Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Commuter/Touring Bike for Beginner (Montague Paratrooper vs Surly Ogre/Troll, Etc)

    I currently own a Montague Paratrooper (no modifications to the kit) and am trying to decide whether to keep and upgrade the bike or "upgrade" to a Surly Ogre or Troll (or other bike), mainly for commuting and touring purposes (it would be nice to retain MTB capacity, too). I would really appreciate any help or guidance with this problem. It is a significant investment for me and I would like to do it right the first time.

    I picked up the Montague bike in 2008. I wanted a bike I could use on campus and local trails, for fitness and just recreationally. I had a small and old car then (don't have one at all now) and folded the bike pretty often-- I never do now. Since 2009 I have been in New York City. For a while the bike did not see much use, then in the last six months or so I started putting some heavier mileage on it. It's starting to look pretty beat up.

    I am in pretty good shape (run, swim, bike, crossfit, hike the outdoors) and ride pretty hard, but I'm sure that by the better standards of this forum I am still a beginner. I know little about maintenance and the bike shows it. I've picked up a few books and am considering some workshops and would very much like to pick up the know-how going forward.

    I'm going to start using the bike to get to school, about a 20 mile round trip 3-4 times a week. I would also like to start touring, locally and abroad. My loadout would be a solo setup, low on comforts but definitely geared towards off-road pursuits (definitely including bag+bivy/tent routes).

    I know very little about bikes, so I'm wondering what I should consider going forward. I am also wondering whether the folding capacity of the Montague remains a strength, or if for my purposes another bike would be more flexible. I try to keep what I own to a minimum, so I have no interest in owning more than one bike.

    Again, any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Palo Alto
    My Bikes
    2013 Felt 960, 2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0
    Posts
    2,334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Keep the paratrooper and upgrade the parts when they wear out ,it's a great bike.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,336.2 miles
    2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0. 813.5 miles

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are going to depend on the bike for major transportation use and don't have any other options, a second bike is not excessive. How do you plan to carry your supplies and equipment? Does the Montague have the capability to mount racks?

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,237
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's not clear why you want to replace the Montague other than it looks beat up. I'd be inclined to upgrade the fork with one that can lock out. Main reason I would have for replacing it is if you like the ride of the other bikes more.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Aaron-- I know the Montague can mount racks, but I'm not sure about the details. But I would really like to keep it down to one bike, I just don't like owning too many things.

    My concern with the Paratrooper isn't so much that it is worn out, but that it doesn't really seem to be recommended as a touring bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dwrz View Post
    Aaron-- I know the Montague can mount racks, but I'm not sure about the details. But I would really like to keep it down to one bike, I just don't like owning too many things.

    My concern with the Paratrooper isn't so much that it is worn out, but that it doesn't really seem to be recommended as a touring bike.
    You can tour on anything, to me touring is more a state of mind rather than the equipment involved. I have never ridden a Montague, but I have done short tours on my Raleigh Twenty folder and had a blast, I also tour on my Raleigh Superbe 3 speed, as well as a converted MTB and a more conventional touring bike.

    My only reason for suggesting a second bike is when you depend on it for commuting if something breaks that cannot be fixed quickly having a backup is a plus. It doesn't have to be a fancy bike just serviceable. FWIW when I lived car free my two bikes were a Raleigh Sports 3 speed and a Motobecane 10 speed, both are/were considered low end bikes, but they served my purposes at the time. The Raleigh was my daily rider the Motobecane was my touring/long road ride bike.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, Aaron! Well, in case the bike fails, I have public transport to fall back on. In fact in my situation public transport is (if there are no delays in connections) the faster option... I'm just tired of having to spend two hours underground every day.

    With regards to touring, does that mean that the setup and the weight of the Paratrooper wouldn't be a problem once I start throwing it through longer distances?

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe? It will be up to you to decide whether it is suitable for your touring needs or not.

    I use different bikes for different types of tours. Longer over the road tours I usually default to either my Giant Excursion or my Giant Iguana. For short tours, bed and breakfast, hub and spoke type tours I may use one of my Raleigh 3/4 speeds. Last longer road tour I was on I crossed paths with a guy touring on a single speed Huffy cruiser with baskets and his cat. They had been on the road for 8 weeks at the time and were planning on another month. He had been somewhere to see his sister and was on the way back home. He was doing 25-30 miles a day and just as happy as could be. I met another couple with well equipped Surly LHT's that had been on the road for less than a week and were on the verge of divorce.

