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Old 08-04-17, 01:14 PM   #26
Tourist in MSN
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First I want to say I agree with everything djb said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingDingo View Post
I'm 5'4" with an inseam of 28". I was extremely interested in the Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc 54cm, but learned that a 26" tire may be undesirable. Surly makes a 700c, but the biggest size is 56cm. I believe my body would be too small for such frame. I have three initial questions:

1) Is a 26" tire truly undesirable? Would it be insane to do a long tour in a 26" tire?

2) What make/model would fit well with my build (5'4.5", 130lbs, 28" inseam)? I prefer Surly, Kona or Scott due to a potential discount.

3) Are disc brakes an unnecessary luxury or highly recommended?

I initially hope to use this a commuter and eventually transition it into a cross-country touring machine.

..
1 - Who told you it was undesirable? Was it a bike salesman pushing the 650b size that some sales people will tell you is a new and improved size? Two of my three touring bikes are 26 inch, the third is 700c. I am a bit over 6' in height so I could easily use any size I want. I have a slight bit of toe overlap on my 700c bike, but not on my 26 inch bikes. If you can get a bike with no or minimal toe overlap, that is a plus.

2 - No opinion

3 - Disc are better in wet conditions. In dry conditions, I think both disc and rim brakes are good. One of my touring bikes is rim brake on front and disc on rear. When conditions are dry, I find both brakes to be comparable, but when conditions are wet the rim brakes are not as good. My rim brake is actually slightly better than the disc brake in dry conditions, but it depends on which pads I use and I could use a softer disc pad to improve the disc brake performance.

Regarding 26 inch wheels, historically it was hard to find a good road touring tire in 700c that was wider than about 35 or 37mm wide, but the opposite was true in 26 inch, it was hard to find a good road touring tire that was narrower than about 40mm. That was history. Now it is pretty easy to find a good road touring tire wider than 37mm wide. But I almost never see a good tire that I would consider for road touring that is narrower than 40 mm in 26 inch size.

In 26 inch, I tour on 40 mm wide tires on pavement, but if I will be on gravel or rough roads I use 50 or 57 mm wide. For touring on 700c, I use 35 or 37 mm wide tires. If I wanted to travel really light, I might consider 32 mm but not anything narrower than that.

If you deem the availability of narrower tires to be important, then you may want to try to find a 700c bike that does not have too much toe overlap, but if you were to use a wider tire, then the 26 inch bike would likely give you a bike with no or minimal toe overlap.

Bottom line, think about the tire width you want to use and the potential for toe overlap.
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Old 08-04-17, 02:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingDingo View Post
I'm 5'4" with an inseam of 28". I was extremely interested in the Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc 54cm, but learned that a 26" tire may be undesirable. Surly makes a 700c, but the biggest size is 56cm. I believe my body would be too small for such frame. I have three initial questions:

1) Is a 26" tire truly undesirable? Would it be insane to do a long tour in a 26" tire?

2) What make/model would fit well with my build (5'4.5", 130lbs, 28" inseam)? I prefer Surly, Kona or Scott due to a potential discount.

3) Are disc brakes an unnecessary luxury or highly recommended?

I initially hope to use this a commuter and eventually transition it into a cross-country touring machine.
1. 26" is truly desirable for your use

2. The LHT is a truck, if you are not carrying truck like loads you might widen your search.

3. Not as important as finding the right bike.

I was 70lbs more than you when I got my LHT in 700c then 26" wheels. With your weight you can get some light wheels and tires. 26" x 1.5" tires are surprisingly quick.
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Old 08-04-17, 02:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
But I almost never see a good tire that I would consider for road touring that is narrower than 40 mm in 26 inch size.

.
Panaracer T-Serv 26"x 1.5 or 37mm. Light 380 g touring tire with decent puncture resistance. For 130lb rider it would be excellent. I use the 1.75 version on my LHT

Schwalbe Supreme 26" x 1.6" while bigger than 40mm it would make a tough and fast enough touring tire. I have that on the rear of the LHT.
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Old 08-04-17, 03:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingDingo View Post
I'm 5'4" with an inseam of 28". I was extremely interested in the Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc 54cm, but learned that a 26" tire may be undesirable. Surly makes a 700c, but the biggest size is 56cm. I believe my body would be too small for such frame. I have three initial questions:

1) Is a 26" tire truly undesirable? Would it be insane to do a long tour in a 26" tire?

