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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 01-26-09, 03:16 PM   #1
Tedx
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Can I convert this bike for touring

My mum has a Saracen Backtrax mountain bike in the garage, it's the same as the one in the link provided except it doesnt have the shocks on the front forks.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/439...enfencekg8.jpg

It's a steel frame with rack mounts on the drop outs. I was thinking of getting a brooks saddle, new handlebars, and changing the gears.

You think it's possible?

Also seeing as its a steel frame can I use lighter (maybe carbon) parts for things like handle bar stem and seat post to save on weight?

Thanks for your help guys
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Old 01-26-09, 03:28 PM   #2
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A long wheelbase steel rigid fork mountain bike makes an excellent tourer for not a lot of money.

Given that it will be used for touring, and most tourers have mudguards, racks, lights, drink bottles and carry camping type gear in panniers, why put carbon (expensive) components on to lose grams of weight.

You will never notice the loss of weight, much better to put that money into strong wheels and good tyres.

Have fun riding your tourer.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:31 PM   #3
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first thing. does the bike fit you? do you like riding it? tool around on it for atleast a couple weeks before you decide to spend any money on it.

why do you want to change the gears?

why carbon? weight savings might not to great for the price.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:33 PM   #4
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Chainstays look long enough. The biggest question is can you ride comfortably all day on it? Horizontal (virtual or effective) top tube length is a critical factor in whether you'll be comfortable. Read up on bike fitting to see if this frame comes close in that dimension. If so, then I'd suggest that you get the Brooks and find a stem that will bring the bars up to about the same height as the saddle (if you can't accomplish this then the frame is probably too small). Then take it out for some long rides. If it doesn't work for you then you can switch the saddle to another bike that will.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:07 PM   #5
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Yes, if the gears, brakes, wheel bearings and spokes are adjusted. Since it has a rigid fork fitting a rack to the front should be fairly simple. Bar ends on the handlebars will be nice on long rides to give a shift of hand position.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:00 AM   #6
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I'd agree with what the others have said and I would recommend to stay away from carbon accesories.
They are expensive and have a tendency to fail catastrophically. ie. disintegrate. If you are racing that is one thing but for touring they're not necessary.
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Old 01-27-09, 12:48 PM   #7
Tedx
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Thanks guys great advice!

I'm going to steer clear of carbon accesories.

There's enough places to boult a rack on the rear but the front forks only have eyelets on the drop outs. I guess I'll have to get a couple more brazed on, unless there's a way to fit front racks how it already is?
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Old 01-27-09, 02:00 PM   #8
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Tubus and Blackburn are 2 brands which offer low rider front racks and clamps for round the front fork in place of using the mid fork braze ons which you find on touring forks.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:23 PM   #9
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i agree with what's been stated above. adding saddle, new handlebars, and swapping gears are one thing, but if you think you'll be digging into hubsets, shifters, derailleurs, and brakes, the cost can go up pretty quickly and you might soon spending a comparable amount to a used touring bike. hopefully, all those components are in good shape though and you'll have a good tourer on the cheap. if all that's in order, i'd spend my money on a good set of panniers rather than carbon pieces.
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