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Touring on a comfort bike?

Old 07-30-13, 06:56 PM
  #1  
kjmillig
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Touring on a comfort bike?

4 1/2 years ago I started riding a hybrid bike for commuting and leisurely rides. Then I got a comfort bike. Wow! What a difference. I've always had hand circulatory problems while riding on drop handlebars even with a variety of gloves, pads, bars, etc, having to change hand positions every few minutes. Sitting more upright has changed that. Now I have no hand pain or numbness and even my butt feels better.
Question is, who here tours on a comfort bike (or less aggressive hybrid)? I've even seen a couple of YouTube videos recommending it. I'd love to hear others' experiences.
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Old 07-30-13, 07:03 PM
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You can tour on anything that makes you comfortable. You probably won't move too fast but if you don't care and your touring partners don't care then no one cares.

The only issue is that depending on the configuration of your bike, it might be difficult to mount a front pannier, so you might need to limit the gear you can carry but if you just want to credit card tour then no bike deal.
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Old 07-30-13, 07:10 PM
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There trade-offs of course. It's nice to be able to get low in a headwind. A posture that is too upright makes it difficult to engage the gluteus muscles. But for touring it is also important to be comfortable, to be able to ride for many hours, day after day.

I mostly just dream about touring but last year I did get to ride the Erie Canal, 400 miles in 8 days. Fully supported tour so didn't have to carry much of anything on the bike, level route, and not so much mileage. But I was comfortable enough!

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Old 07-30-13, 07:16 PM
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I've done two self-supported weeklong tours on a Cannondale Adventure 400, and loved it. You can read about them at
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...he-GAP-C-amp-O (details of the rides really start at post #18 ) and
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tion-in-Quebec

Here's the bike kitted out:
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Old 07-30-13, 07:32 PM
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It sounds like the question is really about the handlebars. I changed the handlebars on my touring bike from drops to "Bosco Bars" this year after using them on my new "hybrid" last year. They provide a much better range of positions than drops, a very good aero position on the front and none of the nerve endings that gave me trouble with drops or straight bars have bothered me since.

Marc

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Old 07-30-13, 07:56 PM
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Handlebars are certainly important but also their position. The height is the main thing but also one can have them far out in front of the saddle or closer in. Generally higher and closer will be more comfortable but how to get the right combination... lots of subtlety!
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Old 07-30-13, 08:00 PM
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Tour on whatever you're most comfortable. What matters is that it's mechanically sound, has a low granny gear, flat resistant tires, and will accept a rear rack.
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Old 08-01-13, 06:54 AM
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This is my current setup. I have Shimano M-324 pedals but use the platforms for daily commuting. I have yet to install a front rack. Any suggestions for one that has a top platform, can accept low rider panniers, and mounts to a suspended front end?
Jeneralist, what front rack do you have?
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Old 08-01-13, 07:20 AM
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There are a lot of stories, even books about people in the last 100 years touring on bikes that are what we would call hybrids, upright rider, balloon tires and comfortable swept back handlebars. If THEY can do it on these old steel clunkers then YOU can certainly do it on a modern lighter weight hybrid.

At some point comfort is going to have to trump efficiency as far as rider comfort, where that is at is up to you, if it's on the more comfort / hybrid end of the scale or on the road bike end. Efficiency can only get you so far when you are hurting and uncomfortable.

Go for it!
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Old 08-01-13, 07:25 AM
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You can tour on anything and I do. My bikes range from full rack drop bar touring bikes to a vintage Raleigh Twenty folder 3 speed.

As long as it fits, is comfortable and in decent mechanical condition you can tour on it. Will you do 100 miles days? Doubt it, but even with my "tour" bike I seldom exceed 60 miles a day, and I have done that on my Raleigh Twenty more than a couple of times. My usual daily average is 40-50 miles regardless of the bike I am riding.

Here is a link to a guy that has/is touring around the midwest on a Trek Bellvue 3 speed! And having a great time doing it.

Aaron
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Old 08-01-13, 03:33 PM
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My bike is pretty comfortable. It's certainly not set up for speed, so it better be comfortable.

The bars are higher than the seat.
I have those "wacky" trekking bars.
Heck, I even have suspension - that's crazy to tour on.

I've started to tour on it. I like it. Maybe it's not the "ideal" touring bike, but it works for me.

Try riding your bike for long distances, several days in a row, and you'll find out if your bike will work for you.

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Old 08-01-13, 04:33 PM
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Bgraham,

I love the trekking bars. Where (if anywhere) do you put a rear-view mirror?
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Old 08-01-13, 07:48 PM
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I love the trekking bars. Where (if anywhere) do you put a rear-view mirror?
on your head., or turn around, and look.
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Old 08-01-13, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
Bgraham,

I love the trekking bars. Where (if anywhere) do you put a rear-view mirror?
I had a ultralight mirro on my last bikes trekking bars and it worked great
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