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Touring on a short (ish) wheelbase bike?

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Touring on a short (ish) wheelbase bike?

Old 07-07-13, 08:27 PM
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Touring on a short (ish) wheelbase bike?

I like long wheelbase bikes for touring that have long chainstays (at least 17 inches) so that your heels don't kick your bags.

That said, I am thinking of repurposing a steel cross bike (a soma double cross) into a tourer. It measures just under 41 inches in wheelbase and the chainstays are 16 and 3/4 inches long. The bike is stout and takes a fat tire no problem (I'm running 700 by 38c tires and there is plenty of room for fenders).

Assuming I can find a rack and bag combo that allows for proper heel clearance (a little longer rack than usual and a little narrower bag should do the trick I think), is there any other downside to a short (ish) wheelbase touring bike? I plan on using front and rear bags but I'm a little concerned (perhaps unnecessarily) about a short wheelbase touring bike since all the touring bikes I know of have long chain stays. Is there a problem here?

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Old 07-07-13, 08:45 PM
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Put the bigger bags up front with the bulkier items in them. The smaller bags in back won't give you any heelstrike issues.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:13 PM
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https://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...cessories.html

Panniers like these tall, narrow ones can work to avoid heal strike.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:59 PM
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Or stuff things in a Bike trailer..
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Old 07-07-13, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Or stuff things in a Bike trailer..
This could be a good solution but I think I'm going to stick with panniers. I'm just a little skeptical that a bike trailer is as good as panniers:

https://www.rollglobal.org/2011/06/touringtrailer/

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Old 07-07-13, 10:18 PM
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Whatever , oh skeptical one .

I have a bag with Backpack straps , I can climb stairs wearing my trailer
and have the bike, no racks or bags, in my hands..

good luck ..
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Old 07-07-13, 10:20 PM
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If you get some initial heel-strike, be aware decent brands of racks (eg Tubus, Surly) offer extenders to
raise the rack height to help eliminate the issue.

https://surlybikes.com/parts/cargo/rear_rack_lower_kit
https://tubus.com/product.php?xn=35

Depending on your point of view, I imagine shorter wheelbase bikes in some circles would be described as lively, whilst others would call them twitchy.
Many of the racing bike riders that I know describe long wheelbase bikes as "dead".
Livelyness in a tourer isnt "up there" in many peoples touring bike criteria.
I say ride it and see how you go.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:51 PM
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I've gone on quite a few camping trips using my Cannondale R900 (3.0 model) that was marketed as having a criterium geometry - i.e. very short wheelbase and stays (short enough that it can't take tires wider than 26mm (wider ones hit the FD mount on the seat tube) and has lots of toe overlap even in a 60cm frame size). I only use a rear rack with panniers and a front handlebar bag (for items that I want to have quickly accessible) and haven't noticed any handling or other issues beyond the obvious ones. I.e. that I can't fit regular fenders or wide tires and have to be careful about avoiding heel strike. I just keep the panniers as far back on the rack as possible and don't put anything into the small pockets on the front of them.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whatever , oh skeptical one .

I have a bag with Backpack straps , I can climb stairs wearing my trailer
and have the bike, no racks or bags, in my hands..

good luck ..
I suspect if anyone could convince me I'm wrong on this, you could.


Originally Posted by rifraf
If you get some initial heel-strike, be aware decent brands of racks (eg Tubus, Surly) offer extenders to
raise the rack height to help eliminate the issue.

https://surlybikes.com/parts/cargo/rear_rack_lower_kit
https://tubus.com/product.php?xn=35

Depending on your point of view, I imagine shorter wheelbase bikes in some circles would be described as lively, whilst others would call them twitchy.
Many of the racing bike riders that I know describe long wheelbase bikes as "dead".
Livelyness in a tourer isnt "up there" in many peoples touring bike criteria.
I say ride it and see how you go.
I think you're right and the brand of rack will be important. Plus trying it out is always good advice.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
I've gone on quite a few camping trips using my Cannondale R900 (3.0 model) that was marketed as having a criterium geometry - i.e. very short wheelbase and stays (short enough that it can't take tires wider than 26mm (wider ones hit the FD mount on the seat tube) and has lots of toe overlap even in a 60cm frame size). I only use a rear rack with panniers and a front handlebar bag (for items that I want to have quickly accessible) and haven't noticed any handling or other issues beyond the obvious ones. I.e. that I can't fit regular fenders or wide tires and have to be careful about avoiding heel strike. I just keep the panniers as far back on the rack as possible and don't put anything into the small pockets on the front of them.
Good to know. I don't think I've ever toured on 26c tires though. I'm impressed that your rear wheel holds up well with all the weight on the back and 26c tires.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:59 AM
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What size shoe do you wear? I wear 46-47 (11 or so) and run Ortlieb Bike Packer + and no heel strike with 16 5/8 (425) chain stays. I've altered the attachment system to lower the panniers on the rack which decreased the heel clearance and still no problem.
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Old 07-08-13, 03:29 AM
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To maximise heel clearance, pick bags with a heel-cutout profile, not square profile. Pick a slidable rail/mounting hook system so you can reposition on the rack. I find that this is more significant than a long rack.
With a profiled bag, you can avoid heel clip by mounting them either higher or more rear-ward. A higher mount generally has less affect on bike handling, it is closer to the centre of gravity.
Don't use overly long cranks or shoes with overly thick and sticky-outy heel mouldings.
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Old 07-08-13, 03:58 AM
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FYI, IIRC the Jannd Expedition rear rack sets the panniers a little further back to help with heel clearance. I'm sure there are others, you might want to start another thread with that in the title if you need help with that quest.
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Old 07-08-13, 05:41 AM
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A Surly Cross Check is my touring bike. I've done nothing special and it works perfectly. Couple pictures here...

https://bikelaneends.wordpress.com/20...e-for-touring/
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Old 07-08-13, 08:27 AM
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Tubus [Logo] & Ortlieb slide in the mounting slot adjustable hooks do allow the bags to move back ..
the other way to gain heel clearance is move them up as well..

I get to use My Bags as grocery transport after/between tours, as well as my 2 wheel trailer ..

had a 1 wheel BoB, it is less practical than a 2 wheel for hauling stuff .. like the Costco trips..

Pannier in one shop, brought in, even, gets the_ use instead of the carryout bag_ discount
for filling It with the Shopping..
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Old 07-08-13, 08:44 AM
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So far you appear to be focused only on chainstay length, but think about other issues.

A cross bike may have slightly higher bottom bracket. While an unladen bike with a higher bottom bracket is not any problem, a loaded bike can be harder to get on when the seat (which is likely X distance above the bottom bracket) is higher up and the bike probably leans more to one side if you have one foot on the ground while you are still on the seat.

I am no expert on handling and frame design, but I suspect that cross bikes are designed with a rake and trail and headtube angle designed for better handling, meaning it might not hold a straight line as well when you are tired and staring down at your map instead of looking at the road, etc.

And a cross bike might have more toe overlap, if that might bother you. Toe overlap seems to bother some people and not others. Fenders which are common on touring bikes of course make toe overlap worse.

Most touring bike owners that use drop bars set the handlebar about the same height as the seat, would the cross bike offer that without needing an adapter?

Most cross bikes would not have the front mid-fork braze ons for the low rider rack.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:14 AM
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Miguel,

It'll be a bit tight, and maybe a little twitchy at slower speeds, that's all... a judicious amount of forethought about loads, pannier size, etc. and you should be just fine.

In any case... where's your tour going to take you?

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