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Types of touring bikes

Old 04-07-18, 10:08 PM
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wrldtraveller
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Types of touring bikes

Hey guys,

I have been considering buying a touring bike. but need your feedback, I have been leaning towards two types, MEC Touring bike, or Surly LHT. There is also an option of going through KIJIJI but its rare to find a bike that fit my size. Im a six foot 4, skinny for my size, so the bike has to be large to fit my height. So far I like LHT, but would like to know more about both MEC or LHT. unless someone here has experience with TREK 920 or other types, I want a durable bike that have components that are easily repairable and the parts easily found for repairs. as for price wise, well I believe quality is better than quantity, so Walmart type are out as I believe they aren't durable and don't last based on my cycling habits. My cycling habits can be rather aggressive and tough on a bike.

Also I am wondering can either MEC or LHT bike be outfitted with a off road type tires on a regular touring bike, or do I have to use a mtb type bike?

Would love to have your feedback as to pro/cons and what would you reccomend?

Thanks.
P
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Old 04-08-18, 06:49 AM
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Bike Island is showing 3 new 64cm Windsor Tourists (Bikes Direct) in stock. The greatly reduced price of $349 gives you $ room for modifications, or a chance to grab a backup ride. They are in the U.S., and have shipping included in the price. Don' t know how shipping to Canada works.
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Old 04-08-18, 08:26 AM
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Not sure what touring bike from MEC you want.

Their touring offerings are wide and varied.
All are really neat designs for the $ too.
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Old 04-08-18, 10:07 AM
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I tour off road with my LHT. 35c Continental Top Touring II tires. True measurement is 37c. (The "Top" part is key. They make a regular Touring II model that is inferior.) They are not MTB tires.

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Old 04-08-18, 10:07 AM
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Best advice I can give is test ride. No amount of fancy equipment will compensate for hard use or abuse. Your skill in making repairs and recognizing the difference between hard use and abuse is of greater significance than the brand or model.

You can put aggressive tread tires on any bike but that doesn’t make it an off road bike any more than smooth tread on a mtn bike makes it a road bike.

Break it down. What will 80% of your use be, what size of tires do you want, how much weight will you be carrying, what surfaces will you be on ? Without some specificity you can get anything from a sport tourer with 32mm tires to a bike with shocks and 60mm tires.
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Old 04-08-18, 10:36 AM
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I was OK with the Conti travel contact tire, made to tour past the end of paved roads 700c in 37 & 42 ,

Mine were 559-47.
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Old 04-08-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I was OK with the Conti travel contact tire, made to tour past the end of paved roads 700c in 37 & 42 ,

Mine were 559-47.
I tried those commuting and found them a bit slippery on wet surfaces without sufficient weight on them. Seemed like a good tire for heavy loads. Worked well on gravelly roads.
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Old 04-08-18, 01:25 PM
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I have done some long touring. I purchased the Trek 520 in 2011 and have been pleased. At that time, I was comparing it to the LHT but could not find one to test ride. Perhaps more stores or the ones in your market have some on their display floor.

The suggestion you already received is a good one. Test ride your choices and see if there is a better fit. My complaints with the Trek is the tires only gave me 1,000 miles. I moved on to Schwalbe Marathon and am very happy. I also changed out the saddle to a Brooks B-17. To be fair, I did that based upon the online suggestions. If I would have purchased a LHT, I would have done the same thing.
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Old 04-09-18, 08:13 AM
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I used the Conti Top Contacts (700x38) for a few seasons and found them to be OK, certainly rugged enough for gravel, but last year I went to Schwalbe Marathons and I do find them to be superior (IMHO). They just seem to roll & track better. The bike (a 94 Trek 520) feels so much more nimble now with the same size Schwalbes.
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Old 04-09-18, 09:29 AM
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Mstategfr, In MEC (for you us folks, MEC is Mountain Equipment Co-op, very similar to REI) They offer bicycles ranging from mountain bike with dual shocks all the way up to racing road bikes. They do offer a specific bike designed for touring with full panniers both front and rear. its nice to have everything all ready and set up with out any fiddling and modification. I asked about that bike and checked the website for reviews, it seems very positive.

As for LHT, from what I know, its a build a bike type of system. I have to inform the salesperson that i want this, that, and whatnot, and they will build a bike that meets my expectation. but I've noticed that surly LHT is very well liked by many tourers. yes I also am aware that schwalbe is the best brand of tire for touring due to it durability and strength to last for thousands of miles vs generic type of tires. As of off road, I was just wondering that due to GDMBR, I am aware that GDMBR is an off road type of route mostly on single tracks and gravel roads, and I was wondering is it possible to use a road type bike on this route, or should i consider using a dedicated mtn bike and go on GDMBR.

