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-   -   Would you choose a "cheap" flat-bar touring bike? (https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1239526-would-you-choose-cheap-flat-bar-touring-bike.html)

hybridbkrdr 09-26-21 07:59 AM

Would you choose a "cheap" flat-bar touring bike?
 
I've ridden bikes with a mix of Alivio/Deore and Sora/Tiagra. And those might be fine to ride and fun. But when I bought a cheap Canadian Tire bike once and installed Shimano Altus shifters, I found the bike worked well enough even with Tourney derailleurs. So I was thinking if you could find a bike with flat bars, front and rear racks, fenders and Shimano Atlus or Acera components, would you go for that?

KC8QVO 09-26-21 09:44 AM

People tour on flat bar bikes all the time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the idea - if you like it have at it.

My folding bike has "flat bars" on it (it has wide grips that give my palms more of a platform to rest on than a round bar, though). I've done day tours on it, but no serious long distance tours.

This is just a personal thing, but I suspect it is a very common issue among riders that spend any length of time on bikes. I get circulation issues in my hands during long days riding. With flat bars I don't have enough hand positions to keep my hands working well - especially as the temps get cooler. For that reason - having drops is a massive benefit to my riding - they give me not only plenty of hand positions, but also a couple different posture positions also. I really like that.

So my suggestion is based off of the above - if you know your body and are OK with flat bars over the long haul - I say have at it. If you know your body and find you have some limitations - I say its best to avoid them.

Again, from simply a touring perspective there is absolutely nothing wrong with flat bars. Its all a matter of what you like.

As to the "cheap bikes" - something that I would look at is if everything on the bike is standard. If the whole bike is not standard - what isn't? This goes for the stem, bottom bracket, brakes/brake mounts, rack mounts, hubs/axles, and rims, among other things. A lot of cheap bikes use weird sizes for things. This can become a significant challenge if you are on tour and need replacement parts. If you have worked with the drivetrain/shifters then you have a good handle on that already I'd say. Just be careful of the rest of the bike.

I wouldn't be too concerned with the build quality of the frame set, my concerns would be with the sizes of things mentioned above.

Last comment - stay up on maintenance and inspect the bike routinely. If something is wearing funny and you catch it early that is a lot better than letting it go and get worse before you do something about it. This is especially true if parts are hard to come by - I would scrutinize maintenance and inspections, even if it takes good time away from your down time in camp or wherever you stay.

LeeG 09-26-21 11:57 AM

I wouldn’t go for an expensive flat bar touring bike because the hand position is uncomfortable for all day riding. You’re identifying inexpensive bikes and drive train components by a handlebar. Decades ago cheap drop bar ten speeds were a common touring bike and that was common. Basically you go with what you got.

Tourist in MSN 09-26-21 03:48 PM

Flat bar touring bikes are more common in continental Europe than in North America. So, do not assume flat bar touring is bad, some of it is regional preference.

Regarding the quality level, from what i have seen the drive train on the more expensive versions will generally have more precise shifting with less frequent adjustments.

My last tour was pre-covid, Canadian Maritimes for five weeks in 2019, I was surprised how many flat bar hybrid bikes were used for touring. Three of them that specifically come to mind were by two from the UK and one from Germany. The ones I am thinking of, only one had a front rack and the rack was attached to the suspension fork with hose clamps. The other two had only two panniers, both on the rear.

If you are prepared to adjust the drive train more often, occasionally have more finicky shifting, go for it.

If this is a starter bike for you to try touring, there are advantages to trying touring on a low budget bike in case you find you are not happy with touring, some are not.

I met the gal in the photo below on Cape Breton Island, she was from the UK and having a great time.

