Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Hard tail or Soft Tail with lockout suspension for touring.

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Hard tail or Soft Tail with lockout suspension for touring.

Old 10-13-13, 10:08 PM
  #1  
prodgers
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hard tail or Soft Tail with lockout suspension for touring.

I'm buying a mtb and am having a hard decision on the tail part of the bike. I do a lot of up and downhill mountain biking, but the problem is that I want to do a coast to coast adventure this coming summer. Is it wise to buy a soft tail bike with a lockout suspension for touring across country? Could I be able to carry panniers on the back, or would I have to buy a buggy to pull my gear. I want to take dirt/paved roads and want to sturdy bike that won't break in the middle of no where. Thanks for any advice you guys can give me!
prodgers is offline  
Old 10-13-13, 10:12 PM
  #2  
rebel1916
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get a hardtail.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 10-13-13, 10:15 PM
  #3  
prodgers
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That's what I figured. Thanks!
prodgers is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 12:05 AM
  #4  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,613

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6757 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 164 Times in 140 Posts
If you tow a trailer with your gear in it you can take any bike

you can stand to ride day after day.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 02:12 AM
  #5  
3speed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,311
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Do some research. In other words, do searches and read for Hours, because you're asking a very simple question for someone who's going to try to ride across the country. You should have some more basic knowledge before going on such a trip. After that, you'll know which bike you should buy.
3speed is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 03:48 AM
  #6  
jbphilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You could do what I do an get a Surly Troll (or Ogre, or Salsa Fargo) and put a suspension fork on if you want it. They're great as on/off road touring rigs and you can attach whatever you want.
jbphilly is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 05:27 AM
  #7  
jolly_ross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hardtail 29er. Thudbuster seatpost. Take spare elastomers.
jolly_ross is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 08:50 AM
  #8  
rebel1916
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Honestly, for dirt roads, you don't even need a suspension fork. A good quality CF fork will do fine and save substantial money and weight. If you plan on using a rack on the front, a steel fork might be your best choice.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 09:07 AM
  #9  
jbphilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depends on the dirt road and your tolerance for absorbing shocks/vibrations. But for that matter, you can ride singletrack with a rigid fork too.
jbphilly is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 09:12 AM
  #10  
rebel1916
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
Depends on the dirt road and your tolerance for absorbing shocks/vibrations. But for that matter, you can ride singletrack with a rigid fork too.
Yeah, I am assuming regular unpaved roads, not fire/jeep roads. And I dont think anyone considering a full squish for touring is gonna be riding singletrack on a rigid. So I was aiming my advice with that in mind.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 09:17 AM
  #11  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,449

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3315 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 23 Posts
Unless you are riding true MTB trails then you don't need an MTB at all. Go for a hybrid, cross or touring bike if your touring is going to be on bike paths and unpaved roads.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 10:34 AM
  #12  
escii_35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: PNW lifer
Posts: 553

Bikes: 2007 C-dale 63cm T series. My 1994 was a better design 1994 Bianchi 61cm El/OS Sachs 2004 Rodreguiz 26' UTB touring thing

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For bad tar roads the best thing I have come across is the soft ride suspension stem. I can't give it a thumbs up on single track or in the soft.

Im still on the lookout for a reasonably priced lockable fork. The maverick sc32 looked so cool but was expensive and used a proprietary hub.
escii_35 is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 10:45 AM
  #13  
cplager
The Recumbent Quant
 
cplager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 3,078

Bikes: 2012 Cruzbike Sofrider, 2013 Cruzigami Mantis, 2016 Folding CruziTandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
IF you only have one bike and IF you can lock out the front and rear suspension, then it's only additional weight. But one usually won't want to do serious single track riding with the same bike they tour. And you certainly aren't going to want to tour with knobby tires.

So, long-story-short: what they ^^^^ said.
cplager is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 11:44 AM
  #14  
mtn.cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Gypsum, CO
Posts: 289

Bikes: Litespeed Obed, Cannondale Scalpel, Spcialized AWOL, Litespeed Solano, Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's my ti hardtail 29er in touring dress. It works great for all surfaces. Road tires are installed now. Lockout fork. A tire change and it's ready for expedition touring or off road (mt. bike) riding. It is my only single bike.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
moto01.jpg (102.4 KB, 33 views)

Last edited by mtn.cyclist; 10-14-13 at 11:46 AM. Reason: I want to add more
mtn.cyclist is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 06:31 PM
  #15  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,636
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1306 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 23 Posts
Hardtail with 700c and 26" wheels for different terrain.



alan s is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 07:04 PM
  #16  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,287

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2417 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 80 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Unless you are riding true MTB trails then you don't need an MTB at all. Go for a hybrid, cross or touring bike if your touring is going to be on bike paths and unpaved roads.
I could show you some dirt roads that go to very interesting places that you wouldn't want to ride on a rigid bike. These aren't mountain bike trails nor are they 4 wheel drive roads but they wouldn't be pleasant on a rigid bike. Having a suspension fork with a lock out and a short travel rear suspension could really open up the world to a touring cyclist.

