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  1. #1
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Long wheelbase MTB frames suitable for touring?

    I like the idea of touring on an MTB, but the one I have and use for commuting is short. I have to use small panniers to avoid heelstrike. If I go on a tour, I'd like to be able to put larger panniers. Are there any long wheelbase MTB frames known to be good for this purpose or touring frames that use 26" MTB wheels and have disc mounts? I also imagine a longer frame would be more comfortable, no?

    Edit: to clarify, I'm looking for a frame only, not a complete bike.

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 01-08-10 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Yep; hunt up the Thorn Cycles website, click on the link for 'Thorn Ripio'. Done! (Sorry -- not much good with embedded linky thingies!)

  3. #3
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Thanks. That's a complete bike though and it's UK, so it'll be expensive to ship to US. I'd like a frame only so I can build it up myself.

    Adam

  4. #4
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    Agreed re. the shipping, though I don't think that would be too bad for a frame only, and the Ripio IS 'frame only' (download the brochure/take a look). It's 399 pounds (UK), less 17.5% (UK VAT, which is deducted before payment). I know all this simply because I've been waiting for a frame like this to come along from Thorn; I like their bikes, but can't afford one of their complete Rohloff bikes (otherwise I'd have one!). Cheers.

  5. #5
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    So I'll definitely save this as an option but I'll keep looking in USA, even though I know touring equipment and parts are generally more popular, better and easier to find in EU.

    I've been reading this:

    http://www.downtheroad.org/

    And they recommend MTBs and explain the advantages but I haven't seen a word on what frames they actually use.

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 01-08-10 at 02:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Certainly an option -- I'm probably ordering one shortly. My only bike is a conventional alum. framed xc mtb, modified to work well on mixed surfaces and used for fast commuting (all weather), shopping, fitness rides, and shortish (so far!) tours; hence my interest in this subject -- looking for the ideal frame (that I can afford!). The only NA frame I know of (custom is out of reach for me) is the Gunnar RockTour, but even that is a little more than I'd want to pay. As you say, touring-oriented mtbs (and bikes based on that concept) are much more popular in Europe than here, where the paradigm is more the traditional, pavement-oriented, drop-bar 700c tourer. I've found through experience that I'm most at home on a conventional 26" wheeled mtb, for how and where I like to ride, so will stay with that. Good luck with your search!

  7. #7
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I may also try to mod the rear rack to move it back. Yeah, I like a MTB geometry and utility too. But it's a cheap Nashbar frame. I'm not sure if it's up to the job as a touring frame.

    Adam

  8. #8
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    Hey Adam,

    I ended up with an Independent Steel Deluxe. It has all the rack mountings and a 45 cm chain stay.

    http://www.ifbikes.com/OurBikes/Off_Road/Steel_Deluxe/

    Before you dispair, though, think about getting a Tubus Logo rear rack. It allows panniers to be mounted a bit to the rear. Talk to Wayne at the thetouringstore.com. Also, Arkel sells panniers that work best with short chain stay mountain bikes.

    http://www.tubus.com/en/rear-carriers/logo-expedition

    http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/xm4...asp?fl=1&site=

    The money you save in not buying a custom fram can be used to buy a rack and some new sweet panniers.

  9. #9
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    Surly LHT is now available in 26". It is intended as a touring bike not an MTB. Sounds like it would suit your needs.

    Wheel base is a weird one. Some older MTBS had very slack steering with the result that they had the same wheelbase measurement as a touring frame, but the short seat stays and upright posture of an MTB. Not what i would want for a touring bike. So my initial response to your heading was caution, but if you want the Sakkit, Thorn, Surly type "MTB" then it makes sense.

  10. #10
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    My buddy has a Surly 1x1 fitted out with front and rear racks. Its his dedicated commuter bike. He hasn't ever toured, but he regularly puts 50+ miles a day on it loaded and he says it behaves fine. I have a custom rohloff disc touring bike which I love.
    Last edited by int19; 01-08-10 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Didn't read the bit about disc brakes

  11. #11
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Wow, that Independent Steel Deluxe way out of my budget LHT doesn't have disc mounts, does it?

    Adam

  12. #12
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    So my bike's chainstay is 44cm, the Thorn bike is 45cm, that's not an improvement. I think I need to look into moving the rack back, or finding another rack altogether. That Tubus rack is such a design, but not disc compatible

    Adam

  13. #13
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    Hey Adam -- hmmm -- from what I've seen, 445/450 is about as long as you're going to find in a production bike (700c or 26" based)?? Not an issue for me, but then I'm not tall/only a 41 (Euro) shoe size. I'm not sure (others may know) but I think the Tubus can be mounted 'around' discs (using adaptive hardware). Otherwise, you might be stuck with custom? I know e.g. that Thorn does their custom frames with xlong chainstays (so would others), but the cost ...!!

