Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-05, 06:48 AM   #1
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
tourer versus mountain bike

Im trying to decide what type of bike to get for a cycle ride across china and central Asia. I'm going to be heavy loaded, with front and back panniers and riding across a variety of terrains, from corrugated and rutted tracks, to packed dirt roads covered in sand, to the finest metalled European roads. I have no idea what to buy, I'm paranoid about breaking stuff (so Im going for a weldable steel frame- i think that would be more comfortable too), and about not being able to get parts. Any help would be heaven sent!

I was thinking:

Should i get...

a) A steel touring bike with 700 cc wheels (but quite chunky tyres)

This seems to have the advantage of having long chain stays, and being more comfortable, and possibly more efficient (is this right, would it be less tiring to ride than other bicycles?). I'll be riding several thousand miles, so i want something comfortable.

The big disadvantage is the wheels: apparently you cant get replacements in the middle of nowhere, so Id have to carry spokes and tyres and inners all the way with me, and if it went wrong, Id have to get parts dispatched to me. Should i worry about parts, or just cross that bridge when i come to it? Will stuff break?

The other disadvantage is that while it would be easier to ride on good surfaces, i worry that it wouldn't be responsive enough on trickier terrain.

b) A steel mountain bike with 26" wheels

I just worry that'd id feel really cramped, and that Id find myself kicking my panniers all the time, and that it would feel like a real slog to ride on the metalled roads (is this my imagination, will small wheels really make that much difference?). The advantage is that Id be able to get parts for it anywhere.

If so... can anyone recommend a good steel mountain bike frame with braze ons for panniers?

c) Something i haven't yet thought of

Someone at work mentioned a cyclo cross bike (i think he was wrong) but maybe that's good idea... any ideas welcome!

I'd really appreciate any advice on this, even if it's just "stop worrying and buy something!"

antfrogboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-05, 08:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Tourable MTB frames are hard to find. The old steel Specialized Stumpjumper used to be a dependable mount for touring but most current frames are too sporty, bouncy and Al. Soma, Surley and Gunnar are the best sources for old school non-sus-with all the braze-ons steel frames.

The best bike is probably a 26" steel touring bike (Surly LHT/Bruce Gordon BLT). You get the universal wheel size with load-carrying design. Drop bars give you a variety of hand positions and friction override gears let you fit any old replacement mechs.
CX bikes are built for agility. You can load up some models but they are not optimised for loads.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-05, 09:07 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, touring bike on 26" wheels is probably your best bet. A lot of touring bike manufacturers build 26" wheel versions now. In the UK, Thorn make some great bikes for Expedition touring, as does Roberts

I have a ThornXTC tourer built on 26's and it is great but might be too light for your purposes, the brochure though has an interesting section on the advantages of touring on 26" wheels.

Enjoy your tour....
Serge51 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:32 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.