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  1. #1
    Interested Backpacker
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    Help with starter set up - Two questions

    Background: 52 years old and starting to pick up a new past time in the touring arena. Do a lot of backpacking on the AT, but ankles are giving out, but still want to enjoy the adventure of being outdoors.

    Current Needs: I want to do some small trips near the Tidewater area of VA to test out if I can really get into this overnight bike / camping thing. I have a couple of garage sale bikes that I picked up a couple of years ago. I do, however, know the value of having the proper equipment for the task and have been looking at a Surly LHT for a permanent ride. Prior to that, I want to check out how my endurance and nerves will serve me on the open road. I am thinking of using one of these garage sale bikes and a trailer for my initial trips. I like the Maya Trailer and that will be one of my first purchases after Christmas is over with.

    The questions I have are on this bicycle. It is a 12 speed bike that was sold by Montgomery Ward some years back. It is a Open Road 1200 GT. I did some research to find out if this would be an okay ride and came up with the fact that Huffy built most of these bikes with Murray building a few. The only serial number I could find was under the crank set (A881U14929). Some reviews of Huffy have revealed that these are the only chain store bike that can be dangerous. Anyone ever had any experience with these bikes coming apart and causing issues with health?

    Before I spend $1500 on a Surly, I really want to gauge my long term interest in this new passion. I love to backpack the Appalachian Trail, but the ankles are giving me a fit. I am thinking the touring lifestyle might afford me the sense of adventure without the impact to my body parts. So if I can make what I have do...for the local trips, I would like to pursue this strategy. But not if the bike will come apart once loaded. And when I mean loaded, most of the weight will be on the trailer, not the bike. If I graduate to the Surly later on, I will then have some experience with a trailer to determine if that is indeed better than panniers.

    Now the other question. This bike is a 12 speed. I have another Jamis mountain bike that is a 21 speed and has a 22/32/42 front crank set (bought at the same garage sale). From my research, I am gathering that a 22 tooth granny gear is a good thing. Can these crank sets / gears be swapped out on the two bikes? The MW bike has a Shimano front deraileur of unknown type and a Shimano Tourney on the back. The Jamis bike has a Acera rear deraileur. Both bikes have tire sizes of 26 x 1.95"

    If anyone can help, I am open to suggestions. - Thanks

    1200_GT.jpg

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Put some smooth tires on the Jamis and load your stuff for an overnight test trip.

    I just changed my touring bike crank set to a 42/32/22.



    Freddy here did 2600 miles on his $60 bike. NM to FL.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Background: 52 years old and starting to pick up a new past time in the touring arena. Do a lot of backpacking on the AT, but ankles are giving out, but still want to enjoy the adventure of being outdoors.

    Current Needs: I want to do some small trips near the Tidewater area of VA to test out if I can really get into this overnight bike / camping thing. I have a couple of garage sale bikes that I picked up a couple of years ago. I do, however, know the value of having the proper equipment for the task and have been looking at a Surly LHT for a permanent ride. Prior to that, I want to check out how my endurance and nerves will serve me on the open road. I am thinking of using one of these garage sale bikes and a trailer for my initial trips. I like the Maya Trailer and that will be one of my first purchases after Christmas is over with.

    The questions I have are on this bicycle. It is a 12 speed bike that was sold by Montgomery Ward some years back. It is a Open Road 1200 GT. I did some research to find out if this would be an okay ride and came up with the fact that Huffy built most of these bikes with Murray building a few. The only serial number I could find was under the crank set (A881U14929). Some reviews of Huffy have revealed that these are the only chain store bike that can be dangerous. Anyone ever had any experience with these bikes coming apart and causing issues with health?

    Before I spend $1500 on a Surly, I really want to gauge my long term interest in this new passion. I love to backpack the Appalachian Trail, but the ankles are giving me a fit. I am thinking the touring lifestyle might afford me the sense of adventure without the impact to my body parts. So if I can make what I have do...for the local trips, I would like to pursue this strategy. But not if the bike will come apart once loaded. And when I mean loaded, most of the weight will be on the trailer, not the bike. If I graduate to the Surly later on, I will then have some experience with a trailer to determine if that is indeed better than panniers.