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4d934d934a.jpg

Rick 09-26-21 04:29 PM

If you go with a flat bar and find you need more hand positions. There are other bars that will work with the same brakes and shifters. I tried several types before I stuck with the Crazy bar
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1a3f7ed482.jpg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c97b3bc38e.jpg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ae942c1599.jpg
Rohloff even makes a lefty shifter.

saddlesores 09-27-21 01:20 AM


Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr (Post 22245869)
I've ridden bikes with a mix of Alivio/Deore and Sora/Tiagra. And those might be fine to ride and fun. But when I bought a cheap Canadian Tire bike once and installed Shimano Altus shifters, I found the bike worked well enough even with Tourney derailleurs. So I was thinking if you could find a bike with flat bars, front and rear racks, fenders and Shimano Atlus or Acera components, would you go for that?

i put together a custom-built frame, xt components, professionally hand built phil wood 48-spoke hubs........and flat bars.....for about two grande.
does that qualify? .............then the answer is yes.

if you mean a $99 special from wally world, even with a cool glow-in-the-dark paint job.............then probably not.

HobbesOnTour 09-27-21 06:23 AM

I'm sure you didn't mean it, but the premise of your poll could be taken as offensive or provocative by those of us who have clocked up many miles on bikes that are cheap and have flat bars.

As mentioned upthread there is more to a bike than handlebars.

An advantage of using lower grade components is price! And often availability (depending on where you are).

i could tour for a week on what some will pay for a cassette and chain. Spending money on experiences rather than things is generally preferable.

On a loaded bike, touring, the last thing on my mind is efficiency or if that gear change could have been smoother.

I'd rather spend money burning a hole in my pocket on things like rims and hubs.

ClydeClydeson 09-27-21 07:13 AM

I have no problem using cheap shifters and derailleurs, esp. Shimano. Altus or Acera, when in good condition, will function damn near as well as the more expensive ones. Brakes, brake levers, cranks, and chains are also likely to be acceptable. Inexpensive bottom bracket bearings might be a problem in the medium term. Headsets will likely require extra attention but IME will work just fine if fresh grease has been applied this year.

I doubt, though, that the wheels that come on an Altus or Acera bike will stand up to thousands of kms of heavily loaded riding. I have had lower cost hub bearings and freehub mechanisms - primarily rear - grind themselves into square rocks over surprisingly short lifespans.

So I would gladly pick up a cheaper bike, but would plan on upgrading at least the rear wheel, and possibly the bottom bracket, before I set off on a tour.

djb 09-27-21 07:30 AM


Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson (Post 22246918)
I have no problem using cheap shifters and derailleurs, esp. Shimano. Altus or Acera, when in good condition, will function damn near as well as the more expensive ones. Brakes, brake levers, cranks, and chains are also likely to be acceptable. Inexpensive bottom bracket bearings might be a problem in the medium term. Headsets will likely require extra attention but IME will work just fine if fresh grease has been applied this year.

I doubt, though, that the wheels that come on an Altus or Acera bike will stand up to thousands of kms of heavily loaded riding. I have had lower cost hub bearings and freehub mechanisms - primarily rear - grind themselves into square rocks over surprisingly short lifespans.

So I would gladly pick up a cheaper bike, but would plan on upgrading at least the rear wheel, and possibly the bottom bracket, before I set off on a tour.

For those of us who work on hubs and bb etc, this is where cheap bikes wouldn't be the wisest choice, specifically the hubs and rims.
I too find that acera alivio derailleurs can and will work fine, especially if drivetrain is kept clean and lubed. However, slightly higher up shifters etc will have a nicer feel to shifting and will last longer , so worth it for me, just from the tactile enjoyment side.

but my commuter bikes in the family with these level of parts work fine.

mdarnton 09-27-21 08:05 AM

Something that gets a lot of attention on bikepacking sites, and here too, I think, is the concept of taking an older steel, non-suspension mountain bike and converting it for bikepacking. If I were doing it over again, given how cheap these can be for what you get, that's what I'd do. I see a few around town and I bet most of them never saw anything rougher than a run to the store on city streets, so It seems like one of life's great bargains.

