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  1. #1
    Senior Member darrencope's Avatar
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    Touring Across Canada

    Hi all,

    I'm not really sure why I'm posting this, and I realize it's kind of random. I guess I'm looking for some feedback and encouragement from the many members here. I am soon to be in my final term of University, and will be graduating at the end of April. I don't have a job lined up at this point, and haven't really been looking yet (I know, I know...). I would like to do some travelling, and have been tossing around the idea of touring across Canada. I have mentioned this idea to a few friends, who all encourage me to do it. However, none of them are keen on joining me. So.. I guess I have a couple of questions:

    1) Is a cross-Canada tour doable for someone who's never toured before? Would it be wiser to start with a short trip? (ok, of course it would be wiser.. but is it necessary?)
    2) How many people do this sort of thing alone? I am comfortable being alone, (having done a solo canoe trip before, but only for a few days) but have never done something alone for this length of time

    Mainly, I'm looking for any words of wisdom or encouragement, and will have many more questions if/when I make up my mind.

    Just some more random thoughts: If I do this, I would very much like to build up a Surly LHT. However, I think this may be a bit out of my budget. Can you post some build prices if you've built up a LHT for touring? Realistically I may just end up with a Trek 520, which is already stretching the budget...

    Cheers, and I look forward to any and all comments,

    Darren

  2. #2
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    Hi Darren.

    (snip)

    1) Is a cross-Canada tour doable for someone who's never toured before? Would it be wiser to start with a short trip? (ok, of course it would be wiser.. but is it necessary?)

    (end snip)

    There are lots of examples on the web of people who have crossed Canada or other major distances with absolutely no previous touring experience whatsoever.

    Having said that if you can take at least a short two or three day weekend tour before your Cross Canada adventure you would likely really benefit from it tremendously.

    (snip)

    2) How many people do this sort of thing alone? I am comfortable being alone, (having done a solo canoe trip before, but only for a few days) but have never done something alone for this length of time

    (end snip)

    I have toured alone on my two longest tours as well as most of my shorter ones. In many ways I prefer touring alone because you get to meet so many more people that way compared to when you are in a group.

    Even when you tour alone you aren't necessarily going to be alone the entire time. If you start across Canada when most cyclists start then you are very likely to run into and share parts of your route with other bicycle tourists. I met 12 Cross Canada cyclists during my Round Lake Huron tour. Meeting them was a real highlight of my tour!

    Another thing you can do is watch for dayriders. I rode with two or three of them for short parts of my tour. It gave me a chance to learn about an area from a local while sharing some company for a bit.

    ~Jamie N
    www.bicycletouring101.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Darren

    My father and I are planning a trip across Canada next summer. We have bikes and are getting our supplies together for the trip. We will depart from Kamloops, B.C. with a destination of Montague, P.E.I.(my aunt has a cottage there). My dad has done a lot of touring but I have done very little because of the fact that I am only fourteen. Don't worry about your bike, my dad has toured on "vintage" 70s and 80s bikes without that much trouble(don't forget you tools). I wish you the best of luck on your trip and hope to see you on the road next summer!

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Yes, it certainly is possible.

    1. Go west to east
    2. If you have time, plan to stay off the TransCanada Highway as much as possible. It is NOT the scenic route (boring!!)
    3. If you want to cross fast, then use the TransCanada, but be aware that there are no shoulders in Manitoba so you're right there among the truck traffic and everything.
    4. YES, YES, YES start with a shorter tour if you've never toured before. I'm 2 months into a 3 month tour around Australia. I toured about one week before this last year, and I've finding this 3 month tour quite challenging, even difficult. I'm just now starting to feel more comfortable out there, but have had to use alternate transportation etc. along the way. There were so many things I had no idea about. Definitely tour on weekends, take a week and tour somewhere, get some practice in before you start something like a cross Canada tour.

  5. #5
    senile member
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    although most of the people i met on the road are often in a group of 2 or 3, i wouldn´t consider touring with someone the whole way. you can tag along with people if you get tired of being alone and when don´t fell like to can just go seperate way again.

