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  1. #1
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    I have not yet done a tour.... rode plenty of miles, but never ended up anywhere. I have decided that in september of 2008 I am going to do the southern tier unsupported through adventure cycling.

    I figure i need to save about $11,000 in order to pay for trip, have spending money, and of course have money to cover the 70 or so days i will be out of work. I have set up my works direct deposit to automaticly throw 200 bucks into a savings each biweekly check set up specificly for the trip.

    Right now i have a Giant TCR2 and a Trek 6700. Neither will be suitable for this trip of a lifetime. I need to set my sights now so i can make it all happen financially. Please, tell me, what would the ultimate touring bike look like?> who would make it? what would the key ingredients be? Would it have front and back paniers, or would it have a bob trailer? or would it have a combination?

    for the first time in a long time, this trip has given my life direction... I now have a goal, and what a goal it is! Please do not hesitate to respond with any recomendations you have towards the "Perfect Touring Setup / Bike" It is safe to say i have some time, so please, reply when you have time to give a complete opinion...

    thank you for all of your help,

    The man who now has a dream,

    Mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm sorry ... I'm trying to get my head around why at trip like that would cost $11,000!! Do you have a huge mortgage or something you have to continue to pay while you are gone? The actual, on-the-road cost for the day-to-day cycling portion of the trip shouldn't cost more than about $30/day - that's only about $2100.00, and that includes "spending money", so you can stop and see various tourist attractions etc., and "emergency funds", for repairs, car rentals, bus trips, etc. if necessary. The flight home would be $1000 tops, and the new bicycle another $1000 or so. Plus maybe $200-300 for gear.


    As for the perfect touring bicycle, for me, just about any touring bicycle would do as long as it fit, and allowed me to put racks on front and back, and to install wider tires with fenders.

  3. #3
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    That's a lot of money! I'm riding near half way round the world for less (not knocking you, just different styles I suppose).

    Any chance you could just save up vacation days? ie take 4-6 weeks vacation, and ask for a leave for the rest of the time?
    mmmm coffeee!

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  4. #4
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    I suppose if you're staying at 5 stars with a "friend", eating very well, and staying at some of the most expensive areas in the world, you'll spend that much.

    You're budgeting for way too much. Slice that budget by a fourth, and you're in the ballpark.

    Koffee

  5. #5
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    Usupported means you have to carry all you gear, and you are mainly camping? Or you are going to mainly stay in Hotels?

    Anyway, I would look at three things:

    Bob or not to bob. For me I like a bike to be a bike. It is possible to ride unsupported with not all that much gear on the bike, and to have a bike that pretty much handles like a bike. Mine is slower to accellerate and all that, but while trucking along it feels like a big Caddie, not a road train. The main issue here is whether you are taking titanic amounts of stuff. If you are carrying very little stuff, then for me it would be paniers all the way. If you are planing on carrying tons, then it is a toss up between; all paniers, front paniers rear BOB, BOB only, paniers and BOB. The only way you can know for sure is to have tried the different options out.

    Second issue is do you fit off the rack. If you are very large or small or disproportioned, then you will need a custom bike frame. I doubt more than 50% fit off the rack. Find out now, run your numbers through a bike fitting program.

    Then start looking at formats. Recumbent, classical touring tech, classical touring vintage, Bike Friday, Offroad, trike, whatever. Sounds like this is a road job, but there are all kinds of road bikes. Particularly if you are going to need a custom, you don't actually have that much time to sort this out. Even if you can buy off the rack, I gurantee you will probably have a different view a year from now. You will have riden a classic, and want a recumbent, or found you are really a 56 not a 58 frame. So think it over, buy something and start riding it. Finding the perfect rig, vs the adeqquate rig can only be done with experimentation.

    If you were doing this trip on your own, where you set the pace, then you could buy a bike one day, and set off the next, do 40 miles the first day and ramp it up by 10 miles a day. Unfortunately if you go on a trip with others, you need to be able to keep up, so you may need to actually do some training. Riding a bike is easier than walking, so most healthy people can set off on a trip without any training, but keeping up with others is a sport.

