Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Biking across country in sections
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01-04-07, 09:48 PM
If you are going to bike across the country in sections would you choose a road bike with a tow behind or a touring bike?
The sections would be 3 day trips to 2 week trips.
01-04-07, 11:38 PM
This guy biked 46,000 miles around the world. You might want to email him but I do remember that he said (in an article) something about how a super durable, strong but heavy bike (and wheels) is much better than a super light one that will constantly break down and have problems. Obviously, you're not bike 46,000 miles but you might want to go for a middle ground.
Also, I'd say you should DEFINTELY buy the book "Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100". They regularly did super long rides themselves (and one of them biked across america) and they have a lot of really good suggestions about the most important things -- like getting a proper bike fit and getting comfortable on the bike for shorter distances first. Never doing a long ride on a new bike or any new equiptment (since your body's not used to it -- one of them got knee problems from that and had to have surgery).
01-06-07, 08:58 PM
Using a trailer vs panniers is a personal decision. There is a sizeable minority of people who prefer to use a trailer. That being said, I've done both and much prefer panniers.
But whatever solution you choose, use a touring bike. The road bike will have tires that are too narrow for comfort especially on rough roads (unless you weigh around 100 lb), no room for fenders (do you want to be filthy as you enter a store during a light drizzle?), and gearing that isn't adequate for hill climbing (unless you're the late Marco Pantani).
This is just a my personal opinion but really doesn't mean it's right...especially since I haven't done any cross country touring yet! So take this advice for what it's worth...less then 1 cent...that's why it's free!
Some people like to tow, others don't. A typical road bike on a long tour will not be anywhere near as comfortable as a touring bike due to the wheelbase. A road bike has a more compact (shorter) wheel base which means the wheels are pushed in so that they are very close to the seat tube and down tube leaving no room for wide tires and fenders plus makes the ride harsher, whereas the touring bike will have a longer wheelbase and room for fatter tires and fenders.
I have done a lot of research into touring bikes and the best one I could find that seemed to be far better then anyone elses bikes was Robert Beckman Designs and the Sakkit Expedition 26 at: http://www.coinet.com/~beckman/
Just browse and read everything. I think Robert Beckman thought out this bike as far as a person can go in touring. Note the 4 water bottle cages instead of the typical 3 you get with others. Even sets his bikes up with redundant generator/battery-powered lighting and shifting systems and half-step gearing which is more useable for touring then standard triple road gears others offer.
A complete bike including racks will run you $2200 to 2550 depending on which Shimano system you go with. I hear it takes him about 4 to 5 months to complete a bike, but you have to ask him about that if you get more interested.
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