An Odd Touring Bike Suggestion
I spoke with two different shops regarding a bike I could use in my cross country tour next year. One shop mentioned all the usual names - Trek 520, Surley LHT, Salsa Casseroll, etc - and is preparing detailed estimates for me. The other suggested something I'd never considered - a mid-range multipurpose bike by Schwinn:
The shop said they could swap out the stem for a higher one, and put a mountain bike gearing on it. I'm a little leery of a carbon fork on a touring bike, however. Any thoughts on this one?
Mad bike riding scientist
Compared to the other bikes and for the price, you'd be better off sticking with an LHT, 520 or Cannondale T2. Similar price with better touring bike component selection. If you don't mind flat bars, the Specialized Globe Sport is an inexpensive alternative and very interesting touring bike in the rough.
Originally Posted by The Historian
It's geometry is close to that of the 520. Not a bad place to start.
Long Distance Cyclist
I tour on a Marinoni Ciclo ... that's the sport touring model ... and on my first tour, I had carbon forks.
However, I decided I wasn't happy about the idea having of carbon forks on a tour, and had them changed to steal which I've kept on ever since.
There seem to be quite a few leftover Schwinn bikes out there for very good prices. Ask yourself how much you will have into the bike when you are finished converting it and how well it will handle the task of touring. Then compare it to the going price (including shipping) of $900 for a Surly LHT. Schwinn goes on the cheap with some of their components. I do not like the Joy Tech hubs at all, and I'm not too keen on Jalco Rims. I think you would be better off with a purpose built tourer. If you are looking to try to save some bucks, you can consider bikes like the Specialized Globe shown above. After adding all the goodies to mine, I am into it for less than a grand. You can see it on the My New Tourer thread further down the page.
I can't tell from the link above, does the Schwinn have the braze ons for adding racks ? If not wiil the disk dreaks interfere with pulling a trailer?
You need a new bike
If you plan on using panniers on your trip, you're bike will need to have mounts for front and rear racks. Be sure you can install them on this bike, should you be seriously considering it.
Originally Posted by The Historian
It seems OK, but they seem radically indicisive about what the true purpose of the bike is, which probably means it isn't going to be any better at most things than a dedicated touring bike would be, so why not start there. There are also some weird things happening with the Medium frame, it has 15mm shorter CSs than any other frame in that group, and a few other oddities.
I think carbon forks could be a good thing. I know one brand where they are similar weight to the same forks in steel, should be strong enough, though I haven't seen any yet that have all the right braze-ons and are that stout.
It will take a rack and panniers in the back. It has a place to mount a front rack, but there's still the matter of it being a carbon fork. I might need to have it switched out. The guy at the shop recommended disc brakes over all others for touring - which may or may not be a good call.
Originally Posted by bhchdh
One reason I keep posting comments from bike store salespeople is that none of these folks have touring experience, or any touring bikes in stock. Thank you all for your patience with my questions.
The guy at the shop recommended disc brakes over all others for touring - which may or may not be a good call.
Some people tour with disc brakes but I will not. It is so easy to get a loose bungy cord or pannier strap caught up in them and the results can be disaster.
I had a carbon fork on a my True North touring bike for three years, and it contributed to a lovely ride. But I started to get nervous after reading a report of a catastrophic carbon fork failure on this forum. Finally, this season I switched it for a steel fork.
Maybe I was a little paranoid, but I am much more comfortable since the change.
I also think disc brakes are a bad idea for a touring bike, that is if it's really going to be used for touring. Disc brakes are not as easy to repair, pads are expensive and not generally available, they are heavier and can be fussy. And then there's the problem of bent rotors. Hydraulic disc brakes are even a worse idea.
Originally Posted by jimblairo
Don't get me wrong, I love our BB-7s on our tandem, but have Vs on my LHT.