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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.

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Old 09-01-10, 07:57 AM   #1
Ellensburg, WA
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A lot to learn

Been reading a lot of the posts here - there's definitely a lot to absorb. Although the simple message seems to be - just go try a short tour and figure out what works and doesn't. On the job training I guess you could say. I'm trying to go "simple" right now on a limited budget and am thinking about converting my '87 Trek mtb into something to see touring and I agree.

Some more rookie questions - please bear with me.

Adequate wheels - is this more focused on the spokes or evenly on the rim and spokes combined. The Trek has stock Araya 26 X 1.5 aluminum 36 spoke wheels - I don't know the model. Appears for 1987 they were ones that either came on the 830 or 850 as the 800 (mine) should have had Rigida's. This would not be a bike for a long, heavily weighted tour to start with so I'm thinking the wheels may be fine.

After reading through this thread I'm slowly accumulating a mental list of what else I need to do to the bike. I happened across a parts stash on Craigslist a couple of months ago that included some Sakae randonneur bars (although they seem a little narrow) and Suntour bar end shifters (3 sets). I run most of my bikes in friction mode so it's not a big deal that the shifters are not indexed. I have brake levers - aero style which is my definite preferred look. But, it looks like I will need a different stem for the bars. Seems the stem currently on the bike measures closer to the French diameter 22.0 mm (21.87 actual) vs. the 22.2 stems I have for the randonneur bars.

I have a new freewheel and would change out the Suntour 3000 rear derailleur for a newer Shimano long cage. The crankset is a 48-42-28 combined with 14-28. The brakes are already cantilever and have good stopping power. Pedals would be SPD mtb clipless that I have on another bike.

Other than that a front rack would be needed and then proper panniers. Road/street tires would also be needed.

Am I going down the right road for a mtb conversion?
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport (fixie); 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
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Old 09-01-10, 09:45 AM   #2
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I would change out the gears on it to 22,32,44t on front and the rear would be 11-34.My 2 cents
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Old 09-01-10, 03:01 PM   #3
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Current stuff ? new mountain bike drivetrains are as in .. #2

you can get a low gear rear cluster 34t, and a small gear for the crank a 24 on a 74mm bcd is as small as you can go..

I like friction bar end shifters , keep the cog number down to 6 or 7 speed at the most , and it will be fine

with a 14 t cog on the back and a 50t on the front it was high enough , but really only use that in a stiff tailwind

downhill, enjoy the ride coasting down, stop and enjoy the view on the way down.
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Old 09-01-10, 03:08 PM   #4
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you say : "21.87 actual) vs. the 22.2 stems I have for the randonneur bars." sounds like a .833" bmx standard
not well supported in spare parts they dont use 1" handlebars..
that may be a problem ... you may need to find another fork with a 22.2 stem capability..

Good luck ..
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Old 09-01-10, 03:41 PM   #5
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You will get great ideas from lots of BF members that have thousands of touring miles. The ideas will be valid and awesome.

When I bought my latest bike (a 1988 Specialized Rockhopper Comp) I wanted to 'continue' to tour. This bike was replacing a touring bike that was stolen and I bought the Rockhopper new in 1989.

The Rockhopper had BioPace front chain rings and a flat bar! I still did short tours because my focus was to get out and tour. I knew I would eventually change some things but I did that over time. Yes, I got rid of the biopace! BUT I also filed all of the teeth off of my 48T front chain ring. Never used it. Now it serves as a really cool chain guard and keeps grease off of my leg. I also ride with a 150MM stem and Scott AT4 Pro bar. This particular bike has well over 100K on it over 21 years of touring/commuting service.

I suppose my point is this: If you can ride the bike somewhere for a day or overnight, give it a shot. It will get you started. You will find out what works for you and what you want to change, BUT you will have gotten out on tour.

Every bike is as different as every rider. Keep in mind the ideas you get from your friends on BF. You might end up changing some things...or you might not. My .02

Jerry H
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