Touring - Newbie looking for a touring bike
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08-29-08, 12:50 PM
I am just getting into cyclying and I really love it. I ride 20-30 miles 3-4 times per week and I trying to build up to my first century. I bought a hybrid and really like it, but now I wish I had bought a touing bike. What should I look for to meet these conditions:
1) Lots of hills (Mammoth Cave National Park).
2) Clydesdale at 250ish 5' 11" (I just lost 110.1 lbs WHO HOO).
3) Single income (teacher salary) family of four (two toddlers) i.e. not a lot of money to spend.
4) I know nothing about building a bike.
What should I look for? Is building a bike something I should look into? I really like the LHT from what I have read, but alas a complete one is way out of my price range right now. I appreciate any help out there.
If your hybrid fits you and you like it there isn't any reason you can't tour on it. Often the gearing is low enough on a hybrid and you can use a trailer rather than panniers/racks just to keep things simple plus you may find the trailer useful at home to haul stuff around. The only thing that will likely need replacing is a stronger rear wheel that can handle your weight + your cargo. If you are good at getting deals [Ebay, Craig's List, etc..] you should be able to get something that works for a reasonable amount of $$$.
If you really enjoy touring you'll be in a better position down the road to know what you want from a touring bike.
Can you put drop bars on the bike you have? Better yet, maybe some decent bar-ends and fenders are all you will need. Most hybrids can give a foundation for a tourer with a couple of accessories, like a good rack and some fenders. If you have a typical MTB bar, some nice bar-ends can give you a few more hand positions without changing stems/bars/brake lever/shifter.
Add a few things like fenders and rack to your current bike, and you can do some limited touring. Then keep your eyes open for a used touring bike (LHT, Trek 520, etc), and you'll likely be able to transfer all this over to the touring bike when you find one.
BTW, congrats on the weight loss!
08-29-08, 02:43 PM
Thanks for the information. I may try to modify my curent bike first. I do like to do ebay and craig's list etc. . . What are some touring bike brands and or models that I should look out for just in case a good deal comes along on the used market?
08-29-08, 03:39 PM
Are you planning on loaded touring or just thinking you would have been better with a touring bike? If loaded touring a touring bike is the best, but not the only option. Older rigid MTBs can make a good touring rig. Some of the popular less expensive touring bikes are the Trek 520, LHT complete, Novarra Rondonee or even the Windsor Tourist.
If your not going to do loaded touring then maybe a steel road bike would suit you better. Bikesdirect sells a steel road bike that's very reasonably priced.
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