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Old 12-17-06, 10:24 PM   #101
Flic
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but it has Disc Brakes instead of V-Brakes... The guy in the bike shops told me he would prefer to use Disc Brakes... He said he would give it to me for $425 instead of $495, whilst the Upland SE is $395...

I am so lost and confused now.

EDIT

The Upland SE is $349 sorry, not $395, my bad.
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Old 12-17-06, 10:28 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Flic
Caves is then this one better? The Boulder... http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-AU...ain/169/22611/ except it has suspension? Everyone in bike shops keeps on telling me to get suspension...?

It has a different derailluer?
The parts are better. I'm not sure how Altus / Acera / Alivio derailleurs compare, which is newer or better. They are all at the lower end. I know the Upland's derailleur (with the red plastic jockey wheel) dosen't last very long. Watch out also for plastic brake levers.

I've been looking for a bike for my sister for commuting / light touring and it is hard to find a bike with good components, rather than bells and whistles (low quality disc brakes, low quality suspension forks) at a reasonable price.

I don't have any first-hand knowledge of touring with suspension forks, perhaps someone else has some advice?

Re disc brakes - they often stop you adding (cheap and strong) racks, so I don't like them. They do stop better in wet conditions (not dry conditions).
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Old 12-17-06, 10:51 PM   #103
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Caves... when you say it doesn't last very long, what exactly do you mean...? I think it has plastic brake elvers but I don't know...
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Old 12-18-06, 12:15 AM   #104
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OK so here's yet another question...

Which of these bikes would you pick: (I know you'd all pick neither, but say you were being forced to pick one...)

http://www.shogunbicycles.com.au/ - The Trail Breaker 1 made by Shogun

http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-AU...ain/169/22428/ - The Upland SE made by Giant

What causes Derailleurs to break? Is it just that they are made with sketchy components to begin with, or does incorrectly changing gears contribute? I know I should know this sort of stuff already but I can't find anyone to ask who has time to answer me.
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Old 12-18-06, 01:10 AM   #105
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Of the ones you've mentioned the Giant Boulder SE has the best components. Between the Upland SE and the Shogun Trailbreaker, the Trailbreaker has better components. According to Wikipedia, Alivio is better than Acera which is better than Altus. Most of the posts here agree that Deore (the next level up) is much better than any of these.

I've had no problems with an Alivio derailleur over ~2000km on my previous bike, but you will be travelling much further. Most people would agree that you will wear out parts on any bike over several thousand Km of riding; at least tyres and brake pads and chain. As parts wear (or as cables stretch) things get looser - the brakes become mushy, the gear shifting becomes dodgy and the wheels may wobble. Adjustments need to be made when/before these become a problem.

The better the parts, the longer they last before they need adjusting, and more importantly the longer they last before they have worn so much that the adjustments no longer last. Also, the parts will be less prone to breakage under stressful use.

I've seen some very worn out plastic wheels on derailleurs. I haven;t seen any that have actually broken in normal use. I surmise that the plastic wheels wear faster than metal ones, but I've never tested this myself. Only the very cheapest derailleurs have plastic wheels anywhere.

The Great Vic Bike Ride bikes (made by Learsport) have part plastic brake levers. The actual lever is metal, but the housing that attaches the lever to the handlebars is p;astic and bends when you pull hard on the brakes. This makes me nervous, I worry about it breaking under repeated strain, although again I haven't seen one actually break; but the bolts holding the brake levers to the handle bars come loose as the plastic threads on the brake housing is soft and wears out.

Some less technologically advanced parts are more tolerant of failure, or are easier to find replacements for if they do fail. A rigid fork needs no maintenance, which is why many prefer one when away from home (although plenty of people tour with front suspension). V-brakes on a mountainbike work very well, and the brake pads are easy to replace. If the brakes break, they are easier to find replacements for than disc brakes. Disc brakes make it harder to find a rear rack that works (and a rack adds so much flexibility for so little cost and weight that you should add one even if you plan on using a backpack).

Poor quality wheels start to wobble and are prone to dents in the rims, as the spokes aren't tight and of even tightness. The hubs have bearings which can wear out. Both of these issues can be partly addressed with good maintenance if you have the skills, but good wheels (in Melb. about $120 each and up) go much further before you start getting problems.

So, get the best quality you can afford, or just wear the bike out and continue on a local bike or by bus.
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Old 12-18-06, 01:40 AM   #106
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and the Shogun frame is as good as the Giant frame?

