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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 08-03-08, 10:47 AM   #101
YungBurke
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Building a tourer out of a Bianchi Strada frame and salvaged parts
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Old 08-12-08, 07:41 PM   #102
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Bdaisies says she can't spend more than $600 for a touring bike.
You can get what appears to be a Fuji tourer, called Windsor, from Bikes Direct a few hundred dollars cheaper. ($599, free shipping.)
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Old 11-10-08, 11:34 PM   #103
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Bdaisies says she can't spend more than $600 for a touring bike.
You can get what appears to be a Fuji tourer, called Windsor, from Bikes Direct a few hundred dollars cheaper. ($599, free shipping.)
If you can find the right size used would get you a lot more for your dollar than new.
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Old 12-04-08, 04:14 PM   #104
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Just a few thoughts here, prefaced with a disclaimer:

Disclaimer: I know very little about touring specific bikes, other than what I've seen/read online. I owned a Nishiki Cresta tourer for a while, but it was a smidge too small. I've never toured proper, just many day trips, no overnighters. I spent 7 years as a bike mechanic from Colorado to California, so I've seen pretty much everything that can go wrong with a bike. That said, here are a few of my random thoughts:

Dedicated touring bikes appear to be the perfect machine for those of us who have no delusions about our being Tour De France winners. Long, stable, durable, versatile, and these days grossly overpriced for a boutique version. Someone said it well in a previous post: Most of us are not going to travel the world, rather, we'll be sticking to paved roads and maybe gravel.
With that in mind, it seems to me that (and I may be wayyy off here) early MTB's would be ideal. I have a Peugeot Canyon Express from 1985 that is more tourer than MTB. Dual eyelets front and rear, lowrider mounts on the fork, three bottle braze-ons, and a real live pump peg behind the seat tube. Looooonnnnngggg chainstays (18"!!!) and laid back geometry spell long days in the saddle. Fully lugged, double butted Ishiwata cromo frame and fork round out the package. Best of all, I paid 40 bucks for it at the local thrift store.
I have a full blown custom Curtlo Epic Mountaineer that cost me nearly 3K by the time I was finished with it, and the Peugeot gets out of the garage much more often than the Curtlo.

Any advice I can give is probably null and void due to my lack of experience, but it seems to me that the real requirements of a touring bike/frame would be long c-stays, laid back geometry, and enough braze-ons to allow maximum flexibility in packing/loading.

MTB, Hybrid, or dedicated touring bike becomes irrelevant if these fundamental requirements are met. And many early mtbs are very very nice if you can get past the "old tech" stigma.

Just my .02.
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Old 12-16-08, 10:39 AM   #105
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Touring for newbies

Originally Posted by mcavana Sure you can search for it all over the place, but here it is in one spot. Calling everyone who has cyclo toured before... If you started touring all over again, what would you tell yourself? what would your bike setup look like? what kind of racks and paniers would be best? What camping gear would your recomend?

Help our new-bees out!!!!

Mike

-------------

My wife bought me this book a few days ago:

Adventure Cycle - Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling Route & Planning Guide, by Stephen Lord, September 2006. It's got lots of pages on touring bike choices, set-ups including racks & panniers, camping gear, stories from the road including the bike equipment chosen for better or worse, and more ...
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Old 12-22-08, 09:34 AM   #106
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The big stuff

I've done LOTS of short cyclo-touring and cyclo-camping 3 to 5 days out self supported, and short tours. This is all in anticipation of 2011 when my youngest goes to college and I can hit the road long term.

I have a 2006 Trek 520... I also have a 1990 Trek 520

(bike set for a day of cyclo-touring)
I changed up MANY things on this bike for touring and can go into detail if anyone wants to know. This bike is great for paved touring or fire-road type touring. I will not take it to South America though - despite all I've done to it there just isn't enough tire clearance for bigger nobby tires and fenders. (bummer)
I use Nitto Campee Front and Rear racks

I've used lots of different racks and these are my fav. Nitto racks are beautiful and very well made. I can remove the lower pannier holders and leave the lighter useful racks on. I love how low and centered the front and back panniers are on the bike. There is lots of argument about the usefulness of getting the rear bags low - I've ridden both ways and there is a big difference to me in handling and perceived weight on the bike. These racks can attach to the braze-ons OR to the brakes - I use the brakes for a more robust attachment. You can get these at Velo-orange.com

