Author Topic: Newbie here! Looking for a touring bike!  (Read 546 times)

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Offline hawky94

Newbie here! Looking for a touring bike!
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:35:41 am »
Good Morning All!

I'm living in the Canada, but originally from the UK, and I'm fairly new to this whole touring malarkey! But, everyone's gotta start somewhere, right?

I've got an old 2008 Raleigh Triumph MTB which I'm using for short-ish tours (my last - and first tour was 85KM, am hoping to do another one this weekend). But, the MTB isn't equipped to do major touring - cross-country is my goal, and then Europe!

I've started to save my pennies! However, I'm still on a budget of around 600-800 CAD, as my income isn't a steady one.

I realise that most of the top-end touring bikes go for over a thousand, which would be fine if it wasn't going to take me a million years to save that! And, I'm not getting any younger, at 19  I feel as though I'm hard-pressed to do something with my life. And so, I figured why not take off across the country!

I've already purchased rear pannier racks and bags for my MTB, and am planning to use that while I save up my money for my new bike.

Any help that you guys can give, including links to sites - or even a free bike! Ya'know... A gesture of good faith! ;) That would be much appreciated - okay, I'm joking about the free bike. But yes, links to sites, any help at all is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jack.

Offline DaveB

Re: Newbie here! Looking for a touring bike!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 09:51:10 am »
The least expensive way to go is to fit lighter, smooth tread tires and bar ends to your MTB.  That will give you much less rolling resistance and alternative hand positions and should make your MTB into an adequate if not ideal long distance tourer. 

Use it for the time being and save to buy a really purpose built tourer in the future.  At 19 you have TONS of time so don't waste what money you have on a stopgap bike.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Newbie here! Looking for a touring bike!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 01:35:57 pm »
Recumbent. Comfort is far more important to me when doing distance than climbing speed. But that's jsut me.

Keep your bike and upgrade the components as necessary and as budget allows. As DaveB implies, Aggressive mtb tires are anchors. Better and narrower tires are great but you may need new wheels. If you run a compact double, consider a triple chainring and replacing the tfron derailleur to handle the wider range. You can swap out the handlebars and stem for increased comfort. A new saddle may be desirable, too, since you will be sitting in it for hours instead of the usual in/out/stand while offroad. Long days in rain make fenders a delightful accessory.

Do you have a bike co-op in your area? Older bikes can be accessorized with used bits for very little money. 
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline hawky94

Re: Newbie here! Looking for a touring bike!
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 03:54:11 pm »
Hi there,

Thanks for your replies.

I've looked at swapping out the stem of my bike to equip new trekking bars. But it's welded into place and it would honestly be cheaper to buy a new bike.

Mine's five years old and cost me $100. Since then it's been through absolute hell and survived (somewhat miraculously), an 85K trip with it's stock MTB tyres. The frame is heavy as hell and the tyres don't make for smoothness, or speed. Which is essential considering that I don't use it for any off-road expeditions anymore.

I've currently saved up around $150 since I made the decision to buy a touring bike. Which is about 1/10th of the going price for one in my LBS, and online.

And so, the saving begins. But, I don't want to spend money fixing up this MTB that I have - I've already installed rear panniers and bags as mentioned - when that money could be going towards a new bike for myself.

It's pretty well equipped to tour - save the road tyres. So, I'll only renew the tyres on it when I need to and then I'll purchase some road tyres for it. I'm not planning on taking my MTB across the country, but I'll continue to do short tours with it.

I'll attach a picture of it.

Any tips on which bike (or a selection of bikes, preferably) to buy for my price range?

Thanks,

Jack.