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Another noob...another question on bikes...

Old 02-05-22, 02:13 PM
  #26  
LaserjockTN
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Excellent Cardiovascular shape and a Peloton Guru. That's highly commendable. If ya have not been ridding a real bicycle then I do think you should get out and ride more than a few times before making the trail. It's not that you could not do it but rather how enjoyable the ride will be. Bicycle set ups change. If I were to go out and buy a bike based on how I rode 10 years ago it would be disastrous on a long ride. If you have not already done so then you need to find out how your current ridding style and requirements have changed.

So go get ya a beater and hit the road a few times before you buy anything.

"pdlamb" is correct - Analysis paralysis is a real factor. If you have done so then you need to get out there and ride...
Yeah I recognize that time in the saddle on my Peloton doesn't really mean much because I am not spending more than an hour or so at a time so that is why I will use my current mtb to work on that while I decide on a new bike. I had already started transforming it more into a tour capable bike in case I cold not get something before getting out.
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Old 02-05-22, 02:18 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Not sure what your intended geography is...
As the OP says, rail trails. This is about the most benign bike touring around, with the exception of the occasional trail paved with railroad ballasting, sugar sand, gumbo mud or Tribulus terrestris. You see, trains, with their steel wheels on steel rails, can't climb. Rail trails have verrrrry gentle grades. Trails along canal tow paths are dead flat.

I've envisioned a specialized bicycle design optimized for rail trail tours (why not - there's one for everything else these days!) but honestly, on the Mickelson riders seemed to be on whatever was in the garage. I saw folks riding lotsa hybrids but also full-on touring bikes, dual-suspension mountain bikes, a racing bike with 21s, a fat bike, old ten speeds, a Raleigh three-speed - my wife rode it on her Dahon folding bike. A good time was had by all.
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Old 02-05-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
As the OP says, rail trails. This is about the most benign bike touring around, with the exception of the occasional trail paved with railroad ballasting, sugar sand, gumbo mud or Tribulus terrestris. You see, trains, with their steel wheels on steel rails, can't climb. Rail trails have verrrrry gentle grades. Trails along canal tow paths are dead flat.

I've envisioned a specialized bicycle design optimized for rail trail tours (why not - there's one for everything else these days!) but honestly, on the Mickelson riders seemed to be on whatever was in the garage. I saw folks riding lotsa hybrids but also full-on touring bikes, dual-suspension mountain bikes, a racing bike with 21s, a fat bike, old ten speeds, a Raleigh three-speed - my wife rode it on her Dahon folding bike. A good time was had by all.
Yeah I recognize my plan for "touring" is not exactly what I see in a a lot of posts where people are doing long off road bikepacking and camping and really riding some serious terrain...or even just riding weeks at time. I am definitely talking about the leisurely credit card touring scenario and so spending too much time on bike selection may seem ridiculous as a result...however I really get into the details and love understanding why a certain chainring/cassette combination is important or other details around the bike and the components. I am a tech type...it drives my home theater passion and spills into most things I get involved with. This is a plan for enjoying the surroundings...seeing some amazing places along the way and enjoying time with people that are important to me. And if I get some good exercise along the way its a total win.

Its fun...I don't take myself too seriously and just wanna have a good time no matter what I do. My philosophy is life is too short to not spend time having some fun in learning about whatever it is you do...when I retire in a few years I plan on this being one of those things I fill my time with. I anticipate making wrong choices and having to buy a better option but I know I have a lot of folks here who will help me get a good base setup and maybe teach me a few things about what I clearly don't know at this point.

Again...thanks for the input. Tell me what I need to hear...I look forward to hearing it all.
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Old 02-05-22, 04:33 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
Yeah I recognize my plan for "touring" is not exactly what I see in a a lot of posts where people are doing long off road bikepacking and camping and really riding some serious terrain...or even just riding weeks at time. I am definitely talking about the leisurely credit card touring scenario and so spending too much time on bike selection may seem ridiculous as a result...however I really get into the details and love understanding why a certain chainring/cassette combination is important or other details around the bike and the components. I am a tech type...it drives my home theater passion and spills into most things I get involved with. This is a plan for enjoying the surroundings...seeing some amazing places along the way and enjoying time with people that are important to me. And if I get some good exercise along the way its a total win.

Its fun...I don't take myself too seriously and just wanna have a good time no matter what I do. My philosophy is life is too short to not spend time having some fun in learning about whatever it is you do...when I retire in a few years I plan on this being one of those things I fill my time with. I anticipate making wrong choices and having to buy a better option but I know I have a lot of folks here who will help me get a good base setup and maybe teach me a few things about what I clearly don't know at this point.

