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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 09-23-07, 08:19 AM   #1
karlkras
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Other "all-terrain" touring rigs to consider?

I'm going over options for a touring bike and have recently been sidetracked by the possibility of a 26" mtb option. I'm intrigued by the likes of the Novara Safari (a poor mans Koga-Miyata?) but of course REI is showing this bike as "Not Available" so that sort of hit a dead end. I'm curious what, if any (other then the two I already mention here) other bikes fall into this category (and, preferably, are obtainable relatively easily and affordably in the US)? I know that practically anything can be retrofitted to work as a touring bike, but I'm more interested in bikes that are specifically designed for the job. i.e., longer chain stays, appropriate braze ons, beefier tubing, etc.

thanks,
K2
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Old 09-23-07, 09:28 AM   #2
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K2,
I decided to purchase to the Safari as well but was disappointed to find out that REI was all sold out. So I e-mailed them to find out when the 2008 models would be out and they said sometime mid Oct. Does anyone know if this is when REI generally comes out with their bikes. I plan on waiting for the Safari, I think I will meet my needs.
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Old 09-23-07, 10:23 AM   #3
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Well, I must say they are quick to answer email...
On my query about availability, REI responded this Sunday morning:

Thanks for the e-mail about the Novara Safari.

The Novara Safari has not been discontinued. We have experienced an unexpected
delay in shipment on these as well as some other Novara bicycles. We expect
to be receiving the Safaris on or before October 30. As soon as we have a
definite date, we will be able to accept backorders. The item number will be 730480
and the Safari will be available in 14", 16", 18", and 20" sizes.

Please contact us if you have questions.

Gordy H
REI Product Support
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Old 09-23-07, 10:28 AM   #4
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If all else fails, the VSF T-400 is an amazingly strong, well equipped, realatively cheap 26' expedition bike. I think they have distributors in the U.S. Link:http://www.bikefix.co.uk/index.php?u..._sgl_id=36#a13
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Old 09-23-07, 12:17 PM   #5
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Thorn Raven Catalyst

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/

the best expedition bike, probably

george
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Old 09-23-07, 12:45 PM   #6
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I took my Trek 7500 Multitrack hybrid and am converting it into what I can only describe a monster cross / touring / expedition bike.

I stripped off all the heavy and soft hybrid parts and replaced them with stiffer and lighter bits like a new crank, cassette, seatpost, saddle, stem, and ergo bars and all I am missing are some bar cons to handle the shifting duties. I replaced the Schwalbe Marathon tyres (700:47) with some narrower and faster Schwalbe CX Compe tyres that are 700:35.

The ride on the Compes is as good as the Marathons and they roll faster and the bike corners like it's on rails no matter what the terrain is like.

The drive is a 2 by 8 with a 12-30 in the rear and a 32/44 up front which gives me 102 gear inches at the top and 29 gear inches at the bottom and good chainring clearance when I'm off roading... I'l probably be adding a light bashguard as an extra precaution.

I think that if I could only have one bike this would be it as it really can do anything except DH and the ZX frames are pretty much bombproof... I have a Trek 6700 HT on a ZX frame and the bike has taken season after season of monstrous off road abuse with nary an issue.

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Old 09-23-07, 03:40 PM   #7
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Bruce Gordon makes a 26" touring specific bike. I think Gunnar may also have a similar model.
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Old 09-23-07, 04:47 PM   #8
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My ultimate expedition bike. http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/07/ce...odel-7TS1.html

Only mods I would make are remove crappy suspension seat post and replace Brooks B-17 with another B-17 with springs.
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Old 09-23-07, 05:12 PM   #9
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Soma Groove. Available as frame only, so you'd have to build it up. On the plus side, you get to spec it as you like. V/Canti or Disc, lots of rack eyelets. Description says ideal wilderness tourer. Then again, so is every steel hardtail 90s MTB...

