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Expedition Touring; replacing my trusty mountain bike

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Expedition Touring; replacing my trusty mountain bike

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Old 02-10-19, 01:21 PM
  #51  
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My Adaptation * was to cut the front mudguard into separate pieces mounted on either side of the fork crown

* Old school Stumpjumper , Tange Chromo Fork ..
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Old 02-10-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
two things --first, I'd be very careful of mud with the fender clearances, as it would be pretty easy to catch stuff and or build up stuff and fold the end bits of the fender under the wheels. I've only ridden in sticky mud a few times, but it did surprise me how much it stuck and built up and had to scraped off with a stick where the tires were close to the frame---but again, not a common occurance, but be aware anyways.
My limited impression is that with knobbies, stuff accumulates worse, specifically mud, compared to more roadish tires.

second--about a suspension fork, and back to mev's specifics.
I was mightily impressed by how mev's front suspension fork didnt have problems on his Americas trip. So many kilometers and a pretty heavy load, I would be concerned about the Russia trip about fork problems, but then I guess its no different than being out in South America, isolation wise.
I could see how a suspension fork certainly could be nice if you would be on roads like in the photos, and I guess if thats the way you want to go fork wise, you would certainly want a similar robust, simple fork. Goes back to the old, "if it aint broken, don't fix it" thing.
I hear you about the mud.
Mostly I think this will be for gravel backroads of which we have a lot in BC and the fenders tend to keep grit off the drive train. I've also thought just a flat extension off the rear rack would keep my back clean if I ditch them.
I made a mistake earlier, the knobbies are 2.10. I think without an aggressive thread I could go up to 2.5 before the chainstays rub up front but I have these tires and will use them until they wear out. They replaced my 1.75 Marathons which are a great tough tire but I found myself losing traction and spinning out on uphill gravel and grass. With a 22/36 gear ratio I can climb some steep stuff. For touring I might find a compromise between the two extremes.

MEC has this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5041-4...1%22-Wire-Tire

Or this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5028-2...-2-4-Wire-Tire

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Old 02-10-19, 01:53 PM
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Weird computer glitch.

I also know nothing about suspension forks. Literally the first one I have ever used but some research on the SR website shows it is probably an entry level trekking type fork with no lockout. I've read some stuff and people seem to be meh about it unless one is doing a lot of standing and cranking like powering up hills. I don't know what to think about them really.

Here's a close up of the front end. Bob, mounting the fender was pretty easy. I don't like those ones that just mount at one point as I see so many twisted and laying on the side of the road. A simple hose clamp will hold the stays.


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Old 02-12-19, 11:58 AM
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When I read the original post, I was thinking of my Troll, so I'm glad to see it come up here several times. Lots of mounts, good tire clearance, very comfortable touring machine for me. Haven't noticed issues with a front load, but I've worked to pare my gear down. I've never put a front rack on this bike, and have only hung a handlebar roll off the bars and sometimes added my Anything cages to the fork blades when additional capacity was needed.

Super agree on disc brakes. My two reasons for replacing tires are my own poor choices when building the wheel or wearing out the rim from riding in all weather with rim brakes.

One thing from the OP seems to be a desire/ability to source a new wheel as needed in remote areas. I believe the current model of Troll has the the 145mm gnot-boost rear dropout which requires an adapter to use the more common 135mm hub. I believe the newer one is not suspension corrected, which means no suspension fork option, correct? Personally I never got around to adding a suspension fork to mine, and, for the type of riding I do that's worked fine. But if front suspension is a goal, or if hub compatibility is an issue, it might be worth sourcing an older Troll frame with the narrower rear dropouts and the suspension-corrected frame. The two trade-offs that come to mind are that the rear wheel does not have quite the same clearance in the older models, 2.8" vs. 3", and the triangle is not quite as large, should you want to add a frame bag. Personally I've mostly switched between 2.15" and 2.5" tires. I've made some attempts to go a little wider, but I don't have any long term experience with that, and for most of my riding, even the 2.5" is probably overkill. It's just fun. But I wouldn't sweat over that .2" clearance difference.
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Old 02-12-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
When I read the original post, I was thinking of my Troll, so I'm glad to see it come up here several times. Lots of mounts, good tire clearance, very comfortable touring machine for me. Haven't noticed issues with a front load, but I've worked to pare my gear down. I've never put a front rack on this bike, and have only hung a handlebar roll off the bars and sometimes added my Anything cages to the fork blades when additional capacity was needed.

