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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 01-25-06, 12:28 PM   #1
boicsac
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Need Help Finding Touring Bike

I've just gotten into road biking and want to go cross country (portlandOR>portlandME). i dont know **** about road bikes, i used to race mountain bikes. what is the entry level range for touring bikes, how do they differ from performance road ones. whats a good weight for the bike, whats too heavy, where can i find old cheap models of bikes(LOW budget)...etc. basically anything you can throw at me to help
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Old 01-25-06, 04:49 PM   #2
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touring bikes are built more for durability,comfort, and simplicity as opposed to road bikes, built for speed, agility, and maximum weight saving. I don't know what the entry level price range would be, you may want a little better than entry level though if your going across the country. I found an old Kabuki touring bike probably built in the early 80's, at a local bike shop, its old but has the longer wheelbase, and the wheels are built heavier [more spokes]. The racks are pretty flimsy though, and the bars are way too narrow....but the price was right, so I can put a few bucks into it, am planning about a 600 mile tour, wouldn't feel confident enough to head out on a trip like your planning with it though...good luck on your journey
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Old 01-25-06, 07:49 PM   #3
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eBay and Craig's List are pretty good sources for used bikes.

I got a 1989 Cannondale touring bike for $80 that is in perfectly ridable condition, and only needs some routine maintenance. Only 18 speed, but I am looking forward to putting many miles on it next year... but I would hesitate to take it cross country, even though the previous owner road across the country on it once. In today's product line, the modern version of my bike would be the T800.

One caution, is that people on eBay will call a bike a touring bike even if it is not in order to get more hits. You will however get several true touring bikes on eBay on most days by searching for (tour,touring,tourer) in the road bikes/complete bikes and frames category. You can also search for specific bikes names like 520 and T800 to find them individually.

Good luck!
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Old 01-25-06, 09:57 PM   #4
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I've seen all kinds of scammers selling what are basically parts bikes on Ebay - I much prefer Craigslist if you are near a major metro area. PDX and Eugene would be good choices for you. There was a BF member selling a Trek 520 on the PDX CL a week or so ago. It was a 19" I believe, for around $650 which is a good price as it was fairly new. For a bit less, $450-500 you should be able to find a clean one that is around 10 yrs old, and well maintained. Fully capable of a trip like you're planning. I would not plan to go much cheaper on a road touring bike or you risk having to put more into repairs and upgrades prior to leaving and maybe along the way.

However, if you are on a budget, another way to go is with a used steel mtnbike from the early 90's - they are strong and with a few mods serve well, but will be a bit slower due to the design. Get one without front suspension - you won't need it and it just adds weight. If you go this route buy one that was close to top of the line as the frame will be lighter and the wheels/components will be of better quality. I recently found a 1993 Trek 970 (lugged frame) that has XT components and the whole setup for touring, with a few repairs, upgrades, new tires and expedition racks, was around $450. Touring does not have to be expensive.
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Old 01-26-06, 09:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boicsac
I've just gotten into road biking and want to go cross country (portlandOR>portlandME). i dont know **** about road bikes, i used to race mountain bikes. what is the entry level range for touring bikes, how do they differ from performance road ones. whats a good weight for the bike, whats too heavy, where can i find old cheap models of bikes(LOW budget)...etc. basically anything you can throw at me to help
If you want to avoid some of the hassles, and expense, of upgrading and repairing old bikes, I'd suggest looking for a Fuji Touring. It's the least expensive touring bike that you can currently buy at around $900. It's not the best touring bike money can buy but it's a good value for the money
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