  6. #6
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    It is not necessary to start with a shorter trip. It IS necessary to have a very flexible schedule & be ready for a lot of adjustment, particularly early in your trip. You'll need to adjust physically and mentally. You're going to probably change the way you pack your bike every day. After 4 or 5 days of this you'll ask yourself why you're still carrying 'X' and send it home. At the same time you may ask home to send you item 'Y' that you thought you didn't need but now can't live without. Listen to what experienced people have to say about gear. Don't assume that you need brand new gear (bicycle, camping gear, etc). Put the word out that you're thinking of doing this. Maybe a relative or neighbor will have an old touring bike they'll give you or sell cheap. It may need a few parts, but updating it may cost you a lot less than a complete new bike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member darrencope's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts and support everyone. Keep it coming!

  8. #8
    Faster than a SwiftTurtle
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    Hi there,

    I'll be cycling across Canada in 2005 as well, leaving the west coast early June, and finishing up on the east coast some time in the first week of August.

    Check out the web, I've read journals about every type of cyclist that has done the trip. A few years back I did some math, getting numbers from journals and making up other numbers and figured about 200 people a year do the trip in some form.

    As for myself, i've done a few 1-2 day long distance rides (200-500kms) but nothing extended. I'll figure it out on the road. Reading journals i hope will help me to prepare myself and the gear i need. I'm sure something will surprise me, i'd be disappointed if i wasnt surprised.

    roopurt

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    >>I have mentioned this idea to a few friends>>

    Keep in mind that good friends back home don't always make the best touring companions. I'm certain that more than a few friendships have been strained after setting off on tour. Compatibility out on the road is hard to gauge until you have actually experienced it. This is one reason why many tourists prefer to travel solo.

    As for the bicycle, I find it best when I don't get TOO hung up on the hardware. Granted, a custom-built, high end tourer is certainly a nice prize, but it's not a requirement. A few basic *rules* apply...strong wheels, low gears and a proper fit...meet those and things should work out OK.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I know in my case if I had done a 3 week trip before I embarked on a 3 month trip, I would have saved myself a ton of hassles. I wouldn't have 10 lbs of luggage in storage in Sydney right now, I wouldn't have tossed a pile of other things along the way, and I would have a much better idea of how my bicycle handled under various conditions with 30 lbs of luggage on board.

    Yes, you can just head out and start travelling, but if you want to head out and start travelling and ENJOY the whole trip, not just struggle with the packing and carrying for the first few weeks, then practice first.

  11. #11
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    here is what i would recommend:
    start training a little on your bike, even 1 hour a day will help, before u venture out. sure you could ride yourself into it but why suffer the first few weeks if you do not have to?
    get an indoor trainer and begin this winter. by march and april where you live you can get outside already a few times a week (i have lived in guelph, brampton and oakville and know those backroads very well...great area for training!).

    number 1 rule: get a bike that fits and have the bike shop fit you on it. you will injure yourself without a proper fitting.

    and now i am gonna offer a little biased, personal opinion. i have raced for 12 years (yes with the canadian national team) and these last few years i have been into touring. with my race bike. i have bought the BOB trailer and hooked 'er up. this way i did not have to buy 2 different bikes. and it makes the touring much faster. it takes the weight off the bike and thus off the wheels. any good set of training, clincher wheels will do with a 23 or 25cc width tire. i use 23's. i would recommend buying a used race bike (check out canadiancyclist.com) as that would fit your budget and it's a bike you can use for more than just touring.
    ok, but what about gearing you ask?
    i am a 5'2 female. sure i am an elite cyclist but the lowest gear i tour with has been and is a 39x25. it means standing the hills when they are steep, which is no problem with the BOB trailer. i do not recommend this gear for a newbie but here is what you can do. buy compact cranks (50/34) and throw them on. you will probably have to replace the BB too. your LBS can help. check out nashbar.com for their own compact cranks at a very reasonable price.
    of course you can try and find a touring bike used too that already has the triple chainrings.
    but if you want to make the best choice skip the panniers and go with the BOB trailer. i cannot understand why i see cyclists struggle with all that weight on their bikes which really jeopardizes the handling of a bicycle.
    if you have anymore questions in how to prepare, etc just email me.
    i will be glad to help.

  12. #12
    Senior Member darrencope's Avatar
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    OK,

    Thanks again! A bit more information about me...

    I have spent a lot of time doing multi-day wilderness canoe trips (although nothing over 5 days unfortunately), so I have a fairly good grasp of packing, camping, etc. although I'm sure there will be differences w.r.t packing for a tour...however this is not something I'm greatly concerned about.

