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Pangea on the Great Divide?

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Pangea on the Great Divide?

Old 01-02-15, 03:38 PM
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waterbugg
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Pangea on the Great Divide?

This is a question mainly for those of you who have done all or some of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: I'm planning on taking 2 months to ride this route and am wondering if my CoMotion Pangea is up for the task. I've ridden on dirt roads with the Pangea and, as it's currently set up, I don't think I could do months of dirt road riding - it rides too much like a road bike. I know others have done it on drop bar bikes, and, I'm aware that CoMotion built the Pangea with dirt-road touring in mind. But those who have done the divide on drop bar bikes have either had a hell of a time or have been racing. Would you ride a Pangea? How would you modify the bike (suspension fork, trekking or straight bars?) for this specific route?
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Old 01-02-15, 07:56 PM
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Bike review: Co-Motion Pangea touring bike | Bicycle Times Magazine
I am not very experienced in touring and am especially lacking in Great Divide touring experience; however, I've been reading others' account of their rides, as I plan to ride it from south to north beginning in late May. I don't know whether drop handlebars are a good or bad thing for gravel and dirt roads, long uphills and down hills. Personally, I like the trekking bars on my Safari, but if I were asked, I would postulate that (1) disc vs v-brakes and (2) gearing are a bigger deal than handlebar selection. Drop bars give a good variety of hand positions. The Pangea bike review linked above does not mention handlebars being inappropriate, but does state the gearing is adequate and that the author would have opted for disc brakes. Overall, I read a positive review that indicates the bike is built for rides like the GDMBR. They wouldn't stretch the truth on a bike review, would they? I specifically asked GDMBR bike blog authors if (1)suspension forks were "necessary", and (2)what width tire would they recommend? The answers were "No" and "2 inches, minimum". Again, no personal experience here, just due diligence. I understand the route is somewhat hilly. The ACA recommends a group of 3 at a minimum to ride together for mutual support in case someone takes a tumble or breakdown. Probably just a bunch of worry warts.
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Old 01-02-15, 08:12 PM
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I have done a lot of off road riding on multi-day tours and while the Pangea looks up to the task, I would use a Jones H bar with Paul components shifters which adapt the bar ends to thumb shifters. The H bar gives you the most hand positions possible as well as a lot of space for a bar bag, bear bell, lights and any other hardware you need.

I bought an alum. H bar from Jenson.
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Old 01-03-15, 05:41 AM
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The choice is so rider specific that any answer you get is likely to not suit your needs. Personally I think it would be just about the perfect bike for that kind of riding, but I love drop bars and have happily used them on pretty much any type ride including very technical single track. I like them quite low regardless of the surface type or tour length. Some folks don't even like to do paved road tours with them and/or like to ride in a "sit up and beg" position that I would find miserable especially on rough surfaces.

I'd be inclined to ride a Pangea pretty much box stock on that ride if I had one, but you really need to figure what works for you personally.
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Old 01-03-15, 12:07 PM
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Optional : With an EBB to tension the Chain *, You can have the ones fit an Alfine 8, 11 or a Rohloff hub and have no rear Derailleur to damage,

or have the indexing go DNF, because you fell over, and bent the hanger a bit..

* it already is a frame component of every Tandem They Make ..
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Old 01-03-15, 12:18 PM
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I love drop bars and I like them for gravel roads. Still this is a trip where I would seriously consider taking a mtb with a front suspension fork. You might want to post this question on the adventure cyclist forum as well.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:44 PM
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You ask about maybe a suspension fork. Does the Pangea take a suspension fork or would that mess up the geometry? And if you did put on a suspension fork, would you try to put weight on the front of the bike or load it all on the back?

I use drop bars for everything, see photo. (Photo is not a Pangea, my bike is designed to take solid or suspension fork, I fitted a suspension for the trip where I took the photo, a fully supported trip where a 4X4 hauled our gear and food and water.)

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Old 01-03-15, 03:57 PM
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The Builder would change the whole frame In Order to accomodate the Travel length of a suspension fork ..

It can Be done but it wouldn't Be the same Bike Model ..

the 'Suspension Corrected' Rigid Fork has Longer Blades so the Head tube angle is not altered .

Tout Terrain Is a Builder, as Is Thorn, Making a Frame that can Do both as It is a Taller Off the Ground Head tube design . ..
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Old 01-04-15, 08:02 PM
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Good point - I think a suspension fork would probably mess up the Pangea's geometry. Which leaves me thinking the Pangea is not the bike for this trip.

Thanks for the pic. My husband will be taking his Thorn Nomad on the Divide tour. What suspension fork did you use on the trip pictured?
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Old 01-05-15, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by waterbugg View Post
Good point - I think a suspension fork would probably mess up the Pangea's geometry. Which leaves me thinking the Pangea is not the bike for this trip.