My personal favorite for that kind of touring is a Moots YBBeat. It's a real mountain bike but it works marvelously for dirt road touring.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 10-14-13, 09:00 PM
  #17  
3speed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,311
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I could show you some dirt roads that go to very interesting places that you wouldn't want to ride on a rigid bike.
Not likely(assuming we're sticking to the topic of touring, not mountain biking). I wouldn't want to do steep, rocky climbs and descents, drops-offs, etc, with a bike loaded for touring. If that's not the kind of trail you're talking about then there's no reason to have suspension other than medical reasons/age. It's a matter of noticeably weighing you down and sucking up your energy. Suspension is good for allowing you to maintain traction while going fast over bumpy terrain, or absorbing larger impacts(jumps/drop-offs), neither of which I'm trying to do while on a loaded tour. I could see where a suspension seat post could be an asset depending on the trail.
3speed is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 06:01 AM
  #18  
jbphilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
(assuming we're sticking to the topic of touring, not mountain biking).
Not mutually exclusive!

I think people tend to view "touring" as a road-based, four-pannier-loaded activity, and mountain biking as something completely distinct (see the comment above "you certainly aren't going to want to tour with knobby tires"). But plenty of people are combining the two, usually calling it "bikepacking." Whatever you call it, touring on rough dirt roads or even singletrack is certainly a thing, people just usually do it with less gear and, of course, different bikes than the traditional road touring setup.

This dichotomy might be causing some confusion to the OP, who seems to be looking to do a mix of "traditional" touring and off-road (probably more mountain-bikey) touring.

Incidentally, the OP (and others) may be interested in my favorite blog, www.whileoutriding.com. It's one of the ones that helped me realize off-road touring was even something to think about and could be a lot of fun...
jbphilly is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 06:17 AM
  #19  
jolly_ross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
My personal favorite for that kind of touring is a Moots YBBeat. It's a real mountain bike but it works marvelously for dirt road touring.
I've never ridden a YBB but I would very much like one.

Alternatively you could buy 6 different bikes and have someone follow you along carrying the other 5 in a helicopter. This would probably cost about the same as a Moots. ; )
jolly_ross is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 06:23 AM
  #20  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,287

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2417 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 80 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Not likely(assuming we're sticking to the topic of touring, not mountain biking). I wouldn't want to do steep, rocky climbs and descents, drops-offs, etc, with a bike loaded for touring. If that's not the kind of trail you're talking about then there's no reason to have suspension other than medical reasons/age. It's a matter of noticeably weighing you down and sucking up your energy. Suspension is good for allowing you to maintain traction while going fast over bumpy terrain, or absorbing larger impacts(jumps/drop-offs), neither of which I'm trying to do while on a loaded tour. I could see where a suspension seat post could be an asset depending on the trail.
The roads I'm talking about are roads that you can drive a car over. You can't do it fast but you don't need a high clearance vehicle to travel on them. That doesn't mean that they are smooth and graded. Suspension on a bicycle helps on those.

Prodgers also seems to want to travel a bit off the beaten path. You may not want to do that but, for his purposes, a suspended bike might be a reasonable choice. I've done similar types of tours...this one for example. I did it on a rigid mountain bike over about 5 days and it took 6 weeks for me to get the feeling back in my hands. Suspension would have made the tour much better. None of the roads on the route were beyond the capability of a family sedan to negotiate.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 10:42 AM
  #21  
jbphilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Hardtail with 700c and 26" wheels for different terrain.


How does that Troll ride with 700c wheels?
jbphilly is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 11:29 AM
  #22  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,636
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1306 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
How does that Troll ride with 700c wheels?
Marathon Supremes (700x35) are faster than the BAs (26x2.35) on smooth pavement, but slower on rough roads, dirt and gravel. Also faster climbing and accelerating. The overall diameter of the tires is almost identical, so no noticeable difference in handling. Tire weight and wind resistance accounts for the differences on road, and volume allows the BAs to run faster offroad. Really changes the feel of the bike. Difference of probably 1.5 lbs of tires and tubes. Don't know what the extra air weighs.
alan s is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 01:54 PM
  #23  
MassiveD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tout Terrain has a suspended bike that works with panniers as far the the panniers not moving up and down with the wheels.

http://www.en.tout-terrain.de/bicycl...ricana-xplore/
MassiveD is offline  
Old 10-15-13, 10:51 PM
  #24  
rebel1916
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The roads I'm talking about are roads that you can drive a car over. You can't do it fast but you don't need a high clearance vehicle to travel on them. That doesn't mean that they are smooth and graded. Suspension on a bicycle helps on those.
Use your knees and elbows, my good man.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 10-16-13, 07:50 AM
  #25  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,287

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2417 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 80 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Use your knees and elbows, my good man.
I know how to use my knees and elbows. That only works for a while until the body gets pounded to bits. Suspension just lets you ride further with less discomfort (and better control)
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.