Touring on a converted MTB - rack/fender issues
Hey - I'm a new tourer, and in the process of building up my bike to take to Europe with me. I'm shopping around with the intention of building a solid tourer on a budget, and will go for either a 'vintage' lugged steel touring bike (Nishiki international, Miyata, Fuji, Trek 520, ect.) if I can find one that is appropriately sized (they're notoriously rare, at least in my neck of the woods) or a solid late 80's early '90s cromo MTB (specialized stumpjumper/rockhopper, Rocky Mtn. Hammer/Fusion, ect) to be converted with thinner tires and drop bars.
So far, its looking like it will probably be the MTB - something which my road-bike-loving snobby 700c aesthetic sensibility railes against, but my practical 'you can get parts for this sucker anywhere' mind knows is just fine.
The problem I'm running into, however, is that most of the MTB frames of any decent quality I'm running across have either no, or more commonly, one set of braze ons at the back end. If I'm going to be equipping the bike to take racks and fenders, it seems to me that I'll be needing two sets, one for the racks and one for the fenders, if I want them to hold up on a loaded tour. Can anyone reccomend a workaround here? Should I just go with a crappy plastic clip on fender under the rack (eg -http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441774211&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693141&bmUID= 1173794052654)? Should I get my chopper/freakbike building friends weld on some extra braze-ons? tips?
Spanks in advance
Well, first, you haven't listed your size bike, so nobody can pass tips on to you when they come across really good touring frames...
Originally Posted by midnightsimon
Second, if you go with an old MTB, the Treks (I have a Trek 830 Antelope) have double eyelets at the rear, single on the fork. That should meet what you're looking for. Plus, they're cromo, plus they're really priced reasonably.
Third, you can have any braze-ons you need added on by a frame repair guy.
Fourth, the MTB will have advantages and disadvantages. One advantage: 26" wheels and tires can be bought in any country. One disadvantage: The fork will be more rigid than a touring fork, and will transmit more road shock to your hands. Also, the flat bars won't give you multiple hand positions for comfort.
I agree that many of the old frames had double eyelets. What you neally need is the single rack eyelet on the back. After that you need to work out some way of attaching your fender to the rack or stays. I can remember when only the custom bikes came with all the braze-ons we now to for granted, pumps, bottles etc... all require bands to attach them to the bike, and we got by. Attaching a fender to with a metal band is fine, a rack is less desireable. Remember to blue locktite all the bolts. The front only really needs the one eyelet so you should be fine there.
What about the Nashbar touring frame? SHouldn't be any less perfect than an MTB, and it can sometimes be pulled in for 150.
Some racks have fender mounts. For example, see Tubus Logo:
Originally Posted by midnightsimon
Another option that works well is to use cable ties. I have fenders on one of my commuter bikes attached to the rack using three cable ties per side pulled as tightly as I can make them. Those fenders are very rigid.
You could also use rubber-coated clamps around seat stays to hold fenders in place. That method, too, would be sturdy.
And then there is this adapter:
In short, there are many creative ways to attach fenders.
Regarding the MTB frame, look carefully at the eyelets on fork and rear dropouts. Some eyelets are welded rather weakly onto frames and look as if they were designed solely for fender support. I recently viewed a thread here on the forums where one had an eyelet break several times on tour, and he provided pictures of the brazing/welding process to repair it, but I cannot find that thread now.
This Univega Gran Turismo is triple-butted cromoly, manufactured by Miyata, with proper touring geometry and all of the braze-ons. Not sure if it's your size, but it's a really good touring bike, and bargain-priced. I have a frameset just like it, only larger.
Here's another Univega Gran Turismo, frameset only, priced at 1 penny currently, not as good as the other Univega GT ("only" double-butted cromoly, may or may not have double eyelets at the rear), but still a tourer.
The late 80's was a transitional period for MTB's. By '90, alot of them were becoming more specialized for off-road use. That is, fewer hardpoints for racks, fenders and such. Also, they were going towards thicker tubes, especially the forks, which had reduced forward rake. This made for a stiffer road ride which may be a little less desirable, but you can beat that with tires/pressure.
Also, it seems that the mid-level late 80's MTB's had the most hardpoints. The upper-end bikes being more off-road oriented.
This mid-range 1988 Trek 830 has double eyelets front and back, two bottle positions with room for two more, slender road friendly fork tines with rack bolsters on the forks. Also, it came with a BioPace/Ovaltech good quality Sakae forged crankset. The rings were stamped from plate, then machined to form. The tubes are also very slender and road friendly. The drop outs are forged as well. Unfortunately, one of them is broken. Not bad for an '88 Trekwan bike. BTW, those are the strap-on Planet Bike fenders even tho there are eyelets aplenty. The chainstays are as long as country road.
This bike is an upper-mid range '92 Trek 930. Note the much heavier and straighter fork tines. Only single eyelets up front with no rack bolster. Much stiffer bike on the road. Slightly shorter chainstays, but still long. It is US built of American True Temper tubes which is the same as Reynolds 853. A very good lugged frame that originally came with sorry-ass Altus components. The rings were stamped from sheet metal, then brake-pressed to form. I swapped all the stuff off the 830 onto this bike, including the excellent old Shimano Light Action thummies, set to friction. I would avoid the possible mechanical issues of rapid-fire trigger shifts for touring.
Seriously considering sweating out the dropouts on the old 830 and installing some new ones. That bike was a great century maker and I wouldn't hesitate to take a modified MTB anywhere.
The newer Tubus Cargo racks have a hole for mounting the fenders. See the little hole on the black flat piece above the mounting bolt?
I got a great deal on a slightly older Cargo which didn't have the fender mounting holes on that bottom plate. I just drilled the holes myself.
I'm almost done converting my 1995 Trek 970 into a touring bike for use this summer. Good luck with whatever frame you choose.
I have an older Specialized Crossroads hybrid that is my touring bike. 700c wheels are normal for hybrid bikes as are eyelets for fenders and racks. Walk into just about any Trek dealer and check out the new Hybrids and for less than $500 you get a bike with eyelets for racks, fenders, and everything else you could want. The only problem is the handlebar. Adding a trekking bar solves that problem if you don’t want to retain the stock flat bar while still retaining the stock shifters and brake levers. I personally prefer a flat bar on my touring hybrid bike as can be seen in this photo.