Your a legend Cave
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Old 12-18-06, 02:01 AM   #107
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Sorry to be a pain Cave... but I was also wondering about this bike:

http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s02_art...96&art_id=1249 ... Its the 2006 Haro V1... it was originally $489 so I think the components might be better. The rear derailleur is a better one and the shifter is 8 speed instead of 7 speed (though I don't know what that part means)...

Sorry I feel like I keep on and on and on asking questions... but is this one OK?
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Old 12-18-06, 02:17 AM   #108
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Flic- You're going to Africa, not Western Europe. Where do you plan to find spares for your disc brakes if they should break? I can tell you that finding replacement parts for my Avid (a major manufacturer) is very difficult here in Riga, and I know where to look.

So enough BS, you've been told enough times by folks on this board with experience; KIS!
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Old 12-18-06, 04:09 AM   #109
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Well Ziemas I don't know where I'm going to find spares, and therefore I have actually understood the concept of keeping it simple. I keep asking the people in the bike shops I've been to (like 10 of them) what will happen if various parts of the bike breaks and they keep telling me they won't break. I don't know if finding spares for V-brakes or Disc Brakes is more complicated and harder to fix, or whether one type of brake is more likely to fall appart thats why I'm asking for help. Perhaps you can suggest which of the three bikes is, in your opinion, better: The Shogun Trail Breaker 1, The 2006 Haro VI or The Giant Upland SE?

I know I'm being annoying asking so many questions and I'm sorry for that.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:14 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flic
Well Ziemas I don't know where I'm going to find spares, and therefore I have actually understood the concept of keeping it simple. I keep asking the people in the bike shops I've been to (like 10 of them) what will happen if various parts of the bike breaks and they keep telling me they won't break. I don't know if finding spares for V-brakes or Disc Brakes is more complicated and harder to fix, or whether one type of brake is more likely to fall appart thats why I'm asking for help. Perhaps you can suggest which of the three bikes is, in your opinion, better: The Shogun Trail Breaker 1, The 2006 Haro VI or The Giant Upland SE?

I know I'm being annoying asking so many questions and I'm sorry for that.
It's not a matter of being annoying, it's matter of research. Most of these questions have been answered many times on this board.

In short, no disc brakes and no shocks.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:27 AM   #111
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Do either of those bikes have rack mounts?
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Old 12-18-06, 04:39 AM   #112
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The Shogun Trailbreaker 1 has an integrated style of headset; this is a bad thing for a simple touring bike. A std model is much better for your needs. Why doesnt anyone make a decent, simple, normal MTB any more?

Are any other brands available in your town? Call around every bike shop to see what they offer.
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Old 12-18-06, 05:09 AM   #113
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Hi Flic!
I’m not expert in bike mechanic, but that below is my opinion on your future bike.

These bikes are your minimal level:

2007 Merida SUB 40-V $459
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s13_sho...id=271&id=1528

2007 Haro V1 $479
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s02_art...326&art_id=731

2007 Scott Reflex 50 $499
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s02_art...51&art_id=1048

TR 3240 $550
http://www.learsport.com.au/view_pro...product=TR3240

These ones are optimum for you:

2007 Matts Merida TFS 100-V $649
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s13_sho...id=271&id=1523

2007 Scott Reflex 45 $799
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s02_art...51&art_id=1047

TR 3270 $750
http://www.learsport.com.au/view_pro...product=TR3270

There are many analogous bikes with disk brakes, and I have such bike also with mechanical brakes Tektro, but it was a serious technical problem to install the rear rack on it. Sometimes I will share my know-how here, but that is not actual for you right now. My mechanical disk brakes work fine, but disks are vulnerable in bike transportation by plane and I think these brakes are more complicated for you.

You will not see relatively reliable bike without front suspension in a shop (I think that is just marketing policy), except special touring bikes that cost $$$$. So just forget about it especially if you aren’t going to set up a front rack. The bikes from the list above have pretty reliable forks.

As to Hi-ten steel frames, not the frame is the problem (one is good enough for our purposes if is made accurately), but low quality components, that are on it usually, to produce heavy and cheap bike. However, you don't have to think much about it.

Check out correct frame size also. And that's right the outlets for rear rack mounting.

I would set up these tires with Kevlar 3D compound. You will not have punctures and will have easy cycling.

Geax Street Runner $35
http://www.bikes.com.au/html/s13_sho...Shop3&dsp=1917

After all this I would replace noname spokes with DT Swiss or something. I assemble wheels myself only not to have broken spokes. So you should bring your new wheels to experienced bike mechanic to reassemble the wheels to avoid broken spokes on the tour. Anyway you must have pair of them spare.

