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  1. #1
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    good touring bike?

    hello, i want to get into tour biking and im planning a month long tour thru mainland japan but im not sure what kind of bike to buy. im looking at a specialized, sirrus but im open for other suggtions.
    thnks for any input

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    There are great bike companies in Japan. Find one that makes touring bikes.

  3. #3
    Just Do It ! VeganRider's Avatar
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    This site has a touring forum if you scroll down past road cycling. I went to Yahoo.com and was going to post a couple links for you but there were so many. Maybe try one of those two options? Sounds like a wonderful trip to take! Good luck.
    Last edited by VeganRider; 09-04-05 at 08:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ststephen65
    hello, i want to get into tour biking and im planning a month long tour thru mainland japan but im not sure what kind of bike to buy. im looking at a specialized, sirrus but im open for other suggtions.
    thnks for any input
    The Sirrus probably isn't the best bike for touring. A Fuji Touring is better for an inexpensive bike. A Cannondale T800 or T2000 are good moderately priced touring bikes as is the Trek 520. There are a few others that are much more expensive.

    The things you want to look for in a touring bike is first braze-ons for racks both front and rear as well as braze-ons for fenders. The next thing you want is a long wheel base. 42 inches (106 cm) is about the proper length. You also want long chain stays, at least 17.5" (44.5 cm) although 18" (45cm) is optimum. You want an relatively upright geometry and a neutral ride. The bike shouldn't be quick nor too sluggish. Most of all it should be very comfortable because you are going to spend a lot of time in the saddle.

    Not to take anything away from the guys and gals here in the Road forum, but, when it comes to touring bikes, most of them don't know jack! Go over to the touring forum and ask questions, search around for ideas and learn all you can.
    Stuart Black
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  5. #5
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Look at a Bike Friday touring bike, great bike and folds into a suitcase for going to Japan.

    www.bikefriday.com
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  6. #6
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    build up a surly...

  7. #7
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Moving this thread to Touring, where it will hopefully generate more replies.

    --J, a Forum Mod
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  8. #8
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    Is this for camping or hostel style touring.
    For a light load, the Sirrus is fine. Lower geared touring bikes are better if you need to carry more stuff.

  9. #9
    Bob Rae for PM! Sadaharu's Avatar
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    Sirrus is OK, but not, IMHO, the best choice. The Fuji, Cannondale and Trek 520 options already listed are good ways to go. Sometimes you can find an older Bridgestone or other "vintage" for a good price. If you are in Canada, Urbane Cyclist in Toronto makes a nice, affordable steel touring bike. A little more upscale is Marinoni, in Quebec. Finally, if you've got the cash to spend, check out bikespecialties.com in Toronto for a truly beautiful, hand-built, custom made tourer.

  10. #10
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    These are the frames and bikes I narrowed my choice to recently. My budget was limited to about $1500.

    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Surly Cross Check
    Jamis Nova
    Jamis Aurora
    Cannondale T800
    Cannondale T2000
    Soma Double Cross
    Lemond Poprad
    Bianchi Volpe

    I've read things about the Soma Double Cross that have changed my mind on its usefulness as a tourer. I didn't include the Trek 520 since I already have 3 other Treks and I'm kind of tired of them.

    I also have 2 needs in that when I'm not touring the bike would be used for rides on local dirt roads...hence the cyclocross models.

    I'd partial to the Cross Check but I don't think you'd go wrong with any of the models here.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin
    These are the frames and bikes I narrowed my choice to recently. My budget was limited to about $1500.

    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Surly Cross Check
    Jamis Nova
    Jamis Aurora
    Cannondale T800
    Cannondale T2000
    Soma Double Cross
    Lemond Poprad
    Bianchi Volpe

    I've read things about the Soma Double Cross that have changed my mind on its usefulness as a tourer. I didn't include the Trek 520 since I already have 3 other Treks and I'm kind of tired of them.

    I also have 2 needs in that when I'm not touring the bike would be used for rides on local dirt roads...hence the cyclocross models.

    I'd partial to the Cross Check but I don't think you'd go wrong with any of the models here.
    I've ridden many miles with a touring load on a dirt roads with a T800. The only real difference between a touring bike and a cyclocross bike is that the cyclocross bike is shorter in the chainstays. If you want to tour with a loaded bike, shorter chainstays are not the best options. The T800 will definitely take wide tires also. I currently run 37cm on it but could easily put in 41 cm or 47 cm without problems.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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  12. #12
    Year-round cyclist
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    Get a bike that supports wide tires.

    The Trek 520 with fenders may have 700x42 on the rear, but only 700x35 on the front. So a 700x37 front tire is tight, even without a fender. There is no problem riding on gravel with a smaller front tire than rear, but 700x32 knobbies are harder to find than 700x37 ones. (BTW, regarding Treks, you didn't tell us what you were tired from)

    The Cannondale Txxx will use 700x37 easily, and maybe 700x40 or 42 on both wheels – with fenders.


