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Old 01-16-11, 10:52 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Bikes: yes!

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I have a 1990 Trek 950. All the trek mtbs had a fairly std chainstay length of 425-435mm.

Ideally you need more than this to avoid heel strike with panniers, unless you have small feet. Your workaround is to choose smaller panniers, or at least ones with a triangulated bottom designed expressly for this issue. Also a long rack will let you mount panniers farther back. JandD expedition is the longest I know of with rails nearly 16" long. Pushing the load back will make the bike handle worse, and perhaps cause front-end shimmy. Try not to put heavy stuff on top of the rack, and locate everything as far forwards as possible. Don't forget to use front rack and panniers to mitigate this problem.

With your stated budget, you don't have much choice but to use the bike you already have.

You'll need a trailer or some cheap racks (nasbar,etc) and panniers (axiom, performance bike, etc).

That Trek will roll better on pavement with some smooth tires. I've had good luck with Kenda Kwest 26x1.5 (they come in 2 versions - get the cheaper, lower pressure rated tire).

Don't forget you'll need camping gear, clothing, rainwear, lights, a lock. A bunch of stuff, which frequently costs more than $500. Also bear in mind it costs more to eat on the road, especially if you frequent C-stores. Count on food costs of >$15 per day. Good luck.

Last edited by seeker333; 01-16-11 at 11:18 PM.
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