Regarding the flat bars, I mainly commute on mine, and because a bad shoulder and needing to move my position a lot to keep it loose, I took off my flat bars and put on butterfly bars, which turned out to be a great idea. It added a little weight, but makes riding a lot more comfy. I could not handle drop bars at all, never liked them when I had them, and don't see a need for them in touring, but that's personal, probably. YMMV, as they say. . .

hybridbkrdr 09-27-21 09:36 AM

OK, I did mean cheap like in Canada, some Giant or Trek bikes (in non-pandemic times) might be less than $600 Canadian.. But those are Tourney bikes. I meant if you had an Acera equipped Giant or Trek etc. bike for example with front & rear racks plus fenders (and flat bars), would that work out for you?

HobbesOnTour 09-27-21 09:58 AM


Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr (Post 22247132)
OK, I did mean cheap like in Canada, some Giant or Trek bikes (in non-pandemic times) might be less than $600 Canadian.. But those are Tourney bikes. I meant if you had an Acera equipped Giant or Trek etc. bike for example with front & rear racks plus fenders (and flat bars), would that work out for you?

I have a 25 year old Trek 800, the runt of the Trek MTB litter.
Racks front and back, can tow a trailer with a 7 speed cassette, Acera standard drivetrain.
I've toured in excess of 20000 km on this bike.
i've upgraded the wheels (including a dynohub).

Take a wander over to CGOAB and there's a forum thread of pictures of loaded bikes, categorised by types and brands.
You may find it interesting to see just what people tour on.

mdarnton 09-27-21 11:45 AM

(Continuing my response) What I actually did do was buy a Trek FX-1 disc with touring in mind. Lots of low gears, disc brakes, and steel fork. I put on the butterfly bars and front and rear racks, but only have used it on my commute so far. (Visions of Covid in the middle of nowhere deter me for now.) What I am worried most about or touring isn't components, but the aluminum frame. Wheels not so much because I don't carry a lot of weight.

djb 09-27-21 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr (Post 22247132)
OK, I did mean cheap like in Canada, some Giant or Trek bikes (in non-pandemic times) might be less than $600 Canadian.. But those are Tourney bikes. I meant if you had an Acera equipped Giant or Trek etc. bike for example with front & rear racks plus fenders (and flat bars), would that work out for you?

oh yeah, sure, perfectly god bikes, but I'm not keen on flat bars
Because I've taken apart hubs on bikes like this, I know that they are often not greased enough, the cones are too tight, and the rims are just so so.
But if stuff is well adjusted and greased, yes it would be fine for a bike tour. My commuter could be taken on a trip confidently, but I know the bike intimately so know all is working well.

KC8QVO 09-27-21 01:41 PM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 22247468)
Because I've taken apart hubs on bikes like this, I know that they are often not greased enough, the cones are too tight, and the rims are just so so.
But if stuff is well adjusted and greased, yes it would be fine for a bike tour. My commuter could be taken on a trip confidently, but I know the bike intimately so know all is working well.

Excellent point.

When I got my Dahon Mariner (20" folder, ordered it online) it came in a box pretty much assembled. There is an option from a lot of vendors of bikes like this that will include set up of the bike by a mechanic before shipping to you. I am not sure how that would work, because in my case the bike wouldn't fit in the box it shipped in if a mechanic set it up prior to shipping.

In any event, the cones were exactly as djb mentions - not set up properly. I gave the bike a good go-through when I set it up.

I had some cone issues with the hubs. The metal of the cones was flaky for some reason. Over time (under 200 miles on the bike if I remember right) the wheels began rolling "stiff". I got the hubs cleaned out, new balls, and new cones before much damage was done to the hubs themselves (internal races) and all has been fine since.

Moral of the story - even if you get things "set up" properly you could still run in to problems. If you are on a tour that will be a few hundred miles you could easily develop debilitating mechanical issues after a good while on your tour. In the case of the flaky cones - catching it early was good. That goes right back to what I said earlier:

Originally Posted by KC8QVO (Post 22245966)
Last comment - stay up on maintenance and inspect the bike routinely. If something is wearing funny and you catch it early that is a lot better than letting it go and get worse before you do something about it. This is especially true if parts are hard to come by - I would scrutinize maintenance and inspections, even if it takes good time away from your down time in camp or wherever you stay.

