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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 04-09-13, 11:15 AM   #1
touringjam
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Advice on bike to get for tour through Central and South America

Hello,

My name is Jhessye and I am looking for a touring/mountain bike for a tour through Latin America. I expect to be on the bike for 6 months to attend the World Cup in Brazil. The bike specs I am looking for a simple, yet rugged like bicycle is:
1) Steel Frame
2) 49 cm to 51 cm
3) 21 speeds or more Long Chain Stays
4) Cantivelier or V Brakes
5) 26 inch rims

I actually have a questions for the 26 inch rims. There is this bike called a Lotus Touring bike I found on Ebay that may fit me.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOTUS-tourin...2#ht_738wt_674

I am wondering if this bike would do it. My concern is that it has 700c. Can I switch to 26 inch rims? Or do I need to? Thank you guys so much for teaching a novice. Cheers!

Jhessye
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Old 04-09-13, 02:53 PM   #2
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I wouldn't be too concerned about the wheel size. Carry a folding spare tire and know how to repair a blow out. Start with new Schwalbe's of some sort.

Interesting question. What are the complications of replacing the 700's with 26'ers? Brake reach? Rim width? Cost for sure. Yeah, replace if feasible. Somebody that knows the answer will chime in.

That bike needs a granny chain ring up front and there is nothing about the cog range. Gotta have those low gear inches to haul that load up a mountain.
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Old 04-09-13, 10:25 PM   #3
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Hey thank you. That helps a bit. I only asked because a friend recommended getting 26 inch tyres. He cycle around the globe for 3 years and mentioned that there's a greater supply of 26 inch tyres compared to 700c. Cheers.
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Old 04-09-13, 11:22 PM   #4
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I think your friend is absolutely right. A fellow BF member reported on this subject a couple of years ago just after she finished her tour through the Americas with her family. She used 700c wheels. Here is the thread. I've hosted several people touring the Americas (a few going around the world) and every single one of them has had 26"-wheeled bikes. It will also be a suitable tire size for a 49-51 cm. size frame. After living in Mexico for the past three years, we too have switched to 26" wheels on our main bikes.

In regard to the bike in your link, I personally would pass. Converting 700c to 26" is not a good idea. Brake reach will be too long and even if you make it work with adaptors, my understanding is that brake performance will diminish considerably to the point of not being good for loaded touring. The smaller wheels will also have the effect of altering the intended geometry of the bike which could make it unstable and even dangerous. Have you looked at the Surly LHT w/ 26" wheels? A cheaper alternative is finding 26" rigid mountain bike from the 80s/90s, but remember that you may have to spend several hundred dollars upgrading it to make it work for your tour.
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Old 05-06-13, 04:13 PM   #5
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Thanks you guys! I now have a bike. It's a Specialized Hardrock Steel Frame. Cheers!
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Old 05-08-13, 10:29 PM   #6
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If it helps any, I wrote an article on expedition cycling that might come in handy for you, considering I'm an South American bicycling vet at this. The tips might prove valuable.

http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/ex...how-to-primer/
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Old 05-08-13, 10:38 PM   #7
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+1) Yup, some folks say the 26" MTB wheels are very common, in SA , for spares.. there.
406 20" 2nd most.. 29er, better bring your own spares.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-08-13 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:55 AM   #8
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Thanks you guys! I now have a bike. It's a Specialized Hardrock Steel Frame. Cheers!
Exciting.

You figured out how to put racks on that one? I seem to remember some debate about that, but I may be remembering things wrongly.
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Old 05-09-13, 04:12 PM   #9
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Thanks you guys! I now have a bike. It's a Specialized Hardrock Steel Frame. Cheers!
Excellent! I did my first South/Central America bike expedition on a Specialized Hardrock Classic, 1999 frame. Still have it. That beast has taken beatings...
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Old 05-11-13, 11:01 AM   #10
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Need a riding partner as well.

Here are some pictures. i am searching for tires racks and getting a saddle very soon. I just replaced the fork at my local bike coop. I am looking to get Continental Contact Duraskin Tires with brown walls. There good for mtn biking and touring. There is no problem with rear racks , but as for a front rack, I am not sure. The front fork has no braze on mounts/eyelets. A bike mechanic said that I could get a way with it, but maybe you all can give me more advice. Thanks so much. Also I am looking for sponsorship for it. Check out the tour journey at http://www.oneloveride.com/index.html . I am also looking for people to go with me. Email me @ oneloveride@gmail.com.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hard Rock the bike.jpg (36.2 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Jhessye Moore-Thomas and Bike.jpg (28.2 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg gert's 70th (2012) 002.jpg (72.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg gert's 70th (2012) 005.jpg (93.7 KB, 14 views)
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Old 05-12-13, 09:51 AM   #11
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Here are some pictures. i am searching for tires racks and getting a saddle very soon. I just replaced the fork at my local bike coop. I am looking to get Continental Contact Duraskin Tires with brown walls. There good for mtn biking and touring. There is no problem with rear racks , but as for a front rack, I am not sure. The front fork has no braze on mounts/eyelets. A bike mechanic said that I could get a way with it, but maybe you all can give me more advice. Thanks so much. Also I am looking for sponsorship for it. Check out the tour journey at http://www.oneloveride.com/index.html . I am also looking for people to go with me. Email me @ oneloveride@gmail.com.
That shouldn't be a problem. With my last bike, my mechanic drilled in two holes, and tapped them to accept I think it was 3/8" nuts. They also can put screw inserts inside. It won't compromise your fork integrity when you do that, and most decently equipped bikeshops should be able to do that. Judging by the appearance of your fork, it's cromo, so that should be pretty easy to drill the side holes to support a front rack. If you look closely at my bike here:



You can see where we tapped it. Basically, we just mounted the racks, grabbed a sharpie, lined everything up, market out the hole at the best fit point, drilled them, and then tapped them/or put in an insert. Do that, and you're good to go! Oh, and mind if I link you to my website? http://davesnewadventure.com. I've been busy reformatting it for my stuff.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:02 AM   #12
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Low rider adapters are clamps that bolt onto the fork and allow a rack to be mounted. Some front racks mount to the lower eyelet so it's possible to double-up with the fenders or mount the fenders to the rack.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:38 AM   #13
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fantastic!

Oh I have no problem with that. Thanks Dave!! I would love to link to your website. Cheers!
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Old 05-12-13, 11:39 AM   #14
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Thanks clasher.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:49 AM   #15
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BlackBurn MTN Front rack + a P Clamp Mid Fork would work..

Tubus Smarti is another non Low Rider Rack.. fork tip and Brake Boss ends, mount..
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Old 05-12-13, 01:00 PM   #16
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Normal touring fork eyelets consist of a threaded metal insert that is brazed into a hole drilled through the fork or it is brazed onto the face of the fork with no drilling. A local framebuilder can add one to any fork. I would advise the one without any drilling. I had one of these Rack Carrier Bosses brazed to the rear of my roadbike and its works very well.
Most touring forks have twin lower eyelets for rack and fenders. Tubus racks can fit to the single lower eyelets and come with an additional fender eyelet. Their Tara model is a very good one and the company also make the best bolt-on adapters.

If you just drill a fork and put a bolt through, you can crush the tubing.
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