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Upgrading my bike for Touring

Old 07-02-22, 05:42 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
^^^^^ That's AZ, NM and Utah, nothing in common with those Iceland pics. I've been all over the western states a dozen times with the car.



You went there with a car and not an RV? Did you pull a trailer, or do a motel trip?

I like camping out in the wilderness. Sometimes backpacking, a canoe or kayak, but a bike is fun too.



The signs warned you that if you had a car, that was the time to turn around.



The photo below from Southern Utah, no cars there either. White Rim in Canyonlands. This photo gets us back on topic for this thread, as the bike is fitted with a 100mm suspension fork with canti brakes.



We did cheat on this trip, a Ford F350 hauled our food and water and gear from campsite to campsite.



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Old 07-03-22, 06:38 AM
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If yo keep a suspension fork Thule makes an interesting rack that fit on the front or rear. I don't have one but thought about it for my cobbled together mountain bike. Also getting some weight off your back will be more enjoyable.
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Old 07-03-22, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
Corr. How rude. I hope you get a puncture at the bottom of a hill.
I think you were being too kind. I would have said, "at the top of the hill" after busting butt to get to the top.

I met this German cyclist who had ridden most of the way across Canada on his mountain bike. We camped with him and a Canadian rider while riding in BC. He designed theses simple clamps to use for mounting a front rack on his suspension fork.




We got the last spot in a campground, and offered to share it with him and his Canadian riding partner; who was from Edmonton. He was friendly, polite and nice to have in camp.


In Europe many some of the touring bikes I've seen have suspension forks.

Ride the bike you like. My daughter is still riding my wife's Trek 4500 we gave to our grandson a long time ago, and still enjoys it.

Most of the folks on this forum are great folks. Even if we can not agree on some subjects they are discussed respectfully. Don't get discouraged, and welcome to the forum.

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Old 07-03-22, 06:18 PM
  #29  
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I have to amend my post above, I was a little off in my estimate of suspension forks on touring bikes in Europe. I did a very scientific sample (1) at a ferry terminal in Denmark. I used the pictures I took of the bike staging area. There were 8 touring bikes in the area, excluding mine and my wife's bikes. Three of the bikes have suspension forks. That comes out to about 38%. Our bikes were the only ones with drop bars.



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Old 07-03-22, 08:11 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
...
I met this German cyclist who had ridden most of the way across Canada on his mountain bike. We camped with him and Canadian rider while riding in BC. He designed theses simple clamps to use for mounting a front rack on his suspension fork.
...
....
That rack looks very much like I would expect from a German engineer, it almost looks like a home made Tara.

My last tour, I met a guy that brought his four panniers from the UK, got off the plane in Toronto with plans to buy a bike. (This was pre-covid when bikes were plentiful.) He bought a used hybrid for $300 CAD. Had to buy a cheap rack that he could attach to the suspension fork with hose clamps. Unfortunately I did not take a photo, the mosquitos were so thick that as soon as I was done cooking supper I wanted to get into my tent.

I met him in Nova Scotia, he planned to go to New York to see his daughter, then give away his bike and fly home.

Someone that goes on a bike tour by flying somewhere on a different continent to buy a cheap used bike, then bikes several thousand miles on it before he flies home again, that is more adventuresome than I am.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:11 AM
  #31  
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" In my head it was just a bike I go a long way while on whilst carrying my gear!I "

My problem is when I add all the stuff I want, the bike is too heavy to get me any real distance.

I get it. I get wanting suspension on the front.

My place- Washboard is everywhere. I have found no suspension forks/stems that have been able to really match the washboard. I've tried a bunch, and even revalved forks and such. Softride, Girvin, Specialized stems, No perfect solution. I finally converted to a surly ogre fork Rigid, suspension corrected. Lots of good attachment points. Even though it's a heavy fork, it was far lighter than suspension forks, and the bike just worked better. With a fully loaded front end, there's going to be too much unsprung weight to oscillate with washboard at any speed anyway. The fun factor went up with the ogre, and the weight and complexity down, but I did have to sacrifice my 'desire' for suspension. I haven't missed it once but, but, in the end, what matters is whatever works for you.

