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Type of bike for touring

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Type of bike for touring

Hello! I'm just started planning for a longish (Reno, NV to Anchorage, Alaska) bike tour trip. It will be my first bike tour trip. I'm in the process of researching and getting all the gear needed for the trip. My question is: I have a pretty new bike, a Raleigh Cadent FT0. Is this bike going to work for a long tour? I'm trying to keep costs down as much as possible. So if I could just modify the bike I have now a bit that would be great rather than spending more on a new bike.

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Raleigh Cadent FT0

After looking at it's specs on that website:

I would not take it for a serious ride. Get yourself a used well equipped touring bike like an Surly LHT, Schwalbe Marathon with Ortlieb bags.

Don't be afraid to see a good bike mechanic for a proper bike fitting.

Spend a bit more on your bike and save your money while camping or being hosted by warmshowers participants.

Here is a good example found on ebay:

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Hi, If you are looking to buy


If you are looking to buy a bike then I would follow Mr. Gaumerd's advice and look for a used bike, such as the Surly LHT, Trek 520 or other, specifically designed for touring. But if you already own the Raleigh and it's a question of using it or not being able to afford the trip, then I believe it will work. I've seen people tour on much less appropriate bikes. The items that stand out for me are the wheels, whether the gearing is adequately low and if the brakes are up to the task (I'm not at all familiar with the Tektro mini-v's). You may want to consider lowering the gearing by changing out the chainrings, at least the smallest one, depending upon how strong you are, the amount of weight you are carrying and the anticipated terrain. As for the wheels, I note the specs are for 32 spokes but the bike they picture show 36. I would be a bit concerned if your bike has only 32 and would make sure they are tensioned/trued pre-trip by a bike shop regardless of the spoke number.

Before you make any decision on upgrading the Raleigh, if that is the route you take, pack the bike up and see how it responds.

Have fun.

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I've seen people tour on $25

I've seen people tour on $25 yard sale mountain bikes. Mountain bike rims usually have more spokes and they support more weight and stress. They simply outfitted it for touring by adding a rack and creative hook ups. They swapped the tires to make it more fitting for the road and set out on a journey. But don't expect to be quick nor get the most comfortable ride or even the most stable ride -- it'll get you to destination B regardless. :)

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Type of bike for touring

There is no such thing as a perfect touring bike. I had always tour on a mountain bike, and it works for me. There are advantage to a touring bike such as the placement of disc brakes on the frame that gives you much less headache for mounting a rear rack than a normal mountain bike frame. Some people like to ride upright, some people like to ride in a more aero position. Some people like straight bars, some people like drop bars, some people like wrap around bars. It will take time to find you own ways. You do not need to spend a great deal of money to buy a specially made touring bike. As for myself, every time I check out a proper touring, I either don't like the component, geometry or any number of other items. My current bike which I had tour Africa, South America and Asia is just a normal mountain bike frame and I buy components to fit my needs. Experiment a bit. I met a guy 17 years ago that bought a cheap Chinese made mountain bike in Tibet and rode around Tibet, China and many other places with it. If you want to save money, you will do fine just to modify a few parts and make the bike work for you. Good luck.

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Racks and panniers are the

Racks and panniers are the only things missing from the picture, vintage canvas panniers on old steel racks have a longer lifespan than most modern bikes, no one needs the brand new equipment (where design prevails and price depends on the tag)

Tyres, gears and handlebar are usually the bike parts tourers want to change while touring.... but you need to ride the bike to know it!

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Interesting...Reno to


Reno to Anchorage? Very ambitious for a beginner. On your Raleigh? It could be said that would be a very brave endeavor.

People have already thrown out some good advice. I'm not a big one on designer name brands. What works, works. Some times it's worth the buck$ and sometimes not. Personally, I've been using a pair of $40 Nashbar panniers for a decade and 1000's of miles. Ride a 1992 lugged steel frame with a hodge-podge of parts. Including the tektro V brakes on the front.

The comments about things tour riders like to change and the one about low gears are good ones. And I would add my own take on saddles. I have found there is no substitute for a good leather sling saddle, Brooks or what works for you. Low gears with a load over steep terrain is a must. I built a good alloy triple crank with 52-40-24. The crank on the Raleigh is stamped steel and chainrings can not be changed out. The 28 tooth granny won't do it. Dump it. Wide range rear cassette is a good way to get the gears you will need. Nine speed mountain 11-34 is my choice.

The Weinman double wall rims aren't heavy hitters and the wheels are machine built. But should work if you are a light weight (under 160lbs) and you have a good wheel builder go over them. My front wheel is an older Weinman rim (36 holes) that I have built and rebuilt, have tens of thousands of miles on it, and I'm over 200lbs. Rear wheels are a different story, they take most of the weight and impact. Riding into Alaska will put more abuse on a bike than you can imagine and particularly the rear wheel. Upgrade! I built an Alex Adventurer with 36 4x 14g on a Shimano Deore mountain hub.

Last issues are tires. Weight vs durabitity. It's all on were you ride. Schwalbe Marathon wins the duration every time. But are heavy. Again, it's all about where you are riding. Pavement, gravel, dirt, whatever. Riding to Alaska you can see it all. No one tire can handle everything well. I really like the Marathons on pavement and rough roads. Conti Race King on trails. Bigger and soft is better on rough and hard and skinny is better on smooth. Knobby tires where it's soft and loose. It would be ideal on a trip like yours to use 3 sets. I don't know anyone who carries multiple sets of tires for varying terrain. Good luck with this one.

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I always say spend the money

I always say spend the money and get yourself a good bike. Someone mentioned the Long Haul Trucker and I would agree with it. I have the Disc Trucker (same concept but with far superior mechanical disc brakes ; )

A touring bike is built to handle the stresses and weight of touring like no other bike can. Other bikes can work but they aren't generally going to be as comfortable or able to take the load. The LHT and DT are nice because they have the following: 3 water bottle braze ons (generally people do two cages for their water and one for fuel or all for water) 2 extra spokes, drop handlebars (giving you multiple hand positions for comfort), braze ons for racks and fenders, decent rims and tires and a lot of happy Truckers out there. It is steel framed and touring on anything but steel (aside from maybe the wooden Renovo is silly because steel will give you one of the most comfortable rides, handle stresses well and be easily repairable almost anywhere (that is why I mentioned the Renovo, wood can be repaired anywhere and has been used longer than any metals).

I have been looking at other touring bikes and don't see anything that much better than my Disc Trucker, some are handbuilt frames but basically the same bike aside from that (or sometimes not as good) so that is a nice upgrade potential. However I know a lot of people who ride LHTs and they are all very happy with their bikes and I am too. It is a great ride and an ideal tourer

If you get yourself a nicer bike it will pay off quite a lot. If you are stuck on Raleigh they do make a few touring bikes which look like they would work decently. If their bikes do actually work I would get the Surly Nice Rack as it is a great touring rack that can hold everything and won't crap out. From what I have seen through a lot of research it generally has the highest weight rating of any rack front or rear. Though I am probably going with a Tubus duo rack in the front just to cut back on weight a little (however I might end up never doing a front rack because so far I haven't needed it!

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