or can they be removed and replaced? It seems crazy that someone would build something like that into a $2000 frame but that is the primary criticism I’ve seen for the internal headsets. My impression is there are two types: internal and integrated with one being build-in and the other being removeable.

    I’m probably going to buy and build up an LHT framest in the very near future but if finances ever allow, I’ll be looking at the Pangea or the UTB from R&E up in Seattle.

  27. martin Fano

    April 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Great review of the bike…but I wonder who really needs a $4000 bike if you are not going to go around the world! There are many , many excellent bikes for a fraction of the price. I run around 2500- 3000 miles a year and could not justify the cost of one of these bikes.

  28. Tamara Predes

    May 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Excellent review. Can you advise why you went with the Pangea vs the Cascadia? I am trying to choose between the two. I will not be touring as you do, but would like to be able to tour, have the bike handle off-road terrain, and also be able to use it as a general road bike. Do you have a recommendation? Also, if I go with the Cascadia, do you recommend the Alfine?

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      June 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I went with the Pangea because I wanted something that could go anywhere – on road and off. The Co-Motion Cascadia, I believe, is more of a lightweight, road-touring bicycle.

  29. Henk Engbers

    July 9, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Hi Darren. You mention that the fenders, the pannier-racks and the water bottles have to be removed before putting in the two bike-halfs in an airline friendly box. OK, but where do you leave the fenders, racks and bottles? In that same box? Is there still room for them? In 1987 I made a trip through the USA, LA-NewYork. Bike in a normal box, without taking it apart. On International flights this box is ( was then ?) free of charge within 20 kg. Australia ( 2004), normal box, free. Within Europe I once paid 100 guilders ( maybe € 50 now,$ 60) for the box on a flight to Spain,charter airline. I could fill up the box with tent and sleeping bag to 20 kg., the rest in the cabine hand-luggage.

  30. Alan Eldridge

    December 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Darren,

    Great review. Excellent photos. You truly are living the dream some of us only imagine.

    I’m thinking about getting a Co-Motion Pangea, but, not sure what drive train to get. Either way, I will have a Jones Loop H-bar. What are your thoughts about the Rohloff chain drive versus the derailer drive. I’m not considering the belt drive because over half of my touring will be on dirt roads, I’ve heard the Gates belt squeaks in dirt and dust.

    But, please, any of your ideas and thoughts would be helpful.

    Thank you,
    Alan

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      December 2, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Alan,

      That’s great that you are considering a Co-Motion bicycle. I’m certainly happy with mine.

      As for which chain/gearing system to use, this is something I talked about briefly during my interview with the co-owner of Co-Motion Cycles during a recent webinar that I conducted (Watch the replay here: http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/co-motion-cycles-webinar-dwan-shepard/) If I remember correctly, Dwan kind of said that if you are planning to ride in a modern country (like the USA, Western Europe, Australia/New Zealand, etc) then riding a bike with the Gates belt drive would be a good idea… and should anything go wrong with your bike, finding replacement parts would be easy. But if you are planning to cycle in South America, Africa and other undeveloped parts of the world, then it might be smarter to get the good old fashioned chain simply because if the chain were to break, you could easily find a replacement (where as the Gates belt might take two weeks or more to be shipped to you from a totally different continent). I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a Gates belt on my next bike.

  31. Alan Eldridge

    December 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Ooops, I forgot to check the “Notify me of the follow-up comments via email”.

    Sorry,
    Alan

  32. kenny heggem

    September 4, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Has anyone ever given he bike a more upright sitting position with change out of stem, and even other bars, not necessarily drops?

    • Justin Ham

      August 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I have a pangea with Jones H bars and a stem with a rise, works quite well. Very comfortable

  33. Michael Olivares

    December 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Great review!

    I was first thinking of a disc trucker but there seems to be some difficulty on getting it here (Philippines). I came upon your videos and this review…so now I’m thinking of this.

    I’m 50 years old and I did some mountain biking 15 years ago. I take photographs with a large format camera. My interest in a touring bike is to go around some of the areas here that are basically difficult to access with a car (farmlands, dried river beds, etc) with cameras loaded in panniers.

    I kinda like the idea of the SS couplers as there is a big possibility that I would drive to a certain location as a starting point and bike from there. If i had a bike rack on the car, there would be a high risk of it being stolen while being out biking.

    Of course the possibility of flying to one of the many islands is appealing, but at 50 I am almost sure I would never go on a 1 month bicycle tour.

    Do you think it would make sense to just buy the frame set and built it up locally or is the complete bike compelling enough to just import the whole set up?

  34. Andrew Monfort

    December 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Great information on your site, and I just purchased your book (TBTB) to delve deeper.

    I have a question relating to bikes with S&S couplers. I have ordered a new travel/touring bike frame with S&S couplers and wonder if you have changed the way you lock your bike to accommodate the potential for the frame to be split? Would someone with a pipe wrench or adjustable pliers be able to loosen the couplers and walk off with the front wheel, fork, handlebars etc. if you only locked the rear triangle and wheel as is done often in cities on commuter bikes with locking skewers?

    While I’m on the subject of bike security while touring; what are your thoughts on locking skewers for touring? They could make locking securing your bike easier, but if you get a flat it is a bit more bothersome to change the tube.

