Originally Posted by beardedbikerboy
Ok so here's the deal. I've got a one week vacation and weekends to do some bicycle "touring" (due to a full time job). My current dream is to carry a Hennessey hammock (I already own), as few clothes as possible, lots of water, a little food, perhaps a few electronics etc. I'm gearing to do stealth camping as it will be the cheapest but I have no bicycle to do this.
The bike I desire has the following:
-Steel Frame Only
-Steel Fenders (Or braze ons to add steel fenders)
-Mountain Bicycle Gearing
-Braze ons for front and back racks (preferably already included w/ bike)
-Drop Handlebars *without* combination brake/shifters
-Pedals and Kickstand included in bike price desirable
-Prefer a black or green bicycle color (but does not have to be)
What are the *cheapest* bicycles I can do this on without breaking the bank? (In my case breaking the bank means spending more than $1200 on the bike)
Some facts about me:
5'9'' 150 pounds 36'' pants seam
If you need more information let me know. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
Picky, picky, picky
Just about any production touring bike would fit most of your wants for about that price. Surly LHT
...the Kool-aid of choice for most people...runs around $1100 without racks and bags. A Fuji Touring
is about the same price but the LHT is a better value.
is making touring bikes that a slightly more then the LHT. While a nice frame and having the advantage that it isn't an LHT
, it does have some warts. Gearing is all wrong for a touring bike, the brakes aren't cantilevers and the parts spec isn't the best for wide gearing. The gearing can be fixed and parts can be replaced. The brakes, however, aren't changeable. Cantilevers give you better clearance for fenders and tires. They used to be superior in stopping ability too. However, dual pivot calipers are a far better brake than the old single pivot brakes that cantis were compared too. It's probably a nonissue.
The Raleigh Sojourn
is another bike to look at. REI carries them. I have heard, however, that the Sojourn is rather heavy even for touring bike and the gearing is a little high for a touring bike.
The Rocky Mountain Sherpa
(10 or 30) is another fine...and oft overlooked...choice for touring bikes.
Since you are dead set on steel
I won't mention the most excellent Cannondale T2 even though it's every bit as good as the LHT, lighter, stiffer, has a much better warranty, and a longer touring pedigree than any of the above mentioned bikes. But I won't mention any of that
There are other, lesser, touring bikes out there...
- Trek 520 - to expensive
- Cross bikes - a race horse tied to a plow
- Jamis Aurora - go find the thread on the Jamis and wade through all the junk that's posted there...some of it mine...for the reasons I consider it to be in the lower tier of touring bikes.
- REI Randonee - are they still made? About the same as the Jamis.
- REI Safari - not a bad bike but it is heavy and only comes in flat bar.
There are a lot of flat bar bikes out there that would be suitable, and similar to the above lesser touring bike...perhaps even better
...but they have the added expense of conversion. Drop bars, levers and bar end shifters could add $150 to $300 depending on what you need for the conversion. They do tend to start a little lower in price, however.