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  1. #1
    pj7
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    Interested in a "new" low-budget touring bike

    First off, I'm a pretty heavy guy. Down to 285lbs right now from 360lbs when I weighed myself at the heaviest, but I was likely 20lbs heavier than that when I first starting losing weight, anyhow. I've been talking to my wife about how I'd love to do a tour of the Lake Huron coast one day in the future. Something about bicycle touring/camping is just no interesting to me and combines two of my favorite activities. When I finally get down to my goal weight of 230lbs I will be rewarding myself with a new bike for commuting and I have decided to get a touring bike so that I can do a few small tours before taking off on the Lake Huron tour that I'd love to do. But touring bikes are so much more expensive than the bikes I am used to riding (my current commuter was built for less than $300). I'd love something like the Surly LHT but it is way out of my price range. The Fuji Tourer looks sweet but everywhere that sells them around here wants about $850 for them and they never seem to have older stock to offer discounts on.
    I found somehting called the Windsor Tourist for less than $600 online which fits my price range perfectly but have read many many mixed reviews of both bikesdirect and this bike on here.
    so I'm asking you guys, are there any decent new "touring" bikes for around $600? Or must I caugh up the extra $200 or $300 and get a Fuji or somehting similar?
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    Cheap, rigid mtb. All steel or alu. Put racks and slicks on it and you're good to go. Something like a giant sedona. Under $300.

  3. #3
    pj7
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    I already have a cheap steel rigid mountain bike with slicks and racks, commute 25 miles a day one it.
    But I'm interested in a new bike that will suit me in commuting and touring alike. Plus I'd like to get a bike with 700c wheels, the last time I rode one of those I was at my heaviest and taco'd a 36spoke Dyad wheel.
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    You're not going to find much in your range that will suit touring and be still durable. You might get super lucky and find a screaming, screaming deal on a used touring bike, but still likely, the wheels might not be strong enough.

    I'd ride what you have- it already has racks, sounds perfectly well suited for touring, you already ride on it so you know it is at least decently comfortable, etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    First off, I'm a pretty heavy guy. Down to 285lbs right now from 360lbs when I weighed myself at the heaviest, but I was likely 20lbs heavier than that when I first starting losing weight, anyhow. I've been talking to my wife about how I'd love to do a tour of the Lake Huron coast one day in the future. Something about bicycle touring/camping is just no interesting to me and combines two of my favorite activities. When I finally get down to my goal weight of 230lbs I will be rewarding myself with a new bike for commuting and I have decided to get a touring bike so that I can do a few small tours before taking off on the Lake Huron tour that I'd love to do. But touring bikes are so much more expensive than the bikes I am used to riding (my current commuter was built for less than $300). I'd love something like the Surly LHT but it is way out of my price range. The Fuji Tourer looks sweet but everywhere that sells them around here wants about $850 for them and they never seem to have older stock to offer discounts on.
    I found somehting called the Windsor Tourist for less than $600 online which fits my price range perfectly but have read many many mixed reviews of both bikesdirect and this bike on here.
    so I'm asking you guys, are there any decent new "touring" bikes for around $600? Or must I caugh up the extra $200 or $300 and get a Fuji or somehting similar?
    first of all congradulations on your weight loss i know how hard that is having gone from 280 to 180 myself. and i don't know anything about the windsor tourist. althought the website i looked at says it is comprable to the the trek520 and from the looks of it it just may be i think i would look into it some more before buying it the problem is you can't test ride it before hand (i am in the process of deciding what bike to buy myself and have riden the 520 and will be test riding the surly and a cannondale t2000 in the next few weeks... so if you can find a 520 to test ride and see if you like it then go for the windsor but i have one question??? why wait till you lose the last 55 let it help you lose it they are strong enough to take you then you can use that time to get ready and fit for your tour of lake huron but go for it looks like a good bike

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    You're not going to find much in your range that will suit touring and be still durable. You might get super lucky and find a screaming, screaming deal on a used touring bike, but still likely, the wheels might not be strong enough.

