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Can a road biker transition into touring?

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Can a road biker transition into touring?

Old 08-29-14, 01:40 PM
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Can a road biker transition into touring?

I am a spandex wearing roadie that averages about 4K miles a year, with a fair amount of climbing.

My life is changing and I want to take a sabbatical from it all. Would I be in shape to hop on a touring bike and do some serious mileage? One of my dreams has always been to bike across New Zealand. Never biked with panniers and all that good stuff.

Is this forum the right place to ask questions such as: where should I go biking? All I know is that I will start my travels in October/November.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:10 PM
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Bike trailer will tow nicely behind your existing bike..

where to go, ? you can join the hundreds riding back south on the coast from Seattle (rainy season is coming soon)

My old home area had a 6 level quake this week. but Sonoma is still OK..

Ireland is nice too But its spring in NZ and Australia.
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Old 08-29-14, 02:17 PM
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I am a spandex-wearing roadie that started out as a cycle tourist. There's absolutely no reason one shouldn't do both.

Yes, you'd be in shape to hop on a touring bike and do serious mileage. Further is much easier than faster, when touring one rides at one's own pace. If you aim to tour with panniers etc. you're going to need the appropriate bike with appropriate gearing, though...

Where to go? Well, the world's your oyster. How long have you got and how adventurous do you want to be? If you're not starting until October/November, that's springtime in New Zealand....
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Old 08-29-14, 02:48 PM
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the major difference between a road biker and a touring biker, is that at the end of a your daily ride, you are not home.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
the major difference between a road biker and a touring biker, is that at the end of a your daily ride, you are not home.
Many touring cyclists are roadies when not touring and some touring cyclists use their road bikes to tour.
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Old 08-29-14, 03:53 PM
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I used to race to stay in shape for touring. The two are different but a lot of people obviously enjoy both. The south island of New Zealand is on my bucket list.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
...Is this forum the right place to ask questions such as: where should I go biking? All I know is that I will start my travels in October/November.
This is a good place for info. There will be many good suggestions, use the ones that suit you best.

I started day tripping about three years ago and built my first touring bike. First thing to contend with is that a touring bike is heavier than a roadie. It's just a more robust assembly of parts and the weight increase is unavoidable. The second item is that a touring bike doesn't handle the same as a race based roadie, but easily adapted to. The third item is fitment is often just a bit less aggressive on a touring bike. I started with my roadie fitment and adjusted.

If you're going to globe trot I don't suggest a trailer and suggest starting in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Old 08-29-14, 08:19 PM
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I met a couple guys during my last tour that pulled Bob trailers with their carbon or titanium road bikes. They were having a great time being roadies while on the bikes, then they transformed into bike tourists while in the campgrounds setting up their tents.

Only real difference between road and touring is that touring you are often going up some pretty steep tall hills with more weight than a roadie would otherwise ever have. Thus, lower gears would be prudent. I think most bike tourists have weaker knees, thus we get really low gears so we can stay in the saddle on the hills. As a roadie you might not need as low a gear if you are used to standing on the pedals to attack on the hills.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:58 PM
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Keep an open mind as you start to learn about touring. Gear weights have come down a lot in recent years as bike tourists have begun to use the ultralight equipment developed for modern hikers. There are lots of options for carrying your gear: panniers, saddlebags, bikepacking bags and trailers. If you credit card tour and stay in hotels or keep your gear weight down your road bike might be ok to use for touring or you might want to go for something with more tire clearance and far lower gearing.......that will depend on where you are touring and personal preferences.
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Old 08-29-14, 10:34 PM
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New Zealand is a great place to tour, South Island especially. Most of the campsites have well equipped communal kitchens which means you don't have to carry all that stuff. I found quite a few people touring on rented bikes which were nothing more than road bikes fitted with a rear rack. South Island can be cold and wet even in their Summer so take a full range of clothes. You will find the extra weight will slow you down so don't plan on doing too much everyday.
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Old 08-29-14, 10:47 PM
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Touring is much more paced. A lot of fun. A rhythm all it's own. I started as a college commuter, then toured, then recreational, now sort of a roadie. But I really miss the touring.
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Old 08-29-14, 11:19 PM
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Your posture might change on a tour. You will be on the bike 6+ hrs per day usually. This makes my hands hurt, being hunched over. I sit pretty upright and have trekking bars. The bars are higher than the seat because my girly hands can't take it anymore. Plus I like to look around.
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Old 08-30-14, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
My life is changing and I want to take a sabbatical from it all. Would I be in shape to hop on a touring bike and do some serious mileage?
Take it easy for the first two weeks. Gives your body/brain time to adjust to total freedom. Then blast off or just cruise along taking in the sights. I highly recommend your sabbatical. I started taking my "retirement" back in 1989 when I was 30. I worked-a-year, took-a-year-off for two decades after that. Every Spring I would load up the touring bike, ditch the apartment, and hit the road until the weather stopped me (North America). I could cover up to 150 miles a day but my average was 60. Each "retirement" covered 6000-7000 miles each trip. I took lots of "rest" days to hike, sight-see, lay in a hammock, do whatever whim popped into my mind. You will not regret it.