Also, the types of bumps I love to hit on my mtb (with suspension) are the types of bumps I try to avoid to reduce stress on loaded racks/bags/rims. It's about finding the smoothest line, with fewest pinchflat hazards as possible.

I think experimenting with your current bike is the best idea to hone in on new ideas before committing time/money to new stuff.
Good luck.

Last edited by dualresponse; 07-04-22 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:21 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dualresponse View Post
" In my head it was just a bike I go a long way while on whilst carrying my gear!I "

My problem is when I add all the stuff I want, the bike is too heavy to get me any real distance.

I get it. I get wanting suspension on the front.

My place- Washboard is everywhere. I have found no suspension forks/stems that have been able to really match the washboard. I've tried a bunch, and even revalved forks and such. No perfect solution. I finally converted to a surly ogre fork Rigid, suspension corrected. Lots of good attachment points. Even though it's a heavy fork, it was far lighter than suspension forks, and the bike just worked better. With a fully loaded front end, there's going to be too much unsprung weight to oscillate with washboard at any speed anyway. The fun factor went up with the ogre, and the weight and complexity down, but whatever works for you.

Also, the types of bumps I love to hit on my mtb (with suspension) are the types of bumps I try to avoid to reduce stress on loaded racks/bags/rims. It's about finding the smoothest line, with fewest pinchflat hazards as possible.

I think experimenting with your current bike is the best idea to hone in on new ideas before committing time/money to new stuff.
Good luck.
Sounds like good advice given the OPs stated parameters.

A lot depends on what the rider wants, on the terrain to be ridden, load carried, and the distances to be ridden (probably both daily and total tour length). I hope the OP finds their sweet spot with their bike. I suspect it may be with a rigid fork, but maybe not.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:37 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Sounds like good advice given the OPs stated parameters.

A lot depends on what the rider wants, on the terrain to be ridden, load carried, and the distances to be ridden (probably both daily and total tour length). I hope the OP finds their sweet spot with their bike. I suspect it may be with a rigid fork, but maybe not.
I'm betting he's going to get another suspension fork, and that's fine!
Ironically, I've found my upright bars on my dolled up schwinn to be the best for absorbing gravel, and washboard. They work better than the specialized suspension stems. Just showing for info. Top of the mountain with a bunch of fireroads to get there. As pictured, the bike was heavy as was, and would need more weight reduction for longer distances. Gratuitous Pic from last weekend.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dualresponse View Post
I'm betting he's going to get another suspension fork, and that's fine!
Ironically, I've found my upright bars on my dolled up schwinn to be the best for absorbing gravel, and washboard. They work better than the specialized suspension stems. Just showing for info. Top of the mountain with a bunch of fireroads to get there. As pictured, the bike was heavy as was, and would need more weight reduction for longer distances. Gratuitous Pic from last weekend.
My back doesn't take well to a position that upright on any rough surfaces (or any riding really). I can see where it works great for some folks though. I rode with narrow flat bars very low in my MTB racing days, but these days I find comfort with wider flat bars just a little higher on my newer MTB (front suspension only). I figure I could tour in reasonable comfort on that newer bike.

I do still ride the old rigid MTB with the very low (~4" below the saddle same as my road bike) bars, but it has drops on it these days. I ride moderate trails with it including some single track and have used it for a mixed surface tour and to run errands. I still like it.

I have toured on old road race bikes aggressive posture setups as well and found I liked that as well. At 71 I am not sure if I will start to get too old for that or am too old to change
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Old 07-04-22, 06:47 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
My back doesn't take well to a position that upright on any rough surfaces (or any riding really). I can see where it works great for some folks though. I rode with narrow flat bars very low in my MTB racing days, but these days I find comfort with wider flat bars just a little higher on my newer MTB (front suspension only). I figure I could tour in reasonable comfort on that newer bike.

I do still ride the old rigid MTB with the very low (~4" below the saddle same as my road bike) bars, but it has drops on it these days. I ride moderate trails with it including some single track and have used it for a mixed surface tour and to run errands. I still like it.