  6. #6
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    I think I can see where you might be figuring 11k, 2 months off work costs me almost 8K in income.
    You got 2K or more in gear to buy. 300-500 for transportation costs and about $2K in day to day expenses on the tour.

    As for defining the ultimate touring bike, You have to define that yourself. I build my own bikes so I have my ultimate. If I didn't torch my own frames. My ultimate would be between Bruce Gordon or Robert Beckman. They both do the whole package, frame, racks and panniers, The advantage is there is no screwing around making things fit.
    http://www.bgcycles.com/
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  7. #7
    Velo Tourist
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    Mike, I have a Giant OCR and it has carried me through many tough trips. Get a touring bike that feels good to you and decide what you absolutely have to carry as gear. If this is a credit card trip, you won't need too many things to carry; cards don't weigh much.

    Hey folks. The author did not ask for opinions on money. He asked about touring bikes. The money is not our issue to address. Help him with his inquiry. The commn theme running lately is how to do a trip on $2 a day. Many of us are in search of five star trips, and $100 a day is our cost of fun.

  8. #8
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    thank you for your replies... about $2800 of it would cover the trip itself... 10 nights in a hotel, and food, and maps and stuff... a huge amount of the "cost" would be enough savings to cover being out of work for about 10 weeks. Keep in mind, I am a married man, with two children, and plenty of bills. If I am going to not be working for 10 weeks, i need to have that much saved... I figure about 400 for the one way airline ticket, plus shipping the bike... I will end up in Jacksonville, my home town! I budgeted about 2k for spending / whatever *#^% hits the fan. I probably won't spend it, but i will have it if needed.

    2850 for trip (10 hotel nights, food for entire trip, maps, ect.)
    400 plane ticket to CA and shipping of bike
    2000 Misc. spending / #($& hitting the fan money
    5500 Being able to leave my family and work for 10 weeks without loosing a beat income wise


    3200 miles in 65 days... about 10 days of "not riding"... all but 10 days will be camping out. Those 10 days will be in a hotel.

    there is a good chance of being able to use vacation days during at least half of the trip... cutting the costs in half. but there is real possabilities that will fall through... I am not going to let this trip be ruined by an employer that does not want to cooperate.... I want to have the savings and the power to be able to tell my employer to "F" off if they won't let me go....

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Cavanaugh; 02-20-06 at 09:40 PM.
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    Well if budget is a concern, and even if it wasn't a big consideration I would consider one of the nice vintage frames, think miyata, trek, specialized, and quite a few others. I would buy as a frame and build up with modern parts of your choice. This way you should be able to get exactly what you want at about the same or maybe less then an off the rack complete.
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
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  10. #10
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    Bruce, thanks for your comment about the money inquiries. Your right, it's none of our business. Mike you didn't have to explain it but thanks for doing so. If the reason was to stay in 5 star hotels and that's how you like to travel, so what. As long as you get out there.

    Back to the bike question. There are a lot of directions for you to go. I find myself getting on well graded dirt the more I tour so at least make that an option for your bike. Skinny tires will make you go fast but will limit you. I could start throwing brands at you but hopefully you have a shop you can trust and caters to tourists. I am partial to 26" wheels but that's just me.

  11. #11
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    You shouldn't need a trailer for the tour. I have a Yak, but I don't use it for touring. I use it for wine and beer shopping!

    Get good panniers (saddlebags). High quality, waterproof, by Ortlieb or Arkel. You won't regret it. For me it became a hassle worrying about when to through the "rain coat" over the bags. Waterproof ones eliminate that.

    I camp like Stokell describes on his crazyguyonabike web site about Stealth camping. I love my Hennessy hammock, but it is only a personal preference. Take either a small tent or a hammock for your trip. If you take a tent, I would suggest free-standing.

    I also use an Esbit cooker. I don't cook often, as eating at cheap eateries like bakeries or cold foods make up most of my diet. When I want to cook, the Esbit is great. It's so tiny, yet works well.

    What are you planning on so far as far as equipment?

  12. #12
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal

    What are you planning on so far as far as equipment?

    honestly i don't know that much about it yet. I have an aweful lot of learning, and some short practice runs to do between now and then. It is safe to say that i will need some clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag, minimal tooles and spare parts like tube, tire, ect.

