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List of ideal mountain bike frames for touring

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List of ideal mountain bike frames for touring

Old 12-26-12, 02:47 PM
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I havent toured on it yet but I love my 92 MB-4 for grocery hauls and general commuting. If I didn't also have a LHT I would load this gal up!

First pick was stock, second is after commuter mods.

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Old 12-26-12, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger
I havent toured on it yet but I love my 92 MB-4 for grocery hauls and general commuting. If I didn't also have a LHT I would load this gal up!

First pick was stock, second is after commuter mods.


Very nice, it has been added to the list.
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Old 12-26-12, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
I had a Trek 830 from about the same time that worked out great.

Using my high dollar, ultra-precise hardware store yardstick, my '95 Trek 830 has 435mm (17 1/8") chainstays. Give or take a couple of mm. I bought it to do a touring conversion, and as soon as I unfrak the brakes, I'll start riding it and swapping parts as I can.

I obviously haven't toured on it yet, but that's the plan.

Also, found this a few pages back, a "Show your MTB Touring Conversions Thread". I found it pretty inspirational.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...MTB-conversion

Last edited by k_randomfactor; 12-26-12 at 05:55 PM. Reason: added stuff and link
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Old 12-28-12, 03:22 PM
  #29  
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I'm curious about sizing one of these bikes--do you size them a bit larger than you would a regular MTB? Or do you just size them the same way?
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Old 12-28-12, 03:46 PM
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I go by Effective Top Tube Length, not 'size' (which is seat tube length)
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Old 12-28-12, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
I'm curious about sizing one of these bikes--do you size them a bit larger than you would a regular MTB? Or do you just size them the same way?
GNA, the way I understand it, you want to go up a size or two, and nearly maximize stand over height. Traditionally MTBs are made with a more upright posture and lots of crotch clearance, when you build it for touring, you want a little more distance between the handlebars and seat.

I am going to get a 21" frame although my MTB sizing is 19.5.
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Old 12-29-12, 04:51 PM
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I used to have a mid-80s KHS Montana that would have made a great touring bike. Lugged frame with long chainstays and the following braze-ons: 2 water bottle cage eyelets, frame pump mounts (behind the seat tube), fender mounts, rear rack eyelets, and even mid-fork eyelets for a front rack. Unfortunately, the frame I had was too small for me, so I sold it.

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Old 12-29-12, 06:31 PM
  #33  
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The only bike I've ever toured on is a Specialized Hard Rock Sport. The first one was a 1995, which was a beautiful Midnight Blue. Sadly, it was lost in a river that was nearing flood stage. After losing that I got a new one, a 1998, which I still own and which has many thousands of touring miles under its belt. The chainstay on that one is only 425 mm (16.7 inches) but I have no trouble with heel strike as long as I keep the front side of the rear panniers even with the axle, which hasn't been a problem. It has 170mm cranks and I have size 10.5 feet.

Before both of those I owned another Hard Rock which was stolen. It was a 1989 (no bikepedia listings that old) and I never toured on it, but I'm sure it would have toured as well as the other two.

ETA: When I did my first tour in 1995 my girlfriend (at the time) rode her Trek 970, which she had toured on previously. It worked very well for her. I believe it was a 1993, photo below.
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Last edited by simplygib; 12-29-12 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-30-12, 07:45 AM
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Orange seemed to have stopped making the P7 for 2013, it is a high-end steel old-skool MTB perfect for adventurous touring.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:00 AM
  #35  
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Schwinn High Sierra
Schwinn Cimarron
Raleigh Mountain Tour

All of these are set up for Mountain touring.

As far as Bridgestones, I would look for mid 80's Bridgestone as the late 80's have become very expensive and have short chainstays.

I like under chainstay u-brakes as they don't interfere with your bags.
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Old 12-31-12, 12:55 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. List updated.

Parker, what year are these bikes you mentioned?

Have you ever had any problems with the U-brakes getting filled with mud because of their positioning and losing stopping power?
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Old 12-31-12, 07:56 AM
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This Cimarron is an 86.