    Now the other question. This bike is a 12 speed. I have another Jamis mountain bike that is a 21 speed and has a 22/32/42 front crank set (bought at the same garage sale). From my research, I am gathering that a 22 tooth granny gear is a good thing. Can these crank sets / gears be swapped out on the two bikes? The MW bike has a Shimano front deraileur of unknown type and a Shimano Tourney on the back. The Jamis bike has a Acera rear deraileur. Both bikes have tire sizes of 26 x 1.95"

    If anyone can help, I am open to suggestions. - Thanks

    1200_GT.jpg

    While I like the Maya Cycle trailer as I own one, may I suggest that rather than getting a trailer to start your trip, you can outfit your bike with a pair of Old Man Mountain racks (front and back) for something a little less than a Maya trailer? Towing a trailer requires good riding stability which your ankles aren't going to hold up really well with. Perhaps on more level ground, but as soon as you hit a hill, you will want to spin lots because of your weak ankles so the trailer isn't a good idea. While the Maya itself is one of the lightest, you can feel the load pulling you down the hill. The OMM racks are much better in this regard and you can literally attach them to any bicycle. Then just get panniers from REI on sale and then you're set to go.

    You can literally tour with any bike. The only thing you'll hear mostly in the states is gear talk on the campsite if you befriend a fellow tourist and that ultimately your gear will be looked down upon -- like pretty much in life. Rich with lots of stuff people like to show off and sometimes look down on those who don't have what they do. Touring is not about how much stuff you've got and the best bike. It's about having the right bike for the job.
    In speaking with the best bike. Locate a bike coop shop if you have one in town and then learn how to service your bike. Bike mechanics in the coop are helpful, never look down on your gear and will help you get the lowest gear you can put on the bike. Low gear is a must if you tour with a trailer or even with a load. 22T/32T or 22T/34T are basically a must for your weak ankles, though you can settle for something like a 24T or 26T at the front. So yes the 22/32/42 is good. Can you put the crankset from a mountain bike to the Open Road 1200GT? I don't see why not, but you will need a new bottom bracket plus a triple derailleur to match the seat tube of the Open Road and a cheaper friction shifter (Falcon shifter comes to mind as I use them on my Dahon folder).

    I will be changing my CX bike from a 50T/34T front crank to a 36T/26T and I have a 11-36 rear. I got the parts cheap from my local bike coop. Will be back to install my new used crankset after the new year and am saving lots and lots of money thanks to the coop as they have so much spare parts from people who upgrade their nice bikes!

    You are making a prudent wise choice in pursuing this avenue as most people who went with expensive bikes usually end up selling theirs after just 1 tour. Some equipment I had accumulated in the past were from many of these people who did a tour, found they didn't like it or is too tough and then sell their stuff on Craigslist. Which reminds that you should check your local used sports equipment store for used panniers and stuff. Why pay new when you can get good stuff almost new for less?!?

    When you do decide to expand your touring interest further with a new bike, then you can move your Old Man Mountain racks from your old bike to a new bike.
    Last edited by pacificcyclist; 12-24-12 at 07:22 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Just ride the Jamis, and see if you like it. Bike touring and backpacking are not really that similar, apart from the hauling-your-camping-gear part.
    ...

  5. #5
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    The Jamis looks much like the bike that Freddy has in the picture above. The frame has the same steep angle as the pictured bike and room for only one water bottle. It is an aluminum framed bike with front shock suspension. From my understanding, you can loose some riding torque with a suspension bike. And a steel frame is better than aluminum?

    Seeing that most of my beginning trips will be on the coastal flats of VA and NC, maybe this is not a big issue. I believe I will still do the Maya trailer no matter what. If I have to modify the Jamis with a tall seat post and extra long handle bar in order to compensate for the smaller frame....., I think I will come out better using the 12 speed or changing out the gears. My main concern is safety. Any one hear of the issues with the Huffy frame coming apart?

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I would forget about the Huffy.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  7. #7
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    Looks like N-2 / neither to me. I wouldn't ride that Jamis POS empty.
    For practice on flat land the Huffy should do fine. At least it looks like a proper bike.
    For hills get a real bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Why would you even consider riding the Huffy thing? Go with the Jamis/trailer or pannier combo. If the Jamis is a decent fit.

