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Which one for a 2,500 km trek through Central America?

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Which one for a 2,500 km trek through Central America?

Old 09-02-15, 01:55 PM
  #1  
amiem
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Which one for a 2,500 km trek through Central America?

Hey guys, I just wanted to get a quick opinion on these tthree potential bikes for a ride through Central America. I will attach a rack and panniers, ect. The first one is more suited to me, however, the second has 26" wheels and 700cc wheels are nearly impossible to find in Central America.

The trek will be relaxed - 80-100km per day maybe 3 days a week on average for a few months.

I'm a newb and would love some feedback.

Diamondback Clarity 1 Hybrid Bike | DICK'S Sporting Goods

Diamondback Wildwood Bike for 2015 | DICK'S Sporting Goods

Wildcard bike:

Fuji Boulevard 1.3L Women's Flat Bar Road Bike - 2015

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-15, 07:53 PM
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Welcome to BF.

When touring, you want to reduce worry to a minimum. Don't leave worrying about replacing a blown tire or tube. Chose the one that fits best(Fit is First,) and with components that can be readily replaced. That 700c model is geared too high for loaded touring, and the Wildwood has a mostly useless and heavy front shock. The Fuji meets all the specs for a lightly loaded touring bike. You'll appreciate the step through frame, especially when the bike is loaded with gear.

Have fun.
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Old 09-02-15, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
. The Fuji meets all the specs for a lightly loaded touring bike. You'll appreciate the step through frame, especially when the bike is loaded with gear.

Have fun.
+1

Have a local bike shop install stronger spokes and nipples to the rear wheel and if finances are available, to the front wheel too. Have a great trip!
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Old 09-02-15, 08:22 PM
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Definitely avoid the bike with a front shock. Ideally you'd get a bike with 26 inch wheels.

Are you buying the bike in the US or Panama?

In an ideal world if funds were unlimited, I'd say look at a bike like the surly troll. That's expensive. You certainly don't need a bike this expensive to have a great time on a tour like this but you don't want to buy something that will give you mechanical headaches on the trip either.

Vintage mountain bikes with a rigid fork would work very well for this but you'd have to know something about older bikes and how to fix them.
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Old 09-02-15, 08:50 PM
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hey, you're in panana now. you're listing bikes from online sellers; will
the shipping fees to panama put them out of your price range? what's
available locally? craigslist - bicis

local bikeshop should be able to refurbish an older mountainbike, much
cheaper than ordering a bike online that needs new fork, new tires,
new components anyway. another plus.....shiny new bikes get
stolen. scratched and ratty frankenbikes not as often.

do you absolutely need a girl's bike? not having ridden one, i wonder
if the frame style.....no horizontal tube.....would flex too much.

how much gear do you plan to haul? and who's gonna haul it?
maybe boyfriend will carry a larger portion? trailer?
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Old 09-02-15, 09:12 PM
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I found a semi-reasonable private delivery company that will ship it to Miami - Panama City for around $120.00 (depending on weight). I've spent the past 2 months looking daily online Panama classified sites and the decent bikes (like anything imported) is INSANELY expensive here. If I bought a bike around $300.00 online, it would be below $450.00 inclusive and I'd have a brand new bike.

This country seems to have no middle-ground bikes. Either really sweet carbon bikes (which are WAY too much for me) or they are ****ty mountain bikes that are incredibly heavy and have shocks. There is no real middle of the road option and so I'm kind of forced to look online.

I'd ideally love to go to the shops here or put something together - but even my boyfriend and I went to one of the only solid bike shops close to where we live (David, Panama - the second biggest city in the country), they only had some good mens bikes and then totally **** kids/ladies cruisers. It's a frustrating process.

Not only that, but I need a small frame (I'm 5'2) and dont know if the only decent local option are to buy a small frame from somewhere and then build on and up. However, I have no bike experience really and dont know how to put one together.

Any advice would be sweet.
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Old 09-02-15, 09:31 PM
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https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...0052_552051_-1

Thoughts on this one? Just found out I cant order the Fugi one.
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Old 09-02-15, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by amiem View Post
https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...0052_552051_-1

Thoughts on this one? Just found out I cant order the Fugi one.
I like it!!

If you take camping stuff like a tent, etc... 28/32 on the speeds might not cut it where you want to go. Maybe you're pretty strong?

If you aren't taking camping stuff and pretty light then it should work.
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Old 09-02-15, 10:15 PM
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How much are you looking to spend?

An adventure bike is certainly more suitable, if you could increase your budget:

Save Up to 60% Off Disc Brake Road Bikes - Motobecane Omni Strada Trail
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Old 09-03-15, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by amiem View Post
https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...0052_552051_-1

Thoughts on this one? Just found out I cant order the Fugi one.
32 up front with 28 in back for gearing will be low enough for you to ride most anywhere, even with the bike loaded. This is based on you mentioning you are young and in shape.
There may be a time or two where you cant ride up some long steep mountainside, but you wont find a better stock gear ratio for the price you are looking to spend.
And the with gearing going to 48-11, you will have plenty of options to go fast and pedal without force on all types of terrain.

The bike has rack mounting points, which is a plus since it makes setting the bike up much easier.
Shifting is trigger instead of twist. Both work fine, trigger is just better feeling for most. So that's a plus.

The only downside I can see, for the money you are looking to spend, is the stem is steel instead of alloy. That's just a cost saver and itll work fine, its a little heavier.


If you have time, bring the bike to a bike shop and have them go over the bike before you leave just to make sure everything is properly adjusted, especially the brakes and wheels.

That's a pretty good option for $300 if there is nothing local.
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Old 09-03-15, 08:02 AM
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take the Dick's bike to a proper bike shop and have it thoroughly checked, and adding more bearing grease
to your typical miserly factory minimum.
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Old 09-03-15, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
take the Dick's bike to a proper bike shop and have it thoroughly checked, and adding more bearing grease
to your typical miserly factory minimum.
+1
My oldest girl has a 24" Diamondback Clarity- its basically the same as the one the OP mentions, only with twist instead of rapid fire shifting. The junk that was passed off as grease was actually sticky. After redoing the hubs, I went ahead and repacked all the bearings. I don't know what that stuff was, but it wasn't grease.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
+1
My oldest girl has a 24" Diamondback Clarity- its basically the same as the one the OP mentions, only with twist instead of rapid fire shifting. The junk that was passed off as grease was actually sticky. After redoing the hubs, I went ahead and repacked all the bearings. I don't know what that stuff was, but it wasn't grease.
Sorry, I dont understand. Would you reccommend the Diamondback Clarity for a tour? Have you had a good experience with it?
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Old 09-07-15, 06:01 PM
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It should serve you fine.
I would recommend you have it looked over/built by a bike shop before the trip.
Have them repack the 4 bearing points(headset, bottom bracket unless it's a cartridge, both wheel hubs). Also have them adjust the brakes after truing and properly tensioning the wheels.

The bike comes with low end wheels that almost certainly were quickly built instead of well built. Having a shop properly tension the spokes and true the wheels makes them strong. Adjusting the brakes is important for obvious reasons, but they were poorly aligned when I got the bike. Having the bearing points properly packed with grease and adjusted will ensure the bike lasts for years even after your trip.

These 3 things- wheels adjusted, brakes adjusted, bearings adjusted, are basic and any bike shop around me can handle it for probably $80 total. Not sure what that translates to where you are, but I would hope a bike shop there can do these things as they are basic services.

There is of course a chance you ride it without issue as is without any of these adjustments. The wheels will just be weaker and more prone to a spoke breaking or a lot of wobble which will reduce efficiency.
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