Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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I have just ridden 4200kms across Australia, I didn't really know what sort of bike to get for it either, wish someone could tell me. I rode a Norco RD-3, with stock standard Shimano 105 gearset all over. My only complaint about that was that I lost a gear shifter leaver cover, that's it. A bit of lock tight on that will do the trick next time.
Some of the guys I rode with had a granny gear for the hills in Tasmania like "break-me-neck-hill", great name I know, I didn't have 1 and didn't really need it. Also some got the larger 26 tooth gear on the back, I don't think you need it, but I know there are probably bigger hils in the USA.
I have to mention that one of the guys that rode, came with a steel bike that still had lugs in to it, it was soooo old, he had to leave it halfway across, cause some other guys found a crack in the frame. Basically he had a bike that was just too old.
On touring, I'd say that a nice new bike would be great but it's more the rider and the training that make the difference. We has some guys come across with steel bike, sure they were alot heavier than my alu bike, but they were just as quick riders cause they'd done the training on their bike. that I'd say was more important that having the 'perfect' bike.