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

What bike to get for a long ride over different surfaces?

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.

What bike to get for a long ride over different surfaces?

Old 02-26-11, 03:56 PM
  #1  
LeMaVo
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What bike to get for a long ride over different surfaces?

Hi,
I am very new to the whole long distance thing. So, I was wondering what kind of bike I should get for a ride with different surfaces (not all pavement). I used to do a bit of mountain biking, but I wouldn't get very far with my old bike.
Thanks
LeMaVo is offline  
Old 02-26-11, 10:50 PM
  #2  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 406 Times in 311 Posts
what sort of long distance riding are you thinking about doing?
unterhausen is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 01:18 AM
  #3  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 16,380

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 101 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2391 Post(s)
Liked 463 Times in 342 Posts
Cyclocross bikes are certainly ridden on many different surfaces and usually can mount tires that are larger than those of a road bike. Their geometry isn't ideal for brevets, but I have seen them used on on rides up to 400k, with normal road tires of course.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 04:48 AM
  #4  
Chris_W
Likes to Ride Far
 
Chris_W's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,311

Bikes: road+, gravel, commuter/tourer, tandem, e-cargo, folder, CAR-FREE

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The Specialized TriCross is a cyclocross bike with more relaxed / less racy geometry, so it might be ideal for you. I have one kitted it out as an adventure / go anywhere / mixed conditions bike and LOVE it. I have 3 or 4 different sets of tires - I normally run 700x30c tires that have a minimal tread for general road riding and the occasional diversion onto easy gravel tracks, but if I'm planning to ride more off-road then I have other fatter and nobblier tires to use instead. I've done many 6-8 hour rides on that bike, nothing super-lengthy, but it would probably the bike that I'd choose if I was to do some more epic distances.
Chris_W is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 06:54 AM
  #5  
liong71er
Senior Member
 
liong71er's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: 30 minutes ride into manhattan.
Posts: 66

Bikes: so far i got 6 of them.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
29er mountain bike.that's how i roll.
liong71er is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 08:05 AM
  #6  
Richard Cranium
Senior Member
 
Richard Cranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Deep in the Shawnee Forest
Posts: 2,924

Bikes: LeMond - Gunnar

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
So, I was wondering what kind of bike I should get for a ride with different surfaces (not all pavement).
If you know you want to be able to handle unpaved sections of routes then you have no choice but to select a bicycle that allows for larger tires.

I have quite a bit of experience and think that a "normal touring" bicycle fitted with larger tires, like 700x32 is the optimal mixed pavement machine. However, depending on what kind of load and speed you want to bicycle at - you may need a beefier bike that uses 26" all-terrain tires (city bike style)

In any case, most long distance routes use a preponderance of pavement. Outfitting a bike for off road use and showing up and trying to use it for road rides will be disappointing.
Richard Cranium is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 05:00 PM
  #7  
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,264

Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LeMaVo View Post
Hi,
I am very new to the whole long distance thing. So, I was wondering what kind of bike I should get for a ride with different surfaces (not all pavement). I used to do a bit of mountain biking, but I wouldn't get very far with my old bike.
Thanks


They make bikes just for that style of riding:

https://www.csrichards.com/allroad/index.html

https://www.renehersebicycles.com/Randonneur%20bikes.htm



I have a cyclocross bike that works fine.
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved

Last edited by vik; 02-27-11 at 05:03 PM.
vik is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 06:30 PM
  #8  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,149

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 796 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 64 Posts
We really need to know what kind of off-road travel and what distance. Three types of bikes will work, Cyclocross, Touring and a fully rigid 29er MTB. Which bike will depend on how technical the off-road riding will be.

This cyclist completed a 200k with 12,000 of climbing on a Surly Pugsley.






Michael

Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-27-11 at 07:23 PM.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 07:40 PM
  #9  
vik 
cyclopath
 
vik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,264

Bikes: Surly Krampus, Surly Straggler, Pivot Mach 6, Bike Friday Tikit, Bike Friday Tandem, Santa Cruz Nomad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
We really need to know what kind of off-road travel and what distance. Three types of bikes will work, Cyclocross, Touring and a fully rigid 29er MTB. Which bike will depend on how technical the off-road riding will be.

This cyclist completed a 200k with 12,000 of climbing on a Surly Pugsley.