Proper set up and quality lube is key. If you are going on a trip I would recommend anyone take apart their hubs, give them a good cleaning, and re-grease. When you degrease the parts (races, balls) it gives you an opportunity to inspect them in detail. Balls and cones you can replace. If you have excessive damage on the hub races its best to replace the hubs.

If anything, when setting tension in a hub, having a slight amount of play in the bearings is better than setting up too tight. If you are on the trail and have to mess with the tension keep this in mind. Been there, done that. If you feel something is "off" and you need to check hub tension on a trip the very best time to do it is in camp when you can inspect the bike's parts without unloading all your gear to do so. The best way to feel the resistance is with holding the wheel and spinning, with your fingers, the axle. If you feel resistance with the wheel on the bike and spinning the rim by hand there's something quite wrong. If you feel any gritty'ness spinning the wheel like this you are in a pretty big predicament that should lead to a tear-down to check things out inside. You can feel gritty'ness spinning the axle with your fingers when hub tension is too tight, but when you spin the wheel on the bike you can't sense any resistance. However, it is easier to tell if your tension is too light (loose hub) with the wheel on the bike trying to wobble the rim/tire. Again, if you are on a trip trying to do this - if you tweak the tension to where you get the wobble out - triple, quadruple check the wheel off the bike, spinning the axle by hand. It is very very easy to go too tight on the tension and, again, you can sense the wheel being "perfect" on the bike, but when you go to spin the axle freely with your fingers you can feel it too tight. If you are too tight - keep the jam nuts pretty tight and screw out the cones against each other (pressing them against the jam nuts). Don't loosen the jam nuts. The reason is if you do this, then tighten the jam nuts afterwards - you risk throwing off the tension setting you just got to. By adjusting the cones when things are "tight" you are tightening the cones against the jam nuts = the tension will hold. It isn't an easy on-the-go adjustment, so therefore keep the thought that it's better to be too loose (slight amount of play) than to ever be too tight.

Tight = added resistance and you can grind a hub apart, loose = feel a bit of rattle. I'd rather take the latter.

cyccommute 09-27-21 01:47 PM


Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr (Post 22247132)
OK, I did mean cheap like in Canada, some Giant or Trek bikes (in non-pandemic times) might be less than $600 Canadian.. But those are Tourney bikes. I meant if you had an Acera equipped Giant or Trek etc. bike for example with front & rear racks plus fenders (and flat bars), would that work out for you?

I probably would. I suspect the vast majority of people here on the Touring Forum would balk at such a bike, however. Not because of the Acera level equipment but because aluminum is strictly verboten when it comes to touring:rolleyes:* It’s related to some romantic vision of their bikes being fixed by the village smithy while the smithy’s daughter entertains them under that spreading chestnut tree.




*I’m an outlier in that I don’t have a problem with aluminum touring bikes and actually prefer them. I also know that modern “smithies” probably have a TIG welder and can fix aluminum well enough to get me down the road.


Originally Posted by mdarnton (Post 22247361)
What I am worried most about or touring isn't components, but the aluminum frame. Wheels not so much because I don't carry a lot of weight.

See, what’d I say?

I have thousands of hard miles on aluminum touring bikes. I’ve never had an issue. I have tens of thousands of harder miles on aluminum mountain bikes and I’ve only ever broken two…one was my fault and the other was a manufacturing/materials issue.

But before you go off saying “Aha! But you broke aluminum!”, let me say that I’ve broken two steel frames as well. One of those frames broke at multiple places (fork steer tube, bottom bracket bridge, rear dropout, and at the welded repair on the bottom bracket bridge) over several years of use. If anything, I trust aluminum more than I do steel.

And, before you go off saying “Aha! But steel is easier to repair,” I have to ask if you’ve had steel repaired? I have. It’s not easy to repair and is very easy to burn the thin metal of a frame. It’s roughly the thickness of a tin can or air ducting, so before you go having that village smithy repair it, you might warn him how thin it is. Most village smithies are more used to welding schedule 40 pipe than they are air ducting.

