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Suggestions for a bike suitable for touring?

Old 08-01-13, 11:29 AM
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Suggestions for a bike suitable for touring?

I'm looking for a bike to use for touring Britain to Germany. It obviously has to be strong, comfy and able to carry paniers. I'd of course like to use it in the future from similar trips. On a pretty tight budget, so looking for something under 400, and I'm assuming I'll have to purchase paniers etc. on top of that. I wondered if anyone had any suggestions? I've looked around but I don't know a huge amount about cycling so having a hard time determining what is actually suitable for my needs. For what I can gather I won't be able to get a touring bike at that price, but wondered if a hybrid would suit me fine?
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Old 08-01-13, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by spras
but wondered if a hybrid would suit me fine?
A non-shocked hybrid can be an inexpensive, comfortable bike for touring. Used or new as long as it's mechanically sound. It does need bolt taps for a rear/front rack and for fenders if you want them. You don't want a heavy shock fork unless for very rough roads or trails.

There are several types of bars that can be used if the stock bar proves uncomfortable for back-to-back 70 km days.

Garages are filled with unridden hybrids. Check the local classifieds for the used one that fits you. Fit is First.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 08-01-13 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 08-01-13, 07:51 PM
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any bike you are comfortable riding all day.. and will carry your kit.


Touring is the trip, not the bike. hybrid is like a touring bike enough to be fine..

Trekking figure 8 bars are a good simple swap for the straight ones.. Popular kit over there..

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Old 08-01-13, 07:51 PM
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spras, Welcome to the forum.

There is also the used bicycle market. How much weight are you planning to carry?

Brad
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Old 08-02-13, 03:48 PM
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In highschool, we never knew about touring bikes or mtn bikes, and the only racing bike we ever saw was on TV.
We toured on what we had... Single speed department store bikes with coaster brakes. The guys who had paper routes had huge baskets on the front. The rest of us carried stuff in backpacks.

Oh year, almost forgot. We always had a headwind and always were riding uphill in temperatures above 90F

The message here is that anything will work for your first try. Invest more if your passion for touring developes.
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Old 08-02-13, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by skilsaw
The message here is that anything will work for your first try. Invest more if your passion for touring developes.
This^^^^
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Old 08-04-13, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
spras, Welcome to the forum.

There is also the used bicycle market. How much weight are you planning to carry?

Brad
Thanks for all the helpful messages.

I'm aware touring is about the tour not the bike and am used to doing these sorts of things with, er, sub-standard kit. But since I need to get some sort of bike anyway I figure it is worth asking around and getting it right within my budget.

Haven't weighed up kit yet, but I would think 25kg is reasonable? I would usually carry near this in a backpack if hiking overnight, don't see why I'd need much more stuff than that?

My parents have an old touring bike. Steel frame, maybe 30 years old. Is this likely to be suitable if I have it serviced? Or am I going to get to Belgium and hate it? Was somewhat worried about the weight of the bike, but it might be a cheaper alternative to buying.
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Old 08-04-13, 05:17 AM
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You might try checking the used market for a Thorn touring bicycle.


But as for the old touring bicycle you already have ... fix it up, and ride it for a few months and see how you like it. Do some short tours with it, loaded with the gear you're planning to take, to get a feel for the handling.
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Old 08-04-13, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
You might try checking the used market for a Thorn touring bicycle.


But as for the old touring bicycle you already have ... fix it up, and ride it for a few months and see how you like it. Do some short tours with it, loaded with the gear you're planning to take, to get a feel for the handling.
I agree. Even if you have a less than excellent experience, you'll learn what changes to make to this or another touring bike.

Brad
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Old 08-04-13, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by spras
My parents have an old touring bike. Steel frame, maybe 30 years old.
One challenge with a bike that old is that lots of standard sizes and components have shifted. An old bike is likely to have 27 inch tires vs today's 700C. The rear hub is probably a freewheel vs today's freehub. Etc. You can find tires in the old sizes but not a big selection. Ebay of course for old parts. But probably you don't want to invest a lot in an old bike unless you want to get into the whole vintage thing and the bike is worth the bother. Which of course it just might be!

My brother and I resurrected our parents' 40 yr old Schwinns and had good fun on the Schuylkill rail trail. Mostly a lot of WD-40, new tires, tighten up the spokes. Really ought to get new brake pads but hey the old ones worked!

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Old 08-06-13, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for the advice.

I have another question only tangentially related to this (but seemed silly to create a new topic). Anyone who has cycled in Europe (specifically France/Germany/Belgium/Netherlands) is it worth booking campsites before hand (meaning I would have to reach certain points at certain times) or am I likely to just be able to show up and get a spot on the day in mid-September time? Forgive me if this is covered elsewhere, I have looked for the relevant advice on this but have so far come up short.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:29 PM
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because they have restrained corporate power, Europe has paid Holidays by Law.

often August is the month companies go in low staff to none mode, and everyone goes on Holiday at once.