I have toured on old road race bikes aggressive posture setups as well and found I liked that as well. At 71 I am not sure if I will start to get too old for that or am too old to change
LOL- I'm a old school narrow bar mtb /agressive road posture guy myself - All my bikes are low stemmed on the front end, except this, and for some ungodly reason it works. Took a bit of setup, and for the first time, I can look around and see everything when I ride. I noticed things this weekend I usually miss on other bikes, which was cool. Its another example of something (for me at least) completely counterintuitive to what I usually like that strangely works. I do prefer the more aggresive postures for most riding, especially climbing.

The biggest drawback it that if I wear my road kits on this bike while sitting straight up, I look like a complete fool. I saw myself in a store window reflection and busted out laughing at myself. This setup almost requires wearing a hawaiian shirt as a dress code!

- Don't get me wrong though- I'm hitting the road bike today, I'm ready to get back into my low slung setup!

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Old 07-04-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dualresponse View Post
The biggest drawback it that if I wear my road kits on this bike while sitting straight up, I look like a complete fool. I saw myself in a store window reflection and busted out laughing at myself. This setup almost requires wearing a hawaiian shirt as a dress code!
I had to chuckle just a little at that. You can always wear your road kit under the hawaiian shirt.
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Old 07-05-22, 07:08 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies, I think the rigid fork idea is a good one, but you're probably right, I'll probably end up with a suspension fork, because it's what I'm used to. I've been looking into handlebar bags for the time being, but load em up with the tent etc to spread the weight out a little. There doesn't seem to be any particular consensus with regards to good suspension forks for touring, which makes sense I guess as most of you don't like em! So I think I'll stick with whats on there for now and just keep my eye on them.


Oh someone mentioned bike weight... I quite like that about it, I weigh alot, and it's nice to know that what's underneath me can take it. I even upgraded the wheels to Andra 30's which are not very light at all, but are rated to 180kg each!


This forum has far too many rules.
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Old 07-05-22, 07:10 AM
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Anyway, my tenth post, so this is my Trek for touring

And this is my Peugeot... you'll hate this, non drive side and I focused far too much on the "castle" behind!
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Old 07-05-22, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
....Oh someone mentioned bike weight...


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Old 07-05-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post

Anyway, my tenth post, so this is my Trek for touring
It looks like all the weight is behind the axle. I'd look at a different rack that allowed getting the panniers a bit farther forward if you can't do so with this rack. Not sure if we discussed disc specific racks on your bike or if I am thinking of someone else, but you do not need to use disc specific. I think handling would be much improved.
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Old 07-05-22, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It looks like all the weight is behind the axle. I'd look at a different rack that allowed getting the panniers a bit farther forward if you can't do so with this rack.
I noticed the same thing. The rack looks like it is a seatpost rack so the load is also high. It would be frightening on downhills…which is probably why the question about fitting dual brakes.

This bike does show the problem with using mountain bikes as touring bikes. Unless the mountain bike is a very early mountain bike, the chainstay are short on most all of them…the Trek 4300 is 430mm or 16.9”. That makes for carrying the load further rearward and off the back of the bike resulting in a tail wagging the on situation. Good for off-road, not so good for loaded touring.

Not sure if we discussed disc specific racks on your bike or if I am thinking of someone else, but you do not need to use disc specific. I think handling would be much improved.
That would help but bikepacking gear might be a better choice. Not my favorite but workable for a mountain bike.
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Old 07-05-22, 06:01 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
This led me to the from suspension forks. Currently, the originals are fitted, these are "InSync Grind 323"s which the internet seems to assure me are garbage, well, they've done fine, but after 18 years and no apparent way to service them, I'm looking for recomendations! When I upgraded the brakes, I did look into fitting larger rotors, unfortunately, the fork manual didn't specify a size so I left it as is. This may be another advantage of changing the forks.
Not the best fork around. I’d suggest looking into finding an air/oil fork with lockout. Makes the fork rigid when you don’t need it. On the other hand, if you aren’t using the bike on off-road rides, going to a rigid fork would be a good choice as others have said. I keep a suspension fork on my bikepacking bike because I go looking for places to use the suspension. However for primarily road riding, I use a rigid road touring bike.

