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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 05-27-08, 12:36 PM   #1
EveeSTi
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Completely new to this

Well I'm taking a year off after graduating and I think I'd like to bike across the US for a couple months of it. That being said, I don't even own a bike. I've been looking all over the place to see what to get, and it's proving very difficult. My price range is 700-1000, and the main purpose of the bike will be touring and commuting. What do you guys recommend I get?

While I know nothing about bikes, I am pretty good with tools (I restore older cars) so I'm not scared of building one custom if it will save me money. I started to build one on Nashbar and included the following components :

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=11723
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=11462
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=12779
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=22947
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=13028
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=13458
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=14131

I have no idea what :
1. front or rear derailleur to go with
2. size tires/tubes or if the tires even need tubes
3. chain to use

What are your thoughts, continue with planning a custom build or buy something complete?
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Old 05-27-08, 12:46 PM   #2
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In my opinion, you're better off buying a complete bike that's already set up for touring.

Any bike shop that orders from QBP can order you a Surley Long Haul Trucker for about $1k.
Great bike that comes very well spec'd out of the box.

My .02
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Old 05-27-08, 12:50 PM   #3
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Also, the brakes you have there won't work w/that frame/fork.

Other things to think about-

shifters
stem
bars
cables
housing
seatpost
seat clamp
tires
tubes
bar tape
pedals
headset
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Old 05-27-08, 01:38 PM   #4
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You can buy a whole bike for <$1000
Surly Long Haul Trucker
REI Randonee or Safari (wait for REI 20% off coupons)
Fuji Touring
Trek 520 (on sale, list prices is ~$1200)
and probably many more.

unless the build is part of the fun for you, and you are willing to spend MORE and probably have to do a bunch of do-overs, I would recommend buying a whole bike. There are a lot of parts and pieces to build a whole bike, that have to work together sometimes in not-so-obvious ways. The combo of no bike mechanic experience and a low budget is probably a recipe for frustration.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:00 PM   #5
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Yeah, I have a complete Long Haul Trucker, and it's an excellent machine.
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Old 05-27-08, 04:02 PM   #6
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unless the build is part of the fun for you, and you are willing to spend MORE and probably have to do a bunch of do-overs, I would recommend buying a whole bike.
If you already have most of the stuff to build a nashbar touring frame it is a good deal but in your case where you must purchase everything to outfit it you would be better off purchasing a ready to ride bike. The Surly LHT has such a good reputation you can ebay it for just a couple of hundred dollars less than you paid for it if you don't like touring. You would never be able to do that with a nashbar bike.
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Old 05-27-08, 06:53 PM   #7
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The Surly LHT has such a good reputation you can ebay it for just a couple of hundred dollars less than you paid for it if you don't like touring. You would never be able to do that with a nashbar bike.
+1
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Old 05-27-08, 08:27 PM   #8
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Yeah, I have a complete Long Haul Trucker, and it's an excellent machine.
Ditto.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:49 PM   #9
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just find a LHT. Look on craigslist. If you don't like certain parts, just swap them out later.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:02 PM   #10
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I'm not expert at touring, having never toured and all, however I am looking to do some weekend mini-tours, and based on what I'm seeing, it might be difficult to get what you need for under 1k. In addition to the bike, you will need racks, panniers, tools and accessories to keep your bike on the road while out there, and if you don't plan on renting a room every night, you'll want a tent/sleeping bag/matteress, perferably something light weight and durable ($$$) if you're going to be hauling it around on your bike for any length of time.

Just my observations.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:44 AM   #11
EveeSTi
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Thanks for the suggestions, I've narrowed it down to looking for an LHT or waiting for the Randonee to go on sale. Sounds like building my own is more trouble than it's worth.

As for the tents and stuff, that won't be a problem. I already have tons of gear.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-08, 01:17 PM   #12
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Just an update, I found an '07 Fuji Touring thats new and on clearance at the LBS so I snatched it up!
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Old 05-28-08, 01:58 PM   #13
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Just an update, I found an '07 Fuji Touring thats new and on clearance at the LBS so I snatched it up!
well done! - that's how i got my first trek 520.
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