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  1. #1
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    Do you use a mtnbike or a road bike to tour, and why ?

    I have toured for years on a mtn bike and always seem to find people who swear by road bikes.

    I find the upright position more comfortable, the ride smoother, the low gears a blessing and the ability to hit the trails after dinner a nice change, I also would think that the fatter tires would help provide stability. Oh ya (knock on wood) there is also less risk of a flat with a mtn bike.

    Let the debate begin.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cambronne's Avatar
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    Hybrids: Not just for fat people!

    I've always toured on hybrids. Despite the industry's disdain for "cross," or "comfort" bikes, they offer the best compromise... upright mtn. bike geometry combined with larger wheels and longer legged road bike gearing. Some are even coming equipped with suspension forks, and believe me, that can really help on a thousand mile spin. A high-end hybrid can have as nice a component group as a good roadbike, and one can easily add mudguards, pannier racks, whatever.

    A hybrid will be faster than a mtn. bike on pavement, and much more sure footed than a road bike on dirt. Think two-wheeled Jeep Cherokee, and you get the general idea.

    I do run city tires on my hybrids... 700x32 or 700x35 smoothies... at that width, they look a bit like miniature motorcycle tires, with their inverted treads.

  3. #3
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    Which touring bike is best.

    I guess the choice between different machines, depends on the the type of touring, who you would ride with and your personal preference. If you are touring alone, it depends on the kind of riding you enjoy. Some supported tours are aimed at specific cycling disciplines. If it is mainly a road tour, you will find most people using road bikes and a cross or mountain bike may offer a disadvantage towards maintaining the group pace. Again, some tours focus on mountain biking, while others focus on cross biking.

    Personally, I'm a roadie and still enjoy the competitive part of cycling. I therefore enjoy riding a road bike, which offers me the best competitive advantage, with riders of the same kind. Each minute on the bike, therefore becomes part of my training programme and I select my touring accordingly.

    Snowplug.
    http://www.exclusive-cycling.com

  4. #4
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    Road bikes are best

    This may be controversial, but I don't see why you would ever want a Mountain Bike for touring.

    a) Gears - hey there's no restiction on ratios for road bikes

    b) Tyres - With a good properly inflated tyre (eg Continental Super touring) you shouldn't have any puncture problems on the roads, plus what about that rolling resistance on a long tour?

    c) Riding position. More variety on the road bike means less aches and pains, plus 200kms into the wind on a mountain bike??

    Just gleaned from my experience. I use all sorts of bikes by the way.

  5. #5
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    From a Newbie with limited experience

    Mike,
    I was using a mountain bike for commuting 20 miles roundtrip 4X/wk. The frame was too small for me. I bought a good fitting hybrid and was amazed at how much easier it pedalled. Mine seems to be more on the road end of the hybrid compromises. I did get front suspension and a suspension seat post because I have seen trails smoother than some of the streets I have to ride on. But I plan to do some road trips soon.
    I figure people can ride whatever they are comfortable on. If I were going to ride the streets/roads on a mountain bike, I would at least put narrower, smoother tires for road riding and swap to knobbies only for trails. Besides just being more comfortable, I think part of the easier riding was the reduction in resistance from the knobby tires to the street tires. Not to mention the near silence of the tires on the road.
    FWIW,
    Raymond

  6. #6
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    It's a toughie

    Having not ridden a roadie much when I went touring, I toured on my mountain bike, and I had no problems whatsoever, plus like you I like to hit the trails occasionally - I ran Continental Town & Countrys, which at 70psi have comparable rolling resistance to a touring road tyre, plus being bigger they are marginally more comfortable. Plus the Town & Countrys are suitable offroad - they have a recessed tread which works quite well, or you can carry knobbys if you want.

    However since getting back I've done a lot more road miles and I like the extra positions that the drop bars offer. If you were going to tour on a roadie I'd suggest getting a touring frame though - a more relaxed position plus once you get some weight on the bike it's nice to have cantilever or V-Brakes.

    Simple solution - get a mountain bike with drop bars (a la cyclocross). It's a bit odd looking but it works remarkably well.

    And I still swear by Conti Town & Country tyres.

