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Bike Pack-Domane vs 2.1a vs DS 8.3

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Bike Pack-Domane vs 2.1a vs DS 8.3

Old 05-13-21, 06:36 AM
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Bike Pack-Domane vs 2.1a vs DS 8.3

Looking for some feedback since I have blinders on and can't make a rational decision...

I am doing a bike pack trip next month around the Adirondacks, roughly 450 miles. I will be stealth camping along the way and doing anywhere from 60-100 miles a day. Really just depends on how much I stop and sightsee. The route appears to be all paved and little to no crushed gravel. I have three bikes to choose from.
My primary bike is a Trek Domane SL5 with Zipp 404 Crest wheels.
My backup bike, that mainly sits on my Kickr, is a Trek 2.1a
My fun ride around bike is a Trek DS 8.3

Packing is a mid concern; I can pack pretty light and regardless of which bike, I can make it fit if needed, although the DS is most equipped for carrying gear. My biggest concern is that my Carbon Fiber bike might get messed up. Especially when I am carrying it off road into the woods. The 2.1a geometry isn't the most forgiving for a long trip like that but I am not as worried if I ding it up and will be more durable than the Domane. The 8.3DS is rugged and tough but a heavy bike. The most I would change on the DS is adding bar end grips to change up my position.

Purchasing a new bike is not an option.

What is everyone's thoughts? TIA
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Old 05-13-21, 08:04 AM
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60 to 100 miles a day for a week you need to take the bike that you fit on comfortably for that amount of miles per day. The last thing you want is to be miserable trying to grind out those last days of riding.

If more than one bike fits that criteria, then take the lightest that will carry the stuff you must take with you.

Not certain about your comment on having to carry your carbon bike in the woods. Why would you mess it up? Are you prone to tripping and falling? <grin>
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Old 05-13-21, 08:44 AM
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Not necessarily but things happen. The Adirondacks are mountainous and I would be going farther off trail to find a secluded spot.
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Old 05-13-21, 11:57 AM
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The Domane without a doubt. It will be the most comfortable for those long hauls. It can handle larger volume tires for that extra comfort. Plus the ISO speed will help with the road chatter.

The DS with front shocks just isn't needed and extra weight to carry around.
The 2.1 has limited tire size and having something larger than a 32 mm will work in your favour.
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Old 05-14-21, 07:13 AM
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I'd say it depends on your weight and the weight of what you carry and the hills you'll hit.

I weigh 225 and ride a 2017 Domane SL6 disc, which I love. For a 4 day, lightly loaded (credit card style touring) ride from Venice FL to Jacksonville FL last January, all paved and very flat, I originally planned to ride the Domane with the 32mm tires. But, I weighed the extended saddle bag, small frame bag, bar bag loaded and 2 full water bottles, I felt I was coming too close to the overall weight limit. And I heard Florida friends stories of frequency of flatting on the many of the roads I'd be on. At my weight I'm very suspicious of a 24 spoke rear wheel.

So, I used my Jamis Renegade steel bike with 32 spoke rear, 35mm Schwalbe tires - a few lbs heaver, a bit higher rolling resistance. But the added weight was a small percentage of the overall loaded weight, almost no climbing on the route and I really hate fixing flats on the side of roads, Bonus - more braze-on options.

But, as a follow up: with about 9K miles on the Domane (after I returned from that January FL trip) I broke a spoke on the rear wheel. My experience has always been one spoke breaking may be just an aberration, had it fixed - and another broke a few hundred miles later. The second spoke break for me has always meant have the wheel rebuilt, bike shop said they go by the 10% rule - wait for the third spoke on a 24 spoke wheel.

A few hundred miles later, boink - another went, I had the wheel rebuilt and some heavier duty bladed spokes used. So far, so good.

The good news is the carbon rims didn't even wobble down one spoke and the disc brakes didn't even rub, but for most of my 4-day route I wouldn't have been near a bike shop and would have had to try out my fiberglass replacement spoke/string I carry and never have used!

If you are lighter, that 24 spoke rear wheel probably won't be an issue. If your route has meaningful climbs, on paved roads I wouldn't worry about trashing the carbon frame/finish unless you will be dragging the bike on the ground!

So, YMMV - but for me reliability over speed on multi-day tours.
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