Author Topic: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.  (Read 2260 times)

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Offline travellingfoxes

Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:01:22 am »
Gday guys

Firstly thank you to those who have previously assisted us with our departure date for our trip from Boston. We will now be leaving in May to increase the overall 'happy' experience!

Our next delema is that 1.5 weeks ago our bikes were stolen form our friends garage (holding them for us while we are visiting back home in Australia (not very bloody impressed!!) This trip is going to be Long and Hilly!! fully self supported and camping.

SOOOOOOOO now we have to make a choice as to what to ride. Our new plan is to buy 2 Scott Sportster 30 (hybrid) fom REI - my wife prefers upright position on her bike (when she isn't racing on TT bikes doing Ironman).

http://www.rei.com/product/865721/scott-sportster-30-bike-2014

Our rationale is that we can be in a comfortable upright cruise position (have ergometric hand grips already), We can lock out the front suspension when not required, We may look at changing the casssette to 11-34 or 36, and possibly the front to a 22 (not sure if necessary), we are both going to be towing bob trailers, and we don't want to have to spend a lot of money replacing our stolen babies.

Please look over specks and pull to pieces (constructively or destructively-if necessary) Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys

Ken and Jules
Travellingfoxes

Offline John Nelson

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 09:59:18 am »
You say your wife prefers an upright position. Make sure she's ridden in that position for at least two consecutive 60-mile days before you settle on it. And this bike has flat bars, which I don't think I'd find comfortable all the way across the country. What's very comfortable for five miles is often not comfortable over the long haul. But it sounds like she has a lot of cycling experience, so she probably knows what's best for her.

Personally, I wouldn't want to carry the extra weight of a suspension fork on a mostly-paved route. But the overall weight of the bike doesn't look too excessive.

The gearing looks pretty good to me--it's essentially the same as a Trek 520 or a Surly LHT. I don't think you'd have to change anything. Sure, I'd prefer a 34 to a 32, but it's not enough of a difference for me to waste the cassette.

The tires are Schwalbe 700x40, which is good, but I would definitely not ride knobby tires across the country. Chances are that these are the wire bead version of the Smart Sam, which are not half as good as the folding version of the same tire.

Front and rear wheels both have 32 spokes, which is probably good enough.

I don't see fittings for racks or for a third water bottle cage


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 10:16:00 am »
I might suggest you look at the Novara Safari instead. 

REI house brand, so you have a fair chance of finding one (that fits) at one of the REIs near Boston.

Smooth (fat) tires for better ride on the roads.  Low gears.

Handlebar has more hand positions for those long days in the saddle.

Rack mounts, should you ever need such.  (Also work with fenders.)

Offline geegee

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 11:28:33 am »
=1 on the Novara Safari. If your wife wants a more upright stance, go for a smaller size and an angled stem to raise the handlebar.

The fork on the Sportster is pretty mediocre, and setting a coil spring suspension on a loaded touring bike is an odd thing because it's usually based on the rider's weight. Plus, I've never seen shocks that lock out properly, there's always a bit of play no matter what. Fatter tires and good padded gloves will help absorb the vibrations — plus when you adjust the bike for a more upright stance, weight shifts to the seat rather than the handlebar.

I usually readjust my bike in the middle of a long tour. I find as I get used to the daily riding routine and gain strength and endurance, I tend to raise the seat so I get more leg stretch and shift more of my weight on the handlebar for improved control.

Offline DaveB

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 12:06:15 pm »
A suspension fork is a real negative on a road touring bike.  It adds a lot of weight and is totally unnecessary.  A rigid fork hardtail hybrid would be far more suitable if you really want flat bars for extended days.

Offline travellingfoxes

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 05:08:20 pm »
Thanks very much for your prompt replies!!.

After reading Geegee and Pat Lambs replies we have had a closer look at the Novara Safari and are now reconsidering! (its pathetic how you can make life so much more difficult when you have too many choices - amazing!!)

