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  1. #1
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    I'm goin' DT touring baby!

    Hello everybody! This is my first post, et viola:
    I am going on a two week bike tour here in Languedoc Roussillon with my mother for spring break and I am very excited! I already did the ride with my wife last spring and we both loved it. In fact we spent last summer riding more than 2,000 kilometers through Southern France and Corsica. We went over some death defying peaks, such as Mt. Ventoux, and traversed many lonely mountain roads. The comical thing is that our bikes are about as cheap as can be. I bought mine new at a local sporting chain for about $100. It is outfitted with some SRAM shifters and shimano components, but the bike shops we visited en route told us how our bikes are definately not meant for touring. My wife's bike is a 15 year old Bobet that we upgraded with a triple crank and front and rear racks with panniers. I pulled a B.O.B. trailor (the ten year old model) that still cost more than two times more than my bike.
    Now that my mother is coming to visit from the states, I ordered a Down Tube off e-bay so that she can have something to ride, and I can sell mine when she leaves. Would I rather be totally outfitted with a kick-butt titanium super Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Launcher LAma Explorer Extraordinaire? Yes! But with limited funds, you can still pull off a good tour with a cheap steed. And I wouldn't have been able to do my odyssey last summer if I had paid for something more expensive. I guess the important thing is that your bike is geared for climbing and rolls smoothly so that you almost forget that it is under you. Questions for all you Down Tubers: What would you recommend my mother brings from the U.S. with her to upgrade the DT for our trip? Schwalbe tires,etc.? Are the gears low enough for steep climbs? CAn I pull a trailor (I will probably carry everything for my mom, but just thought I'd ask anyway). Thanks! I have been bitten by the bike tour bug and I am searching for a cure!

  2. #2
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    Wow... another Downtube newbie to the site... they must be rolling in the cash by now.
    In my shed: Santa Cruz Bullit and Superlight, Ritchey BreakAway

  3. #3
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Wow! And to think in another thread, I was flamed for prefering more modestly cost (entry or budget level) bicycles even my used British three speed than top of the line fancy ones that the performance mad crowd in the US perfer. After all, going into deep debt unless you are forced to is not recommended and can spoil the enjoyment of the new item in question and haunt the purchaser for a very long time afterwards. Thank you for illustrating what people overlook in cycling-the experience rather than brand names or price.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-06-06 at 06:29 PM.

  4. #4
    too many bikes
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    @ folder fanatic .... better come clean about the Xootr Swift with Schlumpf crankset and Rohloff Speed 14 that you actually ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    Wow! And to think in another thread, I was flamed for prefering more modestly cost (entry or budget level) bicycles even my used British three speed than top of the line fancy ones that the performance mad crowd in the US perfer. After all, going into deep debt unless you are forced to is not recommended and can spoil the enjoyment of the new item in question and haunt the purchaser for a very long time afterwards. Thank you for illustrating what people overlook in cycling-the experience rather than brand names or price.
    My comment had more to do with viral marketing than this 'new' users 'experience' with a downtube.
    In my shed: Santa Cruz Bullit and Superlight, Ritchey BreakAway

  6. #6
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankypants
    Hello everybody! This is my first post, et viola:
    I am going on a two week bike tour here in Languedoc Roussillon with my mother for spring break and I am very excited! I already did the ride with my wife last spring and we both loved it. In fact we spent last summer riding more than 2,000 kilometers through Southern France and Corsica. We went over some death defying peaks, such as Mt. Ventoux, and traversed many lonely mountain roads. The comical thing is that our bikes are about as cheap as can be. I bought mine new at a local sporting chain for about $100. It is outfitted with some SRAM shifters and shimano components, but the bike shops we visited en route told us how our bikes are definately not meant for touring. My wife's bike is a 15 year old Bobet that we upgraded with a triple crank and front and rear racks with panniers. I pulled a B.O.B. trailor (the ten year old model) that still cost more than two times more than my bike.
    Now that my mother is coming to visit from the states, I ordered a Down Tube off e-bay so that she can have something to ride, and I can sell mine when she leaves. Would I rather be totally outfitted with a kick-butt titanium super Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Launcher LAma Explorer Extraordinaire? Yes! But with limited funds, you can still pull off a good tour with a cheap steed. And I wouldn't have been able to do my odyssey last summer if I had paid for something more expensive. I guess the important thing is that your bike is geared for climbing and rolls smoothly so that you almost forget that it is under you. Questions for all you Down Tubers: What would you recommend my mother brings from the U.S. with her to upgrade the DT for our trip? Schwalbe tires,etc.? Are the gears low enough for steep climbs? CAn I pull a trailor (I will probably carry everything for my mom, but just thought I'd ask anyway). Thanks! I have been bitten by the bike tour bug and I am searching for a cure!
    As far as I could understand, you are living in France or Europe nearby France right? after the first question, lets go to the second issue, despite you have a cheap bicycle it doesn't mean that it is not strong and reliable and you can travel for thousands and thousands of km. Usually (but not always) the more expensive "...kick-butt titanium super Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Launcher LAma Explorer Extraordinaire..." stuff more fragile will be, so I would keep the cheapo all steel robery proof gaz pipe bicycle. Finally, if your mother is mitting you in Europe and you are traveling in Europe you do not need to over load her with stuff you may buy in this side of the Atlantic.

    Bon voyage

  7. #7
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maunakea
    @ folder fanatic .... better come clean about the Xootr Swift with Schlumpf crankset and Rohloff Speed 14 that you actually ride.
    I wish! In reality, I am rather forced to ride rather inexpensive bikes because in the inner city that I conduct business, there are plenty of vicious bike jackers that would eagerly smash you in the head over the most popular bikes (anything other than Huffy, Pacific, Magma and other notable brands). The local police discribes the criminal activity as being "contained" rather than actively controlled or policed. My mother already lost one cousin (distantly related to her) to a head smashing bike jacker. She simply does not want to add me to the list. Perhaps I will be able to join the performance crowd when I do escape to the hills like alot of my former HS and college classmates did. Until then....cheapies here I come!

  8. #8
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    Aww common AWOL,.. are you insinuating something with those remarks? I thought this debate was dead and buried,.. must we start defending/trashing DT and their marketing/popularity once again? Must i explain again that selling a 10 or a 1000 bikes with a very low profit margin/pretty close to cost still does not equal rolling in cash by a real long shot? Especially if the company puts lots of the profit towards R & D, improvement of the older models, new models and service? And also tends to lower prices on their new and old improved machines...

    How come i have never heard you talk this way about Trek, Giant or even Dahon and their pretty hardcore marketing (they definately throw a lot more of the money they get from us -the consumers- at their marketing efforts..) ?

    I for one salute the OP for his cycling panache and him sharing his wonderfull experiences here. But even if he had done his touring on the top of the line Moulton i'd still salute him and refrain from (for example) calling him or Moulton snobs or victims to Yuppie marketing, or insinuating even worse. What do you mean 'new' and 'experience'...?..! A pity this.
    Last edited by v1nce; 03-10-06 at 12:39 AM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  9. #9
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    Yes Caotropheus, I am living in Montpellier. I agree that it is better to ride something where you can get replacements when you might need them! I like this forum. It seems that people can get into some pretty heated dicussions here, so I am going to take it easy for a while.........

  10. #10
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    Yeah Cranky, unfortunately there are some topics that lead to pretty heated debate. But be most welcome and post all you want! Don't let us silly debaters stop you please.

    Glad to hear about your positive folder experiences.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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