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Do many of you tour on a Hybrid?

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Do many of you tour on a Hybrid?

Old 11-25-12, 11:59 PM
  #1  
MAK
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Do many of you tour on a Hybrid?

I have a 2004 Gary Fisher Nirvana that I use for weekend commutes to a coffee house to catch up on work. The bike is real solid but pretty heavy (29 lbs). It has oversized aluminum tubes, 35 c tires on a 32 spoke rim, thumb shifters and 8 speed gearing with a 48/38/28 crank. I've installed fenders and a Racktime AddIt rear rack. I plan to replace the suspension fork with an aluminum or steel fork so there should be a small weight reduction.

I want to do some week long inn to inn unsupported touring. Maybe in the future I'll consider full unsupported (tent and sleeping bag) short to medium tours.

Is a hybrid suited for my needs or do I need a true touring bike like a LHT, 520 or Sojourn?

On a side note...does anyone know what the LHT, 520 and Sojourn weighs? The sites are not forthcoming on that issue.
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Old 11-26-12, 12:00 AM
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Sounds like the bike you have is perfectly fine to do some touring on. 29 lbs isn't heavy at all for a touring bike.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:31 AM
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Hundreds of tourists on the coast every summer.. on all sorts of bikes..

Its a 'Touring bike' if you go on a tour riding it. Just go somewhere.

seen European cyclists when over there touring a lot of them on 'hybrids'

Trekking bars, substituting for straight flat bars is a EZ swap over of the levers.

for more hand real-estate..

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Old 11-26-12, 01:36 AM
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The bike you have will do fine. We've only used hybrid bikes for all our tours and never had a problem.
Gazelle Playa

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Old 11-26-12, 01:53 AM
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I'm not experienced at touring, but without knowing any better and after riding for one season, I decided to finish with a fall ride across California so I bought a rack and rode my FX 7.5 across California from Mountains to the coast and had a great time.
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Old 11-26-12, 03:19 AM
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Both the LHT and the Trek 520 will weigh in at 27+ pounds with racks and fenders. My touring bike, based on a 1990 Trek 700 MultiTrack frameset, weighs in at about 30 pounds with rear fender and rack installed, and I find it a great bike as long as speed is not your primary goal. Very comfortable and tough as they come, still reasonably quick but I'm grateful for that granny gear on long steep hills.
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Old 11-26-12, 03:33 AM
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My Trek 7500 was a great long haul bike after I modded the crap out of it... people with bigger feet might have a problem with the shorter stays on a hybrid vs a conventional touring bike but I have some very average 8.5 feet.

Was also really great to go off road with it too.



The bike now lives with my friend... she loves it and uses it as her commuter and utility bike.
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Old 11-26-12, 06:15 AM
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If it is comfortable for you to ride and you are happy riding it, go for it!

Touring is more a state of mind than the equipment involved. FWIW I tour on everything from a Raleigh Twenty folding bike to a dedicated touring bike that was converted from a flat bar to a drop bar. My wife and I do hub and spoke tours on our Raleigh 3 speeds quite frequently.

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Old 11-26-12, 06:52 AM
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MAK, If you search for it there's a thread on this forum where many different touring bike's weights are listed by their owners. More often than not they're close to 30 lbs. minus panniers and water bottles. Within reason weight isn't much of a factor for a bike where adding weight is the norm.

Odds are you'll be perfectly satisfied using what you have.

Brad
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Old 11-26-12, 07:42 AM
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A mechanically sound, properly sized hybrid is a comfortable touring machine. Might add bar end extensions, double wrapped, for additional hand positions. I'd add aerobars, but that's just me.
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Old 11-26-12, 12:55 PM
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Kona Dr. Dew (aka The Good Doctor) has done the trick nicely. Have to offset the rear bags slightly to accommodate my big feet, but otherwise zero issues. Handles pavement, rail trails, and single track.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:12 PM
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You can tour on anything--as long as you can ride the bike comfortably for more than a few hours a day. The biggest myth ever is that you need a "touring bike" to tour.

I did my last trip on a 16lbs carbon BH RX1 cyclocross and was blown away how well it worked out. We met and rode with a girl who rode from Vancouver to Los Angeles on an old mountain bike she bought at a police auction for $60. When she went into a bike shop to look for a "touring bike" they told her she couldn't tour on anything less than a Long Haul Trucker or comparable. WHAT?! That's absurd. When I rode her $60 bike I couldn't believe how stable and comfortable it was. First thing I did when I got home? Found a 1990 Novara XR and converted it to a touring bike. I'll use it on the next trip I do where speed/mileage isn't a huge concern.

Do it!

This was the Canadian's $60 ride: Soo awesome.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:12 PM
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I had a hybrid that I ended up replacing with my LHT. I didn't fit me that well, and the flat bars were uncomfortable on longer trips. It had a front suspension, which seemed like dead weight on most road trips, and it complicated fitting some front racks. However I fit a rear rack on it easily, and carried some gear tied to the front bars, and that worked fine. But after a long day of riding, I would be unhappy. There were lots of things that I could have done to make the bike more comfortable, but the thing I finally did was replace it.

