Mad bike riding scientist
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
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Originally Posted by cyberpep
Hello Appleman, If you have riden the Trek 520 for a extended ride and the bike seems to fit you and it is in good shape then in my opition even a used 520 is better than any Canadian Tire bike. Crappy Tire sells millions of bikes at cheap prices for a reason. Honestly a good touring bike, which the 520 is, will be worth the $200-400 difference in price. Have a great adventure.
+1 The 520 is designed to carry stuff all day long and still get you where you are going with a minimum of pain (not pain free, just not the maximum
Now I'm a equipment junkie. I love high end stuff but that doesn't mean everyone has to. Although you do get what you pay for, you can get racks and bags for less than $200. For example, a regular Blackburn type rack will give you years of use for $40. There are lots of front racks available too. Carry your load in a 60 front/40 rear split because the bike handles better that way. MEC (your equivalent of REI) has these
. Any of the racks listed would work well for even a long tour.
For panniers I'd go with these
for the front and these
for the back. Pack heavy small stuff in the front (cooking gear, liquids and food) and bulky light weight stuff in the back (clothes, etc.). The panniers aren't going to be as good as Ortliebs or Arkels. They probably are going to be water resistant but you can get around that by putting all of your clothes in ziplock bags. I do that even with my Ortliebs because everything is organized.
Get a good stove. An MSR whisperlite is kind of messy but it's a good rugged stove. I prefer propane but getting canisters in the middle of nowhere can be tricky. Lots of people like alcohol stoves but I'm not that patient. I want my water to boil in the morning so I can warm up with a cup of coffee and I don't want to wait 10 minutes for it to happen.
For cook sets, you can get a marginal one for cheap but it will dent easily and probably not be teflon coated. Teflon is important because it will save you time and effort in clean up. My wife and I made up our own set 20 years ago by purchasing a teflon lined aluminum sauce pan (1 and/or 2 L) and a small frying pan. We removed the handles and the pot nested together nicely and the frying pan covers either pot and can be used as a plate. We used paper towels or rubber mats to keep them from rubbing together and rubbing off the coating. It's cheap. The pots are very durable (we still use them for car camping) and because the aluminum is heavy gauge, they retain their heat better and cook better too.
Have fun and be resourceful and you can get on the road for a lot less than some old fat rich guy gets on the road for
Last edited by cyccommute; 04-13-07 at 03:04 PM.