Author Topic: Touring Tires & Brakes  (Read 5959 times)

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Offline flounder

Touring Tires & Brakes
« on: October 02, 2008, 03:45:14 pm »
I've read different people saying they changed the original tires their bikes came in and brakes before touring. I'll be doing the TransAm and wondering if this it is necessary, to get better tires and brakes. I've heard about v-brakes but no idea what those are or how they are better.

Also, as a replacement if I were to get flats, how many extra tires, tubes and brake pads should I pack before touring?

Thank you!


Offline JayH

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 03:53:54 pm »
You kind of have to allow for a much heavier bike than when out unloaded, much like a tandem bike would typically have strong disc brakes which will fade less due to heat buildup when used over long descents without a chance of cooling off.  V-brakes (or generically linear pull brakes) are stronger than the old cantilevered brakes and are generally very cheap (at least the brakes themselves are) it is a worthy replacement. I replaced a set of linear pull v-brakes on my commuter with a cheap Tektro brand for $18.  If you are going from cantis to linear pulls though, you will probably either have to replace the brake lever because the pull is different or use one of those "travel agents" which supposedly modifies canti levers for use with v-brake aka linear pull brakes.   I have no experience with those adaptors though.  

As far as the TransAm goes, are you doing a supported or self-supported one? I would first, if doing a supported one, simply ask the tour leaders their opinions, the route, etc. You'll certainly have some long descents off the major mtn chains like the rockies and the appalachians, but you might be able to get by without spending $$ on new brakes..  If you are doing a self-supported one, I'd recommend stronger brakes, it's actually not hard to do yourself and not terribly expensive.

Jay


Offline JayH

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 03:55:19 pm »
I've done all of my touring in the NE where it is fairly populated, I carried patch kit and two tubes although I thought I could get away with just one and in the end, I certainly could have, my cautious nature told me to bring two. And I kind of hate using patch kits in the field, I'd rather just replace the tube and then patch the bad one in camp.

Jay


Offline flounder

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 03:59:20 pm »
Yes, there's 3 of us doing self-supported...the whole TransAm trail. I have a Trek 7.2 FX. I'm just not sure if the equipment it came in will be sufficient for the whole tour and what amount of replacements I should bring.


Offline wanderingwheel

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 05:00:15 pm »
I took a quick look at the specs for your bike, and you do have linear pull (V-) brakes already.  The brakes themselves should be more than adequate for your trip, but I would consider putting different brake pads on.  The pads will be the biggest change you can make, and are probably the weakest link in your existing brake system.  My favorite aftermarket brake pads for touring bikes are from KoolStop, any of thier V-brake pads should work great.  I'd consider getting thier salmon or salmon/black compounds rather than the standard black.

Your tires should be good to start the tour, but I'd be surprised if they last more than 2000 miles once you put your load on.  Expect to replace your tires at least once during your tour, especially if you start the tour with a number of miles on them already.  For new tires, don't go any narrower than your current 35 tires, 40 may even be better.  I prefer inverted treads like your tires are: they usually have longer life and fewer flats than low profile tires and I can go offroad without worrying about them.

I would start the tour with at least 2 spare tubes and a patch kit.  One spare tire would be a nice insurance policy.  (I've had to glue and duct tape a blown tire to my rim before when I failed to carry a spare.)  You shouldn't go through your brake pads, but check them before you leave and replace if they are worn.

Sean


Offline whittierider

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008, 06:48:55 pm »
Brakes on single bikes are generally fine for 250-pounders with no luggage; so if you only weight 160 for example, 60 pounds of luggage still won't bring you up to that weight.  Few disc brakes are really up to tandem duty for mountainous rides.  Our tandem has inexpensive mini-V brakes which are strong enough to lock up even the front tire on dry pavement with one finger on the STI brake lever, with no cable-travel adapters, and they don't fade.  (The non-mini's do need the adapter if you use STI levers though.)  After 10,000 miles, most of the original brake pads' material is still there.  But for the steep, curvy descents, we have an Arai drum brake for drag, which is on a third control, actually a bar-end shifter in friction mode.  This avoids heating up the rims to the point of making a tire fail catastrophically.  It's nearly bullet-proof, and overkill for almost all single-bike applications.  Going to black-annodized deep-V aluminum rims like the Velocity Deep-V (which is not very deep, as deep-V's go) will give you a very strong wheel and also get rid of braking heat better than most aluminum rims.


Offline mimbresman

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 08:03:06 pm »
Just looked at the specs of your Trek. In my opinion it looks fine. The brakes should be okay, and the tires look bomber. No worries until you hit Hoosier and Loveland Passes or Hell's Canyon ;) (guess it depends on the direction you're heading)

Edit: I assume you'll be riding this bike around all year before your tour. I would swap out the tires just before the tour (plus have your LBS give it a tune-up a couple of weeks before). I put some panaracers paselas on my old touring bike for a tour on the Katy Trail in Missouri. I liked them, beefy, rolled fast, and 0 flats!

