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Thread: What bike?

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    What bike?

    Hi everyone,

    I currently ride a decent trek road bike and have done all kinds of rides on it. The longest was probably an 80 mile solo ride.

    I am currently planning an 80 mile (and 80 miles back) with a friend, but this trip will be about 75% very crude pavement and some dirt roads. This obviously makes the road bike a bad choice.

    SO i'm trying to decide what to do about getting a bike for this ride.

    I really love my road bike and besides this trip any other bike will not get much use. That, along with not having much money for a new bike, leaves me in a bind.

    I'm hoping to find someone that i know that would lend me a decent MTB or hybrid, BUT if that doesn't work out, what are your opinions of going out to sports authourity or walmart or something and buying a MTB costing about $100 for this trip?

    First off, would a cheap bike like this make it through a trip totaling about 200 miles?
    Additionally, i know a hybrid would be the better choice, but the MTB is usually a bit cheaper. If i went with the MTB, would it be absolutely necessary to at least get some slicks? (which may drive up the price beyond making the purchase of a MTB over the hybrid even worth it) If so, would the wisest decision be to buy the hybrid(because its a bit lighter, a bit thinner tires, and not such nobby tires that would have to be swtiched out for slicks)?

    As you can see i've got some decisions to make and im really pumped up for this trip and cant wait! Thanks for all the valuable help that i have gotten from this sight!

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    What Trek do you have?
    Will it take larger tires?
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    I agree tell us more about your Trek. if it is an older steel frame it may take some fatter tires. where is this ride? has your friend done it?

    I would not take a sports authority, nor recomend one, for a 200mi ride on rough roads. check your local craigslist you may find a decent used hybrid. then after the ride you can clean it and sell it off
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    Its a trek 1200. All aluminum. Not sure if it would accept bigger tires but something to definitely look into.

    The ride is for a program called the Congressional Award. It is a community service/volunteer program in which I must complete 800 community service hours along with a four night trip. This trip cannot be planned by anyone else or setup by an organization. The object is to be on your own for these four nights. The trip is from Daytona Beach Fl to St.Augustine. I know the typical route would be to head down A1A/US1 (like the MS150) but i have planned a more complex route that is seldom traveled on. I chose this route mainly because my mother (a medical malpractice lawer) will not approve of traveling on such routes without a large riding group.(im in highschool by the way) I know this sounds silly but i respect her concern only because i have been involved in a bike VS SUV accident in which i was ALMOST squished like a bug.


    I dont need anything elaborate. The trip is only 70-80miles each way. (plus however far we travel daily around St.Augustine) I just need a suitable bike for rough roads and possible some dirt roads. This will be more of a leisurely ride so im really not concerned about what bike it is, providing it makes it there and back in one piece!

    I can post the link to the route planned on mapmyride.com if that would help.

    Thanks!!

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    You might be able to get 700x28 tires on your bike, ask your LBS. It also depends on the dirt road and how much distance you plan on riding on this road and how much gear you are bringing. 80 miles on a dirt road fully loaded is a lot. 80 miles fully loaded on paved roads is still a good ride. 80 miles without a load on paved roads is certainly doable. The type of dirt road will make a huge difference, a crushed limestone trail is better than loose gravel trail, or loose dirt vs compacted dirt vs mud is a lot of difference.

    have you driven this route? I would suggest that as the first step. or have you planned the route using cycling maps? You may find a better route.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    You might be able to get 700x28 tires on your bike, ask your LBS. It also depends on the dirt road and how much distance you plan on riding on this road and how much gear you are bringing. 80 miles on a dirt road fully loaded is a lot. 80 miles fully loaded on paved roads is still a good ride. 80 miles without a load on paved roads is certainly doable. The type of dirt road will make a huge difference, a crushed limestone trail is better than loose gravel trail, or loose dirt vs compacted dirt vs mud is a lot of difference.

    have you driven this route? I would suggest that as the first step. or have you planned the route using cycling maps? You may find a better route.

    I have not driven the route yet, just been using mapmyride.com and google maps' street view to determine the route's surface. Ill review the route a little more and let you guys know how much is actually not paved.

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    I could not imagine riding that far on a wal-mart bike. If you can't borrow a decent mountain bike I would definatly put a durable tire on your road bike. You would be cussing yourself out every mile of the way on a cheap bike.

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    So i have basically reviewed the entire route and it will be on paved roads (decent and some a little rough) EXCEPT for about 10 miles (I think) along North Old Dixie Highway that is actually brick.

    This link is a link to wikipedia of a picture of what im getting myself into.

    All comments/constructive criticism is welcome

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    Is the brick section you are speaking of the stretch from Espanola north to route 204? If it is, I have ridden it a number of times and you need to know it is almost 100% covered with deep sugar sand. Difficult riding to say the least. Very interesting road, however, mostly because you get to see just how things were back then. This road is only just wide enough to get one car at a time down it and considerable effort was used to build it. All hand laid brick with concrete gutters, good crowning. Lots of work in a time gone past.

