Author Topic: what type of bike?  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline buckeye

what type of bike?
« on: April 17, 2005, 02:57:57 am »
I've been getting back into cycling over the past few years and have put on a lot of miles on my good old road bike.But now I'm looking for something to tour with,probably w/ a trailer.The trek 520 has a steel frame which I'm familiar with,but I've heard complaints about its gears being to high for touring.Plus its a little pricey for me right now.So I've been checking into a hybrid style of bike in my price range.Anyone got experience with one of these on long distances?And what about aluminum frames,are they as durable?


Offline Peaks

what type of bike?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2005, 11:19:08 pm »
Well, you see almost every type of bike used for touring. It's a matter of what fits your budget, and what your preferences are.  

Obviously, with a hybrid you ride more upright, which some people prefer.  But, you need to decide if on frame materials.  They will all get you there.  

The Trek 520 is a tried and true touring bike.  But, there are other manufactures as well.  If the 520 is out of your price range, then choose a less expensive road bike.  Just make sure you can outfit it with panniers.  


Offline RussellSeaton

what type of bike?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2005, 02:47:30 pm »
The Trek 520 comes from the factory with 52-42-30 chainrings and 11-32 nine speed cassette.  Ignore the high gears, the big chainring, because you don't have to use them.  The not low enough low gears can easily be fixed permanently by the shop you buy the bike at.  Tell them to install a 24 tooth inner chainring as one of the conditions of sale.  Easy and simple.  You now have low enough gears for touring.  I'd also have them put on a 11-34 cassette instead of the 11-32 for a bit lower low.  Again, easy and simple.  Both these changes would be zero cost to you.  Your gearing problems with the Trek 520 are now solved forever with no effort and no cost.

As for frame material, it does not matter.  Many people have used the Cannondale touring bikes to ride across the US.  Adventure Cycling's 2004 touring bike review article was written by a person who had an old Cannondale he had used to ride across the country and many other places.  I suppose its possible the article writer with the Cannondale was trying to swindle us all into thinking aluminum Cannondales were good bikes when in fact they broke once a year.  But I doubt it.  I had a Trek 520 that was used many thousands of miles too.

As for cost, the Trek 520 and Cannondale T800 are both about $1100-$1200.  Fuji makes a touring bike around $850.  I suspect there may be a few others near this price range.  But not many.  I think the bike factories figure people who want a touring bike are dedicated enough that they will spend a certain amount of money.  And apparently the bike factories decided around $1000 was the low end of what real touring bicyclists would spend for an official touring bike.

A hybrid would work for touring.  Any bike will work for touring as long as you can carry or pull the gear you want to take along.  Since you have a road bike now, see what it would take to use it for touring.  Probably a triple crankset with the smallest possible inner chainring.  And a rear cassette, or freewheel, with the biggest cog possible.  You can buy rear gear sets in 6-7-8-9 speeds today with big cogs in back of 32 or so.  You may need a new rear derailleur, $30.  New chain, $10.  New triple crankset, $50.  Bottom bracket, $15.  I suspect you could easily get very low gears onto your current bike for $100 at most.  You need really low gears for touring.


Offline joeprim

what type of bike?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 04:22:47 pm »
I have a Bianchi Vlope ~$800 That would also work.
Joe


Offline Peaks

what type of bike?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2005, 09:57:47 pm »
For what it's worth, both my daughter and myself used road bikes for the Northern Tier last summer.  Mine is a Trek 1220, and hers was an old Univega.  We also both used trailers.


Offline buckeye

what type of bike?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 03:20:06 am »
Thanks for the advice.There's a Fuji shop not 20 mi. from my home where I've been checking out the Del Rey hybrid.But I may just get the tourer and order the lower gears.
THANKS.


Offline RussellSeaton

what type of bike?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 02:47:35 pm »
A recent thread on this forum, "Newbie gear questions-which..." had a link to the 2005 Fuji Touring bicycle.  $840 MSRP.  Comes with the same problematic gearing as the Trek 520.  52-42-30 crankset and 11-32 rear 9 speed cassette.  Both can be fixed easily.  Just have the bike shop replace the 30 tooth inner chainring with a 24 tooth.  And if possible, it would be nice to have them put on a 11-34 cassette instead of the 11-32.  The 34 tooth rear cog is a little easier than the 32 tooth rear cog.  Both these changes are very easy to make by the bike shop at time of purchase.  Or even by you later.

http://www.fujibikes.com/2005/bikes.asp?id=22#