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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 07-20-09, 09:18 PM   #1
rpvanpatt
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Bike Advice...

Hey i am currently looking on craigslist for a new bike (i am just getting into it more and more). I was wondering if anyone could take a look at this bike just to let me know what they think about it. I want to put saddle bags on it as well...also wasnt sure if you could put on a different type of handlebars so that I could do some touring. I wasnt sure if this bike would be good or not. Thanks for any and all help

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Old 07-20-09, 09:46 PM   #2
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For light duty touring, I think it would be alright. The super-long chainstays should make heel rub on your panniers a non-issue, and the long wheelbase looks like a steady ride. The gear ratios look a little high (you could consider swapping the cranks off). I'd be concerned with the durability of those old wheels, as well.

I think it would be better suited for light errands, for-fun rides, and locking up at the bar, but you could give it a real job, too.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:29 PM   #3
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would either of these be better?
http://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/1234632417.html
http://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/1234628303.html

i know the brand names are listed as good bikes under the newbies forum sorta lol
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Old 07-21-09, 01:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rpvanpatt View Post
would either of these be better?
http://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/1234632417.html
http://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/1234628303.html

i know the brand names are listed as good bikes under the newbies forum sorta lol
Really, it's just hard to know - I can't really figure out what models these bikes are from the (lousy) photos the seller posted and I've noticed that lots of CL sellers call bikes "touring" bikes when they really aren't.

I'm a huge fan of used bikes (I own several) but also remember that if you spend $300 on a used bike (as they are priced) you shouldn't be surprised if you need to spend some money on refurbishing the basics -- new tires and tubes, cables, brake pads and potentially a saddle as well, just for starters. The Trek you posted above - which looks like it has a really nice frame - also needs new brake hoods, which are cheap, but it's another few bucks to think about.

There's a website on Vintage Treks that has a lot of good basic info on how to refurbish an older bike.

Do some research on the many threads here (or at Adventure Cycling) about what makes a good touring bike; make sure you're not spending money on a bike that isn't worth it.

But - in general - Trek, Cannondale and Fuji all made bikes that make great touring bikes; if you buy one in good condition that needs just a modest amount of updating you can get a great deal.
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Old 07-21-09, 03:35 PM   #5
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Any bicycle that old may have a multitude of unknown issues, particularly bearing and drivetrain wear and spoke fatigue. A young, strong rider could get away with 12 speeds and loaded touring (I did with 10) but if you need more low gears you are looking at 100's of dollars once you do a triple crankset, front and rear derailleur and most likely new chain and freewheel. It's hard to give you advice on other options without knowing what your "ready to ride" budget would be.
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Old 07-21-09, 04:17 PM   #6
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Fit is First. Don't buy anything that isn't sized right for you. I see that one of those in the Craigs link is "large sized" and the other "mid sized." If you aren't sure of the size you need, check in with your local bike shop and find out.

The bike pictured looks really nice and could certainly be configured for touring with only racks and puncture resistant tires. Check out the mechanicals yourself or have the LBS do it.

The gearing is too high for most people. Figure on a triple chainring unless you plan on staying off mountains and steep hills. 48/36/26 is good.

The downtube shifters are reliable but inconvenient, especially in hilly terrain.
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