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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 07-31-05, 10:45 AM   #1
duukieduuk
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It's a Giant Stonebreaker from early 90s I think. I want to tour in Europe on it.

I put new KMC chain and a new shimano singapoure 7 speed freewheel (12-28)
Front chainrings are triple with 28 the lowest and 43 the highest. Would this be enough to bike up the mountains?

It weights 40 lbs, but the read rack is heavy steel one. Shifters and rear der. are made by suntour. Wheel are femco 26 inch.


Would slick tires make it easier to pedal?


Any opinions and suggestions would be nicely appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 07-31-05, 12:09 PM   #2
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It will do fine. It may not satisfy some of the techno-weenies on this forum, but it will work.

Your low gear of 28/28 = 26 inches, which I consider a bit high for loaded touring in the mountains, I would prefer a low gear of around 20. ie. 24/32 x 26 =19.5.

Slicks will definitelly be less work on the pavement, however if you want to venture onto unpaved paths, the knobbies may come in handy.

I was recently in Norway and most of the European cycle tourists (Germans) I encountered were on mountain bikes with knobby tires.

I would change the saddle for a Brooks , but if you are comfortable on that one , keep it.

My first big tour over 2000 km in New Zealand was done on a similar bike.

Have fun on your journey.
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Old 07-31-05, 12:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skookum
Your low gear of 28/28 = 26 inches, which I consider a bit high for loaded touring in the mountains, I would prefer a low gear of around 20. ie. 24/32 x 26 =19.5.
I second that. My smallest gear these days is even smaller: 24/34. I find my lowest gear adequate for 90% of the hills that I encounter, but for really steep slopes or all-day climbs, I wish I had something smaller, e.g., 22/34.

Small is beautiful. Especially for gear ratios.


Quote:

Slicks will definitelly be less work on the pavement, however if you want to venture onto unpaved paths, the knobbies may come in handy.
If you will be on paved roads most of the time, consider getting skinnier tires, e.g., 30 or 32 mm. I tour on 28 mm tires. They are fine for the occasional gravel road and dirt track, but just barely. I used to tour on 23 mm slicks, but that was really pushing the envelope!
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Old 07-31-05, 02:07 PM   #4
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I have to agree with everyone here.

Changing that crankset to say a 22-34-44 (pretty cheap from Shimano) and putting slicks (don't think she can use 28's MG, her rims are too wide. But definately a pair of slicks like these, would make her swift!

Are you planning a self-contained tour? Or will you be sleeping in hotels/hostels and such?
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Old 07-31-05, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duukieduuk
It's a Giant Stonebreaker from early 90s I think. I want to tour in Europe on it.

I put new KMC chain and a new shimano singapoure 7 speed freewheel (12-28)
Front chainrings are triple with 28 the lowest and 43 the highest. Would this be enough to bike up the mountains?

It weights 40 lbs, but the read rack is heavy steel one. Shifters and rear der. are made by suntour. Wheel are femco 26 inch.

Would slick tires make it easier to pedal?

Any opinions and suggestions would be nicely appreciated.
Thank you.
You can tour with just about anything so I wouldn't worry about your bike being inadequate.

Per the other replies, slicks will do you a WORLD of good. The narrowest you can fit on your rims. You may have to special order them as LBS stock on MTB slicks may not be wonderful. (our local LBS' have "OK" slicks for touring but I have to special order Schwalbe Marathon slicks)

Avoid off-roading with slicks but don't be intimidated by dirt paths - your bike won't slide out from underneath you as long as you're cautious and slicks will make long hauls on pavement MUCH more enjoyable.

