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Old 03-27-22, 03:10 PM
  #1  
greatbasin
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Get started touring bike

I want to acquire a "touring" bicycle, that is, a bicycle to load up with food, clothes, shelter and gear and ride for 40 to 80 miles a day for a few days or a week at a time, mostly on pavement and mostly within reach of hotels, restaurants and grocery stores. I have experience backpacking, trekking and through hiking. I live in the Great Basin near the Eastern Sierra and there are plenty of touring opportunities right out my door. I still backpack and I've considered bikepacking, but it seems like it would be too hard. The trails around here are steep, and I'm not that strong. I'm not young anymore but around 50, and I'm a lightweight guy - about 135 lbs. My current bike is a mid-80's Schwinn 12-speed with a partial-CroMo lugged frame. It's a couple sizes too big for me, but I've only ever used it for leisure.

So I see this older Surly LHT on the classified site with a full set of racks, four panniers and handlebar bag for under $1000. Unfortunately, the ad was a bit stale and I didn't get any response.

It seems to me that the LHT with some panniers would do everything I want very well, assuming it's built with a suitable groupset similar to any of those Surly built complete bikes with. I haven't been able to find another depreciated example of the discontinued rim brake model in my size. Stepping up to a new disc trucker just about triples the price for a fully loaded bike. If that's what it takes, I could do that, but before I spend that much, I want to consider some alternatives.

Tires
I thought about putting racks and bags on my Schwinn, but I think it's worth paying for a frame that fits me. I have Schwalbe Marathons on my Schwinn, but they're 27-1/4 and tire selection is pretty limited. I like the 650B balloon tires (Big Ben) I put on my wife's hybrid. I think something like those would work great for touring on an appropriate bike. I don't have any expertise in touring though. What do I really need to look for in tires and with respect to bike/frame tire compatibility?

Geometry
From what I've read, the LHT seems to have the geometry that makes it appealing to people that ride long distances with a touring load. The head tube and seat tube angles, the fork rake and trail and the longer wheelbase from the longer seat stays that allow rearward pannier placement all make sense, but I wonder to what degree this really matters to me. I see people put many 1000's of miles, even tens of thousands of miles on LHT's and those people could be riding something different. It gives me pretty good confidence that I couldn't go wrong with one. Sure, there are higher-end touring frames like an Atlantis or Appaloosa or any of the Rohloff/Gates compatible touring frames, but it seems like my personal needs would easily be met by a LHT. So my question is, could they also be met by an even more available frame? How about a mid-range boom bike? I see an early 80's Bianchi 12-speed for a few hundred bucks. I'd have to change the crankset, cassette and derailleurs at a minimum, but maybe I'd just use the frame. Touring geometry? No, but I'd probably only have 180 pounds of rider and cargo on my bike anyway. 700c's but no fatties, caliper brakes.

Road Bike for Lightweight Touring?
Should I consider using a modern road bike? Just because they're far more abundant than touring-focused bikes, it seems like I could get a lot more bike for the buck if I considered an aluminum or carbon road bike that somebody's upgrading from after a few years. Even with 40 pounds of gear, which is enough for me to backpack in the wilderness for 10 days, I'd still be under 180 pounds. A lot of other riders weigh that much in spandex. I know I'm not the only lightweight man that bicycles, but there are probably even more women around my weight that tour. I wonder to what degree they benefit from the relaxed geometry of a touring-specific frame. If the loaded bike and rider is only about 200 pounds, how much value does the added stability of a tour frame give? Will the road bike be too harsh to ride on multiday tours? a weeklong tour? What about a 'gravel' bike or a Roubaix? I don't really care about going lighter and faster. It's just way easier to find road bikes than long distance tourers. There's more people buying them and they trade-up more often. I just don't know what I'd be missing from a tour-specific build that would truly benefit me.

Again, I can probably muster the purchase of a new tour-specific bike, racks, and panniers, but before I spend thousands, I'm considering alternatives. I haven't toured before, and I'd lose a lot less if I bought a used bike and later sold it. Steel boom bikes and modern road bikes are more abundant on the used market and easier to find in my size -- something we can't take for granted even with new bikes nowadays. On the other hand, I'm cautious not to set myself up for disappointment or failure. I don't want to try touring on an inappropriate bike and regret it.
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Old 03-27-22, 03:52 PM
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You might be overthinking this. I started touring on a hybrid bike -- Cannondale Adventure 400, set up with front and rear pannier.



