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Old 05-12-09, 02:04 PM   #1
adam06
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bike advise

hi, im panning on cycling from the UK to Italy and back. My current bike is a very heavy mountain bike which probably wouldnt do the job. I am also a poor student so want a cheap bike. was wondering if it would be a good idea to buy a second hand old school touring bike off ebay e.g. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/vintage-carlto...3%3A1|294%3A50

any advise?

thanks

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Old 05-12-09, 02:23 PM   #2
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If you are really a poor student, ride that very heavy mountain bike you already have. It'll do just fine--in fact, better in some situations. It'll probably take you a bit longer, but that's not a big factor.
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Old 05-12-09, 02:31 PM   #3
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It may be possible to modify the MTB enough to do the job and as long as it isn't a full suspension bike, it shouldn't be too hard. I've done long tours on a modified MTB. See my touring pages for some ideas.
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Old 05-12-09, 02:35 PM   #4
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its full suspension and it cost me 80 new from halfords about 6 years ago... so as can guess it not a great bike. Went 70 miles on it the other day, the riding position is very uncomfortable. probs too small for me. so the mountain bike is pritty much out of the question.

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Old 05-12-09, 02:52 PM   #5
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its full suspension and it cost me 80 new from halfords about 6 years ago... so as can guess it not a great bike. Went 70 miles on it the other day, the riding position is very uncomfortable. probs too small for me. so the mountain bike is pritty much out of the question.
Hmmm. Yes, sounds like that's not an option. There seems to be a fair number of good, used bikes floating around in the UK.

Have a look in the usual places and maybe on the CycleChat classifieds


Again, see my Touring pages , especially the Touring bikes section.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:21 PM   #6
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That ebay bike looks nice. Is it your size?
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Old 05-12-09, 03:34 PM   #7
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If it will fit you well, and if you can still find replacement parts (tires, tubes, chains, brakes, etc), then that ebay bike looks very suitable for your needs. It's already got the rack, fenders and pump you'll need, and it has nifty downtube shifters. Looks like you'll have to mount some water bottle cages, but that's no big deal. That rack is probably not the sturdiest thing in the world, so don't load it too heavily. Looks like the wheels have 36 spokes, so they should be strong.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:35 PM   #8
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says its for tall people, so probs not my size. but that was just an example. there are loads of them for around 50 which are 30ish years old but good condition. the question is are these old bikes good for touring hundreds of miles with everything on me? also how do they do on uphill? obviously they dont have as many gears as mountain bikes.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:42 PM   #9
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I rode through France and the British Isles on a bike similar to that back in 1981. It was a three month tour. My low gear wasn't all that low, and my loaded bike was quite heavy. I managed. I had a double crankset. In fact, some of the Brits didn't believe me when I told them I pedaled up the toughest hills. My technique was to stop and rest as often as I needed, so as to avoid walking. I didn't walk up a single hill, but I wasn't fast at cycling up.

You should bring at least two spare tires, because 27" tires were rare on the continent, and they're probably rare in Britain now, too. The world has now standardized on 700c tires, which are 8mm shorter. Tubes, however, are interchangeable.
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Old 05-12-09, 04:00 PM   #10
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takin spare tires sounds a bit bulky... might just swap the wheels for the 26" ones i have on my mountain bike. does that sound like a better idea? sounds like you had an epic time, how much easier do you think your trip would have been on a modern bike?
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Old 05-12-09, 04:08 PM   #11
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You can make tires fairly small by folding them into thirds, if they have wire beads. If you get really lucky, you'll find a 27" tire with a kevlar bead, which will save a little weight and a lot of bulk. But tires aren't that heavy, and people who go long distances often bring a spare, even when they don't have an odd size.

Yes, of course, my trip was something I will remember all my life. I was 20 at the time. Epic is a good word to describe it.

Bike technology doesn't move nearly as fast as electronics. A 21st century bike would be nice but it wouldn't change the character of the experience at all. In fact, most of my bikes are over 20 years, so clearly, I don't feel a great need to have a modern bike.
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Old 05-12-09, 06:36 PM   #12
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takin spare tires sounds a bit bulky... might just swap the wheels for the 26" ones i have on my mountain bike. does that sound like a better idea?
No, that wouldn't work.
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