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Run What Ya Brung, or...

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Run What Ya Brung, or...

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Old 12-07-12, 02:32 AM
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k_randomfactor
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Run What Ya Brung, or...

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and probably rolled eyes), I stepped back and reconsidered where I'm looking to go with bikes. Noob excitement and new shiny things. This time I have questions that are, I hope, a little more directed. I searched, but my search-fu is weak, so if there is a discussion I missed, please point me in the right direction.

At the end of my last thread debacle, it dawned on me that I have a perfectly serviceable bike on hand. However, subsequent searching has shown that many (most) folks don't consider it to be an ideal bike for touring. I understand that most any bike can be used for touring, and that butt in the saddle and miles under the tires are the most important criteria.

The bike is an 8yo Haro V4 hard-tail, aluminum-frame, "XC" MTB, with the obligatory 100mm suspension fork with no lock out. It was a higher end "entry level" bike, with Deore/LX level components and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. From what I've found through my reading, it was and is a fairly well regarded bike, performing well for an inexpensive ride. Nothing to write home about, but a fairly heavy-duty serviceable bike.

After reassessing, I'm perfectly OK with using this bike for touring, up to and including a planned cross country trip. Obviously, I'll need a rear rack, and am looking at a Burly trailer to haul along. It does lack the option of mounting fenders, which would probably be nice, and the front fork makes adding a front rack/panniers somewhat of a pain, as there seems to be some question as to their usefulness and feasibility on a sus fork. Hence the plan for the trailer. Plus, a trailer will let me haul Muttley along on short trips until I can train him to run alongside my bike for 100 miles/day for weeks and months on end (kidding, he'll be staying with family on long trips). Being a 75lb husky mix doesn't lend him to riding in a backpack.

I'm looking for thoughts and feasibility on these courses of action...

1- Run what you brung. Using this bike as is, or with a few upgrades, with rear rack/panniers and a trailer. The most cost effective scenario, as I should be able to do it for less than half the cost of a new assembled bike. I like this bike, but since my riding interests have changed, I don't want to sink a lot of money in to it. I almost want to use this option, just to say I did.

2- Buy a frameset/fork and cannibalize the parts from the MTB. The components aren't great, but I think they're serviceable. This option would allow me to get a frame better suited for my riding interests, and I could go with racks/panniers front and rear and forget about the trailer. Would allow upgrading later as time/money allow. This option is more expensive than option #1, but may be able to be done (parts swap, racks, bags) for less than buying a new bike without the racks etc. Would leave me with a fame set to part back together, or sell for cheap.

3- Same as #2, but look for a cheap donor bike with comparable or better components. Would allow me to keep and use the MTB and put knobbies back on it and start riding trails again. More expensive than #2, but still may be cheaper than a new set-up. Probably the least viable option, but it did come to mind.

4- Use the MTB for short to medium range trips in the mid-term, put off the longer trip for a bit, and get a new bike down the road.

#2-3 would mean a 26" disc tourer, so either a 26" Disc Trucker or a Troll, unless someone could point me in the direction of other options. The Surly Troll (I really like the clever name) would leave me with another mountain-styled bike, but it apparently has started developing a decent record as a touring bike, as well as a trail and bikepacking rig. Wouldn't be adding much, but it would give me the option for fenders and front and rear racks, plus being a steel frame bike. I do want a steel tourer.

Actually, I just kinda want a new bike (onset of N+1itis I think), but the budget is tight, and I'm willing to put it off fairly indefinitely. I'm actually trying to downsize my belongings, I'm willing to make an exception.

I think options #1 & 4 are the most realistic, but would appreciate thoughts on all of them.

I've been checking the LBSs and CL for an older bike that I could re-invent as a touring rig, but haven't seen anything. Lots of Walgooses, road racing frames, full sus MTBs, and bikes that are way to small for me.

I think these are far more realistic, and better focused, than my last (admittedly pretty silly in retrospect) which bike thread.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-12, 03:04 AM
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wait till april and buy a Bob Trailer (at REI during their 20% off spring sale) and don't worry about a rack. After that, all you need is camping gear. A 2 wheeled trailer is fine for pavement touring with a nice shoulder. I've hauled a Bob over 14,000 miles on tour now (with a mountain bike). Then you can save for a couple years, and buy another really nice mountain bike

Since you're on the east coast... a tour of the C&O will make a fine shake down
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Old 12-07-12, 05:39 AM
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nothing really wrong with that bike that would prevent touring. most important thing
is........does it fit. if so, you can tour with it.

i checked goggle images.......didn't see any haro v4 xc's with a rear rack. you might
want to find out why. no rack mounts? or are the chainstays too short, such that
your feet would hit the saddlebags.

dump the suspension fork. get a standard fork, perhaps with low-rider eyelets and
mounts for fenders.

if you want to upgrade..............think wheels.

deore/lx/tektro is just fine. they're solid and dependable. you don't need the high end
racing gear like xtr....main difference being a few grams and a hundred bucks.

your bike shop will have clip on rear fenders.
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Old 12-07-12, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by k_randomfactor View Post
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and probably rolled eyes), I stepped back and reconsidered where I'm looking to go with bikes. Noob excitement and new shiny things. This time I have questions that are, I hope, a little more directed. I searched, but my search-fu is weak, so if there is a discussion I missed, please point me in the right direction.

At the end of my last thread debacle, it dawned on me that I have a perfectly serviceable bike on hand. However, subsequent searching has shown that many (most) folks don't consider it to be an ideal bike for touring. I understand that most any bike can be used for touring, and that butt in the saddle and miles under the tires are the most important criteria.

The bike is an 8yo Haro V4 hard-tail, aluminum-frame, "XC" MTB, with the obligatory 100mm suspension fork with no lock out. It was a higher end "entry level" bike, with Deore/LX level components and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. From what I've found through my reading, it was and is a fairly well regarded bike, performing well for an inexpensive ride. Nothing to write home about, but a fairly heavy-duty serviceable bike.

After reassessing, I'm perfectly OK with using this bike for touring, up to and including a planned cross country trip. Obviously, I'll need a rear rack, and am looking at a Burly trailer to haul along. It does lack the option of mounting fenders, which would probably be nice, and the front fork makes adding a front rack/panniers somewhat of a pain, as there seems to be some question as to their usefulness and feasibility on a sus fork. Hence the plan for the trailer. Plus, a trailer will let me haul Muttley along on short trips until I can train him to run alongside my bike for 100 miles/day for weeks and months on end (kidding, he'll be staying with family on long trips). Being a 75lb husky mix doesn't lend him to riding in a backpack.

I'm looking for thoughts and feasibility on these courses of action...

1- Run what you brung. Using this bike as is, or with a few upgrades, with rear rack/panniers and a trailer. The most cost effective scenario, as I should be able to do it for less than half the cost of a new assembled bike. I like this bike, but since my riding interests have changed, I don't want to sink a lot of money in to it. I almost want to use this option, just to say I did.

2- Buy a frameset/fork and cannibalize the parts from the MTB. The components aren't great, but I think they're serviceable. This option would allow me to get a frame better suited for my riding interests, and I could go with racks/panniers front and rear and forget about the trailer. Would allow upgrading later as time/money allow. This option is more expensive than option #1, but may be able to be done (parts swap, racks, bags) for less than buying a new bike without the racks etc. Would leave me with a fame set to part back together, or sell for cheap.

3- Same as #2, but look for a cheap donor bike with comparable or better components. Would allow me to keep and use the MTB and put knobbies back on it and start riding trails again. More expensive than #2, but still may be cheaper than a new set-up. Probably the least viable option, but it did come to mind.

4- Use the MTB for short to medium range trips in the mid-term, put off the longer trip for a bit, and get a new bike down the road.

#2-3 would mean a 26" disc tourer, so either a 26" Disc Trucker or a Troll, unless someone could point me in the direction of other options. The Surly Troll (I really like the clever name) would leave me with another mountain-styled bike, but it apparently has started developing a decent record as a touring bike, as well as a trail and bikepacking rig. Wouldn't be adding much, but it would give me the option for fenders and front and rear racks, plus being a steel frame bike. I do want a steel tourer.

Actually, I just kinda want a new bike (onset of N+1itis I think), but the budget is tight, and I'm willing to put it off fairly indefinitely. I'm actually trying to downsize my belongings, I'm willing to make an exception.

I think options #1 & 4 are the most realistic, but would appreciate thoughts on all of them.

I've been checking the LBSs and CL for an older bike that I could re-invent as a touring rig, but haven't seen anything. Lots of Walgooses, road racing frames, full sus MTBs, and bikes that are way to small for me.

I think these are far more realistic, and better focused, than my last (admittedly pretty silly in retrospect) which bike thread.

Thanks.
If you want to do a shakedown in May, I am game to you want a riding partner.
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Old 12-07-12, 06:42 AM
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k_randomfactor, Nothing wrong with using the mountain bike, at least for the time being. I used my mountain bike for awhile despite no lockout for the fork and it was all good. I just prefer not to use a trailer and more importantly for me, prefer drop bars on the road.

If I'd continued to use the mountain bike I'd probably have bought another wheelset and mounted tires more suitable for the road to save wear on the dual pattern tires I use for off road.

Brad
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Old 12-07-12, 08:14 AM
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I've seen a front rack attached to a suspension fork. It is possible with the right adaptations. The weight will probably effect the fork a little. The guy I know who did so who didn't have any issues. He wasn't putting much weight up front.

