Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

New to touring! Which bike?

Notices
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.

New to touring! Which bike?

Old 06-05-10, 01:23 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrismetzger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 14

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
New to touring! Which bike?

Hey everyone! I originally posted this in the Road Bike section but I was suggested to posting it here.
I recently purchased a new Trek Atwood for about $400 for commuting to school and work. I think it was a great option for what I bought it for.

However, I recently found out about a tour that I would love to do for summer 2011. After doing some research, it seemed a road bike would better benefit me.

I called the cyclery where I bought the Atwood, and the lady on the phone told me that the Atwood's frame, wheels/tires, gears, and brake-system could definitely hold up on a tour. Here are the Atwood's specs. However, I'm concerned with hand-positioning and aerodynamics. Should I buy bar-ends, hike up the seat, and ride the Atwood like a road bike? Should I add a new bar/brake/shifter system all together for the extra $200-$300? Or should I return it and buy a used road bike off of craigslist?

Here are some for sale locally that I am interested in. Click the link to see the page:
Novara
Trek 2200ZR
Cannondale CAAD3
Cannondale R800
Bianchi
Bianchi 2
Trek 1000
Trek 1200
Peugeot
2008 Allez
2010 Allez
Benotto

I might be able to lay money down on a new one, since would like to avoid previous-owner problems. That depends on how many hours I get on the following weeks.

As you can see, I have a lot of options. Can I cross out any of these? Are any of these bikes on craigslist worth checking out? Since I'm still unfamiliar with bikes, any suggestions would be great! They are much appreciated. I'm looking for something sturdy and reliable because I will be carrying most of the load since the tour is only partially supported. But I'd like something light as well.

What do you think?

-Chris
chrismetzger is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 03:05 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A touring bike is a bike that is ridden on a tour. There is nothing wrong with the Atwood for this purpose and the only thing that matters is: do you like it and is it comfortable. Plenty of people prefer straight bars for touring, with or without "ergo" add-ons. Since it has braze-ons for front and rear racks, you don't even have to jump through hoops there.

If I were you I'd take the Atwood over any of the other bikes you've listed, most of which are "racing" bikes and -won't- hold up on a tour... and save the money to buy some nice racks and panniers (if you don't have them already). About the only thing I'd want to change is to swap out that 28-tooth inner chainring for maybe a 24T, but even that depends on where you are going and what you are carrying.
khanom is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 04:15 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: LLano, TX
Posts: 568

Bikes: 2009 Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I too would keep the Atwood if you are going to do a tour. The Atwood has braze-ons for both a front and rear rack, the correct gearing, its steel, and has a longer wheelbase. I read the post from the other forum and they had some good advice. If you want to do the tour then a touring bike is your best option. People tour on all kinds of bikes, it is what your comfortable on and what you can afford.
Another thing is on this tour are you going to be doing it self supported (you will carry everything) or will be more of a credit card tour (carry minimal supplies and sleep in motels at night)?

Last edited by mthayer; 06-05-10 at 04:18 PM.
mthayer is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 04:18 PM
  #4  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrismetzger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 14

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not really fond up the upright position when I'm trying to go faster than cruising speed, and I'd like more hand placements for more. Should I add bar ends or would it be worth switching everything out for drop bars if I'm going to use them? The flat aren't straight and they curve somewhat like a cruisers, so it seems add ons would actually stick out further to the sides unless I chopped off the ends a bit.

I'll be going 1800 miles from San Deigo to Seattle, averaging 40-70 miles per day.
chrismetzger is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 04:21 PM
  #5  
BE the Ferrari.
 
supersport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 357

Bikes: Co-Motion Nor'wester Tour

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What is the furthest you've ridden the Atwood? If it works for several hours in the saddle, it should be fine. At any rate, it should work at least as well as any straight road bike. Put a rear rack on it and go for some short tours. It should work fine for awhile. The best way to learn is to try, so give it a shot.
supersport is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 04:37 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: LLano, TX
Posts: 568

Bikes: 2009 Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You can add bar ends, or switch it to a trekking bar. It may uncomfortable with a set of drop bars on it, but its hard to say until you do it and try it.
The option is alway up to you.
mthayer is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 04:47 PM
  #7  
stringbreaker
 
stringbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: wa. State
Posts: 4,463

Bikes: specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The Atwood looks like a winner to me. Outfit it with some touring gear and have a blast. Its steel so thats real.
__________________
(Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)
stringbreaker is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 05:02 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrismetzger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 14

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The most I've ridden has probably been about 40 miles. I haven't really kept track. It's really comfortable and I never got sore. Riding against the wind on it is pretty rough though, which is why I'd like to be able to move into something other than the upright position.

Why do you think drops would make it uncomfortable?
chrismetzger is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 05:04 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrismetzger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 14

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I also think I'm simply having trouble believing that my $400 Atwood would be a better option than some other used bikes that sold for over $1,000 at one point!
chrismetzger is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 05:58 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
a couple things, is your saddle at the correct height? You mention "hiking up the seat" as a means for a more aerodynamic position. The seat should be at roughly the same height whether you're in an upright position or aerodynamic. If you want to go faster you'll need toe clips or clipless shoes/pedals. If you want to be in a more aerodynamic position you'll need the bars a couple inches below the seat height with bar ends providing some options.
It sounds like you're in a discovery process. Instead of turning this bike into a drop bar bike I'd suggest getting a different stem and bar-ends for the riding position you want and for greater hp/speed get some clipless pedals.