Again...thanks for the input. Tell me what I need to hear...I look forward to hearing it all.
What size do you need? There's a nice Miyata 610 for sale here in the classic classifieds. I mention the Miyata 610 because I have ridden mine on the rails to trails close to me, The Tanglefoot in Mississippi. My 610 is my choice for rail trails because it's very comfortable. I have also ridden it on my Lemond race bike and my Surly LHT. The Lemond will get you a lot of miles quick but has no carry capacity. The LHT is fine but really overkill in carrying capacity. My Miyata gives me plenty of carrying capacity for a day trip but is slightly sportier and more fun to accelerate with than the Trucker and just as long range comfortable. If I want to see how fast and far, I can go with just water and a couple energy bars, then the Lemond is a super sleek fast ride.
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Old 02-05-22, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
Yeah I recognize that time in the saddle on my Peloton doesn't really mean much ....
Speaking of time in saddles, budget up to a couple hundred bucks for a saddle. You might get lucky and buy a bike with a great saddle. But, the odds are high that you will conclude that your stock saddle is not the right saddle for a 6 or 8 hour day.

If everybody had the same bum, there would only be one saddle for sale, but there are hundreds of good saddles and maybe more, so assume it will take some serious saddle time to decide what saddle you like.
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Old 02-05-22, 04:56 PM
  #31  
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Bombtrack Hook. Does it all.
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Old 02-05-22, 06:32 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
Yeah I recognize my plan for "touring" is not exactly what I see in a a lot of posts where people are doing long off road bikepacking and camping and really riding some serious terrain...or even just riding weeks at time.
Yet your planned trip will be just as valid and meaningful and fun as anyone else's.

Get a nice bike if you want and have your other financial obligations met. It will be satisfying just to ride around your neighborhood, and who knows, maybe after the Mickelson and the GAP and Ohio-to-Erie and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes/Route of the Hiawatha you might tackle that bike trail that runs from Denver to Glenwood Springs!

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Old 02-05-22, 10:37 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
I didn't look at the specs on those bikes, too lazy. What I would want might give you some ideas on how to evaluate differences. I like 3X gearing on anything except race bikes. I prefer a 3X10 3X9 3X8 because I don't need super-fast small incremental gear changes for the way I ride. I would rather spend $35 on a new cassette than $400. I like external cable routing and cable brakes. I even actually prefer friction shifting. I like simple, cheap and serviceable by me.

You need to choose a bike based on specific criteria. Don't spend a bundle until you know exactly why you prefer X to Z.

I love my old Tiagra 3x9 light touring bike as well. I have a Deore RD and 12-36 cassette and can climb walls with that thing.

In terms of bike choices, I typically compromise on components, knowing they are easy to change, and buy the option with the best frame. Remember, components are relatively cheap to upgrade but changing a frame costs.

The Canyons are typically hard to test ride, but give the Salsa a go and see how it fits. Try a few others as well, just to compare, and see what works and what doesn’t.
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Old 02-05-22, 10:56 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Speaking of time in saddles, budget up to a couple hundred bucks for a saddle. You might get lucky and buy a bike with a great saddle. But, the odds are high that you will conclude that your stock saddle is not the right saddle for a 6 or 8 hour day.

If everybody had the same bum, there would only be one saddle for sale, but there are hundreds of good saddles and maybe more, so assume it will take some serious saddle time to decide what saddle you like.
This is excellent advice. I’m lucky in that a standard Brooks model fits me perfectly, but it took trying a few to figure out the right one. If you have a shop that will let you try them, then I would recommend giving them a call.
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Old 02-06-22, 08:27 AM
  #35  
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Just looked at the geometry of the Canyon and Salsa. LaserjockTN ..I'd be sure you understand your sizing needs before jumping into purchasing either bike mentioned, or any bike. The Canyon seems to have a v-e-r-y long top tube. I've looked at the geometry of many bikes and I can't say as I remember ever seeing a drop-bar bike (using size L as an example) with a 552mm seat tube and a 588mm top tube. Wow. The Canyon has a sloped top tube(throws off the older use of the seat tube dimension indicating the frame size), but not radically so. A 19-20 inch (also consider a L in sizing) mtn bike with a 588mm top tube would be quite common(in older mtn bikes at least, I don't follow the new stuff much), but a 55/59cm combo in a drop-bar bike, or even just a 59cm top tube in a size large road-bike design, strikes me as unusual. The Salsa seems to be very predictable and older-school in that a "54cm" frame has a 54cm top tube, a "55.5cm" frame has a 555mm top tube, a "57cm" frame has a 570mm top tube. The relative stack and reach metrics of the two bikes reflect this also.