As Saddlesores mentioned, Your chainstays will need to be long enough to prevent you from having heel strike issues.

If you decide to use a trailer, you shouldn't need a rear rack - The trailer will haul enough.

I'd try some short trips with the mountainbike to see how it feels. You won't need front panniers for a short trip. The fit is the most important thing. My last two mountainbikes have had short chainstays and long top tubes. They didn't work well for touring. I'm envious of all the mountainbike conversions I've seen on BF. I say check your chainstay length and if it's long enough to avoid heel strike, give it a try!
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Old 12-07-12, 08:41 AM
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Check out Old Man Mountain for racks to be used on suspension forks.

Alternately maybe try to adapt a rack by using ubolts; it might not be hard to adapt one of the Blackburn low rider clones.
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Old 12-07-12, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
I've seen a front rack attached to a suspension fork. It is possible with the right adaptations.
Old Man Mountain makes front racks for suspension forks.


If this 5' tall, 105 lb. woman can pull a trailer for 450 miles around MT, B.C. and AB using an old, heavy MTB, so can you:






P.S. Cutting to the chase will likely eliicit more responses.
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Old 12-07-12, 10:02 AM
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Y'all are not helping me justify a new bike.

The chainstays are plenty long at 17" so they should be fine, it has a 43.25" wheelbase, and the bike fits well and is comfortable as heck for me. Many moons ago when my work schedule allowed, I'd ride 20-30mi/day, 4-5 days a week, plus commuting duty, so I do have a few miles on the bike. No worries then.

RE: rack and panniers and trailers...

I have a goal on my long tour to travelogue the heck out of it, stopping and riding around cool and interesting places, so the ability to drop a trailer and use a rack/bags and a backpack, if I use this bike, for shorter included trips makes sense to me. May be thinking about it sideways, but that is my thoughts. I'm looking at a 2wheeled trailer so I can have somewhere to carry the dog on local trips. He alone is over the weight limit of a BOB trailer, so something more robust is definitely on the menu. I'd prefer a BOB, but...

There are threaded eyelets on the rear drop-outs, and unused canti bosses on the seat stays, so a rear rack shouldn't be a problem.

Since my hopes and plans include local rides, I'll probably stay with a sus fork, but see if I can upgrade to a little nicer model. This is pretty far down on the 'to do' list though.

Chefisaac, if you come through East TN, and I'm not gone myself , love to meet up for a ride. Can probably find a hot shower and a patch of rug for you as well.

So, as of now, looks like my MTB is gonna get pressed into touring duty unless I can find a smoking deal on a "touring" bike. I think I actually prefer this option, but wanted to make sure my head was in the right place.

Thanks folks.

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Old 12-07-12, 10:23 AM
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Another front suspension pannier rack mounts high , so the load is not on the suspended wheel,
at the bottom, is Tubus Swing..http://www.tubus.com/product.php?xn=65

Though as you seem less thrilled about the no lockout fork,
get one which is made to replace it..

Trekking Bars are a nice Quick swap, on MTB's, might just need a different Stem,
maybe optimize the Height and reach.. all the control levers will migrate..

does not have to have 700c 35 tired wheels to be a tour bike..

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Old 12-07-12, 01:09 PM
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k_randomfactor, Be careful of which rack you choose as some can be difficult to use the canti studs. Typical rack (Blackburn) on my mountain bike and one designed to use the canti studs on my tourer (Old Man Mountain):


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Old 12-07-12, 03:16 PM
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The Haro looks like a fine candidate for touring, especially if you're going to go on unpaved roads or rough surfaces.

THe first thing I'd check is whether it's possible to swap out the front fork for a rigid fork. Ask at the bike shop and consider the cost of making this swap. This is not essential and it might not be feasible, but it can't hurt to check.If you go this route, keep the suspension fork so you can swap back in the future.

Also, for touring you will find the wide knobby mountain bike tires are not your best choice. If you can go with narrower tires with more of a road tread, using the same wheels and rims, go for it. Again, have a good long talk with the people at your bike shop.

If you go with a trailer, I used a Burley trailer during a tour in summer and I was impressed. As another option, are you able to mount a rack on the bike? This would be my choice, especially for short and medium distance tours.
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Old 12-07-12, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Another front suspension pannier rack mounts high , so the load is not on the suspended wheel,
at the bottom, is Tubus Swing..http://www.tubus.com/product.php?xn=65

Though as you seem less thrilled about the no lockout fork,
get one which is made to replace it..

Trekking Bars are a nice Quick swap, on MTB's, might just need a different Stem,
maybe optimize the Height and reach.. all the control levers will migrate..

does not have to have 700c 35 tired wheels to be a tour bike..
I'll look into the Swinger mounts , and I was already thinking about a trekking bar. Nashbar has them for $22. Seems like a good investment.