There are many choices out there for panniers, or trailers, or even xtracyles now (I have turned my old 520 into an Xtra) but I use Ortlieb bags and would not change. Simple - waterproof - bullet proof hardware - lighter then most other bags - put them on and hit the road - you never have to think about them. Your stuff will stay dry in a monsoon. I live in the South - sweltering hot, humid summers, and I cyclo-camp right through the worst of it. I know some argue that the waterproof bags will "sweat" on the inside or grow mold or something. I think these people are "assuming" this will happen, It never has. If something is wet it goes into its own bag or on the rack to dry. That's a no brainer. I've never had a moments trouble with these bags. Get them from Wayne at TheTouringStore.com lowest price and great guy.
I would love to get into a more detailed discussion about any of this stuff or other kit - stoves - tents - wool clothing etc. if interested.
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Old 12-22-08, 08:26 PM   #107
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Lots of used bikes are available...

I've done a goodly amount of touring, starting our with two different converted mountain bikes which served me well and finally settling on a Miyata 618 and Miyata 1000. Knowing what I do after making lots of mistakes, I'd say the best budget option is to buy a good quality, used, dedicated tourer and fit it to your preferences.

I've just helped a friend do that. Including powder coating the frame, the total cost was about $700. I found the Miyata 615 on Ebay for 170. The bulk of the components were in good shape and we cleaned and serviced them. New Headset/bottom bracket and an occasional odd and end. I did replace some of the bits with things I had in the garage which kept the price down. The biggest single cost was the STI setup my friend wanted. It was a 3X7 Sora, NOS and was almost $200.

I think if a person is on a tight budget, it's possible to do the same thing less the paint job and expensive brifter for well within most people's budget.

George
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Old 12-28-08, 02:14 PM   #108
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GBG Filtrated Water Bottle

While this site is about liquid vitamns for faster absorbsion and some cool ingrediants for endurance it also has a very interesting water bottle filtration system in case you're in the middle of no where, foreign country etc. Go to this site and check it out at the bottom of the page:

http://www.shopgbg.com/?ID=juan2know

Cheers,
John Young
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Old 12-29-08, 02:01 PM   #109
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Looking for Recommendations

Greetings and Salutations,

My brother Rick is 60 years old, I am 52, he invited me to take a bike tour with him from Wichita, Kansas to Castle Rock, Colorado, and the trip is about 600 miles. For each of the past two years Rick rode a Cannondale Adventure 400, and Cannondale Touring II bike from Wichita, Kansas alone to Winnipeg, Canada, a trip of about 1000 miles. The trips were an amazing journey and set in motion a love for touring the country.

As someone new to biking I was looking for recommendations on the best bike to accommodate a 6 ft frame of about 210 pounds. I am in good health and have always been a runner to maintain my weight and stamina. Our journey is set for June of 2009 and I need to purchase a bike to prepare for this adventure. My initial research started with the high end bikes like the Trek Madone 6.9 Pro 2008 at a discounted price of $5,499, if you can call that a discount or the Motobecane Century Team at $3,499. I understand the financial commitment will keep me riding until I push up daisies but what other options do you all recommend?

Any advice or recommendations will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-30-08, 12:07 AM   #110
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Stepitup, you might first look at touring bikes versus a race bike as this is what your going to be doing unless this is a completely supported tour where you do not need to carry any gear with you while riding.
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Old 12-30-08, 10:31 AM   #111
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The Trek Madone 6.9 is unsuited for your purpose--in fact, you could hardly have found a bike less suitable. You need a workhorse and this is a racehorse. It is designed for a 20-year old racer, not a 52-year-old tourer. It's not designed to support your weight, the gearing is wrong for you, and you need at least twice as many spokes.

More money is not always good. In this case, it's bad. You're price range is too high.

Last edited by John Nelson; 12-30-08 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 12-30-08, 10:16 PM   #112
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[quote=Krystal;8060579]I've done LOTS of short cyclo-touring and cyclo-camping 3 to 5 days out self supported, and short tours. This is all in anticipation of 2011 when my youngest goes to college and I can hit the road long term.

I have a 2006 Trek 520... I also have a 1990 Trek 520

(bike set for a day of cyclo-touring)
I changed up MANY things on this bike for touring and can go into detail if anyone wants to know. This bike is great for paved touring or fire-road type touring. I will not take it to South America though - despite all I've done to it there just isn't enough tire clearance for bigger nobby tires and fenders. (bummer)


I'm interested in what you've changed on this bike to make it more suited for touring. I'm a 5'5" woman with some back and neck problems that make a more upright position easier on my body.

I'm just beginning to look for a road bike that will be suitable for long fitness rides, touring and self-supported centuries. I've been riding a Trek 4900 mountain bike and have been putting more and more road miles on it every year.

