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32

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 ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

There are a lot of question so I will settle on the one in the title. How many years will an current aluminum frame last of a touring bike? Depends: Don't know what aluminum frame Construction is a larger factor than material Don't know the use Use is a larger factor than material Don't know how you are going to care for the bike Care/maintenance is ...


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 ...


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

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

Mid range touring bikes come with shocks because because mid range consumers will buy them. Department store bikes come with full suspension because people buy them. High end touring bikes don't come with shocks because high end consumers don't see the value. A bicycle does not need to be used for how it is classified/designed. I use a cyclocross with ...


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.


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

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

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

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

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, ...


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.


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

How many days do you have for the tour? Just about anyone (including my polio self) can do 60 miles (100 km) in a day, so long as there aren't too many hills and there isn't a bad headwind. Rain will slow you down (and can make the ride miserable) but won't stop you unless it's very heavy or the weather is especially cold. (Hail, on the other hand, can ...


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

I think you would find the bike handles reasonably on single track, 4x4 tracks and dirt paths but there are a few things to bear in mind. I'd ride single track but stick to trails graded easy. Where an MTB would be mandatory would be anything above that. The following features would require a MTB (or at least no gear or being on a short ride ie. mud). ...


2

While we were cycling down the pacific coast of the US, my girlfriend and I met a swiss couple who had been touring the world for 15 months. They didn't move very fast, but they had covered thousands of miles. Here is what I remember from their setup: Front and back racks with Ortlieb panniers (waterproofing is critical) Cyclometer (It's nice to know how ...


2

I suggest checking out the Space Horse. I have one and am very pleased with it. Most recent version comes with a compact 10 cassette, is a very smooth ride, and quite comfortable. I've taken it off road onto the gravel rails to trails we have around here and the next day loaded it up for a 15 mile commute to work. Solid as a tank. Comfortable. ...



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