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Old 12-21-04, 06:23 AM   #1
Aus_MTB
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Hello All,

Before i get in to my question i should just give a basic intro. I am seventeen years old and have recently purchased an '05 Giant xtc 2 le (Here). Next year i am going to have some more spare time on my hands since i have now finished school. I plan to do my first ever long distance multiple day ride when the weather has slightly cooled down.

Here is where i would like to ride (with a slightly different route, but mainly the same road), from what i have read in the Lonely planet book, "cycling australia" it breaks it down as a 5 day ride which is about the timespan i would like. Now i know that for a trip of this length i wont need too much equipment as i will be able to stop a town each day for food, camping ground etc... but of course i will still need essentials and equipment.

Now of course my first thought was simply to get some panniers, but after looking at the rear of the bike i noticed that there werent any holes where i could attach the rack for the panniers (unlike my old bike).

So what should i do?
Can i attach panniers to the front with my fork?
Any other way to carry the luggage?
Even if can attach panniers to the back will it cause any problems?

Sorry for the long winded post and probably newbie questions but i don't exactly have any experience with touring (but im willing to learn )

Edit: Of course i will be making a few other adjustments to the bike ie semi-slicks, new computer, maybe new bars etc... but how to carry my stuff is all that has me stumped

Last edited by Aus_MTB; 12-21-04 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 12-21-04, 07:48 AM   #2
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you can consider getting a BOB trailer, which is connected to your rear wheel axle and you can carry more stuff and with panniers, althoug it might compromise somewhat the handlin.

there´s a german company called faiv which makes low-riders that fits suspension porks.

if you´re happy with your handlebar so far you don´t need to change them, after the trip, if you´re not happy with it and decide to give other bars a try then it´s still not too late.
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Old 12-21-04, 08:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus_MTB
Hello All,

Before i get in to my question i should just give a basic intro. I am seventeen years old and have recently purchased an '05 Giant xtc 2 le (Here). Next year i am going to have some more spare time on my hands since i have now finished school. I plan to do my first ever long distance multiple day ride when the weather has slightly cooled down.

Here is where i would like to ride (with a slightly different route, but mainly the same road), from what i have read in the Lonely planet book, "cycling australia" it breaks it down as a 5 day ride which is about the timespan i would like. Now i know that for a trip of this length i wont need too much equipment as i will be able to stop a town each day for food, camping ground etc... but of course i will still need essentials and equipment.

Now of course my first thought was simply to get some panniers, but after looking at the rear of the bike i noticed that there werent any holes where i could attach the rack for the panniers (unlike my old bike).

So what should i do?
Can i attach panniers to the front with my fork?
Any other way to carry the luggage?
Even if can attach panniers to the back will it cause any problems?
For a rack: Since your bike doesn't have rack eyelets you will probably need to get either an Old Man Mountain rack http://www.oldmanmountain.com/rear_rack_page.htm like the Cold Springs ($125 US) or a Tubus cargo like the ones here. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tubus_racks.asp Look down on the bottom of the page and there are adapters for the rack to use with bikes lacking eyelets. The Tubus racks are a German product and you may be able to find some in Australia.

I would suggest, highly, that you get a front rack if you are going to tour. The front rack, specifically lowriders, help with handling of the bike. Loading all of the weight onto the rear wheel will make the bike hard to handle (voice of experience). That brings up the problem of attaching a rack to the fork without damaging it. Old Man Mountain makes a rack that works and there are others but, again, they can be expensive. One question and suggestion: Do you need a front shock? If you are going to be travelling on smooth roads (or even moderatly rough ones), the shock isn't necessary. With a load on the fork, the action of it is limited anyway so why not ditch it for a tour? Since the bike has an threadless fork, you can easily swap it out for a rigid fork for your tour and then change it back when you are done. You might even be able to get a cheap steel fork with eyelets from a local bike shop. They might even be willing to teach you how to do it (it's real easy).

A trailer is your other option. Several companies make trailers like the Bob or the Yakima Big Tow (discontinued but you may be able to find a used one). Expect to pay around $250 (US) for one. This may seem like a lot but for a rack (or 2) and bags you'd pay about the same. Trailers have their own handling issues. They make your bike longer, about the length of a tandem. A heavily loaded trailer will push the bike in corners, especially at high speeds, which can be disconcerting.