    As for training, I don't ride nearly as much as I would like (who does?) but currently have over 3000 km (2000 miles) of riding in this year. I know it is basically meaningless, but I tend to average around 28-30 km/hr on my rides, which tend to be 1-1.5 hours in length (less now that it's colder...). I have recently purchased a set of rollers to train on in the winter. So far I've put in 5 or 6 rides on them, for .5 hours each. I'm not yet comfortable on them, but it'll come I'm sure.

    I have an older (mid 80's) road bike, which I don't think I'm comfortable touring on (not 100% sure on condition of some of the parts, although generally it's in excellent shape), and I haven't been professionally fit on it (I have a feeling it's a bit small). So, I would like to buy a new bike if I'm doing this. So far the Trek 520 and LHT are my two options I think.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me bounce some ideas around! Any other comments are still appreciated.

    Check out my webpage (link in signature) to see all about my bike, my riding, etc.

    anneslam: where are you located now?

  13. #13
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    Darren, if you haven't yet done so, check out the journals at www.crazyguyonabike.com , lots of great travelogues full of interesting info. Some of the writers have great touring bikes, some ride whatever they have handy when it's time to go.

    Since you're on a budget, maybe you should look at something used. Touring bikes tend to be a little cheaper than comparable road bikes due to lower market demand. Someone in Georgetown just sold a 54 cm Trek 520 with Sti shifting, and racks and panniers for $650. I was going to forward the ad to you, but the larger bike is sold They also have a 44cm one for sale, same price.

    I managed to pick up an old mid 80's VeloSport Touring bike for a good price (close to free), the frame is bigger than my road bike, yet I have found it to be very comfortable to ride and it has become my number 1 commuter bike. I've also used it for some road rides (it goes up the escarpment a lot better than my road bike) and plan to take it on some short tours in the spring.

    Let me know if you want to look for a used bike, I'll keep an eye on things for you. What size are you looking for?
    ...!

  14. #14
    Senior Member darrencope's Avatar
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    Hi Pinerider,

    Yes, I have checked out crazyguyonabike.com, and found it very interesting. I will spend some more time there in the future, I'm sure

    I just saw that Trek 520 for $650 today at canadiancyclist.com (thanks anneslam for that link!) Too bad the bigger bike is sold! I'm riding a 54 cm frame, measured centre-centre, and I have a feeling it's a tad too small for me... If you do see something, I would like to know, so keep me in mind! I will also start looking at the canadiancyclist.com classifieds now that I know about them!

    Cheers, and thanks all!

    Darren

  15. #15
    Will Pedal for Pie!
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    Hi Neighbor,

    Touring bikes come in many varieties and cost ranges. It turns out always to be individual needs and desires. I tour, now on my recumbent, but one of the best, and most versatile tour bikes(opens your way to dirt roads ofwhich are many in west) I have had was a "Specialized" mountain bike, 21 speed, with semi-slick tires(middle is smooth, but the sides have a couple rows of knobbies for hitting the dirt roads.

    I paid $289.00 new (a plain on entry level bike) at a bike shop in Florida. It proved to be a good investment and lasted for years. Put front and rear racks, waterproof bags, mirror and away you go. Keep in mind, accessories are the expense items on bicycles. I have met old folks(in 80's & 90's) by now who have made bicycle trips back in 30,s on the big old 1 speed bikes with steel seats and dirt roads, across the country.

    ALso, your first touring bike will NOT be the one you want for the next tour,in most cases, so spend frugally the first time around and use this trip to formulate YOUR idea for your perfect bike.

    Dont get hung up on the magazines and their "Proper way to Tour", remember they have advertizers to please. And self contained touring is for those independent types that don't follow the herd!

    Solo. I do it most of the time, Companions are great if you have the same values, but you will meet scores of other riders during your trip(from all parts of the globe) and if you are personable you will come in contact with tons of everday, hometown type folks that you will share some time with, many of whom will be lifelong friends.

    Across Canada, east to west or west to east does not really matter(read the latest posts on this). The jetstream is at 20-30 thousand feet, you are effected more by local weather patterns. I have travelled both directions with equal amount, in most cases, of headwinds and tailwinds. I would NOT want to be coming across southern Saskatchewan in mid-July or August, been there done that, it is brutal just as much as central montana and North Dakota in mid summer. My personal preference, and my home is in New Hampshire mostly, is ride out the door and enjoy the reach for the mountains.

