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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 10-04-07, 02:01 PM   #1
jmuzzy
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Vancouver to San Diego and need advice

So I've been reading through the various threads and have yet to find anything speaking to Specialized bikes for touring/road use. I'm planning a trip from Vancouver to San Diego with a friend of mine and we are trying to figure out what bikes we should be getting. May seem crazy that we are taking on such a distance seeing as how it's our first time doing anything like this, but we set aside a little over a month to do it so feel we should be able to pull it off.

Anyway, at this point through my research I'm leaning towards either the '08 Specialized Sequoia Elite or one of the Novara's or K2's from REI. So far I've talked with some folks working in local shops and that has led me to look at the Sequoia. I'm a big fan of REI so decided to take a look at what they offer and it seems to me that some of their bikes could possibly do the job and save me a bit of money. Any information or advice someone can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
-Jason
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Old 10-04-07, 03:18 PM   #2
Robert_in_ca
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Were you planning on credit card touring? Or are you carrying all your camping gear etc.


I wouldn't get the Specialized unless you were going very light, or credit card touring. That bike is basically just a road bike with comfortable geometry. I wouldn't use a bike with carbon rear seatstays or a carbon fork for loaded touring.

I didn't see anything from K2 that would work as a good loaded touring bike.

The Novara Randonee is a good choice. It has 36 spoke wheels, reynolds 853 crmo, strong crmo fork, mountain crankset, 3 water bottle brazeons, and all the other stuff you'd expect on a touring bike.

One thing I would change on the Randonee would be smaller chainrings (22,32,44) and maybe a 34 tooth rear cassette.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:22 PM   #3
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Not crazy at all, my first tour was from Anchorage, Alaska to Panama City, Panama
Before I left for Alaska I had never ridden longer than a day, lol

As for your bike, for touring I wouldn't get anything that has carbon components, since they really aren't designed to hold loads
I didn't tour on a touring bike, but rather on a cyclocross bike (Cannondale Cyclocross Disc)
The deafult gearing isn't good for really steep climbs, but the stretch you plan on biking doesn't have any
Basically for the route your planning though, nearly any bicycle would do
I would disagree with the last poster about changing gearing, my cyclocross bicycle had typical road gearing setups and only two chainrings up front (no granny gear) and I was cruising along just fine
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Old 10-05-07, 02:13 PM   #4
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Hey guys, I sincerely appreciate the replies. We will be carrying the basics keeping it a pretty light load...doing couch surfing and staying with friends along the way...so I guess that would be credit card touring. That's so weird that both replies here advise against any carbon components after hearing from the two sales guys that carbon is what I should be looking for. I'll be going with the advice I get here though. I had looked at Cannondale first, but the price was a bit high on their bikes for what I wanted to spend this go round. Looks like as of right now I will be picking up the Novara Randonee unless I see any posts after this advising otherwise.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:21 PM   #5
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If you're planning on using the bike solely for touring, buy a bike like the Randonee. If this is going to be your only tour, and you're going to be road biking after the trip, buy a road bike and make the adjustments necessary for a tour. You can use carbon for a tour (I have), but it's not ideal and you have to pack pretty light. Plus, the components on a carbon bike will tend to wear out pretty fast when put through the daily abuse that a tour like that can create. Have a great trip though.
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Old 10-05-07, 05:20 PM   #6
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I don't think it is crazy either. None of us on our Transamerica had toured much. I had a couple very short trips in, my daughter had never toured, and Lauren was new to cycling. We all did fine.

The gearing on the stock Randonee should be fine for your route. It is about the same gearing as I used on the transam and we climbed quite a few mountain passes fully loaded with camping gear.

That should be a beautiful ride if it is all as nice as the parts I have ridden or see.

FWIW: I think it takes 42 days if you follow the Spring and Kirkendall book to the letter. Of course you can ride longer or shorter days, but if you are new to this it might be a good target to shoot for.

Pete
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Old 10-06-07, 07:42 AM   #7
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Good to hear the comments on how taking a trip like this on as a first time ride isn't all that crazy. I'm sure I'll end up doing some shorter day rides after this trip, but it's primary use will be for these longer touring type trips. I think what I'll end up doing here is get the Randonee and if needed just sell it later down the road and get something from Cannondale. From what I'm hearing and reading though, I should be perfectly happy with the Randonee. Thanks for referencing that book...I'm just about to purchase that online
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Old 10-09-07, 10:42 AM   #8
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So I was just thinking...in my original post I asked about two specific bikes when I should have left my question a little less specific. Considering the route we'll be taking, can we get away with getting bikes with a cheaper price tag?
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Old 10-09-07, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmuzzy View Post
So I was just thinking...in my original post I asked about two specific bikes when I should have left my question a little less specific. Considering the route we'll be taking, can we get away with getting bikes with a cheaper price tag?
I know that folks on BF seem to hate Bikes Direct, but we had good luck with our three Windsor Touring models from them. We used them on our TransAmerica tour and were quite satisfied after changing the gearing and not much else. Check them out at:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

Also read the "What worked and what didn't" section of our journal at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007

There are also some relevent comments in the guest book on that site.

I am in no way connected with Bikes Direct other than being a satisfied customer.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:56 PM   #10
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So I visited a local shop today just to ask some questions, and to my surprise found a used '06 Trek 520 in the store with all sorts of upgrades for just $700. After finding that it fit me great and it looks brand new, I paid for it cash on the spot I'll be taking it out for a ride tomorrow and will most likely post an update to this with my first impressions. Thanks for all the input I got from you folks though. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me in other threads both before and after this upcoming trip.
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