And I’ve had aluminum repaired as well. It held up for more years than the steel repair did.

staehpj1 09-28-21 05:20 AM

I didn't answer because the question seemed a little muddy to me. First there were two different questions, the one in the title that seemed to address flat bars and the one in the actual survey that was only addressing the component group level. It doesn't say what kind of tour for the flat bars. Off road? Pavement only? Given the type of tour and the surfaces involved may affect whether someone would want flat bars or not.

Then there was the use of the word "choose". That seems to imply that I have a choice of something else. Those cheap components are actually pretty functional and would do fine on a tour. That said, there is that word choose. If there are two bikes one with cheap components and one with expensive ones I'll pick the nicer ones unless I am paying for it and the budget is tight enough to steer me to the cheaper option.

If the question was trying to ask, "Is Altus or Acera good enough to tour with?". Then my answer would be yes, but long term durability and some smoothness of operation may suffer a little. Overall it would probably do surprisingly well though.

KC8QVO 09-28-21 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by cyccommute (Post 22247549)
*I’m an outlier in that I don’t have a problem with aluminum touring bikes and actually prefer them. I also know that modern “smithies” probably have a TIG welder and can fix aluminum well enough to get me down the road.
...
And, before you go off saying “Aha! But steel is easier to repair,” I have to ask if you’ve had steel repaired? I have. It’s not easy to repair and is very easy to burn the thin metal of a frame. It’s roughly the thickness of a tin can or air ducting, so before you go having that village smithy repair it, you might warn him how thin it is. Most village smithies are more used to welding schedule 40 pipe than they are air ducting.

And I’ve had aluminum repaired as well. It held up for more years than the steel repair did.

On the subject of TIG welding - Everything except variants of steel (carbons and stainless) pretty much requires AC. That means all your aluminum and titanium alloys, in bike speak.

Not all TIG welders are AC-capable machines. In fact, in today's age of inexpensive (or, if you prefer - more affordable) Inverter welders an AC-capable TIG machine is 2-3x the price of a DC-only machine, keeping manufacturers as apples to apples (IE - not comparing a Yeswelder from Amazon to a Lincoln or Miller).

I have such a DC-only TIG machine. It is my portable stick welder, but the power source for stick and TIG is pretty much identical. The difference is in the electrode and, of course, you have to run shielding gas with TIG. Electrically they are the same process.

You are spot on with experience, also. Farms in the country may very well have welding capabilities. However, welding on thick farm implement frames vs thin wall tube are quite apples and oranges. And the chances of a farm having an AC-capable TIG machine isn't quite as high.

For on-tour repairs, if you'd need a welding repair (not very likely, I don't think) - muffler shops and motorcycle shops are probably your best bet for someone that has more experience with thinner metal welding. Fabrication shops are iffy - some do, some don't. Machine shops - maybe a higher chance than a fab shop, if they do welding at all. Fabrication shops usually deal with larger steel fab jobs - not small specialty stuff. That's why I'd question them on small stuff. Machine shops, by nature, are quite specialized - they work with the detail side of metal (as opposed to larger fab), though some do a bit of both. By detail I mean fine, precision tolerance work with lathes, mills, etc. It is a totally different trade than fabrication - which is why a lot of machine shops don't weld. Machining and fabrication work hand-in-hand, but rarely well under the same roof.

If you want to tune your ride to something that can be repaired on-the-go (I wouldn't choose a bike based on this at all, just me though) - the most common welding practice is stick/arc welding. You're likely to find a stick welder in 80% of everyone's garages out in the country in the mid-west. Even in Amish country - theres always a welder somewhere. If whoever you ask doesn't have one, they know where one is.

