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Bikepacking/Touring, Alum. or steel?, Can I get a decent bike for under 1000?

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Bikepacking/Touring, Alum. or steel?, Can I get a decent bike for under 1000?

Old 06-12-20, 09:32 PM
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tmbrown0203
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Bikepacking/Touring, Alum. or steel?, Can I get a decent bike for under 1000?

New to cycling, planning a 200 mile touring trip in a few months and I need a new bike. (Currently have a 1973 Schwinn for putting around) I went to my LBS for guidance and they are set on me getting something (that I like also) but is a little more than I wanted to pay (there is wiggle room there). I decided I want something that I can load up for bike packing but also take down dirt trails, gravel roads and can also handle big potholes in the city. Is it possible to find a bike under $1000... Also, what is the reason I should go with steel instead on aluminum? Oh yeah and I am 4'11- to make things a little more difficult. I will choose Terrain over gear but I still want a back rack . Everything that was being suggested was $1500 and up.. I feel like there are somethings being left out .
UPDATE: I FINALLY FOUND A BIKE!! It's A 2018 Salsa Vaya . I am switching the 700c tires out for 650b... Maybe 26" ( not 100% sure if I could do 26" ) it's for toe clearance... I'm pretty happy with it...

Last edited by tmbrown0203; 09-02-20 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Update !
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Old 06-12-20, 10:20 PM
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Hmmmmm...
"I feel like there's something being left out."

200miles. Loaded touring. Maybe not all paved.
(guessing the terrain you plan is Not mountainous)

Since you have experience with vintage, why not a vintage tourer with clearance for 38mm tires?
New bikes offer disc brakes which are important in the mountains.
New bikes offer a lighter frame + fork which isn't important in a tourer.
Everything else is pretty much a wash.
Unless you just want new.

Trek, Centurion, Miyata, Cannondale (many others) offered full-on touring bikes. $1000 buys a great used touring bike possibly including the racks/bags you may need.
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Old 06-12-20, 10:36 PM
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You can get an awesome bike for under 1K, just won’t be new.
Tim
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Old 06-13-20, 09:10 AM
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The bike shop was being honest with you. $1500 is pretty much the least expensive you can get through a bike shop, and even online when it comes to touring bikes. Bikes Direct though does offer bikes cheaper, but you will have to do some assembly yourself, or take it to someone to get it done. Their prices a good though, so you could probably pay a local bike shop to do the work and still save money.

Try the Windsor Tourist. https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ke-tourist.htm
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Old 06-13-20, 09:12 AM
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Salsa Journeyman would be more than capable - great versatile bike for the money! Flat & drop bar options, 650B or 700C wheelsets, Claris drivetrain with subcompact crankset starting under $1,000. Lots of mounts for hauling gear and bikepacking - i have loaded up my rear rack pretty heavily and it handles great with a load.

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Old 06-13-20, 09:33 AM
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I am kind of leaning towards a Surly Bridge Club. Price point is still within reason.
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Old 06-13-20, 09:54 AM
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If you have no problem with 700c bicycles, the best deal going up until 2020 was the Fuji Touring with Disc. That was discontinued after 2019 but, may be coming back (you might even find that still available in some stores, left over from last year). Right now, the best 700c bicycle for the price is the REI Co-op Adv 1.1, for $1300. But make sure that it comes with mechanical disc brakes, rather than the hydraulics that it's spec-ed with. When I saw this bicycle in the store, it actually had TRP Spyer-C brakes, which are very good. Another is the Masi Giramondo.

If you can go with V-brakes instead of disc, there is the Fuji Touring for under $1000 and probably other bicycles like it.

In the 26" wheel category, the Surly Trucker series is over $1000 but they are popular. A lot of people say that riders on the shorter end of the scale should consider 26" wheels.

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Old 06-13-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
Salsa Journeyman would be more than capable - great versatile bike for the money! Flat & drop bar options, 650B or 700C wheelsets, Claris drivetrain with subcompact crankset starting under $1,000. Lots of mounts for hauling gear and bikepacking - i have loaded up my rear rack pretty heavily and it handles great with a load.
Great choice, Surly Bridge Club is also a nice option and comes in around the same depending on options...

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Old 06-13-20, 10:27 AM
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This is what I did with an old mtb.


(Bags have been swapped and low rider tilt since corrected)

Buy quality used steel and spend money on gear
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Old 06-13-20, 11:35 AM
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4'11? with big wheel bike designs have a bunch of compromises, front wheel toe touching overlap one of them ..

I have a Bike Friday, 20" wheels solve that , they have frames of different lengths .. so shorter or longer reach ..

