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Old 02-25-10, 04:17 PM   #1
yryellowbird
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Can my Cannondale r300 tour?

I know nothing about bikes other than that I like to ride them. I am unemployed and now it is my only means of transportation so I was thinking maybe I should do a tour? I am a young fit girl, I think I could handle it. That being said I don't really have any money to purchase a new bike and I have no idea what I would need to make my bike work for me. Does anybody have advice for me?
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Old 02-25-10, 04:22 PM   #2
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One can tour on just about any bike.
The difficult part is where and how do you sleep and eat.
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Old 02-25-10, 04:50 PM   #3
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I suppose what I am most concerned about is if I can get larger tires on my bike and if it can support the weight..
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Old 02-25-10, 05:28 PM   #4
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I suppose what I am most concerned about is if I can get larger tires on my bike and if it can support the weight..
It would help if you post a pic of your bicycle and what size tires you have on it now.You will need racks on your bike and a set of panniers and small hand pump and spare tube or two.It would be better if you went with some one you being a girl can put your self in a lot of trouble if you meet the wrong person.But most of the time you would be ok at least I hope you would be.Its always better to go with as many as you can.I go all the time on my own but I am a guy so if anything happens to me I don't care.But I have seen women out touring but most of the time there is two of them.Best of luck if you go on a trip be safe and have fun.
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Old 02-25-10, 07:24 PM   #5
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A photo would help a lot.

does your bike have eyelets for a rear rack or front rack?
Is this bike have double or triple chainrings?
What is the range of the rear cog?

What type of touring do you plan to do?
Are you camping or staying at hotels?
There are also organized tours where you are supported by vehicles and your gear is transported for you. This may be a good start, it lets you ride without the expense of racks, panniers or other gear, groups are large enough where you will be safer than touring alone.
Where do you plan on touring? this will make a difference on whether your present gearing is adequate.
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Old 02-25-10, 08:48 PM   #6
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<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/47891854@N06/4389011632/" title="IMG_0291 by yryellowbird, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/4389011632_dd9e8dbf5b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0291" /></a>

I plan on getting some friends interested and trying parts of the pacific coast. and camping the majority of the time. I thought about an organized tour but seems like it just wouldn't be the same experience. I don't think it has the eyelets for racks that was a concern of mine as well. Here is a picture thanks for being nice. I always feel intimidated by these boards. I hope that photo works. I tried two different ways.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47891854@N06/4389011632/
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Old 02-25-10, 09:31 PM   #7
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<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/47891854@N06/4389011632/" title="IMG_0291 by yryellowbird, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/4389011632_dd9e8dbf5b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0291" /></a>

I plan on getting some friends interested and trying parts of the pacific coast. and camping the majority of the time. I thought about an organized tour but seems like it just wouldn't be the same experience. I don't think it has the eyelets for racks that was a concern of mine as well. Here is a picture thanks for being nice. I always feel intimidated by these boards. I hope that photo works. I tried two different ways.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47891854@N06/4389011632/
I tour on my Sr500 all the time. It is the Sport Road. Just slightly different geometry than your bike.

You will probably want to get 28 tires.

Camping is going to be a rack space issue. You should have a carbon fork and should not mount a front rack with the exception maybe of a front rack that mounts to the skewer. I believe the Old Man Mountain rack does this.

It's best if you had eyelets for the rear but you don't need them. There are a number of options. I you don't mind spending a little coin then I would suggest talking to Wayne from the Touring Store. He will sell you what you need but won't sell what you don't need. He is a good guy.
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Old 02-25-10, 09:45 PM   #8
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If you're really hard up on cash, a used child trailer works very well. Probably overkill but they can be had for ~$50 on craigslist.

Would be several hundreds cheaper than racks+panniers.

If you get the Schwinn/In-Step model (made by Pacific Cycle,) make sure to purchase replacement springs, nylon straps, and another mounting bracket. Should run ~30 bucks.

Buying a Bob Yak or Wike trailer would also be an option, but more expensive. The Wike would take the most weight off your bike, being a dual wheel.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:26 PM   #9
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I agree with the above comment that the best solution would be to use a trailer.

The bike should be fine with a trailer this will give you a lot of space for camping gear.

I have never ridden the pacific coast so I really don't know how hilly it will be, since your bike has a double crank set you may want to get a new rear cog that has a bigger range but this may require a new derailleur. But since you are in good shape I would just try it as is, this is to save money and buy the cog on the road if you find that the climbs are too hard with the present gearing.

