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Thread: Tough choice...

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Tough choice...

    If you had to choose, would you rather tour on a fixed gear or a mountain bike? Assuming both can be fixed up to hold a pannier.

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    Senior Member nubcake's Avatar
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    The mountain bike is the easy choice assuming it fits, it can handle more weight, it has gears (nice when hauling a bunch of weight up hills), and you can coast which will save your knees if your tour is long.

    The only way I would consider fixed gear touring would be if I was credit card touring and did not have to carry much weight at all, if it is a brakeless fixie I would not consider it at all.
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    Agree, there's nothing tough about that - mtb for sure.
    ...

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    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nubcake View Post
    The mountain bike is the easy choice assuming it fits, it can handle more weight, it has gears (nice when hauling a bunch of weight up hills), and you can coast which will save your knees if your tour is long.

    The only way I would consider fixed gear touring would be if I was credit card touring and did not have to carry much weight at all, if it is a brakeless fixie I would not consider it at all.
    +1000.

    There is no choice. Mountain bike wins. If you are going to tour on roads then fit it with narrower tires.

    I don't know why anyone would want to tour on a fixe except maybe if they are going after the less to go wrong category but a well maintained multi gear bicycle presents very little risk of something going wrong.

    Sometimes I think people do it just to impress others. I'm not impressed. Or maybe to prove something to themselves. But prove what?
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    If you had to choose, would you rather tour on a fixed gear or a mountain bike? Assuming both can be fixed up to hold a pannier.
    Nothing wrong with either choice. They can both be quite comfortable.

    I'd probably go fixie if my tour were on paved roads, and the mtn bike if there were going to be lots of gravel sections to the tour.

    Why do you ask?

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    I've toured fixed.

    It's not that difficult. Get the right gear, choose the right terrain, choose the right load, and you can tour fixed without any trouble at all.

    I just wish that people offering up negative advice on touring fixed actually did have some experience in it and so can validate their opinions.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Depends on the terrain and the weight of the load. I wouldn't be touring on my fixed gear through challenging hills. Every hill becomes a strength workout, and that gets tedious after a while even if you're strong enough. Plus if you gear down low enough to get up them, you're spinning like a demented hamster coming down - either that or descending on the brakes all the time. And I wouldn't be touring fixed with 30 - 40lbs of luggage on the bike unless it was absolutely pan-flat; and generally pan-flat tours aren't my style. Ultralight tour through moderately testing countryside - maybe. Challenging one-day ride - certainly. Otherwise, I'd be taking the bike with the gears.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    I believe that your question is fixed mtn bike vs geared mtn bike, since most bikes can be run either way. Also, do you want to run fixed or singlespeed. I've cycled on singlespeeds for day road rides and also mountain biking on trails. It is an aquired taste in my opinion and unfortunitely one that I never could fully embrace. I found having one gear somewhat liberating, but riding became much more of a workout.

    No reason not to tour on a single geared bike, but it aapears you have no experience riding one. If that is the case, I'd get one or convert an old bike anduse it on your normal rides. You could also just leave your current bike in a gear ratio that mimics the ratio on a single geared bike, no shifting allowed, and just ride for a week that way. You'll get a taste for single geared riding.
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

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    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    I have owned a fixed gear in the past and rode the tires off of it. For touring, I would pick the mtb. Just more versatile and you don't have to plan routes around major hilly areas.

    I'm thinking of some of the local s24o routes I go on and only one of them would be really decent with a fixed gear, meaning my knees don't hurt just thinking about it. Just too many rolling hills, steep inclines and most important, the backwoods trails that meander all over the place that would not be suitable for a loaded fixed gear.
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    Fixed gear touring has been done. I guess it depends on how much you carry and where you tour, but I would not even consider touring on a fixed gear. A single speed with a freewheel maybe. It would have to be flattish terrain and a light load before I'd consider even that myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Get the right gear, choose the right terrain, choose the right load, and you can tour fixed without any trouble at all.
    Or just use the MTB.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaleur View Post
    Or just use the MTB.
    Too slow!