    I'd ride what you have- it already has racks, sounds perfectly well suited for touring, you already ride on it so you know it is at least decently comfortable, etc.
    40 spoke rear and a 36 spoke front and he'd be good to go with a touring bike. A touring wheel set is a LOT stronger than you think, Boston! I started riding a road bike at a bit over 300 and ran 36 and 36 with no issues and this was with Araya box rims and 27". I still use that particular bike for road racing, and am running an old Schwinn with 40 rear and 36 front and Weinnman rims, still in 27" for touring. No issues with either bike as far as wheels go, and bike, load and me top over 300 now (I'm at 215 body weight now).
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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    Congrats on the weight loss. I went from 368 to 230, took years. It's realistic of you to have the new goal connected to a tourer, a bike you want for longer rides.I barely looked at my drop-bar road bikes 'till I hit 250. The Windsor MIGHT be OK, MIGHT being an operative word. The company sure did disappoint and embarrass folkes with their early body of work. This Windsor's different" OK.. or IS it ??? At any rate DO click here: www.jamisbikes.com www.bianchiusa.com www.trekbikes.com www.fujibikes.com ALL of these have great bikes. I favor anything Jamis or Bianchi in general. Fuji has the one Elios, like the Jamis Aurora, Bichi has a few, one is listed with the Cyclecross. Trek's 520 is a really nice bike, it has it all Barcons , steel frame, racks and very good wheels for the price. I test rode it TWICE at 250, the LBS guy or Gal didn't bat an eye, I enjoyed the brief rides. It's the only steel bike Trek or the LBS had so..I rode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    40 spoke rear and a 36 spoke front and he'd be good to go with a touring bike. A touring wheel set is a LOT stronger than you think, Boston! I started riding a road bike at a bit over 300 and ran 36 and 36 with no issues and this was with Araya box rims and 27". I still use that particular bike for road racing, and am running an old Schwinn with 40 rear and 36 front and Weinnman rims, still in 27" for touring. No issues with either bike as far as wheels go, and bike, load and me top over 300 now (I'm at 215 body weight now).
    i have to agree i have ridden a trek 2100 for years and even at my heaviest i didn't taco the wheels.. and they are alot thiner than a touring bike. with less spokes mine has 24/24 single cross in front and double in the back. you will be fine on any touring bike that you wish to get. just make sure before you buy the windsor that you go to a bike shop and make sure what size frame you need. then get it fitted when you get it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    40 spoke rear and a 36 spoke front and he'd be good to go with a touring bike. A touring wheel set is a LOT stronger than you think, Boston! I started riding a road bike at a bit over 300 and ran 36 and 36 with no issues and this was with Araya box rims and 27". I still use that particular bike for road racing, and am running an old Schwinn with 40 rear and 36 front and Weinnman rims, still in 27" for touring. No issues with either bike as far as wheels go, and bike, load and me top over 300 now (I'm at 215 body weight now).
    A new "custom" hand built 36/40 spoke wheelset is likely going to cost over $300 alone. The OP did say that he taco'd a velocity dyad rim/wheel, granted he was heavier then. The velocity dyad is their tandem/extreme touring rim.

  10. #10
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    I have a Bianchi Volpe, got it for $600 as last year's stock a year ago. I really got plenty of bang for my buck. She's a solid steed that I'm not afraid to beat up a bit. I've added a Jandd Expediton rear rack, Brooks B-17 and misc. bags/ panniers. I still love the ride after 1000 plus miles. I highly suggest looking into the Vope. Just my $.02 worth.
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  11. #11
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    BTW, I'm 6'4" and hovering around 280lbs. range.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    Hi PJ7,

    Congratulations on your weight loss accomplishments so far and good luck on the completion of both your remaining goals (weight loss and going around Lake Huron).

    I think that you are in for a real treat when you eventually do set out to go around Lake Huron. I've circled four of the five great lakes so far (Ontario, Erie, Michigan and Huron) and while I've enjoyed each, Lake Huron has a special place in my heart! I had an absolutely fantastic time when I went around the lake ( http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/gltlakehuron ).

    Depending on your timing you may find better deals as winter approaches. It's sometimes very possible to knock a huge chunk off a brand new "last years" bike when a shop is faced with carrying it through a long winter.

    Here are a few other links that you might find interesting if you decide to try using your current bike:

    MTB - Evolution of a Touring Bike - http://www.bicycletouring101.com/Evo...ouringBike.htm
    MTB - Using a mountain bike as a touring bike - http://www.bicycletouring101.com/Mou...ouringBike.htm
    Hybrid - The evolution of a light touring bike (or bikes) - http://www.bicycletouring101.com/Hyb...ouringBike.htm

    ~Jamie N
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    Either buy a Walmart bike or a used bike. Touring isn't about the equipment, no matter how many times the tech-geeks in here will tell you. There are several in here who tour with Walmart equipment with absolutely no problems.

  14. #14
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cknott
    Either buy a Walmart bike or a used bike. Touring isn't about the equipment, no matter how many times the tech-geeks in here will tell you. There are several in here who tour with Walmart equipment with absolutely no problems.
    It's not like I currently don't have a bike.
    I own a Giant Rainier that I ride trails on, a Raleigh M50 that I tore down, repainted, and built as my commuter, a Schwinn Crosscut from the early 90's (picked it up because I love lugged steel frames) and a few other old beaters. But I am buying a new bike non-the-less. I just wanted a good touring bike.

    Thanks for the info everyone. It'll be a while before I even start looking at bikes, I just wanted to know what I was up against when it came to tourers.
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  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    A new "custom" hand built 36/40 spoke wheelset is likely going to cost over $300 alone. The OP did say that he taco'd a velocity dyad rim/wheel, granted he was heavier then. The velocity dyad is their tandem/extreme touring rim.
    My wheels are hardly custom, they are 20 year old wheels. Both sets.

