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touring bike

Old 11-06-13, 04:16 PM
  #1  
rattled to deth
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touring bike

Hello,

I have been riding for most of my life but only recently have gotten into the really technical aspects of biking (material,angles,componentry) I am even newer to road specific bikes. I plan to ride from southern Georgia to northern Oregon starting September or October of 2014. My route will go south to the gulf coast, ,then following the coast I'll ride to my friends house in Texas. After Texas I'll ride west to the pacific and ride the pacific north to my abode in Oregon. I plan on being pretty dependent. I'll visit towns and cities but I want to stay out on the earth most of the time so I'll have quite a bit of equipment food and water. I expect a 60-80 pound load, I am 6' and fluctuate between 190-205 lbs depending on the amount of beer and pizza I am consuming at the time. My bike is a 2013 Specialized secteur expert disc with white lizard skin bartape and a toupe seat with crank brothers candy 2 pedals. It has eyelets on the fork and seatstays. I am skeptical of this bikes ability to handle such a trip with the weight and abuse it will inevitably have to endure. Can this bike handle this trip if I make some upgrades to my wheelset or is it good as is? Any input is appreciated..
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Old 11-06-13, 05:48 PM
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You are right to be skeptical. I am also. I have made some week long tours on light road/sport bikes but would advise against it. You are right, they just aren't made for it. You'd be more likely to have a successful and enjoyable trip on a touring specific rig. There are lots to choose from: Surly LHT, Cross Check, Salsa Fargo, Trek 520. There are a lot of reasonably priced bikes which are made for that type of abuse, why ruin a good relationship with your bike making it do something it shouldn't.

Marc
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Old 11-06-13, 07:55 PM
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No effing way would it be worth making your Secteur with 25mm tires carry that weight. 60-80lbs is a bigger than normal touring load. If you truly need that much junk I'd suggest a full on touring bike to carry 40lbs and a trailer to carry 40 more otherwise pare your load down to 25lbs and put it on the bike. A sixty pound load would be good for setting up a base camp.

Last edited by LeeG; 11-06-13 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-06-13, 07:57 PM
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Hook up a trailer and go for it. Triple up front ought to get you up most hills. Wow, that gear weight you suggest seems a bit much. 40 lbs tops is common.
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Old 11-06-13, 08:17 PM
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Here is what I usually take, it comes out to 25 or 30 lbs. I intend to pare it down a bit next year with a Hennessy Hammock and a different stove. But the gear and a Rivendell Hunqapillar only come out to around 60 lbs together. A trailer will take the pressure off the bike and the wheels, but it adds to the weight as well.

Marc
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Old 11-06-13, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Hook up a trailer and go for it. Triple up front ought to get you up most hills. Wow, that gear weight you suggest seems a bit much. 40 lbs tops is common.
If I were to put 60 pounds in my BOB it would push my 170 pounds and bike all over the road. I don't want to start a trailer war, just stating that 60 pounds is quite a lot for a trailer. I'd start thinking about a much lighter load. When I travel I do without a lot and am sure glad for that. I find packing and unpacking and carrying all kinds of things I may or may not use spoils the fun. The gear ends up a burden. If it's food you are carrying you should be able to restock frequently in most areas. If you need a lot of water you can do that too, but could even take a purifier for backcountry stuff.
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Old 11-06-13, 08:38 PM
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Trailer vs panniers is a forever controversy. More a matter of philosophy than substance.

A friend noted that the guys pulling trailers faired better in strong headwinds than the pannier crowd on a recent x-country. He was in the pannier crowd.

A trailer would allow the OP to ride his $$$ go-fast bike on the tour with only the crank upgrade. Of course, fit and comfort are first when riding day after day for 5-7 hours. If the Specialized passes that test he'd be good to go, once he pares his gear load down to reasonable.
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Old 11-06-13, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
A trailer would allow the OP to ride his $$$ go-fast bike on the tour with only the crank upgrade. Of course, fit and comfort are first when riding day after day for 5-7 hours. If the Specialized passes that test he'd be good to go, once he pares his gear load down to reasonable.
This.