I really haven't had a problem with no lock out on the fork, but it was brought up several times as a concern. I'll see how I do with the one I have for now.

Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
k_randomfactor, Be careful of which rack you choose as some can be difficult to use the canti studs. Typical rack (Blackburn) on my mountain bike and one designed to use the canti studs on my tourer (Old Man Mountain):

Brad
Brad, I have the option for either, so is one attaching method preferred or more robust? I like the the looks of the OMM, and they seem to get good reviews.

NPG, I foresee some unimproved roads, and crappy pavement on my tours. Maybe even some local trails while out. It's good to hear good reviews on the Burly, but I'm still undecided as to racks/bags front and rear (probably start there) or rear rack and a trailer. Lots of advantages to each. I'll have to cogitate on it some more.

Thanks for the continued fed back folks.
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Old 12-07-12, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by k_randomfactor View Post
..Brad, I have the option for either, so is one attaching method preferred or more robust? I like the the looks of the OMM, and they seem to get good reviews...
Other than fitment it really doesn't matter. The rack's top mount primarily maintains stability with little load carrying stress.

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Old 12-08-12, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
Other than fitment it really doesn't matter. The rack's top mount primarily maintains stability with little load carrying stress.

Brad
Thanks. I like the OMM racks, so if it doesn't much matter, I'll probably go with them.
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Old 12-11-12, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
i checked goggle images.......didn't see any haro v4 xc's with a rear rack. you might
want to find out why. no rack mounts?
Sorry to bring this back up, but an update to Saddlesores' question re: lack of racks on the Haro V4...

Other than, I assume, the lack of people using this XC bike for commuting/touring duty, a normal rack fits... poorly. I pulled a Topeak Explorer rack off an old Trek 830 I picked up this past weekend, and the drop-out mounted rear disc brakes got in the way of the bottom leg. I'm guessing that a disc compatible rack would work, and will check with OMM to see if this is the case, but a OTS LBS rack, or the Topeak anyway, doesn't work with this set-up on this bike.

A BOB trailer may be in my future.
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Old 12-12-12, 01:14 AM
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(#10) .. the front bag set For stuff you dig into often, + a BOB or Xtrawheel* trailer
should be a decent sized load..
*[ trailer wheel same size as the front of the bike, carries rear panniers]
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Old 12-12-12, 04:40 AM
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k_randomfactor, You may've already bought a 'new' touring bike and not know it.

http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/bike/trek830.cfm

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Old 12-12-12, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
k_randomfactor, You may've already bought a 'new' touring bike and not know it.

http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/bike/trek830.cfm

Brad
The thought did cross my mind , but upgrading the comp set, unless I cannibalize the Haro, is gonna make it a little pricey. The frame is in great shape, and it came with lightly ridden Schwalbe Marathons and front and rear racks, but the Alivio group set is a little worse for wear. Actually, the guy I bought the bike off had used the bike for touring before he put it in storage.

The price was decent, not great but good for the area, so I thought "what the heck". I don't have a box'o'parts to dig into, so I'll have to buy or trade for the necessaries. I've wanted an old steel frame a while, and figured it would make a cool long term project, but buying a new parts set will cut into my tour budget.

I'm willing to be convinced to swap parts off and build the Haro back it up if y'all think that would be a worthwhile course. The 830 will still need a few things (new wheelset topping the list), but that shouldn't be too terribly expensive.

I found the MTB conversion thread 4 or 5 pages back last night, and got inspired.

Fietsbob, that is the idea I was considering, trailer plus, for use with the Haro. Thanks bud.
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Old 12-12-12, 10:02 AM
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you can try one of these smaller front racks, mounts on canti studs.

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...&id=9344477270

i got one of these to replace my lowriders, just plan to carry
a 2-liter (square plastic jug) of water.
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Old 12-12-12, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you can try one of these smaller front racks, mounts on canti studs.

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...&id=9344477270

i got one of these to replace my lowriders, just plan to carry
a 2-liter (square plastic jug) of water.
FWIW: That same rack or one that looks exactly like it has been sold in the US under the Nashbar and Sunlite brand names.

I like it a lot and have used it to carry my handlebar bag rather than bar mounting it. I have also used it as a rear rack when travelling with minimal ultralight camping gear. These racks have held up well for me. I have never put a great deal of weight on them, but I think one could handle my full ultralight gear load (between 10 and 15 pounds) if necessary.
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Old 12-12-12, 10:11 PM
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That seems like it would be a good addition to go with a trailer, ready access/daily stuff on that, big stuff on the trailer.

Have to keep that one in mind.

Thanks for the continued help folks!
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