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Rock N' Road tour vs Rock N Road tour-ex

Old 12-21-05, 10:55 PM
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Rock N' Road tour vs Rock N Road tour-ex

Please tell me the pros/cons between a 700cc bike vs a 26 inch bike
for domestic loaded touring...and also what about the low or high front racks
on these bikes....thanx
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Old 12-22-05, 03:52 AM
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Pros and cons of 700c vs 26"

None for trips in North America and Europe (most likely, but double check about U.K.). Availability of 700c tires is more limited in other parts of the world, as they seem to have narrow slicks in very large cities, period.

Differences then are more subtle:
– A small frame looks better and has much less toeclip overlap with 26" wheels, whereas a large frame looks better with 700c wheels.
– Many bikes with 700c wheels don't accept wide tires; some are limited at 700x28 (a serious handicap for loaded touring) and most are limited at 700x32 to 37 with fenders (not quite enough for loaded touring on rough roads – [added 2005-12-22]).
The Bruce Gordon is good in that it accepts up to 700x40 or 42 with fenders (check with him, but if I remember correctly, the 700x45 he posts is without fenders). Wide enough for anything but riding in the mud. Still, if the EX accepts 2.1 or 2.5" wide tires, it would work better on gravel roads.
– Tire availability. If you need to buy tires in a small town, easily available tires are wide 26" tires, and narrow 700c tires.


Front Rack

– High rack places the bags higher so they don't drag when you go offroad. Not a problem with lowriders on paved or even gravel roads, but a real problem on more technical terrain.

– For all else, low racks are better because they allow you to place the panniers alongside the steering axis, instead of in front of it. It makes the panniers fairly neutral to steering. So basically, unless you plan to do a lot of loaded technical offroad touring, get low riders.

Last edited by Michel Gagnon; 12-22-05 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-22-05, 08:50 AM
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My tandem had 28 mm tires and then didn't have any sagging. I weighed 200 then and my wife probably close to 160.

Why would you think that 37 mm tires are insufficient with loaded touring?
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Old 12-22-05, 07:41 PM
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Oops! I corrected my message above. I meant that 700x37 is a bit slim for touring on rough, unimproved, gravel (or whatever you call them) roads.

The ideal tire size is somewhat subjective, but is influenced by the quality of the roads as well as the load you put on the bicycle. When I toured – fully loaded – on my single plus trailercycle, I used 700x32 in front and 700x37 on the rear wheel. A 700x32 tire on the rear wheel needed to be pumped at more than 100 psi to avoid pinch flats on our crevassed roads. If I were riding in Georgia or California, I would probably go with 700x28.
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Old 12-22-05, 10:53 PM
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When I ordered my 59 cm BG RNR in 1989 the only choice was 700c wheels. I currently fit 700X47 Schwalbe Marathon XR tires WITH fenders. I use the BG high front mtn rack on the front and the BG rear rack.
This setup worked very well on Great Divide Ride in 2003 with Beckman panniers. I have also used it for fireroad and single track touring offroad in Baja, British Columbia and the usual US locations-Moab, Crested Butte, Durango,Steamboat Sprgs.
I heard critical remarks from fellow Divide riders about a lack of suspension and narrow tire size. I laughed while riding when they walked up passes. Proper air pressure and light equipment weight worked very well. I would recommend any BG RNR for any touring route on or off road.
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