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  1. #1
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    First tour - help/advice

    Hi all. I'm hoping to go on a leisurely bike tour from Santa Cruz to somewhere South of Monterey, CA with my parents this summer. I'm rebuilding my Schwinn Super Sport as a tourer/commuter, and would like some advice on the build. First off, I need to get a new fork. Would putting a 700c fork on a bike originally intended for 27" wheels throw the geometry way off? I'm already running 700c wheels, so this might make it easier to find a fork. Second, I don't have rack braze ons, but the dropouts are threaded for rack/fender screws. Would a rack used with the metal brackets for this purpose be strong enough to support panniers?

    For a first-time tourist, what pace would you reccomend? I've heard about 10 mph, but I'd like to know approximately miles/day. I ride at least 6 miles on a fixed gear everyday just around town, but have done 20+ milers geared and a few 12/13 milers fixed. My parents are both in pretty good shape but don't ride much. My dad rides my old hybrid with a 28/34 granny gear (chainring/cog), and my mom rides a MTB with knobby tires. We'd take it slow and have plenty of rest stops, and I was hoping for at least 30 mi/day. Is this practical? We will do training rides (8-20 miles) before and a few loaded trips (I'll have panniers and a messenger bag, my parents will each have a small back pack).

    For a credit card tour, how much food/water/clothing should we pack? I've heard water should be the most weight. Would a bottle on eack bike, a camel back, and several extra waters in bags be suitable for us? For clothes, I'd bring two jerseys (1 wool, 1 synthetic and a base layer (synthetic), two shorts (synthetic), a pair of cut off pants (shants, as we fixed riders like to call them), and a t-shirt or two. This includes what I'd be wearing. My parents own no cycling clothes, but they would buy some shorts (I told them they won't believe how uncomfortabe they'd get).

    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  2. #2
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    i can't really comment on the geometry question.

    as far as miles per day, just do what feels comfortable. 30 miles/day doesn't seem unreasonable, but it really depends on fitness and terrain. Last summer I did santa cruz to morro bay and I remember santa cruz to monterey to be pretty flat with the exception of the climb in monterey up to the campground that's in the kirkandall/spring book. note that i might remember it as flat because there are some larger climbs in the big sur area that overshadow anything in the santa cruz-monterey section.

    I tour with 2-3 water bottles depending on weather. over 80degrees and my fuel goes in the pannier and gatorade goes in the 3rd cage. The whole ride last year we never had a problem with water availability. especially the part you're talking about. It all depends. There's a part where it's all farm land and not much water available. We rode through that part quickly and didn't need much water/food. A more relaxed pace might land you there at lunchtime. There was a nice fruit stand with fresh strawberries though, yum.

    the kirkandall/spring book says that the farmland is boring and should be just sped through. I really liked that part of the ride because there was no traffic and we could all chat and ride 3 across and take photos while riding. great fun.

    you don't say how far or how many days you're planning to go for. On my first day we went from santa cruz to pfieffer big sur, approx 90miles. I don't remember there being much in the way of services between carmel and pfieffer big sur.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    It would be worth it for your mom to get some slicks for that MTB. Other than that you should be able to work out how you want to carry water on your training rides. Good luck sounds like fun.

    Joe

  4. #4
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Yeah, slicks'd be quite nice. Not sure on the days, maybe 4 or 5? And we very well may do more than 30 miles, it jsut depends on my parents.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

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    I dont know that part of the world but I think you should each carry 2 bottles of water each and refill along the way - no point in carrying more than you have to and you will also want to stop to view the scenery, take photos, talk to the natives etc. Your Mum & Dad should have racks on their bikes, with panniers or trunk bag - no back packs. Dont take any cotton T-shirts, only synthetic sports jerseys. Take several synthetic sport socks. If you dont wear cycling shoes, make sure the soles of the shoes are stiff and firm - thin soled sneakers = agony at end of a days riding.

    All the load on the rack is taken through the bolts at the dropouts. The attachment at the top only provides a steadying effect, so P-clips around the seat tubes would be OK.

    The 700c fork should be OK provided it didnt make a drastic change to the steering trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    30
    Man this board is in perpetual meltdown, I hope this gets through.

    You can get a chromed 27" fork from Spicer Cycle.