Michael
Wow! As a fellow Pugsley owner I salute that guy...
__________________
safe riding - Vik
VikApproved
vik is offline  
Old 02-27-11, 09:14 PM
  #10  
kevrider
Senior Member
 
kevrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: northern nevada
Posts: 359

Bikes: way too many

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
for example, go to this site to check out the VAYA and the FARGO.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
We really need to know what kind of off-road travel and what distance. Three types of bikes will work, Cyclocross, Touring and a fully rigid 29er MTB. Which bike will depend on how technical the off-road riding will be.
kevrider is offline  
Old 03-01-11, 08:12 PM
  #11  
bmike
Bye Bye
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Gone gone gone
Posts: 3,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
single track? dirt / gravel road? pavement? ice / snow?
race, or rando? carrying lots of gear, or not?

anything from a lite touring rig / club racer to a fargo to a mtb could work, depending on the mix of terrain you'll see.
__________________
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
bmike is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 10:22 AM
  #12  
LeMaVo
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorry for the late reply. It will be a ride of 700mi with roughly 50 to 60 miles a day. However, we will not be carrying any gear. Most of the route will be paved, but a there are parts with gravel and sandy grounds. No jumps or anything like that.
Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!!!
LeMaVo is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 01:07 PM
  #13  
BigDaddyPete
Senior Member
 
BigDaddyPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Posts: 633

Bikes: Motobecane Fantom Cross 2008 Schwinn Super Sport 1972 SS. Surly Pacer Rando bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would second the recommendations for the Salsa Vaya, or the Fargo if you're looking for something even more heavy duty. They are both on my wish list right now, the Vaya for vanishing for days and the Fargo for winter everything. Good luck.
BigDaddyPete is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 01:22 PM
  #14  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,149

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 796 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by LeMaVo View Post
Sorry for the late reply. It will be a ride of 700mi with roughly 50 to 60 miles a day. However, we will not be carrying any gear. Most of the route will be paved, but a there are parts with gravel and sandy grounds. No jumps or anything like that.
Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!!!
If you will not be carrying gear but need to cover sandy and gravel a Cyclocross bike would be ideal. These can accept 700x35 tires and fenders. A good cyclocross bike is tougher than a road bike and lighter than a touring bike while providing good travel over unpaved roads.

I use this bike, a Soma Double Cross. It's fun, fast and very comfortable. Just add larger tires.



Michael

Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-02-11 at 01:27 PM.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 06:44 PM
  #15  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,738
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
For 50-60 miles a day, a lot of different bikes would do the trick. I've ridden double that on my Worksman cruiser, for example.

On the tough-bike part and the cyclocross bikes- I think still, the biggest issue will be the wheels; you don't often see road bikes falling apart due to rough roads, but you can have all kinds of wheel problems.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 06:56 PM
  #16  
Homeyba
Senior Member
 
Homeyba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 3,370

Bikes: Colnago C-50, Calfee Dragonfly Tandem, Specialized Allez Pro, Peugeot Competition Light

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LeMaVo View Post
Sorry for the late reply. It will be a ride of 700mi with roughly 50 to 60 miles a day. However, we will not be carrying any gear. Most of the route will be paved, but a there are parts with gravel and sandy grounds. No jumps or anything like that.
Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!!!
For that you can ride just about anything. From my house, I have to ride two miles of dirt road just to get to pavement and I ride a Colnago C-50 on 23mm tires. Ride what you want.
Homeyba is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 08:04 PM
  #17  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 406 Times in 311 Posts
I'm moving this to touring. Lots of good expertise in that forum from people that don't participate here.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 08:25 PM
  #18  
math is fun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would recommend a Cyclocross bike for mixed surface riding. I have a Tricross sport and while not as quick as a road bike still can get some respectable speed and has room for some big tires if you will be riding off road. Another plus is it has braze ons for fenders/racks.
math is fun is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 09:10 PM
  #19  
episodic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: South
Posts: 415

Bikes: Had a Surly Cross Check - was totaled in recent accident. Sadly now just a Fuji Crosstown as a backup bike.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I like my Surly Cross Check. . . - I'm up to 50-60 miles and it is comfortable.
episodic is offline  
Old 03-02-11, 10:03 PM
  #20  
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by LeMaVo View Post
Sorry for the late reply. It will be a ride of 700mi with roughly 50 to 60 miles a day. However, we will not be carrying any gear. Most of the route will be paved, but a there are parts with gravel and sandy grounds. No jumps or anything like that.
Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!!!
this is such an open question, for pavement you can do fine with any bike on 28mm-35mm tires but "gravel and sandy grounds" can be surfaces unridable with anything less than 2.125"(50mm width).

few more thoughts. When I was light, 145lbs, I road all over dirt roads on 28mm clinchers and occasionally sewups of similar dimension. I'm fatter now and 35mm tires provide plenty of rubber for hardpack dirt and fast enough rolling for my motor. The problem with "gravel and sandy grounds" is when it's inches deep. So gravel or sand on hard pack is doable as long as you don't try to go fast around corners or up steep hills.

