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Old 08-12-07, 05:35 PM   #1
Cave
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Anyone tried XC riding on a touring bike?

I'm getting into some trail riding, the bikes I currently have access to are a Canondale T800 and an old crappy too-large MTB (Shogun trailbreaker 1). I'm considering putting cyclocross or thin 29er tyres on the T800; only problem is there is some toe overlap which will get worse with the big tyres. I can get the handlebars high, the brakes are OK and the gearing is ideal.

Sure a decent MTB would be nice, but around here it takes $550 to $750 to get something adequate. I'm over the Shogun, except for practicing some skills in a train backlot nearby.

The other thing I might try is moving the 26" wheel / 1 1/4" headset crappy suspension fork onto the tourer, to see if toe overlap is any better.

Any experience on touring bikes?

(X-post on Touring)
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Old 08-12-07, 06:35 PM   #2
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Not advisable.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:10 PM   #3
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aahh... i dont know the geo. of your tourer, but mine has a 73* head angle. thats a little steep for trail use, great on the road, but steep on the trail. I really wouldnt reccomend it.

I also wouldnt recommend trying to change it over to 26", it would just mess up the geo even more. (i.e. lower BB)

I really doubt your tourer has a 1 1/4" head tube, so you cant change the headset to that size.

I would look for a cheap MTB frame that fits you, and transfer all your parts over to it.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:33 PM   #4
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I would look for a cheap MTB frame that fits you, and transfer all your parts over to it.
I'd agree with that statement and even suggest that the cheap frame (if you are having trouble finding a used one) would be this Nashbar Frame.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:52 PM   #5
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aahh... i dont know the geo. of your tourer, but mine has a 73* head angle. thats a little steep for trail use, great on the road, but steep on the trail. I really wouldnt reccomend it.

I also wouldnt recommend trying to change it over to 26", it would just mess up the geo even more. (i.e. lower BB)

I really doubt your tourer has a 1 1/4" head tube, so you cant change the headset to that size.

I would look for a cheap MTB frame that fits you, and transfer all your parts over to it.
Yeah, the long wheelbase and lowish BB would be a problem. Head tube angle is 71 deg, bike seems to handle OK although descending in the drops is kinda scary! (Have a steerer extension now which will eliminate this problem).

The steerer is 1 1/4" same as the MTB fork, should be easy to move the fork over but I'm not sure how the bike will ride. The MTB fork looks like about 80mm travel. The only reason I'd want to do this is to get rid of toe overlap which is a major pain at low speed.

I'm looking for a 2nd hand bike but to be honest most of what is available is either rubbish or overpriced. In the meantime I'm enjoying the tourer on dirt roads and easy, open-country tracks.

I guess i'll give it a go on the weekend and report back.

Last edited by Cave; 08-12-07 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 08-13-07, 01:24 AM   #6
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Don't kill yourself. $500 will get you a quality used bike. Let the ego slide, get a used bike. And then drop new parts on it as you can and make it your own custom ride.
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Old 08-13-07, 10:16 AM   #7
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I got my touring bike from the builder set up for trail riding. Jeep trails and light single track that is. When I took the 700x38 tires over some bad rocks and bumps I bent the Nittoo handlebars. If I try it again I'll use the 700x42 knobbies he offered me. Bruce Gordon sold me a new handle bar at his cost.

Last edited by ken cummings; 08-13-07 at 10:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-13-07, 10:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cave View Post
Yeah, the long wheelbase and lowish BB would be a problem. Head tube angle is 71 deg, bike seems to handle OK although descending in the drops is kinda scary! (Have a steerer extension now which will eliminate this problem).

The steerer is 1 1/4" same as the MTB fork, should be easy to move the fork over but I'm not sure how the bike will ride. The MTB fork looks like about 80mm travel. The only reason I'd want to do this is to get rid of toe overlap which is a major pain at low speed.

I'm looking for a 2nd hand bike but to be honest most of what is available is either rubbish or overpriced. In the meantime I'm enjoying the tourer on dirt roads and easy, open-country tracks.

I guess i'll give it a go on the weekend and report back.
The steer tube is a 1 1/8" just like 90% of the mountain bikes out there. The issue I would see, long term, is that the head tube/downtube/toptube aren't reinforced to take the pounding that a mountain bike is. The Cannondale touring bike is tough but just not that tough.

I've ridden lots of mountain bike miles on rigid bikes. You can do it...or you could go to a bar and insult someone's mother. Either way, you're going to get beat up
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Old 08-14-07, 05:38 AM   #9
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Oops, 1 1/8 it is (28.6mm), thanks Cyc.

I don't like the way the fork looks sitting on the tourer frame, the bike is tilted up a bit. At least I managed to avoid losing any ball bearings...

I'll be trawling the garage sales this weekend and test riding a Specialised Rockhopper and a Giant Yukon - I don't think I want to go lower spec than these.
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