    I am thinking that I would want this bike to be set up just for road use... no off road. So, I am thinking a steel road frame with drop bars.... Very comfy riding position with saddle even with bars. The seat will be either the Brooks B17N that I have on my 2 current bikes, or just the plain Brooks B17. I guess the way to go is to have those old style shifters with the levers at the end of the drop bars? Can someone explain to me why this is the way to go (I remember reading this somewhere.) It would have to have bullet proof wheels.... What is the perfect bulletproof wheel? Is it Open Pros with straight gauge spokes? Or would it be the much pricier kysirum? would this perfect touring bike have fenders? what size wheels would be ideal for a heavy load with front and back paniers?


    Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts!

    mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  13. #13
    Time to go
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    Although I'm not an experienced tourer (yet?) I love my new Burley Vagabond. It seems well built and is very comfortable. I also like the fact I purchased it whole from my local shop and can get service and advice easily while Im getting to know my bike. The STI shifters are really cool and I don't think I would want barend shifters, I don't want to worry about some object hitting my knee or changing gears as I stand up for a change of position. As far as Tires go, I really like the 700x35 Scwalbes (vs. 28s)I put on, they make the ride more comfortable and I don't worry about nor feel the little bumps. Also I like the fact that I can hit a bit of dirt road if I feel like it-Adaptability!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    honestly i don't know that much about it yet. I have an aweful lot of learning, and some short practice runs to do between now and then. It is safe to say that i will need some clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag, minimal tooles and spare parts like tube, tire, ect.

    I am thinking that I would want this bike to be set up just for road use... no off road. So, I am thinking a steel road frame with drop bars.... Very comfy riding position with saddle even with bars. The seat will be either the Brooks B17N that I have on my 2 current bikes, or just the plain Brooks B17. I guess the way to go is to have those old style shifters with the levers at the end of the drop bars? Can someone explain to me why this is the way to go (I remember reading this somewhere.) It would have to have bullet proof wheels.... What is the perfect bulletproof wheel? Is it Open Pros with straight gauge spokes? Or would it be the much pricier kysirum? would this perfect touring bike have fenders? what size wheels would be ideal for a heavy load with front and back paniers?
    Mike, this will be a tremendous trip for you, and you'll return home an even better husband and father as a result. Stay focused on your goal and see it thru.

    You've listed a few things above that I'll try to address. Some principles to keep in mind with a good touring bike are functionality, dependability, durability, simplicity. Shifters are a good example of this. While I love "brifters" (brake levers/shifters) on my road/fitness bike, they are not as simple and durable as the barend shifters that many tourists prefer. You don't want component failures in the middle of nowhere.

    Bullet proof wheels: Mavic Open Pro and Ksyrium wheels are excellent road bike wheels but are not suitable for loaded touring. Next to the frame, the wheels are the most important component to consider. If I were you, I would consider having a wheelset built up for you by a pro, such as Peter White using Mavic A719, Sun Rhyno, Velocity Dyad, or even Sun CR18 rims (there are other suitable rims as well), XT hubs (135 mm rear spacing), and 14/15/14 ga. double-butted spokes. Use 36 or 40 spokes in rear and 36 in the front.

    If you build up one of the wonderful vintage touring frames you would not use the XT hubs as you would need 126-130mm rear spacing. (You can use a 130mm rear hub on a 126mm spaced frame.)

    Phil Wood hubs are worth considering if you can swing it, and while expensive, will last a lifetime and you can will them to your grandchildren!

    Tire size: For paved road touring (with occasional short distances of hard packed dirt or rail trails) your tires should be 32 - 37mm wide. Good tires include Continental Contact, Schwalbe Marathon, and even the Panaracer Pasela TG.

    Fenders: Most tourists prefer fenders. SKS makes a nice set. The vision of your tour that you are having right now contains azure blue skies, moderate temps, gorgeous scenery, friendly considerate motorists, and favorable winds assisting you along the way. While this picture is not unrealistic some days, there are other days that will test your resolve. You will more than likely encounter some rain. And it is much more tolerable to ride thru the rain with fenders than without. And if another cyclist happens to be following behind you, he/she will thank you for the fenders.

