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Old 12-09-11, 02:40 PM   #1
bossco11
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Touring bike Question

I did an overnight bike trip last summer. It was 65 miles out and back. I was loaded with a tent, sleeping bag and food.
I used my Trek 3900 mountain bike with 1.5" slicks and did pretty good.

My question is, would a Trek 7.2 be good for a touring bike? It's about half the price of a SHT which I am considering.
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Old 12-09-11, 03:09 PM   #2
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Rather sharp reply deleted. I was in a funny mood. Sorry.

Last edited by Fat tabby; 12-10-11 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 12-09-11, 03:10 PM   #3
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Of course not. What would the neighbors think?

You can tour on any bike.
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Old 12-09-11, 06:46 PM   #4
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Instead of buying another $600 bike you could but a Surly Troll fork on your 3900 or similar solid fork and spend the rest on front rack/panniers and handlebar ends/grips.

The Trek 7.2 can work but so can MANY other bikes for $600+ If you're riding mostly on the road consider a drop bar road touring bike from BikesDirect and spend $150 or so for a bike shop to go over it. It's unfortunate that straight bars are the default set-up for entry level bikes. It's really not an optimum position for road riding.

http://bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm
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Old 12-09-11, 10:06 PM   #5
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Be careful here not to be a penny wise, pound foolish. I gather you enjoyed your overnight/camping ride or you wouldn't be in the market for a
'touring' bike. If you can afford it, get the LHT or something similar. You won't regret it, and it will, if touring turns out to be your 'thing,' be a wise investment in personal pleasure. Should touring turn out not to be an avocation, you can always sell a well respected brand and recoup much of your investment.

Be very careful with fit. Fit is First with a bike you're going to be on for many hours.

Specific to your question, the Trek FX 7.2/7.3 is a comfortable ride that can easily be set up for touring. Much of the straight bar issue can be solved by adding bar extensions and/or a Profile Design Airstyke aerobar. Aerobars make for a relaxed, aerodynamic position. Great for hill climbing.
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Old 12-12-11, 04:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. I've thought about the long haul trucker for quite awhile now, but was thinking about saving a few $$ Cyclebum does make sense. If touring ain't what I think it is, the bike can be sold.
What is the main advantage to using drop bars on tour? I didn't really seem to have any problems on my little trip with straight bars.
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Old 12-12-11, 04:43 PM   #7
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The only advantage to drop bars is that when you are "in the drops" you are more aerodynamic. Good for racing. If you are used to riding in the drops then they are good to have. Other than that, they are only good for holding bar end shifters, if you have them.

Lots of people tour with straight bars. Most prefer to have bar ends (horns) set up on them.
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Old 12-12-11, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossco11 View Post
What is the main advantage to using drop bars on tour? I didn't really seem to have any problems on my little trip with straight bars.
As noted, drops provide an aerodynamic position and look "normal/cool" 'cause that's what the racing dudes use. Nothing wrong with them, but there are several options that might work better for long, consecutive days in the saddle. Many experience hand/wrist problems if in one position for too long. Multiple hand positions are important and drops do a good job of that. With flat bars, bar end extensions and aerobars will do the same.