2) What make/model would fit well with my build (5'4.5", 130lbs, 28" inseam)? I prefer Surly, Kona or Scott due to a potential discount.

3) Are disc brakes an unnecessary luxury or highly recommended?

I initially hope to use this a commuter and eventually transition it into a cross-country touring machine.
Articles have been written about the superiority of 26" wheel over 700c.
By real world touring guide who lead thousands of miles of real world touring ride every year.

The real question is why do manufacture use 700c wheel at all for touring?
I guess they're too lazy/cheap to redesign their frame for 26".
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Old 08-05-17, 04:13 AM   #30
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I see Velo-Orange has a sale on frames including their Campeur.
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Old 08-05-17, 06:58 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
26" are more desirable for touring, mostly because of the variety of widths you can easily accommodate on a 26" frame. Most 26" frames will take a 2" tire if you want to do some rough gravel touring for example.
Disc brakes- not really necessary. I've never had a problem stopping with rim brakes, even in the rain. You're touring, you don't generally need to do crash stops on massive wet descents. I ride discs now- long story- and I have had them fade on a long steep descent. Plus mechanical discs need more adjustment than rim brakes I've found. Last tour I seemed to be constantly fiddling with my brakes, my partners bike I adjusted the barrel adjuster on the bars once. Plus they are much heavier than rim brakes...
The advantages of disc brakes are overstated, as you have illustrated. I have been frustrated with the discs on our Bike Fridays because of their sensitivities, and especially if you are shipping/transporting/flying with bikes that have them. Whereas all the caliper and V-brakes on other bikes are a breeze to adjust and leave.

Also true about the so-called advantages of discs in wet weather. I have not had a single situation where I have not been able to stop with rim brakes in wet weather.

Weight isn't really a factor here. But there is a question in my mind about the need for a beefier fork to handle them, and the impact that has on ride quality.

I also accept, for balance, that there are certain advantages to some disc brakes, mainly the lighter pressure needed on the levers for the same stopping effort.
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Old 08-05-17, 09:06 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Also true about the so-called advantages of discs in wet weather. I have not had a single situation where I have not been able to stop with rim brakes in wet weather.
Getting off topic here but..
I wonder about this too, I just assumed I was always missing something. I have a disc and several rim brake bikes. I never had an issue in rain, mud, wet conditions with either one, even with cheap pads on the rim brakes. One thing I have noticed is some brake pads are better than others when it is extremely cold (below freezing) but I could still stop with no problem.

This is an extreme example but I had no noticeable issues stopping with this.
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Last edited by u235; 08-05-17 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 08-08-17, 10:13 AM   #33
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@BikingDingo
i am your exact dimensions. 5'4" with a 28" inseam - i ride a 46 cm Surly Crosscheck. i use it for commuting, biking around town, and touring/bike camping.
the cantilever brakes do the job. but if you are going cross country, maybe you want the disc brakes bc they are better at stopping heavy weight in rain. (will you be going fully loaded?) - whatever brakes you get, learn to make adjustments on them. you may need to make adjustments as you go and may not always be close to a bike shop.

i know how to make adjustments to my cantilever brakes should i need to, but usually i tune myself before heading out.

the crosscheck is a little snappier in handling if you're going lightweight. i think it is really good for commuting b/c i don't carry very much. if you're going fully loaded touring the LHT is the better choice.

there is toe overlap with the 700 wheel. it's not ideal, perhaps i would have gone for the 26" had it been available at the time - i'm not sure.

i have 700x28 tires on mine, and in the winter i switch them out to 700x40 studded tires for snowfall. for any off road while touring, the 28 is too narrow. for road it's perfectly suitable and comfortable over the uneven road surfaces.

i don't know Kona or Scott very well.
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Old 08-08-17, 02:53 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingDingo View Post
Does anyone ride a Kona Sutra in a 52 or 54? This is another option I'm considering - it has 700c tires. Thank you for all your input!
I have not toured on a Kona Sutra, but my LBS let me take one out for a test ride while I was accompanying my spouse test riding one of our builds they had completed. We rode a little over a mile, and I have to say I'd probably pick the Kona Sutra if I were looking for something reasonably priced that I could commute/ride recreation ally/and tour on. It was not a pig to ride at all. Felt smooth, accelerated and shifted nicely. I'm used to bar end shifters, so felt right at home with these. I'd guess I was on a 52, as that is what I typically ride. I did not notice toe overlap, but I'm used to that issue, so tend to ride as if all of my bikes have the same potential problem.
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