^^This is me just finishing my 5000th mile in N. Cali and continued down to Mexico from there. See my face? This is what a happy person looks like. You don't want to see my face back at the 9-5 grind.
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Old 08-30-14, 07:27 AM
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Going nowhere fast vs. going somewhere slow. You can do either or both.
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Old 08-30-14, 07:34 AM
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You have to go through a despandexification program before you can get a permit to tour. Also, the Road forum has to give you a release.
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Old 08-30-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
You have to go through a despandexification program before you can get a permit to tour. Also, the Road forum has to give you a release.
LMAO Despandexification. I wore spandex on my 5200 mile trip I just finished up a couple of days ago. I was roadsick before at least two days before I ever got home.

I use my road bike and a backpack to carry all the gear. It works great. You can do whatever you want to do. Use what feels comfortable is the most valuable tip you'll ever receive from anyone. It's your trip and you decided what you want to use and where you want to go.
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Old 08-30-14, 10:40 AM
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I am far from a seasoned tourist or a roadie. I've been riding about 3k miles in 2013 and am on track for 5k in 2014. This year I did two week long tours that were approximately 450 miles each. The biggest thing for me to get over was to remember it's a tour. When I ride by myself or group rides I'm usually pushing myself and trying to keep my heart rate within a certain range. I kept having to tell myself when on tour to relax, slow down and just enjoy the ride. Look around, stop at interesting places and just let your body dictate what you do. It's just a different mindset and to be honest now that I have ridden a couple of tours I've come to the conclusion that I actually prefer that to just hammering to keep up with friends. I just wish I could find a few like minded friends to do some touring with.
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Old 08-31-14, 08:38 AM
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No. I converted from being a roadie to a tourer. But they told me I was the last one that was going to get away with that. Sorry.
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Old 08-31-14, 08:41 AM
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The main thing is attitude. To be a Tourer you must "slow down and smell the roses" instead of seeing how fast you can get to the next rose garden.

Mike
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Old 08-31-14, 09:16 PM
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I was a long time racer/roadie who graduated to touring and commuting. The difference is that roadies ride out and back, while tourists just ride out and out and out and out. It's the journey, not the destination.
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Old 09-01-14, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
You have to go through a despandexification program before you can get a permit to tour. Also, the Road forum has to give you a release.
Is the secret handshake the same or do I have to learn a new one?
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Old 09-01-14, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Is the secret handshake the same or do I have to learn a new one?
A secret handshake would be absurd.
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Old 09-02-14, 04:51 AM
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if your bike is carbon fiber, get a cyclocross fork with brake studs, and put a rack on it.
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Old 09-02-14, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
the major difference between a road biker and a touring biker, is that at the end of a your daily ride, you are not home.
+1. And if you are camping and cooking, you are not done. It's not a Michelob beer commercial where you sit around with your friends talking about how you all "crushed it." You are setting up camp and cooking dinner. Also, unless you have unlimited time, you can't look out the window and decide to ride your trainer because the sky looks threatening.

I went from pure roadie (I used to think anyone who road with all that junk on their bike was using it as an excuse to go slow) to touring cyclists in the blink of an eye. The most important differences are psychological.

You can still wear spandex. You don't have to sport a long beard and only shower once/week. You don't have to wear tube socks, a reflective vest or a Bell V-1 Pro Helmet from the 70s.
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Old 09-02-14, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mrFreel
The main thing is attitude. To be a Tourer you must "slow down and smell the roses" instead of seeing how fast you can get to the next rose garden.

Mike
B.S. I hope you are joking. You can tour any way you want. It may physically impossible for you to ride as fast as you do when unloaded, but you don't have to purposefully slow down to be a touring cyclist. That's like saying "You are not a REAL roadie unless you [insert stereotype]."
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