A USA made Bike, keep your eyes out for a used one,*, people already ride those around the globe..

Company has pre loved refurbished ones .. (they don't sell thru dealers)

and the google Bi Fri [Yak] group has private sales posted...




..

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Old 06-13-20, 12:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum fellow New Orleanian! You can get a fantastic bike for $1000. The local dealers don't have much inventory though, so you may have to order online. If you decide to order online, I will be glad to help you set the bike up at no charge if you need any help. I have helped quite a few people set theirs up.

Are you going to be touring in an area with hills or steep climbs? That should probably be a major consideration. Most modern touring bikes aren't geared well for loaded climbs.

Something like this might serve you well, and it's right at the 1K mark. It has acceptable gearing and rack eyelets. It is available in extra small.

https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/stor...oductid=205207
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Old 06-13-20, 09:08 PM
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Used 26' rigid mtb from the late 80s or early 90s.
Many have quality tubing, wide gear range, mounts for racks, and geometey that will work for your height.

Itll cost $150-300.
Take it to a shop, have them tear it down and clean it, then build it up with a mix of original and new components(where wanted or needed).
The shop work will cost $300-600, depending on what you have replaced.

$450-900 and you will have a fully capable bike for what you mention wanting to do.
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Old 06-13-20, 09:16 PM
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+1 for 90s rigid MTB as your base. Sturdy as they come and with your smaller stature, you'd probably benefit from the 26" wheel platform anyway.
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Old 06-13-20, 10:51 PM
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Universal has the 50cm Salsa Journeyman 650b Dark Olive finish dropbar in stock for $849 - just sayin'
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Old 06-13-20, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
Salsa Journeyman would be more than capable - great versatile bike for the money! Flat & drop bar options, 650B or 700C wheelsets, Claris drivetrain with subcompact crankset starting under $1,000. Lots of mounts for hauling gear and bikepacking - i have loaded up my rear rack pretty heavily and it handles great with a load.
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I've commonly heard 650b as a good size for touring? Why is that, simply because of the wider tire options? I own a pair of 650b's myself, but always wondered if there is a difference between that and a 700c x 38 per se.
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Old 06-14-20, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tmbrown0203 View Post
I am kind of leaning towards a Surly Bridge Club. Price point is still within reason.
Great choice and IMHO one of the only ones that comes at such a low price point, that you won't take a bath on when you get ready to sell.
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Old 06-14-20, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by andreakane View Post
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I've commonly heard 650b as a good size for touring? Why is that, simply because of the wider tire options? I own a pair of 650b's myself, but always wondered if there is a difference between that and a 700c x 38 per se.
650B is a slightly smaller wheel which, when equipped with 2" wide tires, will roughly equate to the same outer tire circumference as a narrower 32-40mm 700c tire. This keeps overall geometry basically the same. Trading wheel for sidewall.

700c wheels that use 2" or wider tires exist, they are rather frustratingly referred to as "29'ers" because marketing. In fact both 700c and 29'er wheels are actually 622mm in diameter, with 28/32mm wide road bike tires in that rim size roughly figuring out to 700mm in overall diameter. The bigger, fatter 29'er tires usually bump that up to a nominal 29" or ~736mm overall tire diameter.

Equally frustrating is that 650B wheels are basically the same as 27.5 MTB wheels, both share a rim diameter of 584mm. 650B is to 27.5, as 700C is to 29'er.

Clear as mud!

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Old 06-14-20, 05:03 AM
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I hope everyone is recommending models that can fit someone who is 4’11’.
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Old 06-14-20, 05:37 AM
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Yep. I was going to throw out the Giant ToughRoad until I checked the sizing.
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Old 06-15-20, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I hope everyone is recommending models that can fit someone who is 4’11’.
I was thinking the 650b models (like the Salsa Journeyman or Surly Bridge Club) would be a good fit, pardon the pun, for just this reason. You don't have to run it with 50 tires, and at that height, the rider's weight would likely make 38s into a plush ride.

