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  1. #1
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Cross Canada rideŚwill a stock wheelset make it?

    So...

    I plan on riding across Canada next spring/summer. I need a ride. I'm looking at buying the Fuji touring because it's one of the only bikes I've found in my price range (Touring bikes are a rarity here in Toronto. Most shops don't even stock them). My greatest concern is whether the stock wheelset will be good enough to make it the distance. I'd rather shell out another $400.00 for good wheels than have my hub explode out in the middle of Manitoba. But, if you knowledgable folks tell me otherwise, I'd be more than happy to stick with the stock stuff. Keep in mind, I don't have alot of money to spare. I'd only upgrade if you truly believe the odds are against me in riding the wheels the bike came with.

    Also, I'd just like to say that trying to find a touring bike is a royal pain in the arse. Ebay is a zoo. The moment a half decent steed appears, people jump all over it like vultures. You touring folks don't mess around. You're worse than the track bike/fixed gear crowd.

  2. #2
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Perhaps I should have provided more information about myself.

    Male
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    155 lbs
    25 years old
    Pisces

    In all likelihood, will be riding with both front and rear racks. Plan on mainly stealth camping, so I'll have lots of gear.

    Word.

  3. #3
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    carry lots of extra spokes

  4. #4
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Sounds like a yes to me. All systems go!

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I would think you'd be fine, and if your hub does explode in the middle of Manitoba, I can direct you to a shop in Winnipeg that will help you.

    But do bring tools and stuff with you just in case a few little things go wrong out there.

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    Do a search on this forum about the Fuji Touring bike. When I was looking at different bikes, I saw a lot of negative things about the Fuji rear wheels. There were constant complaints of broken spokes (more than normal on a cross-country ride) and failed wheels.

    Good luck!
    Cherry Bomb

  7. #7
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    The spokes would be the big thing. If you're comfortable with that kind of finagling, cassette removal and what, you shooould be ok. It depends on the kinds of stresses you'd be talking about. You don't weigh much, but the gear can add up.

    Have you considered a trailer? There's a bit to be said for putting all those pounds back on a much stronger/smaller wheel. And if you're trying to stay on the cheapish side of things, maybe just get a Phil Wood 7speed/36 spoke hub built up (no one needs more than seven cogs if you've got the right crankrings...) + some kind of trailer would be pretty damn reliable. I think a BOB and that kinda wheel might work out to about 5-600? Not sure.

    Something like that.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  8. #8
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Your chances are good enough to not plan on a new wheelset but do a couple of things to insure you'll be focused on the tour and not repairs.

    1) Get the bike early and break it in a bit. Put a few hundred miles on it to work out any issues. If you can find a great wheel builder nearby, you can have them check the wheels for you.

    2) Be sensible on how you distribute your load. *Do* use a front rack and bags to get some weight off the rear wheel. This will also balance out the handling. A common approach is to put 40% of your gear weight up front and 60% in back. Keep the really heavy stuff low and closest to the bike. Do your best to insure that the front panniers weight about the same as each other. Nothing really heavy on top of the rear rack or in the handlebar bag.

    Have fun shopping for your bike!


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  9. #9
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Bomb
    Do a search on this forum about the Fuji Touring bike. When I was looking at different bikes, I saw a lot of negative things about the Fuji rear wheels. There were constant complaints of broken spokes (more than normal on a cross-country ride) and failed wheels.
    I recall a guy going across Kansas ay CGOB and had the rear of his Fuji die. The dealer called and Fuji Next Dayed the replacement. Appears there was a recall of the wheel. The guy touring was from Australia as I remember. Maybe Fuji got it lined out? My 2 cents. Best regards, John
    Last edited by jcbryan; 11-28-05 at 10:17 AM. Reason: spell

  10. #10
    Senior Member Crazy Cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skin flute
    So...

    I plan on riding across Canada next spring/summer. I need a ride. I'm looking at buying the Fuji touring because it's one of the only bikes I've found in my price range (Touring bikes are a rarity here in Toronto. Most shops don't even stock them). My greatest concern is whether the stock wheelset will be good enough to make it the distance. I'd rather shell out another $400.00 for good wheels than have my hub explode out in the middle of Manitoba. But, if you knowledgable folks tell me otherwise, I'd be more than happy to stick with the stock stuff. Keep in mind, I don't have alot of money to spare. I'd only upgrade if you truly believe the odds are against me in riding the wheels the bike came with.

    Also, I'd just like to say that trying to find a touring bike is a royal pain in the arse. Ebay is a zoo. The moment a half decent steed appears, people jump all over it like vultures. You touring folks don't mess around. You're worse than the track bike/fixed gear crowd.
    skinflute, if you do happen to have your hub explode in Manitoba, make sure you are in Winnipeg when it happens, then look me up and I will see if I can help. Hopefully it won't come to that.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    Your chances are good enough to not plan on a new wheelset but do a couple of things to insure you'll be focused on the tour and not repairs.