If I were the OP..given his new-ness to touring and a bike that can be used for it, I'd be looking for a used bike. There's lots of options available in nicer used gravel type bikes. I'd also rent a few bikes (rent road bike if he can't find gravel bikes to rent) and ride them, for as long as you can in a day or two, and see what feels right. Also do some research(he's a fellow scientist..we like research) on how a bike should fit. While I'm familiar with analysis paralysis(I was in RDE for 30 years), some research to get a reasonable understanding of the lay of the land is time well spent. And lastly..you'll probably have to experiment with saddles..to save some time and money I'd suggest starting with a Brooks B17 or B17-Imperial(buy used in new condition, if you watch ebay or CL/FB, you'll find a good deal). The odds are reasonably good you'll stop there. If not, you'll get nearly all your money back on resale, or more. If you start with whatever random saddle that's on the bike and it doesn't work(high probability), you can easily waste lots of time and money on 3-5+ saddles before you find something that works(good article: https://www.cervelo.com/en/the-four-...f-road-saddles). Good resale on other saddles can be spotty..some good, some not so much.
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Old 02-06-22, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Just looked at the geometry of the Canyon and Salsa. LaserjockTN ..I'd be sure you understand your sizing needs before jumping into purchasing either bike mentioned, or any bike. The Canyon seems to have a v-e-r-y long top tube. I've looked at the geometry of many bikes and I can't say as I remember ever seeing a drop-bar bike (using size L as an example) with a 552mm seat tube and a 588mm top tube. Wow. ... ... ....
To the OP, I agree with Fishboat, look at sizing carefully. The best bike is the bike that fits you well.

I usually focus more on top tube length than seat tube length when I pick a bike. It is easy to adjust a bike that is too short vertically by raising a seat post. But a bike that is too long or short horizontally is much harder to adjust for your size, as stem lengths are a pretty short range of adjustment.

And keep in mind that your posture on a bike might be quite different than on a Peloton. And, maybe more important, your posture for a 6 to 8 hour ride, followed by a 6 to 8 hour ride the next day, and the next, will likely have a different posture than a one or two hour club ride where everybody is in friendly competition.

I have not looked at the bikes you are considering, I am ignorant of the latest gruppos, I usually build up my bikes with the esoteric mix of parts that I want, thus I would not have much useful input.
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Old 02-07-22, 08:59 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Out and back day rides
The Virginia Creeper Trail. The full 70 mile round trip is challenging. Or start in Damascus, ride uphill for 15 miles (!) and then the return is easy. You'll see balloon tire riders doing the 15 mile downhill only--shuttled uphill by bike services. But by coasting fast downhill, they are missing the great scenery that really sinks in while slowly climbing. The downhill grades were kind of bumpy in the fall season a few years ago, I had sore arms and shoulders at the end of the day. Still good though.
It follows a mountain stream valley, with whitewater and forest, and about 45 bridges along the route.
The Creeper has a 3/4 mile stinger of 5-6% grade just before you get to Whitetop station that might test your low gears. (But it's still fun!) IIRC that was the steepest standard gauge railroad until N&W stopped service on it in the early 60s. The middle to end of May the rhododendron are stunning!

Rural roads
It's worth getting comfortable with riding on rural roads. I often see very few cars, and they are mostly well behaved. Road riding is easier to do with a partner or a group, it feels safer, and there's help with flats, etc.
There's some amazing routes around Kentucky and Ohio, scenic and quiet. Way better than I knew before I started doing these rides, and only knew the areas from highways and freeways.
O.P. has some great rural roads near Nashville. I got acquainted with some of them while randonneuring in the area a few years back. And of course the Natchez Trace is generally quiet and scenic -- quieter on non-holiday weekends, of course.
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Old 02-07-22, 10:53 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
And of course the Natchez Trace is generally quiet and scenic -- quieter on non-holiday weekends, of course.
I wonder if that's still the case on the northern end of the Trace now that Nashville and surrounding area have boomed in population the last several years ?
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Old 02-07-22, 11:16 AM
  #39  
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Two thumbs up for the Virginia Creeper Trail. We did it last May. 15-16 miles uphill was..fun. Two out and back days starting in Damascus. We camped at Little Oak campground about 15 miles away(nice campground..a ways back in though). The VC trail is really two very different trails, in terms of character, that start in Damascus. There a very good restaurant (Greeko's Grill Cafe) for lunch. Very scenic in both directions. Not necessarily a touring destination, but not too far a drive for the OP.
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Old 02-07-22, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
The Creeper has a 3/4 mile stinger of 5-6% grade just before you get to Whitetop station that might test your low gears. (But it's still fun!) IIRC that was the steepest standard gauge railroad until N&W stopped service on it in the early 60s. The middle to end of May the rhododendron are stunning!