A "mid-range boom bike", or a hybrid that's a few years old, might be enough for you to try out touring and decide if it's for you. Then you can get something newer/shinier.
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Old 03-27-22, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I want to acquire a "touring" bicycle, that is, a bicycle to load up with food, clothes, shelter and gear and ride for 40 to 80 miles a day for a few days or a week at a time, mostly on pavement and mostly within reach of hotels, restaurants and grocery stores.
...
Sounds like you don't need to carry a lot, in which case you can take almost any bike and use bike-packing bags.

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Old 03-27-22, 05:12 PM
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Things to conside: If your chainstays are too short, your heels may hit your panniers. Gearing should be low enough for long climbs on steep hills. Wheels need to tough enough to stay true when riding on rough roads with a big load.

Long Haul Truckers have all of these characteristics and are comfortable in the saddle for all day riding. Vintage mountain bikes have similar characteristics, but usually need bar ends or something for more hand positions.

Lots of people tour on lots of bikes. The most important feature of any bike is it needs to fit you.
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Old 03-27-22, 07:04 PM
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I can't imagine needing to carry more than 40 pounds, because like I wrote, I backpack in the wilderness for 10 days with that, and it all fits into a 55L pack. On the bike, I wouldn't be 'credit-card touring,' but I'd be going for fewer than 10 days between 'services.' I think panniers would be better than bike-packing bags since they hold the weight lower, make access to items easier, and probaby go on and come off the bike more simply. I do note that there are packs and racks that attach to non-traditional touring frames that lack braze-ons.

I note the long chainstays on the LHT. For sure it would meet all my needs, but since it's not the most available or affordable thing, I'm looking for alternatives to consider. I could simply use a pannier that's shorter front-to-aft, even if I had to use front panniers on the back or sew my own bags. I might do either of those things anyway.

The need for low gearing is a serious consideration. The places I want to tour can be incredibly steep. This pretty much rules out original-equipment boom bikes like my Schwinn or that Bianchi 12 speed. The lowest chainring they have on the crankset is like 40-something teeth. I figure I'd need a 3x9 gearset or at least a 2-by with a big cassette. There's a nearly new LHT for sale in my size, but it's been built with a 1-by geartrain, has no racks or bags, and the seller is asking $2K. I'd have to re-do the whole groupset and there wouldn't be any cost-savings in it for me compared to buying brand-new.

I know 36 spoke wheels would be more than tough enough. I think the 32 spokes on the Disc Trucker would be more than enough for me. Like I wrote, I'd have a hard time being much over 200 pounds for bike, gear, and rider. Other folks are much more than that without any gear. I might not want the lightest carbon race wheels, but I figure pretty much anything else of good quality will be fine.

I agree fit is important. I'm not willing to go out on my Schwinn that's at least two sizes too big -- not for a multiday or weeklong tour. I've done a couple days on it before and suffered the back pain. So if I have to get a new-to-me bike, my doubts are about how happy I can be with something that isn't totally tour-specific and what I will want to avoid. At some point, I'll stop "overthinking" it when I find a good bike in my size and after a couple tours will know. In the mean time, I'm just hoping to get some good advice to learn as much as possible the easy way.
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Old 03-27-22, 09:49 PM
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Don,t be in a hurry and keep shopping. I am sure you can find a good used touring bike for a reasonable price.Can you tour on other bikes? Sure,but why not get a bike designed for what you want to do,tour.
Research touring bikes and make a list of makes and models. There are lots out there. LHT, Trek 520 Kona Sutra to name just a few. Having a real low granny gear is essential. Have fun shopping,you will love cycletouring.
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Old 03-27-22, 09:52 PM
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What city do you live in?
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Old 03-27-22, 11:37 PM
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A reasonable hybrid or a 1990s rigid mountain bike will do to start you off, as long as it fits you okay. They have the rack and fender mounts and low enough gears for the luggage. Straight bars can be a bit restrictive but bar ends, ergo-grips or the whole new generation of weird handlebars out there will give you more positions riding. I got back into cycle touring as an adult with a basic Specialized hybrid, with fenders, panniers and a rack from Aldi and slowly upgraded from there.
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Old 03-28-22, 04:30 AM
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I have met a lot of people that were touring on a hybrid bike with rear panniers and something like a handlebar bag or bikepacking handlebar harness that can hold a good size drybag up front, say 10 liters or so. If you backpacked with a 55 liter backpack, you could get by initially with rear panniers on a good rack on something like a hybrid bike.

