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Old 05-04-09, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

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To me, a fully supported tour where you're not carrying any weight is just like a whole bunch of training rides around home. When I ride my "fast" road bike I expect it not to break down. An occasional flat tire isn't too unusual, but if I were breaking spokes, breaking shifters, etc., I wouldn't be happy. Hopefully, if you buy a new bike and it's properly set up, he'll have no mechanical issues.

1) If you believe we should avoid the carbon frame, shouldn't we also avoid the carbon fork?
I wouldn't avoid either. He won't be carrying any weight, other than what he would on a normal bike ride.

2) My Roubaix wheels are 24 spoke (front) and 28 spoke (rear). Would we need to change out one or both? If so, where does one begin to look?
Again, if the wheels are sturdy enough for normal riding, they should make this tour. If not, there are lots of places to get wheels, including building them yourself. If you have a good local mechanic, explain the situation and have him/her build the wheels.

3) How likely is it the STI shifter will break?
It seems unlikely to me. If STI shifters had a tendency to break every 3,000 miles, who would buy them?

4) Do you agree on the triple chainring versus a compact double? There will be lots of mountains.
I'm a proponent of triples. Why not? Do you really get that much of an advantage by using a double? My triples always work fine. On a recent century there was a hellacious hill - really steep and it lasted for several miles. I put my triple to the lowest combination and cruised up - slowly, but with not much pain. Others were walking. Sure, there were strong riders powering up on doubles, but I'm a recreational rider. I say your son would be happy to have a triple.

5) Are there other bikes under two thousand dollars that we should consider?
Lots. Too many for me to try and suggest any.

One advantage of getting him a new bike, instead of giving him mine, is that we can ride together at home.
That's reason enough for me, as long as you can afford it.

Thanks in advance for all your advice.
You're welcome.
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