Stick welding is NOT the best process for thin metal - it is the worst process. If you have options - flux core (gasless MIG), MIG and TIG (least to best) are better. If you don't have another process and you're stuck - you can make a repair with stick welding. The kicker is it is the easiest to screw things up with and you need small diameter rods for thin metal. Trying to use larger rods at lower power for small stuff increases the difficulty even more than it already is. Lots (perhaps most - lincoln AC225 or AC/DC225 for example) of stick welders have selectable amperages and you're locked to those numbers. You can't vary the amperage finely (example - inverter machines or Idealarc 250, Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC - the big blue box with a crank handle on top). This adds to the difficulty.

Rods that would be small enough to work OK on thinner metal are rare. They aren't something that every farm in america would stock. However, here is a tidbit - Tractor Supply sells stick/flux coated rods (not TIG rods - TIG rods don't have flux) down to 1/16" diameter. They are made by Hobart, I believe, and sold in 1lb packs. They are expensive buggers but they exist - I have a pack of 1/16" 7014's (I tried them, then switched to Blue Demon 5/64" 7014's - the 1/16" was too flexible and hard to run, however I would never recommend 7014 for a bike frame!! - too brittle).

If you were really wanting to be prepared - having a few of these tiny rods packed with your spare spokes might be an idea. Just pack them so the flux doesn't break off.

Some rods for example:

1/16" 6011 - these would be OK for steel/chromoly. I wouldn't normally say to use it for a project build of much, other than tack welding or 1st pass, but for a repair on the go it would be a forgiving rod - easier than other types to run and would get you going.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...b?cm_vc=-10005

1/16" 7018 - This type of rod (7018) is superior to most of the other types for carbon steels in that it is ductile (resistant to cracking, can handle dynamic stresses better). However, it is harder to run and being so small that could create problems for the welder without a lot of practice. I need to get some of these to try. I use 3/32" Lincoln Jet LH 78 MR-RSP rods and they are fantastic, but 3/32" rod is too much for thin work. I've blown thru parts with them. If I could find 5/64" 7018's that ran like the Jet's that would be amazing.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...b?cm_vc=-10005

Aluminum rods - 3/32" 4043 - I have never tried these, and I would highly recommend trying before using for any repair or fab. I have Crown Alloys Royal 300 rods in the same size - 3/32". They are a PITA to run as they burn extremely fast. I do not know what grade aluminum they work best with. I asked the company a while back and all I was told is what is in the product spec sheet - they work with "any weldable aluminum". Therefore, I assume they are a compromise on everything.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...b?cm_vc=-10005

On edit:
There is also torch welding with oxygen/acetylene. This is very similar to TIG in technique and most farms have gas on-hand, not sure about tips, other than cutting torches, though. The torch tip type and size is important for welding. Brazing is also an option (high-temp soldering, basically - just a ton stronger - a lot of frame sets are brazed when made).

Edit 2 - there was detail in the aluminum rod option above that got deleted (I think I had accidentally highlighted it when trying to paste a link and over-wrote it with the link). In any event, I added back in the thought that was deleted.

ClydeClydeson 09-28-21 01:50 PM

mdarnton I am with cyccommute and his experience with aluminum bikes - they are generally vastly overbuilt compared to a steel frame of similar weight. In fact, I have broken a handful of steel frames but only ever on aluminum frame, and that one was broken for a long time (months? a year?) before I realized what was causing the rear end to feel funny over bumps.

As for the statement that a steel bike will be easier to get repaired than aluminum, this is true, but in my experience a steel frame (especially a light one like an old road bike or a XC racing mountain bike) is more likely to need repair than a good quality aluminum bike.