    You need to find out is cycling the way for you to continue your avocation for unsupported travel adventures. Get on the bike and start pedaling. When you can go 40 miles/day with no major aches/pains, you'll have answered the question. May take a few weeks to get your cycling muscles tuned up.

    For maximum comfort with panoramic vision while rolling down the road, consider a recumbent.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  9. #9
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I'd suggest two possibilities. 1) Take one of the bikes you own and the trailer. See if you like touring. If you do, buy the Surly LHT. It's a great bike. 2) Buy the Surly now. You'll love touring.

    1) I'd go with the Jamis because of the gearing and the good derailleurs. I don't think aluminum versus steel is an issue. I'm guessing the Jamis is a little sturdier and lighter than the Huffy. A suspension fork isn't ideal for road touring, but it also isn't that big of a deal. Does it have a lockout feature? (That would be nice.) I think the strength of the wheels, especially the rear, is more of an issue. I'm a big guy and have broken a lot of spokes when I had low-quality wheels. However, if you're pulling a trailer there isn't that much extra weight on your rear wheel, so you'll probably be okay. If the Jamis has knobbies I'd buy some road tires. The smoother ride would be worth it to me.

    If you decide to go with the Huffy, hopefully you'll be fine, and you might become mildly famous. "This guy took a 1,000-mile tour on a Huffy!"

    2) It's nice to have good-quality stuff when you tour. It's not just a status thing; there are reasons. If one has the means and knows that he/she will be a tourer for many years, getting good-qualty stuff up front makes sense. It will last many years - probably a lifetime.

    The Surly LHT is a good tourer and has become, perhaps, the most popular tourer out there. I have one, and I'd say more than half of the tourers I meet on the road are on them too. In my case, I bought a frame and built it up with components I liked, so mine is definitely not standard. However, it was also much more expensive - probably 50% more than just buying the standard (the standard didn't exist when I bought my frame.)

    I've taken two tours with a Bob trailer and many tours with panniers, and I much prefer panniers. I won't go into the reasons here; a search will give you lots of opinions. If you buy the trailer and decide you prefer panniers, you'll be able to sell the trailer for most of your investment. That's another thing about touring gear - the resale value is pretty good.

    There are lots of good, sturdy racks, and a choice of panniers as well. I have a Jandd rack in front, a Tubus in back, and Ortlieb Classic Rollers. I'm very happy with them all.

    Whatever you decide, I recommend taking notes while on tour - what works, what doesn't, what you brought that is great, what you could have done without, and what you wish you'd brought. Your thoughts and opinions are a lot more intense on tour than when you get back home and try to remember how you felt.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by BigBlueToe; 12-26-12 at 08:28 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Big Blue, 10 Wheels, Pacificcyclist, and all the others who have chimed in. I will take all things mentioned into consideration and report back later on the results. Got a few goodies from Santa to place on which ever bike I decide to go with for the interim (Bontrager trunk bag, bell for handle bars, rear view mirror, etc....).

    Guess I will find a shop that I feel comfortable with and make some mods to the temporary ride. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

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    It's hard to say without seeing the bikes, but I'd bet the Huffy would have much inferior, unsealed bearings in the moving parts. Try removing the wheels and see how smoothly they spin without having any play in the axles, and try the crank spindles, headsets, pedals, etc.

    Despite the oft-repeated story of the old guy and his $60 bike, I can point to other journals of tourists with department store bikes that had frequent, critical equipment failures due to the poor quality of various parts. Maybe the guy with the $60 bike had no trouble and rode the whole way. Maybe he rode 5 miles and hitchhiked the rest of the way each day (I've met BS artists like that on tour). I'm not accusing him of that, but a cheap bike will tend to give you more grief.

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    Some kind of waterborn adventure is a good alternative to hiking, because you can find all kinds of bush areas to get into really private settings. It is amazing the little streams that are everywhere, and meander through private property in complete seclusion for miles. Using these depends on your local property rules. Problem with a lot of cycling is that you cover a lot of road, and most of it is pretty built up.

    When you say 22 tooth, I think you mean 22 inch, and your 21 speed probably already has a gear in that range, considering your cranks, and wheel size.