    1) Get the bike early and break it in a bit. Put a few hundred miles on it to work out any issues. If you can find a great wheel builder nearby, you can have them check the wheels for you.

    2) Be sensible on how you distribute your load. *Do* use a front rack and bags to get some weight off the rear wheel. This will also balance out the handling. A common approach is to put 40% of your gear weight up front and 60% in back. Keep the really heavy stuff low and closest to the bike. Do your best to insure that the front panniers weight about the same as each other. Nothing really heavy on top of the rear rack or in the handlebar bag.

    Have fun shopping for your bike!


    Your split on the weight is right just in the wrong direction. Do the heavy stuff up front (stove, cook stuff, etc) and put 60% on the front wheel.

    To skinflute: Putting lots of miles before you go on the bike is good advice. Have the wheels retensioned before you go (and put a few more miles on it after that). I bought a 2001 Fuji this last summer for my daughter (new, old stock) and we had very few problems with it over 3 weeks in the Northwest. I would suggest checking the wheel bearings because we found that they were too tight after 300 or so miles (I should have checked them before we left but I forgot ). Otherwise, the Fuji is a good, inexpensive touring bike. You might what to change the chainwheels, however, since they are a bit high for touring.
    Stuart Black
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  12. #12
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Yeah Stuart, thanks for catching that! 60/40 front to rear. There's already more weight on the back wheel with rider and bike weight distribution.




    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Your split on the weight is right just in the wrong direction. Do the heavy stuff up front (stove, cook stuff, etc) and put 60% on the front wheel.

    To skinflute: Putting lots of miles before you go on the bike is good advice. Have the wheels retensioned before you go (and put a few more miles on it after that). I bought a 2001 Fuji this last summer for my daughter (new, old stock) and we had very few problems with it over 3 weeks in the Northwest. I would suggest checking the wheel bearings because we found that they were too tight after 300 or so miles (I should have checked them before we left but I forgot ). Otherwise, the Fuji is a good, inexpensive touring bike. You might what to change the chainwheels, however, since they are a bit high for touring.
    Ron - Washington
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  13. #13
    qqy
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    Curious, I'm in a similar situation myself; I'm in Toronto and building a serious touring bike. You're right - they're almost impossible to find. I recommend you build it yourself to get exactly what you want, in your case durability.

    I'm using a frame/fork/bars/brakes/wheels from www.nashbar.com. I'm going to probably use a local supplier for the drivetrain/shifters to support a local business. Speaking of wheels, they had the best deal I could find on good touring wheels: US$130 for a set of Mavic CXP-22s, 36h with 15g double-butted spokes on MTB hubs. If your weight, I doubt you'd be able to break a spoke on something like that before 5,000K or so (assuming they're tensioned properly). Just be sure that you get a strong rim with at least 36h hubs.

  14. #14
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    you are a Pisces, you don't have normal badluck you have bizarre badluck! Your wheels won't fall apart. but you will be set upon by wolfhounds in manitoba and forced to perform stud service at a sheep ranch. Carry extra condoms and a credit /debit card in case you need to order a wheel.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    Yeah Stuart, thanks for catching that! 60/40 front to rear. There's already more weight on the back wheel with rider and bike weight distribution.

    No problem. We all get dyslexic at times
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    1) Get the bike early and break it in a bit. Put a few hundred miles on it to work out any issues. If you can find a great wheel builder nearby, you can have them check the wheels for you.
    I would second that!

    I'm one of those Fuji owners that had a problem with the rear wheel. After my LBS tried unsuccessfully to re-tension the spokes (3 times), Fuji replaced the wheel with a non-stock 32 spoke replacement. Haven't had a problem after that.

    Seems like many people on this forum--cyccommute, etc.-- haven't had a problem, so it might have been an isolated problem.

  17. #17
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    I recently rode across the US on a Fuji touring, and whilst the bike was great in every other respect, I broke 21 rear spokes (basically every single one on the cassette side and a few on the other). I ended up with all my weight on the front, and too scared to stand up on hills, expecting to hear the familiar popping sound any moment, followed by the familiar ritual of having to stop, remove panniers, change spoke etc etc etc . It was a complete pain in the butt and source of endless frustration. I ended up contacting Fuji and to their credit they were very helpful - they offered to ship me a new wheel en route or rebuild it under warranty with DT spokes - I ended up going the rebuild and havent had any problems since.

    I met several other Fuji riders and bike shop owners en route who told me similar stories about these bikes. One guy I met on the same bike as me had broken every spoke on the rear wheel and ended up buying a new one

  18. #18
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skin flute
    Hmmmm. Perhaps I should have provided more information about myself.