Basically, if you can ride it all day and be comfortable, you'll be fine. It's just a question of how to carry your gear, which probably won't be an issue if you're not camping. And if it's not comfortable all day, there are things to try to fix the situation. If I had really enjoyed riding my bike around town, then it wouldn't have been a big deal to make it tour-worthy. But in the end I decided I'd be happier commuting and touring on a touring bike than doing either on my hybrid, and I was right. Whatever your happy riding is the best bike to be on.
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Old 11-26-12, 06:29 PM
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OK! We all *know* that for touring one MUST have a LHT, 520, Co-motion or Thorn. Right?? I'm NOT knocking any of the fore mentioned rides, since they ARE great bikes.

So... don't tell anyone, but I have done three fully loaded tours of 1800 miles or more each. Now, that's not a lot if you read many of the journals readily available on line.

My tours have been on, (you ready for this?) a Jamis Coda Sport. Stock, but for bar ends, fenders, and a Brooks saddle.
I realize that this can't be done on such a cheapo bike, and that also you can't pull a BoB trailer while doing this!
Confession time... I have gone through 3 chains, 2 1/2 sets of tires on the bike (2 for the trailer),2 sets of brake pads, and a few stretched cables.

Moral: Ride whatcha wanna ride!
Enjoy.
Peace.
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Old 11-26-12, 08:56 PM
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I rode this Trek 7200 hybrid from Mexico to Canada. I liked the riser handlebars because my hands hurt too much with my old "touring" bike. I then tried adding Aerobars and for my next 1500 mile trip (shown here) to further reduce the stress on my hands. Worked great. I also switched to 28c tires from 38c for less rolling resistance. The small chain ring is 22 tooth for the mountain passes.
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Old 11-26-12, 08:58 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate the input and you've saved me a ton of money.
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Old 11-26-12, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TheSergeant View Post
You can tour on anything--as long as you can ride the bike comfortably for more than a few hours a day. The biggest myth ever is that you need a "touring bike" to tour.

I did my last trip on a 16lbs carbon BH RX1 cyclocross and was blown away how well it worked out. We met and rode with a girl who rode from Vancouver to Los Angeles on an old mountain bike she bought at a police auction for $60. When she went into a bike shop to look for a "touring bike" they told her she couldn't tour on anything less than a Long Haul Trucker or comparable. WHAT?! That's absurd. When I rode her $60 bike I couldn't believe how stable and comfortable it was. First thing I did when I got home? Found a 1990 Novara XR and converted it to a touring bike. I'll use it on the next trip I do where speed/mileage isn't a huge concern.

Do it!

This was the Canadian's $60 ride: Soo awesome.
Look at the little chainring on the bike. Maybe it's an illusion but that think looks real small.
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Old 11-26-12, 10:48 PM
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My first touring bike was a cheap hybrid that introduced me to cycling in 1997. It served me extremely well until it was finally stolen. I then adapted a cheap hi-ten steel-framed mountain bike with front suspension as my next tourer. It served me very well.

The MTB was replaced by a Fuji Touring. I've also toured on a Ti framed road bike, which also has towed a trailer. And I now have a Thorn.

But if I wasn't able to afford to ride a dedicated touring bike, and my original hybrid was my only option, I would still use if for touring.

One thing, though. Put some bar extensions on it, or replace the handlebar with bull-horn bars or butterfly bars, just so you have additional hand positions, rather than just using the straight bars.

Replacing the front fork is not necessary if the only reason is to save weight. Even when doing inn-to-inn touring without camping, the weight is not going to be a significant issue.

Good luck with your touring adventures.
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Old 11-27-12, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I have a 2004 Gary Fisher Nirvana that I use for weekend commutes to a coffee house to catch up on work. The bike is real solid but pretty heavy (29 lbs). It has oversized aluminum tubes, 35 c tires on a 32 spoke rim, thumb shifters and 8 speed gearing with a 48/38/28 crank. I've installed fenders and a Racktime AddIt rear rack. I plan to replace the suspension fork with an aluminum or steel fork so there should be a small weight reduction.

I want to do some week long inn to inn unsupported touring. Maybe in the future I'll consider full unsupported (tent and sleeping bag) short to medium tours.

Is a hybrid suited for my needs or do I need a true touring bike like a LHT, 520 or Sojourn?

On a side note...does anyone know what the LHT, 520 and Sojourn weighs? The sites are not forthcoming on that issue.

I'm keeping a Trek hybrid for a friend who doesn't ride anymore, it sounds similar to yours. For city riding I actually like the front suspension which gives a smooth ride over bumpy surfaces w/o having fat MTB tires. It has an aluminum frame which gives a nice bit of weight savings. As long as you're happy with flat/trekking bars the Fisher seems fine eh? Personally I like drop bars for headwinds & such but many tourists use flat bars.
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Old 11-27-12, 02:34 AM
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This was my touring bike until a few years ago. It's a mountain bike from the late 1980s, so it has a lot in common with some of the hybrids of today. It was comfortable for me and it could handle almost any terrain.

My bike today is a touring bike and I carry a smaller and lighter load, but this was not a bad way to tour.

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