Author Topic: 3 years to retirement.  (Read 554 times)

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Offline fatolddude59

3 years to retirement.
« on: May 01, 2013, 08:55:54 am »
I am set to retire at the ripe old age of 57 in a couple of years. One of my bucket list items is to tour cross country until my body gives out. Hopefully in many many years. I am quite a bit overweight and out of shape. So there is lots of work ahead.

Last year I purchased a Trek 7300 and have been riding it approximately 500 miles each of the last two years. This year I plan on stepping it up to many more, with a couple of >50 mile day rides planned.

Here is my dilemma... I like the 7300, however, I am concerned that taking on a grand tour in a few years, I may not have the right bike for the trip. I live in North Central Illinois and travel the I&M Canal Tow Path and the areas country roads weekly. When I ride the country roads, there are very few hills and I found that with the few hills I encounter, my front end is real "mushy".

I really don't want to buy a new bike, although the thought of having a good touring bike sounds like a great idea. Can the front end be changed out to a solid fork instead of the original ones with the shocks?

It's been 30 years since I was serious about riding and it feels great to be on two wheels again. I am ready for the adventures, even if my wife isn't.  ;D

Any advice is always appreciated.

Bill B.

Offline e46rick

Re: 3 years to retirement.
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 11:06:21 am »
Congrats on your pending retirement!

The mushy feeling could be the setting on your front suspension.  I don't know if the fork on that particular bike is adjustable?  Either way, personally, I would prefer a rigid fork for riding the road.  Some suspension forks have a "lock out" function that essentially converts it to a rigid fork with the turn of a dial while on the fly.

Are you planning a supported or unsupported cross country tour?  If you are planning to do it on your own, I think it would be well worth the cost of a touring-specific bicycle.  Decent touring bikes can be had for well under $1500.  A relatively small price to pay considering the numbers of hours, days, weeks you will be riding it cross country.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: 3 years to retirement.
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 01:00:57 pm »
Yes you can replace the suspension fork with a rigid fork.  Probably the best bet is to have your local Trek shop do it.  They can probably order an appropriate fork from Trek.  Ordering a fork online would also work if you want to do the mechanical work yourself.  If touring loaded you would want a fork with lowrider pannier mounts.  Gearing can also be lowered on your bike.  A 22 tooth inner chainring can replace the 28 tooth your bike currently has.