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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 03-26-03, 11:02 PM   #1
gqsmoothie
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Touring on a Trek 6500 mtn. bike

I am wanting to go on a cross-country ride this summer. I currently ride around 20 miles a day pretty darn easily. (but without any gear). I am riding a Trek 6500 mtn. bike. I plan on buying some "slicks" and a BOB. But what I am wondering is do I need a "touring bike". I mean, I have ridden 50 miles in a day without any problems in comfort. What about different gearing so I can go faster?

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Old 03-26-03, 11:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Dave Wagenheim is riding his bike from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina on a mtn bike with a BOB trailer. A touring bike may be faster, but thats not the point to touring! You sould be just fine with your current bike. I am sure others here could give you better ideas about gearing for a long tour.
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Old 03-27-03, 12:48 AM   #3
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Touring on a mountain bike with a trailer is perfectly feasible. I've ridden with cyclists who have done so. You do not need a touring bike. Speed is not the issue in touring. I would highly suggest slick tires and bar ends. The bar ends will be mostly to give you an extra hand position or two. Riding long miles without moving your hands is torture.

Why don't you set yourself up with the trailer first, load it up and ride with it. Do a shakedown cruise or two, maybe try a weekend. You'll find out soon enough if you want different gearing. The most important thing in touring is to have a wide range of gears: low lows and a high high. The low lows are more important than the high, though. You will very likely discover that mountain bike gearing is fine for touring.
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Old 03-27-03, 05:00 AM   #4
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Touring bikes are not really any faster than MTBs on slicks. The drop bars give you a wider variety of hand-holds than flat bars, which helps avoid fatigue. Consider some form of bar extension, either bar ends or a small aero-bar.
Any good loaded touring bike comes with MTB gearing.
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Old 03-27-03, 07:29 PM   #5
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I've done all my tours on MTBs on slicks and never really had any problems. The thing I like about them is their robustness (is that actually a word?), which means that they handle any sudden dirt roads you might encounter pretty well (yes, I've had some inaccurate maps at times). I think it should stand up to the tour OK.

I will make a couple of comments on the training side. I notice the distances you've mentioned have been without carrying a load. I'd recommend taking the time to do some fully-loaded rides before the cross-country trip - maybe even an overnight tour or something - just to get used to riding with the load.
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