As far as comfort goes a cyclocross bike is a good idea and the Specialized Tri-Cross is especially comfy.

Last edited by LeeG; 03-03-11 at 09:59 AM.
LeeG is offline  
Old 03-03-11, 12:12 AM
  #21  
oldride
Senior Member
 
oldride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 362

Bikes: 91 Specialized Sirrus, 96 Gary Fischer, 08 Specialized Roubaix Elite, 2010 Specialized Tricross Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like others I would recommend a CX bike. I have a Tricross sport and really like the ride and versitility. There are also lots of other good CX bikes on the market.

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by oldride; 03-03-11 at 12:17 AM.
oldride is offline  
Old 03-03-11, 04:52 AM
  #22  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Last summer I rode a 6-week tour , fully loaded, with long sections of gravel road and some section of hard-packed sand and beach.
The largest tyre my touring bike could take was 32mm. There were times when I could have used a wider tyre, maybe 38mm but I managed the ride the whole way. A lot of other riders on the same route ended up pushing their bikes up or down steep slopes.

For unladen riding on gravel roads, 32 is plenty. For loaded riding, its better to have a bit more rubber.
As for the style of bike, touring or CX should be fine.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 03-03-11, 04:55 AM
  #23  
safariofthemind
Life is a fun ride
 
safariofthemind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LeMaVo View Post
Sorry for the late reply. It will be a ride of 700mi with roughly 50 to 60 miles a day. However, we will not be carrying any gear. Most of the route will be paved, but a there are parts with gravel and sandy grounds. No jumps or anything like that.
Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!!!
This is a ride easily accomplished on just about any bike with fat tires (no less than 32mm). Check out https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

If you have a bike that fits well, save the money and invest it in good clothes and gear and cash for food and enjoyment along the way. Personally I use a Surly Crosscheck and that would fit the bill economically, but you really don't need a new bike for something like this.

Do get decent tires and make sure you have good wheels with stout rims and spokes because it is a hassle to fix things too often. And forget knobby tires - you don't need them for this type of ride. Consider Schwalbe Marathon's or equivalent touring tires that can be run at reduced pressure in the dirt sections for comfort. Oh, and bring plenty of extra spokes and tubes and patches and a spare folding tire.

Sounds like a fun introduction to touring. What is the route?
safariofthemind is offline  
Old 03-03-11, 08:43 AM
  #24  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,700

Bikes: Downtube 8H, Surly Troll

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
I take my Long Haul Trucker off pavement often. It's not a mountain bike by any stretch, and if I expected to maintain any speed off-road or spend a significant, I'd want something else. Of course if you're not looking to carry a load, then a LHT is probably overkill for you. I keep looking at the Surly Troll as a potential, all-terrain bike. It doesn't seem purpose-built to favour or exclude any type of surface, but it does seem like with some fat tires and the right set up it could be reasonably comfortable on or off road. My feeling is that the Troll would be more of a work horse, and not as zippy as a cyclocross bike. If you were going to spend more time off pavement then on, then I'd 2nd the suggestion of a 29er or another mountain bike, but I don't find mountain bikes terribly comfortable over a long stretch (although I suspect they can be set up to be much more comfortable), and it doesn't sound like even your off pavement sections will be rough enough to make you wish you had a mountain bike. But ultimately for those distances unloaded, I agree with the idea that your only real criteria should be something other than a skinny-tired road bike. Whatever is comfortable for you over several hours of riding, because that's going to be more important over the course of several days of riding then having a great off-road machine for those occasional stretches.
Rob_E is offline  
Old 03-03-11, 09:57 AM
  #25  
truman
It's true, man.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,726

Bikes: Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ride a Salsa Vaya for mixed-surface self-supported touring. Going unloaded, you would likely have a slightly better experience with a cyclocross bike. All the major brands have models to choose from, I'm partial to Salsa and Surly.
truman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.