    Carry watter in proportion to the heat, where 1 bottle is right for X time at 70 degrees, at 80 you will need 2, 90 you need 4, 100 it's 8, and so on.

    Saddles are really important for longer trips. ones that are comfortable on short hauls can be tough on longer ones, and unlike your legs, your seat probably won't warm up to the challenge of a long tour.

  8. #8
    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    I've bolted my panniers to the drop out holes. Just be careful that the bolts are not too long and damage the chain or gear cluster. Most people tend to sweat a lot on their back, so a back pack/camelbak may cause problems so I would experiment first.

    I'd change the MTB tyres to slicks as the knobbly tyres slip on bitumen but are good for gravel. With clothing it's up to you, but chafing can occur with some clothes. You can remedy this by buying athletes anti chafing lube. It's like a deodorant tube, and you roll it on where chafing is likely to occur.

    With water I'd recommend at least 2 bottles. I haul 20 litres here in Oz. You can never have too much water. You have to allow extra water in case of punctures, breakdowns etc.

  9. #9
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    I can not stress enough for your parents to ditch the backpack idea. It won't take many miles before those shoulder straps start to dig into the skin and the back to get terribly uncomfortable and sweaty under the backpack. Let the bike carry the load. Don't let them suffer needlessly when even a cheap rack can carry the same load as would be in a small backpack.
    Like others said, get slicks on your mom's bike. The knobbies will require a lot more work and are much to inefficient for road tours.
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Hi all. I'm hoping to go on a leisurely bike tour from Santa Cruz to somewhere South of Monterey, CA with my parents this summer. I'm rebuilding my Schwinn Super Sport as a tourer/commuter, and would like some advice on the build. First off, I need to get a new fork. Would putting a 700c fork on a bike originally intended for 27" wheels throw the geometry way off? I'm already running 700c wheels, so this might make it easier to find a fork. Second, I don't have rack braze ons, but the dropouts are threaded for rack/fender screws. Would a rack used with the metal brackets for this purpose be strong enough to support panniers?
    As mentioned elsewhere, you need to pay attention to the rack and trail of the fork. You don't want to vary much from the original geometry so that handling stays the same.

    There are lots of ways of attaching a lowrider without mid-fork braze-ons but if you are going to get a new fork, look for a touring specific fork which has them. That said, I've used Blackburn lowriders on bikes in the past and they use a U-bolt to attach the rack. You could probably use the same method for just about any rack. Use the flat metal bit of the u-bolt against the fork and tighten the nuts on the outside of it. Then use 4 more bolts to clamp the rack in place (one on the back and one on the front of each side of the u-bolt). It's kind of ugly but it get the job done.

    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    For a first-time tourist, what pace would you reccomend? I've heard about 10 mph, but I'd like to know approximately miles/day. I ride at least 6 miles on a fixed gear everyday just around town, but have done 20+ milers geared and a few 12/13 milers fixed. My parents are both in pretty good shape but don't ride much. My dad rides my old hybrid with a 28/34 granny gear (chainring/cog), and my mom rides a MTB with knobby tires. We'd take it slow and have plenty of rest stops, and I was hoping for at least 30 mi/day. Is this practical? We will do training rides (8-20 miles) before and a few loaded trips (I'll have panniers and a messenger bag, my parents will each have a small back pack).
    Depending on the terrain and the individual riding, 30 miles can be incredibly easy or it can be incredibly hard. Go by feel and have fun. Distance is a very individual thing but remember that this isn't a race and no one but you will care how far you went per day. Remember, however. that you have two other people to think about. Pace and distance are set by the weakest rider of the bunch. Personally I like to do around 50 -60 miles per day. I can go further if I have to and I can go less. It all depends on what I find along the way.

    Leave the messenger bag at home. If you need more space (for credit card touring you don't need much) get another pannier set or a rack bag. The messenger bag is going to bug the crap out of you after just a few miles...or it would me

    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    For a credit card tour, how much food/water/clothing should we pack? I've heard water should be the most weight. Would a bottle on eack bike, a camel back, and several extra waters in bags be suitable for us? For clothes, I'd bring two jerseys (1 wool, 1 synthetic and a base layer (synthetic), two shorts (synthetic), a pair of cut off pants (shants, as we fixed riders like to call them), and a t-shirt or two. This includes what I'd be wearing. My parents own no cycling clothes, but they would buy some shorts (I told them they won't believe how uncomfortabe they'd get).

