Touring - help in buying a bike
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01-02-07, 04:56 PM
I wonder if I could get some advise on buying a bike.
First I am going from a Mountian bike to a 700 sized tire. I also want to do more longer distant tours with some gravel roads and light trails.
I did a trip from Germany to Vienna last summer on a hybred, that bike was ok.
I was looking at the Kona Dew Deluxe, it felt better than the Specialized Sirrus that I tested, I think because the tires were wider. The Specalized felt kind of twichy.
Someone told me I should consider a Kona Jake (I guesss it is kind of a Cyclocross?) as there are more hand positions than with the Dew Deluxe.
The Jake is $300.00 more than the Dew. I just wondered why the big differance in price? They said Jake the Snake is not geared that good for touring
Even the Dr Dew is $300.00 more than the Dew Deluxe. The weight is the same for both Dews so I also wondered if the price differance is worth it?
Should I be considering weight in this purchase? One dealer is pushing the Specialized because it is lighter and faster.
01-02-07, 05:16 PM
Can you tell us a bit more about what kind of touring you are going to do? Fully loaded or credit card? Panniers or trailer? What do you consider long distance? What did you like and not like about touring on your MTB? What is your budget for the bike itself?
01-02-07, 05:26 PM
Between the bikes listed, I'd go for the Dew Deluxe. It has lower gearing than the Dr. Dew and the Jake (both have 30t small chainring), and it has mechanical disc brakes rather than hydraulic (like the Dr. Dew). I don't have much experience with either, but I've heard that mechanical discs are much easier to fix if something should go wrong. With the Jake you do get drop bars (and more hand positions as you note), but I don't think this is enough of a difference to justify the higher price. If you want more hand positions spend $20 on a pair of trekking or butterfly bars and put them on the Dew Deluxe and you'll be good to go.
I don't think weight should be a major factor in this purchase. By the time you load your bike for touring, a few pounds difference isn't going to matter. It's far more important that you get a bike that's comfortable to you, within your budget, and appropriately geared for touring.
For loaded touring, there are the specialty tour bikes to consider. One established standard is the Trek 520. Another is the Surley Long Haul Trucker, although that one requires that you buy the frame and then choose your own componentry. Their are a few others as well. Tour bikes are designed to handle well when loaded. and have eyelets for fenders and front and rear racks, and room for wider tires than standard road bikes. These bikes will also perform well for commuting and if you equip them with thin tires they will be still be pretty fast, although not quite as fast as a normal road bike on the uphill sections due to the slightly heavier weight. They're often steel which means (in theory )that they have a more comfortable ride and are more durable, and more easily repaired than an aluminum bike. (Not everyone agrees with that last sentence.) They have a longer rear end to allow more heel clearance if you have panniers on the back and that also gives a more stable ride on a fast downhill.
01-02-07, 05:58 PM
There are a few parameters that would help us give advice.
(2) Do you enjoy tinkering with your bikes?
(3) Loaded touring, sport touring, or just long rides?
(4) Do you have a preference for flat/mountain or drop/road bars?
I would not choose a bike based on the stock tires. However, the tire widths that could fit on the stock parts would be important (how wide?).
Some popular "starter" touring bikes are the Fuji Touring, Bianchi Volpe, Jamis Aurora, and Cannondale T800. I picked these four since they are all under $1000 the last time I checked and have a decent set up for long tours. I recall that Novara (REI) has a good touring bike as well; but I do not know whether they still produce it.
01-02-07, 07:38 PM
I was thinking of some weekend trips of about 250 km over the two days.
What got me interested in touring is I rented a hybred in Germany last summer and drove along the Danube to Vienna. That was fun. Paved bike path on both side of the river all the way. Bikers everywhere and everyone was friendly and easy to chat with.
What I don't like about my Mountian bike for long day trips (60 km) is it is slow.
However, my Specialized Expadition fits like a glove. I feel so comforable on it and I guess that is what I am expecting with the road type bikes.
I guess you can't find one bike to fit all situations.
01-02-07, 07:43 PM
Good advice on the Dew Deluxe and the Dr Dew. I could not realy see the $300.00 differance between them. Both bikes are almost the same except for the hydrolic as oppose th mechanical brakes
Adding the bars is also a good idea for hand placement.
I know disc brakes are not that important for road use but they are nice.
I guess it is more difficult to get a rack with a disc brake bikes or more expensive to do so.
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