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  1. #1
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    Just gettin into it...

    So here's my story

    I'm currently riding a 54cm Surly Steamroller. Pretty much stock, besides the 22tooth cog on the bag and SKS quick release fenders for when it rains. I also modified my drops to bullhorns. This works better for me, but have since regretted doing this as the bullhorns are too wide for my taste (and body) and need a shorter width. So anyway...

    I went up to my LBS today to get some parts for the Surly Tuggnut that keeps bending the screw... Which has happened twice so far, so I don't recommend getting them. Could be a fault in my frame or in the tuggnut itself. I really want to get into touring, and I feel that without all the luggage and what not, a touring bike could be a great commuter. I would love to keep my Surly Steamroller, but I feel like selling it would give me endless possibilities on getting a touring/commuter that I could ride from here (Columbia, MO) to St. Louis on the weekends to visit friends without the hassle of using a car.

    So my main questions are, should I try and sell the Surly to ground up some cash to get a new touring bike? Should I just invest in a touring bike without selling the Surly? Lastly, once I do a get a touring bike I was looking at the Jamis Aurora and Surly Long Haul Trucker. But apparently the Surly LHT only comes in 26" wheels. I'm kinda like the variety that comes in the 700c wheels. I do know there are many other questions to ask myself, but that's what I can come up with now. I do love my fixie, but I think I've grown out of it since I started commuting everywhere. I also don't have a car, so getting something that can carry racks/bags would be very good for going to the grocery store. I also ride my bike year round. So anyway, let me know. I'm very interested in everyone's comments

    Thanks,
    Bradford

  2. #2
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    No help?

  3. #3
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by dell500 View Post
    No help?
    Well, speaking for myself... I've never wanted a Steamroller, and don't have one, and that's fine with me. But you have one, presumably because you wanted it. Do you still want it? If so, I'd say keep it.

    But on the other hand, I've come to terms with the idea of owning more than one bicycle. I pick them up sometimes... more than I need... and can't seem to get rid of them. If this bothers you, don't go there!

    Want a touring bike? Start looking on Craigslist, mostly near, but also a little farther away. It doesn't have to be new. I'd only buy a new bike if completely sure I'd never find one used.

    There's nothing wrong with 26" wheels, by the way. You can get an impressive variety of tires.

  4. #4
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    THanks for the reply. I'm currently going to keep my Steamroller. What's the advantages of 26" to 700c and vice versa?

  5. #5
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dell500 View Post
    THanks for the reply. I'm currently going to keep my Steamroller. What's the advantages of 26" to 700c and vice versa?
    I think the general thought on this is that 26" wheels/tires are readily available in developing countries along with western countries. 700c wheels/tires aren't; they are more available in western countries. Whether there are hard numbers/statistics on this, I don't know. I have a 26" wheeled touring bike basically for this very reason.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

  6. #6
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    Are we talking a smaller frame? LHT's definitely come with 700c (with the option of 26'' as well), but in the medium to larger sizes. Generally people go with 26'' when going outside the US/Can/Eu. 26'' is standard MTB size, so it's 'easier' to find tubes/tires in strange foreign countries. 26'' will take more crank rotations on the same gearing as 700c to keep the same speed, but that's about it. There's really nothing wrong with 26'', and often beneficial depending on what the person needs.

    Edit: if you truly are wanting to get into touring, then yea, maybe looking at a bike like the LHT is a fine idea. If you're wanting to dabble in touring, but mostly just eleviating car-commuting from Columbia to STL, you have TONS of options. For one, you could simply ride your Steamroller / ss / fixed. 120 miles is nothing, really. At 120 miles, you won't need 4 panniers, a rack bag and a bar bag. You can get by with very little. As well, you could start browsing craigslist/ebay for something cost efficient to see if you do indeed want to do touring. $200-500 can get you something quite incredible on the touring front, and allow you "fully loaded" trips. A used bike is usually worth what you pay for it, unless you trash/wreck it. If you decided you wanted a newer touring bike, you could always sell your newly acquired, used touring bike and do so.