Super agree on disc brakes. My two reasons for replacing tires are my own poor choices when building the wheel or wearing out the rim from riding in all weather with rim brakes.

One thing from the OP seems to be a desire/ability to source a new wheel as needed in remote areas. I believe the current model of Troll has the the 145mm gnot-boost rear dropout which requires an adapter to use the more common 135mm hub. I believe the newer one is not suspension corrected, which means no suspension fork option, correct? Personally I never got around to adding a suspension fork to mine, and, for the type of riding I do that's worked fine. But if front suspension is a goal, or if hub compatibility is an issue, it might be worth sourcing an older Troll frame with the narrower rear dropouts and the suspension-corrected frame. The two trade-offs that come to mind are that the rear wheel does not have quite the same clearance in the older models, 2.8" vs. 3", and the triangle is not quite as large, should you want to add a frame bag. Personally I've mostly switched between 2.15" and 2.5" tires. I've made some attempts to go a little wider, but I don't have any long term experience with that, and for most of my riding, even the 2.5" is probably overkill. It's just fun. But I wouldn't sweat over that .2" clearance difference.
correct on that gnot boost thingee, I had forgotten about that. The stock wheels are 135 with the two doohickey thingees , one on either side that fit onto the 135 to fit into the diff spacing. The few times I have removed the rear wheel on my wifes newer 2017 troll, I always need to remember to keep track of those things. If I were to be going off to the middle of nowhere, I'd take spares in case I dropped one into a river or off a cliff in a doofuss move, which is entirely possible, as they are not an instinct we have that bits can fall off when taking off a rear wheel.

and yes on the no longer suspension corrected, I'd forgotten that also.

I agree on the 3in newer troll frame tire capacity probably not being a real issue for mev, as 2.5's would probably be the largest necessary or wanted.

So all good points rob
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Old 02-12-19, 01:21 PM
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I think the main point with suspension fork for touring is that ideally you want the weight to be mounted where it rides above the suspension, not down where it goes up and down with the wheel. (Motorcyclists call that unsprung weight.)

And it can be some work to mount a rack on a suspension fork that was not designed for it. I however have seen a rack made by Minoura that could be mounted on a suspension fork.

In this photo the rider had an old Tubus rack that I think has been out of production for over five years that could mount the panniers up were they were suspended, not down below were they go up and down with the wheel. She had her rack repaired several times instead of replacing it because that model rack (I think called the Swing) was out of production. I was surprised she was on a long tour with an air suspension fork, but she said she really liked having the suspension. Her panniers were mounted up much higher than typical because of the design of that rack.



I have put a suspension fork on my Thorn Nomad when I used the bike as a mountain bike, I don't have a mountain bike and the suspension fork was an easy swap. My Nomad frame is designed for a 100mm suspension fork and I do not think I would use a mountain bike enough to make it worth owning.

But I do not see myself using the suspension fork for touring when the solid fork was designed to carry panniers.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:58 PM
  #57  
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In the interest of keeping the thread going until mev posts an update

I was looking at my bike and thinking about some other additional water bottle mounting options. I have a Blackburn cargo cage on the seat tube that holds 1.5L and have in the past mounted cages on the bars. Yesterday I remembered a triathlon seat mount I bought one time (sorry forget what brand). It's one of those behind the seat deals which I found serviceable enough but awkward when swinging the leg to mount/dismount.

I started playing with possible alternative locations and discovered it fits my rear rack perfectly so I mounted it and bolted on some cages and took it for a test ride with the result of no rubbing of the legs. Kind of unusual but I can now mount two large bottles there if I want.