Thanks everyone, keep the feedback coming.
P
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Old 04-09-18, 10:32 AM
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There are fully built LHT, but that is just the bike, not fully touring ready, jump on and go..

Racks bags an water bottle cages mudguards, all that other stuff is Accessories ..

A typical Bike Shop can make your bike tour ready at point of sale, take maybe 10% off all the extras, and install them for free,
when you buy your bike.

Fit improving parts changes and other preferences, like upgraded tires can be done then, too..




..
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Old 04-09-18, 12:51 PM
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Lots of options, got a budget? GD route, many run a mt hardtail with front sus. 2-3" wide tires are popular. Determine how wide a tire you want to run, go from there. Flat bars or drop bars? Racks or frame bags? Me? I use a Karate monkey with 29er , 2.8 ish tires, rigid fork, some frame bags and small rear rack. One could always run smaller tires with a 29er plus bike.
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Old 04-09-18, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wrldtraveller View Post
Mstategfr, In MEC (for you us folks, MEC is Mountain Equipment Co-op, very similar to REI) They offer bicycles ranging from mountain bike with dual shocks all the way up to racing road bikes. They do offer a specific bike designed for touring with full panniers both front and rear. its nice to have everything all ready and set up with out any fiddling and modification. I asked about that bike and checked the website for reviews, it seems very positive.

As for LHT, from what I know, its a build a bike type of system. I have to inform the salesperson that i want this, that, and whatnot, and they will build a bike that meets my expectation. but I've noticed that surly LHT is very well liked by many tourers. yes I also am aware that schwalbe is the best brand of tire for touring due to it durability and strength to last for thousands of miles vs generic type of tires. As of off road, I was just wondering that due to GDMBR, I am aware that GDMBR is an off road type of route mostly on single tracks and gravel roads, and I was wondering is it possible to use a road type bike on this route, or should i consider using a dedicated mtn bike and go on GDMBR.

Thanks everyone, keep the feedback coming.
P
Can you provide a link to this bike. My MEC website does not display a fully outfitted bike.
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Old 04-09-18, 10:09 PM
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For serious off-road touring I'd get a separate bike. LHT allows wider tires than most trad touring bikes but a MTB will be a lot more comfortable. Personally I'd get a suspension fork too.
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Old 04-10-18, 12:11 PM
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I know there is a lot of similarities between MEC and REI, not sure if that extends to their bike offerings, but I really like my REI house brand bike.

But yeah, as others have mentioned, which specific MEC bike?
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Old 04-11-18, 06:00 AM
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P, I have used my touring bikes off road. While my mountain bike would've been a better option, the touring bike worked well enough.

If only a small percentage of your predicted touring milage is off road, I'd simply install set of off road tires for the GDMBRR.

Brad
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Old 04-11-18, 11:28 AM
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They may Display a bike fully outfitted with all the bits and pieces they sell, in the bike department, for touring,

But you still have to pay for each of them as accessories...
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Old 04-11-18, 04:32 PM
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I will join the chorus. Fit, fit, fit. Which one fits your body best is the best one to go with. Sitting on a bike 6 to 8 hours a day ain't no vacation, and the better the machine feels to the body, the better it is for the body, and enjoyment of the experience.
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Old 04-11-18, 04:49 PM
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Not all MEC touring bikes are, well... touring. I consider a sine-qua-non the triple crank. Only these two have it:

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5041-062/National-Bicycle

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5039-2...ty-One-Bicycle

The National comes with a Brooks B17 as standard and with a 48-36-26 crank and 11-32. Very close to the Novara Randonee REI used to sell, but with disk brakes and a Brooks B17.

The Nineteen Seventy One bike comes with a 50-39-30 crank and a 12-30 cassette. It comes with brifters (which I like), but the gearing is higher than the National.

I have 26 in the front 34 in the back as the lowest gear and I have to get out and push at prolonged 14% inclines, but I weigh north of 260 lbs. So the National would be my choice, but of course YMMV
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Old 04-12-18, 11:22 PM
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gerry, Thats what I was considering, a MEC National. of course, it doesn't come fully outfitted, I have to pay for additional things such as racks, panniers, possibly aerobars, additional bottlecages, etc.

So to go on GDMBR its better to use a mountain bike, preferably a hardtail based on what I've read due to GDMBR usually being on gravel roads and singletracks. My current mountain bike do have holes needed for a rear rack, but no holes for front rack or anything to add to fork as I have front suspension. Not only that, My mountian bike may need an overhaul before i can take it on the GDMBR because my bike is nearly 20 years old.

P
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