    Go ahead and add a rack to the Montague and take it for some short tours and see how you feel about it. You may find it meets your needs or you may hate it and want to change to something else. As a general rule a suspension MTB is on the heavy side and not as well suited for road touring or commuting. The only thing I want suspension on is a bike that will be used on rough trails, for roads I would rather not have to deal with it. YMMV.

    All of the bikes below have been used for touring, my average days are usually in the 40-60 mile range. Average long tour 10 days, average short tour 3 days.

    Aaron



    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks again, Aaron. I really appreciate the insight.


    I can understand what you mean about minsdet. I'm an amateur photographer and some of the "equipment" discussions I have come across are really ridiculous. I have done a lot of work with film point-and-shoots and was happy.


    I guess my concern was that I would be investing money into fixing up the Paratrooper only to find that it never would have been adequate. But I think it makes sense to work my way up and get some experience myself, first.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you choose carefully on what you do with the Montague you shouldn't be "over-invested" in it. FWIW that Raleigh Twenty in my pictures cost me ~$90, I promptly doubled the value of it by adding a Brooks saddle . Wheels were a must have as the old rims were rusted through. I probably have close to $500 in a bike that would sell for $300 or so. But I am happy with it and will be riding it for years to come. I have a tendency to buy things I like, modify them to suit myself then keep them.

    I mentioned having an old 3 speed that was daily rider years ago, I still have that bike, a couple of years ago I dug it out of the shed, added baskets and lights and use it for my beer bike. I have had that bike since 1982 and it was 10 years old when I bought it. I know people that have thrown out better bikes than this one.

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For some alternative touring bikes check out these people.

    The Path Less Pedaled they started out on Surly LHT, then switched to Brompton folders.

    Then you have HEINZ STÜCKE who has been touring for 48 years and well over 500,000km much of it on a heavy 3 speed.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Aaron, thanks again for all the help.

    Back when I started trekking again after several years off, I picked up The Complete Walker's Guide. It covered all the types of gear and uses. Is there an equivalent for touring?

  13. #13
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Carson City, NV
    My Bikes
    Schwinn 700c, Schwinn Varsity
    Posts
    372
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd just add to try to find a bike shop that specializes in touring/cross bikes. I've had a hard time finding one in my area, but after two months of visiting shops I finally found it! For me, the choices look to be either the Jamis Aurora, Surly Crosscheck, Masi Strada or the one that seems to be a standout--the Redline Metro Classic. Just a few other choices to consider.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    39,990
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The bike you have + a cargo trailer ... will work well carrying stuff at home and on tours..

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Toyama, Japan
    My Bikes
    Montague Paratrooper, Cannondale F5
    Posts
    197
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was running a paratrooper for touring, and just used a rear rack and a couple of cheap backpacks with rain covers. Recently trashed it though, but I'm getting a newer one because the frame I had was damaged pretty badly after a friend of mine accidentally hit it with a forklift.

    The only thing I would suggest to anyone who plans on using a paratrooper for touring is to get a fork that has lockouts on it, and easily removable fenders if you plan on taking advantage of the folding aspect of the bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,208
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dwrz View Post
    Aaron, thanks again for all the help.

    Back when I started trekking again after several years off, I picked up The Complete Walker's Guide. It covered all the types of gear and uses. Is there an equivalent for touring?
    I have several editions of that book and still love reading it along with The Man Who Walked Through Time, I really don't know of any specific book that deals with cycle touring as well as Colin did with trekking. However a lot of his information on gear will work for cycle touring too.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, everyone, for the input. I've figured that it's a good idea to get the Paratrooper in better shape anyway, since I have family abroad and want a bike I can keep there, eventually.

    Today the largest chainring bent and is now unusable. I've tried bending it back in place, but no success. I'll probably take it to the bike shop and see what they say.

    If I do want to go about replacing the components on the bike, how do I go about doing that? I've never built up a bike before and I'm unsure as to how to mix and match components.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •