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The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes

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The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes

Old 10-21-15, 08:24 AM
  #276  
kimonomyhouse
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Originally Posted by rawly old View Post
Just about any bike with a sturdy frame can be converted to touring, but the key is finding a bike you'd be comfortable riding every day.
I'd forget Ebay as shipping costs are expensive. Your local CL will give you choices you can test before buying. Simplicity is key;
don't buy a bike with components you don't feel confident working on because you're bound to encounter a maintenance issue or two.
Give the bike a thorough going over before you buy. You don't want to discover a major issue in the middle of nowhere. An older bike
of quality manufacture found cheaply can give you room for upgrades & other necessary equipment like tools etc.
Before heading out be sure your bike is as finely tuned as possible. bearings clean & lubed, wheels trued, cones, brakes, & drlrs
adjusted.
Okay, just took a moment to check out your Trek. Looks to me to be a fine candidate for touring conversion, maybe different bars
that give you a better range of hand position like trekking bars or bull horn bar ends, Possibly a different stem. You want as comfortable
a riding position as possible, especially the saddle.
Thanks! this is very helpful. What do you think about drop down bars? Are the trekking and bull-horns most appropriate for touring?
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Old 10-21-15, 10:05 AM
  #277  
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I really don't know how to answer that; I haven't used drop bars in 50 years. Being tall with
lower back issues I'm comfortable in a more upright position. I would think it's a matter of what's
most comfortable for you. I do think having multiple hand positions is a + on long rides.

There is one thing I'd like to add; for any long distance touring you really should be prepared
fix any problem yourself and have the mechanical skills to do it since there's seldom a handy
bike shop. Online there are dozens of useful instructional video on fixing & tuning your bike.

Last edited by rawly old; 10-21-15 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 10-24-15, 12:18 PM
  #278  
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Originally Posted by kimonomyhouse View Post
Need some help in getting started with touring! Stuck on the most important bit: I am unsure about what bike to use. I have a Trek 7.1FX, which I bought in either 2010 or 2011. Not sure if it would make more sense to convert this Trek into a touring bike or sell it and buy a used touring bike. If I were to buy a bike, I would hope to get this bike for something between $50-300 and not spend any more than $500 in total on prepping it for a trip. I've been shopping around on Craigslist and eBay for early model, steel-frame touring bikes since these seem to fit best in my price range.
Kimono; For a starter tour, I would recommend just searching local CL listings to find a TREK or similar MTB-like bike that fits well enough. If it does NOT have a suspension fork that is better yet. Most of these have strong frames, study wide range gearing, strong wheels, capable brakes, and most of the braze-on attachments you would need to mount a rack or two for bags, add a pump, add a couple of water bottles, etc. Should be able to find several under $100. Important to try to avoid ones that need lots of repairs or lots of changes before they are usable. Of course you likely don't want to tour on roads with those fat knobby MTB tires, so suggest look for a quality 1 3/4" wide tire/tube for the rear and same for front or maybe 1 1/2" for the front. You will want one folding spare, suggest get one the same size as the one you chose for the rear to reduce need to carry two spares. Unless you are on a supported tour, a minimal tool kit should be added. Hope that helps to start, but you are entering the million questions zone....

/K
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Old 10-27-15, 06:36 PM
  #279  
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Hello everyone,
I've started work on an ebook outlining basic, routine maintenance and adjustment tips and repair and hack tips for the touring bike. The target audience is cyclo tourists out in the wild- or the not so wild- who might not feel confident that they would be able to fix a problem with their bike well enough to limp to the next shop....no operations that require special tools other than what a practical, reasonably well equipped tourist would be carrying. A few people have asked for something like this and I think fear of not being able to work on the bike prevent some from even trying bike touring. I know there are people on this board who have more knowledge and skill than I do but there are others that don't. I'm interested in hearing from both groups to get feedback on what you think should be included. If there is another ebook already out there please list as I would be curious to check it out.
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Old 11-02-15, 07:39 AM
  #280  
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I really don't like bar end shifters and would like some suggestions as to real touring bikes that don't have bar end shifters. Thanks in advance...
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Old 11-02-15, 08:07 AM
  #281  
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get a bike you like otherwise and change the shifters. its not hard, just costs extra bucks to have seller change stuff
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Old 11-09-15, 08:30 AM
  #282  
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Check these shifters out.

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Old 11-09-15, 09:26 AM
  #283  
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Originally Posted by jrporter View Post
I really don't like bar end shifters and would like some suggestions as to real touring bikes that don't have bar end shifters. Thanks in advance...
Guess I would start with why you don't like them? I had the same thoughts until I put a couple sets on. My perspectives changed.

However, I can't stand the look of the cable shooting out from the lower end of the handlebars. Since I run friction bar ends it's ended up not being a big issue because I routed the cable under the bar tape.
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Old 11-16-15, 11:38 AM
  #284  
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I've an odd approach to shifters, but it works for me. I have thumb shifters, but neither over or under
the handlebar. Instead they are behind the bar & my thumb moves up & down instead of forward &
back. For me this just feels more natural.
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Old 11-16-15, 02:56 PM
  #285  
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So, everyone freaks out when I say this, but my budget is around $300. I am planning on doing a 4 week tour of Iceland with camping and I would prefer a hybrid over a road bike because I like the more upright posture. I've looked at the Vilano Performance Hybrid 21 Speed, but I'm wary of the 1 year warranty. I've also been looking at the Diamondback Insight Nashbar exclusive, and they have a lifetime guaranty, but I'm not completely sure of that either. Does anyone have guidance on what bikes to look at for this price point. I know, I'm practically asking for a miracle, but I'm scrappy and am very aware that something could go wrong, but I'll have an amazing time anyways because hey, its Iceland!
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Old 01-05-16, 12:27 PM
  #286  
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I would go with Craigslist if your budget is $300. I found a lightly used 1997 Novara Randonee for about that price. Many quality used Japanese steel frame bikes out there cheap too. I converted an older Shogun into a nice light touring bike for less than $300.

How do you plan to get your bike to Iceland?
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Old 03-28-16, 10:03 PM
  #287  
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I really like thumbies...they allow you to mount your bar end shifters on the bar tops right next to the stem. On either side of the stem I should say. Paul Components makes them. IRD also sells the whole kit with shifters and bar mounts. They are not perfect, especially if you like to ride on the hoods a lot, but I strongly prefer them to bar end shifters.
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Old 03-30-16, 01:37 PM
  #288  
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Originally Posted by Timothy_by_bike View Post
So, everyone freaks out when I say this, but my budget is around $300. I am planning on doing a 4 week tour of Iceland with camping and I would prefer a hybrid over a road bike because I like the more upright posture. I've looked at the Vilano Performance Hybrid 21 Speed, but I'm wary of the 1 year warranty. I've also been looking at the Diamondback Insight Nashbar exclusive, and they have a lifetime guaranty, but I'm not completely sure of that either. Does anyone have guidance on what bikes to look at for this price point. I know, I'm practically asking for a miracle, but I'm scrappy and am very aware that something could go wrong, but I'll have an amazing time anyways because hey, its Iceland!
I dunno if you are still around and reading, but since I'm on an Iceland kick today, I don't know that I would recommend a road or a hybrid bike for Iceland. Even the main highway is pretty loose packed dirt in many places. I'm sure it is possible, and someone has probably done it, but I would think if you are buying specifically a MTB style setup would be more appropriate.
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Old 04-03-16, 11:20 PM
  #289  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I dunno if you are still around and reading, but since I'm on an Iceland kick today, I don't know that I would recommend a road or a hybrid bike for Iceland. Even the main highway is pretty loose packed dirt in many places. I'm sure it is possible, and someone has probably done it, but I would think if you are buying specifically a MTB style setup would be more appropriate.
jef has a very good point there. I've watched a good many Icelandic touring videos on 'WorldCycle Videos' on Vimeo. the roads there
would limit possibilities for a road bike to paved hwy & reduce exploration. I have three touring bikes, each for a different
sort of touring. With your budget,& given the conditions you'd encounter I'd go with something like this. The 1st pic is of
a Giant mtn bike I got off CL for $35,(serious bargain). The are a lot more like it for $75 to $100. The 2nd pic is the same
bike prepped for back country touring. It's a sound bike that came with some cruddy components. 48/38/28 riveted trash chainring gone, now has a good stainless 46/36/26. Grindy 28/14 cassette, gone for a chromed 32/12. Racks fore & aft.
fragile plastic twist shifters gone for alu body thumbs. I mounted a 2 legged kickstand that allows me to check & adjust
drlrs. by rocking it forward to lift the rear whl. Not shown will be bar ends which allows it to stand upside down without
damage to shftrs. or mirror. Hardtail, suspension fork, this thing really rolls for a total investment of 'bout $145 with some quality recycled parts.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:01 PM
  #290  
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What is the logic behind bar end shiifters? Cost, or maybe easier to repair? It kinda shocked me when I just started looking, seeing how the majority of touring bikes have them.
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Old 05-05-16, 09:11 PM
  #291  
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Opinions please. I am looking at this, and the Kona Sutra. Im not buying anything right away, I am gonna do a few over nighters first with what I have to make sure its something I really want to do, but Im the type that once I get something In my head, I cant get it out, and right now, a dedicated touring bike is on my mind. I would consider others too in the price range. The Sutra is about as high as I would go.


Masi Bikes - Steel - Giramondo
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Old 05-11-16, 07:13 PM
  #292  
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I have a Nishiki Manitoba, no not the old Nishiki that a lot of people remember from the 90's. Bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods. At the time the only reason I bought a bike to begin with was to do a super sprint triathlon. No it's not the bike of anyone's dreams but I have been pleased with it so far. Wasn't too long after buying the bike and getting some miles in that I started looking into touring. Never done anything like it and have been contemplating the idea of doing a 3 day trip through the mountains around where I live and get a feel for touring.

I don't think I'll have any problems with the bike, the only thing I would be concerned with are the wheels. Being a $350 bike they've bound to skimp on something and it is probably the wheels and tires although I haven't noticed any signs of trouble and have hit a few surprise potholes at pretty good speeds, enough to make you say "****!"

I did some measurements, has roughly a 45" wheel base and a 17" chain stay. Has 700c wheels and the bike believe it or not has places to mount mud guards and racks. The only potential problem I see is it being an aluminum frame and some have said that you really want a steel frame for touring. Now while I don't plan to go across the country anytime soon but weekend and week long tours are something I have in mind.

I know a lot of people knock bikes from department stores, I know it's not a top notch bike, but has anyone done any extensive touring with bikes of these sorts with success and no major mechanical failure?

Working on a "wish list" of gear I need and some things I would like to have on longer trips.
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Old 05-16-16, 12:08 AM
  #293  
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Though I have three bikes, generally my ride of choice is a 2014 Specialized Source Expert Disc. Aluminum, 2 X 10 SRAM Apex drive rain, Supernova dynamo hub, hydraulic discs, Specialized house brand wheels and 700 X 30 tires. Built mostly for commuting, I think it will do some decent touring also. I have a straight handlebar with thumb shifters on this one as I prefer the upright position for longer rides and overall this bike fits me like it was made for me. I installed dual platform/SPD pedals, upgraded the rear rack and added some bags, and the only other change I'm planning is possibly installing 700 x 35 tires for unpaved areas like the Great Allegheny Passage and other rail trails.
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Old 05-22-16, 07:13 PM
  #294  
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Originally Posted by FirstSarnt View Post
Though I have three bikes, generally my ride of choice is a 2014 Specialized Source Expert Disc. Aluminum, 2 X 10 SRAM Apex drive rain, Supernova dynamo hub, hydraulic discs, Specialized house brand wheels and 700 X 30 tires. Built mostly for commuting, I think it will do some decent touring also. I have a straight handlebar with thumb shifters on this one as I prefer the upright position for longer rides and overall this bike fits me like it was made for me. I installed dual platform/SPD pedals, upgraded the rear rack and added some bags, and the only other change I'm planning is possibly installing 700 x 35 tires for unpaved areas like the Great Allegheny Passage and other rail trails.
What kind of power output do you get out of your dynamo hub? I look at some and I recall the rating being something like 3 watts, which isn't all that much. I'm considering solar panels to put atop the rear rack. I'm considering a trailer over panniers, any thoughts on that? Looking at the Burley 2 wheeled bike trailer as an option.

I think in the case of my Nashiki Manitoba the biggest concern are the Weinmann ZAC19 wheels. They're cheap and probably fine for light riding but bound to have trouble at some point with breaking spokes and having to be trued. Lot of not so great reviews on the wheels, but the reviewers were doing drops and all kinds of stunts and ruining the wheels which cost $30 each. Better off getting a better set of wheels, otherwise I don't know what else would be a major negative on the bike. All the major components are Shimano, so I'm guessing it is adequate? I think in the short term everything is fine.
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Old 05-24-16, 10:02 AM
  #295  
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Originally Posted by axle2152 View Post
What kind of power output do you get out of your dynamo hub? I look at some and I recall the rating being something like 3 watts, which isn't all that much. I'm considering solar panels to put atop the rear rack. I'm considering a trailer over panniers, any thoughts on that? Looking at the Burley 2 wheeled bike trailer as an option.

