Gads! Can it be? Touring/bike questions!
I'm new to this forum (well, the making an account and posting a real intro thread part, not so much the using bikeforums as a research tool part), and am planning on riding across the country on the TransAmerica trail. I recently graduated from college a bit on the early side, and found myself feeling unsatisfied with the finish..no grand finale, no graduation ceremony, zip (graduated in the fall..no ceremony until spring or summer). So, to fix that, I've decided to do this mondo tour, leaving at the beginning of May, and returning in time to walk in the summer graduation. I'm going to be taking a good friend with me and picking up another in Indiana (slight detour). We're planning on doing this unsupported..camping, cooking, the whole bit, though we are going to try to not carry very much gear.. maybe 25lbs tops. Now that you know everything about me (right? ), oh wait. I am somewhat broke, and would prefer to not buy a new bike to accomplish this adventure. Also, I am kind of on the large side--6'4", ~190lb. I'm not sure if that really qualifies me as a clyde or not, but I do ride a pretty large bike, 62cm or so and I also have HUGE feet.. size 16. I was thinking I should go and get professionally fitted though..
Anyway. I've got a 62cm 2004 Trek 1000, a 24in (61cm? 60.96? yay metric system!) 1998 Trek 820 mountain bike and a 1979 Schwinn Traveler (I apparently missed Schwinn switching to less tank-like tubing by a couple of years, so this thing is a freaking brick. it also has delightful 27in wheels). Everything is in pretty good working order, though the Traveler and the 820 could use a tune up. So I need to decide which to use, or I guess try to hunt for a good used touring bike, though those seem to be fairly scarce in my size
From what I've read, it sounds like panniers wouldn't be a good choice for the 1000 (mostly owing to my giant feet), but a BOB or something might work? If I were to take that bike though, I would for sure have to redo my gearing and get some more substantial wheels.. sidenote: how do you take a BOB on a plane?
The 820 is pretty heavy (though I don't know how much of that is because of the wheels/beastly tires), and the length of the chainstays don't seem like they would allow for panniers without ankle damage (could be wrong though..). It does have adequate braze-ons for a rear rack though.
The Traveler is the least attractive option, I think..though it rides like a nice gentle..cow? Couldn't put a rack on it, 27in wheels etc.
So, wondrous touring aficionados, what do you think I should do? I have enough to buy a fully loaded LHT or something like that, but wouldnt have much left over for..you know...food.
Take your 820 to a bike shop, (a bigger REI would a good choice for this) put racks and panniers on it and see how it rides.
Try a front lowrider rack, 2 smaller panniers and a big saddle bag in back (Carradice) That will haul 25lbs of gear.
I can't tell you if it will work-- you just have to try it. I wouldn't worry about spending $$$ on a Carradice saddle bag however-- if you ride bikes a lot, you use it.
1. e4 Nf6
I'll let others deal with your other questions, but there's this cool thing called a Cello, made just for airline travel with B.O.B. trailers:
Originally Posted by clunch
I would ship the BOB ahead - either to a hotel or a bike shop if you don't know anyone in the area.
Originally Posted by clunch
"Marriage is a deathtrap these days. I would no more get married than I would own a chinese SUV."
Originally Posted by catatonic
The Wheel is Turning
Check this bike out...New bike build - The Yuk
Good way to set up that 820!!
I used my 1000c on the TransAm last year and am taking it on the Underground Railroad this year, so it's workable. You'll definitely have to try some different set ups since your feet are big and the 1000 has a relatively short wheelbase. I got arkel bags--adjustable hooks meant I could move the bags back pretty far. You can see my setup here, but I'll note that I got my bike before they switched to carbon forks--mine's aluminum, so I clamped a rack on it. I wouldn't do that with carbon, although I know someone who did that and made the trip just fine.
I broke a few rear-wheel spokes, so I'm getting a new heavy duty rear wheel for this trip. That's the one big thing I'd check on. I decided to not spend the $ on a new bike and just enjoy the trip anyway. Not to say I don't drool on the LHTs and other tour-specific bikes, but if I buy a new bike now, I won't have $ to tour!!!
I've got the aluminum fork as well..same model year as your bike, I think (almost bought the 1000c, but it wasn't quite long enough..). I read through your travel journal thingie a while ago, being as it is one of the few on crazyguy that mentions the 1000. It looks like you didn't have any fenders..how did that work out for you? Also, were the nasty sora brakes adequate? I am more than a little worried about going down large hills while loaded if I take the 1000..though that might be alleviated somewhat by higher quality brake pads.
To the proponents of the 820:
I dug out my old, horrid trek rear rack and will be reattaching it/rigging up some sort of load to in the next few days (or going to one of the larger LBS's around here... large REI's are ~50 miles away and I don't have adequate transport to get the bike down there, unless I rode it, which would be cool, but not the way it is currently configured. anyway.) Will let you know my findings.
Thank you all for the input, hopefully I'll have more info shortly.
No, I didn't have fenders, although I put a little fender-like flap thing on the end of my rear rack to prevent spray. I got rained on quite a bit, but I've never really used fenders and didn't miss them. At this point, I'm trying to stay away from adding MORE weight, so no fenders.
I didn't have any problems with the brakes. On long/steep hills, I'd sometimes stop to let the rims cool, but that would happen no matter what brake system you had. I did have a different rear derailluer installed when I changed the gearing, but I still have the Sora front derailluer and Sora brifters. No problems so far--probably 7-8000 miles on them. I did upgrade to kool stop brake pads at some point, though.
Hope that helps!