Then if you decide you like it, in a year or two supply chains should have recovered somewhat, bikes and accessories should be more available than they are now.



I met the gal in the photo above in Nova Scotia, she was from the UK, had started her bike trip in Toronto and had been bike touring for several weeks by the time I met her.

Or, like Tyrion in post number 3 above mentioned bikepacking gear that does not need racks, can be fit to most kinds of bikes. I personally would rather carry more gear than bikepacking gear, but as a backpacker you already know how to pack light.

I prefer four panniers instead of the two pannier option that I mentioned above. In the photo below I have a pair of rear panniers (40 liters), front panniers (25 liters) and a handlebar bag (maybe 8 liters), the only thing on the rear rack is a tent pole bag. But, to start with, two panniers might work well and you can add to it later.



Don't get hung up on one or two brands of touring bikes, there have been a lot of good ones from other companies like Soma, Fuji, etc. But right now with supply chains being a mess, it is hard to find a good deal on anything. Thus, you might want to start with a low budget hybrid, then if that works out, upgrade to a purpose built touring bike in a couple years.
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Old 03-28-22, 05:10 AM
  #10  
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you don't gotta restrict yourself to the lht. keep lookin'...
this is just the cheaper stuff. more on offer under $1000

novara randonee $550
https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/b...463749861.html

trek 520 $550
https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/b...463751458.html

cannondale st500 $300
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/b...461207703.html

or use any suitably-geared bike with a bob trailer. $100
https://flagstaff.craigslist.org/bik...462590237.html
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Old 03-28-22, 06:09 AM
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I'd suggest that you don't necessarily need a touring bike. I have found over time that I prefer to tour on an older road bike for most of my touring. I also found after a mixed surface tour that even my old MTB was fairly pleasnt on the pavement. I actually enjoyed either of those options better than my touring bike that I haven't chosen to use in ages. The change came over time as I packed lighter.

I tend to prefer to tour with ultra light backpacking gear and keep the load very light. Going that light I don't find any advantage to a traditional touring bike. An older road bike works well, maybe even a much older one. I did the southern Tier on my 1990 Cannondale Crit bike and have done other tours on various light setups. The gearing tends to be a bit high so you may need to so something about that I got creative and got moderately low gearing at the expense of giving up higher gears for that ST ride and was happy. I'll tour on that setup again.

A lot of where you decide to abandon the idea of a touring bike for something not touring specific may be the gear weight. It is pretty unclear what your gear weight will be since you include 1o days of food in the weight you listed.How much of that 55 pounds was food? On tour, I'd suggest carrying almost no food. Buy food daily as close to where you consume it as possible.

On a tight budget old rigid MTBs and some old road bikes can be pretty suitable even for heavy touring. The new gravel bikes look interesting for light to medium loads for those with a fatter wallet.
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Old 03-28-22, 06:28 AM
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I think I will break with the norm. it sounds like you want a LHT just buy one. They are great touring bikes, commuters, and good casual riders. older kona sutras(what I have) also great, trek 520 also worth a look.

I would get a touring bike I would not even consider a road bike, skip the $2k 1x LHT get one with a triple(personally I would get a disk trucker). Used market might be pretty weak right now and over priced. seems like you are already kinda looking at 1-2k range there are new options in that range.

If for some reason you have a shoe string budget the "90's MTB" is a OK option just make sure it has a way to mount the racks. I would just keep in mind MTB's and hybrids while they will work it usually requires more from the end user.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
If for some reason you have a shoe string budget the "90's MTB" is a OK option just make sure it has a way to mount the racks. I would just keep in mind MTB's and hybrids while they will work it usually requires more from the end user.
There is always a way to mount racks on an old rigid or hard tail 1990s MTB whether it has the desired braze ons or not.