    Keep the Steamroller and ride it to and from Columbia/St. Louis, especially if you *like* that machine.
    Last edited by blaise_f; 03-10-10 at 09:12 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Well I'm currently, in the state and time, only doing touring around my state. Then maybe across the US. Not sure if I'll go worldwide.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper View Post
    I think the general thought on this is that 26" wheels/tires are readily available in developing countries along with western countries. 700c wheels/tires aren't; they are more available in western countries. Whether there are hard numbers/statistics on this, I don't know. I have a 26" wheeled touring bike basically for this very reason.
    Well wround this area the trails are a bit rocky sometime. So I'm trying to figure out if it's a good idea to get the LHT in my size because it only comes with 26" tires. They just started making the larger sizes that carry 26". But they come with the option of 700c... I could be wrong, i'll check.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    26" for trails and 3rd world touring. 700 for 1st world, hard surface. 700c roll a little faster. 26" a bit stronger and, in my experience, wider tires on 26" seem less puncture prone. For touring in US and Europe, either will work just fine. How well the wheel is built is more important than size.
    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

  10. #10
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    700c roll a little faster. ...
    If all other variables are equalized, a larger wheel makes fewer revolutions for any given distance; therefore the friction in the bearings is reduced accordingly. So yes, 700c rolls a little faster. But while rim size is one isolated variable, your rolling speed will be determined by many-- tires, bearings, aerodynamics, road surface, etc. Beyond considerations of tire availability, I would not consider wheel size a major factor in a decision about buying a bike unless I was looking for something very specific, such as the smallest possible folding bike (in which case I'd recommend 16", but that's for another forum).

  11. #11
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    K, thanks for all the info. I'm gonna look around on Craigslist and see what I can find. I appreciate it. Also, are thick 700c wheels ok on trails? I'm just wondering cause I have 700x28 Shwalbe Marathon Plus tires, which are fantastic. But are still a bit harsh on road conditions. Such as rolling, going over bumps/rocks/debris. Just wondering if a thicker tire like 32 or something thicker would be more managable in those situation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    Depends what you mean by "trails". Dirt / coleche is much different than off-road / GDMBR / etc.
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  13. #13
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    get a Cross Check and do what you will with the SteamRoller. The LHT excels with two sets of panniers but if 80% of your riding is unloaded you'll enjoy the CC a lot more.


    A 26" wheeled bike can have fast/light wheels that won't feel much different on the road and will accelerate faster than fat 700c tired wheels. But that's really cross purposes to the LHTs design.

    You can find a variety of 26" tires and you can have wide 700c tires that hold up fine in the dirt.

    If you like 28mm Marathon Pluses you'll love 32mm on bumpy roads.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dell500 View Post
    . Also, are thick 700c wheels ok on trails? .
    question isn't clear. Thick heavy tires will ride hard on pavement and will ride hard on dirt. Thick heavy tires with tread will grip better on dirt and still ride hard. The only good thing about the marthonPluses is that they are very puncture resistant with ride quality(rolling resistance, comfort) sacrificed.

    You can get thick heavy tires or light resiliant and grippy tires.

  15. #15
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    As far as bicycles if you are going on a tour then I say buy your self a Surly LHT you can get them with 700c or 26' wheels now.I have my Surly LHT with 26" wheels and they hold up well for me.And I have the marthonPluse tires on mine here.Hope you get what you want bicycle are fun to ride.And a great way to see the USA too.

  16. #16
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    So I got the Surly LHT with 26" wheels. I'm swapping the saddle with a Brooks B17 Special, Schwalbe Marathon XR 26x1.6 tires, and matching grip tape. Along with that, Tubus LOCC rear rack for now, and Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus panniers. I'll be set for a ride to St. Louis from Columbia in the next few weeks after the Half marathon coming up in April. It's olive green as well.

    Thanks for the info.

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