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Old 02-14-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think the main point with suspension fork for touring is that ideally you want the weight to be mounted where it rides above the suspension, not down where it goes up and down with the wheel. (Motorcyclists call that unsprung weight.)

And it can be some work to mount a rack on a suspension fork that was not designed for it. I however have seen a rack made by Minoura that could be mounted on a suspension fork.

In this photo the rider had an old Tubus rack that I think has been out of production for over five years that could mount the panniers up were they were suspended, not down below were they go up and down with the wheel. She had her rack repaired several times instead of replacing it because that model rack (I think called the Swing) was out of production. I was surprised she was on a long tour with an air suspension fork, but she said she really liked having the suspension. Her panniers were mounted up much higher than typical because of the design of that rack.



I have put a suspension fork on my Thorn Nomad when I used the bike as a mountain bike, I don't have a mountain bike and the suspension fork was an easy swap. My Nomad frame is designed for a 100mm suspension fork and I do not think I would use a mountain bike enough to make it worth owning.

But I do not see myself using the suspension fork for touring when the solid fork was designed to carry panniers.
I suspect there was little in common on the various suspension fork crowns , to be one fits all capable.. mount
(+ liability for uses not being fastidious in fitting them )







...
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Old 02-14-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
... Yesterday I remembered a triathlon seat mount I bought one time (sorry forget what brand). It's one of those behind the seat deals which I found serviceable enough but awkward when swinging the leg to mount/dismount....
I stand a bit more forward and a bit more off to the side when i get on a bike, bend my knee sharply, and swing my knee over the top tube in front of the saddle instead of my leg over the saddle.

As a kid I had a paper route and had the giant chromed rear baskets on my bike to carry newspapers, and would stack piles of newspapers on top. It was nearly impossible as a kid (I was a lot smaller then) to swing my leg over the back.
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Old 02-14-19, 06:25 PM
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I have to admit I'm still a little bit of a cowboy that way. Worse is dismounting as I often forget and would kick the bottles.
For a touch of flair and daring do on a tedious trail I'll even dismount but stand on the pedal like I'm riding a streetcar and glide to a stop.
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Old 02-14-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
One thing from the OP seems to be a desire/ability to source a new wheel as needed in remote areas.
For what it is worth, replacing in the field is actually not real high on my list. I'll put more emphasis on getting good bombproof wheels in the first place.

The problem I've had with replacing in the field is the most remote places, one encounters bikes that look more like this one (from Siberia in 2007):

Where those type of wheels wouldn't last long with my weight and load.
In the larger cities one will find more fully stocked alternatives. For example in Yakusk (and definitely a place like Irkutsk) I wouldn't find things very different from larger cities in the US. I have replaced a few occasions on tour;
- at mile 500 of the Alaska Highway, I ended up with a replacement 32-spoke wheel that lasted long enough to get to Edmonton where I replaced it
- in New Zealand, replaced a wheel from Wellington that lasted rest of my trip (six weeks overall)
So it happens, but I'm likely to be looking at larger towns as needed and not those sparsely populated remote areas.

As far as more general update goes, still working through my options. My friend's trip starts in late Spring 2020 (hopefully after the worst cold temperatures but before the peak of the biting bug season) from Magadan. Some of the worst roads are the old (abandoned) summer road and he may be sticking to more of the general highway. Still occasionally rough and potential for ugly mud - but not quite as bad at the original "road of bones" I might anticipate. So also mulling over updating some things on existing bike (e.g. new wheels on my 2007 Trek 520 which had already gone across Russia once). Other alternatives highest on my interest are either starting with a frame like a Troll or just taking better look at current mid-range mountain bikes...

