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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 01-28-07, 04:49 PM   #1
eric von zipper
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Second thoughts on my bike. Whatcha think?

The link below is a proposed route that I am planning on tackeling starting late spring early summer 2007. I'm wondering if I made a mistake with building a LHT (700x40 Marathon XR) rather than a more expedition bike such as 26" wheeled Thorn exp type of bike.

http://usera.imagecave.com/evithalani1/worldmap1.jpg
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Old 01-28-07, 05:00 PM   #2
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Just bring a set of 29er mountain bike tires with you.
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Old 01-28-07, 05:41 PM   #3
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Maybe it's nothing to worry about. I've read great things about the XRs, and I'm bring along a folding spare. It's just seems that a lot of the round the world tours that I've seen online the bikes have been more expedition bikes. But I could be wrong.

Btw, while I'm throwing around these words w/o a really understanding, can someone explain the difference between an expedition bike and a touring bike? Is there a difference?

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Old 01-28-07, 06:28 PM   #4
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I think you'll be fine with the LHT. You may want to get it "up armored" for the segment of your trip through Iraq, though!. Seriously, I think one of the arguments in favor of "expedition touring" bikes, is that worldwide availability of 26" tires, tubes, rims, etc. I'm not sure how much of a biggie this is. You can always carry a couple of extra tires (or arrange to have one mailed to yourself at a point in your tour), and you can use 26" tubes on your 700c wheels in a pinch.

"Expedition touring bikes" are basically hardtail, hardfork mountain bikes with 26" tires, and IIRC more upright riding position than hardcore mountain bikes. They can also have other more road-like features, including drop bars, brifters, etc. A "touring" bike is basically a road bike w/ 700c tires, usually canti brakes instead of caliper brakes, and a more upright, relaxed riding position than racing bikes. Each concept takes a different starting point but heads toward the same point.
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Old 01-28-07, 06:54 PM   #5
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Geez. You don't screw around. That's one heck of a trip.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycoatl
You may want to get it "up armored" for the segment of your trip through Iraq, though!.
Ha ha...the black lines are proposed flights. Istanbul to Mumbia. Thanks for the explaination.


Quote:
Originally Posted by robmcl
Geez. You don't screw around. That's one heck of a trip.
Yeah, I've got this personality trait that makes me go all or nothing. It's gotten me in a little bit of trouble over the years.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:34 PM   #7
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Ah, your bike is a darn good one-- just go on your trip and stop 2nd guessing your choices.

Of course your bike is going to break down and in the boonies and you'll have a hell of a time finding the right parts, but that's part of a trip like yours. A different bike won't change this.

But it's all part of the fun!
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Old 01-28-07, 09:04 PM   #8
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If you are starting from scratch get the Thorn 26" wheel bike. Why not use the wheels and tire size that is ubiquitous around the world?

I have a LHT (700c) and a new Thorn - which I built up for just such a trip as yours.

Your route looks fun - have a blast no matter what you end up riding.
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Old 01-28-07, 09:18 PM   #9
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I don't think it was a mistake to build an LHT. But I do think a 26" wheel expedition bike would be better for the trip that you're going to take. Why not have the LHT AND a 26er?
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Old 01-28-07, 11:24 PM   #10
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Where do you start? From home? If you started from the west coast, you could run the 700c across the US and then make up your mind when you get closer to euro, where there are lots of 26ers. If I was going straight from the east coast and international, then I would get the 26. I got into serious 700c trouble in eastern Canada let alone a world tour.

I think running across NA after that trip might seem like a litle tame to me, notwithstanding the fact it's beautiful country. On the other hand it's probably easier to keep going if you never pass home plate. Anyone have that kind of experience on a world tour?
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Old 01-29-07, 12:10 AM   #11
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700 c is perhaps an inconvenience but not a tour stopper, more than a few people have been around the world on 700c tires. Figure on tires wearing out about every 2500 miles, prepare several ready to ship packages of new tires and spare tubes,Then have some one Fedex the packages to you at different points along your tour route.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:21 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=velonomad]700 c is perhaps an inconvenience but not a tour stopper, more than a few people have been around the world on 700c tires. Figure on tires wearing out about every 2500 miles....

Good advise, however, Marathon XR should go much beyond 2,500 miles. I have a pair.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:55 AM   #13
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vik-I have built the LHT already. Don't get me wrong, I love the bike. And the second guessing myself is partly your fault after I saw the post about your Thorn. I won't hold it against you.

