Author Topic: What Touring bike would you suggest?  (Read 10361 times)

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Offline billymax

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« on: November 03, 2008, 03:29:35 pm »
I am coming over from England to do the TransAm Tour in May 2009, starting in Williamsburg,Virginia.
Although I have a touring bike - which I've had for 18 years now, I thought I'd treat myself to a new one for the trip. I want to buy in the US - preferably in or near the Williamsburg area. Could you suggest the best tourer that would comfortably see me across the country and then for me to ship it back to the UK.
It would need to be sturdy, have 36 spokes and be a joy to ride. I welcome all suggestions.
Many thanks.


Offline DaveB

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 06:58:28 pm »
The "standard" ready to tour bike available here is the Trek 520.  There are others, of course, but the 520 is pretty much ready as-delivered and is widely available.  Contact a Trek dealer here before you arrive to be sure they have one and in the size you require.  

Touring bikes aren't big items here so don't arrive "cold" and expect to find what you want without some pre-planning.


Offline biker_james

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 07:06:32 am »
As well as Trek, there are Cannondale touring bikes, and Surly Long Haul Trucker, which are pretty common. It depends what you like in a touring bike( STI vs barend shifters, flat or drop bars, etc..). But the above poster is right-you need to look into it in advance and do some arranging before heading over. It's not that likely that you will just walk into a bike shop and walk out with the touring bike you really want.
I like Cannondale touring bikes, but hey, thats what I ride.


Offline windrath

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 11:25:01 am »
Good Luck with finding a touring bike.  Although the Trek 520 comes ready to tour, I have found it lacks some things that would make it very good.  The rear cassette should have a 34 tooth cog instead of a 32.  The handlebar stem should be adjustable instead of fixed.  The bike does not readily accept front pannier racks.

If you really like your current touring bike, I would ship it over instead of buying new and getting a bike that does not work completely the way you think it should.

Cannondale and Surly bikes are quite good.


Offline litespeed

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 11:40:45 am »
I agree with windrath. To the best of my knowledge international flights will let you bring along a bicycle and gear for free or little charge. If you are at all mechanically inclined you could check your bicycle as baggage and assemble it here. There is nothing like having your own familiar ride as long as it's in good shape.

I have shipped my beloved touring bike and checked it as luggage many times. I have disassembly and packing (or unpacking and assembly) down to an hour or so - maybe a bit more. Not hard once you get the hang of it. Make sure you have spacers for the fork dropouts. Any plastic pipe or tubing will do.

This message was edited by litespeed on 11-4-08 @ 8:47 AM

Offline Turk

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 01:45:37 pm »
You may be interested to know that Trek was started by a Brit around 1975. The bikes were always built in Waterloo, Wi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trek_Bicycle_Corporation


Offline valygrl

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 04:18:47 pm »
The bike does not readily accept front pannier racks.

I disagree, it has braze-on's that accept standard front racks - I've had Tubus Tara and Blackburn Lowrider on mine, with no problems installing.




Offline bagoh20

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 04:34:33 pm »
I don't have a lot of touring experience, but the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I just bought recently seems to come equipted for touring with the correct gearing and
ability to carry panniers and loads.  They are a little hard to find now until December'08 when the new production year comes out.  I love mine so far. around $1000 - $1200 US



Offline bogiesan

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 09:45:33 am »
REI still makes a decent touring machine in their Novara line. Ooops,
just checked, it seems to have been dropped. That doesn't mean you
can't find one in the back of the REI in your host city.

Being a recumbent fanatic, I suggest a Tour Easy from Easy Racers.
You can figure out the fitting at home (must be one someplace you can
ride) and have it ordered and assembled by a shop in the target city.
You can sel it easily at the other end, very high resale value on ER
products. Shipping a 'bent back across the Atlantic won't be cheap.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Rep

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2008, 10:31:30 am »
      "REI still makes a decent touring machine in their Novara line. Ooops,
just checked, it seems to have been dropped. That doesn't mean you
can't find one in the back of the REI in your host city...."

REI still has the Novara Safari and is gearing up for their 2009 model as I understand.  This would be a reasonably priced bike that is well respected.  There are usually REI stores on larger cities that have a good reputation of service.

Drink beer, gain weight.  Ride bike, lose weight.
Bicycling, Brewing & Backgammon...What a life.

Offline tonythomson

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 12:41:35 pm »
Hi - I am from UK also but decided to have my bike shipped out from here as need to know it suites you unless you have time to trial the new one.Only cost £50 to take with me on the flight.  What I have done is buy all the rest of my equipment, clothes, camping,etc in the States - much cheaper. Good luck. I set out in Feb for Southern Tier.

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline billymax

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 10:44:10 am »
Hi Tony,
Thanks for your e-mail.
Have you costed sending your bike prior to your own journey to get it re-assembled in a bike shop in the US? If so, which carrier and how much were they going to charge?
Have you cycled in the states before?
Who have you got your insurance through.
I'd really appreciate any advice.
Cheers,
Bill Maxwell


Offline billymax

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 10:46:03 am »
Hi Tony,
Thanks for your e-mail.
Have you costed sending your bike prior to your own journey to get it re-assembled in a bike shop in the US? If so, which carrier and how much were they going to charge?
Have you cycled in the states before?
Who have you got your insurance through.
I'd really appreciate any advice.
Cheers,
Bill Maxwell



Offline tonythomson

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 11:51:24 am »
Hi Bill, I am fortunate in that I have a house in Florida so was able to take it out with me prior to starting my XC tour in Feb. It cost me £50 on Thomas Cook all I had to do was book it on the flight prior to leaving. You have to box it up but don't seal the box as the security will want it taken out and x-rayed. They have extra big ones.  It was really no big deal.  To box it just take off your pedals, turn the handle bars round and let the air out of your tyres.  Not a lot to put back together at the other end.  I have flown with my bike many times. Happy to help any time. Tony

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline tonythomson

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 12:04:29 pm »
Hi Bill, Insurance I have through my bank card and pay a bit extra to cover the time I will be out there.  Maybe contact Lonley Planet who have specialist insurance companies linked to them.  
Yes i cycled for  Boston up into Canada and across to Vancouver, finishing in Seatle. The Rockies where stupendous.  I'm in Southampton (presently flooded) if oyu are anye=where near this way, happy to meet and discuss.  Tony

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com