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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-06-09, 07:48 PM   #1
timmythology
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Wwud

So I currently have have a mtb that is converted to a hybrid for commuting. I am wanting to do a few local tours for weekend camping trips next summer. So what would you do, convert mtb to a touring hybrid for touring and commuting, or get a tour frame and have drive train, tires and such changed over.

To convert to a hybrid touring I would need to change forks, 100.00 bucks. I would still have some heel strike issues, or I would need to get a trailer.
To change frames is around 400.00 bucks.
Either way I would need to switch to trekking bars, and change out seat post.
Labor is a factor either way so I am not counting that.

Current frame is a Raleigh M80. I would switch to a Surly LHT.

So which way would you go.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:52 PM   #2
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I would buy a new bike with the frame and components to meet my needs. I bought a $100.00 mountain bike off of craigslist and it works fine for me to use on the small trails around here. I also have a road bike and a hybrid. I bought a nice trailer for $40.00 of craigslist also. It takes time, but things show up sooner or later on craigslist. Unless you have to have new, why not look around for used that meets your needs.
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Old 12-06-09, 09:17 PM   #3
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I recommend touring on the bike you have. Or getting a second bike 'designed' for touring.

Why do you "need" to change forks and get trekking bars?

I can understand getting a trailer if you have problems with heel strike. I recommend a single-wheel trailer, although for road riding double wheeled trailers are fine.
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Old 12-06-09, 09:19 PM   #4
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Ride what you got:

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Old 12-06-09, 09:24 PM   #5
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Don't really need new, and I check craigslist a few times a week. The reason I am not wanting to purchase a whole new bike is that I have decent parts on my mtb. I have also learned that maintaining more than one bike kinda sucks. I like to ride, not clean, grease, and doing maintenance.
So after thinking, and reading. I have decided on the two last options as the most viable. I decided to ask this forum since I have gotten very useful information in the past. The mtb I have had was given to me through friends around five years ago. At this point only the frame is original. So I am thinking it is just time to move on, rather than converting it again.
Thanks for your reply
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Old 12-06-09, 09:30 PM   #6
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The frame I am looking at is the popular long haul trucker
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
I recommend touring on the bike you have. Or getting a second bike 'designed' for touring.

Why do you "need" to change forks and get trekking bars? I currently have suspension forks, and I am tried of them. I have rode this bike on metrics in the past with no issue, before getting a road bike. I am looking at going to trekking bars from my current bars because I broke my bar extenders in June when I fell and fractured my elbow. So the bars would be instead of just adding a new set of bar ends.

I can understand getting a trailer if you have problems with heel strike. I recommend a single-wheel trailer, although for road riding double wheeled trailers are fine.
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Old 12-06-09, 10:00 PM   #7
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I net a guy at a park once who had toured the entire world - tens of thousands of miles - on a standard mountain bike.
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Old 12-06-09, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmythology View Post
To convert to a hybrid touring I would need to change forks, 100.00 bucks. I would still have some heel strike issues, or I would need to get a trailer.
Are you saying this because you've mounted a rack and panniers to your frame and you know for a fact that your heels strike the panniers? Or are you just worried about the possibility? Have you considered other options, such as a Carradice saddlebag?

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To change frames is around 400.00 bucks.
Either way I would need to switch to trekking bars, and change out seat post.
When I wanted a touring bike, I bought a Nashbar double-butted aluminum touring frame. They're currently on sale for $150. Rides like a dream and much cheaper than the vastly over-hyped Surly LHT. I moved over components from an old road bike. Had to buy a new chain, cantilever brakes, new bar tape, and a set of cables. Spent less than $100 on that stuff. My guess is that you can probably use whatever handlebar you've already got. I rode from SF to LA with a drop bar that was 4cm too wide without any problems.

Two things to think about:

1) Is the gearing on your current bike appropriate for touring?
2) Can your current frame and wheels accept tires which are appropriate for touring?

I ended up building a set of touring wheels and swapping my road triple crank (52/39/30) for a trekking crank (48/38/26).

In any event, I wouldn't invest a lot of money in a touring bike until you're sure you like touring. For short weekend trips, you can get by with just about anything. Ride the bike you've got, decide whether you like touring, then invest more money if you think you'll tour on a regular basis...
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Old 12-06-09, 11:22 PM   #9
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I currently use Ortlieb panniers on my mtb. In order to not have heel strike I have to adjust the fasteners as forward as possible. This places half of the support off the back of the rack. While it works for commuting I would not trust it with a lot of wieght.
I am not attached to the LHT trucker frame so will look at others first.
Gearing I have 42,32,22 on my mtb, which I am still not fully geared out of. I have 54,38,30 on my road bike and find that the 54 is too high at this point. I have already decided to up my gearing to 46,36,26 as a balance between the two.
Sounds like I will run a few trips in the spring to make the final decision.
Thanks


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Old 12-07-09, 07:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmythology View Post
Don't really need new, and I check craigslist a few times a week. The reason I am not wanting to purchase a whole new bike is that I have decent parts on my mtb. I have also learned that maintaining more than one bike kinda sucks. I like to ride, not clean, grease, and doing maintenance.
So after thinking, and reading. I have decided on the two last options as the most viable. I decided to ask this forum since I have gotten very useful information in the past. The mtb I have had was given to me through friends around five years ago. At this point only the frame is original. So I am thinking it is just time to move on, rather than converting it again.
Thanks for your reply

I couldn't have said that better myself. Since you are after what I would do, I would still opt to ride the bike you currently have. Keep an eye on craigslist/freecycle/newspaper/gragesales etc for a used kiddy trailer, remove the seats and you'll have an enclosed trailer which would be capable of hauling far more than you would ever need. Buying a whole new bike specifically for touring is kind of...stupid unless you are certain that touring is something you are going to want to do. It would really stink to invest a bunch of money only to discover that you hate it. Instead, buy a set of bar ends and nice set of ergo grips. If you have already tried mounting a set of panniers then opt for a trailer. The Historian has already suggested a one wheel design like the Bob Yak, a two wheel trailer would work fine too so long as your not doing too much off roading with it. The weak point on any trailer is going to be the mounting point, make sure you have a back up plan if it should fail.

Bau
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Old 12-07-09, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmythology View Post
I currently use Ortlieb panniers on my mtb. In order to not have heel strike I have to adjust the fasteners as forward as possible. This places half of the support off the back of the rack. While it works for commuting I would not trust it with a lot of wieght.
What about small panniers plus a large saddle bag, like the Carradice Camper Longflap or Super C?

Quote:
Gearing I have 42,32,22 on my mtb, which I am still not fully geared out of. I have 54,38,30 on my road bike and find that the 54 is too high at this point. I have already decided to up my gearing to 46,36,26 as a balance between the two.
Allow me to suggest a 48/36/26 crank as an alternative to the 46/36/26. Two reasons:

1) Nobody seems to be making a 46/36/26 these days. At least I wasn't able to find one in stock anywhere when I was looking earlier in the year...

2) It's pretty easy to gain speed when descending on a loaded touring bike; you'll spin out of the 46-tooth gear without even trying.
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