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Upgrading my bike for Touring

Old 06-27-22, 10:06 AM
  #1  
Gaz_
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Upgrading my bike for Touring

Hi All,

I usually linger in the classic and vintage, but today I have a different problem.

I've just got back from completely route 81 in the UK, I cycled from my front door to the sea over a few days, camped, the works. I had a fantastic time.

My bike, is a Trek 4300 disc from 2004, I bought it new in 2004 with my paper round money, and it's my bike. I have no desire to change it, it does everything I throw at it, and it does it all well!

I have upgraded it over the years, the brakes are BB7s, with a 160mm rotor, and the wheels are Andra 30s with shimano hubs, continental doublefighter hybrid tyres.

On the trip, my rear derailleur snapped, and I had to get that fixed, no complaints really, it was 18 years old and I'd done a hell of alot of shifting over the course of the day. But it got me thinking of things that are left on the bike, that are original and thus, may need a good service/replacing.

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.

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?

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!
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Old 06-27-22, 10:19 AM
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As a TREK bike store owner from that era, I can say you might be better served putting your post in the mountain bike section since you upgrades are more in line with your mountain bike, not so much bike touring. I can tell you that if you want stronger brakes/ larger 180 mm rotors, you will need (10mm) longer anchor bolts and four 10 mm spacers. Next time take an extra derailleur hanger.
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Old 06-27-22, 10:27 AM
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Not suspension, but this might work. They say out of stock, you would have to find out if or when it will be in stock.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/forks/26...ed-matt-black/

You would have to verify that your bike as a rake (or offset) and a axle to crown length similar to this.

I think trying to install a disc brake and rim brake on the same wheel is not a great idea.

If you get a different fork, you probably will need to have a bike shop install your fork crown headset race. If you bought that fork, perhaps ask them if they could install the race you need on it before they ship it to you.
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Old 06-27-22, 10:28 AM
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Hi Headwind, thanks for getting back to me.

I can see that it makes sense to put the thread in mountain bikes... my fear was I don't really use it as a mountain bike, it's my tourer. So I was worried it would be big mountain bike forks etc, does that make sense? I wanted to know what bike tourers would recommend in front forks. I'm not offroading, well, no more than the cycle route takes, which is only ever really old railway lines with abit of hardcore.

In my head, I guess yeah, it's a mountain bike, but from that era when mountain bikes were kind of the do all bike.

Interestingly, it wasn't the hanger that broke, it was the body straight across the spring! The fella who came to save me turned up with two new derailleurs and a load of hangers, expecting to just change the arm and was some what shocked!
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Old 06-27-22, 11:15 AM
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If you have a mechanical front disc, I could think of a way to connect a set of linear pulls to the same lever. There's one made with two cable connections, mainly for e-bikes to keep one hand free for the throttle. But I wouldn't do it or recommend it, especially on the front.
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Old 06-27-22, 04:10 PM
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I you want to put a rigid fork on it, you need to measure the (front) axle to the headset race crown distance (in mm's/ cm's). You are looking for a fork of that length. There is a name for that type of fork, I just can't seem to pull it up. _________ corrected fork??
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Old 06-27-22, 10:46 PM
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Nothing will make that pig into a tour bike.
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Old 06-28-22, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Nothing will make that pig into a tour bike.
Corr. How rude. I hope you get a puncture at the bottom of a hill.
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Old 06-28-22, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Nothing will make that pig into a tour bike.
Wrong.

Hard tail mountain bikes are excellent touring bikes. Outside of America pretty much everybody tours on flat bar bikes. Drop bar touring bikes are only fashionable in the US.

If changing forks, I would suggest a rigid fork, as these will allow you to mount front racks, and 99% of touring is on paved roads.
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Old 06-28-22, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Wrong.

Hard tail mountain bikes are excellent touring bikes. Outside of America pretty much everybody tours on flat bar bikes. Drop bar touring bikes are only fashionable in the US.

If changing forks, I would suggest a rigid fork, as these will allow you to mount front racks, and 99% of touring is on paved roads.
It is tempting to just go rigid fork. The advantages of the from pannier is appealling, not just for the storage space, but because with all the weight on the back I do find myself "wheelie-ing" on the steeper hills, so a better balance would hopefully improve this.

The argument against though is I tend to follow set, signposted routes by a company called "sustrans", who do their very best to avoid main roads, and will often use forest tracks, old railway lines etc. While these aren't pure mountain terrain, they are usually gravel/rubble, which the suspension definately helps with.

I guess what I was looking for really is a suggestion of a touring friendly brand of suspension I could look into, but I think I might have fallen into more of a debate of what a touring bike is. In my head it was just a bike I go a long way while on whilst carrying my gear!
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Old 06-28-22, 05:52 AM
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Old Man Mountain makes front racks for bikes with suspension forks, so that might be something to look it if you do stay with a suspension fork. https://oldmanmountain.com/ Also there are other ways to get a little weight forward. A bar roll would help a little if you are not already using one and those big cargo cages on the fork legs would be another option to get a bit of weight forward.
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Old 06-28-22, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
....what a touring bike is. In my head it was just a bike I go a long way while on whilst carrying my gear!

+10000

you win the intertubes with this post certifying you get it.
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Old 06-28-22, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaz_ View Post
It is tempting to just go rigid fork. The advantages of the from pannier is appealling, not just for the storage space, but because with all the weight on the back I do find myself "wheelie-ing" on the steeper hills, so a better balance would hopefully improve this.

