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New Touring Bike or upgrading/modifying a Gary Fisher Kaitai

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New Touring Bike or upgrading/modifying a Gary Fisher Kaitai

Old 04-08-14, 04:28 PM
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New Touring Bike or upgrading/modifying a Gary Fisher Kaitai

Hello friendly bicycling enthusiasts.

My brother and I have decided to cycle the Pacific Coast Highway in 2015 and I had a question about bike selection. I've never done a cycling tour before (longest trip was 55 miles with no gear), but I did complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail last summer so I know a bit about camping, packing light, dealing with the ups/downs of multi-month adventures, etc. What I don't know much about is cycling.

I own a 2007 Gary Fisher Kaitai that is completely stock. I've linked to the bike specs below.
2007 Fisher Kaitai - Bike Archive - Trek Bicycle

My initial question is what route to take for my tour. Do I:

a) buy a new touring bike (budget for bike/panniers is ~$1700) or
b) upgrade/modify the Kaitai and spend some money on higher quality components for the bike

I'm not even sure if the Kaitai can be made into a decent tourer, which is why I seek guidance from you fine folk.


I'm going to be searching/reading these forums for more information, but I know that this questions was too specific. That being said, if anyone has any suggested reading or other comments, I welcome them.
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Old 04-08-14, 04:42 PM
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Just say that touring is more the trip than buying the perfect bike .. is the bike comfortable riding all day ,

and then you are eager to get up and do it again?

a Bike trailer will make most bikes work . and you can use your AT pack in the trailer ,

but many people feel the racks and panniers are the way to Go ..
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Old 04-08-14, 04:44 PM
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I'm with FB on this. Get a trailer (or go ultra light) and ride the bike you own as long as you like it on long days in the saddle. Get slick tires, lock out that suspension and you're good to go.
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Old 04-08-14, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys.

I've had some issues with the saddle on rides longer than 2-3 hours. Just general soreness down there. Also some wrist fatigue. I'm only a every other-weekend rider right now, so I'm not sure how much of that is expected.

I'm researching new saddles to try (mine is falling apart), so hopefully that problem will go away.

I routing out a 2 night/3 day ride in the Chicago area so I can get an idea of what a multi-day ride feels like.
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Old 04-08-14, 04:58 PM
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Seriously consider changing out the handlebars. A butterfly bar works really well on mtb bikes since you don't need to change the brake levers, shifting etc. and it will be a big help for dealing with the wrist fatigue. I have one on my vintage team stumpy mtb. I've done lots of tours on road bikes and I like drop bars for touring. But these butterfly bars just felt good the first time I used them. Saddles are kind of personal and you'll have to experiment. You might like the selle anatomica saddles, you can find some b stock saddles on their website, https://selleanatomica.com/collections/clearance:


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Old 04-09-14, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
Seriously consider changing out the handlebars. A butterfly bar works really well on mtb bikes since you don't need to change the brake levers, shifting etc. and it will be a big help for dealing with the wrist fatigue. I have one on my vintage team stumpy mtb. I've done lots of tours on road bikes and I like drop bars for touring. But these butterfly bars just felt good the first time I used them.
Excellent suggestion. I'll do that!!

Saddles are kind of personal and you'll have to experiment. You might like the selle anatomica saddles, you can find some b stock saddles on their website, https://selleanatomica.com/collections/clearance:
You're the 2nd person to recommend those saddles to me. I just ordered one!
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Old 05-05-14, 11:09 AM
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I ended up buying a new bike after researching the costs on replacing or upgrading some parts on my hybrid. I got a bonus at work and had the itch.

I decided to go with a Cannondale CAADX Disc 5 105 that I got a good deal on. I've put about 100 miles on it in the last 2 weeks and it feels great. My first mini-tour should be this weekend if all goes well.
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