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Help and Advice?

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WS Üyesi FlatEarth kullanıcısının resmi
Help and Advice?

Hi,

I see everyone with their fancy, high tek bikes and all the wheel mounts, and luggage made for wheels etc.

My question is has anyone done this with a regular schwinn hybrid like this one, which is all I have:

http://www.sears.com/schwinn-suburban-26inch-mens-comfort-bike/p-00630015000P?sid=IDx01192011x000001&kpid=00630015000&kispla=00630015000P&kpid=00630015000&mktRedirect=y ??

Or is a high teck road/hybrid bike a huge difference ?
Also if I use an Osprey backpack instead of the mounts on the back would that be ok or will it be much harder? Also what about sleeping in tents in winter and biking through ice, snow etc? Road bikes with thin tires must be worse ?

Any help would be much appreciated and also hosts if I decide to do this on back roads and trails without pollution.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Doing it the hard way

Unless your plan is to write a book on the most difficult way to do bike touring, you may benefit from those that have "gone before you". Let me address a couple of your concerns:

The Schwinn: certainly a nice bike but probably not the bike you want to be pedaling all day and certainly not pedaling all day with a load. A comfort bike is going to provide an upright riding position that, while comfortable, is not very efficient. Read about touring bikes - and bikes that have been used successfully for touring. Whether you end up with something that looks like a road bike or a MTB, I can assure you that you will not end up with something that looks like a Schwinn Comfort bike. Some of the differences will be in the saddle (always a personal preference, but a firmer saddle is almost always preferable to a softer saddle - the comfort bike probably has a soft, gel-filled saddle. The rims on a bike that is being used to carry a load are going to be stronger than what you have. The frame has to be sufficiently stiff to handle the load while not being rigid. Also, mounting panniers will have your comfort bike covered with C-clamps to provide the mounting points for a front and/or rear rack.

Sleeping in the snow: Absolutely! BUT...I might recommend that you try sleeping in less adverse weather for a couple of nights before trying to figure out how to stay warm when the temperatures drop. As you know, the colder it is, the more tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and clothes you are going to want; each of these adds weight and bulk.

In short, you don't need a $4,000 touring bike to be a touring bicyclist. At the same time, having the right equipment and learning to walk before running will make the experience something that you will look back on fondly as opposed to remembering how the EMS transported you to a hospital to recover from pushing an overloaded bicycle while your feet and hands turned green from frostbite. You know, just saying...

WS Üyesi FlatEarth kullanıcısının resmi
Thanks for that advice David.

Thanks for that advice David. Any lesser priced touring bike you suggest ? Aren't the rims and tires too thin however for snow and ice on those ? Frostbite can also happen with those too if not careful?

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Selecting the perfect touring

Selecting the perfect touring bike requires a substantial sum of money. Yet, life is a series of trade-offs and this is true when finding a bike that will meet your needs. First things first: Decide how much crap you are going to carry. The more you carry, the heavier your load will be. This will determine if you will need front AND rear panniers as well as if the present gearing is low enough to keep you from becoming a hiker rather than a cyclist.

I have toured using a Cannondale road bike with rear panniers. The bike was really squirrely since I was dealing with a short wheelbase and I had a ton of weight on the rear (only). I rode a Trek 5200(?) with flat bars across Canada and it was a fine bike - although I was not camping so weight wasn't huge. I now ride a six years old Novera Randonee (REI/Novera's touring bike) that I bought used for $650. It is heavier than other bikes but it is just rock solid; very stable. I tour using front and rear panniers. I accept the weight because I like the stability. The bottom line is that many road or MTB will get you going. Your budget also must be considered. I would rather see someone pedaling along on an good used bike than not pedaling at all. That being said, there is really a difference between a good bike and a department store bike. Also, IMHO there is nothing wrong with a good used bike. Yes, it may need a bit of work (new cables, a wheel trued, a tire changed, etc.) but this is a GOOD thing since YOU need to learn how to do these things anyway since when you are one the road things happen and you need to be able to deal with the minor stuff yourself.

I could suggest what I think is a good bike, but that will only narrow your choices necessarily - and would be a disservice to you.

Read reviews of various touring bikes. The reviewer probably knows his bikes and will focus on the things that he knows his reader wants to know.

Best of luck...

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