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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 05-11-08, 06:12 PM   #1
Freud
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Trying to find a touring bike

I have been searching Craigslist and Ebay for several months trying to find a semi decent bike to get into touring.(I don't want to spend a lot of money until I find out how much time I can dedicate to this). Today I found this bike and was wondering what you guys thought. I'm not really sure what I should be looking for but if you have any advice to offer on parts, builders, how to haggle price, etc. I would love to hear it.

I am searching the Portland Oregon Craigslist is it helps you guys.

http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/676693324.html

Thanks
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Old 05-11-08, 06:59 PM   #2
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That is all wrong for a touring bike.

You are going to have to learn about bikes. You need to know
what fits and what doesn't. What bikes can be adapted and which ones
can't or shouldn't.

You need rear eyelets to put a rack on. You want to avoid a short wheelbase.
You do want something that is pretty rugged. But that doesn't scratch the surface. There is a goldmine in the archives of this website, time to start reading.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late View Post
That is all wrong for a touring bike.

You are going to have to learn about bikes. You need to know
what fits and what doesn't. What bikes can be adapted and which ones
can't or shouldn't.

You need rear eyelets to put a rack on. You want to avoid a short wheelbase.
You do want something that is pretty rugged. But that doesn't scratch the surface. There is a goldmine in the archives of this website, time to start reading.
+ 1
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Old 05-11-08, 07:57 PM   #4
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I agree with Late & Bokes... this bike isn't at all for touring. Most people don't know what a true touring bike is so start reading and learning.
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Old 05-11-08, 11:33 PM   #5
Freud
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Any suggestions on what I should search for? Searching for touring in the touring forum yields a lot of results.
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Old 05-11-08, 11:47 PM   #6
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A good place to start reading is the thread at the top of this forum called "The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes"
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Old 05-11-08, 11:50 PM   #7
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The Adventure Cycling Association provides a lot of helpful information. If you want to see threads about specific touring bikes search for Surly LHT, Novara Randonee, Jamis Aurora, or Trek 520, but there are many more quality bicycle touring models. You don't need a bike specifically designed for touring either, but it will probably make things easier.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:01 AM   #8
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You might find some helpful info on MEC's touring information webpage. (MEC is similar to REI but, Canadian).

http://www.faughnan.com/touringbike.html is another site that has some helpful info on choosing a touring bike. He hasn't updated it in a couple years but, since you might be looking for a used bike, this might be more helpful than the latest websites.

A quick way to tell if a bike is truly a touring bike is a glance at the front forks. If it has braze-ons for low-rider racks (+ drop handlebars), it's a touring bike.

When you find another bike online that looks of interest, feel free to post the info here for an opinion. Just let us know what type of touring you're planning to do.

The bike you found on craigslist might be fine for credit card touring but most of us tour with more than a toothbrush and credit card. B&B/motel touring can be done on many hybrids or mountain bikes in addition to touring bikes. But, fully loaded touring is another matter. If you're just plannng on doing a short weekend tour then you might want to consider this first touring bike as a way to try it out and see what you like or don't like and then replace it for next year.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:17 AM   #9
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IMHO you don't need a "semi decent" bike to "get into touring". Use anything that can mount a rack, and go away for a weekend. See what you want to spend money on after that.

And $250 is way too much for a bike just to dip your toes in the water, and not enough for something that you want to last for years and be perfect. Probably.

Steve
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Old 05-12-08, 08:23 AM   #10
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Touring bikes

Another bike to look at would be the Jamis Aurora. Good bike decent parts, relatively inexpensive.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:44 AM   #11
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When you start looking at dedicated touring bikes with the "touring" label on them your most likely going to pay extra for it. You can tour very well on just about any bike with eyelets for mounting a rack. Trek sells a few hybrid bikes that come with rack mounts for rear and low rider racks on the fork up front and sell new in the $500 price range. If the bike shop takes trade in bikes where the customer is upgrading from the hybrid to a road bike you can find them with very little use in the $200 range. Just add racks front and rear and trade that straight handlebar for a trekking bar and you have a very nice touring bike for little money.
I found an old Specialized CrossRoads hybrid in a thrift store for $5. Someone had tried to use it as an off road bike and have damaged both front and rear rims and it had broken spokes. I striped the bike down to clean and lube it, rebuilt the front and rear hubs with new spokes and rims, added racks front and rear, I found some fenders from an old bike and painted and installed them and installed a Bike Nashbar trekking handlebar. Everyone that sees the bike thinks it's always been a "real" touring bike and are always shocked when I tell them it started life as a min 90's hybrid bike.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:38 PM   #12
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If you don't have a lot of money, look for an old rigid mountain bike. Put bar-ends on it (for more hand positions, for less hand discomfort) and road tires and you'll be good to go. Get something that was pretty nice when it was new, like a Rockhopper or Stumpjumper. Trek and Gary Fisher both sold nice rigids, but I'm not as familiar with them as I am with Specialized. I bought an old Rockhopper for my son. It needed a little work, but for a total of $300 (including shipping) he has a really nice ride that will last for a lot of years.

If you have the money and prefer drop handlebars, you can find touring bikes on Ebay - sometimes for not too much money. However, like someone else said, the word Touring in the listing doesn't mean it's a touring bike. That used to mean something else I guess. One tip-off that it's a touring bike is eyelets halfway down the fork for mounting a front rack. Having both a front and rear rack makes a lot of difference in handling and load-carrying ability. The old rigid mountain bikes won't have these eyelets, but you can still mount a front rack, either with P-brackets or by buying a rack like Old Man Mountain that's made to mount without them.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:36 AM   #13
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Depending on the routes you're planning, a good hybrid bike or an old mountain bike without suspension will serve you well. I used to have an old Mongoose IBOC Pro mountain bike which carried me on a lot of tours. It wasn't designed for touring but I could make it work. I loved that bike because I could take it on smooth pavement, gravel roads and rough trails without having to worry about a thing.

Unless almost all of your trip will be on loose surface roads and trails, get narrower smooth tread tires instead of wide knobbies. You'll travel much more efficiently. Also, add bar ends and a front and rear rack (which can all be had quite inexpensively) and you'll be set.
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