O.P. has some great rural roads near Nashville. I got acquainted with some of them while randonneuring in the area a few years back. And of course the Natchez Trace is generally quiet and scenic -- quieter on non-holiday weekends, of course.
Yeah there are some nice roads here, unfortunately many of the ones that were less traveled are now highly traveled due to the growth in the middle TN area and many drivers are not bicycle friendly. The Trace is still beautiful though.
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Old 02-07-22, 12:37 PM
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How close are you to a national forest? I am only 5 miles of rural back roads from the Bankhead NF in North Alabama. The dirt forest roads here aren't extreme. I've done 40 miles there on 30mm cyclocross tires on a steel frame rigid bike. I might see one automobile all day excluding weekends and the roads force slower traffic. I always stop for a vehicle there, so it's extremely safe riding.
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Old 02-07-22, 04:14 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
How close are you to a national forest? I am only 5 miles of rural back roads from the Bankhead NF in North Alabama. The dirt forest roads here aren't extreme. I've done 40 miles there on 30mm cyclocross tires on a steel frame rigid bike. I might see one automobile all day excluding weekends and the roads force slower traffic. I always stop for a vehicle there, so it's extremely safe riding.
There are some state parks around that allow and even cater to touring cyclists with special camping areas for those passing through. Most of the off road trails, unless designated for mountain bikers, are limited to hikers and some horseback riders only.

It is a thought however because the speed limits are 35 through park roads and again its just a matter of maybe hitting them when they are less busy. Traffic in the middle TN area seems to be a mess no matter how far off the beaten path you think you have gone these days LOL.
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Old 02-10-22, 12:18 PM
  #43  
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Hi there...so it happened again...I stumbled upon the Fezzari Shafer in an issue of Bicycling magazine one of my senior managers gave me to read during lunch. I went to the site and they sure read like a nice gravel style bike that could be used for touring and so now I find myself wondering if anyone here has any experience with this bike builder?
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Old 02-10-22, 04:19 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
Hi there...so it happened again...I stumbled upon the Fezzari Shafer in an issue of Bicycling magazine one of my senior managers gave me to read during lunch. I went to the site and they sure read like a nice gravel style bike that could be used for touring and so now I find myself wondering if anyone here has any experience with this bike builder?
Tangentially related. A while back, I needed a new bike, of a type that wasn't well stocked locally. I looked at everything that was available, and made a day trip to Atlanta where two dealers had three bikes of my size. I did a fairly decent test ride on each, and bought the one I liked to ride the most. Broke the frame a few years later, but I'm still riding the replacement frame.

The bike I bought turned out to be a house brand I only test-rode because I was already there. It was my third choice driving down. It was so much better riding than the second choice (first choice going in) that skipping that name brand was easy. Third choice (#2 going down) was way behind the first two choices. So much for all the homework I did, memorizing frame geometries, components, gearing tables, etc.!

Your tush, your legs, your wrists, and your back don't understand SRAM vs. Shimano, or carbon vs. titanium vs. aluminum, or Maxxis vs. Continental. Even with the problems in the bike supply chain, I'd bet you can find at least three gravel bikes in Nashville or nearby dealers, today or within a month. So my recommendation is to take a day (tomorrow it's supposed to be warm and clear in Nashville, right?) and go try gravel bikes to see which one you want to ride. By all means talk to the dealers about attach points for luggage, and water bottles, and whatever else you need. (See How to evaluate a road bike on a test ride | Almost-Daily Diary (chainreactionblogs.com) for some test ride recommendations.)

If, on the other hand, you're willing to buy sight unseen, at least make sure you're not buying into proprietary parts from an uncertain source. If you're familiar with problems getting Dell computers repaired, for instance, ask yourself if that's what you want from a bicycle (without the big Dell brand behind it).
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Old 02-10-22, 06:36 PM
  #45  
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If you want to blow your budget and are interested in a Tennessee product:
https://lynskeyperformance.com/

They build frames, they will install what you want on a frame, given supply constraints. But I suspect most people have someone else assemble the bike instead of them. I bought my frame from them and built it up the way I wanted with the parts I bought.

