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Converting a Trek 830 for touring - advice?

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Converting a Trek 830 for touring - advice?

Old 06-28-08, 12:42 AM
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Converting a Trek 830 for touring - advice?

I've got an older (10+ years) trek 830 I've used to get around town for several years now and I'm finally going on my first real bike trip (nyc to boston) so I'm giving it a bit of an overhaul. I've read a lot of advice on how to convert mountain bikes into commuters or usable touring bikes, but after finding this forum figured I would join / post and see if anyone had any other advice.

So far at the advice of friends / my local bike shop I've replaced the rear gear cassette with something more roadbike-ish, picked up some bar ends for switching up hand positions, dropped some $ on safety lights (2x planet bike superflash + sport light + 1W blaze head), replaced the stock saddle with something with minimal cushioning, and gotten a general tune-up. I already have hybrid tires (michelin transworld city) I picked up last year, a rear fender, rack, and panniers I primarily use for lugging stuff to the post office / groceries.

Some other suggestions I've found online:

(1) Fork - people don't seem to like the fork on the trek 830 and say it's worth replacing - not really sure why - could someone explain this to me? Would a different fork make a big difference for touring? What kind of fork?

(2) Narrower tires / Slicks - I've already got hybrids and am unsure if this would make much of a difference. Would moving to full slicks (26 x 1.6) like the continental contact sport tire (rei) with my current setup make a noticeable difference? Should I look at thinner tires? How thin of a tire would it be safe to use with this bike?

(3) Lighter wheels - having never ridden a bike with lighter wheels I'm not sure how much effect this would have, but people rave about the difference lighter wheels can make. Is this something I should look into? Is this stupidly expensive compared to other changes I could make?

I don't want to break the bank here, but I am getting more into cycling and would rather tweak this bike a part or two at a time as I can afford it than try to save up for a whole new bike. If you think that several different upgrades would be helpful try to prioritize them so I can get an idea of what (if anything at all) I should be looking at first. Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-28-08, 02:14 PM
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Well, I think you should have posted this in the Touring forum. I also have an old Trek 830 which I converted for the road. I think the most important upgrade is the tires. Get the Continental Grand Prix in 261.0, it would probably be too skinny for heavy touring, and maybe your old rims are too wide for them too, but you will be much faster than with your old tiresn. I wouldn't bother replacing the fork (if you have the steel one as I have).
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