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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jbone78's Avatar
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    Gearing up a mountain bike?

    Anybody ever done it for touring?

    I like my mountain bike and wouldn't mind using it for some long on road/off road trips, but it's too slow on the road.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It'll still be slow once you load your gear in the Panniers, put smooth but not too narrow tires on

    and enjoy the trip, don't rush through it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Yes, a lot of ppl have toured on mtbs, especially non-shocked early models. Ppl tour on everything imaginable, including unocycles. The chain stays are relatively short, inducing heel strike of the panniers, but that can be managed. Old Man Mountain makes front racks for shocked wheels.

    Touring is not a race. If you're comfortable on the mtb for 5-6 hour/day, day in and out, go for it, with smooth tires. Lock out the shock if able.

    Or get yourself a touring specific bike for a faster ride. Or a road bike for a really fast, credit card tour.
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 03-14-13 at 06:18 PM.
    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I am buyin a Surly Ogre mtb you mount everything on it racks, fenders. I am going to tour with it and use it for comutting.

  5. #5
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbone78 View Post
    Anybody ever done it for touring?
    Yes. 1998 Specialized Hard Rock. Only bike I've ever toured on. Eight or nine tours so far, 25,000 miles on the bike (not all from loaded touring, but many thousands were). MTBs can make great touring bikes.

    Wally@CannonBeach.jpg

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jbone78's Avatar
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    Maybe I should clarify a bit. I am wondering if I can add different gears for my bike?

    It seems that when I'm riding, I'm in gear 20/21 all the time. Then is I'm rolling down hill, I stop pedaling because I'm maxed out.

    And yes, I understand I'm not racing. But sometimes, there's just nothing to look at and it's time to just get there.

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    You can run a chainring as large as 48T up front and still keep a mtb FD. Wouldn't suggest anything larger for touring anyway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Yes, of course you can. What do you have now?

  9. #9
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    Yup... changing the chainrings is probably the best and cheapest way to go.....

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbone78 View Post
    Maybe I should clarify a bit. I am wondering if I can add different gears for my bike?

    It seems that when I'm riding, I'm in gear 20/21 all the time. Then is I'm rolling down hill, I stop pedaling because I'm maxed out.

    And yes, I understand I'm not racing. But sometimes, there's just nothing to look at and it's time to just get there.
    Changing rings is relatively easy. You just have to know what bolt circle your crank uses. You can calculate it by using this method. Some rings on inexpensive bikes are riveted into place which makes changing them difficult if not impossible, however.

    Bikeman has a good selection of chainrings.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Jbone78's Avatar
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    Sweet info guys!

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    , ... whatever 20/21 means? its not like 20t:21t, an actual ratio, is it? [.095 : 1]
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-15-13 at 11:07 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jbone78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    , ... whatever 20/21 means? its not like 20:21, an actual ratio, is it? [.095 : 1]

    Drunk again?

  14. #14
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    Yes , you can. I geared up my old Norco Tanya mtb for the same reasons as you. I ended up with 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28 on the wheel, and 20-34-46 on the crank. I had to use non-set position gear changers to be able to switch gears smoothly, and to ensure everything was properly aliened, but it worked quite well. I was able to crawl up very steep grades fully loaded, and I could keep up to riders on fast street bikes. (I even won a few road races with that old bike) I used that bike for literally thousands and thousands of touring miles, but I noticed this set-up was a bit harder on the sprockets and chain than my stock hybrid touring bike, comparing the same mileage, which forced me to replace them sooner.

  15. #15
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    Either bigger chainrings or watch an internet auction website for a used crankset that has the rings you want and will work with your existing bottom bracket. If you get a used crankset, look closely at the photos of the rings to try to figure out if they have too much wear, a lot of people try to get good money for worn out rings on the internet.

    Last summer on a 500 mile tour on my 26 inch wheel touring bike, I used Schwalbe Marathon 559X40 tires. Worked great on pavement, rolled very well at high pressure. I used the ones with GreenGuard whatever that is.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Like, the song goes: "I'm Not Drunk, Just Drinkin"

  17. #17
    Senior Member hilltowner's Avatar
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    I've been touring on a Bridgestone MB-1 for over 10 years. I've left the original rings which do "max out" on many downhills. I figure why not coast? I don't think over the course of a long day getting any extra spin out of my drivetrain on 6%+ downhill is going to get me to my destination any more than a minute or two sooner. I put aero bars on my mt. flat bars and in an aero position I've hit 50+ mph on the bike fully loaded with front and rear panniers. Even with a 53/12 I would have maxed out at that speed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbone78 View Post
    It seems that when I'm riding, I'm in gear 20/21 all the time. Then is I'm rolling down hill, I stop pedaling because I'm maxed out.
    It sounds like you're mashing rather than spinning. Mashing works for short durations but not for hours.

  19. #19
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    For a short tour or a long all day ride this:

    IMG474.jpg

    Lockable Rock Shox Tora, Full Deore group, mega range 9 speed at the back with an 11t, 48t large ring at the front, 1.75 26" slicks. I have a solar powered blinky and 4 other lights on the back and mount 1400 lumens worth of light at the front with spare batteries to last 12 hours to allow me to ride anytime. The bar ends and extensions give me lots of hand positions for all day comfort. Mounted a smart phone holder for GPS/monitoring/comms/mp3 duty on the top bar within easy reach. The small bag at the back can be larger if need be, but for my purposes that and a frame pack with good straps to spread the load work fine. This bike has gone 15,000km in 10 months so far. Longest ride in a single day was 220km in about 10 hours of actual riding time (with some killer climbs in the middle). Top speed of around 50-60kmh downhill (could go faster but I simply don't want to) and 28-35kmh comfortable cruise.
    Last edited by krobinson103; 03-17-13 at 06:57 PM.

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