  14. #14
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, I can't spend a lot on this I'll look for a rack solution then.

    Adam

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    Perhaps the Soma Groove?

  16. #16
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Before 1985 (or so) MTBs generally had incredibly long chainstays. You're looking to run disc it seems. That could be a problem.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  17. #17
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    The Tubus Logo and Cargo can be made to work. Voila!

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=5660&v=b

    PM me if you have any questions. I have other ideas too.

  18. #18
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I saw this yesterday: http://www.gunnarbikes.com/rocktour.php

    One thing that really caught my eye was the chainstay disc mounts. Those look like something that you could have added to a frame by a framebuilder. That might be another idea eh? If I ever get around to making a frame ima do my disc mounts that way.

  19. #19
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    The Tubus Logo and Cargo can be made to work. Voila!

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=5660&v=b

    PM me if you have any questions. I have other ideas too.
    This is it, I think. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by clasher View Post
    I saw this yesterday: http://www.gunnarbikes.com/rocktour.php

    One thing that really caught my eye was the chainstay disc mounts. Those look like something that you could have added to a frame by a framebuilder. That might be another idea eh? If I ever get around to making a frame ima do my disc mounts that way.
    Yeah, I've seen other frames with chainstay disc mounts, but that's an expensive solution I'd rather avoid.

    Adam

  20. #20
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Good question, I'm looking for something similar for the Great Divide next year. The thorn ripio is definitely interesting, if you want suspension. If you are going rigid a 26" wheel lht can be set up very similar to an old rigid mountain bike. Discs are nice, but v brake work really well, and would be my preference on tour.

  21. #21
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    I don't get it, a 30 pound bike for touring with disc brakes.
    Just exactly what do you plan to do with these bicycles?

    My old Giant Iguana from the '90's has a 104cm wheel base and is dirt simple.

    You can maintain it with a cresent wrench, pliers, screw driver and some Allens.
    It has strong alloy wheels and a CroMo frame.

    My buddy gave it to me, no one wanted it.
    21 speed triple crank, Suntour components.

    Guys, it was FREE.
    You can put any stem and road bars on it, run the mtb brake levers and be way cool with bar end shifters.

    I found 2 more complete Iquanas without even trying.

    FOR FREE.

    Here's a picture of what they look like...
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/...5fe7ce66e4.jpg

    Buying a frame just to get discs goes beyond me?
    What am I missing.
    bill

    PS.
    I paid $700for this just befor Xmas at the lbs.
    My present to me.
    It's a medium. 23 lbs. total.
    New wheels and drive train. And pedals.
    Not sure of it's fate?
    Where am I going, what am I doing?
    I rode to work!!!
    b
    Last edited by bmwstbill; 01-11-10 at 05:32 AM.

  22. #22
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    You're missing superior stopping power in bad weather conditions. I had rim brakes (Shimano 105) fail me in bad weather (pouring rain, road grit) resulting in near crashes on a regular road bike. I never rode a road bike in bad weather since then. Once I've gone disc brakes I never looked back. Discs never failed me in deepest mud and heaviest downpour. And I don't care if it adds few pounds. I'm past that chapter in my riding where I care about bike weight much. I just can't imagine riding with rim brakes cross country, in mud, rain, sand, etc. On my commuter, MTB and future touring bike I want disc brakes, that's my preference. If rim brakes work for you that's great.

    Adam

  23. #23
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    Adam,
    Maybe it's just me but if you totaled up all the miles done on rim brakes it goes beyond imagination.
    I am a motorcyclist so I have done hubdreds of thousands of miles on two wheels with discs.
    They can fail too.
    Or wear out on tour.
    bill

  24. #24
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    The Salsa Fargo allows you to put on really fat tires. If you were thinking of doing some off-road touring, maybe that would work.

  25. #25
    Gilbert Dizon gilbert_dizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    I'm past that chapter in my riding where I care about bike weight much. I just can't imagine riding with rim brakes cross country, in mud, rain, sand, etc. On my commuter, MTB and future touring bike I want disc brakes, that's my preference. If rim brakes work for you that's great.
    +1 on disc brakes.
    Last edited by gilbert_dizon; 01-12-10 at 08:14 PM.
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