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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 09-11-06, 08:41 AM   #1
David_Strang
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any advice on bike ready to cross Asia!

Any help as I plan on what touring bike to get much appreciated!

I'm planning a tour next spring/summer across Asia, along the lines of Ukraine - Russia - Kazahkstan - bunch of other stans - and then China or back to Russia - Mongolia - China. (Am still researching the route, anyway its long.) Have done a variety of tours in the US Canada and Europe, including a month this summer Paris-Istanbul.

Right now am focused on getting a new bike that will be suited to often poor roads, heavy loads, and long distances from any bike shop. I've toured in the last 3 years on my regular road bike (Bianchi Veloce, seatpost rack) with a light camping setup, and as a young man on a Motobecane Grand Touring, but here will be carrying significantly more stuff.

Ideal would be a bike that would carry weight well, have intrinsically reliable/serviceable/globally available components, and sporty enough to also use for cyclocross! Am expecting to choose a frame and components, theres an excellent LBS here but am trying to educate myself and also avoid any choices that would turn out to be less than wise for the specific application I have in mind. ...
money (within reason) is less of a priority than quality

re: myself -- 5'7", 150 lbs

Any advice much appreciated!
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Old 09-11-06, 04:28 PM   #2
bikeguru
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I have done a bit of riding through China and suggest a cro-mo steel frame and steel racks every village has a welder so if you have problems they can be repaired. You must go with 26" wheels 700c are hopeless in Asia tyre choice is zero. I suggest the rest to use compontents that you know how to fix that are reliable suggest at least Japanese made Shimano, LX or XT.
If you are planning on going next year look at www.beijingtoparis.com they are planning a group ride over various routes next year. Cheers and good luck Bikeguru
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Old 09-12-06, 12:16 AM   #3
Camel
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I 2nd bikeguru's suggestion in regard to using 26" rather than 700c. I'm using my Waterford Adventure bike for my tour-it's 700c. I left Paris mid April, I'm currently in Kashgar.

I've had a heck of a time with tires: My 3 Schwalbe Marathon XR's all failed very prematurely (bead separated from sidewall on all 3). I've looked for suitable replacements since Ukraine, and am currently running a Czech & a Chinese tire. Had I been running 26", replacement tires would have been no problem. Furthermore, suitable 26" wheels can be found in most major cities (Ukraine, Russia, Kazhak, Kyrgyz-and likely China as well).

Schwalbe is currently sending me some warranty replacement tires here. Excellent customer service (outstanding actually!). They must have had a bad production lot of there 700c tires or something.

-on the topic of a frame choice-

I'd keep an eye on e-bay for a early/mid 1990's steel hardtail MTB. They should be available for a song. Most should have eyelets etc, just upgrade the drive components if need be. Also you can still get them with chromo forks, rather than suspension.
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