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  1. #1
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    Cycling through Asia: what kind of bicycle

    Hi everyone,

    I am planning a few months trip through Asia and Europe (biggest part in Asia). I have no idea what kind of bicycle to choose so I hoped you could help me.

    This trip will go through small villages and roads as much as possible. But I still expect much of the way to be on motorways. The point is, I will probably cycle through harsh weather, in the mud but as well as in cities and on the road.

    It should be solid enough to last the whole trip, or at least I should be able to fix it on the way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    Cyclocross.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
    1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    Cyclocross.
    Maybe more specific? A model you would personally choose that I may consider?

    Also, what are your views on Montain bicycles? How do they compare to Cyclocross on the long run.

    I remind you, it's not a race at all. It'll take months and go at average speed.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Moved from General Cycling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  5. #5
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    I say cross because its a good blend of road gearing combined w/ medium width tires to help absorb some of the rough roads your sure to encounter. Most will have mounts for a rear rack.

    I would opt for cantilever style brakes over disk, probably easier to maintain. I would choose a carbon fork. You also may want to replace the tires with something known for its flat resistance.

    As to which exact model to buy, well that depends on your budget and personal preferences. I think Cannondale makes a beautiful cross bike but you"re going to pay and it may be more attractive to thieves along the way.
    ROAD - BIKES - 2014

    for the budget conscience minded, BD has many offerings that will fit the bill starting around $400 although I would spend about a grand. maybe the Phantom pro (Moto)

    Save Up To 60% Off New Cyclocross Bicycles from bikesdirect.com. Great for commuting, racing or just having fun riding most anywhere.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
    1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac

  6. #6
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    Thanks!

    I'd go for a Caadx I think (CAADX - Cyclocross - ROAD - BIKES - 2014), one of the cheapest.

    The cheapest is the 7 sora (CAADX 7 Sora - CAADX - Cyclocross - ROAD - BIKES - 2014), is it worth it to spend an extra few hundrer bucks to get the seemingly better tiagra (http://www.cannondale.com/2014/bikes...isc-6-tiagra)?

    About BD, would I get more bang for the bucks with my current budget (~1000-1500$)?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim Kukula's Avatar
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    The Surly Long Haul Trucker is probably the reference bike for a big trip like that.

    Here is a bit of reading: The Adventure Cycling Guide - Choosing a bike: Information for adventurous cycle touring

    What are you going to carry? That's a big factor. The bike will need the space and strength to handle your luggage.

    See e.g. Ultralight bicycle touring

  8. #8
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    For Korea (if you plan on heading this way) a cyclocross is great. Tons of high end bike shops so disc brake pads and rotors are no problem. Mtb is ok but unless you plan on singletrack suspension is overkill. Cyclocross tires are plenty and if you switch out to slicks you have a slightly heavy roadie. I like the Soma Doublecross myself.

  9. #9
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    Try to get a bike with 26" mountain bike wheels as that is the most popular size around the world and you will find tubes and tires in most places.
    I would not buy a bike like this CAADX 7 Sora - CAADX - Cyclocross - ROAD - BIKES - 2014 as it has carbon fork and such components are hard to replace/repair in many places.

    You could do much worse than buying a no frills but good quality mountain bike, without suspension if available. If funds permit, go for a steel framed touring specific bike, e.g., Surly LHT, Trek 520 or Miyata koga or LKLM (Chinese brand), etc.

  10. #10
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    Only a ROHLOFF 14 speedhub will do. ALL the gear range needed. Goes forever. Bad shifing is impossible, unless you insist on stomping on the pedals. Cleaning the chain and 2 cogs is ridiculously easy. Fixing is what you only NEED do with deraillers, especially in mudville. They have them in villages ??? yah suuuuure, NOT. You can't even see the granny gear, nevermind try cleaning it. Bent derailler = walking.

    Disc brakes are best. 26" wheels for air/ bus/ train travel, if nothing else.

    A saggy chain hasn't bothered my Rohloff in the least.
    Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 08-22-14 at 01:01 AM.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I do like my Rohloff Koga World tour .. now they sell something like it in a custom build list then paint your name on it . signature program.


    Mark Beaumont , who circum-cycled the globe in record time, got one.

  12. #12
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    What kind of bike do you have now?
    Maybe you can just modify(add racks, fenders, etc.)
    whatever you're riding now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi01...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea, you could get one of theirs a utility traditional bike , they will be able to keep it running , because they see billions of them.

  14. #14
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    Everybody, thank you. I read with a lot of attention your recommendations.

    1) I love the concept of ultra light bicycles, as this guy explains here: Weight
    2) I might review my trip in order to stop in cities every 2 or 3 days at least (except when preparing to camp for a few days somewhere)
    3) CycloCross/tour bicycle look very good
    4) Please no: http://www.rohloff.de/typo3temp/pics/8f016a1fc4.png
    5) Please yes, what is this? http://www2.arnes.si/~ikovse/taj/b.jpg
    6) ROHLOFF 14 speedhub? For custome bicycles? I'm not that confident doing that, I'd rather get an out-of-the-box bicycle
    7) No carbon forks, noted, does any of the above mentioned bicycles qualify for steel framed?

    To answer questions, I do not ride a lot, I am originally a hiker but I love cycling once in a while. Cycling seems the best way to enjoy travelling, I guess you guys know that . It's a big challenge for me.

  15. #15
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    Much as I like my Bianchi Volpe, I wouldn't recommend a CX bike for the proposed trip. lasalope still debates "is it worth it to spend an extra few hundrer bucks to get the seemingly better tiagra", so expensive bike and accessories are not practical. Recommended Surly Long Haul Trucker is probably the reference bike for a big trip like that. would be the better choice, particularly with 26" wheels. Noted "preparing to camp for a few days somewhere". Now if you tour SEA, a CX bike would be highly recommended. Cheap food and cheap accommodation are plentiful wherever you go. Cooking and camping out isn't worth it. BTW you can get ROHLOFF 14 speedhub over hauled, or touring wheels rebuilt in Bangkok.

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    Do you need mtb gears?
    Much easier to control with trekking/butterfly bars.
    26" vs 700c wheels is not really important.
    Same for aluminium vs steel
    Avoid suspension, make sure you have good tyre clearance. Mechanical disc brakes are reliable and effective. Ensure the rear is rack-compatible (ie mounted on the chainstay).
    Shimano LX is the optimum hub, in 36 spoke.

  17. #17
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    How about a Surly Troll? Lots of options for it if you run into mechanical issues.

  18. #18
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    Thanks all.

    As for the technical recommendations, I am not an expert so I would like to have a good bike first, and then maybe tune it according to your advice.

    Surly seems like a good bike, but how is it different from CX? What would be the advantages to go the CX way?

    I actually would like to camp a lot, since I will go with one or two friends we can share the weight and I don't expect it to be that heavy.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasalope View Post
    Thanks all.

    Surly seems like a good bike, but how is it different from CX? What would be the advantages to go the CX way?

    I actually would like to camp a lot, since I will go with one or two friends we can share the weight and I don't expect it to be that heavy.
    Think of touring bike as a mini pickup. While the CX bike is like a SUV. The pickup has leaf spring axle suspension for carrying load, while the SUV has independent 4 wheels suspension. Agility and speed is CX bike forte, but the true touring bike will pull you through with the weight of tent, kitchen sink and groceries, without a blink.

  20. #20
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelinthai View Post
    Think of touring bike as a mini pickup. While the CX bike is like a SUV. The pickup has leaf spring axle suspension for carrying load, while the SUV has independent 4 wheels suspension. Agility and speed is CX bike forte, but the true touring bike will pull you through with the weight of tent, kitchen sink and groceries, without a blink.
    Another perspective here: https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/questio...2152033AAV9FjO

    Touring bikes will often have a more relaxed geometry. That also helps with "heel strike" by keeping panniers a bit further back. So if I were riding extended periods with a load, I would look more to a touring bike. If I were looking at going fast, and quick cornering with some off-road ruggedness, I would look more to a cyclocross bike.

  21. #21
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    Here is picture of member Doug64's Bianchi Volpe, fairly loaded. He wears reasonable big shoes, and reported no heel strike with this set up CX bikes do have fairly relaxed riding geometry. Probably half way between touring bike and road bike. Road bike does have comfortable riding posture, if it's well fitted for the rider. I can ride my road bike from 100 miles to 125 miles comfortably days after days.
    Volpe loaded.jpg

  22. #22
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    Last edited by wheelinthai; 08-04-14 at 06:12 AM.

  23. #23
    Wheel Builder Dream Cyclery's Avatar
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    FYI, You don't have to worry about 26" wheels. You'll see a lot more high-end bike shops than you think.

    Make sure you think about what you will carry and then pick a bike.

    I don't need touring bikes because I don't use racks or panniers. I use a frame bag with a large saddle bag for touring with my CX bike and I still have space for food and water. If you need to carry a lot stuff, then think about getting a touring bike.

    FYI, I did a touring trip in Asia(2006) with my Ti road bike with just my backpack(I also enjoy backpacking). I had a blast for a month without any issue.
    Dream Cyclery - www.dreamcyclery.com
    Custom bike and wheel building

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can have the custom bike shipped to you then it would be 'Out of the Box'

    because that is how bikes are shipped . in cartons..

    My Rohloff /disc brake Bike Friday Pocket Llama came in a Box.

  25. #25
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    @wheelinthai: that touring bike looks very handy. Thanks for sharing. @Dream Cyclery: the more I think about it the more I think so too, I cannot decide how heavily loaded I will be. I am sure not to cook so the more cumbersome would be the tent. But I've heard there are very small tents... Did you get a tent for your Asia tour? @fietsbob: yes but I am really not familiar with all that, I prefer to bet on a CX or a touring bike depending on how I intend to do this tour.

    Which is cheaper, CX or touring bike? I'm talking about brand new price for a correct bike that can handle such a tour.

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