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Old 07-24-09, 09:43 AM   #1
so.anyways
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So about my old touring bike...

I'm totally new to cycling in the last 2 years. A friend lent me a road bike to get me started and I've just (in the last 6 months) bought a road bike of my own: 1970s Fuji Grand Tourer. I've been a commuting rider for the last 2 summers (about 3-4 miles each way) and longer rides (30-60miles) on the weekends. This same friend talked me into doing DALMAC (a 5 day supported trip from Lansing, MI to the Mackinac Bridge). Now he (owns a Cannondale road bike, late 90s) and my fiance (owns a 2005 carbon Trek road bike) are worried about me on my beast of a steel bike (oh yeah, it's a 63cm frame). So here are my questions:

-Should they be worried?
-Should I be worried?
-I don't have the cash to buy a new bike in the next month. What improvements can I make to my bike that I'll appreciate on day 5 of the trip?

I have hybrid tires on it now. Is it worth it to put real road tires on?
I just bought a new saddle that I'm happy with and rewrapped the handlebars.

Any advice is totally welcome. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-09, 09:49 AM   #2
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I did my first two centuries on my 1984 Trek 620 tourer. I don't see why you should have problems. The only caveat is that it might be nice to have a third chainring for hills (the Fuji is a ten-speed, right?).
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Old 07-24-09, 11:03 AM   #3
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FWIW- I think you will be fine. I have done a lot of riding and touring on a bike of about the same vintage. Athough I have a couple of newer bike, I would not hesitate to take off on a 3-400 mile trip on my 74 Peugeot PX-10. The only real disadvantage that I can think of might be a little high if you have many hills. You might want to go with some new tires. 27 X11/4 are about equivelent to 28mm, and 11/8 are about 25mm. Either size should work if you are not carrying too much weight. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-24-09, 11:08 AM   #4
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You must be a big person with big friends if you ride a 63 and previously rode a friend's bike.

If it fits you will be fine.
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Old 07-24-09, 11:17 AM   #5
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ride your bike. i know it is hard advice. just try it though.
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Old 07-24-09, 11:52 AM   #6
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I also did my first century on a steel bike...and it was fun!

I don't think you have to replace anything, but if you want to replac something, I would say switch out your steel wheels for alloy. harris cyclery has good deals
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Old 07-24-09, 12:07 PM   #7
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I think you should be fine so long as you have the bike in decent shape (e.g. chain lubed, no dragging brakes, etc). If the ride is very hilly, you might want to make sure the gearing is ok for you.

Assuming you can ride the distance, you'll be fine in doing the trip on this bike. If you feel you might slow them down a little bit or feel you just want to make it a little easier then you might want to consider good quality road tyres with less rolling resistance.... However, if your friends are faster and can't wait for you.... well, it might be better just to let them go ahead anyway.

Other things that might help? Don't carry excess weight, keep well hydrated and fed and be organized (e.g. do you have a front bag you can easily get your sunglasses/camera/snacks from?) Waiting around while someone tries to find their camera or sunglasses can be frustrating for them.

I know those points aren't really bike related, but if your friends are faster than you -and your bike isn't the fastest rolling bike to be honest -cutting down on non-cycling time can help. That's of course if you want to do that, as sometimes it's nice to smell the roses and go at your own pace.

Hey, good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by so.anyways View Post
I'm totally new to cycling in the last 2 years. A friend lent me a road bike to get me started and I've just (in the last 6 months) bought a road bike of my own: 1970s Fuji Grand Tourer. I've been a commuting rider for the last 2 summers (about 3-4 miles each way) and longer rides (30-60miles) on the weekends. This same friend talked me into doing DALMAC (a 5 day supported trip from Lansing, MI to the Mackinac Bridge). Now he (owns a Cannondale road bike, late 90s) and my fiance (owns a 2005 carbon Trek road bike) are worried about me on my beast of a steel bike (oh yeah, it's a 63cm frame). So here are my questions:

-Should they be worried?
-Should I be worried?
-I don't have the cash to buy a new bike in the next month. What improvements can I make to my bike that I'll appreciate on day 5 of the trip?

I have hybrid tires on it now. Is it worth it to put real road tires on?
I just bought a new saddle that I'm happy with and rewrapped the handlebars.

Any advice is totally welcome. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-09, 09:44 AM   #8
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You might be better off with better tires, but tires usually don't make that much difference, unless you're talking about the difference between knobby and smooth.

I think the important thing when riding with other people is that you discuss beforehand how you want to handle it if some people ride faster than others. Usually I prefer an agreement where riding with anyone else is strictly optional, and each person has the option of riding their own pace. I like companionship for brief periods, but I find I get fatigued if I don't ride my own pace, even if I'm riding with someone slower than me.

When I'm riding with someone slower I usually ride with them for awhile, then say something like, "I'm going to ride a little faster for awhile. I'll see you at ....." If I'm riding with someone I know is faster than me I tell them right away that they can feel free to pull ahead if they like.
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Old 07-25-09, 05:16 PM   #9
so.anyways
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Yes, just a 10 speed.
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Old 07-25-09, 05:17 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll look into new tires and make sure I have everything checked up before we head out. And I'll let y'all know how it works out. Thanks again.

I am a big person with big friends.
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