Sounds like a great adventure, have a lot of fun.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:34 PM   #10
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I'll bet your bike will work just fine. The only specs I could find for a R 300 were for a 1999, but it seemd to have eyelets on the rear dropouts. Mounting a rack should not be a problem. The thing you might want to consider is changing the rear cassette to a 12-34 which may require a rear derailleur change. I think you have a 12-25 on it now. That will give you some lower gears which will be nice on hills. Talk with the folks at your local bike shop (LBS). Probably do the whole thing for $75 using a Shimano Deore RD.

If you are relatively light you may also get away with 25mm tires. I have many touring miles on that size and have never gone larger than 28mm's. Below is a picture of my Trek which is similar to your R 300. I have changed the rear cassette, rear derailleur, and have used that bike with 25mm tires for 5-6 multi-week tours before I got a "real" touring bike.


My wife and I have toured sections of the Pacific Coast Route the last two years, and we met several women riding solo and in groups. It is hard to be alone on that route. There were always 8-10 cyclist in the campgrounds in the evening. Get some friends together and enjoy it.

P.S. The only drawback that I can think of about your bike is that there is no room for fenders. Not a big deal, but we've always had rain!

Last edited by Doug64; 02-26-10 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:54 PM   #11
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Many people have successfully finished long tours with cheap bikes and equipment. I recommend having a basic idea of how to fix minor problems (plus some basic tools), and making sure that even if the bike is cheap and equipment isn't top-of-the-line, that it's checked and in good working order before leaving home. Any bicycle is capable of touring provided it has suitable tyres, good brakes and is in reasonable condition.

I have been touring on a supermarket bicycle with no major problems. Of course, the thought of having a 2010 X brand, Y model touring bike always occurs and of course that would be fantastic. Maybe one day! A rear rack is a really good start. I like using a front basket as well.

The tent, sleeping bag, mat and cooking gear is by far the greatest taker of volume/weight on a tour. The weight you carry is important. If you're planning on taking everything but the kitchen sink, you'll need a strong, bomb-proof bicycle. If you are albe to /prepared to keep the weight/volume to a minimum, the type of bicycle isn't a major issue.

Basically, the less stuff you bring, the more chance that bicycle of yours will successfully complete the trip. People have gone on epic multi-nation tours over many thousands of kilometres on bicycles like yours and just a few kilograms of stuff.

First tours are always trial-and-error anyway. No matter much preparation you make, at the trip's end there will be major things you wish you'd done differently. Really obvious (only in hindsight!) stupid things that you never even thought of. To me, gearing ratios, cogs etc. are a distraction I like to leave for more senior tourers who have ironed-out all the sleepin/eating/equipment problems that I will probably spend the next couple of years perfecting.

I've only done three trips and am still on the steep learning curve! The best advice I can give is not to get overwhelmed or distracted by bicycle jargon and mechanical terminology. Get your tent/mat/stove/sleeping bag/front bag & cheap panniers sorted, new tyres (if necessary) and have someone mechanically check/service your bicycle then go for it.

Best of luck.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:59 PM   #12
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Sorry, I only saw your bike picture halfway through writing the above thread. It looks like a fantastic bicycle. If it were my bike, I wouldn't hesitate to tour on it. The bike I am currently riding on is far worse!

Doug64 - I love your set-up. Excellent. It is the sort of light-weight approach I would like to take on my next tour.
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Old 02-26-10, 12:11 AM   #13
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wow. thanks for all the great advice I think I actually understood all of it after reading through it multiple times. I am definitely going to take it to the lbs take a look at some of things I need. but I guess I really need to focus on finding some willing friends and some work for now.
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Old 02-26-10, 01:01 AM   #14
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I just want to reiterate that I'm not trying to denegrate the value of knowledgeable members who know much more than I on this forum regarding bicycles.

I just don't want you to feel swamped with technical-sounding language; and overwhelmed because you don't have all the latest gear. I felt that way a bit before my first trip. The best thing to have is a good attitude and strong will to complete a ride. Touring's not easy, but nowhere near as difficult as your non-bicycle riding friends might tell you. Don't be put-off if you've got your heart set on going and have done reasonable preparation for your trip

Finding friends willing and able to go with you will probably be the hardest part of all. If this is the case, and you still want to go, remember that you wouldn't be the first to go it alone.

Goodluck!
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Old 02-26-10, 08:24 AM   #15
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You can tour on just about any bike, including your bike. However, there are some things to consider to enhance the experience. One is how you are going to carry your gear. I've done both panniers and a Bob trailer, and I like panniers the best. I can't tell from your photo where there are eyelets for rear racks. Like others have said, if you don't have eyelets there are options. You can use clamps, or racks that rest on the skewers (that's what I'd try.) I've toured with everything on the rear rack - no front - and it works fine, though you can't quite carry as much stuff and the handling isn't as good as when you have things balanced between front and rear.