    Money, I find I spend more when in the East. Mostly camping because out west there is more public land and accomodating folks for free camping, always ask. Food and lodging are the big ticket items and bike repairs. Many young folks I know that travel and dont have a credit card, keep enough money on hand to get a bus ticket home, from whereever they are as a back up, unless someone at home can arrange transport when the need arises. If you do much of your own cooking in morning and evening and make your own lunch you will save much. Canadain hostels are some of the best on the planet and the Icefields parkway has one about every 30 miles(287 miles in all) starting at Banff thru to Jasper and are cheaper than the campgrounds(no showers at most campground). I tend to eat at restuarants alot and that really chews the budget up!!

    Starting from either direction has it's advantages. I started in Prince Rupert, BC on year, the last week of May and oh my, what trip. Flew to Seattle and took ferry to Ketchikan, stayed two nights and took short ferry to Prince Rupert. You climb the coastal range ,(Bear dodging is a sport) then the continental divide into ALberta at Jasper and down the icefields parkway(the most scenic road in North America) (equal amount of climbing either direction) and then the plains. There are too many choices on routes in and thru BC and Alberta, I've only made four trips through but it's good stuff.

    Concluding,

    Some food for thought.

    "To those young men contemplating a voyage. I would say, Go!" Joshua Slocum"

    and this guy would know!


    Michael
    Last edited by chieftwonuneez; 12-01-04 at 12:30 PM.

  16. #16
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    I disagree with those who say you don't need to do a short trip beforehand. I disagree not because of getting yourself into shape but to find out what works and what doesn't. You will find out how to camp, and how to pack back up. You will find out what gear you don't need and what gear you are missing. If you are going to have a problem with the saddle, a good chance a 3 day 150 mile tour will bring that out. What a short tour prior to taking a long one will do is for you to figure out what works and what doesn't. It is also good for this reason also.

    The time to troubleshoot problems is before you begin a long tour.
    Good luck and Happy Miles.

  17. #17
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake
    I disagree with those who say you don't need to do a short trip beforehand. I disagree not because of getting yourself into shape but to find out what works and what doesn't. You will find out how to camp, and how to pack back up. You will find out what gear you don't need and what gear you are missing. If you are going to have a problem with the saddle, a good chance a 3 day 150 mile tour will bring that out. What a short tour prior to taking a long one will do is for you to figure out what works and what doesn't. It is also good for this reason also.
    I agree and disagree. I still believe that, with the right attitude, you don't have to take a short trip first. Yes, its nice, but if you can't make it happen, don't let that keep you from a long trip. Frankly, one 3 day trip is going to help, but you won't discover all the things you want to change anyway. So if a person skips the shorty & jump right into a long trip, they're going to learn more along the way than someone with short trip experience. But it doesn't make the long trip impossible.

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    hey darrencope i am in montreal now.
    not really the best for cycling and i am indoors a lot as a result. i would recommend you get a trainer as rollers are good for spinning and keeping that leg speed but for serious training you will need the good ol' leg busting home/indoor trainer. check out canadiancyclist as well for people selling these....you can probably find someone in your area and thus do not have to worry about shipping costs.
    by the way i am headed south for the winter... yeehah! i plan on spending 4 months in albuquerque and then cycle back to montreal starting in late april or may. i hope to cover the infamous blue ridge parkway on my way back. i figure if i get through there in may it should not be too busy with tourists yet.
    enjoy your trip! once you are inflicted with the touring bug its all over.....there's no going back. there is no better means of travel in my humble opinion. i have done a few backpack trips and limited canoe trips as well. i love that too. but it is very hard to do anything long (ie. more than a week) without getting resupplied somewhere. bike touring allows you to be self-sufficient and you could go forever.
    i would recommend to take a stove and do your own cooking as much as possible. i think that's a rewarding part of the experience. its amazing what kind of one-pot meals you can create! i am sure you can relate with your canoe trips. :-)
    you will have no problem since you have canoe camping experience. the only difference is you will be using different muscles!

  19. #19
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfbiked
    But it doesn't make the long trip impossible.
    Well I agree.

    Unlike hiking on the Appalachian trail and such, it is easier to make adjustments while on a long distance tour. I think it also depnds on your route. If you know you can change things while on route, I guess that is fine, the one thing is your have to ship back stuff to your house or ditch it. But if you are going east from California and three days into the trip when you are in Nevada on US-50 is not the time to discover problems. Or if the temp drops below 32 to find out why your alcohol stove isn't working (hint, about an hour before you cook when it is that cold, keep the fuel inside your shirt/jacket) . It's just if you do a local tour first, you know the stores, LBS'es etc that you can get the gear you want to replace or tweak.

