Hello! So maybe it's a little premature, but I'm planning on doing a tour next summer. This will be my first-ever tour.I've been reading a lot on this forum, just joined recently but have been reading a lot, and I love all the help and knowledge there is here!
So my question is, what should I check for on my bike to ensure it's worthwhile doing a conversion?
One of the biggest hurdles for me in planning this trip is cost. And that is mainly the cost of the bike. I've been researching bikes on ebay and craigslist, and have seen bikes from $500 (even with racks etc.) and way on up as you know. I was given a Trek 930 by a friend who moved. I have read that it's possible to do a tour on a mountain bike, and only recently did I decide that I should start looking into converting this guy.
(seen it done here, http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ing-conversion, and I've seen other posts of Trek mtb conversions to touring bikes.)
What sort of things should I look for on the bike to see if certain parts need replacing or to make sure it will hold up for the tour if it doesn't need replacing?
And how much really is it to convert to drop bars? I'm looking for a range starting from the lowest of the low, if I got ALL used parts, and then on up to ALL new, say if I bought them from REI or a pricey specialty bike shop. There's a great LBS in my neighborhood that sells used parts for $5, I could get handlebars for that. But I'd have to buy (presumably new) shifters, brake levers, cables.....what else??? I think I have seen some people discuss getting butterfly or trekking bars and using the same shifters I have on the bike. Is this possible? (remember be easy on my I'm a newbie!) I REALLY hate the flat handlebars I have, super uncomfortable. I love the drops I have on my old 10-spd. Never used trekking bars. So I'm not sure of how they will feel.
If you have converted your mtb to a tourer, what did you have to do and what was the cost?
~As far as I can tell, all the gears work (recently worked on them at LBS), although the derailleurs could use some fine tuning by a professional.
~I have put on new(ish) tires, that are smooth in the middle and have knobbies on the outsides.
~The wheels could use truing up (I will have to see how many spokes there are...but they appear to be the Trek wheels that came with the bike).
I know I will need racks, panniers...etc etc etc...Since it's a first tour, and I'm a huge proponent of thrifting and re-using things I am not going to buy top of the line NEW retail price stuff unless I cannot absolutely find it at LBS, Craigslist, from friends, etc. So these things don't need to factor in. I'm just talking what I need to do about the bike.
Oh yeah, I'm planning on riding from Maryland to the Outer Banks, NC. About 400 miles.