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34

The distinctions are often subtle: The touring bike will of course be slightly more heavily built (generally a steel frame). The touring bike will have a longer wheelbase. You will generally notice that the space between the seat tube and the rear wheel is fairly wide. (The longer wheelbase serves 3 purposes: More stable, smoother ride, better fender ...


15

Road Road bikes are designed for performance on (mostly) well paved roads. They are the lightest weight of the 3 categories, have the shortest wheelbase, lowest bottom bracket, and the steepest headtube angles. These geometry features allow the bike to react to rider inputs quickly and to have a low center of gravity which is beneficial when turning. Wheels ...


13

Mountain bikes have been pressed into service as touring machines for a long time. Old hardtail mountain bikes make great, bristly touring machines, and they're fun to ride. Tires The first thing you'll want to look at are the tires. Most mountain bikes come with knobby tires for riding on dirt and gravel. A set of slicks or semi-slick tires will decrease ...


12

You should find that on those bikes everything is a bit stronger and heavier than a standard touring bike. Not only are they expected to carry more weight, they're designed to be ridden into places where failures are more difficult to recover from. As well, because they're designed to be ridden off road they'll usually have a lower top tube for better ...


9

There are a couple of reasons. The KISS Principle If anything vital breaks while you're touring and you can't fix it on the spot, you're stranded. You're too far from home to call your mom for a ride. Unless you have a spare for the broken part, your options are some DIY jerry rigging and/or praying that someone with a truck comes by who will carry you and ...


9

Their main problem is your first bullet hypothesis: They can't cope as well with sustained braking on descent, as that is where brakes are challenged the hardest. Even with the extra cooling fins, on a long descent, the brake may overheat, and may catastrophically fail. Riders using roller brakes have reported the brakes getting hot enough to ignite the ...


8

For cycling across China you want a reliable bike that is unlikely to give you trouble, and which can be repaired with "local" resources if it does. Forget about "lighter" wheels -- you want reliable wheels, and a pound less weight (if that) from a lighter wheel will not make any difference. And I'd stay away from a geared hub, unless you can find one that ...


8

'Bulk' is mostly about whether all of your luggage will fit in your bags. ie is the volume of your luggage less than the capacity of your bags. So it depends on how much stuff you want to take, and how big your panniers are. Aerodynamics doesn't really matter for touring. Unless you are cycling rather fast, or it is very windy. Usually the weight of your ...


7

Short and simple... Nobody with the cash to spend on a high end touring bike thinks they are worthwhile. Given the increasing specialization in the bike market, they only reason they don't exist is nobody will buy them.


7

Sounds like you want to use your current V-Brakes, but if getting new brakes, TRP makes mini V-Brakes that are STI lever compatible, sometimes called a brifter (brakes and shifting in one lever). Most V-Brakes have a different pull ratio which is not compatible with brifters. The TRP CX9 is for Shimano STI levers The TRP CX8.4 is for SRAM and Campagnolo ...


7

As has been pointed out, closed brakes are not ideal from the standpoint of disipating the energy built up through friction. This has also been experienced in the automotive world, where drum brakes were standard during many decades. Some would say they still are, e.g. on rear axels of light commercial vehicles such as pick-up trucks. However, although ...


6

I would suggest not training or riding on the bike path at higher speeds. If it's allowable in your locality. Get back on the road with the cars! I believe it is safer, although data doesn't exist to support that claim (bike path crashes generally aren't reported). I've had 2 higher speed (25+mph) collisions with pedestrians (Dc Area), both caused by ...


5

Any bike can be used for touring long distances. The main question is, what type of touring do you want to do? If you want to do self-supported touring (you carry the luggage yourself on the bike vs. a car transports the stuff for the whole group), you need a bike that can take luggage. The other main feature I look for in a touring bike is comfort, ...


5

The Surly Pacer is a good choice. My first real bike was a one, and I used it for commuting, training rides, and a two-week tour in Europe. Even though it wasn't "ideal" for training rides or touring, it worked great for me until I was able to afford more specialized bikes. The Pacer doesn't come with as many rack bosses as you'll want (one advantage of the ...


5

There aren't many options out there for cranks shorter than 165mm. Your best bet is to buy a set of longer crankarms and get them shortened at a service like Bikesmith Design. Also, if you are legitimately having knee problems, I'd suggest that you find a professional fit service in your area and have a fitting done. The length of your cranks may not be the ...


5

My suspicion is that they add to the cost and most tourists prefer to spend that money on something else. The touring market is also small enough that it's unlikely any manufacturer makes a touring-specific suspension fork. But as you've found, front suspension bikes are still available. At the high end you're probably going to be better off getting a custom ...


4

The inimitable late Sheldon Brown left us a great post on shifters and gearing and compatibility. The highlights for this kind of swap are: For the bike getting the bar end shifters: Likely no problem. If the rear shifter is indexed but the indexing doesn't match the gearing then you can usually switch to 'friction' mode. May be annoying if you are not ...


4

Tektro makes relatively inexpensive brake levers for drop handlebars. They have a RL-340 model which works with caliper and cantilever brakes, and a RL-520 model that works with V-brakes. I found this the hard way: I bought a Genesis single-speed cyclocross bike online, and it came equipped with mini V-brakes and the wrong levers. The biggest surprise was ...


4

Your question is very general but I can start the ball rolling by telling you about a short-distance tour I did over a couple of days last summer. Think is was about 350km in the end, on tarmac roads, over 2 1/2 days, staying in hotels overnight. Bike was a road bike, but was an audax bike rather than a racer. It had mudguards, a rack and I had SPD ...


4

I am not a doctor, but its sound like you might be suffering Post Traumatic Stress, and should seek professional help to rule it out or get treatment. You should be concerned about the 10 critical accidents (I read critical that as hospital/doctors visits and time off school/work, not a mere "off" ). You are likely riding beyond you limits, and need to ...


3

I researched more on this topic. The short answer is that an aluminium frame can last from a couple of years to 50 years/lifetime. The long answer is: The main factor is fatigue (not counting accidents): "The tendency of a material (metal) to break under repeated cyclic loading at a stress considerably less then the tensile strength in a static test." ...


3

Expedition bikes You will see "expedition" bike at manufacturers who are specialized in touring bikes, and have many models. The marketing department needs to differentiate somehow, so the common groups are called trekking, touring, expedition. But this can vary, and for me the expedition is usually the top bike in their offering, with the most expensive ...


3

It looks like you're treating it as four positions: tops, hoods, vertical part of drops, horizontal part of drops. Compared to my bike, your bars seem to be rotated forward, and the levers seem high up the bars. It strikes me that you might be able to try rotating your bars back and move the levers further forward. This would make the hood part of your bar ...


3

Your hand does look rather cramped in those bars... There are a wide variety of bars available... You have "ergonomic" bars, bars with extra-deep drops... Fairly annoying to experiment, however. Replacing roadster bars is a bit of work; much more involved than say, MTB bars which can be swapped out in few minutes with modern components. Consider getting a ...


3

On a very long tour such as this, the cyclist will want to be as self-sufficient as possible. Bike components and accessories are often a trade-off between weight and cost, but touring brings durability and ease of repair to the forefront. This kind of riding is often called loaded touring, and has the strong implication that the cyclist is carrying ...


3

Sheldon Brown has a page about adding a second set of handlebars above your first set. It looks terrible: Why not give that a shot? Sounds like it will fulfil your desires.



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