    Bike touring is more mental than physical in my humble opinion. While it is a great way to visit sites and such, there is also the mental aspect of it. There is a lot of boredom at times. I guess a three day trip will not expose that one way or the other. I think nearly everyone who does a tour the first time struggles with quitting or questioning themselves why.

    I just believe for newbies who have never done a long tour, a short tour learning how to use your gear, how to camp, pack, cook, shift gear, feel for the bike, make adjustments etc. is a good idea. Plus you know and trust the stores where you live at. At least they should learn how all their equipment works. It's not an absolute must but it's probably a good idea.

    Cheer and Happy Miles,
    BLake

  20. #20
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    i agree with gpsblake that it´s more mental than physical. in a tour of, say, a week, you can only learn more about the bike, how to fix things, pitch a tent, cook, etc. you don´t really feel what´s it like touring.

    then when you´re on a trip that lasts for several months it´s the idea that keep you going. when you face mountain after mountain(or other difficulties) it´s the determination that is the driving force rather than the fitness.

  21. #21
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake

    Bike touring is more mental than physical in my humble opinion. While it is a great way to visit sites and such, there is also the mental aspect of it.

    BLake
    I agree completely with this remark. The hardest part of touring isn't related to your muscles but rather your mental determination to complete your goals whatever they are (hourly, daily, completion etc).

    The most important thing on a tour is to have fun. I find that on the rare occassion where the fun isn't happening then it's time to do something different. Perhaps visit a museum, eat lunch in a restaurant, stop and chat for a minute with some locals, pick up a drink at a store, take a picture, even read a few pages of a book or write your journal.

    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake

    I just believe for newbies who have never done a long tour, a short tour learning how to use your gear, how to camp, pack, cook, shift gear, feel for the bike, make adjustments etc. is a good idea. Plus you know and trust the stores where you live at. At least they should learn how all their equipment works. It's not an absolute must but it's probably a good idea.

    Cheer and Happy Miles,
    BLake
    I heartily agree with people going on a pre-tour tour prior to taking off on their big trip. I do this myself before I leave on any of my longer tours. Partly it's to test my readiness, partly to test the equipment and partly because I like touring and it gives me another reason to do a short tour.

    Lots of people have successfully covered long distances without previous touring experience. I suspect those who do a small tour first have an easier time with the long distance tour because they know what to expect to some extent.

    ~Jamie N
    www.bicycletouring101.com

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by anneslam
    here is what i would recommend:
    start training a little on your bike, even 1 hour a day will help, before u venture out. sure you could ride yourself into it but why suffer the first few weeks if you do not have to?
    get an indoor trainer and begin this winter. by march and april where you live you can get outside already a few times a week (i have lived in guelph, brampton and oakville and know those backroads very well...great area for training!).

    number 1 rule: get a bike that fits and have the bike shop fit you on it. you will injure yourself without a proper fitting.

    and now i am gonna offer a little biased, personal opinion. i have raced for 12 years (yes with the canadian national team) and these last few years i have been into touring. with my race bike. i have bought the BOB trailer and hooked 'er up. this way i did not have to buy 2 different bikes. and it makes the touring much faster. it takes the weight off the bike and thus off the wheels. any good set of training, clincher wheels will do with a 23 or 25cc width tire. i use 23's. i would recommend buying a used race bike (check out canadiancyclist.com) as that would fit your budget and it's a bike you can use for more than just touring.
    ok, but what about gearing you ask?
    i am a 5'2 female. sure i am an elite cyclist but the lowest gear i tour with has been and is a 39x25. it means standing the hills when they are steep, which is no problem with the BOB trailer. i do not recommend this gear for a newbie but here is what you can do. buy compact cranks (50/34) and throw them on. you will probably have to replace the BB too. your LBS can help. check out nashbar.com for their own compact cranks at a very reasonable price.
    of course you can try and find a touring bike used too that already has the triple chainrings.
    but if you want to make the best choice skip the panniers and go with the BOB trailer. i cannot understand why i see cyclists struggle with all that weight on their bikes which really jeopardizes the handling of a bicycle.
    if you have anymore questions in how to prepare, etc just email me.
    i will be glad to help.
    Darren,

    Iust a couple of warnings. I think that her post vs much of the advice above, at http://bicycletouring101.com, in the travelogues at http://crazyguyonabike.com and other places tell you why you should do a few training rides before.