Peterpan1, I'm leaving from home (East coast US) and flying over to Europe for the first leg. What sort of 700c trouble did you get into in Canada?
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Old 01-29-07, 08:33 AM   #14
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EVZ,

I think you will be fine with the LHT. Of course I am a bit biased in that I also have a LHT. But I think with wheels with more than 36 spokes and really wide tires like your marathons you should be fine. At this point you would just be splitting hairs.

6 for the Thorn ; a half dozen for the LHT.

Good luck on your adventure. Post lots of pics along the way if you can.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:46 AM   #15
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Some friends road around Scotland, Iceland, then from Poland to Turkey and finished in Greece. About 6000 miles on XRs and the only flat was on the last day about a mile from the Athen's airport.

Like others said, 26 inch tires are more available worldwide but not just the tires, also the wheel components. It will work out with what you have but....if you are not tight for cash, like selling on ebay like working on bikes, and not pressed for time, consider an exp bike like the Nomad, Sherpa, BLT. I also had a LHT and ended up making the change (to a Nomad). I am hesitent in stating the above because what you have will work and the last thing you want to be doing is second guessing your gear before you start. But hey, you asked!

Looks like a fantastic ride and a lot of readers, especially myself, are envious.
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Old 01-29-07, 12:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric von zipper
vik-I have built the LHT already. Don't get me wrong, I love the bike. And the second guessing myself is partly your fault after I saw the post about your Thorn. I won't hold it against you.

Peterpan1, I'm leaving from home (East coast US) and flying over to Europe for the first leg. What sort of 700c trouble did you get into in Canada?
Ahhh...sorry I didn't read your post carefully enough. If you already have a LHT it will definitely work and worst case you hang out somewhere while parts get shipped to you. On a tour that long a break won't be a big deal.

OTOH - I agree that you could get a 26" bike for this tour and keep the LHT. One idea would be to strip a lot of the parts from the LHT to build a 26" bike for your tour and then when you get home build the LHT back up.

I bought the LHT (700c) as my first real touring bike and thought I would use it to go anywhere, but after a year of riding and a couple tours I can see it is a great choice for North America & Europe - not the rest of the world. This isn't a slam on the LHT at all, but just a factor of the 700c wheel size. After riding with Eleanor in Baja and seeing how well her bike performed I was sold on the 26" wheel for a world tour.

Thanks for not blaming me about the Thorn... My Baja tour partner is really to blame for my Thorn and so if you are going to hate anyone its all her fault!...
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Old 01-29-07, 05:16 PM   #17
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Other than availability of parts, speed, what are the differences between 26" wheelsand 700c for riding?

I rode around Lake Ontario this year on 26"(slicks) and I'm trying to find a reason that would make me switch to a 700c tire.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:07 PM   #18
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Nice bike trip! And I get excited when I pedal 6.5 miles to work!
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Old 01-30-07, 12:03 AM   #19
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Second guessing causes such stress, dont it? You are in now so make the best of it. As someone said, pre-package some spares and take a folding spare or two with you. Make sure your wheels are the best they can be. Then go for it. I may have misunderstood a previous post that seemed to say you could ride North America with the 700's then switch to 26's for the other areas. This probably would not work because of where your brakes are placed. I wish I could get the gumption to do a trip like this. Hope you create a website or "crazyguy" log with lots of pics. Good, too, to see that you have the sense to fly over a few disaster areas.

Good luck and enjoy it.
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Old 01-30-07, 12:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vik
I bought the LHT (700c) as my first real touring bike and thought I would use it to go anywhere, but after a year of riding and a couple tours I can see it is a great choice for North America & Europe - not the rest of the world. This isn't a slam on the LHT at all, but just a factor of the 700c wheel size.
FWIW - 700C wheels and tyres are readily available in Australia - which is part of the rest of the world.
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Old 01-30-07, 07:42 AM   #21
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Yes, second guessing causes a lot of stress; I bet I've done that with every aspect of planning. The reasurance that the LHT will be fine has helped. Thanks. I guess all I can do is prepare as best as I know how and do it. I'm, without a doubt, going to keep an online journal of some sort. Still not sure if it'll be a crazyguy or a blog of my own. Ugh...now I just have to finish my thesis for grad. school. I probably should have waited to start planning this until after graduation, but it's so much fun...even the stress.
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Old 01-30-07, 08:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Ugh...now I just have to finish my thesis for grad. school. I probably should have waited to start planning this until after graduation, but it's so much fun...even the stress.
As someone writing his own dissertation for a March 15 defense deadline, I understand the much-needed distraction of planning this trip....but get that sucker done!
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Old 01-30-07, 09:47 AM   #23
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I'd definitely go with 26" wheels.

I'd really like to know the estimated time length and cost of your trip. If you prefer, you can PM me. Thanks, and good luck!
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