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Touring bike or Expedition bike

Old 07-25-10, 03:16 AM
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Touring bike or Expedition bike

I want a long distance road bike that can carry panniers but i would also like to do trails. I'm not sure what trails i want to do but they will probably be back country roads suitable for a 4x4 and single track trails but not too extreme. I found a Surly long Haul Trucker in my size (50cm) but I'm also wondering about a Salsa Fargo. Is there much of a difference? I see that a surly will take fat tires and has low gearing and presumably could go where most mountain bikes go?
https://www.surlybikes.com/bikes/long...cker_complete/
https://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/
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Old 07-25-10, 03:47 AM
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I just asked a similar question in my thread, some good info in there... people make some comments about the Fargo being finicky on the front end loading, but it would have more of an MTB feel (probably higher BB). To me the off roading is more about the way I am gonna carry my load now.

Its kind of a debate between if you want more road like bike or MTB like off road bike. I think I am gonna go middle of the road (heheh pun intended) and go with something like this but at a much lower price point.
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Old 07-25-10, 05:25 AM
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i ride the thorn sherpa i was going to change it for a lighter faster touring bike ,but i changed my mind the sherpa is one hell of a bike loaded or unloaded take anywhere bike carry any load without a problem .if your looking for a fast tourer don't think yhe sherpa would fit the bill but it will for touring the planet that's for certain.
best of luck in your choice.
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Old 07-25-10, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty
I just asked a similar question in my thread, some good info in there... people make some comments about the Fargo being finicky on the front end loading, but it would have more of an MTB feel (probably higher BB). To me the off roading is more about the way I am gonna carry my load now.
Actually, the BB drop on the Fargo is 75mm, barely higher than that of the LHT (78mm). To me, the Fargo rides much like a cross bike on the road, not so much like an MTB.
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Old 07-25-10, 08:07 AM
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I think the "morph" is directional as to your background

personally my roots are in the dirt and road bikes have been in my mix since at least '93

therefor I'm quick to ride a MTB like a road bike.

I'm not so hot on riding a road bike like an MTB

therefor, my approach to any type of touring comes from the MTB direction

Expedition Bike: I've gone round and round with this concept, and have actually dabbled into it to a degree...

what expedition? tipi's, solar panels, wood burning stove, a week's worth of food... tramping? Hobo style?

Surly big dummy, Pugsley, or a 29er?

how much do you want to carry?

FYI: The Salsa Fargo thread is here on MTBR.com https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=467422

Last edited by AsanaCycles; 07-25-10 at 03:17 PM. Reason: add text
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Old 07-25-10, 09:07 AM
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Personally I would go for the expedition bike with the capability for bigger tires for trails and such. You can always change tires to a more road like tire for on road touring if you want to, schwalbe makes many 26 tires. The the real advantage to me is the 26" wheels stronger and more available in different parts of the world.

Most touring bikes I have read about take a 700X35 tire or something close as the largest size they can accommodate, while this could be used on some trails I doubt it would be as good as a 2.1 inch knobby or something on more severe trails.

Just my 2 cents worth everyone will have different opinions and only you can decide which is best for you
Good luck

Allen

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Old 07-25-10, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy
Actually, the BB drop on the Fargo is 75mm, barely higher than that of the LHT (78mm). To me, the Fargo rides much like a cross bike on the road, not so much like an MTB.

Thanks, i didn't look at the comparison I was just going by reviews saying it was more like an MTB.
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Old 07-25-10, 05:02 PM
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I faced the same problem over twenty years ago. Bruce Gordon created the answer with his RNR. Today I am still pleased with how the RNR handles all conditions while touring on and off pavement including he Divide Ride. I have the 700c version. A 26" wheel size is now offered as an alternative.
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Old 07-25-10, 05:32 PM
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Hunter Cycles Custom 29er:

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Old 07-25-10, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mijome07
Hunter Cycles Custom 29er:
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Old 07-25-10, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AsanaCycles
I knew you'd approve.
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Old 07-25-10, 06:14 PM
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https://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/sterling_pic_002.jpg You're going to tour on a single speed?
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Old 07-25-10, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by alanthealan
https://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/sterling_pic_002.jpg You're going to tour on a single speed?
looks like a Rohloff
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Old 07-25-10, 06:41 PM
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I think the OP's description would max out at the Great Divide trail, that is a 1.5" tire all you need trail, from what others have said (not personal experience). There is no reason why that couldn't be done on a fairly classic tourer, as long as it had the beef for whatever load you are considering. Of course most people use something MTB like.
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Old 07-25-10, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty
I think I am gonna go middle of the road (heheh pun intended) and go with something like this but at a much lower price point.
I live in New Zealand and we have a fairly limited selection in touring bikes.
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Old 07-25-10, 09:43 PM
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you could look at building a Surly Karate Monkey, and use frame bags.
https://www.CarouselDesignWorks.com
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Old 07-25-10, 10:57 PM
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The sort of places I would tour on are mainly amongst the "high country" in the Southern Alps: mountains covered in tussock grass with tracks of clay and glacial gravels. I'm a light rider and only 165cm so I don't mind 26" wheels. I see the max tire width is 2.1' with or without fenders on a LHT.
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Old 07-25-10, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by groceries
The sort of places I would tour on are mainly amongst the "high country" in the Southern Alps: mountains covered in tussock grass with tracks of clay and glacial gravels. I'm a light rider and only 165cm so I don't mind 26" wheels. I see the max tire width is 2.1' with or without fenders on a LHT.
what size LHT do you think you'd ride?
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Old 07-26-10, 01:06 AM
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I tried a 46 but my knees hit the gear changers. I seem o.k on the next size up... a 50cm. I took one out behind the bike shop and it rode it around for a while it had a smooth feel and was beautifully balanced (unloaded that is).
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Old 07-26-10, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by groceries
I tried a 46 but my knees hit the gear changers. I seem o.k on the next size up... a 50cm. I took one out behind the bike shop and it rode it around for a while it had a smooth feel and was beautifully balanced (unloaded that is).