Trevtassie 09-28-21 02:46 PM

Silly survey. Would I choose a bike with Acera or Alivio if there were other alternatives, probably not. Have I used Alivio or Acera components touring, yes, because that's what I had/could get/worked in the situation. Acera, not so much, especially the rear ders which are junk.
I'd always pick an older bike with a better grade of component than a new bike with lower grade.
In terms of frames, I've only broken one steel frame, it was tig welded 25 year old 531 but broke due to rust after I made my own sealed bottom bracket in the 90s using a beer can to block off the frame tube drain holes so I could pump in grease through a grease nipple. Turns out that was a bad idea as the seat tube filled with water and rusted out. I couldn't get it fixed in rural Japan, but that was more due to a language barrier. I fixed it at home with some splints and a mig.
My preference now is to just go overengineered. Old 90's MTB or my current Surly Troll. Those are thick enough you could weld it with a MIG. I'd probably ask if I could use the welder in the extremely unlikely event something broke. I probably wouldn't go aluminimium just because I dismantle my bike for international travel and eventually the eyelets are going to wear out with all the unbolting of stuff.
Bars: Jones, butterfly, Crazy, Koga Denham, they all make good flat touring bars with lots of hand positions

MidLife50 09-28-21 03:13 PM

I've ridden my 6 yr old Trek 7.2FX just over 1,600 miles so far in 2021, including 350 mile tour GAP/C&O in June and 250 mile Katy Trail tour earlier in September.
It's got (stock) Shimano Altus shifters, Acera rear deraileur, and a flat bar. I've added Ergon GP3 grips to get a few more hand positions.
For too long I put off going on these sorts of trips waiting for something "better" to ride. What's really better is riding what you have now.

saddlesores 09-29-21 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by KC8QVO (Post 22248878)
...For on-tour repairs, if you'd need a welding repair (not very likely, I don't think) - muffler shops and motorcycle shops are probably your best bet for someone that has more experience with thinner metal welding. Fabrication shops are iffy - some do, some don't. Machine shops - maybe a higher chance than a fab shop, if they do welding at all. Fabrication shops usually deal with larger steel fab jobs - not small specialty stuff. ....

situation depends on where you tour.

if you live/tour in asialand, steel repair is not going to be a problem. super thin stainless steel tubing is used for zillions of purposes, and is used as bars/rails/barriers in hundreds of thousands of windows in any city or town.

not a problem to find a shop with 0.06mm tubing in stock and workers with the necessary skills.

bradtx 09-29-21 11:04 AM

Handlebars are just whatever is preferred. I've used my mtn. bike at times, but use the drop bar tourer the most, YMMV

Lower end components can work really well. The only issue I was told about, but not experienced, was inferior sealing of the hubs.

Brad

PS My touring bikes are a pair of Cannondale T700s, one is a mega mile well used 'tool' that's now more beater bike than touring bike.

cyccommute 09-29-21 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by saddlesores (Post 22250005)
situation depends on where you tour.

if you live/tour in asialand, steel repair is not going to be a problem. super thin stainless steel tubing is used for zillions of purposes, and is used as bars/rails/barriers in hundreds of thousands of windows in any city or town.

not a problem to find a shop with 0.06mm tubing in stock and workers with the necessary skills.

While people may have the skills necessary, they donít have X-ray vision. Most people going for this kind of repair may not tell the welder about the thinness of the steel tubing. The bicycle owner may not know or know that itís important.

KC8QVO 09-29-21 07:10 PM


Originally Posted by cyccommute (Post 22250636)
While people may have the skills necessary, they donít have X-ray vision. Most people going for this kind of repair may not tell the welder about the thinness of the steel tubing. The bicycle owner may not know or know that itís important.

In some cases, not all, there are holes that allow you to see wall thicknesses. These holes are used to for pressure equalization when welding. If you cap off both ends of a tube or pipe, when you go to weld the last cap the pressure change between inside the pipe/tube and outside will deform the weld bead/pool. I did exactly this a couple weeks ago - capped off tubes. They were real small (3/8" OD, around 1/4" ID) and I "spot welded" around the tubes to build up the material to close the ends. The weld pushed out - I assume from the hot tube causing the air inside to heat up and expand as I welded = higher pressure inside than outside until the part cooled.

In any event, holes in parts will alleviate the pressure differential. So if there are holes in the tubes, especially - you can find the wall thickness from that hole.

On my Disk Trucker I noticed the rear dropouts had holes that opened up inside the stays. This wouldn't give you the stay tube thickness, as the hole is in the dropout, but is an example of such a hole existing.


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