I have wanted to do a bike tour for something like 10 years now. as I approach my 30's I feel like its now or much later. The first thing I want to do is get my bike figured out. I'm googled out. I'm forum-ed out. heres some questions
to buy or build
I have some bikes in my possession any of which could be built up to tour based on the "you can tour on any bike" opinion that I keep coming across. I've read stories of people on "walmart bikes" touring, I met a guy riding around the world on a mountain bike with a trailer, so I know there is some merit to the "any" bike stance.
heres what I got
specialized hard rock sport
felt gridloc frame (internal rear hub is what I could do on this bike)
an old euroba steel lugged 27" wheel road bike
and a single speed "track" bike that was purchased from walmart.com (steel frame btw)
the hard rock sport is probably my most comfortable ride. it fits me perfectly. I never get tired or sore riding this bike. recently the rear wheel was stolen, so I got an excuse to upgrade the wheel set. from 32 spoke to 36, from v brake to disc (maybe)
the gridloc is just a frame and a seat post………
the euroba is a steel lugged frame so I know its solid. it has a down tube shifters and I like the idea of using friction shifters for touring. with it having 27" wheels I could go to 700c and have plenty of room for fenders.
the "track" bike is my daily commuter and has given me no problems its the steel frame that makes me think it could do a tour.
so I could build up any of these or just buy a new bike. I don't really need any more bikes. I have more (tandems, and a cargo bike) but none that could tour.
the tour I'm planning is a national parks tour (america) so I will be on a variety of surfaces. paved road, fire roads, dirt roads, and who knows what else. this will be self supported so I need to carry all that I need with me as much as possible. also I'm a big guy 250lbs 6'1". I know I will need some awesome wheels to hold me + stuff. budget isn't a huge deal, not that I'm rich but I'm ok spending money on quality things. I know that a build up can come close to a new bike in cost but I have never built up a bike before. I can service all of the bikes I own so I'm not worried about my mechanic skill.
I'm tired of steel vs. aluminum. v-brake vs linear pull vs disc. 26" vs 700c. there seems to be pros and cons to all this and I have options in my own stable.
just looking for thoughts…….opinions……….discussion