You should be able to put a180mm or 203mm disc on your existing fork without issues. It would help with any braking issues you have.

So, a front suspension fork, good for touring, and good for a heavy bloke with a full pack. I believe it needs 80mm of travel to keep the bike level, the wheels are 26" Can anyone help?
If you touring on roads like this:



Keep the suspension fork. But if most of your roads look like this:



ditch the suspension.

Ohhhh and while I have anyone attention... I have a mad idea. Has anyone ever fitted disc brakes and V brakes? Just say to the front to help out down the hills?

Cheers for any help!
See above. A 203mm rotor would do the job and be a lot simpler.
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Old 07-06-22, 09:19 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I noticed the same thing. The rack looks like it is a seatpost rack so the load is also high. It would be frightening on downhills…which is probably why the question about fitting dual brakes.

This bike does show the problem with using mountain bikes as touring bikes. Unless the mountain bike is a very early mountain bike, the chainstay are short on most all of them…the Trek 4300 is 430mm or 16.9”. That makes for carrying the load further rearward and off the back of the bike resulting in a tail wagging the on situation. Good for off-road, not so good for loaded touring.



That would help but bikepacking gear might be a better choice. Not my favorite but workable for a mountain bike.
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not the best fork around. I’d suggest looking into finding an air/oil fork with lockout. Makes the fork rigid when you don’t need it. On the other hand, if you aren’t using the bike on off-road rides, going to a rigid fork would be a good choice as others have said. I keep a suspension fork on my bikepacking bike because I go looking for places to use the suspension. However for primarily road riding, I use a rigid road touring bike.

You should be able to put a180mm or 203mm disc on your existing fork without issues. It would help with any braking issues you have.



If you touring on roads like this:



Keep the suspension fork. But if most of your roads look like this:



ditch the suspension.



See above. A 203mm rotor would do the job and be a lot simpler.
Well this is all very interesting! Like I said, I checked about putting bigger rotors on, but as the fork didn't say it would take it, then googling the fork said it would be a duffer and I chickened out! When I got the new wheels, they only came with the rim brake rim, so the idea of adding a V brake came to mind, just as a way of sharing the load I guess.

Downhill handling, I haven't really noticed it's scarier turning because of the weight, I just find that I go too fast, on twisty welsh lanes. But I do take your point, I am very top heavy. I went for this rack for two reasons, I don't seem to have the little holes for the pannier on the back axle staehpj1 which is why I went for the disc specific? Am I missing something drastic? And also, this rack was rated to 50kg, the others never seemed to have that information. The engineer in me went, well, the packs 30L, so that's 30kg, the rack takes 50, great, breathing room!

In the interim though, the rack can slide forwards, and I could extend the arms down further, so they're as near to the hub as possible, would this improve some of my problems?
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Old 07-06-22, 09:26 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
Well this is all very interesting! Like I said, I checked about putting bigger rotors on, but as the fork didn't say it would take it, then googling the fork said it would be a duffer and I chickened out! When I got the new wheels, they only came with the rim brake rim, so the idea of adding a V brake came to mind, just as a way of sharing the load I guess.....
oops.
misread.
i hope.
sorta sounds like you got new rim brake wheels so now don't have a front brake.
i get it now.
the disc wheels came with rim brake usable rims.
got it.
carry on.

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Old 07-06-22, 11:23 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
... And also, this rack was rated to 50kg, the others never seemed to have that information. The engineer in me went, well, the packs 30L, so that's 30kg, the rack takes 50, great, breathing room!
...
I have been surprised at times how some of the cheapest racks have some of the greatest claims for capacity. But the expensive racks from a manufacturer that has a reputation to maintain often have realistic ratings.

Thorn sells a rack that is rated for 40kg if you use M5 bolts. But they raise that rating to 60kg if you use M6 bolts. In their experience, the bolts to hold the rack to the frame are the limiting factor on their rack. They also caution that if you are riding on rough terrain in S America, cut their rating in half. I would trust their rack for those weights.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/carriers...ck-powdercoat/

Although I have two Thorn bikes, I do not have that rack. I use a different rack on their bikes that has a lower pannier mounting position, the Tubus Logo EVO, my 10 year old Logo is rated at 40kg. On one of my bikes I use M6 bolts with my Logo.

