Author Topic: Retiring, getting into self contained touring  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline dancingcyclist

Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 16, 2014, 10:42:11 pm »
Looking for input. Been road riding for years, ready to start touring and looking into bikes. Right now I'm leaning towards a Raleigh Sojourn or a Jamis Elite, or ???. Any and all help is welcome.  :)

Offline bogiesan

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 12:56:14 am »
Recumbent.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 07:56:30 am »
The almost automatic recommendation: Surly LHT

Offline staehpj1

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 10:00:04 am »
Choose packing style first, and maybe go as far as assembling the whole kit first, then choose the racks, bags, and bike that best suit it.

The LHT is the usual standard recommendation for heavy touring, but I personally find it a bit of a tank for my touring style.  I recommend that you at least consider a very light packing style and a sportier bike.  If you pack light you can ride one of your road bikes.  I find that style of touring more pleasant.  I find riding a very lightly loaded bike is much more pleasant and find having only a very streamlined and well thought out packing list to provide a simple lifestyle and a greatly reduced need to dig through a ton of gear and clothing.  You can easily get by on 20 pounds of stuff and still cook and camp comfortably without breaking the bank.  By spending a bit more (still way less than the cost of an LHT) and packing even more carefully you can cut that load in half.

If that sounds interesting, check out my U/L article at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 10:03:39 am by staehpj1 »

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 11:03:00 am »
Choose packing style first, and maybe go as far as assembling the whole kit first, then choose the racks, bags, and bike that best suit it.

This is the very best advice a noobie could get.  Sadly, it will be ignored.

OP, only you know what sort of touring you plan to do.  As you are well aware, the heavier you are, the more you handicap yourself as to terrain and distance.  A road bike is probably limited to, well, the road, so if you plan to see significant gravel, then another bike, that can take wider tires, like an LHT etc must be considered instead.

Not everyone wants to go ultralight.  I certainly don't.  But I have made item by item comparisons to the ultralight gear lists and have consciously chosen to take the extra weight / bulk and suffered the need to have racks and panniers as a result.  The longer you are potentially exposed to the elements and the more food / water you'll need to carry, the less practical ultralight becomes.  Don't be one of those guys who blows by me on the road who is freezing / hungry when I catch up with them at camp.
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 12:32:07 pm »
None of the replies so far focus on choosing between the two bikes you are considering. Going by specs, I'd choose the Elite for the better derailleurs. As far your kit is concerned, IMHE, you'll make many changes before settling on what suits you most.

Offline amsocrates

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 01:19:46 pm »
That's a Jamis Aurora Elite right.  I've been looking at one to upgrade
my 25 year old Bruce Gordon Hikiri.  Reasonable choice.

John

Offline DaveB

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 02:15:44 pm »
None of the replies so far focus on choosing between the two bikes you are considering.
Yes, he mentioned those two bikes but also said; "Any and all help is welcome" so I added another well regarded bike to the list for his consideration. 

Offline Ben the Slow

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 03:34:24 pm »
I am also new to touring (and I have no recent cycling experience).  I picked the Jamis Aurora Elite over the LHT due to a)my touring will be on roads in the USA so either bike will work), b)the Jamis has better components including the disk brakes, c)the costs are not that far apart.  I will go cross country this June so that'll be the real test.

my observation, the LHT, 520, the Jamis, they've all be used by many people for many long tours, just be happy with your choice

Offline John Nelson

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 05:07:38 pm »
Having met hundreds of touring cyclists on the road, it seems to me that most of them are traveling heavy, many more use panniers than trailers, and more than half use all four panniers. So if you have no idea what you're going to like, and if you believe in the wisdom of crowds, you might consider a bike that can go loaded.

Comparing the Jamis Aurora Elite with the Raleigh Sojourn, I'll note that both have road-bike gearing. If running heavy, I strongly prefer touring bikes to have mountain bike gearing to get lower gearing. The Raleigh, however, has lower gearing than the Jamis. The Jamis has a lowest gear of 27 gear inches. The Raleigh has a lowest of 24 gear inches. Note that the LHT and the 520 have a lowest gear of 20 gear inches, which I think is just about right. Both are suitable for heavy loads, having 36-spoke wheels, and a steel frame and fork. The Jamis has higher quality derailleurs, but costs more (probably due in part because of that). Both have wide tires (Jamis has 32 and Raleigh has 35--I would personally prefer the 35, but that's not much difference and easily replaced). The Raleigh comes standard with a Brooks B-17 saddle, which I consider a great plus.

Given the two above, I'd probably go with the Raleigh. But I'd rather have a Surly Long Haul Trucker or a Trek 520 instead of either of those two. If you decide to go ultralight, I'd look for a good aluminum road bike with 32-spoke wheels.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 05:32:20 pm by John Nelson »

Offline saafrican

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 09:38:21 am »
Try a recumbent !!!!,   I am 70 and can easily do 100 mile days. , no sore butt, back ,neck wrists . I also have 3 very fancy CF  bikes that hang from the rafters because the lightening P38 recumbent is sooooo much more comfortable .
Look on ebay or Craigslist for a decent recumbent , check out reputable  builders and dealers. one test ride will really open your eyes ?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 11:43:24 am »
Try a recumbent !!!!

The key word there is "try".  Don't buy one without trying first.  Some folks love them and some do not.  Riding one is very different from riding a diamond frame.  You may love it but do not assume that will be the case.  I tried one and was totally unimpressed, I'd ride one only if I could no longer ride a diamond frame.

Offline ZiZohn

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2014, 09:24:10 pm »
I have a couple recumbent, bikes, as well as Carbon Fiber diamond frames. I will be doing the Southern Tier with Adventure Cycling self-contained later this year. I was worried about the climbs I'd encounter during the ride, plus the difficulty with shipping a 'bent, so decided not to use my recumbent and instead had a Surly Disc Trucker built. Yes, the recumbent is very comfortable. But I don't climb as well on the recumbent and also ride a couple MPH slower overall average speed. I realize speed doesn't matter much when fully loaded, but the climbing is an issue. Also, even though the Surly and my recumbent both weigh about the same, I find it is harder to push my recumbent uphill than it is my uprights. But that is just me, maybe someone else doesn't have the same issues on a recumbent.

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 10:30:49 am »
The grades on the Southern Tier are only in the first 100 miles out of San Diego and the Texas hill country.  I rode with a guy in his late 60's who was on a recumbent and he did OK.  OTOH, I'm with Pete.  I'll stay with my diamond frame. 
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline zonesystempro

Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 12:03:42 pm »
If you can afford to ... have a custom touring bike made. Yes it will cost you more but I had one made and the difference between my trek and custom touring bike was unbelieveable. Sooo much more comfortable to ride and all the components and gearing needed for a great touring experience. Cheers!

Mike