Thanks for ideas and things to think about so far.
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Old 02-14-19, 08:08 PM
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Re Magadan , from that motorcycle doc with the two actors, Ewan McGregor and his pal Charlie Borman, about 15 years ago at least now--i remember a Russian guy singing a song about Magadan while playing a guitar.
The Long Way Round i think was the title.
not a bad watch, but then I always dreamt of doing that sort of motorcycle trip back when I had bikes.
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Old 02-16-19, 03:05 AM
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In my experience oversized steel makes for a superior fully-loaded ride. You can also find it in some of the older mountain bikes. Especially relevant in the larger frame sizes. Co-Motion tends to use larger diameter tubing than most, and better steels. Their long experience building and refining touring and expedition touring tandems is serving them well in guiding their designs, choices and offerings. Applies to larger, stronger riders as well.

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Old 02-16-19, 07:01 PM
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Still more bumping...

After swapping forks I noticed that this new one has a shorter steerer tube which put my bars just a tad too low. I could still ride but I felt my weight resting more on my hands than I would like long distance. Going back to the donor e bike I pulled the bars from it. These are a little swept back and have about a 20 - 30mm rise. Flippity flop I did the swap and took it out for a test ride. Happy hands for Happy Feet! The positioning feels a lot more comfortable now. Btw.. In the picturess the shifters are just sitting on the bars and not in the final position (they are more outboard).

Now I am debating stripping the stickers off and repainting the frame. Last time I tried several different earth tone paints in random blocks to try to make a sort of camo effect but I never really liked the end result.







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Old 02-16-19, 08:10 PM
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Re the bars. Around here there is a used bike shop that has lots of cheap used riser/various swept back varying degrees bars, taken off old hybrids and such, so I'm sure you can find if you would like more than those ones.
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Old 02-16-19, 08:39 PM
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Yep. And CL

One thing that may pertain to mev's build considerations is the choice between steel, Al or carbon for components like that. As it is my bike (92 Chromo double butted frame) is surprisingly light but the total build is heavy; apart from the seat post and rack everything is steel, plus a Brooks sprung saddle and meaty tires. I could swap out the saddle but it is very comfortable riding all day. For about $40 I could swap out the bars and bar ends for Al or even more $ for carbon but what would those savings matter compared to the big weight penalty the suspension fork causes or adding capacity for 3.75 L of water? Better tires may help but there is a compromise between rugged and heavy or light and frail to consider. I don't know really what the trade offs are for an extended off road trip though I suspect I would predictably drop the bike eventually and bust carbon bar ends.
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Old 02-17-19, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
... but the total build is heavy; ....
I have seen claims for how light someone's touring bike build is, but I pretty much quit believing some of those claims unless they paid a fortune to trim grams at every step. Or, if they used components that I felt were too light to be reliable.

My expedition bike is around 40 pounds (~18kg) without weight of water or panniers or handlebar bag. And that is without the suspension fork, adding that adds another couple pounds (or another kg).

It is very hard to keep the weight of an expedition bike down unless you count grams (and dollars) for every component. When I built up my bike, my criteria for parts was robust, reliable, repairable, and easily replaceable. Weight savings was further down the priority list and I prioritized budget over weight savings. I built it with parts that I was confident would not fail 100km from the nearest retail establishment. But when you build it that way, you also need a frame that is stiff (and heavy) enough to handle the weight of the load without being a wet noodle.

And I agree with you, you need a saddle that will feel good at the end of a long day, I also use a sprung Brooks saddle.

I use a titanium cooking pot, titanium coffee mug, etc. But those are things that were easy to trim weight without fear of a catastrophic breakdown that strands you far from your destination.
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Old 02-17-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have seen claims for how light someone's touring bike build is, but I pretty much quit believing some of those claims unless they paid a fortune to trim grams at every step. Or, if they used components that I felt were too light to be reliable.

My expedition bike is around 40 pounds (~18kg) without weight of water or panniers or handlebar bag. And that is without the suspension fork, adding that adds another couple pounds (or another kg).

It is very hard to keep the weight of an expedition bike down unless you count grams (and dollars) for every component. When I built up my bike, my criteria for parts was robust, reliable, repairable, and easily replaceable. Weight savings was further down the priority list and I prioritized budget over weight savings. I built it with parts that I was confident would not fail 100km from the nearest retail establishment. But when you build it that way, you also need a frame that is stiff (and heavy) enough to handle the weight of the load without being a wet noodle.