Brad
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Old 11-06-13, 11:44 PM
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You really need to think about paring down that load to about half of that. You can find many trip journals online where people send half their load home in the mail after a few days of "real" touring and the reality sinks in; either that, or the trip is abandoned due to physical problems, but it's easy to read between the lines there. There's one mountainous trip journal I read--the first pages made my heart sink--"do we really need seven pairs of shorts? (plus camp chairs, plus a full-on floor pump, plus a week's worth of energy bars, plus who knows what else) No, but we don't want to stop that often to do laundry!"

Yup, the trip was abandoned after a couple of weeks, even before reaching the big hills in the Sierra Nevada.

I guess you know about Oregon weather, but what time of year are you planning to ride north up the coast?
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Old 11-07-13, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
No effing way would it be worth making your Secteur with 25mm tires carry that weight. 60-80lbs is a bigger than normal touring load. If you truly need that much junk I'd suggest a full on touring bike to carry 40lbs and a trailer to carry 40 more otherwise pare your load down to 25lbs and put it on the bike. A sixty pound load would be good for setting up a base camp.
I strongly suggest the paring down approach. 25 pounds is really a lot of gear and not that hard to pare down to. It does not require even being much of a minimalist. I have gone with MUCH less and still camped and cooked comfortably.

That said I rode the Southern Tier from San Diego to Florida with a guy who hauled what I am pretty sure was at least 80 pounds in a BoB trailer pulled behind a road bike. He did OK, but halfway across the country he was throwing away a lot of his stuff when he realized it was unneeded. He said next time he would pack more like I did (on that trip I think my gear weight was 14 pounds).
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Old 11-07-13, 09:58 AM
  #11  
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Just don't get cold, hungry, or stranded. Just sayin'.
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Old 11-07-13, 06:19 PM
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rattled to deth
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Originally Posted by rattled to deth View Post
Hello,

I have been riding for most of my life but only recently have gotten into the really technical aspects of biking (material,angles,componentry) I am even newer to road specific bikes. I plan to ride from southern Georgia to northern Oregon starting September or October of 2014. My route will go south to the gulf coast, ,then following the coast I'll ride to my friends house in Texas. After Texas I'll ride west to the pacific and ride the pacific north to my abode in Oregon. I plan on being pretty dependent. I'll visit towns and cities but I want to stay out on the earth most of the time so I'll have quite a bit of equipment food and water. I expect a 60-80 pound load, I am 6' and fluctuate between 190-205 lbs depending on the amount of beer and pizza I am consuming at the time. My bike is a 2013 Specialized secteur expert disc with white lizard skin bartape and a toupe seat with crank brothers candy 2 pedals. It has eyelets on the fork and seatstays. I am skeptical of this bikes ability to handle such a trip with the weight and abuse it will inevitably have to endure. Can this bike handle this trip if I make some upgrades to my wheelset or is it good as is? Any input is appreciated..
I had guessed weight would be the most contested item of my post. It is a generous guess. I have yet to aqquire all my items for the ride (racks and bags themselves) When I get back from overseas I'll be buying these crucial items and start packing and repacking and testing weights on long rides. I figure after this testing I'll be down to 40-50 lbs. It is also my intent to spend a solid period of time in the backcountry practicing bushcraft techniques and foraging for plants etc. etc. This will require a more diverse packing list and I can tolerate a bit more weight. I'll have no time limit and no real obligations as it will be my trip home after getting out of the army so I can rest for a few days at a time if need be.
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Old 11-07-13, 09:20 PM
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rattled to deth, Ft. Stewart the starting point?

If you can pare the weight to ~40 lbs., which is still a lot for that bike plus a rider you might complete the trip. You only have to complete one long trip. Loading along the entire bike with a handle bar bag and perhaps a frame bag along with a solidly mounted rear rack carrying ~30 lbs. or less just to keep as much stress from one area. I worry about the upper seat stay, they look very thin so find something similar to this to anchor the rack's upper attachment struts: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BICYCLE-BIKE...9#ht_587wt_867 .