It's kind of hard these days to find lower/mid priced drop bar touring bikes. Your Attwood and similar bikes took that market. If you've used this bike I'd be surprised the shop could take it back for same cost credit.

Both of the Bianchis look good. You should know what your bb to seat height is and have a rough ball park preference for seat to bar distance. The wheels on your attwood are probably stronger than those on the Bianchi Premio.
LeeG is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 06:06 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
a couple things, is your saddle at the correct height? You mention "hiking up the seat" as a means for a more aerodynamic position. The seat should be at roughly the same height whether you're in an upright position or aerodynamic. If you want to go faster you'll need toe clips or clipless shoes/pedals. If you want to be in a more aerodynamic position you'll need the bars a couple inches below the seat height with bar ends providing some options.
It sounds like you're in a discovery process. Instead of turning this bike into a drop bar bike I'd suggest getting a different stem and bar-ends for the riding position you want and for greater hp/speed get some clipless pedals.

It's kind of hard these days to find lower/mid priced drop bar touring bikes. Your Attwood and similar bikes took that market. If you've used this bike I'd be surprised the shop could take it back for same cost credit.

Both of the Bianchis look good. You should know what your bb to seat height is and have a rough ball park preference for seat to bar distance. The wheels on your attwood are probably stronger than those on the Bianchi Premio.
LeeG is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 07:16 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
John Bailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: East Jordan, MI
Posts: 219

Bikes: Trek FX 7.3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've bought a Trek FX 7.3 that is very similar to the your Atwood. I turned it into a touring bike by adding fenders, rear and front racks and bar ends. It's been a terrific bike for that, although I've only toured 3 days so far. I've done a number of metric centuries with no problems. I think you probably couldn't do a lot better unless you went with an all out touring bike. I'd say stay with the Atwood.

About the straight bars, I've noticed the majority of bikes in the Adventure Cycling Mag. have straight bars. I like drops better, but the straight bars seem to be the choice of more tourers.

John
John Bailey is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 07:22 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by chrismetzger
. Riding against the wind on it is pretty rough though, which is why I'd like to be able to move into something other than the upright position.

Riding against the wind is always rough. Regardless the bars.
jzsoup is offline  
Old 06-05-10, 07:47 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
zeppinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,016

Bikes: Giant FCR3, Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I had a similar bike (Giant FCR3) and did a similar ride with it, Vancouver to Tijuana. I was worried about hand positions so I tried bar ends. They helped a lot but I still wanted more so I got trekking bars. They set me back about $25 and worked great! The ride was awesome and the Atwood that you have is already much more suited to touring than my bikes was. I had a very short chain stay, aluminum frame, and very tall gearing. You will not have any of those issues.

Get the trekking bars if you are worried about being aerodynamic. Consider doing your tour in reverse if possible, Seattle to San Diego because then the wind will be blowing from behind you! It will amaze you how much a good rack, panniers, and camping equipment will cost you so invest your money there. If you decide, after this ride, that touring is really awesome then you can invest in a more dedicated touring bike.
zeppinger is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 09:57 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Bar ends offer some alternative hand positions. Find a comfortable set. Changing to drop bars is do-able but a pretty big project. You may need to change out a lot of parts. Having said that, I've seen plenty of nice conversions.

If you really want a touring bike, buy a touring bike. A good touring bike will set you back over $1,000, and racks and panniers will add more expense. But once you've got your rig set up it should last indefinitely. My previous rig lasted 15 years before I replaced it, and I only did so because I wanted to try something better, not because it didn't still work. It did, and after I bought my new rig I let my nephew borrow my old one. He did the same ride I had bought it for 15 years earlier - down the west coast. He didn't have a single equipment problem on the whole ride.

If possible, change your route from north to south. 1) The wind will mostly be with you. 2) The shoulder is often better and the views are often better. 3) 99% of everyone will be going north to south and you'll meet tons of people.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 06-06-10, 11:22 AM
  #16  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrismetzger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 14

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone! All of your input has been great. I'll be making a final decision soon. I'm meeting up with a friend tonight who is going to look over all of this with me.

It looks as if I'll be staying with the Atwood and modifying it a bit.

Unfortunately, it's a group tour that I've signed up for. I could try to suggest the opposite route! I didn't even think about the fact that there will be a road lane between me and the coast. Hopefully I'll get to tour more!

To train, my goal is to be able to make it to Flagstaff from Phoenix.
chrismetzger is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
gauvins
Touring
26
12-21-15 12:06 PM
rellimnad
Touring
6
03-17-15 09:31 AM
danthebiker
Touring
21
08-07-12 04:51 AM
clint262
Touring
29
10-07-11 11:30 AM
Machka
Touring
15
02-18-11 05:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.