http://www.somafab.com/groovepix.html
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Old 09-23-07, 05:35 PM   #10
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If you want 26 inch off road, then Try mid to late 80's long wheelbase mountain bikes. I used a Schwinn Cimarron for ten years and loved it. (Ovalized steel frame hand built in US) They literally don't make this style mountain bike any more (except maybe the Koga World Traveler). I know that Raleigh had a Kodiak model, Ross Mt Whitney, Klein, Fuji and Peugot had models as well. Newer bikes like Giant Yukon can be built up as well. Update components with newer XT and go. Leave the suspension stuff for the go fast set as it is just more to break in the boonies. If you are using rear panniers you need long chainstays, 17.5 min. or your heels will clip the packs.

Or tow a Yak BoB trailer. After 7 years of Panniers I went the trailer route and loved it. No wider than your bike and aeroslicker than panniers. This opens up your bike selection. Still long wheelbases make pulling a trailer a much less hair raising experience.

Tire liners and multiple brazeon bottle bosses a must. 32 tooth rear gog minimum needed, bigger if you can. Brazeon rack mounts manditory. If you are going to use front panniers get a bombproof high mount rack, not lowriders as they will snag brush and branches and face plant you into the native flora in a blink of an eye.

This era bikes show up on e-bay often.
Look at your ride and ask yourself would I trust my life on this component? Cause you will be. 20 miles into the wilderness with a broken bike is Suvivorman material. GPS with backup low tech compass and map a must.

A Surly Long Haul Trucker frame is an option if you use a smaller than 58cm frame. They are 26" less than 58 and 700c 58 and above. This is a great frame for about $400 and can be built up for 900-1200.

Your reward some of the best camping country and experiences that were previously not possible. You can cover a couple of backwoods locations on a weekend where backpacking would have just been an in and out. Unfortunately alot of trail is closed to bikes????? But there are usually forest service roads and fire trails that can get you where you want to go. Sometimes that ends up being the adventure in and of itself.

Have a ball.
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Old 09-23-07, 05:37 PM   #11
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The B17 doesn't come in a sprung version... but I know what you mean.

The 66,67,72,73,33, flyer, conquest, and countless are all sprung Brook's saddles.

I am quite fond of my vintage B66 saddle.
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Old 09-23-07, 06:03 PM   #12
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I don't know about you but I would rather spend my money on the tour than brand new equipment...
Take a look at this BLOG They are using older steel framed rigid frame MTB's for world touring. FWIW I am building up an expedition bike on a similar frame set. Mine happens to be an early 90's Giant Iguana rigid steel frame.

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Old 09-23-07, 06:43 PM   #13
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I also have an '87 Kuwahara Cascade that is the epitomy of what an expedition bike should be... it has a hand built, quad butted, and lugged Ishuwata frame, Tange forks, a Tange bb and headset, and braze ons for nearly everything as well as stay mounted spoke holders.

It's living life as a fixed gear now but I have seen people use the same bike (geared) or some truly epic journeys.
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Old 09-24-07, 04:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
The B17 doesn't come in a sprung version... but I know what you mean.

The 66,67,72,73,33, flyer, conquest, and countless are all sprung Brook's saddles.

I am quite fond of my vintage B66 saddle.
Flyer is B17 with springs
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Old 09-24-07, 06:02 AM   #15
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You can get the 50 dollar Nashbar mountain bike frame. Crmo tubing, rack eyelets, two sets of water bottle brazeons, disc or rim brakes(I'd go disc brakes).
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Old 09-25-07, 08:24 AM   #16
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You can get the 50 dollar Nashbar mountain bike frame. Crmo tubing, rack eyelets, two sets of water bottle brazeons, disc or rim brakes(I'd go disc brakes).
Robert,
Is the chainstay long enough to prevent heel strike?
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Old 09-25-07, 09:15 AM   #17
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Robert,
Is the chainstay long enough to prevent heel strike?
Nashbar Steel MTB Frame 2