This message was edited by mimbresman on 10-2-08 @ 8:56 PM

Offline Peaks

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2008, 07:32:57 pm »
Well, for what it's worth, I put new tires on before the start of my coast to coast ride.  I carried the old tires as spares on my BOB.  I also took a spare tube, and it got used.  After changing the tire, I'd stop at a bike shop along the way and buy a replacement.  The ACA maps tell you where the bike shops are.  

Brake pads:  bought replacements once along the way.


Offline Westinghouse

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 12:42:00 pm »
When it comes to bicycle tires for long-distance touring, one thing I have learned is that paying more for your tires in a wise choice. For years I went with the cheap $7.00 IRC tires and similar brands, and while they were pretty good, I got much better mileage out of the more expensive brands such as Continental and tires in the $20.00-$25.00 range. The more expensive tires get better mileage, are tougher, and get fewer punctures.

When it comes to brakes, install new pads, and levers if necessary.

I cycled from east coastal Florida to San Diego, California using only the front brakes, and there was still plenty of rubber when I finished. As for the Transam, carry one extra set for front and rear brakes. You can always buy some when you are underway.

There are tires made especially for long touring. Use those tires.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-6-08 @ 9:45 AM

Offline flounder

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 02:50:13 pm »
Thank you! this was VERY useful! and yes, I felt dumb after asking the question I realized my bike already has V-Brakes (that's how much I know!).

But thanks, I'll carry a tube or two, a spare and a couple of brake pads. Yes, I will be training (already started) so I'll change my tires and brake pads right before the trip.

I love this forum! :p


Offline bike42

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 11:51:52 pm »
I see you have mini-Vbrakes. I have never heard of these. Could you provide more information about them.
Thanks


Offline whittierider

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 01:19:56 am »
Quote
I see you have mini-Vbrakes. I have never heard of these. Could you provide more information about them.

The exact Tektro model on our road tandem apparently is no longer made, but looks something like this one:



They're a lot shorter than the regular V's, and STI levers work well with them without the travel adapter.  Obviously the frame and fork need to be made for them.  My Shimano 105 brakes on my single bike are adequate however, able to stand the bike on the front wheel on flat ground, at least without a big load in the back.  If your brakes don't seem adequate, just replacing the pads with Kool Stop pads should remedy that situation.  See http://www.koolstop.com/brakes/index.php .






Offline Westinghouse

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 02:51:39 pm »
Flounder:

I am speaking from experience when I say DO NOT rely on Wal Mart for tires if you are running 27 by 1 1/4 or 700. Wal Mart tires were unbelievably bad, with 26 inch tires stamped 27 inch, and other tires that wore out so fast and actually bubbled in places after three hundred miles. Estimate your route, and know where bike shops are along the way. You will get better quality gear in bike shops.

Do not get patch kits in Wal Mart either. Get all the patches and glue you could conceivably need before the trip, and carry that with you; get them at bike stores, or for patches, somethines you can get kits at automotive stores. Especially on the southern tier, you might be surprised to see how far you can travel without finding any stores that have anything to do with cycling at all. Carry at least one new spare touring tire of high quality, and a couple of spare tubes. If you see on a map that you will be traversing hundreds of miles of small towns and desert land, stock up on extra tubes.

Offline whittierider

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2008, 03:52:41 pm »
I'll second that recommendation for quality tires!  Department store bikes are ridden an average of 100 miles from new to landfill, and the makers know that.  Walmart has whole bikes down to $48, hardly any more than I pay for a single, quality tire.

As for the patch kits, I would also add a recommendation to avoid the glueless ones.  When I first discovered them for myself 8 or 10 years ago, I thought they were wonderful-- so convenient, and the kit is so tiny-- but one by one, I soon ended up having to re-patch every single hole, and the second time required cleaning up the goop from the glueless patch before applying a real patch.  Rema Tip Top seems to be the best.


Offline Westinghouse

Touring Tires & Brakes
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2008, 04:03:44 pm »
I agree with Whittierider on all that. Wal Mart here sells two types of glueless patches for bicycle tubes. As for one kind I bought and tried to use---well, what can I say? Wal Mart ought to be sued for selling completely useless garbage. I have not used their other brand of glueless patch, and I will not either.

You do not want to be caught out in the middle of nowhere patching an innertube with patches that are completely bogus. The round or square rubber patches used with rubber glue work just fine. Do not trust Wal Mart for much at all when it come to long distance cycling. Their selection for cycling is really low grade, and very limited.

I went into department stores in west Germany, and checked out their bicycling sections. One such store was named Le Clerk. I think I got the spelling right on that name. They had just about everything you could possibly need, and it was high quality equipment too, no junk. From adjuster screws for saddles to wheels, frames, nuts and bolts, and complete bikes, they were set up complete just like a professional bicycle store. Wal Mart, Target, and Sears are a very far cry from that.

Know your tentative route. The internet can tell you if there are bicycle shops in certain towns. You can call ahead. Keep ready with spares of what will need to be replaced.