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Thread: utter ignorance

  1. #1
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    utter ignorance

    howdy,

    i write to you seeking invaluable information concerning...well, a touring bike. the idea of traveling across the states has been a palatable one, thus i am here amongst you touring cyclists. i'm starting from ground zero, so i need a bike. given that i have some monetary constraints, i figure it will be best to buy a bike that has already been built, rather than build one from scratch. budget is anything up to 1,900 or so.

    what about this guy?
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/520/520/

    also, is this guy a touring bike?
    http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/coas...-nirone-7-105/

    ugh, so much information

    thanks,
    brian

  2. #2
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    Hit search button. Lots of times. There is more information on this topic than you will digest in a lifetime. There are number of well known touring bikes on the market. You'll find them.

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    What kind of monetary constraints are we talking? Touring can cost anything from 0 to infinity dollars depending on what your goals are, and how much hardship you can or want to endure.

    The first bike is a touring bike, the second is not.

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    If it has two wheels and a rack, or trailer, you're good to go. if you check out crazyguyonabike.com, you'll see people traveling with every type of bike imagineable. don't overthink it.

    That said, Wheels would be my biggest consideration. 32 or 36 spoke preferably with quality, puncture resistant tire of reasonable width. While a beautiful bike, the narrow 25c tires on the bianchi would not be too much fun, should you find yourself without a paved road or carrying a large load.
    Last edited by icebiker76; 02-27-10 at 10:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. If you can't find it here, then it's probably not worth knowing.

    The Trek is a world class touring bike that's been around for many years. You can't go wrong. The Bianchi looks like a racing bike to me and very unsuited to touring.

    The other major US touring bike is the Surly LHT. There are many others, but the Trek and the Surly are far and away the most popular.

    As to which is best suited to you, that is a question only you'll be able to answer after doing a lot of research. Check out www.crazyguyonabike.com, the premier site for touring cyclist. There's a Search box there too.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    monetary constraints being about 2k for a bike, 2k for supplies and such, 4k for food and lodging. thats if my saving plan works. thanks guys
    Last edited by bobosein; 02-27-10 at 10:27 PM.

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    I think that is quite a generous budget for touring. For 500 you can get a decent bike with decent components that will take you wherever you need to go. For 2k, you can easily get yourself a nice ride (like the 520) all kitted out with whatever you need.

    If you spend 300 for top of the line Ortlieb panniers, 300 for a top of the line tent, 100 for a nice sleeping bag, 100 for a Thermarest, 200 on cooking gear, and another 500 on clothing and random knick knacks, you are still $500 short of your budget, and that is with pretty much the most expensive of everything. (Not that I am recommending that you go out and buy the most expensive gear)

    For 4k, you could mostly camp with a few motels and ride for about 4 months in the summer of modest living in North America. That is enough time to cross the USA twice if you want to.

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    Bikes: Trek 520 or Surly LHT or Novarra Randonee or Windsor Tourist. Or any old rigid mountain bike with strong wheels, low gears, ability to mount a rack. Get help with bike selection at a good local bike shop, since bike fit is very important.

    Racks: Blackburn, Tubus, Old Man Mountain, Surly, just about anything really

    Panniers: REI house brand, Performance bike house brand, Lone Peak, Ortleib, Arkel

    Rack and pannier source: www.thetouringstore.com, REI, Performance, your LBS

    Camping gear: www.REI-Outlet.com www.backcountry.com

    other people's journals with gear lists and their stories: www.crazyguyonabike.com

    maps for touring across the USA: www.adventurecycling.org

    have fun!
    ...

  9. #9
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    2k for bike and 2k for supplies leaves you with some great gear (and overflow if you spend right). To put it into perspective:

    You could buy a Surly LHT, Trek 520, Novara Randonee, Salsa Casarole, Bianchi Volpe or any number of other 'tourers' or road bikes sturdy enough to pull a trailer and still have 2/5 of that "bike stipend" left over. Furthermore, you could buy one of those used, outfit it with new parts and spend even less, and possibly get something better. Even furthermore, you could buy a 70s/80s/90s road/tour/mtb and outfit it with new stuffs and be good to go.

    2k in supplies will buy you a sleeping bag good in any climate (Quality 0-15F bags are between 300 and 500 [and of course can cost more if you want them to]), a 3-4 season quality tent, all the bike bags and camping gear you will need, and you will still have some left over (if you do your research well).

    4k in food/living will last you an unknown amount of time. Bicycling tourists range night and day. Some free camp and live on $5 a day in food. Some motel/hotel/hostel nightly and spend more than the cost of a room in food per day. Relating comfort to cost isn't even fair in some cases. Many people fill safer and more comfortable in a tent or hammock in the words than in city limits, under a roof in a strange manufactured room.
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
    Penny-farthing adventures, touring & collecting

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobosein View Post
    monetary constraints being about 2k for a bike, 2k for supplies and such, 4k for food and lodging. thats if my saving plan works. thanks guys
    my suggestion would be to save $2k by having the bike, supplies and such total for around $2k. The top end production touring specific bikes are available for $2k with limited production another $1000 over that. There is no reason to buy a top end product when you haven't developed specific desires about the activity or bike, and when you do it's not a given that more expensive is what you'll desire. I can pretty much gurantee that what you do buy based on no experience will not be what you'll prefer when you do have experience, whether it's the bike or equipment.

    The other reason for not picking an expensive bike is that stuff happens, bikes get stolen, damaged in heavy use. Sure you can make the bike a fashion statement but in this application it is all utility. Air in tires ,drive train and brakes working, proper position, gear secure to the bike. This is simple technology and the attitude of the motor is what matters. People toured bikes before aluminum wheels, triple cranks and mondo gear brazeons were common.

    re."ugh, so much information". Yes and no. Whether you have a $200 bike or $5000 bike really won't matter to enjoying the trip, or making it happen. Getting your posture/position dialed in is more important than whether you've got a " touring specific design" or a "sport tour/cyclo cross bike" or fixed up hybrid/mtn bike/Schwinn Varsity. After you've got the position and bike it's being able to ride in a straight line (surprising number of people starting out don't) and keeping the motor fueled and in good spirits.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    In the last two weeks, people on the list just got LHT's and Novarra Randonee and are quite happy with these bikes. The Randonee is right around $1000 and the LHT's are a little higher. I purchased a 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite this past winter for $1100 but haven't had a chance to ride it yet, so I won't say its a great bike till I have a chance to put some miles on it. I would spend the money on the small and light camping gear and a good sleeping pad. I think that I paid 2K for a new bike, front and rear Tubus racks, Ortlieb front and rear panniers, tent, camp stove, titanium pot, exped air mattress and aero bars.

    Also the Bianchi touring bike is the Volpe.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  12. #12
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Another bike for consideration is the Raleigh Sojourn. LBSs seem to sell it for $1,100 to $1,250. I just found a shop that is willing to sell it for $900 to me. (the con - is this bike is a little heavier than the Trek 520 or LHT)

    http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/

    A good front rack is the Jandd Extreme Front Rack

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

    Sunny Sports sometimes has great deals on camping gear. Just got a $400 tent for $115.

    http://www.sunnysports.com/

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