Touring - 700c vs 26inch wheels for Third World Touring???
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05-22-08, 03:23 PM
Has anyone used the Surly Long Haul Trucker in a third world country (China, Vietnam, South America, Eastern Europe)?
I'm almost sold on the LHT, but I'm not sure about the 700c wheels in these countries. I have heard horror stories of people not being able to replace/fix their wheels,tubes and tires in these countries, because you can only find 26 inch wheels. By the way, I ride a 60-62, so the LHT is built for 700s in this size?
This is a big concern for me. Can anyone help me out with some advice? Does anyone know who makes a 26 inch wheel touring bike (non-custom) or does anyone think the LHT is fine for this (based on real experience) ?
05-22-08, 04:35 PM
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05-22-08, 06:04 PM
We have never had any luck getting good quality tires in third world countries anyway, so I'm not sure it's really that much of an issue. We are getting ready to ride from Alaska to Argentina and I'm using 700c tires this trip. We figure we will have replacements sent to us from the USA when we need them.
that being said, we've cycled in lots of countries and have always used 26" before - and couldn't find decent quality stuff anywhere. Even when we used the 26" we either brought spares with us or had them sent. I'm not sure there will be that much difference between 26" and 700c. That's what I say now - ask me in a year or two and I might have a totally different answer!!
For what its worth, I had a similar concern before cycling across Russia last year. I also cycled through Thailand and China last year as well. I ended up riding on 700c wheels anyways. I replaced two tires in 12000 miles (and am quite enthusiastic about Schwalbe XRs). I replaced one rear rim and had some hub issues at the very end. The replaced rim came from the US instead of Russia brought by my brother. So 700c vs. 26 isn't as high on my list of concerns for third world touring as it was before.
I would agree with Nancy that in much of the world, you might end up mailing out replacement tires anyways...
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