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Old 12-29-04, 11:48 AM   #1
Richard W
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Touring Transformations?

Just wondering - which makes do you think are suited to be turned into a tourer? I have a hybrid and wonder whether it could withstand the kind of distances involved? Which bikes are best for touring, or should you just buy a tourer in the first place?


Richard.
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Old 12-29-04, 11:55 AM   #2
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Richard

I don't know that much about makes for touring. Assuming you won't be doing all supported touring: What you need is a way to connect racks for panners front and rear. Since you will be traveling heavy you will low gears.

Other than that just try it.

HTH
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Old 12-29-04, 11:58 AM   #3
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Thanks - it's a sturdy bike so as long as I'm up for the challenge it'll be.
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Old 12-29-04, 12:54 PM   #4
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Any bike that has fittings for a rack would be strong enough. This would exclude any ultra-light racing bike. Hybrids have plenty of metal in the frame and have been used for touring all over the world. The wheels are often the weak part and may benefit from a tune-up by a good wheelbuilder.
If you are asking specifically about the Trek 750 FX, then I would query the use of Al for the fork. Al frames (in this part of the range) are not ultra-light and are quite strong.
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Old 12-29-04, 05:11 PM   #5
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I think you could tour on what you have. A couple friends and I rode the Columbia River Gorge a couple summers ago. One had an entry level Gary Fisher hybrid and, although it wasn't a "classic" tourer, did very well with it. In fact, he was more positive about his ride than my other buddy was about his Trek 520... not to say the Fisher is a superior bike, just that it's rider had fewer complaints. Anyway, you'll never know till you try. Have fun!
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Old 12-29-04, 10:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by joeprim
Richard

I don't know that much about makes for touring. Assuming you won't be doing all supported touring: What you need is a way to connect racks for panners front and rear. Since you will be traveling heavy you will low gears.

Other than that just try it.

HTH
Joe
Richard,

You can just try it as Joe suggested or you can go out and do some research on bikes and touring first. Go look at http://www.bicycletouring101.com/ or at http://www.skagitbicycleclub.org/links/ or you can do a Google search for bicycle touring. There is a lot to learn about loaded touring that comes from the school of hard knocks and if you can find some one else to learn from the "knocks" are a lot gentler.

As for your bike: I haven't looked at one of these in person, but the Trek website give good detail. It looks like you could put racks front and rear on the bike. Don't make the mistake of loading a lot of gear on the back. The bike rides and handles better with the load split 50/50 or even 60/40 (front/rear). 4 small bags are much better than 4 large ones also. About the only thing you would need to change on this bike to make it tour worthy is to get some regular wheels - at least 36 spoke. The ones that come on it look great, are light and perform well but put a load on them and I don't think you'd make it a mile before you'd start popping spokes. And with those spokes, good luck finding a new set anywhere but in a major metropolitan area - it there.

I'd also add some bar ends to the handlebars so that you have some place to put your hands other than in one spot. Flat bars without bar ends can lead to hand numbness and, believe me, unless you relish fingers that tingle like they are asleep for 6 months, you will want to move your hands around.

The winter is still long, go read and educate yourself, tweek your bike and then go enjoy touring. It really is the best way to see the world.

Stuart Black
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Old 12-30-04, 04:25 AM   #7
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Stuart - the issue about the spokes is one which I inquired about at my lbs. They told me those wheels actually have stronger rims and so need less spokes. I would probably change the tyres anyway.
I'll also enquire about the aluminium fork.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-30-04, 09:36 AM   #8
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Stuart - the issue about the spokes is one which I inquired about at my lbs. They told me those wheels actually have stronger rims and so need less spokes. I would probably change the tyres anyway.
I'll also enquire about the aluminium fork.

Thanks everyone.
Richard,

The problem with those wheels and touring isn't the rims. I'm sure the rims would be just about unbreakable since they beef up the rims to take more of the load so that fewer spokes can be used. The problem is that touring puts a lot of lateral load on the spoke head which can lead to failure. My T800 has a 36 spoke wheel and I would rather have 40. The more spokes, the less hard each spoke head works. I would suggest that you do a ride (or several) close to home carrying a load similar to what you would out on the road. I carried 40 lbs of beans and rice (easy to get in 5 lb increments and edible afterward) for 2 months as training and shakedown for my tour last year. It's better to have something break near home then out in the hinterlands.

Looking at the bike on Trek's website, it looks like the fork has eyelets for lowriders. Don't change the fork, that one looks good enough. Save your money on the fork and buy a good set of racks and lowriders - I like the Tubus Cargo for the rear and the Tubus Tara for the front. They are expensive but they are worth every penny! Plus the Tara is about the sexiest lowrider rack I've ever seen! (My wife thinks I sick.) Take a look and see what you think http://www.tubus.net/eng/produkte/lowrider/Tara.php. You can get both at Wallingford Bikes.

Update us when possible

Stuart Black
"It was a long tour. I had to have something curvy to look at."
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