Author Topic: Bike Question  (Read 215 times)

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Offline islachica

Bike Question
« on: October 17, 2014, 11:05:24 pm »
I'm new to all of this. I currently ride a women's scott speedster that I got just over a year or so ago from REI, it's great for daily commuting but is it too light or not strong enough for bike touring? Should I look for a new bike or try to use what I got?
Thanks!

Offline canalligators

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 11:18:47 pm »
You can tour on lots of different bikes.  If the fit is good, the gearing is adequate and you can carry your gear ok, the bike will work for you.  Also, good commuting bikes generally make good touring bikes, and vice versa. 

But I see two shortfalls with that bike.  It doesn't have low enough gearing for any loads or hills.  And it doesn't have a way to load gear using panniers, though you can use a trailer with it.  If the bike fits you well, though, you could have a triple (and probably a different derailleur and shifter) for a couple hundred dollars.  Changing the rear cassette will give a little lower gearing, but you really need to get down into the 25 inch-gear range for loaded touring.  It will take a triple to do that.

Offline islachica

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 11:34:26 pm »
Thanks for your reply, that was helpful!

Offline bogiesan

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 10:33:10 am »
There is a complete how-to-buy-a-touring-bike section someplace here on the Adventure Cycling site.

But before you decide to invest in a new bike, figure out if bike touring is for you. There are several ways to do that. You can try credit card touring, just ride from one town to the next with a backpack and stay in motels. You can try a fully supported tour. You can do a self-supported tour and rent  or borrow a bike.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 02:14:10 pm »
I've done self supported touring with a bike "too light" for touring.  I towed a Burley Nomad trailer with a Specialized Roubaix CF frame bike and it worked great.  I had to buy the alternative attachment system, which replaces the stock rear skewer.  It's super easy to get the thing hooked and unhooked. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline ozroller

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 11:27:53 pm »
it really depends on how much gear (weight) you plan to carry on your bike.....that is, how many days is your tour?
If more than a few days and you are going self contained....a touring bike might be a better option.......unless you pull a BOB trailer, as suggested before.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 06:34:43 am »
it really depends on how much gear (weight) you plan to carry on your bike.....that is, how many days is your tour?
If more than a few days and you are going self contained....a touring bike might be a better option.......unless you pull a BOB trailer, as suggested before.
I agree except for the parts about tour length and self contained.  I definitely agree that the load you carry is a major factor in the choice though.

I have always found I need pretty much the same stuff on a multi-week or multi-month tour as a short one.  So tour length isn't really a factor in bike choice IMO.

I also have found that some folks pack super heavy even for a credit card motel tour, while others can pack really light for a self supported tour.  I've seen folks staying in motels and eating in restaurants packing heavy and carrying 30 - 40 pounds or more.  I and also seen folks carry camping and cooking stuff and pack 10-20 pounds or even less gear.  So to me the deciding factor is packing style (ultralight vs. light vs. heavy).

Offline PeteJack

Re: Bike Question
« Reply #7 on: Today at 01:39:04 pm »
Be careful. I'm not familiar with the OP's bike but I did part of the TransAm with a guy on an Orbea road bike towing a Bob. I suspect his gearing was inappropriate because he spent noticeably more time out of the saddle than the rest of us. He also kept breaking spokes in his rear wheel. Make sure your wheels are robust enough, something a good LBS will help with. Broken spoke(s) can be a major downer.