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Recommendations for bicycle to bring to Uganda for dirt road/trail riding?

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Recommendations for bicycle to bring to Uganda for dirt road/trail riding?

Old 05-20-14, 11:31 AM
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Recommendations for bicycle to bring to Uganda for dirt road/trail riding?

I'm moving to Uganda for a year, and want to bring a bicycle with me. I'll be living in a rural area, and will mostly be riding on dirt roads or on trails. My budget is fairly limited ($400-800). Originally, I was thinking of getting a used mountain bike to bring - probably a hardtail with a lock-off front shock (so that I can lock it off for dirt roads when it's not really needed). However, I'm a bit apprehensive about bringing a bike with disc brakes, since I'm not very experienced in fixing them, and worry that it will be hard to repair them if I have a problem while I'm there (e.g., I don't really know how to true a rotor, deal with hydraulics, etc.). I don't anticipate I'll have easy access to new parts, beyond anything that I bring with me.

I considered the option of a cyclocross bike, but I think I'll be happier with a flat bar and a front shock. I also considered the option of an older-model mountain bike with rim brakes, but am also a bit apprehensive about bringing an older bike (due to concerns about having hard-to-replace parts fail - e.g., bottom bracket, headset, etc.) I also thought about starting with an older MTB frame and building it up with new parts, but worry that approach will get expensive and perhaps be beyond my level of expertise.

I would welcome any general advice about this (e.g., should I just go with discs and try to learn how to fix them before I go?), or suggestions for specific models! Thanks so much!
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Old 05-20-14, 11:54 AM
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I would get a second hand (or even a new) mountain bike with mechanical disks. They use the same cables as rim brakes, and they're pretty reliable. No faffing about with hydraulics and bleeding etc. They need very little adjusting, and pads are easy to replace.

As for trueing a rotor. One thing you can rely on in the developing world is that labour is cheap, and people are extremely inventive in making do with the things they have. I'm sure a local garage would come up with a way to true a rotor at a price that would hardly be worth your time.

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Old 05-20-14, 12:51 PM
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flying pigeon its a Chinese domestic utility bike , give it to someone who needs it when you leave to return home .
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Old 05-21-14, 07:59 AM
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I would get a hold of Logan or his wife Gin about what to bring to Uganda. He has toured a lot of Africa as you can see from his blog and I bet has noticed a trend of bicycles over there and what is available if needed for replacement parts.
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Old 05-21-14, 08:03 AM
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Used vintage mtbs are pretty inexpensive. They're also tough. I'd run a tough kevlar belted tire suitable for dirt roads and the like (Schwalbe may be your best choice here but Continental also makes excellent tires). At $400, you could buy a good used mtb (cost should be under $200) and afford to fix it up properly. You can go to a co-op and learn the basics of bike mechanics (very useful where you are going). I'd overhaul the bike and change out all the consumables (tires, chain, cables and housing, cassette and/or freewheel).

Also if you find a few used mtbs, you can post links to them on the C&V appraisal what is it worth forum and you'll get feedback as to which bike is your best best. But a used vintage mtb (i.e., one with a rigid fork) is undoubtedly your best bet for your needs esp. as to price and toughness.

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