Touring - Getting my bike ready
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04-28-10, 12:53 PM
Hey guys. I'm fairly new to road biking, I'm more of a mountain biker. I bought myself a road bike a couple months ago. Its a Specialized Allez (Second hand). I will be doing a cross country tour with this bike (1300 miles). I am looking for advice on what I should change on this bike before the big trip. I will be getting new tires tomorrow, probably Continental Ultra Gator Skins (23x700). An important side note is that I will not need any panniers or bags other than a backpack because we are a large group and will have a couple cars following us with a trailer for our bags. I will also be re gripping the handlebars soon. Anything else I should be worried about?
Thanks for the help, here are some pics of my bikes:
pump and extra bottle carrier?
04-28-10, 03:29 PM
I might have opted for 25mm gatorskins, but 23's should be fine.
I am not a fan of backpacks for bicycling. Maybe a handlebar bag or seat bag if you want to carry more than will fit in jersey pockets.
Be sure you are prepared to fix a flat and do minimal repairs or adjustments. A tiny seat wedge is probably enough to carry stuff for that.
What is the route like? Depending on that maybe some lower gears if in the mountains much.
04-28-10, 03:46 PM
I actually do have a pump and an extra bottle holder that I have not installed yet. I will be biking through northern Ontario (Winnipeg,mb to Ottawa,On). the roads are older and probably not in the best shape. Its not in the mountains but there will be many hills.
Another funny thing I noticed the other day... My Front wheel has 31 spokes and the rear wheel has 24. Does that even make a difference?
31 sounds bad, 32 would sound better.
04-28-10, 04:10 PM
I would suggest a full service before leaving if you aren't going to do it yourself. Have the hubs checked and serviced. Wheels checked and trued if needed along with checking spoke tension. Crank bearings checked and serviced if needed. Headset checked.
Check all bolts. Check chain wear and replace if needed and so forth.
When is the last time you had the above done? If recent... then forget what I wrote.
As for the rest of the bike.. You're doing nothing more than a whole bunch of group rides with friends... If I was doing the same ride you can be sure I would be riding my Giant TCR and changing nothing.
04-28-10, 05:44 PM
I would not want to ride for anything over an hour with a backpack. Consider a small-medium saddle bag like a Carradice or a good size handle bar bag.
25c Tires would have been better especially if the roads are bad like you said.
Hows your saddle? Taken it on a long ride yet?
04-28-10, 08:27 PM
This sounds like several Saturday rides in a row. Sounds nice.
I would go along with others concerning the tires. I know it does not sound reasonable, but trust in what they are saying. The Gator Skin 25 definitely rides better than the 23. I know, I own both. Like both. The 25 rides better.
Good luck on the endless Saturday rides.
You mentioned the roads to be traveled are not that good. I would add some gel tape as a base to the retape job. Anything to cut the vibration will be wonderful.
04-29-10, 10:46 AM
I retaped yesterday, and I did get some gel in there. I will be going to buy tires tonight. I'll get the 25's instead of the 23's. Sounds like a good Idea. Thanks alot guys. And yes, its 32 spokes not 31.
04-29-10, 01:31 PM
For touring i really like the Specialized Infinity in a 700x(28-32) or Specialized Nimbus Elites (Armadillo) in 700x(28-42). For the days you know you will just be road riding, Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase tires.
Emrgency Pump, Tube, saddle or handlebar bag to keep some eats while your pedaling, and the drive to want to go. That is it.
04-29-10, 02:37 PM
A bento box to carry raisins/cranberries and camera within easy reach while riding http://www.axiomgear.com/products/gear/bags/specialty/power-bag/
Extra water bottles mounted on the bars.
Fenders - you will have some rainy days.
Shimano A520 pedals and comfortable MTB shoes to match.
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