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  1. #1
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Choosing a Hardtail 29er for Touring South America

    Hi! I've got a thread going on the Touring forum for this, but I think it might be better suited here. I'm trying to choose a 29er hardtail for bikepacking across South America. Before you ask, I understand spare tires will be impossible to purchase in So. America for a 29er, and I will be planning accordingly. My "plan" is to buy really bombproof Schwalbes over stock tires, and then carrying a foldable to hold me over if I need to air-drop a new Schwalbe in mid-trip.

    I need a bike with the following for under $1500:

    1. Frame needs to accomodate a rack and be pretty tough. I will NOT be rigorously mountain biking, but I don't want something soft- I really crank on my bike and I also go pretty fast on roads, I want the security of a tough frame. I don't care what material it's made of if you can attest to the rigidity.

    2. Wheels need to be as tough as possible. I would rather not buy new wheels, so the strongest stock wheels would be a priority.

    3. Good componentry. I've toured on bad components before and it was a nightmare- I want to get the highest groupset possible at my pricepoint.

    4. I would love an established company, one with a warranty program worth a few years.

    5. I want to go with a hardtail and a front fork- no full suspension.

    Thanks in advance for the help- I really appreciate it. My price point of 1500 is firm, the lower the better obviously. I don't care much about hydraulic v. mechanical brakes, and I'll be replacing the seat and handlebars with a good touring seat and some trekking bars so those don't matter either.

    Again- this is a big help! Thanks for taking some time to advise!

  2. #2
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    take a look at the giant talon 0. I have the Talon 1, and I love it. The Talon 0 has better componants, and retails for around 1100

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Hi! I've got a thread going on the Touring forum for this, but I think it might be better suited here. I'm trying to choose a 29er hardtail for bikepacking across South America. Before you ask, I understand spare tires will be impossible to purchase in So. America for a 29er, and I will be planning accordingly.
    I'll ask anyway: why not run a 26-inch wheel, which means you can get replacement parts locally if you need them? Don't pick what's trendy and then "plan" around that. Pick what's going to work.

    A Surly Troll would be ideal for the job.

    [Edit: I just read the thread you stared in the touring section. It looks like you've decided to ignore all of the good advice you got there. Have a nice trip. Hope you live.]
    Last edited by corvuscorvax; 09-05-12 at 11:00 AM.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic795 View Post
    take a look at the giant talon 0. I have the Talon 1, and I love it. The Talon 0 has better componants, and retails for around 1100
    For bikepacking?? In South America?

    The frame doesn't have rack mounts or V-brake mounts. You'd have to put racks on with frame clamps. Even if they didn't crush the aluminum tubing, that frame is too light for hauling a load.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
    I'll ask anyway: why not run a 26-inch wheel, which means you can get replacement parts locally if you need them? Don't pick what's trendy and then "plan" around that. Pick what's going to work.

    A Surly Troll would be ideal for the job.

    [Edit: I just read the thread you stared in the touring section. It looks like you've decided to ignore all of the good advice you got there. Have a nice trip. Hope you live.]
    I don't know how carefully you read it. Check the second page where I've already decided on 26. My LBS led me a little astray, but on the touring forum, they're happy to encourage rather than bash new cyclists.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Ok, that pretty much seals the deal then. The advice here is internalized and respected.

    -I will be touring on a 26" hardtail instead of a 29"
    -I will be using a tent instead of my beloved hammock

    Thank you for the advice. Can anyone offer any insight into materials? Experience would be a plus.
    Obviously that's not the case over here, so I'll stay there. Jerk!
    Last edited by mdilthey; 09-05-12 at 12:48 PM.

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