Author Topic: Road Bike for Touring?  (Read 3752 times)

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Offline Tailwinds

Road Bike for Touring?
« on: January 21, 2005, 07:03:52 pm »
I'm interesting in starting to do some self-supported touring and am wondering if my current road bike (which i love dearly) will be ok.

I have a Cannondale R1000.  Will it support the weight of panniers?  Trailer?  Aside from the pros/cons of each, is one better to use with a road bike?

Thanks!


Offline DaveB

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2005, 03:10:31 pm »
I'm not sure of the specifics of the Cannondale R-series frames but I doubt it has rear dropout eyelets and certainly doesn't have fork eyelets so mounting racks will be a jury-rig at best.  Even if you manage to mount racks, you will probably have heel-clearance issues due to the short chainstays.  The frame would probably support the weight but you have no good way to hang it there.

If you were planning on "credit card touring" (i.e. carrying only clothing and personal effects but no camping or cooking gear) it might work but not for self-contained touring.

That leaves you with the trailer as the best, or possibly only, option.

One other consideration, how is your R1000 geared?  Do you have low enough gears to handle hills with a loaded bike and/or trailer?  If you have a road double crank (53x39), you are geared way too high.  Road triples generally have a 30T granny and a 12x21 or 12x23 cassette.  Even that won't do for most tourists.  At the very least, substitute a 26T granny ring and a 12x27 cassette.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-22-05 @ 11:15 AM

Offline Peaks

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2005, 08:58:53 pm »
As long as the bike fits you, and you are comfortable sitting on it, then it will work.

A road bike might be hard to outfit with paniers.  I would recommend a trailer.  

As the previous post stated, you will want a triple crank on front.  

For what it's worth, I used a Trek 1220 road bike with triple crank and my daughter used an old Univega bike with double crank on our cross-country trip last summer (she regreted not having a triple).  



Offline Tailwinds

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2005, 07:00:22 pm »
Dave B & Peaks ... Thanks for your help!

I hadn't even thought about eyelets, etc.  A trailer certainly looks like the way to go!  

I do have a triple on my bike ... i can't imagine NOT having it :)

Thanks!


Offline MikeJuvrud

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 02:03:42 am »
Really any bike will do. I used a regular road bike (Raleigh - not sure the model) that had no eyelets. I solve the problem with about $5 in parts and a little creativity...picked up a couple metal loop "thingys" at the hardware store and attach them to the front/rear forks. Your front/rear panniers can attach to the thingys. I'll take some photos and post them.

The only thing special was that I used a rear rack that clamped onto the seat post and didn't require eyelets. To support the weight of all the gear on the rear rack, I rigged a couple support rods that attached to the rack and frame thingys.

The system worked great on a coast to coast US trip and cross Europe trip...I'm still using it today. (I did replace the rear rack after the US trip as it was getting a few stress fractures).

If you go the thingy route, make sure you have spare parts with you just in case.

Road bike spokes:
I did have to get new wheels with sturdier spokes. On the first 75 miles of my first trip I popped 6 spokes on my rear wheel. Some nice folks actually drove me +100 miles to the nearest bike shop so that I could get new wheels as I ran out of spare spokes and was stranded. A guy at the bike shop acutally traded me his wheels for mine and I've been riding on them ever since...without a single broken spoke. (That adventure turned out to be one of the great highlights of the trip)

Road Bike Gears:
I did replace the gears with 3 in front, 9 in back. In order to make the gears work and not have to replace everything, I bought a little switch at the bike shop that is attached on the handle bars. I can't remember what it is called, but the tiny little switch/lever only cost $20 instead of a hundreds to get a new deraileur and whatever else. (I'll post a photo of that switch too.)

So don't think you have to get a dedicated touring bike. I spent maybe $75 on upgrades and it worked perfect. If you've got a bike you love, you'll figure out a way to make it work. (You'll be astonished at the contraptions some people get by with.)

This message was edited by MikeJuvrud on 1-29-05 @ 10:12 PM

Offline DaveB

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2005, 03:41:04 pm »
I solve the problem with about $5 in parts and a little creativity...picked up a couple metal loop "thingys" at the hardware store and attach them to the front/rear forks.

The "thingys" you refer to are called "P-clamps" and are available at most hardware and home improvement shops.  They work after a fashion but tend to slip unless you can butt them right up against the dropouts.  If you use them be sure to get clamps with a plastic coating on the section that goes around the seat stays. This is critical with Al or carbon stays.  

There are racks that clamp directly into eyeless dropouts and are held in place by the QR skewers.  I believe Adventure Cycling sells them through their on-line shop and equipment catalogs.  None of this solves the heel-clearance problems that accompany short chainstays and big panniers.

Seatpost racks are very limited in carrying capacity (usually 15 pounds max.) and aren't very stable as they tend to pivot around the seatpost if heavily loaded no matter how you tighten the clamp. You mention that even your reinforced rack was cracking after a trip.  

In order to make the gears work and not have to replace everything, I bought a little switch at the bike shop that is attached on the handle bars.

The switch you refer to was offered as an aftermarket device years ago to allow STI double shifters to work with a triple crank.   When used, it changed the cable's effective length so you had access to any two chainrings at one time via the shifter. They effectively disappeared when both Shimano and Campy introduced STI/Ergo shifters that were designed for triple crank use.

You'll be astonished at the contraptions some people get by with.

You are certainly correct about this! :)

 




Offline MikeJuvrud

Road Bike for Touring?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2005, 03:54:11 pm »
be sure to get clamps with a plastic coating

I forgot to mention that and it is very important. I actually cut up an old tube and used that as a pad between the P-clamp and the fork. It was the perfect thickness, and the tube rubber actually bonded together to make the absolute snuggest fit. The tube kept the clamps from moving and protected the paint on the fork.

You mention that even your reinforced rack was cracking after a trip.
Sure there were a few cracks...but it was ~3000 after all, and that thing was fully loaded (2 big panniers, tent, sleeping bag...the works) ;p