And I agree with you, you need a saddle that will feel good at the end of a long day, I also use a sprung Brooks saddle.

I use a titanium cooking pot, titanium coffee mug, etc. But those are things that were easy to trim weight without fear of a catastrophic breakdown that strands you far from your destination.
re your Thorn at 40lbs, I'm pretty certain my Troll is a bit over 30lbs with the front and rear rack, which surprised me a bit (I'll double check one day, its been a while, but the bike is behind a bunch of stuff now)
When I got my Troll, I had been thinking of that bike for a while, and ended up finding a used one. I had always intended to put a mtb triple on a Troll, but this bike already had one, a XT 9 speed one, so its lighter than a deore mtb crankset, and lighter still than the standard deore 48/36/26 cranksets that come on stock trolls and other bikes.
The 32 spoke wheelset on it is also quite a bit lighter than the stock alex adventurer 36 spoke wheels that come on trolls and lht's, so just between those two things, Im sure theres at least a couple of lbs less than a stock troll.
The dropbars I put on are middling weight I imagine, but the Gevenalle hoods and shifter units are lighter than some stuff, but probably very similar to bar end shifters and or thumb shifters.

In my case, as I always bring up, being a light guy allows me a fair amount of wiggle room for getting away with lighter wheels, and I'm pretty careful of keeping my drivetrain and everything clean and in good working order--so if there is any "more wear" thing going on with xt rings compared to deore due to them using lighter material, I try to compensate by keeping everything clean and regularly lubed with non gunky lube.

I still figure the Thorns are perhaps stronger frames, but then we come back to mev's experience of riding a stock trek 520 huge distances with no issues, so a XL troll should be the same, and even probably more sturdy with their frame design and beefy fork.
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Old 02-17-19, 09:13 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Join the modern world - forget all the 1980s tech!

Aluminum has far more vibration than steel, titanium has less vibration than steel, vibration is hard on yoour wrist.
Not another aluminum frame for me.
9 speed last longer than 8 speed, 10 speed last longer than 9 speed, 11 speed chains last longer than 10 speeds. why? better material.
LOL, Of course you can't buy 8 or 9 speed chains made from good material.... Nah, I think maybe you should look at Whipperman Connex Chains where their high end 8 and 9 speed chains are made of the same materials as 11s if you are willing to pay. Looking at the full picture, 8 speed cassettes and chains have much more metal in them than 9 speed, 9 speed more than 10 speed etc etc. The only chains I've ever snapped were 11 speed. What is getting hard is finding quality parts in 8 or 9 speed. 8 speed is dead because the quality isn't there unless you can get NOS parts, 9 speed is still not bad, Deore is still probably the sweet spot of cost versus quality for touring..

Going back to the OP, why not a Troll frame and move all his old components over? I've got a Troll and it's solid as, you can scream down almost anything fully loaded.. I'm 95kg, and I carry around 35kg of gear on tour . I roll Surly ET tyres, which negate the need for suspension with their high volume. The ETs are good, they roll well whilst being good off road. There is the caveat, however, that the QC is abysmal. They are made by Innova Tires and the moulding can be completely whack. I had one chew out rapidly because the tread blocks were only skinned with a layer of tread rubber, the blocks were filled with soft casing rubber. Kind of like a soft centered chocolate. As soon as the skin wore off the top of the tread block it was effectively worn out in a few hundred kilometers. But this was one out of 4 tyres on our bikes, so I can't say how prevalent this was. Surly did however acknowledge it as a problem and promised to send me some swag and new tyre- incidentally they didn't, so that sucks.
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Old 02-17-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re your Thorn at 40lbs, I'm pretty certain my Troll is a bit over 30lbs with the front and rear rack, which surprised me a bit (I'll double check one day, its been a while, but the bike is behind a bunch of stuff now)
When I got my Troll, I had been thinking of that bike for a while, and ended up finding a used one. I had always intended to put a mtb triple on a Troll, but this bike already had one, a XT 9 speed one, so its lighter than a deore mtb crankset, and lighter still than the standard deore 48/36/26 cranksets that come on stock trolls and other bikes.
The 32 spoke wheelset on it is also quite a bit lighter than the stock alex adventurer 36 spoke wheels that come on trolls and lht's, so just between those two things, Im sure theres at least a couple of lbs less than a stock troll.
The dropbars I put on are middling weight I imagine, but the Gevenalle hoods and shifter units are lighter than some stuff, but probably very similar to bar end shifters and or thumb shifters.