Gear wise...I'm already an ultralight backpacker and have the very light and compact tent, bag, stove, water filter, tech clothing etc.

Last edited by footloose; 12-30-08 at 10:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-30-08, 11:17 PM   #113
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Please pardon any repetition of what's already been said.

If I could start over and buy/set up one bike for the rest of my life to tour on and use as my do everything bike, I would end up with a steel mountain or expedition touring frame and fork that fits 26" wheels with cantilever brakes. The 26" wheels are important to me because now having toured on my 700c touring bike, I'm consider setting up another 26" bike for more remote tours (ex. AK to AR). I know my current touring bike can do the trip, but 26" tires and wheels are easier to come by on this little planet of ours and I don't have the clearances to put the width tires I want on my current bike.

If budget is an issue, find an old steel mountain bike from the early 90's/late 80's that fits you decently well. The chainstays won't be long enough and their won't be mid-fork eyelets, but those problems can both be overcome. Steel racks are important because if they fail, finding someone to weld steel will be much easier than aluminum. I would chose Tubus racks because they have high load ratings, they make a rear rack that sets the panniers back farther to prevent heel strike with short chainstays and they make mounting hardware for a fork with no mid-fork eyelets.

Beyond that the things worth spending money one are, fenders, good tires (I vote for folding Schwalbe Marathon XRs), the right gearing for your needs, waterproof panniers(I'm a fan of Ortlieb back and front rollers) and good 36 spoke wheels.

If budget isn't an issue or you've done a really good job of saving your pennies, throw in a Rohloff Speedhub.

Last edited by waxy; 12-30-08 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 01-09-09, 03:00 PM   #114
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Smp

I also have the SMP tires and have rode 500 miles without a flat. The tires were kinda hard to mount. I have wondered if I had a flat in a remote area, would changing the tube be a problem. I have been told that they mount easier after the initial installation. Any wisdom on this matter?
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Old 01-10-09, 08:42 PM   #115
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cyclocross with trailer

So I am a newbie eager to get everyone's opinions. I am a hiker trying to turn biker. I have done the two of the US's big three hiking trails for almost 5000 miles, so I know about long adventures, pain, and the value of good gear.

I am trying to now sort through different ideas for a cross country bike trip.

I am debating getting a classic touring bicycle (Kona Sutra, Cannondale Touring 1, etc.) and pack on the panniers as is customary, or take the advice from a bike store employee who suggested I get an average cyclocross bike (Cannondale Cyclocross 5, Giant TCX 1, or Salsa Casserolle) and just tow a Bob Trailer. I see advantages of both and would like to hear what touring cyclists think about the merits of both ideas.
Thanks
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Old 01-12-09, 08:38 AM   #116
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Hey Babarn,
Take a look at the previous posts for some suggestions... Here's mine, If you live somewhere that has a bike "co-op" check there and see about resurrecting a classic touring frame. For some types of riding an older MTB frame with 26" wheels makes a good "base" to build on. Start with a bare frame and add parts to suit the type of riding you're going to be doing. You can wind up with a darn nice bike that way. You also gain valuable experience putting together a bike yourself, if anything goes wrong, you'll know how to fix it, you're not out thousands of dollars, and you've helped to keep one more bike OUT of a landfill!
Only hard and fast "rule"? MAKE SURE THE FRAME FITS YOU!

Last edited by scruffyboy; 01-12-09 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 01-12-09, 08:49 AM   #117
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On the trailer V Pannier? Opinions vary greatly, I've used both and can see merits to each way of carrying your "stuff" so it's really up to YOU! how you wanna schlep your gear around. If you haven't found it yet go to www.crazyguyonabike you'll find LOADS of people that have already put on TONS of miles on to their rigs. You'll find equipment lists and pictures of loaded bikes as well as reviews from people that have actually used what they're writing about.
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Old 01-12-09, 09:14 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babarn00 View Post
So I am a newbie eager to get everyone's opinions. I am a hiker trying to turn biker. I have done the two of the US's big three hiking trails for almost 5000 miles, so I know about long adventures, pain, and the value of good gear.

I am trying to now sort through different ideas for a cross country bike trip.

