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Can I Tour with this? Need advice please.

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Can I Tour with this? Need advice please.

Old 08-25-12, 04:47 AM
  #26  
bradtx
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chefissac, I have a drop bar touring bike to appease my inner roadie. I used my mountain bike on my short tours and if I didn't like riding single track so much I probably would've mounted a set of trekking/butterfly handle bars.

Nashbar has an inexpensive trekking handle bar that I think is worth trialing.

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Old 08-25-12, 06:49 AM
  #27  
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It's starting to sound a little like your current bike may not be the right bike for you. You mentioned you don't use the front suspension, and it sounds like it's barely comfortable on your commute. Might you be better off with more of a commuting/touring bike, instead of the cross/MTB? I'm in the same spot you are, with room, funds, and spousal support for only one bike. As much as I enjoyed the idea of owning a MTB, it just wasn't practical for me and it was very easy to trade.

I used the MTB for a few winter commutes, and those were the most fatiguing rides I've ever had. Plenty of tourists use them, but it's not for me.

I now ride occasional dirt two-tracks with wider tires (28 mm) on my touring bike and that feeds my rat. Where I live, there are rough mountain roads connecting pavement on some excellent loop rides, so I get to cycle a few dozen miles from my home into the hills, ride some easy routes with incredulous MTBers who had to drive up there, and return via a different pass or valley. The steel touring bike is a nice fit to my style.

I was surprised on my X-C tour this summer to see virtually nothing but steel bikes out there.

Good luck finding something comfortable.
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Old 08-25-12, 08:08 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I'd think twice about converting to drop bars. I love drops, by the way, but switching to them from straight bars often causes a cascade of component replacements: the drop bar will require different shift/brake levers, new shift/brake levers might require different derailleurs, the new derailleurs might require a different crankset, etc.
It can, but doesn't have to be that big of an issue. In most cases you could just swap bars, brake levers, and shifters. I can't think of a combination where you have to change derailleurs or crank because of drop bar conversion swap as long as you pick the levers and shifters with that in mind. Personally I'd probably not want to spring ($$$) for brifters and would likely go with down tube shifters. That is what I am running on my two lightweight touring bikes and the setup worked out well on my fairly recent southern tier ride.
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Old 08-25-12, 08:56 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It can, but doesn't have to be that big of an issue. In most cases you could just swap bars, brake levers, and shifters. I can't think of a combination where you have to change derailleurs or crank because of drop bar conversion swap as long as you pick the levers and shifters with that in mind. Personally I'd probably not want to spring ($$$) for brifters and would likely go with down tube shifters. That is what I am running on my two lightweight touring bikes and the setup worked out well on my fairly recent southern tier ride.
True enough! If you're willing to use friction shifters and pick your brake levers carefully, you can get away without needing to worry about derailleurs, cranks, brakes, etc. That's not a compromise I'd be willing to make, but if you're on a budget and not wedded to indexed shifting, it could definitely work.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:11 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
You ask about aluminium. It is fine as a frame material. It is durable, but the only drawback is if you go to a fixed fork, you might be in for a harsher ride. My recommendation is that you keep the suspension fork for now, because on a long ride on less-than-smooth sealed surfaces, that fork may well be the difference between a comfortable ride and a hellish ride.
Riding a bike with an inexpensive suspension fork, especially one that doesn't have lock-out, is often like riding a pogo stick. The amount of energy wasted bouncing the fork up and down, especially when climbing out of the saddle, can be significant. Not to mention the difficulty of mounting front panniers. If the OP is concerned about this, a rigid steel fork can be an inexpensive ($40-80) solution... assuming you can find one with a similar axle to crown race length.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:24 AM
  #31  
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Why not.
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Old 08-25-12, 12:10 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
True enough! If you're willing to use friction shifters and pick your brake levers carefully, you can get away without needing to worry about derailleurs, cranks, brakes, etc. That's not a compromise I'd be willing to make, but if you're on a budget and not wedded to indexed shifting, it could definitely work.
I'd say you can generally get indexed shifting to work as well. I know that I have never had a problem mixing MTB and road shifters and derailleurs.
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Old 08-25-12, 12:14 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Jamoni View Post
Chef, no reason you couldn't tour on it. Check out this thread:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...MTB-conversion
You might want to replace the fork with something lighter, and perhaps swap out the stem and handlebars with something lighter and of a better geometry. Trekking bars are popular.
For the hand numbness, there are a couple schools of thought. I'm of the "Get the body upright so the weight is on your butt" school. I did this by putting on a very high stem with very little reach. I also think that drop bars or trekking bars help, since you can have different wrist and elbow angles. Check this thread for more info:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-when-touring
As for weight, I've found on rail trails it doesn't matter much, since they're flat. Once you get up to speed you're fine. If you get into rolling hills it can be a problem.
Nice Bike, BTW.
I have to agree about getting the handlebars up higher. I had to do that with my tandem and it makes a world of difference. I tried different glove, hand positions, and saddle adjustment, but none were all that effective. Raise the bar.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:12 PM
  #34  
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You might want to try a swept back bar. It might not be a straight up swap because of the cabling though.

