Touring - which bike for an indian tour
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12-12-04, 08:14 AM
would YOU travel in India for 4 weeks on a 5 yrs. old rigid mtb with a blend of xt and lx, drivetrain never changed but working ok right now and, most worringly a NEW shimano wheelset wh-m540 (18 spokes)?
or should I rather buy a 20 kg. indian steel bike down there?
or, again, rush for a new mbt altogether?
thanks for your comments
12-12-04, 08:37 AM
why would you want to buy a 20 kg indian bike? A mountain bike should be perfect for what you want to do.
12-12-04, 09:00 AM
I would buy an indian bike because I am afraid my own will break down in a country where there are no shimnao parts available...
12-12-04, 09:33 AM
I would go with your current moutain bike - but I would recommend servicing it before you leave. And check the chain for stretch - if it needs to be replaced, do it before you leave.
I would change the drivetrain, and get a pair of 32 or 36 spoked wheels. I think you would have to be in bad luck to be unable to service a standard Shimano-equipped bike almost anywhere in the world (but I have never been outside Europe). I'd guess that most of the around-the-world riders have Shimano equipment.
12-12-04, 10:09 AM
There's absolutely nothing wrong an 'old' mtb. But I'd get a different wheelset.... Just make sure you bring with you the right tools.
12-12-04, 09:54 PM
Just got back from India... It should be a fantastic trip!
In the bigger City's (Bombay, Delhi, etc.), you shouldn't have TOO much of a problem finding Shimano parts... The bigger cities have parts that are fairly westernized and have many of the same amenities you'd expect in N.A. However, in the countryside, you are screwed. The good part is that if you do run into any serious trouble, you can pretty much hire a Jeep (complete with driver) from anywhere in India to anywhere in India fairly cheaply.
A good friend of mine has been living in India for the past 6 months... I'll ask him for advice and get back to you.
Enjoy your first foray into Indian traffic... I would strongly suggest you try to get one of those air horns for your bike with an EXTREMELY large air supply :)
Well, then get the Air Zounds.... it's supposed to hold a lot of air and can be replenished with a bike pump.
Anne Mustoe rode through India multiple times starting at age 50, mostly solo, using the same British bike with (presumably) shimano components. Why should you have problems with the components anyway? They're only a few years old.
Personally, I think 18 spoke wheel are not the best for third world roads. Better to get 36 spoke in 3-cross pattern.
12-13-04, 01:05 PM
INdian bike vs Western bike?
I think the only reason to go for an Indian bike would be if you plan a trip with low mileage and lots of stops. It would -- presumably -- be less tempting.
As for repairability, check wheel sizes, but I think any bike with 26" wheels would be OK. As for other breaks, get either bar-end shifters or downtube shifters (or a cheap set of backup downtube shifters); in a pinch, you could always convert your bike to single speed or buy a local derailleur and go friction.
12-15-04, 02:43 PM
thanks for your replies.
I decided to bring my own bike; a changed the drivetrain (chain and cogs) and bought some spokes for the shimano wheels: they are ridicously priced! I managed to keep it all, luggage and bike at 19 kg
I will leave saturday, wish me luck.
you are insane for wanting to do this on 18 spoke wheels. 32 minimum and >36 prefered. You should be able to locate a wheelset before you leave. Don't do it on 18 spoke wheels, they're not meant for touring. You break 1 spoke and that wheel probably won't turn. Also make sure you have good wide rubber, 32+mm if it's a road tire, and I think mtb 1.5 or wider.
12-16-04, 04:06 AM
Yep, I agree with that! To use 18 spokes is crazy on any kind of tour but India??????
Strong wheels can save you many a headache--bo for at least 36.
12-16-04, 10:43 AM
You might want to check out the touring bikes from Bruce Gordon Cycles.
We make both 26" and 700c wheel models.
Bruce Gordon Cycles
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