BTW: I love the photo! Before seeing it, I figured I was the only person who brought their bike into the living room to work on it. ;)

Ciao!
Chris
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Old 07-31-05, 06:20 PM   #6
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One thing I noticed is that the saddle is higher than the handle bar. With my new bike I have found that it is much more comfortable to have the bars equal to or higher than the seat.
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Old 08-01-05, 10:23 PM   #7
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That looks like a solid touring bike! I see that most folks are recommending slicks, and I think they're right. In my own experience, I found that 32mm tires were great for riding on the road and on dirt, but started to get pretty squirrely on a loose gravel trail. I wouldn't hesitate to stick with the 32s, but there's no way I would go any smaller, and my next touring tires might be 35mm!
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Old 08-01-05, 11:36 PM   #8
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It will work great. Most any bike will do. and the 26 inch wheels might be a plus.
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Old 08-02-05, 07:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duukieduuk
Would slick tires make it easier to pedal?

Any opinions and suggestions would be nicely appreciated.
Thank you.
You may want to look into a set of 26 inch Panaracer Pasela tourguard tires. Not slicks but perfect for touring.
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Old 08-02-05, 11:23 AM   #10
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That seat will murder you.

P.s. hot.
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Old 08-02-05, 12:46 PM   #11
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Why would this seat murder me? Isn't that different for everyone? You know, I actually just put this saddle on my giant, it's coming from a regular station bike in Holland, as you can see them everywhere. Cause the saddle that belonged to it was way more narrow, I biked on it for years, but only distances not longer than 20 km. Two weeks ago I went for a longer trip of about 150 km, and turned out THAT seat was a pain in the but. I need to find out if this saddle will work for me for the greater distances. I'll stay in touch.

By the way, thanks to everyone who takes the effort to reply.
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Old 08-02-05, 02:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duukieduuk
Why would this seat murder me? Isn't that different for everyone? You know, I actually just put this saddle on my giant, it's coming from a regular station bike in Holland, as you can see them everywhere. Cause the saddle that belonged to it was way more narrow, I biked on it for years, but only distances not longer than 20 km. Two weeks ago I went for a longer trip of about 150 km, and turned out THAT seat was a pain in the but. I need to find out if this saddle will work for me for the greater distances. I'll stay in touch.

By the way, thanks to everyone who takes the effort to reply.
The only saddle with springs that I trust is the Brooks Champion Flyer. Too often, these other spring saddle makers try but never seem to duplicate what Brooks perfected 100 years ago.
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Old 08-02-05, 02:10 PM   #13
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I'm going to second BikeInMN's recommendation of the Panaracer Pasela TG - I took a set on tour, and they were fantastic. My only reservation would be that they seem a bit prone to pinch flats, so keep your pressure up.

Anyway, about the seat/saddle: despite appearances, a narrower and harder saddle is much more comfortable over long distance, one you've adjusted to it. A wider saddle will chafe the insides of your legs as you pedal, which is no fun at all, and a soft one will actually end up putting pressure on all the soft tissues that should really be left alone. When you sit on a bicycle seat, your weight should rest only on your "sit bones." Pressure on other parts of your bottom can cause discomfort and the dreaded numbness. It is true that your saddle is a very personal choice, but I would take some more time to try to adjust to the one you have, if I were you. It may save you some saddlesores later. Any saddle will cause you pain over 150km if you're not used to spending hours in the saddle. Best to start out a little slower to give yourself time to adjust. Then see what you think.
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Old 08-02-05, 02:15 PM   #14
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For some light reading on saddles:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Ditto Sweeny's comment - definitely a hottie duukieduuk.
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Old 08-02-05, 02:20 PM   #15
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Any saddle will cause you pain over 150km if you're not used to spending hours in the saddle. Best to start out a little slower to give yourself time to adjust. Then see what you think.


Hehe, of course, you're right about this, I will figure it out. Thanks
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Old 08-02-05, 02:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af895
For some light reading on saddles:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Ditto Sweeny's comment - definitely a hottie duukieduuk.

Perfect site, thanks.
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Old 08-03-05, 07:45 PM   #17
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Get some Specialized Nimbus EX Armadillos for a semi-slick inverted tread tire.
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Old 08-06-05, 03:08 PM   #18
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and don't forget: good luck! Take pics, and let us know how it goes.
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