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Old 09-04-12, 06:42 PM   #1
mdilthey
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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!
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Old 09-05-12, 07:57 AM   #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
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Old 09-05-12, 10:10 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-05-12, 10:21 AM   #4
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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
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.
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Old 09-05-12, 12:39 PM   #5
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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.

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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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