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Old 03-14-10, 12:09 AM   #1
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Recommendations needed for expedition mountain bike touring

I've been doing lots of research about expedition mountain bikes because I want one real bad. I alreading have a good cycle-cross bike for road/fire road tours.
This bike needs to be able to handle the abuse of long-distance touring in remote locals. Durability and realibility are paramount!! I don't plan on jumping off a cliff with this bike, but it will have to be able to carry lots of camping gear for days on the trail. I'm budgeting no more than $1,500 for this build.

This is some of my criteria for bike selection:
  • Steel is a must
    26 inch wheels a must
  • Hardtail most likely, FS is not an option
  • Linear pull brakes, would really like the option of disc
  • I wear size 15 shoes so long chainstays are necessary because I'm using panniers
  • Price moderate
  • Frame only or complete bike is an option

Here is a list of the possibilities. I'd love to hear your take on these bike or suggestions on other options.

Soma Fabrications Groove
Thorn Ripio
Salsa Ala Carte (pre-2010)
Kona Explosif
Voodoo Wanga or Bizango
Jamis Dragon Comp
Gunnar Rock Tour (nice, but expensive)
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Old 03-14-10, 07:59 AM   #2
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And here I thought this thread was some nooblet suck fest.

Those are excellent frame choices, yo! I know that they were blowing the Dragon frame out super-cheap online which would let you put more $$$ into the rest of the build. is blowing out LX Hollowtech II cranksets out for $85 right now. That would be ample crankset for it.

I always hate it when people recommend stuff that isn't on the shopping list, but the On One Inbred is a good'n.

Last edited by ed; 03-14-10 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:58 AM   #3
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Several of the long distance tourers I hear of use Bob Trailers rather than panniers. Keeps the C of G low and the only problems are overnight parking in Towns.

Steel is a good choice but remember that you are going to be carrying a lot of weight. Low gearing will be essential so make certain you have it.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
...but remember that you are going to be carrying a lot of weight.
That depends on the OP's gear. Some ultralight backpackers get away with sub 10lb packs for a few days out in good weather, including food and shelter.
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