The LHT is particularly well-known for its ability to carry heavy loads. If you enjoyed its handling while unloaded, this may be a good choice for you.
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Old 07-26-10, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Fern53

The LHT is particularly well-known for its ability to carry heavy loads. If you enjoyed its handling while unloaded, this may be a good choice for you.
quite true... sounds like you're on your way
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Old 07-26-10, 10:13 PM
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I'm glad someone recommended the MTBR fargo thread.
https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=467422

I have both a Surly Cross Check and a Salsa Fargo. Did 620 miles of backroads, atv trails and single track a few weeks back (TransWisconsin.com). My thought is that the Fargo has much more relaxed angles then the cross check and it's ability to handle much wider tires then the LHT and Cross Check is absolutely key when the going gets rough. The disc brakes are also well worth the upgrade in mud, rain, snow and dirt. It's most at home on backroads and two track. It does non-technical singletrack great but it's not technical singletrack bike if only because you have to take your hands off the bar to shift rapidly.

Oddly even though I've done my share of backroads on the awesome stock WTB Vulpine tires I have though put even more miles on the road with 38mm slicks.

BTW, the Vulpine are amazing on the road, but it does wear the microtreads pretty quick. This does make them a great tread for mix use trips.

The bike is extremely comfortable over long distances due its high head tube and also do this I really make full use of the drops riding in them on all manner of terrain and over many hours.

It's definitely no road bike. I'm a huge wind target even in the drops but you can't have everything. I could in fact lower the handlebar tremendously but then I'd loose the upright position when on the top of the bar and full use of the drops. If I find myself doing a lot more road touring on this I may in fact lower the bar.... that I can lower it as much as six inches or even raise it more is pretty amazing versatility.

Anyway, in my opinion it's the huge head tube and relaxed angles that make it a comfortable cruise for many miles on rough roads. It's disc brakes, robust frame and inifinte lugs for mounting stuff are all great selling points.

I really recommend loosing the racks for backroad touring and moving to frame bags. I droped 12 lbs just from switching from 4-pannier bags with front and rear racks to a main triangle bag, a super twinkie seat bag and a handlebar bag. More importantly having this weight inline with the bike makes it handle a lot better. No swinging, bouncing weight out at the corners of the bike. There's also something big to be gained from the reduced wind profile.

As mentioned above carousel design works is one maker I'm a big fan of Revelate Designs (previously Epic Designs) as well: https://www.epicdesignsalaska.com/

fargo pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmeiser2/tags/fargo/
Cross check winter touring: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmeiser2/4354825441/
Salsa Campeon ultralight touring: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmeiser2/4422555632/

-Mike

related pet projects:
flickr.com/groups/ultralightbiking
flickr.com/groups/rough-riders
flickr.com/groups/stealthcamping
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Old 07-26-10, 10:28 PM
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Adendum: I like the way the thorn looks though I've not looked at it very closely.

== drops vs. straight bar ==

The one thing I will say though is drops or at least versatile hand positions are key for long hour in the saddle. If you do go with a flat bar bike a lot of people are starting to use modern aero bars to offer more motion on the bike, to stretch out, use different muscles and hunker down in a headwind.

Personally, I do love the drops. They afford atleast four hand positions. This does as of yet require some compromise on shifting though. I miss the ability to make quick shifts with my rapidfire or the reliability of some good high end gripshift. Though half my bikes have bar end shifters you just can't take your hands off the bar when the going gets rought and technical.

== suspension ==

In a word... don't do it. Touring just puts to much wear on modern suspension. A suspension bike isn't going to hold up for more then 3-4 years without a major and expensive overhaul. You'd be well lucky in fact if you don't find yourself on the road when it breaks. To much rain and weather. Plus loading a full suspension robs it of its efficiency and ruins most of the advantage. Full suspension bikes just weren't designed for loaded touring. Instead opt for bigger tires and/or a bigger wheel, i.e. 29'r. Then make sure you air them for the conditions... max for road, mid for gravel, low for snow and mud.

More relaxed angles also help dampen and stabilize a bike in the rough.

I'm not a fan of front suspension either, but I'm open to debate. Other options = a springer saddle or a suspension seat posts like the cane creek thudbuster. I have never found any other suspension seatpost I haven't hated.

Would love to hear others opinions on suspension and the straight vs. drop bar debate.
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Old 07-27-10, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by groceries
I want a long distance road bike that can carry panniers but i would also like to do trails. I'm not sure what trails i want to do but they will probably be back country roads suitable for a 4x4 and single track trails but not too extreme. I found a Surly long Haul Trucker in my size (50cm) but I'm also wondering about a Salsa Fargo. Is there much of a difference? I see that a surly will take fat tires and has low gearing and presumably could go where most mountain bikes go?
https://www.surlybikes.com/bikes/long...cker_complete/
https://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/
If you want a off road touring bicycle then look no longer get the Surly Pugsley they run 4" tires on them.They are made for trails with 4" tires they help take the shock out of the bumps very nice riding bicycle.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:04 AM
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@KDC1956, I'm a fan of that persuasion, the riding the spine guys used fatbikes, but I'm not entirely sure it's practical for most off road touring. But then... maybe it is.
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