    Thanks.
    For water, a Camelbak per person and a couple of water bottles on the bike should be sufficient. Camelbaks carry an amazing amount of water. Unless you are going to be very far from civilization, you should be able to fill up along the way. I'd put watered down Gatorade in the bottles and plain water in the Camelbak. The Gatorade smoothes out the caloric needs and provides some salt replacement. Plain water is good for hydration. Fill the Camelbaks with ice (as much as you can cram into them) in the morning. The ice water is welcome in the heat of the day.

    You might want to include rain wear depending on the climate. You may never need it but if you don't have it...
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
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    i just got a cabela's hydration pack for 30 bucks. it holds 100.oz or 3 litres and is WELL worth the money.

  12. #12
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Would it be worth it to get a cyclocross fork in order to use canti brakes on the front? My brake levers can handle either, so that's not an issue. Thanks for all the help, guys. It's nice to get nothing but advice (unlike the SS/FG crew that I love so much - it's all *****ing over there).
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Would it be worth it to get a cyclocross fork in order to use canti brakes on the front? My brake levers can handle either, so that's not an issue. Thanks for all the help, guys. It's nice to get nothing but advice (unlike the SS/FG crew that I love so much - it's all *****ing over there).
    Rather than a 'cross fork (don't do carbon ) I'd suggest you get a 'real' touring fork like the fork for a Long Haul Trucker. It would have the rack mounts you need. Your only problem may be finding one in a 1" diameter. The Surly fork has a 1 1/8" steer tube. The other issue is going to be trying to find a 1" diameter touring fork with a threaded steer tube. It might be tough...not impossible...but tough.
    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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  14. #14
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    I'm not set on going threaded, as long as my head tube could handle a threadless head set. Yeah, I wasn't talking carbon.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    I'm not set on going threaded, as long as my head tube could handle a threadless head set. Yeah, I wasn't talking carbon.
    I was thinking more along the lines of availability of 1" threadless headsets. Most modern bikes are 1 1/8" but after doing a quick Google, I find that 1" isn't that rare after all. Go with threadless (it's better anyway ). The head tube should be able to handle it just fine.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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    If you can find 1" touring forks w/ lowrider mounts or just a 1" touring fork, please direct me to the fork/source. I recently wrecked my old bike/frame/fork, and need a new one, only to discover that 1" threadless canti post touring forks for 27" wheels are no longer in proiduction and nearly impossible to find.


    30 miles? Woosh.

    You should ride it fixed.

  17. #17
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Yeah, fixed would be fun, but I'm not feeling it with panniers. I wanted to do a fixed trek to Monterey with a friend of mine for a weekend using just mess. bags. That still may happen...
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  18. #18
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Yeah, fixed would be fun, but I'm not feeling it with panniers. I wanted to do a fixed trek to Monterey with a friend of mine for a weekend using just mess. bags. That still may happen...
    Fixed touring rocks! Panniers>Mess. Bag.

    How far is it from SC- Monterey?


    Last summer:


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    Re: the forks.

    It depends on what you want- there are road forks and cross forks there. You will probably have to use a dual pivot road brake with the road forks, and that will limit your tire size and fenders.

    The cross forks look better, allow wider tires, and fenders, but you gots to use canti/v-brakes.
    I bet the cross forks are taller than the road forks, so the geometry would probably be closer to the 27" fork you had on there...

    New fork + new headset+ new stem = lots of cash- $100?

    And a new 700c front wheel. And new brakes.


    And none of those forks are "touring" forks, so no low rider rack braze ons, although there are other options to mount these racks.
    Last edited by BostonFixed; 06-23-06 at 04:20 PM.

  21. #21
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    I'm not too worried about front racks, and I'd like to avoid using a dual-pivot. Right now I'm leaning towards the close-out 'cross fork. New brakes, headset, find a used stem, and I already have a wheel. Thanks for your help, BostonFixed. Monterey is about 45 miles on the highway, and more on back streets. I could gear way down (I run a 2.9 ratio at the moment) and throw on some panniers, but I'd really rather do the one with my parents on gears.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

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