    Male
    6'1"
    155 lbs
    25 years old
    Pisces
    Well... given that you're a Pisces, I'd suggest the most expensive wheelset you can afford.

  19. #19
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight friends.

    I like the suggestion of swapping out the rear wheel with a higher end replacement. I don't think I'll go all the way to Phil's, but something a couple notches down might be a good investment. I consider myself a mid-range mechanic; however, my wheel building/truing/fixing skills are somewhat lacking. Maybe I should take this opportunity to familiarize myself with the nuances of the bicycle wheel through building one up from scratch.

    The 60/40 advice is also quite helpful to me. Hadn't heard that before. Thanks.

    qqy: I've noticed several postings down at MEC for people looking for used touring bikes. We're not alone in our search, that's for sure.

  20. #20
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Well... given that you're a Pisces, I'd suggest the most expensive wheelset you can afford.

    Is our luck really that bad?

    I'm going to read up on some astrology.

  21. #21
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    Designer wheels aren't worth much on a touring bike.

    If you want my advice it would be to spend your money on having your wheels respoked with DT, Sapim or Ritchey spokes. And you need to have a GOOD wheelbuilder put them together.

    Fuji builds good bikes with GOOD components on them. They're professionals so trust them and their judgement.

    But unless the spokes are really high grade they will start failing after about 500 miles or so. Your 155 lbs and the load you'll be carrying will put about 200+ lbs on the wheels and they start snapping off at the bend in the spoke. Now it the spokes are correctly tensioned (something that isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to do) they can last thousands of miles before they start succumbing to fatique failures.

    As someone suggested: after you have the wheels respoked you get two of each size used (marked front, rear-inside and rear-outside), a couple of nipples and a spoke wrench of the correct size. This costs little, takes up almost no space and almost guarantees that you'll have no spoke problems. You'll also need a chain whip, a cassette tool and a wrench to work the tool.

    Now when you have your wheels respoked have the shop mechanic show you how to replace a spoke.

    With a well built wheelset you simply pull out the broken spoke, install the new one THE SAME WAY OVER ONE SPOKE AND UNDER ONE then thread it and tighten it up until it 'rings' the same way as the spoke next to it. That usually pulls modern rims back into alignment.

    One point might be made - if you have a 32 or 36 spoke wheel and you break a spoke you can usually just open the brake and continue riding. I just did 48 miles like that on Saturday. When a spoke breaks it often relieves the pressure on the rest of the wheel and you don't get any more spokes breaking as a rule. (Remember that rules are made to be broken so although it's never happened to me in MANY broken spokes, the first time someone else tries, it will probably break a half dozen and collapse the wheel.)

    There's no doubt that you don't need to worry about spokes failing if you have a decent set of wheels with the spokes correctly tensioned. And if you do get a failure you just ride it to the next town with a bike shop and have it repaired by someone that knows what they're doing.

    Although bicycle mechanics are easy to understand, there are about a half dozen things you have to have some experience with in order to repair wheels with a reasonable degree of skill.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Might I recomend a Mavic A719 rim wtih DT or Wheelsmith spokes and either an Ultegra or XT hub depending on your rear spacing. If you do go this route have the wheel hand built by a competant builder at your LBS or perhaps by Peter white.

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/index.html

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    you are a Pisces, you don't have normal badluck you have bizarre badluck! Your wheels won't fall apart. but you will be set upon by wolfhounds in manitoba and forced to perform stud service at a sheep ranch. Carry extra condoms and a credit /debit card in case you need to order a wheel.
    ROTFLMAO!

    and yeah, I'm a Pisces too....man that was funny!
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Sebach's Avatar
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    I'm planning a Cross Canada ride next summer too and being a heavier Pisces than you, I'm going to get Peter White to build my wheels. I hate worrying about my gear, so I'm going to go with a 36h Velocity Deep-V to XT hubs I think. Or maybe a Phil Wood 40h hub in the rear but we'll see how much money Santa needs to buy his presents for everyone first.

  25. #25
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    Go to the Urbane Cyclist, get the bike made up on one of their frames, with proper touring wheels, I bet it costs less than any off the rack bike of the same quality. They have cheapo components that are just as strong as the expensive stuff, and roll great. My hubs are LX, and the spokes are whatever, and the rim was an Alexrims. Some of the super tough rims aren't efficient sections, you get heavy but it isn't really any stronger. I never tightened a spoke, or had any rim run-out after 1000 miles. I was loaded touring and camped.

    See mine a few pages back in the loaded rigs thread. We are the same height, though I weigh about 80 more than you. I didn't break in a thing, and did the Toronto to Fredericton part of your trip without a hitch, except a tire that got torn with some glass, take an extra. I didn't have any spoke problems. I think it helps to ride the thing conservatively as far as just raming through potholes and so forth. Ride agressivelyt sure, but one can break anything if one treats a touring bike as though it was a mountain bike (even if it is).

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