    Gearing: You want to be prepared for anything here, so a wide range of gears is appropriate. You'll hear some variations here and there, but your gears should range between 20 and 90 or so gear inches. That means, a triple crankset with rings of about 46x36x24 teeth and rear cogs ranging from about 12 or 13 to 32 or 34 teeth. With this setup you'll be able to get the kitchen sink up and over any mountains passes that you might encounter.

    As for tent and camping supplies, you will be considering the same basic equipment that backpackers require. You have lots of time to research this thoroughly. See: REI and Campmor for ideas, plus, keep learning from this group.

    Mike, do keep us posted as to how your dream progresses.

    All the best,

    Ted Phelps
    Central Valley, California
    If we don't change our direction
    we will likely end up where we are heading.

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  15. #15
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    thank you for your reply. When you all refer to a vintage frame, are you only talking about older, used frames? Or are you talking about new frames that are "old school style?" I prefer a new frame if possible so what new frames should I be looking at? Can you name some particular manufacturor / model frames i should consider? I would prefer to build the bike myself piece by piece, but I can only imagine that it will be an expensive way to do it! If there is a particular frame make / model you recomend, do you know of somewhere I can order just the frame???

    silly question.... the whole fram should be steel right? in other words, steel fork, steel / aluminum seat post?
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

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    Why is it that on this forum the first responses to someone's ideas/plans for a tour is why these certain plans are either wrong, not feasible, or at the very least, could use some correction by the esteemed bike forum-ers?

  17. #17
    Vegan Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    thank you for your reply. When you all refer to a vintage frame, are you only talking about older, used frames? Or are you talking about new frames that are "old school style?" I prefer a new frame if possible so what new frames should I be looking at? Can you name some particular manufacturor / model frames i should consider? I would prefer to build the bike myself piece by piece, but I can only imagine that it will be an expensive way to do it! If there is a particular frame make / model you recomend, do you know of somewhere I can order just the frame???

    silly question.... the whole fram should be steel right? in other words, steel fork, steel / aluminum seat post?
    Vintage actually refers to the older (usually '80s to early '90s) lugged steel tourers that many of today's custom touring bikes are somewhat patterned after. These Miyata 1000s, Specialized Expeditions, Trek 520/720s of the day set the standards for us today. When a good one comes along on Ebay it can be a real special find. Here are some pics of my vintage tourer, for example.

    Mike, you sound like a good candidate for the Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT). There's lots of info about the LHT on this forum and plenty of people to offer advice for building one up. There are some nice pics of these bikes if you look for them.

    Hope this helps,

    Ted Phelps
    Central Valley, California
    If we don't change our direction
    we will likely end up where we are heading.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    I guess the way to go is to have those old style shifters with the levers at the end of the drop bars?
    "old style"?? Some of us would take exception to that...

    Your (original) post is bringing out the best of admiration and envy on this board. As you can tell, professing "this trip has given my life direction" means you're now a full-fledged member of the touring community. Welcome!!!

    It's good you've given yourself a lot of time to research bikes and setups. Since you've got the time, I suggest you search threads here over the past year or so -- all your questions (which bike, which shifters, trailer/panniers, fenders, etc.) have got a ton of responses. The advantage is that you'll get a broad survey of opinions and understand the arguments on both sides. There's a lot of wisdom here. Some people don't post all the time, for every thread, and it's valuable to see their past responses.

    On top of that, you gotta suffer from an overload of information, just like the rest of us If you can narrow down your basic requirements (such as "low cost", or "will be used for an eventual round-the-world tour", etc.), you can filter out a lot of info. You've already done some of this, planning for road-only, camping, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    Can you name some particular manufacturor / model frames i should consider? I would prefer to build the bike myself piece by piece, but I can only imagine that it will be an expensive way to do it! If there is a particular frame make / model you recomend, do you know of somewhere I can order just the frame???
    Ahh, now you're talking. Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT). Do a search!! You can't beat the feeling of riding cross-country on a bike you built up yourself.

    Impressed by the planning you've done for yourself and your family. That's how dreams become reality.