I've used both and each has it's own advanatages and disadvantages. If I were going to do a road trip, I'd probably use panniers (and a road touring bike) and if I were anticipating riding off-road, I'd use a trailer. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you train with it before you go. I trained for a tour last fall by riding back and forth to work all summer toting 40 lb of rice and beans. (I still have a bunch of the rice. 30lb of rice is a lot of rice!)

Hope this helps.

Stuart Black
"Hey! That guy in the picture is riding on the wrong side of the road! "
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Old 12-21-04, 11:43 AM   #4
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RE: frames w/o rack mounts.
Touring on an MTB

I'm very pleased with my Old Man Mountain rack as pictured in this thread.
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Old 12-21-04, 07:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't mind the trailer as an idea because if i did want to stop at one national parks with trails i just just unhitch it and ride as normal. For that reason i would still like to keep me susp. fork just incase i do want to go offroad, and i don't really want to change my fork if avoidable.

Some of those racks could still be an option though, and i will do a bit of research in to them.

I might in the next couple of days go around and see what sort of options i have with trailers, especially since all bike parts and accessories seem to have jacked up prices over here

But thanks for the replies everyone, its greatly appreciated. If anyone else has any recommendations/suggestions though i would be happy to hear

Edit: After doing a bit of research, it seems that even though the recommended price of the Bob yak plus is only US$289 its AUD$750(Here, and thats without postage, but it is an australian site) or i could an old mountain rack sent out for about US$160, and panniers shouldnt be too hard to buy around here but i will need to check out the prices of them. After checking some overseas sites though i see that i could get one sent over for about US$370 which is about AUD$450 , and that is including postage

Last edited by Aus_MTB; 12-21-04 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 12-21-04, 07:14 PM   #6
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I have toured with a MTB hardtail and a BOB trailer. It works great. I've pulled the BOB down paved roads, up and down steep grades. I've taken the trailer over some very rough virtually unmaintained jeep roads with lots of rocks, ruts, hills, and dry washes. The BOB is a champ. It just follows along behind, and never causes any problems.

With the BOB, the bike will certainly handle a little differently. It usually takes me about a mile or two when I first set out to get used to it. On unpaved rough roads, you have to pick out a good line ahead of time because you can't switch left and right very quickly. But you get used to all that and it's all part of the fun. After a while you forget it's back there.

I have the BOB Yak (the one without the rear suspension) and whole heartedly recommend it.
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Old 12-22-04, 01:24 AM   #7
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Try Dean Woods direct (http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/prod321.htm )free delivery OZ wide, may have to wait a while for delivery though , an aquantaince ordered one last year and it took 2 mths to deliver.
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Old 12-22-04, 04:21 AM   #8
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Try Dean Woods direct (http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/prod321.htm )free delivery OZ wide, may have to wait a while for delivery though , an aquantaince ordered one last year and it took 2 mths to deliver.
But that is $120 more expensive than the other place i found and the other place sounds like it has a much faster delivery service. But thanks for the site anyway, i might use it in the future for other stuff
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Old 12-22-04, 06:19 AM   #9
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Just got to admit it. Wrong bike for the job if I was doing the GoR. But youngsters are adaptable and tough, and have short memories about the pain and suffering. <shrug>
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Old 12-22-04, 07:14 AM   #10
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Rowan, have you do the gor? and if so mind if pm you to get your opinion/suggestions/tips?

and i am still effectively a student so can't really afford to buy a second bike, and since 90% of my riding is xc it seemed like a good bike for my use... and so far it has been. So im happy to sacrifice its long distance riding abilities since it wont be used for that much but i would like to give it a go once. I was thinking of either Gor or the hunter valley. Then i thought of all the uphills
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Old 12-22-04, 11:57 AM   #11
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Carradice do some large saddlebags, 15-30l. They work without a full luggage rack so are suitable for sus frames. There are 2 ways to fix them to your bike, the saddlebag loops of a Brooks B17 saddle or the carradice SQR mini rack. These are stronger than the modern seatpost-mounted racks which cantelever out over the rear wheel.
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Old 12-22-04, 05:33 PM   #12
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Rowan, have you do the gor? and if so mind if pm you to get your opinion/suggestions/tips?
Yes, and fine.