FWIW, I preferred my 1990 Cannondal MTB to the earlier models that are usually recommended. It has shorter chain stays and a shorter wheelbase so it is less like a "real" touring bike. So something earlier is most likely better if something close to a touring bike is your preference. They are a closer approximation of a standard touring bike. I run drop bars on mine even unloaded on fairly technical single track, but it is pretty far from a touring bike in handling. I do have a newer flat bar bike with front suspension that I ride on gnarlier terrain. I have not toured with that one though.
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Old 03-28-22, 07:47 AM
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I totally agree with sloppy12. You want to carry panniers, medium load, live is a mountainous place so need low gearing... LHT fits the bill. What you might do is to keep checking ad sites (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.) and be patient. If a LHT doesn't show up, and you want to consider other models, research the ones that you find in your searches as you go. "The One" will show up soon.

Obviously there is a lot of free information on the Internet. You could also purchase a very good all inclusive guide here:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/touring...-buyers-guide/

My rim brake LHT was stolen during the height of the pandemic. I ended up replacing it with a new 2022 Fuji Touring, which has mechanical disc brakes - retail $1399 I paid $1230 OTD.

Edit: You mentioned the possibility of using a "road bike." Some would work OK, some would be totally inappropriate. Chain stay length, tire clearance, and frame stiffness are at issue, as well as rack mount points. I think that a good starting point is to look for a bike that comes with at least 32c tires and rack mounts. Many older MTB's and some hybrids would work. A gravel bike would also be a pretty good option especially if you want to do some off road touring.


Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I think I will break with the norm. it sounds like you want a LHT just buy one. They are great touring bikes, commuters, and good casual riders. older kona sutras(what I have) also great, trek 520 also worth a look.

I would get a touring bike I would not even consider a road bike, skip the $2k 1x LHT get one with a triple(personally I would get a disk trucker). Used market might be pretty weak right now and over priced. seems like you are already kinda looking at 1-2k range there are new options in that range.

If for some reason you have a shoe string budget the "90's MTB" is a OK option just make sure it has a way to mount the racks. I would just keep in mind MTB's and hybrids while they will work it usually requires more from the end user.

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Old 03-28-22, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
There is always a way to mount racks on an old rigid or hard tail 1990s MTB whether it has the desired braze ons or not.
There is always away to do everything. That is almost never the best way for new person to start.

You know how to do those things because you have learned to make a system work. Its definitely not the simple option.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
There is always away to do everything. That is almost never the best way for new person to start.

You know how to do those things because you have learned to make a system work. Its definitely not the simple option.
You have a point, but I will say this... The best way to start is often something I didn't mention. Just get out on what you have and do some touring. That or ride something that is very easily affordable. Then spend more when you better know what you want. The only reason I didn't lobby for riding what he has is that he said it was too big. I tend to think folks most often fit bikes too large so I hesitated to go down that road. Riding a too large bike might be miserable.

Also racks on most MTB without the bosses are not really all that complicated of a deal.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:19 AM
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Great Basin, you are well-prepared for bicycle touring with your backpacking experience. Your backpacking gear will be great for bicycle touring. I went the opposite direction, from bicycle touring to backpacking. I quickly spent a lot of money getting lighter and more compact gear. My backpacking gear does take up four paniers on the bike. One pannier is dedicated to the "kitchen", my stove and food. I do strive to have the top of my rear rack empty for use on the road. Extra water and a compact chair may end up there.

Your selection of the Surly LHT is excellent. The used bike market is fickle. You can score a great deal or search a long time for the right bike in the right size. My current touring bike is an expensive folder. But I still have my "normal" touring bike. It is a Nishiki from the 1980s. It was a 12-speed that I upgraded to a triple crank. I like to be able to pedal my load up the steep hills. I bought the bike used for $30.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
Edit: You mentioned the possibility of using a "road bike." Some would work OK, some would be totally inappropriate. Chain stay length, tire clearance, and frame stiffness are at issue, as well as rack mount points.
I probably let that a little muddy. Just to clarify... I mentioned that in two possible contexts.