The argument against though is I tend to follow set, signposted routes by a company called "sustrans", who do their very best to avoid main roads, and will often use forest tracks, old railway lines etc. While these aren't pure mountain terrain, they are usually gravel/rubble, which the suspension definately helps with....
can you load up a bike with a rigid fork and try out some of these trails? if not total moonscape, you may find you don't need suspension at all. puffy tires and some weight on the front can help with the bumps.

i've done all my touring with rigid forks, some pretty mean "roads" in cambodia and laos. only a few times i wished i'd had front suspension.

suspension corrected fork will save you several pounds and give you mounting options for easily replaceable front racks.
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Old 06-28-22, 06:49 PM
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The solid fork I listed above in post 3 is a suspension corrected fork. But as I noted in that post you should measure the fork rake or offset on yours and also the axle to crown race on yours, as a replacement fork should have similar dimensions. And as I noted above, a bike shop might be needed to install the headset bearing race. I forgot to mention in the previous post, that you likely need to cut the steerer tube and would need to buy a star nut.

I did not look up your bike, thus do not know how wide a tire it will take. Wider tires give you more cushion.

Some people use suspension seatposts, suspension stems. I have never gotten much advantage with a suspension seatpost. A suspension stem, I have never tried one. But I have ridden on some really rough 4X4 roads on bike tours with a solid frame and solid fork, only using wider tires for cushioning.

There were times on this road that the washboarding was so bad I had trouble going over 8 km/hr, and that was with 57mm wide tires, but I do not think suspension fork would have solved that.



This road was pretty rough too.



That said, I understand the desire to have a bike that can take the worst of the surfaces you will ever ride on. But realistically a fat bike would be best on some of this stuff, but that fat bike would be a poor bike for your sections with pavement or tarmac.

This was another rough road on that trip. Tires are 57mm wide. I could have used a suspension fork, I have a RockShox fork that I have used on that frame, but when I considered how much of that trip was on pavement, the solid fork was the best choice.





Keep in mind your bike is 18 years old.

How much do you want to invest in it to keep it going compared to buying new?
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Old 06-28-22, 10:45 PM
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^^^^^^ What the hell is the attraction in that bone shaking Moon scape????
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Old 06-29-22, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Keep in mind your bike is 18 years old.

How much do you want to invest in it to keep it going compared to buying new?
Oh man, don't be like that, my only other bike is 34!

I'll be honest, I've never been tempted by a "newer" model. I find my trek does everything I need it too, so I'm just trying to safeguard it. Like I say, so far, there's nothing actually wrong with the suspension, but when you look at the "triggers broom" of it all, the suspension is the last real moving part to change. Friends keep buying bicycles around me, and they never seem to keep up, and it's 100% the bike. And I think if I "upgraded" at this point, I'd probably just buy a more expensive frame, having had the wheels specifically made to take a beating.

My "but I've always had suspension so I need suspension" arguement is struggling against your experience abit though, what a pair of pictures!
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Old 06-29-22, 02:29 AM
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I think I can lock the suspension. I think. I've never actually tried it. There's a fairly generic track nearby, which I could test it on. That's a nice idea, I'll get out the manual and see how I do it.

The other appeal would be getting a upgraded fork for a larger brake rotor, as a heavy man with a heavy bike, I'd really like that extra security going down some of the steeper, twistier descents.
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Old 06-29-22, 04:03 AM
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we don' need no stinkin' s'spension!










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Old 06-29-22, 04:47 AM
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I was going to mention a suspension corrected rigid fork. The only reason I didn't was that the OP didn't sound receptive to that. Now that a few people mentioned not needing suspension, I will say that it really isn't a necessity for the kind of use he is talking about. The fat-ish tires offer some cushion for the small stuff and your legs (and arms) offer suspension for the bigger stuff. You can ride any terrain without suspension that you can with, unless you are talking big air, downhill racing, or something.

I figure that the suspension fork is actually likely to be more of a detriment than a help for his intended usage. All that said, the rider likes what they like, so he may choose something that may not make sense to the rest of us and be happy with it.
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Old 06-30-22, 12:09 AM
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Upgrades? I have actually gone the opposite way. I've got an old French touring bike which I have restored to original condition, including the 8 speed (2x4) driveline. I suppose the Koolstop brake pads on the old Mafac brakes could be considered an upgrade. The areas I like to tour have more or less modern roads in decent repair, and even the dirt roads and paths are not difficult to navigate. The only drawback to the 8 speed system is that the mountains are a lot more challenging to get over.
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Old 06-30-22, 05:31 PM
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The fork would need to be suspension corrected for a 26" wheel and an 80 mm travel fork. It's probably about 450 mm axle to crown, give or take. Thus, you could probably use a current Surly Ogre non-suspension corrected fork, because it's designed for 29" wheels and tires and has an axle to crown measurement of 447 mm.

The Ogre fork would be great for a touring conversion, as it has bosses for up to 4 cages, or 2 cages and mid-blade mounted front rack, giving you a lot of options.
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Old 07-02-22, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
^^^^^^ What the hell is the attraction in that bone shaking Moon scape????
If you have to ask, it's definitely not your biking territory. If it's not too hot, the serenity that comes from being there is incredible on a bike. If you don't see that immediately and try to bike there, you may need to be air lifted out to the nearest shoreside tiki bar to stay out of the looney bin.
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Old 07-02-22, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
^^^^^^ What the hell is the attraction in that bone shaking Moon scape????
this....








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Old 07-02-22, 10:03 AM
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^^^^^ 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.



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Old 07-02-22, 10:51 AM
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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.
this is the bike forum.
see post #18
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