Get to towns , visit the Tourist information centers and ask , they will help you find lodging.


It's what they are there For. I used them , pre WWW, mobile/cell phone and i things.
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Old 08-12-13, 08:34 AM
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Would my '84 miyata 710 suffice as a good starter touring bike? Thinking about planning a trip from Seattle to Anchorage. Is this bike capable enough? Will the 5-speed/downtube shifting be a serious pain?

I put 1'1/8 inch tire on it (original was 1'), but I doubt that would count as a "fat" tire. As it is however, there is barely any clearance for fenders by my reckoning. There are braze mount for the rack and fenders though.

Last edited by CenturionIM; 08-12-13 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 08-12-13, 08:43 AM
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I like the OP's idea of fixing up his parent's old bike. I don't think the parts problem is much of a problem in a region thick with bike shops. I've done a similar tour but headed south through limburg to go through the moselle river valley. Beautiful but you will do some climbing. I doubt you'll have much of a problem with campsites in Sept.; I liked touring during Sept. and Oct. for that reason. Also, I'd do some reverse thinking when it comes to campsites. I had a michelin guide and went only to campsites that had one star or less! That way you avoid the fancy ones designed for caravans and generally end up in a more scenic spot. At least your neighbors won't have electricity to blast you with music.
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Old 08-12-13, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CenturionIM
Would my '84 miyata 710 suffice as a good starter touring bike? Thinking about planning a trip from Seattle to Anchorage. Is this bike capable enough? Will the 5-speed/downtube shifting be a serious pain?

I put 1'1/8 inch tire on it (original was 1'), but I doubt that would count as a "fat" tire. As it is however, there is barely any clearance for fenders by my reckoning. There are braze mount for the rack and fenders though.
[IMG]URL="https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=306436&d=1364095444[/IMG]
You probably want to start a separate thread on this topic. The tire size is acceptable (if not optimal) for road riding; not a good choice if you are going on gravel roads. The bike is undergeared for the trip; it is one thing to go up a mountain on that bike unladen and another thing entirely to do that with 30 lbs of gear. Heel strike can be a problem with a short chainstay. A longish rear rack will help (like the Jandd expedition) but stability may be an issue on that bike.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:59 AM
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here's some pics of it. I've been unable to get back to my parents to look at it myself but I'm informed its in working order. My problem, however, is the same as the above: its only 5-speed. On the one hand I'm worried this might cause me some difficulty, on the other I'm unwilling to spend hundreds of pounds on buying a bike just for gears. I've yet to look in to the geography of my proposed route in detail but I am unaware of any major climbing sections beyond the odd hill (as I will be sticking to the north, through the low countries and in to Germany), so perhaps it would not be so much of an issue?
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Old 08-13-13, 06:54 AM
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If it fits you then go for it!

The only thing I would definitely change is the handlebars. When you're touring you will want more than just the one hand position that is offered by those.

My first tour was a 500 mile tour on a bike out of my neighbors garage. It's definitely doable, but make sure everything is in good shape on the bike!
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Old 08-13-13, 10:17 AM
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Yup definitely thinking about changing the handlebars (pending being able to find parts that fit!). Was hoping to get something like the bars CenturionIM has on their bike above, would they be more suitable?
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Old 08-13-13, 10:42 AM
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spras, Once you have the bike I suggest taking care of two items. Fitment and maintenance. Insure that the bike is in good enough condition for the trip (bearings, wheels and drivetrain) and anything to make you more comfortable.

25 kg maybe a bit much, try to trim the weight.

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Old 08-13-13, 11:16 AM
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Is there any rule of thumb for a max weight to take cycling? Or is it just determined by whatever doesn't make you fall over or prevent you going up hills? Haven't weighed my gear yet but was going by hiking weights (max 1/3rd bodyweight or 25kg, whichever is lower - and I've usually taken gear at the upper end of that weight limit)
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Old 08-13-13, 07:28 PM
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spras, Gear on a bicycle is dead weight that pounds the bike each and every bump. Gear in a back pack is cushioned by the hiker. If you need to carry 25 kg, then try to split the front and rear load with more on the front as the rear wheel normally carries more weight than the front when unloaded.

Your bike maybe as robust as a modern expedition level touring bike, but it looks like it isn't, I can be wrong, of course.

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Old 08-15-13, 08:01 AM
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I'd get a second hand steel mountain bike, something like an On-One Inbred. Whack some road tyres and a rack on it and you've got a great bike suitable for touring. Check out some advice on picking a bike for touring here
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