I would not trust that rack of yours with 50kg and I would be a bit nervous about hitting a solid bump with 30 kg on the rack. But if your pack is 30 liters, you probably only rarely have more than 15 kg on the rack.
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Old 07-06-22, 01:26 PM
  #46  
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This is amazing. Coolest pic I've seen here.

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
we don' need no stinkin' s'spension!
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Old 07-06-22, 10:39 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
Downhill handling, I haven't really noticed it's scarier turning because of the weight, I just find that I go too fast, on twisty welsh lanes. But I do take your point, I am very top heavy. I went for this rack for two reasons, I don't seem to have the little holes for the pannier on the back axle staehpj1 which is why I went for the disc specific? Am I missing something drastic? And also, this rack was rated to 50kg, the others never seemed to have that information. The engineer in me went, well, the packs 30L, so that's 30kg, the rack takes 50, great, breathing room!
Your bike does have rack mounts. The red arrow point to the mounting points. The first post in this ****** thread shows your bike with a rack mounted, although it has linear brakes.



Your rack most certainly doesn’t have a 50 kg capacity. That’s probably a mistranslation or misprint. Tubus racks…about the strongest you can get…have a capacity of 40 kg. And it is much stronger than a seatpost type rack. 50 lb is more likely the maximum capacity that rack can handle. Similar racks I’ve seen have a 50 lb or 22kg capacity.

In the interim though, the rack can slide forwards, and I could extend the arms down further, so they're as near to the hub as possible, would this improve some of my problems?
Perhaps but moving the load forwards will probably result in heel strikes. The Trek 4300 has very short chainstays as do most mountain bikes of that era. It makes them work better as mountain bikes.
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Old 07-07-22, 05:15 AM
  #48  
staehpj1 
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Your bike does have rack mounts. The red arrow point to the mounting points. The first post in this ****** thread shows your bike with a rack mounted, although it has linear brakes.
Those do look like mount points, but even if they weren't there there are other possibilities for regular rack nounting. Tubus and axiom both have options for lower mounting without bosses. Likely there are others. You'd have to look what models suited your bike and needs.

Top mount pounts can be improvised if they are not specifically provided. Brake bridge hole, canti brake bosses, seat clamps with a mount bolt, and p-clamps are all possible options where there are no specifc upper rack mount bosses, but again it looks like your bike accomodates with regular mount points.

Your rack most certainly doesn’t have a 50 kg capacity. That’s probably a mistranslation or misprint. Tubus racks…about the strongest you can get…have a capacity of 40 kg. And it is much stronger than a seatpost type rack. 50 lb is more likely the maximum capacity that rack can handle. Similar racks I’ve seen have a 50 lb or 22kg capacity.
Or an outright lie by the seller. Some of these ratings are crazy.

Perhaps but moving the load forwards will probably result in heel strikes. The Trek 4300 has very short chainstays as do most mountain bikes of that era. It makes them work better as mountain bikes.
Yeah, that can depend on how far you move it, your shoe size, pannier size, pannier shape, how high the pannier is mounted, and foot placemant on the pedal. I have generall managed with shortish stays and largish feet, but I didn't use huge panniers and when I was carrying a lot (before I started trimming my loadt) I did need to tweak things a little to get it all just right. I'd have had a bit of heel strike if the panniers were as far forward as they would go with the heavy touring setup I started out with.
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Old 07-09-22, 06:10 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...Yeah, that can depend on how far you move it, your shoe size, pannier size, pannier shape, how high the pannier is mounted, and foot placemant on the pedal. I have generall managed with shortish stays and largish feet, but I didn't use huge panniers and when I was carrying a lot (before I started trimming my loadt) I did need to tweak things a little to get it all just right. I'd have had a bit of heel strike if the panniers were as far forward as they would go with the heavy touring setup I started out with.
you can mcguyver extensions to move the rack back. these were made with aluminum struts from a motorcycle shop discarded parts bin.





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