Trailers are a love/hate topic, but there's no argument that they are a gentler-for-the-bike way to transport a heavy load. I think your trip will have a better chance of success using one.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 11-07-13 at 09:21 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 11-08-13, 01:56 AM
  #14  
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Frame bag's a great idea. I can't imagine getting more than 30lb on that bike. Dunno what wheels it comes with. That would be a concern too.
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Old 11-08-13, 03:35 AM
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I'm a little busy to go through a whole list of bikes right now but the bike listed above has a 32 spoke wheel in the rear, 28 spoke wheel in the front and a double crankset. It doesn't seem ideal for touring with that amount of weight (plus your weight).
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Old 11-08-13, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rattled to deth View Post
I had guessed weight would be the most contested item of my post. It is a generous guess. I have yet to aqquire all my items for the ride (racks and bags themselves) When I get back from overseas I'll be buying these crucial items and start packing and repacking and testing weights on long rides. I figure after this testing I'll be down to 40-50 lbs. It is also my intent to spend a solid period of time in the backcountry practicing bushcraft techniques and foraging for plants etc. etc. This will require a more diverse packing list and I can tolerate a bit more weight. I'll have no time limit and no real obligations as it will be my trip home after getting out of the army so I can rest for a few days at a time if need be.
You have the wrong bike and wrong wheels for 40lbs of dead weight on the bike and your 200lbs. To me "In the back country" implies your bike and gear will be there with the bike carrying your gear. "Back country" is off the paved road. That amount of weight will tear your road bike and wheels down on non-paved surfaces.

Seems to me durability and survivability would be paramount with your intended use, loading up that road bike with it's low spoke count road wheels and heading into the back country is setting yourself up for trouble.

A 25lb load on your road bike is doable with more robust wheels and careful riding on hard packed dirt roads, walking/carrying the bike as needed. Once you get up to that 40lb load and off road, bad road riding you should get a bike that can carry the load over soft or bumpy surfaces which means having the capability to put on fat tires.

Your 40lb+ load will slow you down up hills regardless of bike or tire size but small tires and road wheels will stop you in rough conditions.

Save that Secteur and get a proper beast for carrying loads.

Maybe a 26" LHT and spare fat tires for off road, or Surly Ogre with spare tires and Extrawheel trailer for mondo loads.

a lot of folks have ridden overloaded bikes but handling and durability really suffers.

Last edited by LeeG; 11-08-13 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 11-08-13, 06:33 PM
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LeeG

By backcountry I mean hide the bike and cover it with a tarp, shoulder my pack, and be gone for awhile. I imagine there will be some dirt roads along the way and am not opposed to walking or carrying the bike for a distance. In the end, it appears a new bike will be needed and the secteur put into storage or sold.
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Old 11-09-13, 03:39 PM
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LeeG


I have known my bike wasn't the right rig after learning more about bikes and materials.. All this was more to confirm my dread of buying the wrong bike (for this purpose). The secteur is a good bike and I will probably keep it. For my purposes and weight I think the disc trucker with panniers will be the rig I head out with... Thanks for the advice and words...
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Old 11-10-13, 04:41 PM
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I hope your bike is locked as well as hidden. Security by obscurity has often failed. Remember that you have to make sure dogs on walks or wild animals won't drag off the tarp or lead someone to it, and they will have plenty of time to defeat your lock. Nothing like coming out of the backcountry to find your ride gone. Maybe you can leave it at a ranger station, campground host, or firefighting station.
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Old 11-10-13, 04:56 PM
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You're not going that fast when touring regardless of whether you're hauling 70 lbs or 25. So the first thing is fatter tires. What's the point of skinny tires if you're not racing? The fatter tires will be a heck of a lot more comfortable at the speeds you'll be going and will deal much, much better with rough road surfaces. So the OP's bike is not a good choice even with a trailer and a triple conversion. Get a touring bike or use a rigid mtb or even a cross bike but just get something with wide ranging gearing and which can take fat tires and fenders. The pannier/trailer thing is personal choice.
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Old 11-11-13, 02:48 PM
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Another item you might want to think about - traveling through the Gulf Coast in September/October. That's in hurricane season. . If not hurricanes, you can surely expect a lot of rainstorms. You'd be better off waiting until late February-March 2015 to start a cross-country journey.
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Old 11-11-13, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Another item you might want to think about - traveling through the Gulf Coast in September/October. That's in hurricane season. . If not hurricanes, you can surely expect a lot of rainstorms. You'd be better off waiting until late February-March 2015 to start a cross-country journey.
I did the ST in a February-March time frame and agree that it is a good time to do that route.
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