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Best bike for touring

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WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Best bike for touring

I am planning to ride from Mexico City to Vancouver, Canada. I am thinking of riding a road bike, but since I am carrying my clothes, camera and other stuff I have been looking up for a touring bike. I've found that the Specialized Tricross Sport is a good one, or so it says the advertisement. Nevertheless some cyclist have told me abut the advantages of the Trek 520 but I am afraid it might be too heavy.
If anyone has riden long trips, which bike would you use?

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
best bike for touring

I really like my older trek 520 but I have heard great things about the Surly LHT. Good racks and panniers get exspensive so take that into consideration as well as used bikes usually will need work but many bikes have been used to tour with a little creativity and faith. A steel framed mtn bike with a trailer might be up your ally, novarra makes a bike as well but many swear by the long haul trucker with nice racks and ortlieb panniers.

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agree

agree

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Best bike for touring - recumbent

Hi Nofri,
if you really talk about long trips with luggage, a recumbent is definitely the best. I started my first long (medium) trip (1000 km) with sort of a road bike which proved to be no match at all especially for taking some luggage. For the next one I used something more stable and then switched to a cross bike for several trips of 1000 to 2000 km, which was the best until then. But having got much pain in the back and especially in the neck from bending down to avoid the wind a bit, I tried a recumbent. Once getting used to it I would never again take anything else for longer trips - the last one being nearly 7000 km.
With that I did not get any problems with my back, neck or hand any more. I took one with a seat heights of about 45 cm which is still high enough to see and be seen in traffic.
Hope that helps

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A touring recumbent is a good investment

I agree that a recumbent may be the better way to tour... obviously not a low butt dragger... and not if you are going to mix a lot of mass transit in... but app. 900 miles later, and still counting... I can attest to their comfort, ability to strap on luggage many ways, and overall performance.

I do not recommend a trike or trailer though... some roads are suicidal enough!

Mine is a well worn Rans Tailwind... and I am still impressed by its performance...

...and yes... you can go offroad, fully loaded, and blazing fast downhill on a bent... just ask my dog!

Do check out Radical Designs for a novel pannier option,. and consider a front or mid under rack for balancing the load.

WS Üyesi toddlange1 kullanıcısının resmi
I've owned three different

I've owned three different recumbents and three different touring bikes. I find a properly fitted upright bike (not too stretched out) with handlebars a bit higher than the seat are usually pretty comfortable on long rides.

For touring bikes I own an older REI randonee and a Surly Long Haul Trucker (26" wheels). Both are solid dependable touring bikes, but both are heavy with the LHT the being the heaviest. The current model Randonee uses SRAM bar end shifters which don't have the ability to switch to friction. It's also has a 10 speed rear cassette which I don't think is a good idea for touring.

I used the LHT on a long tour last year and for commuting to work. It really starting wearing me down when commuting with it last summer. The Randonee I felt was perhaps a bit more efficient of a ride. The 700c wheels vs 26" wheels may have had something to do with it.

I built up a lighter touring bike this year from Bike Nashbar's Aluminum touring frame and their cyclocross carbon fork. I used both new and used parts and love how it turned out. The reviews of the frame have all been very good, and it's cheap and fairly light.

I'll be trying this bike out with a ride from Saint Louis to Memphis the end of May.

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Don't worry about the weight of the bicycle

Dude, you will be carrying a lot of stuff. A few extra kg on the bicycle will be noise. Like the other posters have noted, comfort is king. A touring bicycle has the geometry and the clearances for wider tires. And good brakes. I'd pay good attention to the wheels. As in lots of spokes and nothing odd ball. And get a good seat. Like a Brooks B17.
This group could be a good resource for you: http://www.adventurecycling.org/
They have great maps for your trip. Also they have information on exactly your question on what bicycle to buy: http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm
Personally I'd consider a single wheel trailer like the Bob.
http://www.bobgear.com/bike-trailers
Sounds like a great trip!
/Mike
[not meant as a reply to #5 but to the original post; mistake on my part]

WS Üyesi toddlange1 kullanıcısının resmi
I agree with all your points

I agree with all your points Mike, but the point I was trying to make was that if you are also looking for bike to be used for unloaded day rides or commuting, I found the Surly LHT with 26" tires to be chore due to it's weight. Fully loaded the LHT is incredibly stable and a great bike for it's intended use.

My commuting distance is 45-50 miles round-trip, so it started to wear me down.

-Todd

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No disagreement at all

Sorry that my comments appeared in reply to your post. I doesn't read well I now realize. A user error in my part (clicked the reply button at the bottom). Too lazy to scroll to the top.

I agree with your points on a commute of that distance. I did that distance as well for a number of years but never on a mountain bike. I rode what many would now call a randonneur but is really just a relaxed geometry road bike with longer chain stays, a triple crank, and a bit more caster on the front end. Loaded my pannier with laptop and clothes was under 20 lbs.

Anyways, can't have too many bikes!

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Interesting suggestions

Thanks for all your advice. I think I'll get first a Trek 520 and on my next tour I'll definitely try a recumbent one. If somebody wants to join me on my trip I'll try to tweet pics and stories from the road.

WS Üyesi toddlange1 kullanıcısının resmi
The Trek 520 is a great

The Trek 520 is a great touring bike. I'm sure you will be very happy with it. Good luck with your trip.

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Nice bike!

Should be fine. Only thing I might suggest changing is the seat. I have become quite partial to old school leather seats although you have to be careful about them if they get too wet. I did try these black latex seat covers for those very rainy days but they quickly wore through. I've gone back to using the nylon cover that can with my Brooks.