    It depends a lot on your riding technique as well, as to how the wheels do for a Clyde. I know what I'm talking about here, by the way, I am a clyde, after all and restarted riding at 450 pounds on a stock wheelset on a Walmart class bike. A Picture says a thousand words, so following are a few thousand words. By the way, note the oxygen tank in the early ride pics.










    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  16. #16
    Golden Member JR97's Avatar
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    That is incredible, Tom. Very impressive.

  17. #17
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    It's not like I currently don't have a bike.
    I own a Giant Rainier that I ride trails on, a Raleigh M50 that I tore down, repainted, and built as my commuter, a Schwinn Crosscut from the early 90's (picked it up because I love lugged steel frames) and a few other old beaters. But I am buying a new bike non-the-less. I just wanted a good touring bike.

    Thanks for the info everyone. It'll be a while before I even start looking at bikes, I just wanted to know what I was up against when it came to tourers.
    You ain't gonna find a decent 'new' touring bike for less than that Windsor you mentioned, which is essentially a Fuji Touring without the Fuji brand. While they are called touring bikes, the Fuji...and I imagine it's generic Windsor brother, are geared more like road bikes, weigh in at over 25lbs and don't have a good rep for the strength of their wheels. So if you consider that Windsor, plan on doing some upgrades before you to ride off to the boonies to get eaten by badgers.
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  18. #18
    See You Down The Road
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    Touring is about getting out there,talking to cows,seeing that deer along the road everyone else missed vooming by and realizing its not running away,it's rambling and wandering to another place.

    Some take what ever bike and a back pack,some take short hops and eat and rest a each town,some force feed their racers a handle bar bag and rear panniers and head out..(on my cross Canada tour I met and rode three provinces with a guy who did just that)....

    Congrats on the weight loss and looking ahead to touring.....

    I realize it's not much help in regards to bikes.....but when you do get on the road the conversations won't be about your nifty new derailier or brake set....It'll be "How far have you come?"...."Where are you going to?"....Thats why I'm out there and that's why I go
    Last edited by Burningman; 05-30-07 at 01:06 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Congrats on the weight loss.

    I like my Windsor Tourist quite well. As was said the gearing is too high if you will be doing much climbing. That is true of most of the touring bikes on the market.

    I put a Sugino XD600 MTB crank (~$80 from Universal Cycle) on mine and it works well. Alternately you could just put a 24 tooth chainring (~$10 Nashbar or any bike shop) on in place of the 30 tooth that comes with it. That works OK, but is less ideal IMO.

    I have not yet been on a tour with it yet though (I leave on the 9th for an extended tour).

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    [QUOTE=Tom Stormcrowe]My wheels are hardly custom, they are 20 year old wheels. Both sets.

    It depends a lot on your riding technique as well, as to how the wheels do for a Clyde. I know what I'm talking about here, by the way, I am a clyde, after all and restarted riding at 450 pounds on a stock wheelset on a Walmart class bike. A Picture says a thousand words, so following are a few thousand words. By the way, note the oxygen tank in the early ride pics.


    Stormcrowe i am very impressed.. good for you. as for the windsor i don'
    t know much about it but if you are going to wait until you have lost all your weight to get one why not save a few extra dollars each week and buy the bike that you want just set a goal amount in the time frame with your weight lose goal and save the extra cash.. like the cash you would have spent on gas if you didn't commute to work on your bike. or maybe one tank ful out of every two or three... this day and age that adds up really fast.... then when you have lost your weight and you are ready to buy you will have the money to buy the one that you want... or close to it

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    Ah, around $800 is about what a good LBS supported touring bike costs. It's possible to buy the same basic bike for $600 or so online, but you'll have to assemble it and tune it yourself-- not as easy as it sounds if you don't have the tools and knowhow.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Tom, that is just fantastic. You must have put a lot of hard work, effort and devotion in to achieve the results we can see. And I'm sure it can't have been easy starting off, but gosh darn it, you've reaped the rewards there. I am truly impressed -my hat off to your sir!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    LBS has a used Cannondale T800... Need advice $600 right there. They can be found, even if not brand spanking new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    LBS has a used Cannondale T800... Need advice $600 right there. They can be found, even if not brand spanking new.
    he wants a new one and i really cant blame him after losing that much weight rewarding yourself is very important.

  25. #25
    pj7
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    Wow, lots of replies. I hardly ever get on the internet the four days I have off work but decided to have a look-see today and find that lots of people have suggestions, thanks all!
    I believe that I will likely just bine up the cash for a decent tourer/commuter that I can get support for rather than get the buy-at-your-own-risk Windsor from Bikes Direct. I was looking online at your suggestions and have plenty to go by now. Honestly I like all of them, especailly the Jamis Satellite, the the closest dealer is 75 miles away or so.
    I'll just check my local shops and see what they have. I saw that Giant makes an OCR Tourer and Specialized alos has a touring bike. My favorite LBS is a Giant/Specialized dealer so maybe I'll stop by there tonight.
    Once again thanks for evryhting, including the link to the touring journals, that will make for some good reading when I get back to work (long 13 hour night shifts).

    //can't wait
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