Author Topic: Choosing a bike and could use advice  (Read 1037 times)

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Offline darren.pinkham

Choosing a bike and could use advice
« on: June 04, 2013, 09:32:45 pm »
Hey guys I've been looking into picking up a used bike to tour with but I don't know exactly what I would need to do a tour across Canada. As I don't have a ton of money to spend on a shiny new bike I've been contemplating picking up an older bike and changing a couple components.

http://www.pistescyclables.ca/bikes/VA1775/card.html

This is the bike I've been considering and I was hoping for a little input before buying it. I've done quite a bit of research on the model and components but I've come up rather empty. Does anyone know if this bike would suit my needs? Or will I end up high and dry beside the road 1000 km's in?

Thanks for the help guys
Darren

Offline csykes

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 11:13:21 pm »
It looks like a nice bike for the price.  My concern would be that the chain rings look a little big for loaded touring. You may be able to swap it for a triple with smaller rings to give you the lower gears that you will need.  Be sure the size is correct for you; check the top tube length in addition to the seat tube measurement.  It would be great if you could visit the shop to try it out first. Be sure to have someone who knows bikes check it out to be sure the brakes etc are in good working condition before you do any major rides.

Offline DaveB

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 09:03:35 am »
That bike is very old and most of the components are obsolete.  More modern components will be difficult to fit as the frame will have 126 mm dropouts and a freewheel.  Newer cassette hubs (7-speed) in that width are getting hard to find.  Also, if it has Italian bottom bracket threading, your choice of reasonably priced more suitable cranks is limited. Upgrading to newer components is going to be expensive.     

I don't if you have access to a Craigs List but you should be able to get a more modern suitable bike for no more and perhaps less money.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 03:40:28 pm »
Do not buy that bike.  It is very old and not high quality.  It will be difficult to change parts on it or even repair it.  The $350 price is also very high.  Wow.  Try to find a much more recent bike.  Even one of those hybrid style bikes would work for touring.  Or a mountain bike.  Anything but that bike.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 08:43:14 am »
It's expensive for 25 years old. It probably did not cost that much new. It's ok for someone who just wants to cruise around town, maybe. I don't think they fitted that bike with long-distance, loaded, touring in mind. For about $100.00 more you can get a new Giant Sedona. Go to Youtube and write---the world's best touring bike, Giant Sedona.

When it comes to very long road trips over varying topography, you need certain kinds of components and a certain kind of frame. That bike is the wrong combination of frame and components for the kind of traveling you mention here. Can you do it on that bike? Yes, you can. You can also hike the Appalachian trail in lead boots too, but what would be the point in that?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 10:45:23 am »
The $350 price is also very high. 

I missed that on my first scan.  Going price for a bike like that is about $100.

Panasonic made some nice bikes, so it wouldn't be completely unreasonable to tour on that (assuming it fits you).   It would be a project bike, though.  You'd need to disassemble and repack wheels, headset, and bottom bracket; replace brake and derailer cables and housing; replace brake shoes, tires, and tubes; and probably re-tape the bars.  Probably $100 in parts, and $200-400 in labor at a bike shop, depending on the shop, if you don't do it yourself.  Gearing is high, by modern standards, so you'd either need to replace the crank or plan on walking more hills.  There goes another $150.

Go visit you local bike shop (LBS).  I'd bet a good shop could get you on a new hybrid, with racks, fully tuned, up to date, and ready to roll, for less than the total/real cost of that Panasonic.  If you want more hand positions, there are bar ends you can get to clamp on the ends of flat bars.  Or save a bit more and buy a loaded touring bike -- they start around $1,000.

Offline darren.pinkham

Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 06:31:06 pm »
Thanks for all the great advice guys. I chose not to buy the bike and have been looking around a bit. anyone know anything about velo sports?