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  1. #1
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    When not on tour, do you ride your Touring bike frequently?

    I got myself a LHT and ride it casually as my commuting and easy-pace rides. I ride it a lot. I have over 1,000 miles on it and won't be actually using it for a tour until June, 4 months from now. I'll be doing my version of the northern teir.

    Do you guys ride your touring bicycles often when not touring or keep it in good condition for only tours?

    I'm concerned that I'll wear the components down enough so that I'll end up having something break on me during my tour.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Rode mine today.
    21 001.jpg
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
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    It's got the rack on it, so that's the bike I use for any trips where I might want to get groceries or do other shopping on the way home. It gets used on quite a few club rides as well if they won't involve too much fast climbing where the extra weight would be an issue. And I don't have a mountain bike, so the fatter-tired touring bike is the one I use for off-road riding.

    As long as you go over the bike before your tour I don't see that you're increasing the chance of any mechanical problems. I've had more issues with relatively new parts that had defects than with older components that broke unexpectedly.

  4. #4
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    I don't ride mine that much, my road bike is lighter and more fun to ride than the tour bike unloaded. I ride it when I'm going out with friends who are so much slower than me that I want a handicap, and when the roads are wet or slushy, since it has fenders.

    I'm certainly not saving it in order to not wear it out - I wouldn't do that with any sporting equipment - I just use it as I wish and repair/replace stuff as needed.

    When I'm getting ready for a tour, I ride it quite a bit more, to detect any issues and to get used to the different fit from my road bike.
    ...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Everyday since 1978....
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    I actually don't ride my LHT much unless I'm getting ready for a tour, or touring.
    I have been riding my commuter bike a lot, it's a Novara Randonee touring bike, built up with flat bars and racks and fenders. But I don't tour on that one at all. Not sure if my situation counts!
    Gunnar Sport
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Got my touring bike and a shocked hybrid for rough Texas county roads. Much prefer to ride the tourer and just replace anything that wears out. Hub bearings, bottom bracket, gear teeth, and tires are the biggies before a long tour.
    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

  8. #8
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    It's my bike. I don't do the bike-for-every-purpose stuff.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    My touring bike is my primary bike during the summer. For salted roads in the early spring and late fall I break out the old mountain bike.

    I think that riding my touring bike all the time gives me a more intuitive feel for it, and I can better tell is something is breaking down or wrong. I also have a pretty low tier touring bike(Novara Safari) so while a theft would be very upsetting, it wouldn't be so catastrophic that it's worth never using the bike around home.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I haven't ridden my LHT since completing the Northern Tier in early September.

    It's so flat where I live that my commuter is fixed gear. I used to use it for touring in the Midwest by swapping the rear wheel for an one with an internally geared hub. I agonized about whether or not to ride the bike coast-to-coast, but ultimately decided to build a new bike (the LHT). I initially rationalized the new bike by saying I'd either sell the commuter or the LHT after the trip, but I've decided to keep both. It's a bit decadent, but this way the LHT is always ready to hit the road on a tour, whereas my commuter takes a lot of punishment.

    I expect that I'll use the LHT around town when I use my trailer for large items, but the need hasn't come up since I've been back.

  11. #11
    Senior Member oldride's Avatar
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    My touring bike is a converted mtn bike, I rarely ride it unloaded. I have a Roubaix and a Tricross that I use for all my other non touring riding. I'm not saving the tour bike it's just more fun to ride the other bikes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chuckie J.'s Avatar
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    I ride my touring bike for three weeks or so before my tours (to get reacquainted with the geometry) and then on the tour itself but that's it. Its kind of too nice for everyday use (Seven Sola) and I have a bunch of bikes for different occasions.
    My bikes related website:
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  13. #13
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Its my daily commuter
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    My touring bike is for touring, it is setup to take a load and geared to climb with a load. I ride it prior to a tour to get it adjusted, shake out any problems and to get in shape by riding loaded. When I am riding without touring or preparing for a tour I ride one of my lighter road bikes. I have a few and they are all set up differently. The road bikes feel so much faster and nimbler, I feel like I can fly on them. In the spring I use my straight handlebar hybrid.
    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/

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Machak was my sport touring bicycle before he was stolen ... and as a sport touring bicycle, I rode him for almost all my long distance riding (randonnees, 24-hour races, centuries, etc.) as well as my tours. Sometimes I even commuted with him, and I definitely rode most evening and weekend rides on him.

    In the 7 years I had him, I put something over 50,000 km on him, but only maybe 10,000 of that was touring. (I'll have to open my logs and check those numbers, but they're close)

    Now I have a titanium bicycle which is suited for long distance riding but not for touring ... so I may be splitting my riding between two bicycles when my touring bicycle is built.

  16. #16
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    My LHT is my daily commuter.
    "harder" is not a very good safeword.

  17. #17
    Hoosier in Exile Jose Mandez's Avatar
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    I commute regularly on mine; however, I don't really have time for much touring anymore, anyhow. I would recommend starting the tour with new tires, chain, and a relatively new rear gear cluster, at a minimum (especially if it's going to be a long tour); also make sure your wheels are true. I would at least check (or have your LBS check) the other components such as the bottom bracket, crankset, and hub adjustment to make sure they are working properly. When I'm touring, I usually take a spare rear derailleur (I've had one fall apart on a tour, which kind of ruins things, especially if it happens on a Sunday), extra chain links, spare spokes, plenty of tubes and tools. A spare foldable tire might not be a bad idea, either.
    -Jose Mandez

