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Old 08-22-03, 11:06 AM   #1
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convert road bike to touring bike

Hi, thinking of getting a road bike and at some point convert it to touring bike.

I want to know what things I should change, like the gear systems, etc...etc.....

I don't speak english well, especially with bike's terms. so if you explain something, please give me more explanation....thank you

the following specifications might be the road bike I'm going to buy....

Brake Levers: Shimano Sora S.T.I
Brakes: Dual pivot ally Tektro
Chain: Z9000
Chainset: 42/52
Fork / Colour: Straight blade aero
Frame / Colour: Aero Profile Alloy Tubing
Frame sizes: 21” (53.1 cm), 22” (55.6 cm), 23” (58 cm)
Freewheel: Shimano 7 speed
Gear Levers: Shimano STI
Gears Front: Shimano Sora
Gears Rear: Shimano Sora
Handlebars: Racing
Headset: Semi Integrated
Hub Front / Rear: Shimano
Pedals: Racing
Rims: Alloy 700C
Saddle: Selle Bassano Excaliber
Seat Clamp: Alloy
Seat Pillar / Bolt: Alloy Micro adjust
Stem: Alloy
Tyres: Racing Black
Wheels / Spokes:
Model Number: 3990
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Old 08-22-03, 09:19 PM   #2
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Well first off you list 7-speed. That means no 8-speed-9speed upgrade poissible (well at least not without buying a new rear wheel and jambing it into the narrower frame dropouts. I'd start with an 8-speed/9-speed setup to start with.

Next you want to make sure the frame has lugs on the rear to hold a full size rack. Not a cheap seat-tube rack. You want to check above the drop outs to see if there are places to attach the bottom of the rack... And you want to see if there are pre threaded holes on the seat stay near the rear brake where you can attach the front of the rack.

And you possibly want to test fit a rack. A friend of mike bought a Jamis QUEST to do the same and found that one of the seat-stay mounts is too close to the rear brake and interferes with the brake cable. Also the lugs at the drop outs were too close to the dropouts and we had to machine off bits to get the rack to clear the gears and such.

OK the frame is checked out... Perhaps decide if it has two or three bottle cage mounts... Two is min, three would be better.

Sounds like the fork will not hold a front rack. For me thats not an issue as I never use the front rack but a true tourer would have places for front racks on the fork. A new for would be required to fix that.

I think STI is OK many feel that bar-end shifters are the way to go.

Change the pedals to double sided SPD or eggbeaters and go with mountain bike shoes (so you can walk easier).

The spoke count should probably be a minimum of 32 and the tires I would go with no less than 700x25

The 42x52 crank is a little steep if you get into some hilly/mountain areas with a moderate load in the packs. Converting to a triple is a lot so switching the rear derailleur to a mountain bike type and change the rear cassette to a 12x34 is probably the best bet.
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Old 08-22-03, 09:36 PM   #3
Michel Gagnon
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One word: don't do that! I could understand why someone who already has a road bike would want to adapt it for touring, but I can't understand why planning in advance to do such a conversion.

The typical road hike has:
- too short seatstays for stability and for installing panniers;
- probably no eyelets front and rear to install fenders (useful for commuting, amongst other conditions.
- sidepull brakes and narrow seatstays and forks; all of which limit tire size to 70025, probably. It's nice to tour on 700x37 (or at least 700x32) with fenders;
- some bikes are not stiff enough for a fast loaded ride;
- much too high gears and no triple, which means you'll have to change the crankset, the derailleur and the STI to convert to a triple and tour ($$$).

In fact, unless you think of racing, you should work the other way around.
Buy a real touring bike, which will probably come with the following gearing: 11-32 cassette and 52-42-30 chainrings. Negociate the following changes:

- Have the granny changed to a 26 (lower gears).
- Change the cassette for 12-28 or 13-28, so you'll get much closer range in the useful gears. If and when you do loaded touring, you might re-install the 11-32 cassette.
- If you do fast rides, change tires by 700x28 and pump them hard.
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Old 08-25-03, 08:11 PM   #4
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As an after thought I concure with Mike.

If your really intending to do a lot of touring buy a true touring bike.

I've got a racing bike and I take it on short tours where I can carry a small pack (light clothes/shoes and a credit card

I'm planning to do a cross US trip next year and I won't be converting the raceing bike because of a lot of what Mike said. It makes a lot more sense to buy a bike designed from the start to handle racks/packs and is geared right.

I'm likely to run 700x23 or 25 because I'm use to 130-160 miles a day on the racer with 700x20s... Also because I don't plan to carry more than 40 lbs on my trip.

My gearing will probably be very much the same except I'll probably just stay with the 30 on the triple.

On my racing bike I make my own custom cassettes for hill climbing and choose the intermediate gears depending on the type of terrain. The idea is to try to pick the cassette that will give you the best (closest) range of gears and still have gears to handle the steepest bits...

Make sure the tourer has a mountain bike rear-derailluer then you know it can handle a Mega-9 cassette such as the 12-34 or 12-32. I actually have used a 13-34 on our tandem (lots of climbing so I ditched the 12 for a 13 to get a smoother gear range).
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