    Annie considers normal to stand while climbing and like her 39/25 low gear. Well, I don't like to climb and I wouldn't dare to climb most hills with such a gear! Different age (I think I'm older), different background, different tastes, different training, etc. ... all these are factors that make your ideal gearing different than mine.

    Weight on trailer vs on bike. Again, you will find as many pros and cons for each side. Adam K is one of the few who has travelled extensively with both and who has posted his appreciation for each type of travel. Bear in mind that whether you use a BOB trailer, a 2-wheel trailer or panniers, the load will somewhat affect bike handling. Facts are:

    - A BOB trailer likes a rigid rear end, such as found on many hardtail MTBs, and some modern racing bikes; a bike with very slender stays and a "noodly" rear end (typical of many 1970 frames) doesn't work as well with a BOB than a rigid bike.
    - Bike handling with panniers depends again on how rigid the frame is and the front-end geometry. My Trek 520 has almost similar behaviour with 4 loaded panniers or nothing at all, but it's a different cup of tea with my Vélo Sport Alpin (a 1980 touring bike with a much less rigid frame).


    A couple of other factors worth mentioning:

    - Ideal tire size depends on the roads you ride on (i.e. Montréal's potholes require wider tires), but also on rider weight. On the first few days of our 2003 tour (fully loaded touring with panniers), there were 2 females that had 700x25 and 27" x 1" tires), while I had 700x32 front and 700x37 rear. But these females were small and slender, probably weighing 100-120 lb when wet, whereas I weight 170 lb. I also has a trailercycle hooked to my bicycle and they were riding only for a few days while we were on the road for almost 2 weeks... so I probably had on my rear wheel twice the weight they had.

    - If all things were equal, a frame that fits a small person is more rigid than one that fits a tall one. Annie talks about standing to climb hills. You might do that successfully on a modern 25" Trek 520 (or Bruce Gordon or Cannondale or...), but don't try that on a 1970 or 1980 touring frame! Many of these frames have a "built-in suspension"...
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  23. #23
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    You can build the LHT up fairly nicely for the same amount of money you'd spend on a 520. IMHO it's a better frameset. My build came out to about 1200 bucks, but I did stuff like Campy Chorus levers. Bar end shifters would've been cheaper. Figure anywhere from 800-1200 for a built LHT depending on components and how good you are at shopping / building. I built the bike and the wheels myself and it rides great. Hint on gearing, Sugino XD's are great cranks for touring, 46/36/26 stock, but I think they can be ordered with a 24 low, best thing is the price at 70-100, coupled with a 25-30 UNC-73 bb and you have a pretty good combo. Measure yourself properly with a thin book and use Rivendell's fit guidelines at http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...framesize.html .

    I just did a breakdown of my LHT... Expect to spend about $1000-$1400... For that, you will get better parts than a 520, and the proper gearing. Some bike shop should do a standard build on this and start selling them. I've hinted this to Sheldon. The breakdown is at my wolfenet blog. http://www.wolfenet.org
    Last edited by markw; 12-03-04 at 12:17 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member darrencope's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    I have heard a few times now that it is possible to build up a LHT for the same price as a 520. However, I won't be able to build it myself (lacking skills in that area) so would have to pay a shop to do it for me. I would also likely be ordering everything from my LBS, as opposed to ebaying, internet shopping, etc. I imagine this would increase the price. I guess what I'll have to do is talk to the guys at the LBS and see how open they are to totally custom building for me... Good things to think about though, keep 'em coming!

  25. #25
    Year-round cyclist
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    As you are close to Toronto, take a look at the Urbanite Touring from Urbane Cycling. From the comments I heard, it's a very good frame, albeit with a fairly high bottom bracket (which some people prefer, but I don't).

    The advantage of the Urbanite Touring, as well as of the LHT is that you can set them up as you want. The Trek comes with its default set up, so the price of each bike depends on how much the bike shop charges to build the Urbanite or the LHT, and what surcharge (if any) it charges to swap components on the Trek 520.

    And if the dollar keeps rising, you could consider the Bruce Gordon, which is setup exactly like a touring bike should be.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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