    -- Mark

  19. #19
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    now we are talking!!!! i looked at the surley long haul trucker and chills went down my spine... I know I have to do lots of research to make sure I find sthe frame that is perfect for me...but man, something about that frame just calls me...

    to answer some of your questions, money is not a problem. sure, I don't want to spend it if i don't need to, but I do NOT want to be in a situation where I will quickly begin to desire upgrades. If I am going to build this thing from scratch, it needs to be the right components the first time. I am so excited.... keep these posts coming... I promise to show pictures every step of the way as she is created!!!!

    mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    now we are talking!!!! i looked at the surley long haul trucker and chills went down my spine... I know I have to do lots of research to make sure I find sthe frame that is perfect for me...but man, something about that frame just calls me...
    I've never seen anyone that was unhappy with the LHT. If it's calling, you'd better answer.

    Good luck, it sounds like a dream trip and I know you're going to have a great time. The hard part is going to be waiting until 2008.

  21. #21
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    Price checks so far on suggestions...

    Made some phone calls and the surley long haul trucker frame and MSRP is $420.00 I called peter white (the wheel builder mentioned above) and three of his recomendations were 40 spoke wheels built with white industries hubs in the neighborhood of $600 or Phil Woods hubs for approx $700 or 36 spoke wheels built with LX hubs in the neighborhood of $300.

    That wheel builder is all the way out in NH... pretty far from florida! if you know any links of wheels i should check out, PLEASE give them to me. I really do not know much about wheels... but i do understand their importance!!! the wheels if i went with the surley frame would be 700cc


    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Cavanaugh; 02-21-06 at 02:10 PM.
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

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    If you have the money, I would suggest getting a bike from Rivendell bike works. They make bikes the old fashioned way. In the latest "Rivendell Reader" they have a bike that will come out in May through Quality Bicycle Products called the Beleroit. It is pretty much the same as the Saluki, but made in Japan so it is cheaper. No less quality in terms of stregenth though. www.rivbike.com I am getting a bunch of stuff through Rivendell because they are good people who only sell what they would put on their own bikes. They design some of what they sell. If you have a sewing machine, you can make your own sleeping bag and panniers. backpacking.net/makegear.htm They will be lighter and the perfect size. I recommend a tent from Hilleberg, althogh there are some lighter. For the southern teir you wont need a very sturdy/waterproof one (the hilleberg is a 4 season tent) I would try to get some idea of how you want to tour. Fast and light, or more comfort oriented. Some people have 20 pounds of gear, others have 80. I am going to have a combination. Titanium pot, but iron frying pan so I can have pancakes and frenchtoast. Just carying the bare nesictiies (sp) for clothing, but i'm also going to bring my mandolin. There is no perfect setup for everybody, but alot of people can tell you theirs. It is all about priorities, and what your mind set is, how you want to get across the country. But generally speaking, less is much better, try to get as areodinamic as possible. But that is just what I am going for. I would try to compile your tool kit sooner that later to see what you need to bring. If you want i can show you a leather one that I am making for my self. It hasen't been tested yet. I would sell one of your bikes, unless you use both of them for diffrent reasons (less is better). I bet your wife feels that way too. That is about all the input I have for now, keep in mind I am in the same position you are, I've never toured before. I would suggest getting as many books as you feel nessicary, (search the forums for good ones), But my favourite author Mark Jenkins has a book called Off The Map about bicycle touring. His other books are excelent too, for getting into the adventurous spirit, 'cause it is not about the bike, it's about the adventure. Regards, Ty

  23. #23
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    There are lots of good touring bikes out there, however, I think for the money, that the Trek 520 is a greaet bike. It is desinged for touring, with front and back braze-ons, three bottle cages, and bar-end shifters (which are easier to repair on the road). I am on my second Trek 520. I also have a high end touring bike (Waterford). It's also a great bike, but if you're trying to economize I would look at the Trek 520. It runs about $1200.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    I have not yet done a tour.... rode plenty of miles, but never ended up anywhere. I have decided that in september of 2008 I am going to do the southern tier unsupported through adventure cycling.

    I figure i need to save about $11,000 in order to pay for trip, have spending money, and of course have money to cover the 70 or so days i will be out of work. I have set up my works direct deposit to automaticly throw 200 bucks into a savings each biweekly check set up specificly for the trip.

