Touring - New Tourer HELP please
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Ive been looking at a tourer, so far the Surly LHT and KHS TR 101 as well as Trek 520. Trouble is i am now totaly confused all three seem so close in components and tubing. The KHS and Trek comes pre-equiped with fenders and rack. But the Surly costing more comes minus this and even pedals. Any tips or views. Looking at about $1200-1500 Ca. To allow extra funds for panniers tent etc. I have looked all over this site and it seems there are old posts but nothing too current. Thanks all
02-12-12, 05:34 PM
I would focus on fit.
02-12-12, 06:58 PM
Your best bet is to get to a LBS and do some test riding.
Mark, Another bike to look at is http://www.raleighusa.com/archive/2011-steel-road/sojourn-11/ .
The subject of fit is paramount as there will be alot of saddle time each day. Try to ride them all.
02-12-12, 08:01 PM
Focus on top tube length. Most important for how stretched out you'll be and where your sit bones land on the saddle when in your most common riding position. Fine tune the fit after purchase as you gain experience on the bike. You can ride any of them across the country and back with minimal problems, but give particular consideration to gearing. Lower is usually better for loaded touring.
As most shops aren't use to fitting a touring bike, take advice you get with that grain of salt.
Thankyou all, looks like a test ride is in order for fitting. Thanks again, great site.
Safe riding all.
Mark, it's easy to get hung up on comparing value according to names on component lists when the fit and ride is what matters most. Sure some component groups may be better or the package may be better but once you get it that is what you're riding and the money value doesn't matter as much as your knowing how to fix/maintain things. A more expensive derailleur doesn't matter if the bike is transported derailleur side down, the hanger is bent and you don't correct it before throwing the chain in the spokes. Fancier wheels/tires don't matter if you're unaware of the tire pressue and a pinch flat damages the rim. Most of my touring I did 30-40yrs ago would be on the equivalent of $600bikes nowadays.
02-13-12, 09:07 AM
I think the LHT may be the best tourer for the price. Of course, I'm biased, since that's what I have. In my case, I bought a frame and built it up, so I can't claim experience with the complete configuration. I certainly can't claim any experience with other brands or models, other than reading people's posts here, and talking bikes with touring people I've met on the road.
If you can afford it, get something good (like an LHT.) I've toured on a "tourer" with some deficiencies. It was fun, but touring is a better experience on a bike that's solid, well-thought-out, with all the features you want. On tour you are so dependent on your ride, and it's such a huge part of the experience; it's nice to have a bike that feels perfect.
They are all fine, solid bikes. After fit (which is the most important thing) I would go for the fenders and racks already installed. Fenders are so important to keeping you dry and comfortable. Adding fenders later can be a giant pain especially if there are no eyelets on the frame and the brake reach isn't big enough. I would also look into a saddle upgrade because stock saddles usually stink. Manufacturers know they are likely going to be switched out anyway and install a basic rubber, foam and vinyl nasty thing.
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