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Help! What would be a good MTB that could be used for touring?

Old 12-17-03, 11:25 AM
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Help! What would be a good MTB that could be used for touring?

This summer we my son and his friend are planning to ride our bikes from canada to calif. We have already rode the oregon coast last year.

I just got a call from my sons friends dad seeking advice on getting his son a new bike. He is 18. The kid doesn't do alot of off road. But I'm sure he wont want a touring bike. I have a Raleigh 60 that I rode down the coast and it was just right for what I need.

I suggested a hard tail with front suspension. They are planning on spending 800.00 to 900.00.

Right now he is looking at some treks and specialized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-17-03, 12:25 PM
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Soma do an old-school, steel MTB with rack and fender fittings, frame-only about $400
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Old 12-17-03, 12:38 PM
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How bout disc brakes are they important?
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Old 12-17-03, 05:59 PM
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I would definately go for a hard tail. Kona makes a cindercone that is popular for off road and touring in my part of the world. GT also made a tempest that my wife rides. It is nice and light and can take just about anything that you can hand it.

I think that a disc brake would be a nice to have but not a gotta have. A disc is to die for off road especially if you are riding in the mud but on the road probably not a big deal if you are not riding a tandem.

That's my 2 cents
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Old 12-18-03, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mntbikedude
This summer we my son and his friend are planning to ride our bikes from canada to calif. We have already rode the oregon coast last year.

I just got a call from my sons friends dad seeking advice on getting his son a new bike. He is 18. The kid doesn't do alot of off road. But I'm sure he wont want a touring bike. I have a Raleigh 60 that I rode down the coast and it was just right for what I need.

I suggested a hard tail with front suspension. They are planning on spending 800.00 to 900.00.

Right now he is looking at some treks and specialized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I'm planning a trip along the coast sometime soon (I live in San Diego) and have been doing research on different options. My wife bought a Jamis steel hardtail for $500 that she and I attached an Xtracycle to (xtracycle.com). The Jamis Exile is actually quite a lot of bike for the money (granted, it was the 2003 model and discounted about $250), and I would highly recommend it. I suggest that if your son's friend gets a mountain bike like that, that the father considers getting his son a trailer (about $300 for a Burley Nomad or a B.O.B.), ending up about costing $900 total. A mountain bike with a trailer has all kinds of different uses, on or off the trip. And there are more of those models at the discounted rate available.

It might be worth checking out touring or cyclocross bikes before going the mountain bike route for this kid. For $900, he could pick up a decent touring bike (maybe the Trek 520, for instance). If this kid is really getting into bikes, it might be worth having him check out the Surly Cross Check, and he can have the road bike drop bars and riding style but with a bike that can ride on hardpack and fire roads. A Surly can get spec'ed and built for $900, I know that for a fact. If you have a local shop that could measure this kid for a bike and order that bike, he'd be in heaven. Just look at what people say on the Cyclocross Forum about the Surly (or have your son's friend look at it).

I have disc brakes on my Giant Rainier, and they have definite benefits. But I would be the first to say it's not really a necessity or even a real consideration. The fit, the comfort, and the gearing is much more important. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who has used disc brakes on a tour, and they've never been that important on the trail (unless this kid is going to start racing in the rain and mud every year).
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Old 12-18-03, 02:25 AM
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disk brakes

Do disk brakes work good when wet or even just damp? That would be an advantage, particularly if touring along the Pacific Coast. When I used to comute to work even fog would get the rims too wet on my road bike to be effective.
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Old 12-19-03, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The dad ended up buying a Specialized Rock Hopper. I don't think you can go wrong with Specialized. I've had a Hardrock that has been a great bike.

MBD
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Old 12-19-03, 06:33 PM
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Look for a good used C'dale MTB (hardtail). They are bulletproof and I plan on touring with one this upcoming spring. The MTB's sturdier build is made for saddlebags and with a rear moderate knobie and front slick,there are few places it won't reach.

I don't particular care for FS MTBs, especially if they are loaded down. Go with a HT.

Regards.
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Old 12-19-03, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
Do disk brakes work good when wet or even just damp? That would be an advantage, particularly if touring along the Pacific Coast. When I used to comute to work even fog would get the rims too wet on my road bike to be effective.
Most disc brakes work great when wet, and actually better than v-brakes. As for touring the oregon Coast, if it is in the summertime (July/August), then precipitation wouldn't be much of an issue, although you never know. Also, like you said, the fog can be an issue too.

I think disc brakes are great, although not necessary if you're mostly riding tame trails or road. If you're riding mostly offroad, disc brakes make a huge difference.
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Old 12-21-03, 12:47 AM
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I use a Trek 4300 with disc brakes that I've modified for touring. New crankset/bottom bracket, new slick tires, lowered the handle bars and I added a rear rack. It's almost as fast as my road bike with the rack off, and it corners really well.
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