Touring - hybrid as tourer
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12-29-09, 08:30 AM
I have a Trek T30 which is a hybrid bike. I remember reading before I got it that a good bike to convert to a tourer would be a hybrid due to it having same size wheels. I mainly got it because of the size of frame and cheapness. I'm 6ft 8" so needed a large frame. I fancied changing the handlebars to drop ones for comfort which would mean changing the brake levers. Is it worth it?
The kind of riding isn't really that intensive. Mainly on roads but travel some distance.
12-29-09, 09:12 AM
Should work. I converted a Cannondale H500 ('96, I think) and it came out great.
Change the handlebar to trekking bar (keep cost down), add racks and panniers and you're good to go.
12-29-09, 12:51 PM
Almost any bike can be made into a tourer. There are two areas to consider: 1. foot clearance once racks and bags are installed and 2. component durability.
Most purpose designed and built tourers have relaxed geometry and long chainstays to accomodate foot clearance. These bikes also come with components tasked to the job at hand, 36 spoke wheels for example.
On any bike being converted to a tourer the components can be upgraded to handle the chore, however, the bike's geometry is what it is. best to make sure you can pedal the bike with bags attached before laying out dough for a make over.
12-29-09, 03:00 PM
I have a Trek 7000 and have used it on several short tours and had no problems. Although I have a touring bike, I have no objections on using the hybrid instead. A good bike is a good bike.
12-29-09, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the info.
This is probably something to be put in another thread but upon changing the handle bars I'd have to change the brake levers and I have V-brakes but I've looked and it seems, for the drop bars, the levers are for caliper brakes. Is it possible to use these levers for V-brakes? I'm pretty sure I don't want to buy new braking system.
You might get some idea from this thread. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?610282-Handlebar-Conversion
If you don't want to buy new brakes/brake levers, it looks like the trekking bar is your best route.
12-29-09, 06:29 PM
Tektro RL520s can be used with v-brakes. I picked up a new pair for 35$ from the LBS for a hybrid drop-bar conversion. I plan on using bar-end shifters too. This hybrid I'm converting might end up making a decent back-up bike, or one a buddy could use if they wanted to do one with me.
12-29-09, 08:30 PM
You can do that, but would need new shifters, levers and cables. You might consider "trekking" bars as an alternative for conversion to touring bike. (http://www.veloweb.ca/tourpages/tourvelo.html) These would offer more options while preserving the basic position you are used to.
Does this count as one?
12-30-09, 11:37 AM
If you're going to try touring for the first time (I'm not sure from your post), I say leave the bars alone - maybe put some comfortable bar-ends on. It's a lot of trouble and money to convert straight bars to drops.
Buy a rear rack (you can use it for all sorts of carrying besides touring) and some panniers, and see if your heels hit the panniers. Since you're 6'8", I'm guessing you may have some large feet and this could be an issue. I wear size 14's, so I know. I toured on an old 10-speed and had barely enough room for my heels - and only if I moved the panniers way back on the rack, which made the rack shimmy a bit. On my LHT tourer, this isn't a problem.
Put some thought into the rear wheel. If you're heavy and carry a load, this is where you could have problems with broken spokes. I speak from experience. If you're going to tour, have the wheels checked by a good mechanic first. He/she can true and tension them, which should help them hold up.
If you fall in love with touring, you'll probably eventually want a "real" tourer, but you can tour on your hybrid in the meantime. I toured on that old 10-speed with primitive equipment for years, joyfully, before I could afford a "real" tourer and some other good stuff.
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