Touring - Good Bike Choice for the Great Divide?
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05-20-06, 04:08 PM
I posted this q under mountain bikes, but was advised to try this touring section too. I will be using a bob trailer for our gear so now it is time to decide on the bike. I want a bike that I can count on to be trouble free for the 2500 miles but a good enough buy that she can retire after the tour is over. (this will be our first offroad adventure and most likely our last) Then again you never know.
Specialized Hardrock looks good.
Thoughts on other possibilities?
You can always reuse it on the San Juan Hut tours in CO/UT. Sorry I can't add anything useful about the GD ride though.
05-20-06, 09:16 PM
Adventure Cycling recommends strongly a hardtail mountain bike. The pivot on a full suspension bike is considered by many to be vulnerable. If you get a 29er you'll need the special 29er BOB fork.
Even with a BOB you should have strong wheels - 36 x 14 guage spokes with brass nipples, but depending on your body weight, 32 in back and 28 in front would be OK too. V brakes are fine, but disks would likely be better in the rain. It would also be good to be able to lock out your front suspension for climbing.
I think just about any mid-range hardtail would be fine. Oh, get bar ends for more hand positions.
It would also be good to be able to lock out your front suspension for climbing.
Great point on the suspenion lock-out. It makes a HUGE difference when you can lock the front fork for climbing.
The hardrock has pretty low end build. Not sure it'll take the stress. I'd shoot for deore or better. Watch out for deore hubs, recent ones have a history of dying. Note that MTB touring will stress you bike more than touring or mountain biking, so you want something rather rugged. Low end MTBs are built for bike paths.
I disagree with the need for a lockout. It'd be nice, but not worth spending more for.
My FS comment is the same as in the MTb forum, you need a higher-end bike to make this pretty built proof which seems out of your price range.
05-21-06, 05:56 AM
I have a hardrock (03-04 model) and would recomend one to someone on a budget. I believe I paid around 500 but the wheels were crap. Luckily I had a replacement pair already. I cant find anything wrong with it (asside from the wheels).
Lock out on suspension is not needed, especially if you are on a budget. I loaded up my hardrock with a rear rack and panniers and was amazed at how little suspension movement there was. With the Bob trailer you will not want to swing the bike back and forth, so keeping a silent upper body will prevent suspension movement as well.
I would set asside money for the possibility of a suspension seat post, as I hear there are sections that are quite brutal on the butt.
05-25-06, 08:18 PM
Cannondale F400, just change cranks and you should be fine;)
05-25-06, 11:53 PM
You should be able to find a nice used quality mtn bike for around $200, with a tune-up and wheel trueing maybe $300. Look for early 90's hardtail with or without suspension fork. A high-end model of that age won't cost much more than low-end and will have a lighter frame and much better components. Not to mention many of them have a longer, more appropriate wheelbase and proper braze-ons, unlike more recent models.
05-26-06, 12:13 AM
You might consider the Flyte cross bike XLS3 (www.flyte1com). A number of the folks that have raced the GDMBR have used fixed forks and hard tails and wouldn't change a thing. I am planning a trip up North later this Summer and a lot of it is on bad roads. I have a great mt bike and also a decent but older touring bike. However I settled on the Flyte when I realized that I wanted to be doing more miles than a mt. bike would easily allow and I also get a lot of hand fatigue with straight bars. The Cross bike has comfortable drop bars with the Aztec foam padding underneath the bar tape. You can also set it up with additional brake handles that can be activated when your hands are on the top of the bars. Then I dropped in a nice Cane Creek suspension seat post. I settled on the Flyte Cross bike with Bontrager 29" Superstock wheels, 40 mm wide tires - you could choose others if you wanted even wider. I'll be pulling the BOB IBEX as well. If you are keeping under 40 miles a day a mt. bike would be fine of course but if you start inching up the files you might at least consider the cyclecross route...
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