In my case, as I always bring up, being a light guy allows me a fair amount of wiggle room for getting away with lighter wheels, and I'm pretty careful of keeping my drivetrain and everything clean and in good working order--so if there is any "more wear" thing going on with xt rings compared to deore due to them using lighter material, I try to compensate by keeping everything clean and regularly lubed with non gunky lube.

I still figure the Thorns are perhaps stronger frames, but then we come back to mev's experience of riding a stock trek 520 huge distances with no issues, so a XL troll should be the same, and even probably more sturdy with their frame design and beefy fork.
I just looked at my notes, when I listed 40 pounds above, that excluded weight of racks for my heaviest bike and that was with light duty tires.

My expedition bike, the Thorn Nomad (Rohloff) at about 21 kg with racks and with my heaviest tires is rated to carry something like 62 kg excluding the weight of the rider. I loaded mine down quite a bit when I had over two weeks of food on it and clothing & camping supplies for snowy weather, yet it still was not up at the top of the rating. It handled really solid. This bike uses M6 rack bolts instead of M5 to give you an idea of how they designed it. Max tire size with fenders is 559X57mm.

My Thorn Sherpa (derailleurs) is something like 4 kg lighter(~17 kg) with racks and the tires I use on pavement, but that is rated at only about 35 kg excluding weight of rider. I think I have had up to about 25 or maybe 30 kg of stuff on the bike at one time when I had a week of food and clothing for warm weather. It handled quite well with that load. Max tire size with fenders 559X50mm.

And my Lynskey (derailleurs) is about 1 or 2 kg lighter than the Sherpa. Lynskey rated that bike as "no limit" but I consider it my light touring bike, not as solid as the Thorns. Max tire size 622X37mm with fenders, so I only use this bike on pavement and occasionally on good quality gravel.

I could have built up these bikes much lighter, but I used some heavy parts to make sure that they last, so they might be a bit overbuilt.

A friend of mine has done three cross USA coast to coast trips. The bike he used for that was on the second set of wheels after two trips, after the third trip is on the second or maybe third crankset, has replaced lots of external bottom bracket bearings, I think at least one headset set of bearings, new shifters for the third trip, etc. I am not really sure what his bike weighs, but the few times I picked it up it felt quite a bit lighter mine, possibly lighter than my Lynskey. So, I think some of his part replacements may be from trying to keep it really light weight.

I am not sure where the Troll compares for capacity. I have seen comments like it is the most solid bike made but I have also seen comments that it is really flexible with a load, so I really do not know how it compares.

I had a first year of production LHT. The frame had a welding defect, but Surly denied the warranty claim. I tried to use it but eventually I put the frame in the metal recycling bin. It handled like a wet noodle. A frame builder told me that the bottom bracket area welding had the wrong heat settings and that made it weaker. (No more Surly products for me.)

I built up my Thorns after my bad experience with Surly, so perhaps I over-reacted and over built them because of that.
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Old 02-21-19, 11:04 PM
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Specialized hardrock


Specialized hardrock 2000...totally rebuild
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Old 02-25-19, 12:29 AM
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Another bump to keep the thread alive.