    Vanders, Australia

  7. #7
    Senior Mem. & Trail Sage steve33's Avatar
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    mtn. or road

    have owned both, but since i am a hiker/backpacker, i like to tour in like places. Touring is not speed to me but enjoying your self. So i opt for the mt. bike. conti, town&country defeate the porpouse because of their hugh weight that is felt on climbs, which we have a lot on n.c.. So i opt for a short tread tirs like the bontrager st. 2 works well on and off road,--- ps. no mt. bike tire can even approach the low rolling resistance of a good light 700 c. happy trails----Steve33

  8. #8
    tgbikes
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    sounds like another debate over what makes the best apple pie, bannas or prunes! there are more touring bikes avalable now than in the last 20 years get one.
    A child learns what the village teaches!

  9. #9
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    I usually run a folding mountain bike with road-ish tires and trekking bars on it.

  10. #10
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    13 year old necro-post.

    Is that a record or something?
    Chris

    "I want to see the wild country again before I die, and the Mountains..."

  11. #11
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    mtnbike_mike, I think most people tour on a style of bicycle they're most accustomed to. I love my mountain bike and have short toured on it, but I suppose I'm 51% roadie and prefer my drop bar tourer. There are quite a few who use older mountain bikes for their ruggedness and their top tube lengths are compatible with drop bars.

    I think flats are a matter of luck.

    Brad

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowplug View Post
    I
    Personally, I'm a roadie and still enjoy the competitive part of cycling. I therefore enjoy riding a road bike, which offers me the best competitive advantage, with riders of the same kind. Each minute on the bike, therefore becomes part of my training programme and I select my touring accordingly.

    Snowplug.
    http://www.exclusive-cycling.com
    +1. Absolutely. Sagged touring with togetherness, ready to turn into fierce temptations, day after day.

  13. #13
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbike_mike View Post
    Do you use a mtnbike or a road bike to tour, and why ?

    I have toured for years on a mtn bike and always seem to find people who swear by road bikes.

    I find the upright position more comfortable, the ride smoother, the low gears a blessing and the ability to hit the trails after dinner a nice change, I also would think that the fatter tires would help provide stability. Oh ya (knock on wood) there is also less risk of a flat with a mtn bike.

    Let the debate begin.
    I did the same two-day tour twice on a mountain bike. My reasoning was simple, that was the bike I had. I certainly learned to figure out what was absolutely essential and leave everything else behind. That ride was on a combination of roads and canal towpaths where the suspension fork was a real blessing.

    Later on I did a three-day tour using a cross bike. I'd bought the cross bike since the previous tours and found it had a variety of hand positions, made it easier to chew up the miles due to the higher gearing but at the same time it was still sufficiently easy to climb hills to not want to leave it behind in favour of the MTB.

    Because I've got a pannier rack for the cross bike it also meant I could carry a little more stuff with me, which was useful given it was a much hillier route than the previous tours and so I could carry a bit more food with me. On a few of the descents I did miss the MTB's hydraulic disc brakes.

    All that said my MTB is partly hybridised, I've got a high saddle position and tyres that are much more road-friendly than the kind of knobbly things you'd expect to find on an MTB. Attempting a long ride on knobbly tyres isn't something I'd be too quick to sign up for.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  14. #14
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_randomfactor View Post
    13 year old necro-post.

    Is that a record or something?
    Ack... hate it when that happens, replying to an OP who hasn't been seen in over a decade.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  15. #15
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Do you suppose the original poster is still checking this thread for responses after 13 years? ... Regardless, I am a roadie and hate mountain bikes. However, if I was riding in an area with lots of dirt roads and trails, I could see the appeal of a mountain bike for touring. Even then, I would want a mtn bike with drop bars and slick tires. I hate flat bars, particularly on windy days, and knobby tires just slow you down unless you need the treads for mud.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you* plan ambitious tours past the end of the paved highways , a Mountain bike with 26" wheels is a better choice.

    *[Future Reader, not nessisarily Original Poster .. ]

    I like trekking bars , the forward reach and bent elbows does everything drop bars do when encountering a headwind,
    namely letting your torso bend over more, and still hang on.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    Ack... hate it when that happens, replying to an OP who hasn't been seen in over a decade.
    September 2, 2001 to be precise... which is why I'm closing this thread.

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