Nashbar Touring Frameset


As you see the Touring frame has 45.5cm and the MTB frame has 16.75*2.56=42.88cm
If you have large size shoes then it can be an issue. There are rear racks for MTB that put the panniers more at the back of the bike, so will solve the heel strike issue. Oh and on the touring frame there is no heel issue.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:24 AM   #18
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A Surly Long Haul Trucker frame is an option if you use a smaller than 58cm frame. They are 26" less than 58 and 700c 58 and above. This is a great frame for about $400 and can be built up for 900-1200.
Actually, it's smaller than 56cm, not 58cm, dude:

http://www.surlybikes.com/longhaul.html
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Old 09-25-07, 10:41 AM   #19
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Actually, it's smaller than 56cm, not 58cm, dude:

http://www.surlybikes.com/longhaul.html
My 54cm LHT has a lot of similar geometry w/ my 1990s 20" Gary Fisher mtn bike (notably wheelbase and standover clearance). I'm running them both w/ same XT hubs + 2" tires actually. The GF is surplus right now pretty much, waiting for a friend to take it.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by karlkras View Post
I'm going over options for a touring bike and have recently been sidetracked by the possibility of a 26" mtb option. I'm intrigued by the likes of the Novara Safari (a poor mans Koga-Miyata?) but of course REI is showing this bike as "Not Available" so that sort of hit a dead end. I'm curious what, if any (other then the two I already mention here) other bikes fall into this category (and, preferably, are obtainable relatively easily and affordably in the US)? I know that practically anything can be retrofitted to work as a touring bike, but I'm more interested in bikes that are specifically designed for the job. i.e., longer chain stays, appropriate braze ons, beefier tubing, etc.

thanks,
K2
Some of the older, 1980s mountain bikes have it all ("... longer chain stays, appropriate braze ons, beefier tubing, etc."), including extra braze ons.

Some of them were built with oversized tubing. I've done a lot of touring on one of these. There is a real difference in handling. The oversized (steel) tubing gives a more stable ride. There is less frame flex when riding with heavy loads.

Co-Motion took this appoach (using larger diameter tubing) in their expedition touring bike. Their experience with tandem design pointed them toward the larger diameters.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:41 PM   #21
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I did this:

2005 Trek 4300

Have a 1985 Schwinn Sierra Frame that I considered building up, but the almighty $$ kicked in and I modified the new bike for around $400 total - racks and panniers, saddle, bars. I have a 13-34 rear cluster and long reach derailleaur (sp?) that I intend to add sometime on a cold, calm day.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:13 PM   #22
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I did this:

2005 Trek 4300

Have a 1985 Schwinn Sierra Frame that I considered building up, but the almighty $$ kicked in and I modified the new bike for around $400 total - racks and panniers, saddle, bars. I have a 13-34 rear cluster and long reach derailleaur (sp?) that I intend to add sometime on a cold, calm day.
You and I think too much alike!! What fork are u using?
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Old 09-28-07, 10:36 PM   #23
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It is the stock Chinese fork - Hts...something. The rack is a Delta Shock treatment rack. Carried about 10# each side over a chipseal or gravel road for 120 miles this summer.
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Old 09-29-07, 04:23 PM   #24
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I have an old mid 80's Diamondback Ascent EX that would make a great adventure tourer, thats why I have never gotten rid of it. I rode it to work yesterday. It came with full rack mounts, bottle bosses, and a spoke holder on the rear chainstay, however the chainstays may be a little shorter than I would like, as my heel has clipped the rear grocery bag holder type panniers in the past. Keep a look out on ebay and you will probably find something.
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Old 10-04-07, 04:18 PM   #25
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Just checked REI's website and they are taking back orders for the Safari. They will ship around Nov 9th. I am going to order one but can not decide on the correct size. My inseam is 33.75 with shoes on. The stand over hight for the 18" frame is 31.1, the 20" is 32.9. Which one should I choose?
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