    Anyway. Great site, and I look forward to making my way through your book!

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      January 4, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Hi Andrew,

      I lock my bike normally – despite the S&S couplers. But I only ever leave my bicycle unattended for a few minutes at a time – never for very long. Yes, someone could come along and undo the S&S couplers, but they would really have to act fast and know what they were doing. The secret to locking your bike has nothing to do with the S&S couplers, but when, where and how-long you lock up your bike. You have to be careful anytime your bike gets out of your sight!

      Same goes for the locking skewers. I think they are unnecessary. I’ve never used them or felt the need for them. If you live in a big city and ride your bike to work each day, lock it outside, etc… then these are things you might think about. But on a long-distance bike tour, you probably won’t be leaving your bicycle for very long. And if you do have to leave your bike, you should find a better place to store it than out on the street. Find someone to watch your bike for your if you need to leave it for more than 10-15 minutes. That’s what I do!

  35. Zohl

    February 17, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Darren,
    can u share ur body geometry if u dont mind. Ur pangea frame geometry look very comfortable and compact!

  36. john bokman

    April 15, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Darren, a few questions:

    1. Now that the Rolloff and Gates Belt drive are available on this bike, would you choose this setup if you were to do it all over again?

    2. Since you can get a fat tire in the 700C bike (The Divide) either with or without Rolloff and Gates Belt Drive, having to do it all over again, would you still opt for the Pangea, or go to the Divide?

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      April 17, 2016 at 12:04 am

      I’m considering buying a Co-Motion Divide with either the Rohloff or Pinion gearing. Maybe that will be my next bicycle? How the two bikes compare with one another – I don’t know. Right now, I’m very happy with my 26 inch Pangea. I do, however, wish I had the belt drive system on my bike, as I hate trying to maintain my chain, etc.

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  38. Alexander Lopez

    April 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I would like to know the name of those cheap tires that last longer than Continentals!

  39. mohammed

    August 29, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Could you tell me what size cassette is used on the bike and what size would you recommend for touring

    • Darren Alff

      August 29, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      That kind of information can be found on the official Co-Motion website: http://co-motion.com/bikes/pangea

      As for what type of gearing is best for bicycle touring, I’m super happy with the gearing on the Co-Motion Pangea. However, there are different types of bicycle touring (as I discuss inside The Essential Guide To Touring Bicycles http://www.touringbicyclebook.com), so the best type of gearing is going to depend on where you are going and you you wish to do while on your bicycle tour.

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  41. Jimbo99

    September 12, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    The Pangea confirms what I am doing with my Vintage 1997 Fuji MX-200 atb is one conceptual direction that “touring” bike is. The mid 1980’s the mid level 27×1 1/8 12 speed frames were set up to be touring bikes, the mounting locations for front & rear panniers on the fork & rear dropouts are universal.

    My atb is a 26×2.10 tire like the Pangea. The crank gears are 48-38-28 with a 7 gear rear cluster freewheel, giving it 21 speeds. While it sports rim brakes and not disc, those aren’t deal breakers for stopping power. My frame is 1020 carbon steel and the bike complete with resin pedals is 32 lbs. Within a couple of pounds of a Chromoly bike.

    I figure one could find a used Specialized Rockhopper in a rigid fork hardtail and wind up with a very capable touring bike. With skinnier tires, say 1.5, 1.75 or 1.95 what gear disadvantages for speed my old atb are offset for rolling resistance. Fully loaded and neither are speed demons for touring. I’ve clocked my bike on flat land with portable police radar devices that were setup for holidays for motorists on flatter land. Headwinds 10-25 mph, I can pedal it 8-12 mph. With a tailwind, the bike would ride as fast as 24-28 mph for shorter runs on similarly breezy days. Average windage rides, I can keep the old Fuji going 12-18 mph for longer distances. I wind up being able to do 15-18 mph average without straining. All of these speeds are with the balloon tires at max air pressure to optimize rolling resistance for quickest speeds. This is all just rider and a school sized backpack for payload.

    One more subject I wanted to touch on Co-Motion looks like they take the Pangea frame and builds it to accommodate 26, 650b (27.5) and 29er tires. The standard issue tire is a higher quality riding tire that wears out sooner than big box department store tires that are less expensive. I’m running Duro 26×2.10 tires that are actually the OEM tires from 1997. Still have tread on them and have been ridden almost entirely on asphalt since 1997. While harder rubber compound tires last longer, I wouldn’t expect them to ride like the better tires from brand new to worn to the carcass bald. But since these aren’t high performance road bikes are the more expensive tires necessary ?

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  44. Denis

    January 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Hey, you even traveled Ukraine, that’s where I’m from?
    Is there any chance we could catch up in 2017?

    • Darren Alff

      January 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Yes, I’ve cycled across Ukraine two different times. I love Ukraine: http://bicycletouringpro.com/?s=ukraine I’d like to come back and do more cycling in Ukraine, but I don’t have an immediate plans to do that. Maybe next year?

  45. RAJESH RAJASEKHARAN

    January 21, 2017 at 4:52 am

    hai darren,

    nice pictures, how do take photos alone.

    • Darren Alff

      February 1, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      I usually set the camera up on my tripod and then use the 10-second timer on my camera to run into place.

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