I bought some SS worm gear hose clamps to hold the fender struts on the suspension fork and a couple extra to try mounting a bottle cage to the top tube. That worked out fine although I think I would use a strap to hold a bottle in place, especially a long one. With the other two I could haul 1x1500ml in the Blackburn seat tube cage, 2x750ml in the rack cages and 1x1000L on the top tube for 4L total.

Went for a ride in the snow afterward and everything stayed where it should without any leg clearance issues. I can't believe how helpful the suspension fork is. There is a weight penalty and with dirt tread the going is slower but without some give the jarring from uneven terrain would have stopped me. As it was I did 4 hours of mixed terrain that pushed the 2.10 tires to their limits as far as traction went in snow, ice and mud. The only down side is the suspension fork steerer tube is shorter than my stock rigid fork and the gas tank bag doesn't mate to it well. It leans to one side. I have a different one that will work (though I like this one better).

Now I have to decide if I want to tear it all apart and repaint the frame.






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Old 02-25-19, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I am not sure where the Troll compares for capacity. I have seen comments like it is the most solid bike made but I have also seen comments that it is really flexible with a load, so I really do not know how it compares.

I built up my Thorns after my bad experience with Surly, so perhaps I over-reacted and over built them because of that.
sorry there tourist, meant to respond to this, but forgot.
re the troll, I wish I could answer, but given that mev is a lot heavier than I am and carries more stuff, it certainly is a valid concern--although like I mentioned at one point, given that he has used a stock trek 520 for super long trips and it was fine, I think its reasonable to figure that a troll would be at least similar (and as I noted, the troll fork does seem very beefy compared to a 520)

and for getting a Thorn because of your experience with the early LHT, makes sense and they very much are known for their ruggedness, plain and simple.
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Old 02-25-19, 09:54 AM
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Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
...
...The only down side is the suspension fork steerer tube is shorter than my stock rigid fork and the gas tank bag doesn't mate to it well. It leans to one side....
When I was watching Ebay for a suspension fork, I noticed that too, the steerer tube on most of the ones I saw were too short to fit my bike. Finally someone posted a new-old-stock lower end coil spring fork that had enough steerer for me. I got lucky, nobody else bid so I got it for the opening bid.

I suspect that generically mountain bikes have changed slightly over time to have shorter headtubes, as all the newer mountain bikes I see these days have very short headtubes.

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
...
I bought some SS worm gear hose clamps to hold the fender struts on the suspension fork and a couple extra to try mounting a bottle cage to the top tube. That worked out fine although I think I would use a strap to hold a bottle in place, especially a long one. With the other two I could haul 1x1500ml in the Blackburn seat tube cage, 2x750ml in the rack cages and 1x1000L on the top tube for 4L total. ...
I would have put a bottle cage below the downtube instead of on the top tube. I also put a small triangular bag where you had the top tube cage, that bag holds two tubes and my patch kit.

In the photo you can see I use a velcro strap to hold the one below the downtube against the frame so it can't fall out.

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Old 03-04-19, 09:23 PM
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I've seen many bikes with that configuration. It's an option though I don't like the idea of road grime getting on it. Seems some keep their fuel bottle there.

After several rides with the bottle on the top tube as described earlier I have found it tends to get knocked around a bit too much and I have to reposition it every so often. Not so much on roads where one maintains a sort of constant movement but on trails I tend to put my foot down twist, brace etc...

Next up will be trying it mounted further forward where the gas tank bag should go, above where it says Nomad in the photo above. That would still put it withing easy grasp but out of way of my knees. I could see getting a set of water bottle bosses added there eventually that could hold either a bottle cage or gas tank bag.

One thing I think about water bottles is they have to be convenient and easy to get to while riding or I tend to not want to stop and futz with them. This sometimes leads to dehydration. Gas tank bags tend to solve the same problem for eating by keeping snacks close at hand. My 1.5L nagalene bottle is strapped into the cargo cage and a bottle under the DT would not be handy so I want one or two up high. In this article Lael mounts hers on the bars (which I have also done) but, if I use areos it gets a little crowded there. https://rootsrated.com/stories/lael-...epacking-world
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