I might try and restore the bike back to the way it was when you got it, sell it on craigslist, and buy a dedicated touring bike which will work great as a commuter bike as well.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:29 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post

I like the bike for commuting but there are some issues, which probobly relate to bike fit:

1- The bike is heavy and thats without carrying much
2- My hands get numb sometimes
3- Upper back and neck hurt after a while.
1. Less weight is nice, but if money's an issue, you're WAY better off just building up your strength so you can handle it. The best investment to make here may be in your gears, though. Smaller/a third chainring can make a lot of difference in your ability to crank up hills.
2. Ergon Grips - https://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/home# sorted hand numbness out for me and a lot of other people. I have the GR2s because I like the barends for climbing/a change of position.
3. Probably a fit issue. Hopefully, the bike frame is a good size/geometry for you and this can be sorted out by adjusting stuff and possibly switching out a few parts. Talk to a reputable bike store person about this.

So I basically have two options:

1) Use the money I have (which is around $1300) for a new touring bike or
2) Use the mountain bike commuter for touring

I would then use the money to invest in a tent, sleeping bag, etc (which is a whole topic in itself).
Option 2. With the tweaks I mentioned above your existing bike is just fine for touring. Spend the money on the essentials of camp equipment instead. While you're at it, buy lightweight things and buy quality (read reviews). This will save money in the long run.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:32 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That way of looking at it neglects that fact that the bike is one of many things that all add up. If you apply that logic to each choice in bike, gear, clothing, tools, and spares it really adds up. So while 5 pounds of bike alone may not be all that significant, when you start talking 5 pounds here, a pound here, and five more there, and so on, pretty soon we are talking some real weight. I know that by picking and choosing what I carry and what bike I use I went from ~80 pounds of bike and gear to 33 pounds of bike and gear. So close to 50 pounds was shed, I think most folks would acknowledge that 50 pounds makes a big difference.

I always figured that gear was the first place to cut weight but when my gear got to 22 pounds, then 14, then 10 it definitely started to seem like a lighter bike would make more sense. I have to say I have found that riding on a bike with all my gear that totals 33 pounds is a lot more fun than riding one that weighs 80 pounds.
Also - this guy knows what he's talking about. When buying equipment, keep his advice in mind. I've drastically reduced the weight of my camping setup by paying attention to ounces here and there, and it's made backpacking much more enjoyable. Same goes for bike touring.
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Old 09-03-12, 09:23 PM
  #37  
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+1 on Rowan's money tree fears. Work on fit. Run fatter tires at lower pressure -- going from 95psi on 28c to 70psi on 32c (same tire make/model) up front made a huge difference for me.
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