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Touring bike options

I own a Trek 520 and I have never had any problems. If you are carrying gear I'm not sure why weight would be a consideration. Besides, you are only talking about a pound or two difference. The Trek 520 has been incredibly reliable and I would recommend for a tour of any length. Good luck.

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Todd, it's interesting what

Todd, it's interesting what you say about commuting on the Surly LHT. I'm using the Disc version for my world tour and it's very stable with close to 70kg of kit strapped on, but when I do my food runs from the campsites I love the handling of it with nothing attached. Yes it's a heavy bike, but very responsive nonetheless.

As a touring bike it can't be bettered IMHO.

Derek
http://www.dereksbiketrip.com

WS Üyesi toddlange1 kullanıcısının resmi
Derek, As a touring bike, the

Derek,

As a touring bike, the Surly LHT is hard to beat. I can't disagree with you about the handling when fully loaded. I've never ridden any bike as stable when fully loaded as the LHT.

My LHT has 26" wheels which I understand reduce the efficiency somewhat compared to the 700c wheel version. When I commuted to work on it last summer (45-50mile roundtrip), I found the weight of the bike and perhaps the 26" wheels wore down my aging body a bit more than I wanted. I decided this winter to build up a bike that was lighter and more efficient that I could use for daily commuting and the 7-10 days of fully loaded touring that I do during the summer. I think the Nashbar Aluminum touring frame with carbon fiber cyclocross fork will be a very solid bike. I've yet to try it fully loaded (rack is on order), but the frame is solid with very little flex so I think it will perform well.

When fully loaded the weight of the bike isn't a big concern, but I was looking a good all around bike that would work well for commuting and touring.

I'll find out the last week of May when I tour from Saint Louis to Memphis along the MRT.

-Todd

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Custom Build

Todd, let us all know how you get on with the custom bike, I'll be interested in how the carbon forks stand up to loaded touring. As I'm only 6 months into my (planned) 2 year tour it's unlikely I'll ride another bike, but I'm always open to ways of improving the weight I cycle with.

I have to say fully loaded touring was a bit of a shock to me and it took a little while before I got my head round carrying so much weight on a bike - my previous (short) tours were done extremely lightweight (LE-JOG in 5 days, Leeds-Paris-Leeds in 4) but it was impossible to even think about doing a round the world trip like that. So I went down the route of buying the lightest kit that would do the best job - but would not compromise on the Surly LHT.

Derek
http://www.dereksbiketrip.com

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Got my brand new Trek 520!

Thank you all guys for your advise.
It was really important when I decided to buy a Trek 520 which is a sturdy bike and rolls just great!
Now I am just putting things together and I expecto to start my 6 thousand kilometer ride next week.
I 'll be travelling all along the pacific west coast of Mexico, US and Canada, so if someone is on the way between may and july it would be a pleasure to meet you on the road.
Regards.

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
best bike for touring

I am so excited for you. I think the Trek 520 was an excellent choice. I was able to some shorter travels along the California Coast and had a great time and I thought the bike performed beautifully. I hope the trip is one you will never forget! Thanks and safe travels. Also I landed in Eugene, Oregon I definately would put it on your list of stops if you end up making it this far north. The topography is beautiful and the people friendly.

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Best bike for touring

My advice is before you throw good money away on any bike, is to go and test ride one yourself. What suits me may not suit you, regardless of how many people say how good they are.

As for recumbents. They do not suit everyone. I have had an Ice trike and a Bacchetta Giro and they were wonderfully engineered but I could not get on with either of them.

Find the bike you like and get as long a test ride as possible.

Steve

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Best Bike

the best bike is steel with a fully lugged frame..I wouldn't even trust a Surley LHT..........Want a bike that last, use a lugged frame...............26" tires can be found any place on the planet !

I have over 70,000 miles of ridng on the MTB and half is fully loaded touring (ultra-lite) and lugged steel holds up... no cracks..........- Bubbabike.com

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I've had my Surly for 2

I've had my Surly for 2 Summers now and absolutely love it! Loaded or unloaded, it rides great!

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KOGA, FAHRAD MANUFAKTUR T400, ...

KOGA, FAHRAD MANUFAKTUR T400, PATRIA, SILKROAD TOUTTERRAIN, .. good one

if you take a Rohloff, beware with the EXCENTRIK crank set ( never now how to spell it ).
my opinion is that this is just commercial, not a good system.

Swiss bike are very good ... but most are made in Taiwan... but still very good but ... very expensive !

i actually almost bot the koga randonneur in steel ...with rolof about EURO 4000

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Everyone has different

Everyone has different choices. Some have more than one bike to do the job.

For heavyweight touring I have a Koga World Traveller, which is a dream bike.

For lighter touring I have A Koga Roadchamp which I have altered from the original configuration. Another super bike.

For lightweight local touring I have 2 Kickbikes.

Koga are expensive but superb bikes on any terrain.

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Trek 520 feedback

Just before my trip, my bike got stolen, so I bought the 520 in Vancouver and started the tour across Canada without ever having been on the bike...
It performed great, except:
- 6 broken spokes within the first 3 weeks. Of course, all on the cassette side. All bike shops concluded that the low quality spokes were to blame (they all broke inside of the nipple!!!).
- both handle bar tapes unrevealed after 4 weeks
- the handle bar shifters were very hard to shift and after 5 weeks one of them came loose.
- the chain lasted 6 weeks before needing replacement.
Then winter came and I will continue my tour next year in Montreal.

Not sure what to expect from a dedicated touring bike, but I did expect better...

Once I hear back from Trek, I will post an update.