I've broken spokes many times on my older, non-touring bikes, but never on wheels that I had built specifically for touring. If you're light (I'm not) you might not have to worry, but you might want a good mechanic to check them for tension and true.

I'd strongly suggest a triple chainring. Climbing a long hill (like a mountain pass) with a load is difficult. I used to do it when I was young, though I suffered. Now I have really low gearing and mountain passes don't scare me, even though I'm certainly not young anymore.

I've ridden the west coast a couple of times, and both times I've met lots of women touring without men, alone and in groups. That route is so popular that bike tourers meet each other and fall into impromptu groups. They look out for each other. I wouldn't think a single woman would be in much danger on a well-traveled route like that. On a less popular route you'd probably be truly alone more often. I don't know, I've never been a young woman, but I'd be concerned about my 22-year-old daughter touring alone in many parts of the country.
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Old 02-26-10, 10:40 AM   #16
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I suppose what I am most concerned about is if I can get larger tires on my bike and if it can support the weight..
You've got a great bike. Next time you head into a bike shop ask them what is the largest size tire you can fit in there. 700x28 should suffice. As nice as fenders are I toured all over California and the coast without them. You've got what looks like a steel fork up there so you aren't limited to what can be clamped on the forks. Depending on your budget there are a slew of front rack options, my suggestion would be to restrain yourself from loading up big time and keeping the package as light as possible for your uphill and maneuvering enjoyment. A lot of folks use handle bar bags but I'd look at some kind of front rack that you can strap a bag onto so as to keep the weight down and balanced. With some searching or creativity on your part a small flat bag resting on the stem and partially on the center of the bars can provide a place to put small items like sunglasses , chapstick, energy bars. Also there are small bags that can fit on the top tube near the stem. Basically the idea is that when you get to camp you can pull off the big bags and head out to town/store with an unloaded bike and all the necessary bike repair items are on the bike. If you do go for front panniers on a low rider rack you might consider small front and rear bags. These may look tiny for those who like to take the kitchen sink but they're about the size of the panniers I took on my month long trip out of highschool. A set of these on the rear with a front low rider and small front panniers would work well.

http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FSBP

I can't tell if you've got a cassette or freewheel but ask the guys at the shop what would be the cheapest low gear set-up. A wider range rear cluster or a cheap triple and new derailleur. You may find a light load and wide range could be adequate but a heavy load will require super low gears. Either way look to smaller rather than larger panniers.
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Old 02-26-10, 11:24 AM   #17
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-one-saddlebag

The above link is to a discussion on touring just using a single LARGE saddle bag. This is a minimalist way of touring that seems to use a lot of ultralite camping gear. I may be something that you want to think about, the advantage of this is that it doesn't require racks, panniers or trailers. Some of the posters have gear lists to give you an idea of what you should bring.

I am assuming that since you are unemployed that you want to minimize costs, hopefully this is correct. But if you are independantly wealthy there is a whole other set of suggestions.

Let us know what the LBS thinks.
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Old 02-26-10, 02:23 PM   #18
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I suppose what I am most concerned about is if I can get larger tires on my bike and if it can support the weight..
The existing wheels should work fine if you're under 175lbs but either way have the rear wheel checked out and trued if needed. My bike partner and I did fine touring down the coast on 28mm tires. I was 145lbs and he was 185. We both toured on road bikes with similar wheels and light loads under 20lbs. We met a lot of folks with those size tires and heavier loads but my personal preference is to move up to 32mm tires when bike, gear and rider start getting up to 250lbs. If you do get tires that require 90+psi get yourself a pump that makes it easy to get to that pressure because it's easy to avoid keeping tires pumped up if the pump is hard to use.
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Old 02-26-10, 02:45 PM   #19
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If ya need inspiration, here's a journal of a young lady doing a tour by herself. It's her first tour, she's doing it solo, and from the looks of it having a good time.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/goingsouthon2wheels
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Old 02-26-10, 07:09 PM   #20
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I did my first tour, from Delaware to Maine, on my r300. Widest tires I could fit on mine were about 25mm, which were a bit narrow but doable. I used p-clamps to attach the rack as it had lower eyelets but none on the seatstays. I also installed a smaller inner chainring, but still didn't have ideal gearing for a lot of the hills.

After that I started touring on a steel touring specific bike, and felt a world of difference, but honestly the Cannondale tour was not bad.
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