    I prefer racks to trailers. And most people do. If you know about AT backpacking, you know you can get by with a pack of gear that weighs as much as a lot of empty trailers.

    You can get a pretty good real frame for touring from Nashbar for about 100. So whichever of these two frames is the least worst, rather than trying to build one out, get a Nashbar frame. I build my own frames but for the kids etc... I can't afford to pass on a Nashbar frames when the specs work out and they have a sale.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 12-25-12 at 10:22 PM.

  13. #13
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    Fullcount, Of the two bikes you have, the Jamis would be my preference as long as it fits. Have a bike shop perform an overhaul if you presently lack the skills to insure reliability.

    I'm not a real fan of trailers, but they really do have their place and the Maya seems an appropriate, less expensive option than a new expedition level touring bike and you can pack your gear in a fashion you're accustomed to.

    I used my hardtail mountain bike at first and it performed well. I built up an older tourer because I prefer drop bars on the road and use the mountain bike for what it does best. The mountain bike will be used again for an offroad tour my sister and I are planning, however.

    Brad

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    If you have spent plenty of time backpacking the AT, I thru-hiked in 1997, then you know how to pack a pack to make it feel comfortable. The same works with using a backpack on the bike. I do it all the time. Instead of focusing on using racks or trailers stick with the backpack. Give it a fair try you might be surprised how comfortable it can be. Either way, with or without the backpack you're going to be sweating and have a sweaty back, it can be with the backpack where you could come up along the AT and decide you want to take a nice stroll along the AT for a while. Oh, problem, someone might steal your equipment out of you panniers/trailer. They can't do that if the equipment is with you on your back. People want to complain about the idea of using a backpack on a bike but quite frankly it's the smartest way of going. In backpacking you learn one thing that is quite valuable in anything you do in life. If you're going to carry something with you make sure it serves more than one purpose. Panniers pretty much have only one purpose...so do the racks. Hence why I use a backpack. I will fess on my 2600 mile trip this summer it took until the last 900-1000 miles before it really got settled in. Some of that was simply because I wasn't in shape for loaded touring. I was in shape doing 1500+ miles a month and actually at the time I was doing 2000 miles a month, but I wasn't doing it with any gear. Yeah after 3 days or so on the first two legs of the trip I had sore leg musces and a bit of a sore butt. I was expecting that to occur on the final leg home. It never did. I was very surprised to have be riding the last 900-1000 miles home and not have any kind aches or anything. I had finally gotten use to the gear weight and it wasn't bothering me anymore...not even on the butt. Kinda reminded me of thru-hiking, you can only get in shape for thru-hiking by hiking.

  15. #15
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    You know I was wondering if that was possible with my backpack. You are one of the first I have come across that has chosen that method. And you are spot on, everything in my pack serves several purposes. Fully loaded with food and water, I'm at 30 lbs. when I see some of these fully loaded touring bikes at 40 to 70 lbs., I am thinking this is a luxury tour.

    That was my original intent to thru hike the AT in 2016. You can check out my journal on TrailJournals.com. Who knows, I may still make it yet, but time does not permit an extended two week pre- trip shake down to see how the knees and ankles will respond. There truly is no way to get into shape other than hiking. Most folks do not realize how roots, rocks and down hill stretches can take a toll after a solid eight hour day. Maybe the smooth pavement of the TransAm Trail will be kinder to an out of shape 52 year old gypsie at heart.

    I have an Osprey 60L bag, a BMB Hamoock, a set of RibzWear gear and a Marmot bag. I also have a Hubba Hubba that my be better for stealth camping. Let me ask you a question, having the pack on your back, does that cause any top heavy conditions? Seems like an old fashion banana seat and Sissy bar arrangement t might come in handy. Shucks I see some Harley's set up this way. If your going to build a bike, that may be an option. You may have started something Bikenh. Thanks for the input.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    When you say 22 tooth, I think you mean 22 inch, and your 21 speed probably already has a gear in that range, considering your cranks, and wheel size.
    On the front crankset of the jamis bike, I actually counted the teeth on the three rings. 22 / 32 / 42

  17. #17
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
    It's hard to say without seeing the bikes, but I'd bet the Huffy would have much inferior, unsealed bearings in the moving parts. Try removing the wheels and see how smoothly they spin without having any play in the axles, and try the crank spindles, headsets, pedals, etc.