    "I want to matter. I want to count. When I hear the children sing, 'Jesus Loves Me,' I hope he does. I really hope he does."-Ben Haden
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  18. #18
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Up until recently I did everything on one bike... commute, grocery shop, tour, riding for pleasure on a hybrid.
    Gave that bike to my son and bought a touring bike with dropped bars and 700c wheels. Enjoyed it for a year and did everything on it. Late in 2010 I decided I wanted to ride a 400 km circuit next summer that is half unpaved old rail bed. 26" wheels with 1.75+ tires are recommended. I've done the Capitalist Pig Yankee Dog thing and purchased a second bike. I also purchased a second tent the same month. I wonder what prompted me to be so excessive and manic in the accumulation of goods? Would the 32mm tires on the first bike have been acceptable, if not best suited to the railbed?
    A couple of weeks ago I saw a beautiful old Raleigh that just needed some TLC in an auction. Reason prevailed and I chose not to bid on it because I'm not about to get into collecting classic and vintage bikes.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  19. #19
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I have a CX type bike and two hybrids. The CX bike doesn't have racks, so it's not suitable for loaded touring (I do have a large Carradice saddlebag, so light touring and commuting are OK). The other two are all purpose bikes - touring, commuting, utility.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

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  20. #20
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Up until recently I did everything on one bike... commute, grocery shop, tour, riding for pleasure on a hybrid.
    Gave that bike to my son and bought a touring bike with dropped bars and 700c wheels. Enjoyed it for a year and did everything on it. Late in 2010 I decided I wanted to ride a 400 km circuit next summer that is half unpaved old rail bed. 26" wheels with 1.75+ tires are recommended. I've done the Capitalist Pig Yankee Dog thing and purchased a second bike. I also purchased a second tent the same month. I wonder what prompted me to be so excessive and manic in the accumulation of goods? Would the 32mm tires on the first bike have been acceptable, if not best suited to the railbed?
    A couple of weeks ago I saw a beautiful old Raleigh that just needed some TLC in an auction. Reason prevailed and I chose not to bid on it because I'm not about to get into collecting classic and vintage bikes.
    Awww... you spoilt the story you Capitalist Pig Yankee Dog. One cannot have too many bikes to play with.

    My Fuji Touring was my primary do-anything bike from the time I bought it in 2001 to 2009. I did have other bikes, but the Fuji did touring, commuting, shopping, training. Prior to that, I had an Australian Apollo mountain bike converted for touring, and it, too, did commuting and tour-guiding duty (I was car ownership free in those days).

    Now I am a Capitalist Pig Aussie Dog and have more bikes than I can count on one hand, and I own a motor vehicle. The CF gets ridden most these days, I don't commute by bike, and the Fuji is looking forlorn, waiting for the opportunity to show it's better than that darned fixed gear that sits next to it, the Ti that's still just a skeleton, and the bluddy CF that seems to get all the attention.

    Some touring, however, is on the horizon, and the Fuji definitely will be called back into active service.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    No I almost never ride it when not on tour. I rode a couple centuries on it and rode it when my daughter visited because she was riding her's. I found the centuries to be easier and more fun on my road bike. Ditto for rides around town.

    Truth be told the last couple years I have not typically ridden all that much on any bike when not on tour. My preference has been to get most of my exercise trail running, which I do 5 days a week.

    As far as wearing parts out I don't see where riding it off tour is a big factor. You will wear them out eventually either way, just be sure that things are reasonably fresh before each tour or be prepared to replace them on tour. Most things give warning before failing or are consumable like tires, brake pads, and chains which wear out at some regular interval which can be can be planned for.

    Replacing tires, brake pads, chain, cluster, chain rings on tour is not a big deal since they should not be a big surprise and can be planned for. Things like bottom bracket and head set usually give warning and can be limp in on for a while so again no huge problem. Derailleurs can fail suddenly but you can typically manage to get the bike ride-able with one gear. Worst case you can catch a ride to the next bike shop. Wheels are somewhere in between.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 02-01-11 at 05:01 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Don't be concerned about wearing out parts on a LHT that you plan to tour with. Keep up maintenance on the chain (clean and lube) and drive train. That is where most of the component wear is. And, occasionally clean the under bottom bracket plastic fitting where the derailleur cables slide.

    I bought a different set of tires for my last tour, the other tires I had were too puncture prone. I plan to switch tires and save the good tires for only touring while the puncture prone ones will get used around town. I also pull my heavy steel racks off after touring and put on lighter aluminum racks. But that is for weight, not because I want to reduce miles on the touring racks.

    There is an advantage to using your touring bike as your every-day-rider because you are more likely to notice a problem when you use it every day than if you only pull it out of the garage for the next tour. For this reason, I don't wait until the last minute to switch racks or tires, I set up my bike for touring and put at least 100 miles on it before I start a tour to make sure that it is running well.

    That said, there are some reported problems with the rear hub on newer LHTs, so before you tour you might want to give the rear hub a close inspection.

  23. #23
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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    Well, I feel better now. I was feeling guilty about not riding my tourer much except when on a tourer. Apparently I'm not the only one.
    I have several bikes in my garage which allows me to dedicate a bike to a particular purpose in order to justify having all of them. Other than actually being on a tour, about the only time I ride my touring bike is when out for an afternoon ride with someone else on a touring bike, or as a backup when my regular commuting bike is sick.
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  24. #24
    One legged rider
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    Mine is also my general commuting, tooling around, and utility bike. I ride road as well and pretty much reserve my road bike for training rides and racing.

  25. #25
    Charles Ramsey
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    I not only ride my touring bike every day but I keep it loaded the laptops and tool set alone puts 150 pounds on the rear wheel. This lets me find out what breaks before I tour. http://share.ovi.com/album/currentresident.bicycle

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