I can carry 3ltr water on the frame in two 1.5ltr plastic bottles from a super-market. In addition, I carried 5ltr plastic bottle of water for two of us on my rear rack in deserted areas in Turkey. Try to carry as less as possible on your back.

If you aren’t going to have stuff to boil water, you should have some medicines to disinfect unboiled water. They aren’t health-giving, but better then the risk to catch an infection.

Maybe it makes sense to paint your precious bike not to attract attention, I don’t know.

Alexey
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Old 12-18-06, 05:19 AM   #114
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Good disc brakes (e.g. Avid BB7) are fine. Good suspension (e.g. Marzochi MX Comp ETA) are fine. Cheapos are a definite no-no.

If the guys in the bike shops are telling you things won't brake Flic then they don't know much about a trip like yours. Things are quite likely to brake, but more importantly, things will wear out. Cheapo gear shifters and cheapo shimano front and rear derailers won't last as long as the quality components. You really should be looking for a bike with Shimano Deore level front and rear derailers and hubs as a minimum. You could buy one of those bikes (the best I've seen of your ideas so far has been the Giant) and get someone to replace the derailers - that wouldn't cost much.

You basically have a choice Flic - buy a super-cheap bike, (more than likely) have no end of problems (maybe mostly minor problems, but problems all the same) and more than likely get really pissed off with cycling cos you'll be spending most of your time stopping to find someone to fix things or having annoying squeeks and rattles that'll drive you mad and also find yourself ruling out the more interesting roads (the tracks) because you'll be worrying about the bike falling apart leaving you stranded; or buy something of decent quality that allows you to enjoy the trip without things breaking every week.

Two off-the-shelf bikes that are more or less suitable for your trip are the Marin Muirwoods (met some folks doing London to Cape Town on these, only problem they had were with the wheels - one trashed rim in Ethiopia), which isn't hugely expensive and, a bit cheaper and consequently a bit less suitable, but better than what you've been suggesting, the Kona Smoke (as suggested by someone previously). The Kona would benefit from upgraded derailers, but frame and wheels would suffice.

This has been pointed out before, but you may not have paid much attention to it - GET SCHWALBE MARATHON XR TYRES. That's SCHWALBE MARATHON XR tyres. One set will last the trip and the only thing that's got a chance of puncturing them are thorns. If you set out with cheapo tyres you'll be replacing them probably in Ethiopia - you'll only find crap tyres there.

One major problem I can see with the bikes your looking at are the quality of the seals on the hubs and headset. Sand and dirt will get into them. You definitely don't want that.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:02 AM   #115
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Hey Flic,

Why don't you give Learsport a call and see if they can do you a custom package based on the TR3270 that Alex L links to? I have complained about their GVBR bikes, but the faults relate to cheap components (like the ones on some of the bikes you were considering earlier!), not the frames. The head office is in Bayswater, tel. (03) 9738 1633, and their staff on the GVBR were very friendly.

Maybe they can put together a package with a rack, helmet, pump, bar ends, lock etc. and give you a better price, or maybe even swap out the suspension fork for a rigid fork if that is what you want. Can't hurt asking.

If you have any talent with photography or writing you might be able to help them out with publicity to sweeten the deal for them. There are plenty of bike tourers who have gotten sponsorship in return for publicity. Your tour sounds pretty epic!
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Old 12-18-06, 07:21 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaferanga
Good disc brakes (e.g. Avid BB7) are fine. Good suspension (e.g. Marzochi MX Comp ETA) are fine. Cheapos are a definite no-no.
Except that replacement pads would be next to impossible to find and she has said she will carry no spares. With V or canti brakes in a worst case scenario someone will be able to jerry rig a pad to work, after all they're rubber and fairly common. Not so with disc brakes.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:27 AM   #117
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Believe Ziemas about spares, Flic. He knows of what he speaks. Low-tech, reliable, replacable parts are what you want. High tech can be reliable, but not in your price range, and not away from a big city in the first world.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:27 AM   #118
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One set of disc pads will almost certainly last the trip since it'll be >90% dry weather riding. But given Flic's mechanical knowhow I'd agree that v-brakes would be the better option.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:49 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaferanga
One set of disc pads will almost certainly last the trip since it'll be >90% dry weather riding. But given Flic's mechanical knowhow I'd agree that v-brakes would be the better option.
I was thinking more if they got fouled up by oil. I've ruined a new set of pads that way on my commuter.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:55 AM   #120
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this is exactly the problem: One set of disc pads will almost certainly last the trip
the almost certain...
and that goes for a lot of things. almost certainly you will have enough water with you.
almost certainly you will have no trouble with <insert stuff here >.