I think in the case of my Nashiki Manitoba the biggest concern are the Weinmann ZAC19 wheels. They're cheap and probably fine for light riding but bound to have trouble at some point with breaking spokes and having to be trued. Lot of not so great reviews on the wheels, but the reviewers were doing drops and all kinds of stunts and ruining the wheels which cost $30 each. Better off getting a better set of wheels, otherwise I don't know what else would be a major negative on the bike. All the major components are Shimano, so I'm guessing it is adequate? I think in the short term everything is fine.
I've just started touring, so for now I'm using a pair of small rear panniers (Bushwhacker Moab) , a trunk bag over those (Bushwhacker Mesa), and a small handlebar bag from Topeak. Once I get into longer trips I'm undecided as to larger waterproof panniers like Ortlieb or a trailer. Even woth trailers I', undecided between the single wheel BOB units or a double wheel like the Burley. So much to choose from.

I only use the dynamo for the integrated lights right now, and it's great without adding noticeable drag when engaged. Once I start doing longer trips I'll probably add a stem-top USB attachment to charge an auxiliary battery while I ride, using the lights only for darker times, high traffic, and heavily shadowed areas.

My bike has disc brakes so an out-of-true wheel doesn't affect braking, but my wheels only have 32 spokes and I live in fear of breaking a drive side spoke out in the middle of nowhere. That leads me to consider the need to carry a chain whip and lockring tool to remove the cassette, which if course adds weight to my load. I'm already a Clydesdale rider on a bike that weighs almost 30 pounds without accessories or load, so weight has to be a consideration at some point.
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Old 05-24-16, 10:15 AM
  #296  
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What kind of power output do you get out of your dynamo hub? I look at some and I recall the rating being something like 3 watts, which isn't all that much. I'm considering solar panels to put atop the rear rack. I'm considering a trailer over panniers, any thoughts on that? Looking at the Burley 2 wheeled bike trailer as an option.
Bring your wall wart charger to use the mains when you stop.

solar panels.. Size Matters . small= very slow charge ,, you have to stop and square the panel to the sun.

Burly Nomad with a Big Panel (square Meter?).. maybe ..


The Extrawheel trailer will take 2 Big panniers On It.. and a 3rd wheel which like the front wheel of your bike can have a 2nd dyno hub.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:54 AM
  #297  
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Hi,

I'm planning an extensive trip across Europe, from either Berlin or The Hague to (hopefully) Portugal.

But since it's my first trip of this length, I am having some trouble planning my itinerary. Could anyone perhaps recommend good resources? Since there's just so much to plan (including sights, good bicycle routes, terrain, avoiding cars etc.), I was wondering if there was anywhere where one could find itineraries from other cyclists and model their own on a few others?

Thank you a lot for any help!
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Old 06-07-16, 01:56 PM
  #298  
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Originally Posted by RidingWest View Post
Hi,

I'm planning an extensive trip across Europe, from either Berlin or The Hague to (hopefully) Portugal.

But since it's my first trip of this length, I am having some trouble planning my itinerary. Could anyone perhaps recommend good resources? Since there's just so much to plan (including sights, good bicycle routes, terrain, avoiding cars etc.), I was wondering if there was anywhere where one could find itineraries from other cyclists and model their own on a few others?

Thank you a lot for any help!
If you start in, or transit through, the Netherlands or northern Belgium, there are many good route planners that take you on dedicated paths or low traffic roads. Any main road in the Netherlands will likely have a separate bike lane running alongside it. Just type fietsrouteplanner into google, and a piule of results will pop up. I liked the one on the Tourism Flanders site the best, it covers both countries (not all the Netherlands ones cover Belgium too).

I also found OpenCycleMaps to be a good resource. It has detailed maps for Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. It is an offshoot of the OpenStreetMaps project, and while coverage gets limited in France and further west, it is extensive in those central countries.
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Old 12-11-16, 10:21 PM
  #299  
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New Bike / First Ride

When my wife suggested we give each other touring bikes for Christmas, I have learned not to argue about such things. We immediately drove to the local bike shop and bought each other a Salsa Marrakesh. My new bike and I got acquainted today on a 30 mile ride around town. It felt great. I'll need to get used to riding at a little slower pace. It's definitely not as light as the carbon road bike. But the low gears make it a breeze for grinding up steep hills. The Brooks 17 was no less comfortable than my most comfortable saddle. I am looking forward to us hitting the road for several trips next summer.
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Old 12-12-16, 06:41 AM
  #300  
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Originally Posted by vlicon View Post
When my wife suggested we give each other touring bikes for Christmas, I have learned not to argue about such things. We immediately drove to the local bike shop and bought each other a Salsa Marrakesh. My new bike and I got acquainted today on a 30 mile ride around town. It felt great. I'll need to get used to riding at a little slower pace. It's definitely not as light as the carbon road bike. But the low gears make it a breeze for grinding up steep hills. The Brooks 17 was no less comfortable than my most comfortable saddle. I am looking forward to us hitting the road for several trips next summer.
Welcome to the forum.

Smart Wife, enjoy yourselves.



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