I have never had any issues with mud and ubrakes. I use my front brake 95 percent of the time anyway. On my rollercam brake, I have a cover for the cams that is supposed to keep mud out. If the mud is that bad it is going to be bad for your cantis too. Fenders will also get in the way.


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Old 12-31-12, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326
Schwinn High Sierra.
I toured on a 1985 High Sierra on both paved & gravel roads. Now using this 1992 Raleigh Technium mtn bike:

https://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc...pic_id=1388490
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Old 01-02-13, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Yumadons
I toured on a 1985 High Sierra on both paved & gravel roads. Now using this 1992 Raleigh Technium mtn bike:

https://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc...pic_id=1388490
Cool, nice looking setup, I have a Raleigh Technium road bike which is quite nice.

Do you know the chainstay length on the Technium?
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Old 01-02-13, 05:25 PM
  #40  
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Current, winter & utility & Touring bike that might qualify for list, is my Giant, Rincon.
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Old 01-02-13, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by steltz02
Do you know the chainstay length on the Technium?
17" It's my husband's old bike and when he used to ride it, it always looked like his heel was about to hit a pannier. People say the same thing to me, but it's never happened. We're both 5'8"
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Old 01-13-13, 06:23 PM
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I think you may have already eliminated the Trek850 from consideration but I thought I'd post my recent conversion of a 1988 Trek 850 (weird lower brakes and all)



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Old 01-13-13, 09:27 PM
  #43  
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Here's a pic of my newly completed conversion taken on my commute home yesterday. This is a 1987 Schwinn Cimarron that's been worked over. I love this bike.
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Old 01-14-13, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326
Schwinn High Sierra
Schwinn Cimarron
Raleigh Mountain Tour

All of these are set up for Mountain touring.
I'll second that. Something about the mid-80's Schwinns and Raleigh (USA) mountain bikes.

I picked up a Raleigh Crested Butte, part of the "Mountain Tour" series, a few months ago. Haven't really had a chance to test its touring abilities, but I want to use it for some dirt touring this summer.

As I got it:


After all the changes:
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Old 01-15-13, 02:01 AM
  #45  
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mparker326, thanks for posting that Cimarron photo. I picked up one of those forks at a co-op and have always wondered what it came from. Interesting frame.
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Old 01-15-13, 08:48 AM
  #46  
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OK, not quite a MTB and not a road bike. Here's my '90 Bridgestone CB-0 (CB-Zip), predecessor to the well regarded XO-1 and sometimes referred to as "the poor man's XO-1". Anyway, I built the Zip up a few years ago and now she has thousands of touring miles on her. On the road and fully loaded she can do it all. She love dirt fire trails. And when performing duties at home she's an amazing all-rounder. Sometimes she puts on her Mustache bars and pretends she a high-class bike! Anyway, here are a few pics of my CB-Zipper.

I should add that the CB-0 has double-butted Tange MTB tubing throughout and the chainstays are nice and long. She's an amazing go-anywhere touring rig.
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Old 01-15-13, 05:37 PM
  #47  
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On the lower end of the MTB rung, Ross 1000, have one, and dimensions same as Surly LHT, in 58cm, but heavier.
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Old 01-16-13, 09:57 AM
  #48  
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pre 1990 high end Fuji and KHS with lugged steel frame.
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Old 01-16-13, 12:36 PM
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If you are mostly after a frame the Nashbar Touring bike frame regularly gets as low as 80 bucks, and commonly 100. The only serious knock on it is that it looks to have been designed primarily by someone who was familiar with MTB geometry, but given the thread, I gather this would not be a negative.
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Old 01-16-13, 02:06 PM
  #50  
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I don't know my mountain bike sizing but i normally ride a 25 inch road bike I have 23 inch High Plains that i seem to have trouble getting comfortable on.(hand pain). Do I just need to mess with my cockpit some more? Do they even make older mountain frames any bigger than 23 inch?
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