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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 03-02-03, 10:44 AM   #1
benliong
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Need advice for Newbie on bike for touring and commutte

I'm very interested in getting into biking, and eventually touring long distances. But I do want to start out with a cheaper bike just to see if I'm really up to it. I also want to be able to commutte to work with the bike instead so I can save some time walking.

I'm willing to get my bikes on ebay. Any suggestions on bike models? I saw a Trek 330 selling for $175. Do you guys think it's a good bike for touring?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-02-03, 12:55 PM   #2
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I dont really think a 175 dollar bike will hold up on a loaded or supported tour, but it is ok for a first bike to get started riding on you mention you are getting back into riding if that is all you can afford right now get it and start riding it but more important than the price is the bike fit
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Old 03-02-03, 03:23 PM   #3
Rich Clark
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First:
DO NOT buy a bike unless you know it will fit you. The only way to know that is to either be fit to the bike in person, or to know enough about bike fitting and geometry to be able to translate your personal measurements to the measurements of the frame. The main cause of people giving up cycling is that it's painful and uncomfortable; the main cause of pain and discomfort is riding a bike that doesn't fit properly. Much like shoes.

Second:
Older bikes like this certainly can be a good buy, as long as you recognize that upgrades to modern parts may be difficult, and replacement parts may sometimes be difficult to come by. But bike shops will charge just as much for a given repair as they would for a newer bike. So if you're not willing to pay $75, say, for a repair on a bike you only paid $75 for in the first place, then you should assess your own skills and/or local resources (friends or local co-ops/clubs, access to specialized tools, etc.). The benefit of buying a new bike from a local bike shop is that there's a warranty and service policy.

So if you know little about vintage bikes, see if there's anyone you can find who can help you evaluate the candidates. And unless your SURE about what you're buying, it would be much better to stay local and look for used bikes you can actually inspect and test-ride.

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Old 03-03-03, 07:11 AM   #4
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Best bet is to scour the classifieds for good second hand bikes. A lot of good bikes are marketed this way as people upgrade or just give up.
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Old 03-03-03, 07:25 AM   #5
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If you are now only interested in "eventually" touring, and are planning to ride a commute you now walk, I'd say $175 it is a decent investment for a used "starter bike".

I'm not sure I'd buy any bike without riding it to make sure it was comfortable for me, unless I knew that the size and geometry were correct.
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Old 03-03-03, 08:24 AM   #6
benliong
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Thanks guys.

In Other words, I should definitely at least test ride the bike before rushing in to buy the bike.
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Old 03-03-03, 09:40 AM   #7
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From what I can tell, the Trek 330 is an old model of road bike. Its quite good for riding around, but has limitted tyre clearance, and <may> lack the threaded attatchment points for fenders and luggage rack, and would not perform well carrying a heavy load.
The Trek 520 is their dedicated touring model, but this would probably be worth more than $175.
A cheaper touring bike to watch out for would be an REI Novarra.
You can do weekend hostel-style and supported tours on a road bike, but for touring, you need something which can handle luggage without getting skittish, and has low-enough gears to haul a load up a hill. Better hybrid bikes, older mid-range (non-suspension) MTBs and dedicated touring bikes can all be used in the commuter/touring role.

There are various fitting guides on the web. Some are race-oriented. One of the better non-race ones is:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
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