    Despite the oft-repeated story of the old guy and his $60 bike, I can point to other journals of tourists with department store bikes that had frequent, critical equipment failures due to the poor quality of various parts. Maybe the guy with the $60 bike had no trouble and rode the whole way. Maybe he rode 5 miles and hitchhiked the rest of the way each day (I've met BS artists like that on tour). I'm not accusing him of that, but a cheap bike will tend to give you more grief.
    You can also have problems with a $2,000 bike on tour...I did.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  18. #18
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    On the front crankset of the jamis bike, I actually counted the teeth on the three rings. 22 / 32 / 42
    That is a good range for being very easy on the knees.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  19. #19
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    Fullcount, I've used a backpack for a solid eight hours on a bike and I'm not going to again. The body's motion is different on the bike and the pack can make it difficult to turn around and see, for me anyway.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    You know I was wondering if that was possible with my backpack. You are one of the first I have come across that has chosen that method. And you are spot on, everything in my pack serves several purposes. Fully loaded with food and water, I'm at 30 lbs. when I see some of these fully loaded touring bikes at 40 to 70 lbs., I am thinking this is a luxury tour.

    That was my original intent to thru hike the AT in 2016. You can check out my journal on TrailJournals.com. Who knows, I may still make it yet, but time does not permit an extended two week pre- trip shake down to see how the knees and ankles will respond. There truly is no way to get into shape other than hiking. Most folks do not realize how roots, rocks and down hill stretches can take a toll after a solid eight hour day. Maybe the smooth pavement of the TransAm Trail will be kinder to an out of shape 52 year old gypsie at heart.

    I have an Osprey 60L bag, a BMB Hamoock, a set of RibzWear gear and a Marmot bag. I also have a Hubba Hubba that my be better for stealth camping. Let me ask you a question, having the pack on your back, does that cause any top heavy conditions? Seems like an old fashion banana seat and Sissy bar arrangement t might come in handy. Shucks I see some Harley's set up this way. If your going to build a bike, that may be an option. You may have started something Bikenh. Thanks for the input.
    If you just want to carry your backpack which has everything you need, then consider a Burley Travoy. It is a 2 wheel trailer that attaches to your seatpost. I have this also along side the Maya Cycle and use this mainly as a backpack transporter. It fits my 66L Lowepro Alpine backpack with tent, sleeping etc.. The trailer is shaped to fit a backpack nicely. Not need to carry it. Besides, it folds up small like a briefcase and it is a carry-on item in airlines and trains. Which is why I have it.
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  21. #21
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    Just spent about two hours reviewing the Travoy. It seems quite capable of handling my existing Osprey backpack. I saw a couple of reviews where folks have taken this touring. One cyclist has gone 10,000 miles with this trailer. What has been the experiences with the small wheels holding up? Any reports in downhill handling would be nice also. Thanks everyone for the help. Looks like it will be the Jamis as the temporary ride after getting it sized properly and a trailer of some sort.

  22. #22
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    You can get an old child trailer, and a bunch of stuff sacks,
    or that backpack you were asking about
    and you wont even have to be that fastidious about packing.
    just toss them in and go..

    I have a Burly, the CoOp used 2 20" front wheels..

    You could substitute some Skyway Tufwheels and that would be even more bomb Proof.

    I think Travoy uses a 12 1/2" wheel with cartridge bearings,
    Bike Fridays suitcase trailer Kit does too.

    generally I would not want to do a free fall descent towing a trailer ..

    I've thought about building a pair of wheels with drum Brake Hubs on my Trailer ,
    so It can be a drag brake, itself.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-27-12 at 11:00 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    A few ideas for you:

    A) The Nashbar frame route mentioned above, there are build threads here on the forums detailing how some folks have done this. I haven't done this, but Nashbar has sales all the time and their frames are already cheap to begin with, so they can be had very inexpensively (it's $100 right now). You could pick up a touring frame from them in your size and transfer a good portion of the components from the Jamis* for now and upgrade later when you decide you like touring. If the Jamis is a little small for you, it might sour your experience.