I am debating getting a classic touring bicycle (Kona Sutra, Cannondale Touring 1, etc.) and pack on the panniers as is customary, or take the advice from a bike store employee who suggested I get an average cyclocross bike (Cannondale Cyclocross 5, Giant TCX 1, or Salsa Casserolle) and just tow a Bob Trailer. I see advantages of both and would like to hear what touring cyclists think about the merits of both ideas.
Thanks
I prefer a touring bike, because it is made for the job. You can find that sometimes even proper touring bike are not sturdy enough, and the gearing are not correct.
If you go with cyclocross you will get lighter wheels (for competition) and the gears will be more for competition.
If you put the trailer on a cyclocross wheel, it will break eventually. If you put a strong wheel, this will solve the problem.
Touring bike in general will have heavier and stronger wheels and MTB gears.
People here ride cyclocross for touring, but I guess they already know the pace and their strength in a tour.
I recommend you to spend here some time and read some past threads about touring bikes.
Don't rush into buying a bike, because after you learn about touring bikes, you will defenitly know where you want to travel and what is the bike for it.
You are a hiker, so I guess your tour will be on rough roads. If so, you will need to avoid a 700c wheels and go with a tourer that looks like MTB with 26'' wheels, as an example.

I think you should open new thread with your question, and also specify what tours you want to do, and if you will use the bike for other things.

Cheers,
Kfir
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Old 01-17-09, 03:54 PM   #119
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Bicycletouring Broken Link ...

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Jamie has done a great job with his site:

http://bicycletouring101.com/
Is there an update for the above link? The link isn't working.
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Old 01-17-09, 04:10 PM   #120
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bobarnOO, A cyclocross bike is for cyclocross. It could be used for long touring but it is not designed from the bottom up for that purpose. Still I heard of a guy who set off on the Transcontinental with a knapsack on his racing Masi. Dunno if he finished. Aside from touring recumbents, tandems, and mountain bikes, there are three levels of touring bikes. Credit card where you use a day pack and someone else carries your stuff. Not like you eh? Then stock touring bikes starting around $800 to $1200. Quite serviceable for going across the country on good roads when you are not going too far from towns. Then there are bikes for when you plan on riding vast distances over rugged terrain in remote country with heavy loads and failure is not an option. That calls for a heavy loaded touring bike. See www.bgcycles.com and others. I have tried and been happy with an early Bianchi Volpe, a classic Miyata 1000, a Cannondale tourer, and my current passion a Bruce Gordon BLT.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:50 PM   #121
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Is there an update for the above link? The link isn't working.
It was a couple of days ago. Maybe something is wrong with the server.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:01 PM   #122
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Light - simple - available

I have been touring for forty five years and have “done it over again” several times. Light, light, light is my mantra. I keep my selections binary. If all else is equal or nearly so, I get the lighter item. It becomes cumulative. If you haul thirty pounds, instead of sixty pounds of gear you can use smaller lighter panniers and racks, and a lighter frame, rims and tires. It doesn’t add up—it subtracts out.

Lightweight can carry a premium at the cash register, but the ultimate lightweight items are the ones you don’t take and they tend to be very affordable.

I look for simple. My stove has one moving part. My tent has one pole. My down sleeping bag has insulation on one side only.

Availability is important. It took me two weeks to get replacement Campagnolo cones and bearings for my wife’s racing bike from my LBS that specializes in Campy components. It is worse for low-end components from Wal-Mart or Performance. Almost any bike shop in North America will have mid-range Shimano - Tiagra, 105 and Ultegra level components in stock.
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Old 01-21-09, 03:00 PM   #123
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I'm Going thru Withdrawl

Wow, I just love reading the stories of where the hard core amongst us have been. Inspirational, to say
the least! Being on an extremely limited budget, I especially enjoy reading the forums and finding out what
people devise to "make do" or "get by". As stated earlier, when all is said and done I think the main thing is
to simply get out there and do it any way you can. Jump in and swim, before the lake runs dry.

I am really hoping to do some touring before one foot goes in the grave, and towards that end I finally received a special order "make do"
freewheel from Loose Screws which will be a bit more touring friendly. Got a great price on a 14 x 34 six cog for my old Bridgestone RB3.
Haven't put it on yet, but most likely an alternate derailleur will also be in order to make the stretch to that bail-out gear.

Sure, I wish I had a dedicated touring bike with a triple crank and kinder geometry.
Yes, I'd love a new set of Tubus racks and Ortleib bags.
But I'm not going to worry about that. I think I'll just ride instead.
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Old 02-07-09, 08:30 PM   #124
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Rocky Mountain Sherpa

I would be interested in knowing what the group thinks about the Rocky Mountain Sherpa. I especially like the frame. Why most touring bike companies don't seem to use the latest advancements in steel frames is odd to me.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:52 PM   #125
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The bike I have has 27 inch rims, I want to put 700s on it, is this going to be a problem? Will the brakes work with the new rims?
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