    For more clearance, visit Bruce Gordon. His 700 bikes are able to use 700x45 or 47 tires with fenders, and his 26" bikes go a bit wider... and gearing is already proper touring gearing. That makes it a truly all-purpose bike, be it for touring or commuting with 700x32 slicks, or for dirt rides where you can use fatter knobbies.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I've ridden many miles with a touring load on a dirt roads with a T800. The only real difference between a touring bike and a cyclocross bike is that the cyclocross bike is shorter in the chainstays. If you want to tour with a loaded bike, shorter chainstays are not the best options. The T800 will definitely take wide tires also. I currently run 37cm on it but could easily put in 41 cm or 47 cm without problems.
    The T800 has a chainstay length 1.3" longer than the Crosscheck...is that really going to make that much difference? What does chainstay length affect other than heel strike?

  14. #14
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    Longer chainstay length:

    - less chance of heels striking panniers;
    - panniers don't need to push too far back, which improves stability;
    - you don't sit as much on the rear wheel, which means you don't feel the bumps as much through your rear end, but rather feel more like you are rolling on them;
    - slightly better fore to aft weight ration, which should – in theory – improve bike stability (I said In Theory, because other issue like headset angle and fork rake could do the same).
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    A quality Japanese bike is an option for you and, they have some fine builders there. "Toei" comes to mind and they are very competitively priced. Their contact info:

    TOEI
    1-19-34,Kamiaoki
    Kawaguchi, Saitama
    333-0844, JAPAN

    Phone & fax 81 48 256 0390

  16. #16
    Bob Rae for PM! Sadaharu's Avatar
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    IMHO, 1.3" of chainstay is pretty handy. I ride the T700, and I have to make sure to push my panniers all the way back or I will clip them with my heels.

  17. #17
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    Ive been cycle touring for a 3 years pretty much continoiusly, in Se Asia and at the mo im on the way to argentina from Alaska, one thing id bare in mind is if you would later think about taking on somewhere more remote or less westernised ie south america then getting spares for racing type 700c wheels willbe a problem, for this reason i have now gone to an old school steel framed mtn bike, as i will always be able to find a mtn bike tyre that will last longer than a racing tyre under load.
    Iv emet a few japanese touring on giants, they say it comes in a apckage in Japan andit has a really solid looking rack for suspension forks, although i wouldnt recommend suspension myself.
    The best bikes i have seen are are old school mtn bikes as they are cheapo and have great geometry for touring on, i love mine better than the custom made bob jackson that i had made a year ago and snapped in mexico, so dont go carzy and spend too much when a great touring can be made with little alterations out of a mtn bike, as long as it is steel with brazeons all is good

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin
    The T800 has a chainstay length 1.3" longer than the Crosscheck...is that really going to make that much difference? What does chainstay length affect other than heel strike?
    It will make a big difference in handling and comfort. A short chainstay bike, loaded panniers and a fast downhill are frightening! The handling on a bike with 16.6" chainstays is meant to be quick so that you can make fast direction changes on a relatively light machine. Load the bike up and the quick handling becomes a liability. The short chainstays also make the bike rougher riding because they don't flex as much.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin
    These are the frames and bikes I narrowed my choice to recently. My budget was limited to about $1500.

    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Surly Cross Check
    Jamis Nova
    Jamis Aurora
    Cannondale T800
    Cannondale T2000
    Soma Double Cross
    Lemond Poprad
    Bianchi Volpe

    I've read things about the Soma Double Cross that have changed my mind on its usefulness as a tourer. I didn't include the Trek 520 since I already have 3 other Treks and I'm kind of tired of them.

    I also have 2 needs in that when I'm not touring the bike would be used for rides on local dirt roads...hence the cyclocross models.

    I'd partial to the Cross Check but I don't think you'd go wrong with any of the models here.
    I would put the Trek 520 back in the list and remove either the Poprad or Nova. Otherwise, it's a good list.

  20. #20
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    I went through the evaluation process last year, and ended up with a Surly LHT. Depending on framesize, 56cm and larger are 700c, while 54cm and smaller are 26". I've enjoyed the couple thousand carefree miles I've put on mine, built it with XT/Ultegra components, and ended up with about 1200 in the bike. Of course, I build everything including the wheels. Good touring wheels will most likely be a custom build. If you can turn a wrench, you could build an LHT for less than a grand. I splurged on items such as a Brooks B-17, Campy Chourus Ergo brifters ($190), Jtek shiftmate to match it to the shimano drivetrain. I did skimp on parts too, IMHO, the Sugino XD600 is the best bang for the buck crankset out there. $70 for an ultegra quality triple. Anyway, the link to the final bike is in my sig, check it out. There's a reason the LHT is selling like hotcakes for Surly. Mainly because it fixes the problems with the 520, and you can spec it like you want it. I wouldn't go with the Avid brakes again, and will probably change those for Paul's down the road.

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