But, I really think you should buy something cheaper to see if you enjoy it. There is always time for a bigger budget bike later.
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Old 02-10-22, 06:51 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Tangentially related. A while back, I needed a new bike, of a type that wasn't well stocked locally. I looked at everything that was available, and made a day trip to Atlanta where two dealers had three bikes of my size. I did a fairly decent test ride on each, and bought the one I liked to ride the most. Broke the frame a few years later, but I'm still riding the replacement frame.

The bike I bought turned out to be a house brand I only test-rode because I was already there. It was my third choice driving down. It was so much better riding than the second choice (first choice going in) that skipping that name brand was easy. Third choice (#2 going down) was way behind the first two choices. So much for all the homework I did, memorizing frame geometries, components, gearing tables, etc.!

Your tush, your legs, your wrists, and your back don't understand SRAM vs. Shimano, or carbon vs. titanium vs. aluminum, or Maxxis vs. Continental. Even with the problems in the bike supply chain, I'd bet you can find at least three gravel bikes in Nashville or nearby dealers, today or within a month. So my recommendation is to take a day (tomorrow it's supposed to be warm and clear in Nashville, right?) and go try gravel bikes to see which one you want to ride. By all means talk to the dealers about attach points for luggage, and water bottles, and whatever else you need.

If, on the other hand, you're willing to buy sight unseen, at least make sure you're not buying into proprietary parts from an uncertain source. If you're familiar with problems getting Dell computers repaired, for instance, ask yourself if that's what you want from a bicycle (without the big Dell brand behind it).
awesome advice…thnks for grabbing me by the feet and pulling down to earth a bit LOL. That’s why I am here…
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Old 02-10-22, 06:53 PM
  #47  
LaserjockTN
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If you want to blow your budget and are interested in a Tennessee product:

They build frames, they will install what you want on a frame, given supply constraints. But I suspect most people have someone else assemble the bike instead of them. I bought my frame from them and built it up the way I wanted with the parts I bought.

But, I really think you should buy something cheaper to see if you enjoy it. There is always time for a bigger budget bike later.
My optometrist, a roadie, actually was talking about them at my last appointment. Will take look.
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Old 02-16-22, 11:59 PM
  #48  
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Do you expect to fly to get to any of these trails? If the answer is "yes", then you need to consider a coupled bike like a Ritchey Outback Breakaway. Our breakaway tandem has flown in a 12 passenger Otter. There is no way they would have taken a full sized tandem without a bit of extra cash exchanging hands.

And my solo breakaway makes a nice bike to take on a plane when my wife doesn't want to ride, And they make carrying the bike in the back seat of a car easier.
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Old 02-18-22, 09:56 AM
  #49  
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Re: coupled bikes. Even though I have an S&S coupled bike which fits into a 62" ("airline legal") case, I'm not sure this is a concern for domestic travel at present. There are a few reasons:

First, major airlines (other than the ones that charge you MLB prices for a Coke) have dropped bicycle surcharges.

Second, unless you're a level X frequent flyer, you're going to be paying for the checked bag when you fly regardless of bag size.

Third, between bikeflights.com and shipbikes.com, you have alternate ways to ship a bike that are often as cheap or even cheaper than checking a bag. They're a heck of a lot more convenient than lugging a 40 pound bag around a terminal and out to ground transportation. (Don't think it's that heavy? Weigh the bag, and the bike, and whatever tools you need to conveniently assemble/disassemble the bike -- minitools make it tough!).
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Old 02-18-22, 11:48 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Re: coupled bikes. Even though I have an S&S coupled bike which fits into a 62" ("airline legal") case, I'm not sure this is a concern for domestic travel at present. There are a few reasons:

First, major airlines (other than the ones that charge you MLB prices for a Coke) have dropped bicycle surcharges.

Second, unless you're a level X frequent flyer, you're going to be paying for the checked bag when you fly regardless of bag size.

Third, between bikeflights.com and shipbikes.com, you have alternate ways to ship a bike that are often as cheap or even cheaper than checking a bag. They're a heck of a lot more convenient than lugging a 40 pound bag around a terminal and out to ground transportation. (Don't think it's that heavy? Weigh the bag, and the bike, and whatever tools you need to conveniently assemble/disassemble the bike -- minitools make it tough!).
I fully agree. I managed to pay off my S&S couplers and S&S Backpack case from oversize luggage savings BEFORE they dropped the fees. Now couplers are less cost effective.

But my S&S bike has only been on airplane trips to foreign lands, there Bikeflights or other shippers are impractical because of customs complications.

I brought my folding bike on one trip within USA in the S&S case on Southwest where you could check up to two free checked bags. So, there the bike flew for free.

A good luggage scale is the traveler's best friend.
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