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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 10-11-06, 11:41 AM   #1
robow
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Good Mountain Bike for Touring??

Greetings,
in the past, all my touring has been done on a road bike that I set aside for that specific purpose but this winter I would like to purchase a mountain bike that that I can use, so that I'm not so limited to stay on pavement. Next year we are planning on riding in an area that has a lot of scenic views that would require light trail riding on chipped/crushed gravel paths and such. What type of things should I look for in a hardtail mountain bike and do you think replacing the standard front shock with a rigid aluminum or cro moly front fork would have any advantages with this type of set up. Thanks again for all your knowledge and advice.
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Old 10-11-06, 12:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by robow
Greetings,
in the past, all my touring has been done on a road bike that I set aside for that specific purpose but this winter I would like to purchase a mountain bike that that I can use, so that I'm not so limited to stay on pavement. Next year we are planning on riding in an area that has a lot of scenic views that would require light trail riding on chipped/crushed gravel paths and such. What type of things should I look for in a hardtail mountain bike and do you think replacing the standard front shock with a rigid aluminum or cro moly front fork would have any advantages with this type of set up. Thanks again for all your knowledge and advice.
If you are planning on doing off-road touring, your best bet is to use a trailer. I hate trailers but I hate trying to put bags on a mountain bike more. They make the bike heavy and hard to lift over stuff. Trailers are only slightly better but they are better...in this application.

Personally, depending on the roughness of the trails and roads, I'd keep a suspension fork on a hardtail but get a fork that has a lock-out on it. I currently ride a Stumpjumper Pro (1998/2003) model with a Manitou Black on it. When I lock the fork out, the bike is a very serviceable road bike.

With any hardtail, go as expensive as you can afford and realize that a little money buys a lot of hardtail mountain bike. For $1000 to $1500 you can get a great bike...much more than you can get if the bike is a dual suspension.
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Old 10-11-06, 12:44 PM   #3
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Based on your description of where you want to ride, I would go for an older fully rigid steel bike. Maybe something like a late 90s Gary Fisher Wahoo. You should be able to pick one up pretty cheap.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:34 AM   #4
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I too have road shoes. I bicycle more for fun and I hate walking into stores in road shoes. So are all mountian shoes pretty much normal to walk in when you are off the bike? Only been riding for a year so bear with me.
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Old 10-13-06, 12:12 PM   #5
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I too have road shoes. I bicycle more for fun and I hate walking into stores in road shoes. So are all mountian shoes pretty much normal to walk in when you are off the bike? Only been riding for a year so bear with me.
Yes, almost all mountain bike shoes are normal for walking. Since you end up walking at some point in nearly any mountain bike ride, you need to have shoes that are up to the task. I don't ride any anything but mountain bike shoes whether I'm mountain biking, touring or just out for a fast road ride. I also put two sided mountain bike pedals on all of my bikes - again, no matter what the bike.

Some high end mountain bike shoes are even as stiff as any road shoe out there, plus you can walk in them. Why anyone would ride anything else is beyond me.
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Old 10-13-06, 12:54 PM   #6
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Sandals? Basically in agrement.
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