Hey guys and gals,
Well. I successfully biked 3949 miles across the US this past summer, and of course I am already on to planning my next trip. I heard about the assisted tour from cairo to cape town and thought.....i could do that.......self supported. SO that is what I am going to do. Along with a friend that went with me across the US, we will be riding 7500 miles from Cairo to Cape Town starting June 2014. It will be about a 7500 mile journey over about 150 days.
I road a 1989 trek 520 across the US, and while i LOVE that bike, there are some very obvious draw backs. Primary issues: 27" wheels, horizontal drop outs, and past problems with cracking drop outs. Obviously cycling through third world countries, 27" wheels are completely impractical. I am unbelievably sick of my wheel popping out of the horizontal drop outs, and the last thing I want is a cracked drop out in the middle of the sahara (this has happened before, minus the sahara).
So I began my search. These are some of the options that I have come up with:
Bruce Gordon BLT
Obviously I am around the $500 mark for the Frame & Fork. I am going to have a set of wheels built by a local shop that I have worked with in the past. But I would appreciate some recommendations towards these or other frames. I know this might not line up with all of the before mentioned bikes, but I also want canti brakes. I have a really great set of cane creek cantis and brake levers that I am going to transplant onto the new frame. At this point I am leaning most towards the Soma Saga. I would prefer 26" wheels for versatility, but 700c wheels for the sake of ignorant preference. Do you think 26"ers are COMPLETELY necessary?
ALSO: I want this to be the last touring frame I buy. I want to do other cross-continental rides, so consider that in terms of off-road-ability. Over the 7500 miles across Africa, there are supposedly about 600 unpaved miles.
Let me know what you think! If there is any additional info needed, I will edit this post appropriately.