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  1. #1
    dirtbag psycho d's Avatar
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    classic mtn bikes for touring

    Hola all. Starting to get excited about touring Nor Cal this fall and am thinking of getting an older hardtail or rigid mountain bike for the job. Road bikes don't work for me as they somehow exacerbate my inflamed iliotibial band. i currently have a nice full suspension, but would rather dedicate an older Mtn bike for the job of touring. Any suggestions??? Gracias.
    d

  2. #2
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    Yeah, an old mtn bike will work. Just hose clamp some racks on and go! Dont take that full suss whatever you do!

  3. #3
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; Dahon Curve D3 folding bike; a green around-town cruiser; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB.
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    Mounting front and rear racks will be simpler on a hardtail with lots of eyelets - two pairs on each side by the rear axle and two pairs on each side of the fork is best if you can find it, but there are adapter doohickeys for the eyelet-challenged among us. How long of a tour are you planning? Will you be camping?

    I can't recommend bar ends enough. I'm using barends that curve inwards with ergon locking grips, it's an amazing setup, and it won't break the bank.

    Mounts for water bottle cages are helpful, but not a big deal if there aren't holes drilled in the frame. My secondary botle cage is held to the frame with hose clamps, and it works just fine.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  4. #4
    Hooked on Touring
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    Lucy - a 1988 Trek 8000 aluminum frame - 100,000+ miles.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    My favorite Website...IMHO the poster child for how to tour on an elderly MTB. FWIW I am converting my 1991 Giant Excursion, just waiting on a couple of more parts and the transformation will be complete.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  6. #6
    Just ride it. MrPolak's Avatar
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    You can buy Surly touring forks for about $100 in both 700c and 26'' versions if you need to replace that old Mag elastomer front fork with something that steers a little better. Just make sure the steering tube diameters are compatible.

  7. #7
    dirtbag psycho d's Avatar
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    Love the website. i would be stoked to get a deal at a thrift shop.
    Ashe.
    d

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    My favorite Website...IMHO the poster child for how to tour on an elderly MTB. FWIW I am converting my 1991 Giant Excursion, just waiting on a couple of more parts and the transformation will be complete.

    Aaron

  8. #8
    Acetone Man
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    I converted a trek 930 with all new (to the bike) components, including drop bars. Straights with bar ends work well too. Main reason was as much for value as that I preferred 26" wheels at any cost for durability and replacement availability (even used NOS mavic rims that are schraeder drilled). Between that and the heavy, 31.8 tubes used throughout, my bike is undoubtedly burlier than trek 520, fuji touring, Surly LHT, and other bikes with standard tubing and 700c wheels. It's basically my poor man's Thorn. </drool>

    Bike has 43cm chainstays, which have adequate heel clearance for average sized panniers. My large Novara Safari panniers do not work back there, but my Novara Transfer panniers work fine as do my homemade bike buckets. Late 80s MTBs often have even longer chainstays, so you have no issues with them, but even if they are closer to mine, it's not a big deal. Invest in a quality front rack and put your large panniers and the better proportion of your load there, which is preferable for handling anyway.


  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thasiet View Post
    ...Between that and the heavy, 31.8 tubes used throughout, my bike is undoubtedly burlier than trek 520, fuji touring, Surly LHT, and other bikes with standard tubing and 700c wheels.
    I have also toured on a variety of bikes, including an older ATB with 31.8mm tubing. The beefier tubing makes a very real difference, especially with heavy loads.

    It's much more stable.

  10. #10
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psycho d View Post
    Hola all. i currently have a nice full suspension, but would rather dedicate an older Mtn bike for the job of touring. Any suggestions??? Gracias.
    d
    Make sure the chainstays are nice & long, so you won't have to worry about your heels hitting your rear panniers.

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