Author Topic: Road bike for touring??  (Read 5616 times)

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Offline bglaser496

Road bike for touring??
« on: July 31, 2013, 02:23:41 pm »
Planning a 3 week trip from Seattle to Big Sur in October, camping along the way.  I have a nice road bike.  Can I use this and pull a trailer or do I need a touring bike which would allow panniers?  I assume my road peddles and shoes will be fine for such an adventure. 

Offline John Nelson

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 02:58:54 pm »
A road bike with a trailer is fine. For comfort, you might want to see if you can get any wider tires on it. Most road bikes will take a 25, and some a 28. Road shoes are fine if you have another pair of shoes handy to switch to at stops. Most use MTB shoes, however, since you get off the bike often. Check your gearing. If you're young and strong and you have a compact double or triple, road bike gearing might be good enough. Otherwise, you'll probably wish you had lower gears--the coast can be pretty hilly. Check your brakes for good stopping power--you'll need it for the extra weight. Don't fill up the trailer just because there's room. Have fun.

Offline dasy

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 04:41:07 am »
it is interesting,but do you prepare the cycling equitment?such as cycling suit,cycling bag,cycling camera and so on.

Offline JayH

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 08:49:40 am »
If you plan on using panniers, need to check if there are eyelets on the road bike and also feet clearance on the rear panniers...  There are options if you don't have eyelets but you need to do an inventory first...

I agree that double sided MTB pedals and MTB shoes are generally the way to go, but how comfy are you walking around in road shoes is the issue here...

Jay

Offline indyfabz

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 09:27:36 am »
Is the bike sufficiently geared to allow you to pull the extra weight without constant struggle? A B.O.B. trailer, for example, weighs 13 lbs. without the dry bag.

Is the rear wheel strong enough to handle the added stress of the trailer?

+1 on recessed cleats and MTB shoes, especially if you think you might be walking on gravel roads. I have done supported tours that have required walking on gravel paths/roads leading to campgrounds and rest stop parks. That can take its toll on road cleats.

Offline aggie

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 10:39:18 am »
I used my road bike (Trek 5200) for a short tour pulling a BOB trailer so it is possible.  I recommend that you get a rear wheel with 36 spokes and keep your load as light as possible.  I was breaking a spoke every 500 miles or so on my 32 spoke wheel.  I'd also go with as big a tire as your frame will permit.  I was using 23's and at the border of AZ/NM I somehow blew out the sidewall.  (A little inconvenient in the middle of nowhere.)  Road shoes will be ok but you'll want to either have another pair of shoes handy or cleat covers.  It's nice to do a little exploring at some interesting sites and it's awkward to walk in road shoes.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 12:12:52 pm »
You should plan at least one overnight trip to try out your stuff.  Better to learn what you don't like early, while you can still make changes.  You may like or dislike the bike and trailer, and you may like or dislike your gear too.
Danno

Offline WonderMonkey

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 10:44:45 pm »
I like the Burley Travoy because it attaches to the seat post and therefore distributes the weight.


Offline DaveB

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 09:06:34 am »
I recommend that you get a rear wheel with 36 spokes and keep your load as light as possible.  I was breaking a spoke every 500 miles or so on my 32 spoke wheel.
I believe your wheel was poorly built and insufficiently tensioned from the start and the broken spokes were the result of that, not from having an inadequate spoke count.  A trailer doesn't add much extra load to the rear wheel, certainly not as much as panniers.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 02:28:22 am »
I've been using road bikes for 33 years touring and have used both panniers and trailers.  I've always used 700x23 (or equivalent) and have never had a problem.  I have toured only on paved roads, however. I always carry several extra tubes and an extra tire.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline DaveB

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 08:49:26 am »
I've been using road bikes for 33 years touring and have used both panniers and trailers.  I've always used 700x23 (or equivalent) and have never had a problem.  I have toured only on paved roads, however. I always carry several extra tubes and an extra tire.
There are "road bikes" and there are "road bikes". 

I had an '83 Trek 400 and now have a Surly Pacer as my rain/errand bikes.  Both are certainly "road bikes", not dedicated touring bikes, but have drop out eyelets to accept a rack, long enough chainstays to avoid heel interference with reasonable size panniers and I have them geared suitably.  I would not hesitate to use either for touring and many other older road bikes share their capabilities.   

Then there are "road bikes" that are dedicated sports/racing designs with short chain stays, tight tire clearance, no eyelets and tall gearing and these are far less suited to use for anything but the lightest touring in reasonably flat areas.   

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 01:04:03 am »
My touring has been on a 1969 Dawes (cost $120) a 1976 Nishiki 10 speed (cost $200, used panniers), a 1997 Bianchi Eros (cost $1100, used panniers) and a 1995 Specialized carbon fiber Roubaix (cost $1850, used Burley Nomad trailer).  All of these worked great.  We can get too hung up on the idea we need a special touring bike. If you are planning on going off pavement a lot, then yes, you want a different bike than any of these four I have used.  Otherwise, I have just always ridden the one bike I had at the time and made it work. I have never specially outfitted a bike for a tour--no gearing changes, no special mounts, etc.
 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline DaveB

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2013, 08:49:58 am »
The Dawes, Nishiki and probably the Bianchi were frames with sufficient chainstay length, etc. that they weren't single-purpose racing frames.  The Specialized, maybe, maybe not, but since then road bike frame design has gotten more and more (uhhhh) specialized and les and less versatile.   Yes, you can tour on nearly anything with two wheels but some designs are far more suitable than others.

If you were able to tour on a road bike with standard OEM gearing while pulling a trailer I assume you limited your self to relatively flat areas or are extremely strong.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 12:16:43 am »


If you were able to tour on a road bike with standard OEM gearing while pulling a trailer I assume you limited your self to relatively flat areas or are extremely strong.
[/quote]
I don't know what OEM gearing is but the Specialized has a triple in front.  The terrain was extremely hilly with a 14 mile 2000 foot gain to start the first day.  I'm not extremely strong, in fact on that tour was 59 years old. I also had just received a pacemaker implant that was miscalibrated (I found out later) and did not respond well to exercise, allowing my max heart rate to rise to only approx 120 bpm.   I do have a strong will and will keep plugging away for hours if necessary.  Two days later, we had a 18 mile gain of about 2800 feet.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Road bike for touring??
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 09:11:09 am »
johnsondasw, without knowing the details of those climbs, I think you've proved DaveB's point.  The average grade for the climbs you cited is 3% or less.  While climbing 2,000 or 3,000 feet is quite respectable, 3% hardly compares with some of the steeper grades (10% or more) in the Appalachians, Ozarks, or even the long 6% climbs in some of the Rockies passes.