Thanks for the pic. My husband will be taking his Thorn Nomad on the Divide tour. What suspension fork did you use on the trip pictured?
I assume your husband's Nomad is the Mk II version that is designed to take a solid or a 100mm travel suspension fork.

That is a Rock Shox XC28TK. I was looking at slightly more expensive forks when I found that one on ebay that was new, I put in a low bid and got it. I wanted a suspension fork for that trip of 4 days, I did not know if I would ever use a suspension fork again so I was not looking to pay very much. That fork worked just fine for that 4 days.

A critical factor in selecting a fork for the Nomad would be length of steerer tube that you need. I saw a lot of used forks on Ebay that had too short a steerer tube. I used the Rock Shox with an uncut steerer, yet I still use more steerer spacers on my solid Nomad fork than I could use on the Rock Shox fork. I have a 590M size frame and as you might have noted in the photo I had the accessory T bar for my handlebar bag mount, that consumes some steerer tube length too.

Some of the other suspension forks also did not take V brakes. I assume your husband's Nomad uses V brakes on the front, staying with V brakes for both forks would be a lot cheaper than having to switch to disk brakes for the suspension fork.

I was in a group of 10 riders, the others in our group either owned full suspension bikes or rented such bikes for the trip. I had the only non-full suspension bike, but I wanted to see how the Nomad would work, that is why I brought it. There were a few places with some rough bedrock where the full suspension guys flew past me, but for most of the ride it was pretty comparable. I found the ability to downshift a Rohloff to be an advantage over the other guys with derailleurs, I could downshift much faster since a derailleur bike requires some distance to complete a downshift which might require a few wheel revolutions.

If you look at the Nomad brochure, it becomes pretty clear that they recommend that if you are using a suspension front fork, you do not try to carry much weight on the front. That could be a factor for your plans. Although it is possible to put front panniers on a bike with a suspension fork, that does impact how well it works. The issue is minimizing unsprung weight with suspension. Thus, I would not rule out the Pangea yet, if you need front panniers you might find that bike would meet your needs just fine.

I was using 2.25 width tires on the trip in the photo. What width tires will the Pangea take?

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Old 01-06-15, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
What width tires will the Pangea take?
I've run 2.1" on the Pangea ... not sure how much wider I could go.
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Old 01-06-15, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by waterbugg View Post
I've run 2.1" on the Pangea ... not sure how much wider I could go.
You might want to chat with the people at Co-Motion about the trip, I suspect that they may know a lot about that trail and how most people set up their bikes for it. I assume you would be carrying a full camping load of gear (this is the touring forum), they might have some advice on the best way to carry that weight. And whether or not a suspension fork would work on your bike. Tires, other options, etc. I like 2.25 width tires for serious off road, but I have ridden a lot of trails carrying a full camping load with 2.0 width Schwalbe Dureme on the front and 2.0 width Schwalbe Extreme on the back.
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Old 01-07-15, 10:13 PM
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Honestly, if you can wedge some proper 2.1" MTB tires on the Pangea you will just fine for the Great Divide. I believe that is the most common tire used by the Tour Divide riders (most however are running 29er's). You will be fine on that bike.

Consider going with a flat bar or Salsa Woodchipper handlebars too. Could work out better for yourself.
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Old 01-08-15, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You might want to chat with the people at Co-Motion about the trip.
CoMotion confirmed your suspicions, their reply: While possible to put a suspension fork on the Pangea it is not as easy as a straight up swap. Putting a suspension fork on the front will raise up the front end changing the geometry of the bike. Unless the bike is designed for a suspension fork this will have a tendency to make the front end floppy making it difficult to get the bike to track as it should. Possible yes but not recommended.

I will be carrying full camping gear, but am trying to lighten my load (I'm used to paved touring) and would use frame packs to avoid using front panniers.

SparkyGA, I've looked at the woodchipper bars and am intrigued - I might give them a go. I've also considered switching to butterfly bars, but am not sure how that would effect geometry.

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Old 01-08-15, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by waterbugg View Post

I will be carrying full camping gear, but am trying to lighten my load (I'm used to paved touring) and would use frame packs to avoid using front panniers.
Full camping gear is assumed, there's no hotels. The vast majority of riders use exactly zero panniers. With the right camping gear, you could do it with frame bags only.
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Old 01-08-15, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Full camping gear is assumed, there's no hotels. The vast majority of riders use exactly zero panniers. With the right camping gear, you could do it with frame bags only.
A friend of mine did part of that route fully supported a couple years ago. The tour company that hauled his food also catered his meals. So, carrying your own camping gear is not the only option.
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