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What to look for in a used bike for touring?

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What to look for in a used bike for touring?

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Old 07-05-13, 08:44 AM
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tristpinsm
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What to look for in a used bike for touring?

Hi, I will be embarking on a cycling tour of northern Italy and Belgium/Netherlands this summer and am looking for the right bike to bring along. I want to buy a used bike, and I've been looking through classifieds such as Craigslist and Kijiji (I'm in Montreal), but I would like some guidance as to what to look for specifically in a bike intended for touring. Should I be worrying about the frame geometry for example?

I've seen many Peugeots (http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-...AdIdZ501040529 http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-...AdIdZ483109089) and this Nakamura caught my eye : http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-...AdIdZ501018923 . But I'm not entirely sure which, if any, would be most appropriate, or if they are reasonably priced.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-05-13, 11:21 AM
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Bezalel
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Stay away from Peugeot, they are bult to French standards which are obsolete and getting parts are difficult even with the resourses of the Internet and impossible while on tour.
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Old 07-05-13, 01:32 PM
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ak08820
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Look for the essential braze-ons for attaching bottle cages (at least 2 if not 3 sets), racks (some place below the saddle), fenders (near the axles of both wheels).
It will be nice to have 2 braz-ons on the fork for a lowrider front rack. Some bikes also have a third set of bottle cage mounts on the downtube on the front side.
Avoid suspension - front and rear for touring. Look for as much clearance as possible between the seat tube and the rear wheel. It will allow to install a fender and longer chainstays will insure heel clearance from the rear panniers. Most road bikes don't have adequate clearance.
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Old 07-05-13, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bezalel View Post
Stay away from Peugeot, they are bult to French standards which are obsolete and getting parts are difficult even with the resourses of the Internet and impossible while on tour.
This is true for older Peugots, however some time in the early eighties they adopted english standards. There are some experts on the Classic and Vintage forum who could tell you what that bike is and whether it is built to French or International standards. Otherwise, the one pictured looks good. Touring can mean a lot of different things: bike camping with all the gear, or hostelling or staying in hotels or B&Bs. This should guide your choice of bike. Where you intend to tour in Italy is important, along the Po river valley, it is flat elsewhere you have to prepare for mountains. But you can tour on all sorts of bikes.
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Old 07-05-13, 03:58 PM
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"What to look for in a used bike for touring?"

I know it's elemental but the most important thing........make sure the frame fits you. All else can be changed out as needed.
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Old 07-05-13, 04:49 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies! I will be mostly on flat terrain (Venice-Milan in Italy). One of the Peugeots I linked to seems like it might be a good choice : http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-...AdIdZ483109089 . It is well-equipped and seems to be in good shape, and I might be able to barter down the price. Any thoughts? The Nakamura seemed good as well, but maybe it's less appropriate for touring?

In any case, I'll keep looking.
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Old 07-05-13, 06:13 PM
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I'd take a look at this Mikado Gaspé:
http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...AdIdZ501120058

Hard to tell anything from the picture, but some of the Mikados are pretty decent. See first of all if it fits, and take it from there.


Edit:
I think this might have 27 inch wheels, which are a little out of date, and a bit awkward to update.

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Old 07-05-13, 07:12 PM
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OP: Suggest hitting the Surly Long Haul Trucker web page and search on this forum for similar discussions on it. Then either go buy a used or a new one (should be able to find both in a week or so of looking)... Or find a bike that has similar characteristics and features to the LHT. Note that the Surly's have a strong fan club and a strong hate club. Recommend ignoring both of the extremists groups.

If you begin to want toward building your own; even if you pickup a $99 frame, you will still end up in the same price range as a new LHT ($1,200 to $1,400 and up), so it begs the question of such is a viable path.

But either way, add lighting, fenders, bottles, tool kit, spare tire/tube, etc., if the bike you pick is not so equipped already.

If you are going to need panniers, handlebar bag, a tent, a sleeping bag, a camp stove, pots/pans, a camp light, etc., then start making a list of those as they add up to a sizable total cost (probably $600->$1,000 and up for a full set of the add-on bling most folks need for touring). Ignore that if you are doing a credit card tour.

Hope that helps

/K
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Old 07-05-13, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ak08820 View Post
Look for the essential braze-ons for attaching bottle cages (at least 2 if not 3 sets), racks (some place below the saddle), fenders (near the axles of both wheels).
I know it's elemental but the most important thing........make sure the frame fits you. All else can be changed out as needed.
Start with these 2.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:52 PM
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What to look for in a used bike for touring?
I look for old mountain bikes, like very early 90's or even better late 80's. These have longer chainstays and virtually the same geometry as modern touring bikes, as well as gearing appropriate for loaded touring. Like this Bridgestone MB-3 on PDX CL:
http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/bik/3904847514.html

See all that space between the seat tube and rear tire? = long chainstays. Better handling loaded, and reduces the likelihood of heelstrike on your rear panniers.

Other than that, I'm looking for eyelets at the forks for mounting fenders and racks. Any other eyelets or mounting points are a bonus, there are work-arounds if those are missing.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 07-06-13 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-07-13, 12:10 AM
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If you can, ride it with your anticipated load down a really long and steep hill. See how it feels (i.e., does it wobble much?). Are your heels going to hit your panniers?
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