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Off-road touring -- where to start?

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Off-road touring -- where to start?

Old 12-10-05, 03:03 AM
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Im interested in learning more about off road touring. Right now im trying to grasp all the new costs that it would involve.( something I tend to do first, even when the actual trip is off in the distance) Looking at what other people ride, it seems hardtails w/ BOB trailers are the preference. So, as far as frame material goes, steel or aluminum? I suppose, though the ideal ansewer is steel,
Im factoring in what I have read about the BOB deforming rear triangles ( any comments on that?)

I Know that steel is pliable, but more expensive. With aluminum, if i got 5 years out of the frame I would be happy. Then upgrade to a Surly or something.

Secondly, Full suspension or hard tail. A F/s would be good if I could find a manufactuer that sells spare reartriangles with their bikes. (know of anyone?)

Third: BOB or something else. I would be riding a bit of single track. So single wheel?

4thly: Front racks w/ small panniers w/ a suspension fork?

Thanks for you comments. I used to post here w/ a different screen name, and was helped out many times building a bike and organizing tours.
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Old 12-10-05, 05:45 AM
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I did a little touring on a Giant rincon of all things. My biggest ride was four days, for this I carried every thing I needed on a rear rack with two cheap panniers made from Pakistani cotton rucksacks. The only thing I needed to top up regularly (every day ) was water. I carried three litres at all times, or at least between refills, and purified it with tablets any camping store sells. Three litres was not enough for offroad touring at the height of a West Australian summer but if its relatively cool where you are it could be enough. My biggest expense was the rack and noodles, the rack has to be a good one, as a rule of thumb if it looks like it could support you if it were attached to a wall then its probably OK. Bear in mind that is in no way a scientific test but a rule of thumb. I wouldnt bother with the trailer unless you dont plan on seeing another settlement for more than say 10 days, I cant imagine doing any of my rides lugging something as unweildy as a trailer behind me, likely it would have ended up donated to the first township I passed through.
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Old 12-31-05, 10:32 PM
ken cummings
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The people who used to be known as Bikecentennial run a number of off road tours. They might have some ideas. They are based in Missoula, Montana. Adventure cycling?
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