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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 08-24-05, 09:57 PM   #1
Jnichola
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Returning to the road

I have decided to return to biking after a ten year break. I am out of excuses and out of shape, and well.... I really miss biking.

I really want to buy a dependable, quality road tourer. Currently been looking at the Surly LHT, Trek 520, the Fuji world, and the Schwinn super sport gtx. I'm actually totally sold on a different bike, the Koga Miyata World Traveller but i'm not quite sure i am ready to spend 4k on a hand built bike that I may very well have to go to Europe to get.

So I have turned my search towards lower end manufactured bikes to get myself back into the hobby before I start spending that kind of money.

Anyway, I figured this would be a good place to solicite advice/ testimonials about touring bikes. I'm currently looking in the 1K range but if there are some extraordinary values out there that I have over looked, please fill me in. One thing all my recent research has enightened me to, is that there are ALOT of good bikes out there.

Thanks in advance,

Jnic
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Old 08-24-05, 11:00 PM   #2
saddlesores
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4k is way too much to put into a bike...my opinion at least. seems you'd be paying
more for status/labels than functionality. is a 4k bike twice as good as a 2k bike?
probably not.

are you considering used bikes? you can get a good deal this time of year on feebay.
either a complete tourer, or just start with a frame, in which case you can build the
bike up to your own specs. i saw a NOS mercian vincitore just last week.

nashbar has their touring frame on sale for $200.....do a search and you'll find
threads on building up this frame.
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Old 08-24-05, 11:08 PM   #3
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Nashbar is looking at late OCtober for the sizes other than as listed.

I think you want to think it over really hard, and figure out what you need, and then pay what it takes. The more expensive stuff isn't necesarily better. Like for instance a lot of road stuff is just lighter, not better for touring in the upper price levels. The exotic stuff can be better, but difficult to service if you do get caught out. Or it gets stolen.

On the other hand there is vintage stuff, CNC stuff, and weird stuff (Roloff), that can pay to have, if you really had a reason for it. Basically the longer you take over getting the exotic stuff, the better since you will know what you really need. Also, I'm not US, but I think the best touring stuff is in the US with allowances for Shimano.

Last edited by NoReg; 08-24-05 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 08-25-05, 04:46 AM   #4
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What kind of riding will you be doing. Riding on your own or club rides?
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Old 08-25-05, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesores
4k is way too much to put into a bike...my opinion at least. seems you'd be paying more for status/labels than functionality. is a 4k bike twice as good as a 2k bike? probably not.
Selecting, ordering, and taking delivery of an expensive custom-built bicycle can actually save tens of thousands of dollars. I was looking for a way to treat myself as I inched closer to my 50th birthday, and bought my custom machine. Imagine how much I would spent had I hankered for a sports car instead!
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Old 08-25-05, 09:36 AM   #6
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off the peg, potentially under 1K

Fuji Touring
Trek 520 (although they say it is better loaded and not 'great' unloaded)
(REI) Novara Randonee
Jamis Aurora (I just picked one up and it is very nice)

these are not all true dedicated touring bikes... but can do it
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Old 08-25-05, 04:14 PM   #7
Jnichola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesores
are you considering used bikes? you can get a good deal this time of year on feebay.
either a complete tourer, or just start with a frame, in which case you can build the
bike up to your own specs. i saw a NOS mercian vincitore just last week.
I am a very picky consumer, the likelyhood of me finding a used bike that fits the bill, that is close enough that I can see it in person before I buy it seems slimm at best. I've been keeping track with EBay but aside from the occasiuonal "new" bike auction I havent seen anything that grabs me.

In the end I am just more comfortable getting something I know to be new, I've always liked putting my own dents on things.



Quote:
Originally Posted by like2bike
What kind of riding will you be doing. Riding on your own or club rides?

In the immortal words of Groucho Marks: " I dont want to belong to any club that would have me as a member"

Well, thats not exactly my sentiment but I am not really a club rider, I have a few touring friends and might tandem up with them (not literally) for a jaunt here or there, but mainly I intend to be a weekend tourer, on my own.

I've narrowed my choices I think to the 520, and the LHT, but the LHT I find a little intimidating because surly doesnt sell it as a complete bike. I like the frame alot though, it seems sturdy enough for me (currently 200lbs, when riding alot I'll bottom out around 180) and I like the front fork design.

Im looking for somehting thats capable of some light off roading, and rough dirt road travel, but comfortable and efficient on pavement as well. I like the LHT frame alot, but SO many people swear by the Trek 520 that I've found it hard to set aside.

I have a little time so I want to make sure I make the right decision.
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Old 08-26-05, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Well, thats not exactly my sentiment but I am not really a club rider, I have a few touring friends and might tandem up with them (not literally) for a jaunt here or there, but mainly I intend to be a weekend tourer, on my own.
I know where you are coming from here. Got back into riding after too many years off... on several rides (training for a week tour) this spring, we fell in briefly with club riders on the road. It was go go go mostly. I know that good stuff comes from go go go, but I rather like to make my own pace.

as far as what you describe, you might want to look at a cyclo-cross type bike (if you want to go off road or single track). Of course, the right wheel on the LHT or 520 will take care of rough lanes. Jamis NOva gets good reviews for cyclo-cross/touring.
520 is ready to go (with a few tweaks) off the peg
LHT needs to be built up

Steel will give you a sturdy/mellow ride, so it might be more of a wheelset choice for dirt riding
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Old 08-26-05, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnichola
I've narrowed my choices I think to the 520, and the LHT, but the LHT I find a little intimidating because surly doesnt sell it as a complete bike. I like the frame alot though, it seems sturdy enough for me (currently 200lbs, when riding alot I'll bottom out around 180) and I like the front fork design. .
Are the virtual bikes not for sale.

http://www.surlybikes.com/virtual_LHT.html
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