most people here try to be prepared in case something DOES go wrong.
one of my favorite sayings: survival is what you do when you haven't prepared well enough.

now.. this doesn't mean that things will go wrong, i sincerely hope not.
but... if you're prepared a lot of the things that DO go wrong will be surmountable, like having a folding tire with you in case you get a blowout on a tire, or having a puncture repair kit with you.

i agree with ziemas, cave and amaferanga that v-brakes would be the better choice.

one question, you live in australia? it's fairly hot and dry there isn't it?
how much water/fluids do you drink each day when you're out? even without exercise?
i'd reckon you'd need to take at least two times as much with you each day.
and that's without having to cook, wash yourself.

have a nice day
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Old 12-19-06, 03:50 AM   #121
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Well, you have your advice both on general topics and on specific bikes! Good luck with your choice. Don't be afraid to ditch the bike for a local bike or the bus if you find it dies, or cycling isn't working. Don't forget a few spares, tools and supplies; get that rack and bar ends, and use a helmet and a lock!
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Old 12-19-06, 06:48 AM   #122
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I'm a bit dissapointed that some of you felt I wasn't paying proper attention, I have been reading everything and following up on it too, so please don't think I was disregarding anything. Sorry. Its just that a lot of you are suggesting things which I just can't afford.

Cave... I thought you might like to know this, maybe you do already, but the man in the bike shop told me that all of the shimano derailleurs have that red plastic jockey wheel, so if thats the thing that is going to break it seems like maybe they are all vulnerable? Maybe thats not the thing most likely to break, I dunno, sorry. I dunno what a bar end is, I will find that out.

Mmmm I've also learnt that you can't always upgrade derailleurs because they don't fit with the gears on the bike, if they are different, I don't understand how this works, but thats the way it is apparently, like you can't go from a 7 to an 8 or something.

Don't think I'm not gunna take any spares, I never said that, of course I'll be taking spares...

I've found a shop to sell me Schwarbe Marathon XR tyres, even if they think I'm an idiot because I can't pronounce them properly. I never said I wasn't trying to find those. I've also located a mate who can put them on for me for free and teach me how to do it.

I'm getting V breaks, sorry for asking about Discs, I shouldn't have done that.

Anyway thanks everyone for your replies, I will continue to reference them as I continue to prepare.

See yas...
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Old 12-19-06, 09:52 AM   #123
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^^^
If you can't afford the basic minimum of reliable supplies perhaps you should delay your trip until you have enough money.

You say you work at an outdoors store. You wouldn't spend a winter hiking in Tasmania with a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag from Target, would you?
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Old 12-19-06, 06:35 PM   #124
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Great, sounds like you've done lots of research and are narrowing down on the best you can get for your money, which is the whole point!

All of the low-end derailleurs have a red plastic wheel; the higher end ones aren't red, and feel like metal, but I could be wrong. It shouldn't snap, but it will wear out quicker.

Bar ends stick out from the handlebars at right angles and let you move your hands into a different grip position - lots of people get sore wrists or numb hands if they keep the same grip for several hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flic
I'm a bit dissapointed that some of you felt I wasn't paying proper attention, I have been reading everything and following up on it too, so please don't think I was disregarding anything. Sorry. Its just that a lot of you are suggesting things which I just can't afford.

Cave... I thought you might like to know this, maybe you do already, but the man in the bike shop told me that all of the shimano derailleurs have that red plastic jockey wheel, so if thats the thing that is going to break it seems like maybe they are all vulnerable? Maybe thats not the thing most likely to break, I dunno, sorry. I dunno what a bar end is, I will find that out.

Mmmm I've also learnt that you can't always upgrade derailleurs because they don't fit with the gears on the bike, if they are different, I don't understand how this works, but thats the way it is apparently, like you can't go from a 7 to an 8 or something.

Don't think I'm not gunna take any spares, I never said that, of course I'll be taking spares...

I've found a shop to sell me Schwarbe Marathon XR tyres, even if they think I'm an idiot because I can't pronounce them properly. I never said I wasn't trying to find those. I've also located a mate who can put them on for me for free and teach me how to do it.

I'm getting V breaks, sorry for asking about Discs, I shouldn't have done that.

Anyway thanks everyone for your replies, I will continue to reference them as I continue to prepare.

See yas...
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Old 12-19-06, 08:22 PM   #125
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Quote:
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You say you work at an outdoors store. You wouldn't spend a winter hiking in Tasmania with a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag from Target, would you?
Why not?
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