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Old 12-08-12, 01:48 PM
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MassiveD
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My experience with really advanced ideas on gear, that may be correct and ahead of their time, is that they are a pain in a group of folks running non-fancy gear, when you are the only gear-head. So point one as this is a supported tour, is to find out what the pros run, and stay as close to that as possible. Or what the average client runs, look at their pictures.

For a long trip like that, sounds awesome, I would buy a bike that is perfect for that demand (or as I said above, what people think perfect is). I would not compromise because of some other need when I get home. Some care with the components will mean that at worst you can recycle most of the components if you need to move on to a different format. The moment people want a world touring bike, but they also race criteriums, and with the economy as it is, maybe they will be delivering pizzas... Sounds reasonable, but the are designing a Zebra. Come to think of it...

Cross is a game with bikes evolving to meet relatively non-real demands. I would not buy one of those frames unless I was playing that game. All bikes are a big step up from walking, and cross frames are not the least practical bikes out there, but I see no reason to run a cross frame unless playing that game.

There are drop bars designed for offroad. I got a set of the original Dirt Drops when Rivendell found some NOS ones. There are other things like that around. Idea is to combine the wide control of the flat bar, with a drop. This is dandy particularly if you are wide in the shoulders anyway. Maybe a bit more of a compromise if you are really narrow. Nitto Noodle?

http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/hb1.htm
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