    But appropriate if you're riding gravel, which is slow anyway.

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    ugh hate riding on gravel. just a poll question, I will definitely be touring on a road bike.

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Actually, probably a touring bike. I don't have enough money to credit card tour so I need the eyelets.

    Which makes me think of another question, I know people are crazy about getting weight down. So why don't the makers cut eyelets, bits of metal out where they can to make the bikes lighter?

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    Why would they spend a lot of money on cutting out holes that save literally 3 or 4 grams?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Too slow!



    But appropriate if you're riding gravel, which is slow anyway.

    :sigh:

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    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Actually, probably a touring bike. I don't have enough money to credit card tour so I need the eyelets.

    Which makes me think of another question, I know people are crazy about getting weight down. So why don't the makers cut eyelets, bits of metal out where they can to make the bikes lighter?
    Well, a Tubus Airy and two of these panniers weighs 20 ounces, a Carradice SQR Tour weighs close to 35 ounces, and has less capacity. Well worth the weight of a few eyelets.

    Of course, some bikepacking gear works pretty well without eyelets, a Booster Rocket from Porcelain Rocket is only 11 ounces, but you need to supplement it with a few more bags to get enough capacity.

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    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Too slow!



    But appropriate if you're riding gravel, which is slow anyway.
    Is there some rule that says you can't put narrower tires on an MTB?
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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    I actually did put narrower tires on my mountain bike. There is a significant increase in speed. Only problem though is you have to keep the mountain bike wheel and inner tube, or it won't fit, or mod the bike, if I wanted to spring for new wheels I would have just bought a road bike. But yeah. I inflated the tube once to the recommendations on the tire, and it blew up on me. Up to 80 psi when the max was 60. Learned that using a skinny tire with a fat inner tube is a royal pain in the bum.

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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Like I told my son who raced cyclocross on a SS: Riding a SS is like playing a round of golf with only a 9 iron, sometime during the round there is a chance you might have the right club

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    Like I told my son who raced cyclocross on a SS: Riding a SS is like playing a round of golf with only a 9 iron, sometime during the round there is a chance you might have the right club
    That might possibly be a good analogy for a SS, but the OP asked about a fixed gear.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaleur View Post
    :sigh:
    And :sigh: right back at all the fixed gear naysayers who have absolutely no experience with anything remotely fixed gear like ... who are providing information based entirely on imagination.

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    djb
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    rowan, the main thing I find a mystery with fixies is the cornering aspect. I love, really love to go around corners fast, and for that reason mainly, cannot see riding a fixie due to the pedal-down-maybe-hitting-the-ground factor. Just an observation, but knowing how I ride and how my instincts are going downhill and around corners, I see real potential for unpleasant incidents. Machka, you have noted in the past that you do not like going down hills fast, thats fine of course, but to mention naysayers about fixies doesnt address my concern about this aspect of riding them, specifically about downhill and fast cornering.

    but for the original question, mtn bike. They can make great trip bikes.

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    Senior Member nubcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    Like I told my son who raced cyclocross on a SS: Riding a SS is like playing a round of golf with only a 9 iron, sometime during the round there is a chance you might have the right club
    I actually really enjoy riding SS, even on longer rides and many times would consider it more fun and dare I say easier than riding gears (forced to coast on downhills) on many rides.

    My fixed gear riding is fairly limited as when I set my bike up for it I just did not find it as fun as SS or gears. I like being able to coast and being able to push myself in corners and with fixed gear I never found the groove in those areas. I have never tried to tour fixed but with a touring load I can not see being able to get the right gear to make going up bearable as well as still not killing your knees on the downhills. If your tour is fairly flat that would not really apply though.
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    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Personally as some one who has done a bit of touring here and there on a mountain bike, I am happy to go on the mtb including on the road for long stretches into the Fremantle Doctor.

    Not having toured on a fixie and doubt I ever would, I cannot comment on that aspect.

    Enjoy your choice of ride.

    Andrew

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