Actually ChrisL is a good reference point. He has done GOR *and* done it on an MTB. Not my choice of vehicle, however.
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Old 12-22-04, 08:17 PM   #13
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[FONT=Tahoma]Hi there, I have done the GOR on a MTB ... it is not that much of a hassle, just fit some slicks and away you go ... As long as you are comfy on your bike for long periods it doesn't really matter.

however, I did find the GOR quite a boring road, plus it was very busy with cars and trucks and lots of people in the 'quaint towns' ... I combined it with the Grampians which I really enjoyed indeed ...

If you get a chance, the West Coast of NZ is much more spectacular as is the the road from Blenheim to Christchurch

My GOR Tour ... which includes route info and tips on the bike I used ... a old model Giant Yukon rigid.[/FONT]
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Old 12-22-04, 08:50 PM   #14
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Ok, from the information I've been able to glean from a quick skim of this thread. Here are my suggestions:

1. Yes, your MTB should be fine for touring the GOR. I did this in 2002 -- I think October-November or February-March is the best time to do it. Avoid the school holidays, particularly around Christmas time as the road between Torquay and Lorne will be clogged (and probably a bit beyond that to the west).

2. Fit some slick or semi-slick tyres. Now here's the choice you need to make. Depending on how much off-road riding you intend to do while down there (there are plenty of good quality dirt roads in the Otways BTW). Generally, the narrower and slicker your tyres are, the more efficient they will be on the road, but less efficient for off-roading. I personally find my Geax Evolution 26x1.9" tyres to be just about the perfect combo for that. I also toured Tasmania and the Great Alpine road on those, too.

Having said that, you could probably get away with narrower tyres down there if you're used to riding on Queensland "roads" (as I gather from your location).

3. Pick up a copy of the "cycling the great Ocean Road" guide. It's available free in Geelong. Good suggestions about the off-road routes in the Otways I was talking about. It's also available on-line from (I think) www.greatoceanroad.org. That link may not be correct, I'm just going off the top of my head, posting from work as I am.

4. Just be aware, camping in caravan parks in Victoria is expensive! Expect to pay $15-19/night for a campsite. Bimbi Park near Otway National Park (the turn off to the Cape Otway lighthose, west of Apollo Bay) is a cheaper option when you're in that area.

5. Most people, when they visit Port Campbell and the surrounding National Park only stop at the Twelve Apostles. Big mistake in my view. Some of the other rock formations down there are more spectacular and less touristy. The Grotto, Mutton Bird Island and Loch-Ard Gorge are definitely worth seeing.

6. Here's another tip which may or may not be relevant. Just remember the "little ocean road" between Inverloch and Cape Paterson on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. Much shorter, but no less spectacular. Could be a worthwhile detour if you have the time.

I think that just about covers it, let me know if you have any more questions. I'll dig up the link to my tours in Victoria when I get home this evening.
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Old 12-23-04, 03:52 AM   #15
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A couple of things to add to my original post:

7. The prevailing wind is from the west in that area, but I found that direction more pleasant to ride in because I was on the ocean side of the road. The wind actually changes direction frequently in that area, but it's usually stronger from the west. Better get out and practice in some of those summer storms!

8. Although I've been happy with the Geax for touring, I'm thinking of trading to something a little more efficient for next time around.

Oh yeah, and the link to my trip:

http://victoria2002.crazyguyonabike.com
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Old 12-23-04, 04:41 AM   #16
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Thanks heaps for that chris, its really good to hear from people who have actually done the ride.
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Old 12-23-04, 07:38 PM   #17
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i did that ride on a road bike with panniers and bob, accompanied by a belgian
on an mtb with panniers and slicks. no problems with either setup.

if staying in motels, you can get by with rear panniers only, or just the bob if
you prefer. check ebay for used bobs, even with shipping and vat.

will you be taking camping gear? i recall plenty of free camping areas.
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