    * Perhaps everything except a more comfortable handlebar and likely the seatpost, the latter is probably a different size. The drivetrain and brakes are most likely compatible as are the wheels and controls.

    B) Find an older (late 80's, very early 90's) MTB on Craigslist. These can often be had for about $100 and their geometry is very similar to modern touring bikes. I tour on an '88 GT Timberline and if you search the forums you will find others who have successfully gone this route as well. America is full of garages with mountain bikes that people have ridden only a handful of times and so have essentially zero wear on their components. Eventually they realize they are never going to ride them or decide they want a "more modern" mountain bike to hang in their garage and sell of their old MTB's on Craigslist.

    C) There are other trailer options out there as well, in addition to the ones listed above, which are good options, I'll add one of the ones I covet - the Extrawheel trailer. This is in the same price range as that two wheel trailer listed above and has some advantages. Since you are already set up for light weight back packing, you don't need to go with the Ortlieb panniers displayed with it, there are a number of options for affixing a regular backpack.

    http://www.biketrailershop.com/extra...Fad_QgodnisA6A


    I'm not sure why you are so interested in the trailer though. Particularly since you say your ankles are troubling you and a poster above suggests that a trailer will exacerbate that compared to putting the weight on the bike. Trailers can be a little tricky to handle and have some not so obvious downsides as well. Say you want to take public transit? With a bike with racks you can put it on buses equipped with bike racks and some trains are set up for bikes. You can't really bring a trailer onto a bus, and it adds a whole 'nother level of difficulty shipping the trailer on a train. Maybe you are planning on doing every mile on your bike, and that's great, but sometimes it's nice to have the option, especially if you get injured, or are find yourself worn out or run out of time. Personally I like to use the public transit to slingshot me out of the urban area, so I can begin the cycling portion of my tour outside the city, instead of having to first traverse miles of suburbs. Just some things to consider.


    If I were you I'd be tempted to mount a rear rack on the bike that can handle the weight of your pack and then attach a large, low sided basket to the rack to toss your pack into. It'll over hang the rack some to the rear, but if you are down to a 30 pound pack that shouldn't be a problem, especially since most of the weight will be over the rack/rear wheel anyway. Call this idea (D), add A or B and voila! You're ready to roll, since you already have the camping equipment. There are both commercial options for mounting a basket on a rear rack and DIY examples. I've seen some pretty clever and inexpensive solutions that don't look bad, and work just fine.

    This basket on the rear rack is the kind of thing I'm talking about, but if you are just planning on using it to carry a backpack it could be much shorter in height and have the pack be held in place with bungees or other straps.

    I've seen things like the loading tray from a domestic dishwasher re-purposed successfully in this role. They are a good height.


    If you do go forward with the Jamis there are a variety of options for mounting more water bottles to a bike. Somewhere on the net there is a nice comprehensive list of these.

    Please feel free to ask any questions of us, we like to live vicariously through each other, as we can each only have so many bikes and projects!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 12-28-12 at 02:16 AM.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    When you talk about overnight camping touring, what are the surfaces you'll be biking over? Will there be unpaved trails/tracks as well as paved?

    For road use in overnight trips, the durability issues are less important. If you want to get a Surly LHT, go for it! Even if you don't like touring, you can still use that bike for just about anything else, like getting groceries, commuting, or just cruising around the area. Though you'll probably want to set up the Huffy for any activity where you leave your bike in public unattended, so you'll lose less if it's stolen.

    That is the department store bike's one shining good point. It's an "I don't care what happens to this cheap thing" bike, that you can put in situations where you'd never dare to risk your nice shiny wunderbike, like winter riding and general errand running tasks where you have to park your bike for more than 60 seconds.

  25. #25
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    I would use the Jamis.Have the wheels checked,service what needs done,pack my stuff and hit the road.You don't need anything special to figure out if you like touring or not.

    In fact,if the Monkey Wards bike was all I had,I'd do the same.

    My first few tours were on a sport bike with 52-42 gearing and a 12-16 corncob on the back.I had one of those springy type racks hoseclamped on the back with old paperboy type saddlebags slung on the back.Had a blast!

    Go Man Go!......
    Last edited by Booger1; 12-28-12 at 12:18 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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