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    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    you ever see the paris-roubaix? you know what it is? they do it on road bikes. have a great ride and enjoy it.

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    Some bike shops will rent decent bikes if you want to try something different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    Is the brick section you are speaking of the stretch from Espanola north to route 204? If it is, I have ridden it a number of times and you need to know it is almost 100% covered with deep sugar sand. Difficult riding to say the least. Very interesting road, however, mostly because you get to see just how things were back then. This road is only just wide enough to get one car at a time down it and considerable effort was used to build it. All hand laid brick with concrete gutters, good crowning. Lots of work in a time gone past.

    Mike
    Yes i believe so. So its do-able on a MTB?
    I haven't really found an alternate route so combined with about 75 miles of road riding, (on a MTB) would this work for a day trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
    you ever see the paris-roubaix? you know what it is? they do it on road bikes. have a great ride and enjoy it.
    I looked on the Wikipedia page and i'm guessing you are referring to the 28 cobbled sections?
    This is a positive sign. Although i know the area i will be on has a lot of sand from what i can see and a MTB would probably be a better choice just because i won't have a team car following me!
    Last edited by floridabiker; 10-25-10 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floridabiker View Post
    Y..............Although i know the area i will be on has a lot of sand from what i can see and a MTB would probably be a better choice just because i won't have a team car following me!
    ahh, with the sand factor, perhaps some wider tires might be an option. if you really want to do it on a mountainbike, i've seen someone ride a century on a mountainbike, and then there are the folks doing ride the divide on mountainbikes, so there is that.

    i still think you can do it on a road bike with fatter tires. either way, let us know how it went. have a good ride

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    I know this is a ridiculous question but, on an entry level mountain bike probably 26" wheels, SPD clipless MTB pedals, with two rear panniers loaded for a 5 day, but LIGHT trip what should i expect to average (or a minimum) pace do you think that two people could handle on flat pavement. Both of us are in high school and we are both pretty fit.

    I really just need to make sure that if we end up on MTBs (which are probably the least efficient) that we can do the 80 miles in one day.

    I'm thinking we could definitely handle a 10-12 MPH average but maybe i'm wrong...just looking for some estimates that someone could throw at me


    And if we go the MTB route should i just pick up some slicks since it will not really be "mountain biking" and that should help with making the bike the most efficient? Any other suggestions that are relatively cheap?

    Thanks a lot for the comments..really a good confidence builder that people actually think it can be done and this isn't just one of my silly dreams blown way out of proportion lol

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    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    i did a 60 mile round tripper in a day on my mtb back when i was on highschool... 1.95 knobbies... i wouldnt do it for love or money now. If you're going to ride MTB, do yourself a favor and get some smaller slick tires (1.5" or less)

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    I rode 120 miles on a rigid MTB in my youth. Maybe 70% paved/30% dirt. It was a 12 hour day, however.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    i did a 60 mile round tripper in a day on my mtb back when i was on highschool... 1.95 knobbies... i wouldnt do it for love or money now. If you're going to ride MTB, do yourself a favor and get some smaller slick tires (1.5" or less)
    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I rode 120 miles on a rigid MTB in my youth. Maybe 70% paved/30% dirt. It was a 12 hour day, however.
    Ok thanks..that helps alot. I'm hoping to do a lot of on the petal eating/constant snacking and i was hoping to only have to factor in one meal break lasting maybe an hour. Is this sufficient or should i be stopping to get "real" food (not gels and powerbars) maybe 3 to 4 times over the course of the day?

    I guess i need to visit to search engine and take care of all of my questions pouring out of my mouth lol

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    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    are you doing this all in a day or is it 80 on day 1, 80 on day 2? are you riding loaded up?

    Gel packs and powerbars will fuel you through the day but I'd take a meal break at regular meal time. That's just me, you'll have some more hardcore guys saying no way you stop for meals...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    are you doing this all in a day or is it 80 on day 1, 80 on day 2? are you riding loaded up?

    Gel packs and powerbars will fuel you through the day but I'd take a meal break at regular meal time. That's just me, you'll have some more hardcore guys saying no way you stop for meals...

    It will be about 80 miles on day one. Four nights will be spent in St.augustine and on the fifth day we will head back the same 80 miles. I'm planning on riding with two rear panniers. We will ride pretty light because we can basically get whatever we need at our destination. The bulk of the stuff will be a small tent, one change of clothes, on the bike food (gels and powerbar kinda stuff..maybe a PBJ or two and some fruit), small tool kit/tubes and other essential parts, and a couple of liters of water. There are two or three bike shops at the destination and just about everything else you could think of so hopefully we will be able to pack pretty light.

    I'm also planning on using a GPS with the route already imputed, along with a very detailed paper copy of the route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    Is the brick section you are speaking of the stretch from Espanola north to route 204? If it is, I have ridden it a number of times and you need to know it is almost 100% covered with deep sugar sand. Difficult riding to say the least. Very interesting road, however, mostly because you get to see just how things were back then. This road is only just wide enough to get one car at a time down it and considerable effort was used to build it. All hand laid brick with concrete gutters, good crowning. Lots of work in a time gone past.

