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Old 05-20-08, 09:31 AM   #1
SDG
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MTB for touring

I am in India and do some touring among the hills/mountains in the North. Most roads in the interiors need MTBs, and I have been touring on an Indian-made steel 'Hercules' mountain bike that weighs way too much. Cro-moly frames are not available here, so I have been thinking of getting an alloy frame bicycle.

Recently, there have been lots of companies coming in here (Trek, Merida, etc.), but all of them have bicycles that are not suitable for loaded touring. I am looking for an MTB with a hard tail and rigid fork. The store near where I live can get a Trek for me (models which they do not normally stock - they have the 3700, 4300, etc. etc.). So, I have been going through the Trek website and the only model that caught my eye was the 3500. My budget will not go beyond the 4300, so there are probably not many options. So here is my question. How is the 3500 for touring with panniers? I will be using mostly rear panniers but need the option of a front rack as well. Also, is there any other similar Trek model probably not on the website?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Sudipto.
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Old 05-20-08, 10:04 AM   #2
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Recently, there have been lots of companies coming in here (Trek, Merida, etc.), but all of them have bicycles that are not suitable for loaded touring.
Why are they unsuitable?
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Old 05-20-08, 10:33 AM   #3
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Why are they unsuitable?
Sorry! I should have been more elaborate - I use front racks that are not low-riders, but have a fixing point at the fork crown, so I need a rigid fork. I also prefer a rigid bike anyway. All the bikes available here have front suspension.
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Old 05-20-08, 10:37 AM   #4
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Are the Trek SU-- series bikes available to you? These I think are exactly what you're looking for: alloy mtb with rigid chromoly forks (there's a v-brake and a disc-brake model); certainly have rack mounts on the rear, and I believe on the forks as well. Should work extremely well given what you want to do.
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Old 05-20-08, 10:51 AM   #5
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Are the Trek SU-- series bikes available to you? These I think are exactly what you're looking for: alloy mtb with rigid chromoly forks (there's a v-brake and a disc-brake model); certainly have rack mounts on the rear, and I believe on the forks as well. Should work extremely well given what you want to do.
Thanks. I had not looked up the urban section. The SU 1.0 looks nice. And from the images on the site, it does appear there are rack mounts front and rear. I'll ask the bike shop if they can get it (and how much it will cost).
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Old 05-21-08, 05:41 PM   #6
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Either of those Trek Sport Urbans could make a very nice touring bike. If you'll be climbing many hills, ask the shop to swap out the 11-28 cassette for an 11-32 or 11-34 and you should be ready to go.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:42 AM   #7
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Thanks again. I am seriously considering the Sport Urbans, provided the local dealer can get one. In that case, I will have to buy blind - once I order, the bike will be specially brought over. So, I would like to hear from anyone who has used it for touring. Specifically, is there a fender, etc. mounting hole in the fork crown? I'll need it for mounting a rack.

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If you'll be climbing many hills, ask the shop to swap out the 11-28 cassette for an 11-32 or 11-34 and you should be ready to go.
Yes, at least a 13-34. And I'll also try to get a 24/34/42 chainring set. But that is the main sticking point about this bicycle - the vendor mentioned something about the Trek warranty being void if they changed any (major) component. Otherwise, the 3500 too looks okay.
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