Touring - Bike for touring
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I've only been riding around 4 months and I'm 66 years old.I have a Trek FX 7300 and I was wondering if I person could take this bike touring. Would it hold up to the extra weight,is it geared right.Would it be fast enough.Whatever else I have to know.I have a Brooks B 17 and clipless and I just ordered some Gatorskins 28 for it. Thanks George
Hi, this is my wifes 7.2 FX WSD, she has done around 4000kms this year three of them touring with no problem. As for the gears, she changed them to 42/32/22 op front and 11-32 on the back (I have the same set up) and it worked out well, with over 20kgs on the bike. As for the speed she can go over 40kph on a flat road, besides any faster and its not touring.
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You can certainly run 28s touring, but most people are probably more comfortable on 37s or 32s.
10-08-06, 04:11 AM
do a search on this forum & you'll find dozens of wonderful posts about what kind of bike is 'best', 'adequate', etc. Many posters like you have queried whether their bike will 'make it'. My sense from reading many of them, is that if you can ride your bike comfortably for 4 - 5 hours at a reasonable rate and your bike (esp. wheels) can carry the weight efficiently & safely, then you can tour. People use converted MTB's, classic steel frames, almost every kind of bike - the tests of comfort & strength, not 'touring bike' label, can be your guide.
Of course, being from the Texas coastal plains, your sense of 'hills' may not match many of the tour routes! My favorite wife & I are thinking of touring in eastern Canada next summer. My backpacking experience & enthusiasm for self-contained touring does not match her interest in credit-card touring where there's a comfortable bed & clean bathroom at day's end: we'll do her preferred form together and if I ever get the chance to camp/tour somewhere outside our somewhat boring coastal plains, I'll take it.
I was going to order the Schwalbe 32s but they talked me into the 28s, I could order another set and give the 28s to my wife.She'll just be riding around here anyhow. What make gears did you by and from who.My first long ride will probably be the MS 150. Thanks George
10-08-06, 08:50 AM
That bike will work just fine for loaded touring, the only thing you might want to seriously consider is replacing the wheelset with better quality rims and hubs. 32 spoke on the front, 36 spoke on the rear, and yes, you might be happier with a 700x32/35/37 tire, whatever fits and still allows you to mount fenders.
The bike will take a rear rack just fine, though the braze-ons on the seat stays are a little tricky to get to. If it's like my old 7200FX, it has braze-ons for a front rack too.
'Fast enough' isn't something we usually worry about when doing loaded touring - food on the other hand will become your obession! ;)
10-11-06, 01:07 PM
I'm with chipcom -- the bike should be a-ok. I rode a 7200FX most of this year as a commuter bike, and did a short tour on it. It worked out great and carried 35lbs of gear with no problems. The one big change I made was swapping the flat bars for trekking bars, and this helped considerably. Search the forums here and you'll find good references to trekking bars, which are quite inexpensive and easy to install. They might save some feeling in your arms a few hours into your ride.
And yes, you will eat eat eat.
A fairly typical arrangement of gears would be 46, 36, 26(24), and a freewheel with something like 13-34 or 14-34. 11-34 is often easier to find but a little less useful. If you aren't plagued by very hilly conditions a freewheel topping out 30 or 28 on the rear wheel can be better.
10-11-06, 04:29 PM
......& enthusiasm for self-contained touring does not match her interest in credit-card touring where there's a comfortable bed & clean bathroom at day's end:
+1....my wife's idea of "roughing it" is a hotel that has no room service.
10-12-06, 09:14 AM
My favorite wife rode with someone at the Tour de Pink in September that enthusiastically described a volunteer touring organization where the 'members' organize tours somewhere & then folks sign up for it. A proletarian version of BackRoads & the more expensive deluxe all-included tours as I understand her description to me. Can't remember the name & I don't think it is Adventure Cycling. We're looking into trying to join a supported tour for next summer.
This would be 'roughing it' in that there could be Ramada Inns with B&W TV's!
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