Does anyone know whether you can put a handlebar bag on the Butterfly bars? With the extra weight of the bike would we need to change the gearing to a 22on the front or a 34-36 on the back? and as we are towing bob trailers should we upgrade the brakes to dics? (personally i'm old school and like rim brakes for simplicity!

Thankyou again.
Travellingfoxes

Offline geegee

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 05:23:23 pm »
Does anyone know whether you can put a handlebar bag on the Butterfly bars?

Some people replace spacers with a second stem and a short bar for a handlebar bag mount. You can search around for examples, like this
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 05:25:25 pm by geegee »

Offline travellingfoxes

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 08:31:18 pm »
Geegee, holey moley would have NEVER thought of that configuration!! Very cool. Ta

Offline bogiesan

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 08:37:03 pm »
Our rationale is that we can be in a comfortable upright cruise position (have ergometric hand grips already), We can lock out the front suspension when not required, We may look at changing the casssette to 11-34 or 36, and possibly the front to a 22 (not sure if necessary), we are both going to be towing bob trailers, and we don't want to have to spend a lot of money replacing our stolen babies.
Please look over specks and pull to pieces (constructively or destructively-if necessary) Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys
Ken and Jules
Travellingfoxes

Comfort? Upright?
Look at recumbents. Heads up, high def cycling. Designed with the behind in mind.
Fortunately for me, it takes a certain kind individual who has the courage and will take the opportunity to test ride a loaded recumbent.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 01:00:24 pm »
Comfort? Upright?
Look at recumbents. Heads up, high def cycling. Designed with the behind in mind.
Fortunately for me, it takes a certain kind individual who has the courage and will take the opportunity to test ride a loaded recumbent.
I don't think that two people coming here on a tight schedule for a long trip without any previous recumbent experience should use this opportunity to find out if a recumbent is for them.   

Offline whit517

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 08:23:06 pm »
I am not a bike specs expert and will not pretend to be.  I will just say that I have tour on a Trek 520 and adore it.  I changed the stem to one slightly more upright and it is very comfortable.  Just my two cents.  Try a test ride if your LBS has one in stock.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 10:56:33 pm »
Comfort? Upright?
Look at recumbents. Heads up, high def cycling. Designed with the behind in mind.
Fortunately for me, it takes a certain kind individual who has the courage and will take the opportunity to test ride a loaded recumbent.
I don't think that two people coming here on a tight schedule for a long trip without any previous recumbent experience should use this opportunity to find out if a recumbent is for them.   

I do. I have no problem recommending a high quality recumbent to anyone for any trip. The idea that any particular upright can be "ridden into over the first few weeks" is the same kind of misperception. Fit and components on a new bike are going to be a problem for anyone. You put 'em on a bike like the Tour Easy and in the same hundred miles or so they'll be loving it and wondering why they didn't get one tens of thousands of miles ago.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DanL

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 10:02:55 pm »
I was leaning towards the Novara Safari or the Randonee.  I opted for the Randonee because of issues on past bikes with twist style shifter's.  I love my Randonee.
I hate Thieves.   

Offline BikePacker

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 06:57:48 pm »
I was leaning towards the Novara Safari or the Randonee.
Concur on REI.
For me the Safari for over a decade has been a 'comfortable'/cost effective/smoothly operating/minimal surprises touring platform. 

Offline RandomGuyOnABike

Re: Any advise on Bicycle choice greatly appreciated.
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 12:56:23 am »
After touring last year on a loaded mountain bike, I've been looking at touring bikes this year. Last week, I finally test rode a Disc Trucker.. and words cannot express the comfort and ease of the bike as compared to my beast. Can't really go wrong with a bike that has been toured on by hundreds, if not thousands of people, right?

Of course, it also depends on where your touring as well. I wouldn't want to take the Trucker out on a 500 mile trip through single track / expedition style touring, that's for sure.

So the best advice, attempt to ride the bike before you buy. You might find something that you just fall in love right when you get on it and ride it for a couple of feet.