Used 90s mountain bikes would give a lot of room in the budget, but it depends on what OP is looking for. It'll be a project in itself finding the right bike (of course, that's going to be true of a new bike as well, if you're looking for one of a few specific touring models, which aren't often stocked, in this age of the epidemic). Getting it set up right, rebuilt with bearing repacks and new drivetrain and brake pads, and outfitted with racks, will be another project. You want to skip the extra work, plunk down your money and ride off with that new bike smell and a warranty -- you'll be buying new.
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Old 06-15-20, 07:35 AM
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For a frame of reference, I bought my ex a 42cm LHT. She's 5' even.
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Old 06-15-20, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tmbrown0203 View Post
New to cycling, planning a 200 mile touring trip in a few months and I need a new bike. (Currently have a 1973 Schwinn for putting around) I went to my LBS for guidance and they are set on me getting something (that I like also) but is a little more than I wanted to pay (there is wiggle room there). I decided I want something that I can load up for bike packing but also take down dirt trails, gravel roads and can also handle big potholes in the city. Is it possible to find a bike under $1000... Also, what is the reason I should go with steel instead on aluminum? Oh yeah and I am 4'11- to make things a little more difficult. I will choose Terrain over gear but I still want a back rack . Everything that was being suggested was $1500 and up.. I feel like there are somethings being left out .
Being 4’11” makes things a lot more difficult. I’ve been fighting the “Small Bike War” for more than 40 years. My 5’ tall wife started bicycling on a bike that was my size and it took the better part of 25 years to convince her that bike was too large. I will almost guarantee that the Schwinn you are currently riding is far too big. Even if it is a step through frame, the proportions are probably too long for you. Don’t use the fit of the Schwinn as a guide.

Don’t let a shop put you on a bike that is too big. If they try to get you on a 49cm bike, they are putting you on a bike that is far to large for your size. You should be riding a road bike around 42 cm± 2 cm. Anything over 44 cm is too large. Unfortunately you are likely not going to find anything under 44 cm.

If you can, avoid anything with 700C wheels. A bike with 26” wheels will fit your much better because of the smaller wheel size. It will give you more standover space and the angles on the head tube won’t be as relaxed. Unfortunately finding bikes with 26” wheels is difficult now.

Don’t let someone put you on a mountain bike that is the same size as the 44cm road frame, i.e. a 17” bike. A 17” mountain bike is designed from someone around 10” taller than you are. A 15” mountain bike is too tall (for someone 5’4”). You need a 12 to 14” mountain bike. Mountain bike riders use mountain bikes that are around 4” shorter than their road sized frame and the proportions are made for those taller riders. You’d have to stretch too far on a 17” mountain bike...kind of like your Schwinn.

As to materials, go with aluminum over steel. It’d be nice if you could get carbon but that’s not something that is offered for touring bikes. The geometry on a carbon road bike would be too tight for comfortable riding with a touring load.

I’m sorry but I’m going to have to suggest you look at “youth” bikes. I know how demeaning that is but it is a solution to your problem. Frog Bikes has a number of different bicycle configurations that are worth a look (on paper at least). They seem to be out of mountain bikes (if you are doing real bikepacking) and hybrids but they seem to have road bikes. $700 is a pretty good price as well.

You might also consider Bikes Direct. They have some bikes for smaller riders. They aren’t as good a quality as the Frog Bikes seem to be but it’s an option. Do a Google search for “youth bikes” and you’ll get several results.

Finally, look on Craiglist or EBay for “Terry bicycles”. You’ll find a lot of saddles...their main business...but Terry also make makes for women and small women in particular. This is an example of one of the old Terrys. Look for Terry Symmetry in your search. The Symmetry has a 700C rear wheel and a 24” front wheel. It’s a compromise but it does solve frame problems for small people. Look for Specialized Vita while you are at it. Those work for smaller riders but the Terry is a better design.
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Old 06-15-20, 09:26 AM
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90's rigid MTB with 26" touring tires! Equip it with a swept back bar like a jones bar or convert to a drop bar. A flat bar with bar ends might suffice, but......
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Old 06-15-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
90's rigid MTB with 26" touring tires! Equip it with a swept back bar like a jones bar or convert to a drop bar. A flat bar with bar ends might suffice, but......
I have to disagree. They didn’t make mountain bikes in the 90s with frames shorter than 15” which are far too large. Small size mountain bike frames didn’t start to show up until the very late 90s/early 2000s.

If you want to share the experience...assuming about 6’ tall...go ride a 22” mountain bike and see how it fits.
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Old 06-15-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I have to disagree. They didn’t make mountain bikes in the 90s with frames shorter than 15” which are far too large. Small size mountain bike frames didn’t start to show up until the very late 90s/early 2000s.

If you want to share the experience...assuming about 6’ tall...go ride a 22” mountain bike and see how it fits.

because late 90's isn't the 90's .... who F'n knew?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!!

1996 Trek 850 Bicycle Type Mountain bike, non-suspension Weight 27.6 Sizes 14.5", 16.5", 18", 19.5", 21", 22.5" Colors Red, silver/blue Item ID 57250

It's bad enough you people are trying to rewrite history, and definitions, but what you do not get to do is claim 1996 isn't the 90's!!! LOL
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