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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 05-22-07, 07:32 PM   #1
costa100
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MTB a must for South American Tour?

Hey all.

I was wondering if there was a consensus on whether or not it is practical or worth while to tour South America on a road bike. My touring bike (Fuji Touring) will accept slightly wider tires than it came with (up to 1.5" wide i think) but I assume that even with the modification, it would still be limited to mild gravel roads. Obviously it's possible to find enough well paved roads to get around down there on a road bike. The Question is, do you think those roads are worth traveling? Would I be stuck on boring high-traffic routes the whole time? Would it really limit the experience?

Any insight or experience would be appreciated.

Mike
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Old 05-22-07, 09:31 PM   #2
DonValley
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I have driven quite a bit through Chile and Argentina, some in Bolivia, and a Bus ride through Paraguay. Chile has some very long stretches of roads, that you would have to pick and choose in terms of riding space( trucks, cars, etc). I was on some very interesting secondary roads through all kinds of geography. Some were tough but very passable gravel, some were dusty, many would be a great pleasure to bike through. Argentina has really interesting stuff too. Lakes, Pampas, Mountains are there if you want. My only experience in Bolivia was about an hour and a half out of lapaz on a dirt bike. It was pretty neat, but high altitude. I am sure some others have extensive bicycling experience in the region.
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Old 05-23-07, 02:01 AM   #3
jibi
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I was down in the Patagonian area of Chile and Argentina and most of the roads there are either packed earth or gravel, with lots of pot holes and washboards.

The majority of tourists I met were riding 26in wheeled MTB type bikes.


while it is possible to ride on a road bike the experience should be much better on an MTB.

Take a look at http://www.trentobike.org/ for tour journals of the countries you wish to visit.

Have a good one

george
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Old 05-23-07, 10:38 PM   #4
sth
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Thanks for the link to the touring page, jibi. Lotsa good reading there.
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Old 05-28-07, 02:14 PM   #5
costa100
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Thanks guys. I'll try and link up with the few folks that have done it via road-bikes and find out what kind of routes they followed. Trento is a good start.
-Mike
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