    Mike

    Mike, I recieved your PM, but i guess i can't send PM's until i accumulate 50 posts.
    A few quick questions:

    How thin a tire do you think i can get away with on the sand/brick road?

    What did you use?

    Thanks
    Brad

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    Brad,

    The sand on this road is deep and soft. I went down it the other day on my motorcycle (BMW GS) the deepest areas appear to be in the nothern half of the road. It bears a quick check out by you prior to planning. I'm thinking you could pick your way along with the average MTB tires but when you get into the heavier stuff it will slow you down quite a bit.
    Conditions on this road have changed over time. It used to be a lot less sanded over. It may change again. I'm thinking maybe it gets swept by the county but maybe not now. Money is tight and I think the road goes through two counties and it isn't used much except for hunters and deranged high school MTB's :>)

    Cool road to do at least once.

    Mike
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    You could build a set of 650B wheels and install long reach brakes - this could turn your Trek into an dirt-road touring bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    Brad,

    The sand on this road is deep and soft. I went down it the other day on my motorcycle (BMW GS) the deepest areas appear to be in the nothern half of the road. It bears a quick check out by you prior to planning. I'm thinking you could pick your way along with the average MTB tires but when you get into the heavier stuff it will slow you down quite a bit.
    Conditions on this road have changed over time. It used to be a lot less sanded over. It may change again. I'm thinking maybe it gets swept by the county but maybe not now. Money is tight and I think the road goes through two counties and it isn't used much except for hunters and deranged high school MTB's :>)

    Cool road to do at least once.

    Mike
    Ok thanks,

    do you happen to know about how many miles the brick section is? ( I will be getting on N Old Dixie Highway directly west of Flagler Beach and getting off at Co Rd 13)

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    It is just under 10 miles long and runs between cr 205 and cr 204. It is (I believe) the only surviving brick section of the original Dixie Highway, it is on the National Historic Register and there has been talk of a federally funded restoration of it at some point.

    Right now there are signs along the road warning that it is illegal to take any of the bricks but little else has been done. It dates from about 1910 or so.

    Bicycle wise..I think you would be doing something if you could average 9 mph on this section..you may be down to a walk for some of it unless you are real good in soft sand. Might be good to budget 1 or 2 hours for this section.

    You will, by the way, be getting on this old road in Espanola Fl at the 205 intersection. The old brick road is the Dixie Highway and CR 13 at the same time. It will run north 9 miles until it intersects CR204 and, if you take a left at the end of the brick road you will still be on CR13 ..it runs into the town of Hastings. You can then take a right in Hastings and you will be on 207 which goes right into St Augustine.

    If you find yourself short on time you could just go up US1 which has that real nice, brand new paved bike path with the bridges etc. that runs all the way up to the intersection of US1 and 95 and then you can continue north on US 1 right into St A. (I'm sure you know all this). That new bike path is great...empty most of the time..you can haul ass all the way and (the best part) there is a Dairy Queen at the north end of it!

    BTW, US 1 and 207 both have pretty good bike lanes all the way to St A.

    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    It is just under 10 miles long and runs between cr 205 and cr 204. It is (I believe) the only surviving brick section of the original Dixie Highway, it is on the National Historic Register and there has been talk of a federally funded restoration of it at some point.

    Right now there are signs along the road warning that it is illegal to take any of the bricks but little else has been done. It dates from about 1910 or so.

    Bicycle wise..I think you would be doing something if you could average 9 mph on this section..you may be down to a walk for some of it unless you are real good in soft sand. Might be good to budget 1 or 2 hours for this section.

    You will, by the way, be getting on this old road in Espanola Fl at the 205 intersection. The old brick road is the Dixie Highway and CR 13 at the same time. It will run north 9 miles until it intersects CR204 and, if you take a left at the end of the brick road you will still be on CR13 ..it runs into the town of Hastings. You can then take a right in Hastings and you will be on 207 which goes right into St Augustine.

    If you find yourself short on time you could just go up US1 which has that real nice, brand new paved bike path with the bridges etc. that runs all the way up to the intersection of US1 and 95 and then you can continue north on US 1 right into St A. (I'm sure you know all this). That new bike path is great...empty most of the time..you can haul ass all the way and (the best part) there is a Dairy Queen at the north end of it!

    BTW, US 1 and 207 both have pretty good bike lanes all the way to St A.

    Mike

    Great information THANK YOU!!
    I wasn't able to find much info on the bike path the runs along US1.
    Do you happen to know where it begins at the southern end? (then ending at the intersection of US1 and 95 at the northern end)

    This could work out to be a great alternate to my route because if it starts south enough we could just opt to go around the brick section of CR13 and then follow CR204 west and follow the route the rest of the way up. (or stay on US1)

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