    Right now i have a Giant TCR2 and a Trek 6700. Neither will be suitable for this trip of a lifetime. I need to set my sights now so i can make it all happen financially. Please, tell me, what would the ultimate touring bike look like?> who would make it? what would the key ingredients be? Would it have front and back paniers, or would it have a bob trailer? or would it have a combination?

    for the first time in a long time, this trip has given my life direction... I now have a goal, and what a goal it is! Please do not hesitate to respond with any recomendations you have towards the "Perfect Touring Setup / Bike" It is safe to say i have some time, so please, reply when you have time to give a complete opinion...

    thank you for all of your help,

    The man who now has a dream,

    Mike
    Congratulations Mike. Go for it and be prepared. IMO if you plan to do a long tour make sure you do as many little small self supported tours as you can. This gives you a chance to test all your equipment. Try to think of your equipment as good clothing, take what suits you best. The best part about finding what suits you best is that you get to do all sorts of tours to test all the cool stuff you need to buy.

    I think that bike wise you should try touring on the bike that you have and see what you donít like about it and use some of your own experience to get your own bike. As for camping gear try to go lightweight but durable. I do not think there is any definitive list of items that you should bring, although things like a flashlight and tools to fix mechanical troubles are a must.

    I find that reading other peoples logs help. You can see the different types of touring people have done, and you can get ideas from their equipment lists. From there you can take what you think is the best of the lists and try the equipment on mini shakedown tours. And an added bonus is that it keeps the touring fire roaring.

    If you decide to take an instrument take a harmonica. I have read of people taking guitars and I can understand why they would want to, but a harmonica is much lighter and easier to pack.

    The more money you save the better. If you stealth camp and make allot of your own grub you can do it very cheaply. For me the cheapest way is the most enjoyable because you get to prove to yourself that you are self reliant.

    A mistake I made was going touring for more than a few days with a buddy. A few days are fine, but when it was stretched out I found it hard to deal with.

    I have enjoyed reading about Stokell's accounts of touring he shares some very good info that is very relevant. I get the impression that he is at about the same stage of life you are, but I could be wrong. Personally for me I think when I start to do some serious touring (more than just a week or so) I will look to using a hammock system. They seem so much less complicated than a tent. From my experience you can stealth camp very nicely with a tent. Looking peoples experience of using a hammock it does seem better than a tent.

    From my personal experience I bust allot of spokes, it is a problem I have always had. I would suggest the beefiest wheels with the most spokes you can get. Of course I have toured with people who use regular road wheels and never bust a spoke.
    Catastrophe: Knowing you are about to die and there are still three beers left in the fridge!
    P.L.

  25. #25
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cavanaugh
    ... I called peter white (the wheel builder mentioned above) and three of his recomendations were 40 spoke wheels built with white industries hubs in the neighborhood of $600 or Phil Woods hubs for approx $700 or 36 spoke wheels built with LX hubs in the neighborhood of $300.

    That wheel builder is all the way out in NH... pretty far from florida! if you know any links of wheels i should check out, PLEASE give them to me. I really do not know much about wheels... but i do understand their importance!!! the wheels if i went with the surley frame would be 700cc


    Mike
    Peter White makes some pretty darned good wheels. I don't think you could go wrong by using a set built by him.

    I cycled Budapest to Istanbul on a set he built, w/a medium to heavy load. They were allready on the used bike I bought. The mileage was unknown. I've also used the same wheelset for a lot of commuting as well as some Brevets last season.

    They've never needed to be "touched up". Pretty impressive considering the riding I've done on them, the abuse they've taken, and the unknown mileage before I got them.

    These are "light" touring wheels XT hubs, MA3 rims, 36 spoke. The rear rim has now worn beyond what I consider safe, I think due to poor brake adjustment on my part (because the front wear is minimal-and I primarily front brake except on descents).

    He's currently building a set for my France to Tibet tour.

    -If I were you, I'd wait untill you've decided upon what bike to build up before having wheels built though. For example give a serious look at Bruce Gordon cycles, you may decide to go with 26"-which would give more/better offroad riding options after your tour, or for future tours.
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

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