The first one was how I used one with ultralight gear. With a light enough load all of those issues save one are pretty much non issues for me. Gearing was the one issue. I had an unorthodox solution of using a triple crank with the big ring removed to make an ultracompact double. I had a modestly wide range on the rear. I wound up with a range of 25.1 to 87.8 gear inches. With a 14# load (UL camping and cooking gear) on the Southern Tier I was okay. I wasn't really expecting that model to fit the OP, but since it really wan't clear what portion of his 55# was his 10 days of food I did not entirely rule it out at least to mention.

The second was the mention of old road bikes. By that I was referring to possibly very old road bikes. Some of the bikes we considered road bikes in the distant past might be quite suitable. I just donated an old Nishiki (probably from the 70's) to the local co-op that I think would make a nice touring bike. The gearing would need a little working over, but I think the derailleurs would handle the range needed. Another demonstration of the "road bikes" that fit the bill might be found by looking at old touring pictures like from bikecentennial (1976). Lots of PX10s and other old road bikes quite a few with a race pedigree at the time. Not that they look much like today's race bikes.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:31 AM
  #19  
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Two general points. First, you're on the edge for being able to justify a (4 pannier) touring bike. If your touring is going to be within reach of motels, you can do fine with a hybrid or sport touring/road endurance/all road/whatever they're calling a relaxed geometry road bike this week. Make sure it's comfortable and fits you well. Such bikes can usually handle a 5-10 pound load: after-ride outfit, spare bike clothes, snacks, a few tools, rain gear, etc. You don't really need to carry a tent if you're staying in motels or B&Bs.

Second, some touring bikes are so rigid/stiff/whatever that you'll notice riding them unloaded is substantially different from those sportier bikes. A lot of the difference is the weight, stiffness, and width of the tires, but there's some residual difference in feel. It seems self-evident; a loaded touring bike is great to ride when it's loaded. But if you're like many of us, you'll ride some unloaded just to get in shape, then you start riding longer day rides (also helps to get in shape). Of the bikes I've ridden that I have ridden loaded, or would willingly ride with a load, the LHT is about the most like a tank. The REI Novara Randonee (aka ADV 1.1) is next, followed by the old rim-brake Trek 520 (I haven't ridden the new disc version yet), and I think the Fuji Touring is the closest to a road sport bike but it'll carry a load.

Item 2.5: I haven't tried Pete Staehling's ultra-light touring mode, but if you've got some good hiking gear, you might well be able to pull together a 15 pound pack with shelter, bag, and cooking gear without spending much.
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Old 03-28-22, 10:17 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
An older road bike works well, maybe even a much older one. I did the southern Tier on my 1990 Cannondale Crit bike and have done other tours on various light setups. The gearing tends to be a bit high so you may need to so something about that....
Using an older road bike appeals to me, but the more I looked into this, the more I found badly suited gearing. The Southern Tier is pretty flat. Where I live (Eastern Sierra) is incredibly steep. While I don't plan on touring only over especially steep passes, I'd hate to lock myself out of my own backyard. So for example, I was looking at a 12 year-old Roubaix with Ultegra and Dura Ace components - attractive at ~$400. Even though it was a triple, the lowest gear would have given more than 30 gear inches. Never mind trying to mount anything to carbon fiber, I would have to toss the Dura Ace and start over. The problem with some upper-end 80's and 90's steel road bikes I've found is similar. They're 2-by at best and the cassettes are much too small.

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It is pretty unclear what your gear weight will be since you include 1o days of food in the weight you listed.How much of that 55 pounds was food? On tour, I'd suggest carrying almost no food. Buy food daily as close to where you consume it as possible.
My backpack for 10 days unsupported is 55 liters, 40 pounds. Half of that is food, and another 8 pounds is water. I only gave that as an estimate of the greatest amount of weight I can imagine touring with. I don't know the weight of the panniers themselves, but most likely I would be putting 25 pounds of cargo on the bike including food and water and needing a minimum of 30L of volume plus a foam sleeping pad (outside the panniers). I want more than 30L capacity so I can access items easily, so even having 60L capacity and half empty panniers sounds great.


Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I think I will break with the norm. it sounds like you want a LHT just buy one. They are great touring bikes, commuters, and good casual riders. older kona sutras(what I have) also great, trek 520 also worth a look.
I've got my eye out for one in my size, but I'm considering other options like the Kona. At the moment I only see a women's Sutra that's too small being available. There's a Fuji Disc Touring bike about 5 hours away, my size but bare bones and not cheap. I think it would get close to $2K after I bought everything to make it ready to tour. There's another LHT about the same distance that's $200 cheaper but also no racks, no panniers, and would need new seat and grips and other minor stuff. Neither deal makes me anxious to drive 10 hours round-trip without seeing what else comes up first.

Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
...seems like you are already kinda looking at 1-2k range there are new options in that range.
If I found something in my size with the right frame, gearing, racks, and a complete set of panniers and bar bag in that range, then I'd be motivated to buy new or used.

Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I totally agree with sloppy12. You want to carry panniers, medium load, live is a mountainous place so need low gearing...

My rim brake LHT was stolen during the height of the pandemic. I ended up replacing it with a new 2022 Fuji Touring, which has mechanical disc brakes - retail $1399 I paid $1230 OTD.
What did you pay including racks, four panniers, and handlebar bag? Do you like the Fuji better than the LHT? Like I mentioned, I'm seeing one of each advertised in my size, used, but for not much less than what you paid new. I'd have to buy all the bolt-on's new.
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Old 03-28-22, 10:39 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
You have a point, but I will say this... The best way to start is often something I didn't mention. Just get out on what you have and do some touring. That or ride something that is very easily affordable. Then spend more when you better know what you want. The only reason I didn't lobby for riding what he has is that he said it was too big. I tend to think folks most often fit bikes too large so I hesitated to go down that road. Riding a too large bike might be miserable.

Also racks on most MTB without the bosses are not really all that complicated of a deal.
I think we agree really just slightly different view on the situation. I see a dude with back packing experience (so he at least knows how to not die.) and he has a bike that is to big(so its fair to assume he has ridden a bike)... In that scenario I would just say go buy the right touring bike. Doesnt really sound like he travels ultra light either.

I agree it is easy to convert a MTB and the addition of mounting points is not complicated. its just one more thing to learn.
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Old 03-28-22, 11:25 AM
  #22  
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You can change the gearing on a bike. Changing the gearing can vary between simple and relatively inexpensive to complex and expensive. Keep that in mind if you find a bike that looks good, but is geared to high.
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Old 03-28-22, 11:58 AM
  #23  
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This bike is kind of interesting: Poseidon Redwood
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Old 03-28-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
My backpack for 10 days unsupported is 55 liters, 40 pounds. Half of that is food, and another 8 pounds is water. I only gave that as an estimate of the greatest amount of weight I can imagine touring with. I don't know the weight of the panniers themselves, but most likely I would be putting 25 pounds of cargo on the bike including food and water and needing a minimum of 30L of volume plus a foam sleeping pad (outside the panniers). I want more than 30L capacity so I can access items easily, so even having 60L capacity and half empty panniers sounds great.
It likely will be different for you, but it sounds like you will be at or under what I carried in gear when I figured I was about at the point that I was starting to lean away from the touring bike. That isn't entirely clear to me since I am unclear how much food and water you are including. I try to minimize food carried and buy as close to where I eat it as possible. Water carried is so variable that I don't try to include it.
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Old 03-28-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
This bike is kind of interesting:
I agree it's interesting. What is it like touring pavement on MTB tires? I think it would be cushy, but wonder about the rolling resistance. I put Big Ben balloon tires on my wife's bike and my kids' mountain bikes (which they outgrew and sold). Those promised little rolling resistance and seemed to deliver on that point. I know I don't want racing tires, but I don't think I'd want knobbies either.

I have my doubts about drop bars for touring. My idea of touring isn't eating up miles or reaching ambitious destinations before a certain time. I don't have any experience sitting on a bicycle for eight hours straight, so I can't say whether I'd rather sit upright or in the drops, but I'd like to have a look around and I suspect I'd rather be upright. My Schwinn is two or three sizes too big for me and it originally had drop bars. I'd have back pain after riding a few hours. I swapped them out for some VO Tourist bars. I can ride it longer now without pain, but I might like even more sweep in the bars like porteur or Left Bank bars. Drop bars might not be bad if the reach was correct. I can see getting in the drops to power up steep hills or for descents, but most of the time I'd probably want to be upright.
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