Don't dismiss the idea of aerobars on drops or flats. They provide an aerodynamic position with no hand/wrist pressure at all. Hard for me to understand why they aren't used by more tourers.
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Old 12-12-11, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Be careful here not to be a penny wise, pound foolish. I gather you enjoyed your overnight/camping ride or you wouldn't be in the market for a
'touring' bike. If you can afford it, get the LHT or something similar. You won't regret it, and it will, if touring turns out to be your 'thing,' be a wise investment in personal pleasure. Should touring turn out not to be an avocation, you can always sell a well respected brand and recoup much of your investment.
I vote for the LHT. Have gone full circle starting in the 80's with a touring bike, 90's mountain bike, mid-90's road, 2009 back to touring with my LHT. Just finished a Santa-Fe to Wagon Mound, NM tour this Fall in time for Bean Day (http://www.wagonmoundnm.com/Beanday/index.html). I should have never digressed.
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Old 12-13-11, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Instead of buying another $600 bike you could but a Surly Troll fork on your 3900 or similar solid fork and spend the rest on front rack/panniers.
That, and add Trekking bars.
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Old 12-17-11, 05:06 PM   #11
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Drop bars also give you a lot of optional hand positions to vary which becomes a lot more important when you get onto week long or longer rides (and when you get older too!). All of those extra places to put your hands helps alleviate numbness, tingling and tired wrists. I also put the top of my drop bars at about and inch or two higher than people usually put their straight bars so i have a wide range of high and low options that are easy on my back, neck, arms and hands.
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Old 12-17-11, 10:46 PM   #12
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Being able to go down into the drops when cycling into a day of headwinds can make a big difference. The different hand positions are also a godsend after a few days in the saddle.

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Old 12-18-11, 11:43 AM   #13
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++1 on trekking bars on the mountain bike, the brakes and shifters swap on easily.
and you can get the function of lowering your upper body into headwinds
by reaching the front curves , further away, rather than reaching down.
into drop bars where you do need to change shifters and brake levers..
same result ...

Two types 26" wheel make good touring, most common wheel these days
for finding a tire spare of some sort, in some out of the way places,
I've Heard , you can find some sort of Mountain Bike Tire.

The other Big Wheel Trend is in 700C 35/37 ish tire., less common for spares
to be found if you need a tire outside of a major city.. or even in some ..

Having had a couple700c touring style build ups , then finding spares spotty,
I brought an extra tire on tours.. it didn't even need to fold.

and then found a 26" wheel trekking bike, World tour Worthy: Koga, from NL.

My most recent bike is a Bike Friday, a 406 wheel , 20"wheel being
2nd most common type wheel/tire in world distribution, to find a tire

and Bike Friday designs their bikes aroung getting you there at lowerst cost,
particularly when flying to or from the trip, end, front or back
where a regular bike in a box , gets a healthy surcharge, by the air carrier.

Because they knock down to go in a Suitcase.

They created a versatile design, or several, which you can get a lot of different
component setups.

I got a Pocket Llama, it has a set of disc brakes, a folding steering mast.
IG hub gripshift on Trekking bars ... whose figure 8 bend offers a drop bar variety
of hand holds,[ sides, near and far], rather than up and down, like drops.
and will take all the control levers off mountain bikes, directly,

whereas Mountain to drop bar conversions take a lot more work and different parts.

so consider your future touring ambitions, as to what you invest in for your touring bike purchase

Or conversion.. effort.

a Light frameset may not make the best touring bike, but having only one,
should not be an excuse to not go on a trip riding it,
if it is comfortable enough, to ride all day for a couple weeks ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-20-11 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 12-18-11, 05:01 PM   #14
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Unless you're in a rush to buy a bike today, you could probably source a really excellent used touring bike for around $600 (what i'm assuming you're planning on paying for the 7.2).

Scour ebay and craigslist for Trek 520's, Miyata 1000's, etc.

Assuming you already have a general idea of why size bike you need.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:46 AM   #15
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Bingo.

Punching in to a head wind is where drops save the day. Being able to get the weight off your spine and stretch out is nice too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus Thor View Post
Being able to go down into the drops when cycling into a day of headwinds can make a big difference. The different hand positions are also a godsend after a few days in the saddle.

Magnus Thor
Iceland
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Old 12-20-11, 12:44 PM   #16
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I guess I never really thought about drops and fighting wind. That really does make alot of sense. I think I will probably start pricing a LHT for later on in the year. I might go and rent a bike with drops and ride it for a day or so to see how well I ride with them.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:22 PM   #17
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Yea, for going to 700c Trek 520's are good solid frames to build around..
just staying stateside makes the tyre thing less of an issue.

Though a 26" wheel is offered in LHTs too..

look also at Bruce Gordon's BLT his racks, part of the package make it better.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-20-11 at 01:38 PM.
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