Author Topic: New Touring Bike (RTW)  (Read 17401 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jamesfrank

New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:34:03 pm »
Can anyone help select the right touring bike (model and make) for a RTW tour?  I know there are several bikes available, and I am an experienced rider, but selecting the BEST bike for long term touring is outside my pay-grade (if you will).  Any price. 

Please help!

JamesFrank

abnjim6@gmail.com

PS:  The local bike shop wants to sell me a SLHT  Surly :)  Good Bike?

Offline bogiesan

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 08:55:40 am »
The topic comes up about once a month around here so you can search for dozens of similar threads. The AC site has buying guides in their archives.

RANS Stratus XP or Easy Racers Tour Easy. About $2k each naked, more like $3k when you outfit it with fairning, skin, racks, panniers, trailer, electronics, other fetishes.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline RussSeaton

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 09:34:09 am »
Assuming RTW stands for "Round The World".  You want a bike that uses 26" mountain bike size tires.  Preferably able to accomodate the 2+" tire widths.  I have heard the 26" size tire is ubiquitous around the world, unlike the 700C size which is only prevalent in the developed parts of the world.  Personally I don't think frame material makes any difference.  Aluminum or steel, take you choice.  If you can find a farmer in the middle of the Himalayas to weld your thin gauge steel tubing without burning it up, you'll also be able to find someone to weld your aluminum frame.  It takes special equipment and lots of skill to weld thin gauge steel bicycle tubing, whether steel or aluminum.  As for gearing and such, I suspect any will do.  The Rohloff internal hub is making a name for tours like this.  Supposedly indestructable.  But it requires a special frame to accomodate it and if anything should ever happen to it, repair would be difficult.

Offline whittierider

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 12:29:57 pm »
Quote
If you can find a farmer in the middle of the Himalayas to weld your thin gauge steel tubing without burning it up, you'll also be able to find someone to weld your aluminum frame.
Don't count on being able to get any of the materials repaired on the road.  One of our neighbors is a welder with decades of experience and all kinds of certifications and he works on aircraft stuff every day.  When I asked him about this kind of thing and told him how thin the bike tubing was, he said he wouldn't touch it.  We have another friend who is an experienced welder who also teaches welding, so I asked him.  Same thing.  He wouldn't touch it.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 03:10:32 pm »
Quote
If you can find a farmer in the middle of the Himalayas to weld your thin gauge steel tubing without burning it up, you'll also be able to find someone to weld your aluminum frame.
Don't count on being able to get any of the materials repaired on the road.  One of our neighbors is a welder with decades of experience and all kinds of certifications and he works on aircraft stuff every day.  When I asked him about this kind of thing and told him how thin the bike tubing was, he said he wouldn't touch it.  We have another friend who is an experienced welder who also teaches welding, so I asked him.  Same thing.  He wouldn't touch it.

Which is why I always say aluminum or steel frame, makes no difference.  Repairability on the road in the middle of nowhere is the same.  Not really repairable at all.  Best option is to have $100 and take a truck, bus, plane, train to the closest big city with a real bike frame maker or machinist shop and have them fix it.  A good machinist shop should have the equipment and person able to weld/braze thin gauge bicycle tubing.  Or a good machinist shop would know who the local person is that does this kind of work and they farm their jobs out to.

Offline John Nettles

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 07:37:10 pm »
Since you said "any price", look at a Co-Motion Pangea or a Thorn Cycles Raven or Raven Nomad.  My next bike will probably be one of these and I already own a Bruce Gordon and a Robert Beckman.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline jamesfrank

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 09:08:40 am »
Is the Surly Long Haul Trucker a good choice?  Which model?  "Looks" like a strong bike, but what do I know :)

Thanks, everyone, for your advice.  I need all the advice I can get!

JamesFrank

Offline valygrl

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 10:59:33 am »
THe Surly LHT is currently the most popular tour bike on bikeforums.

Whether it's appropriate for RTW probably depends a lot on the size.  The smaller sizes (up to 52 I *think*, check their site) use 26" wheels, the larger use 700c.  The touring community seems to be pretty much in agreement that if you are going to be riding in more remote (2nd/3rd world) countries, availability of replacement tubes and tires will be much better for 26" wheels - standard mountain bike size.  Smaller wheels also have shorter spokes and are less vulnerable to spoke breakage / getting bent out of shape.

(Just realized I'm echoing RussSeaton's post, sorry)...

So, in any case, the LHT is good in the smaller sizes.  Also look at the Novara Safari (Novara is REI's house brand) for a budget 26" tourer.  Also, look at Fuji and Windsor brands, I've heard they have budget tourers. 

Other things to watch out for would be strong wheels and low gears (mountain bike gears).

Have a great tour!

Offline MRVere

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 09:18:58 pm »
After many many hours/months reading and researching...  for what it's worth...
If I knew that I was going to tour "Round the World", I would go with the new Pangea from Co-Motion.  It is pricey but, it looks pretty much bomb proof.  As it is, I'm pretty much sold on getting the Americano. I just don't see myself going "round the world".  My only internal strugle is that I live basically right next to the 184 mile long C&O Canal.  Crushed stone and dirt that links up to the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile system of biking and hiking trails that will connect Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA. That's 334 miles of NO CARS!!! Will the Americano, with 700x38c cross tires handle my 220 lbs plus overnight camping gear on that kind of terrain.  The Canal will be my main testing ground for preparing to do the TransAM.  Of course I'll hit the local hills. ALOT
Happy/safe riding on what ever you get,
Michael

Offline John Nettles

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 03:15:20 pm »
Will the Americano, with 700x38c cross tires handle my 220 lbs plus overnight camping gear on that kind of terrain.  The Canal will be my main testing ground for preparing to do the TransAm.

In dry weather, the Americano will be fine with those tires.  You may bog down a little on chat when raining if the water is standing.  On the road, you will have no trouble.  Think a little more long-term regarding where you will be riding.  Is it mostly on the C&O/gravel roads/etc. or on pavement.  Buy accordingly.  Congrats on your excellent bike, whichever you choose!
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline jamesfrank

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 08:43:02 pm »
Thanks again for everyone's excellent and professional advice.  But what about the Koga Miyata World Traveler (aluminum).  This touring bike has good reviews, as well.  I will research the Pangea by Co-Motion.

I might add that I do intend to purposely ride off pavement, but I want to be prepared :)  Will be traveling as light as possible.

Anymore suggestions?

James

Offline John Nettles

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2009, 10:12:59 pm »
Just don't substitute reliability for lightness.  When you are in remote places you need durability and ability to get replacement parts.  Enjoy the trip!!
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline MRVere

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2009, 11:31:21 pm »
TulsaJohn > Thanks for the info/advice on cyclocross tires. Since I plan to do 90% of my touring on roads doing the TA, Atlantic Coast etc.  I feel that I should go with 700c full road touring (Americano). I'd like to get one as soon as the C&O is in good shape after winter.  I'll try it out on the canal and see how I like it.  It will probably be fine just like you said but, I'll most likely want to baby it and end up getting a mid-level MTN bike for the C&O and save the Americano for the roads.

JamesFrank >  The Koga Miyata World Traveler looks like a good bike.  I have their '09 catalog. 1999 Euros, about $2500. USD They sure do put everything on it. Racks (Tubus), lights, fenders with mud guards, even lights and a dyno. Pedals too.  I guess it just comes down to which riding position you prefer.  More upright flat bars with 26" wheels or road bars and 700c wheels. The Pangea does have 26" wheels but keeps the road bars.  When I did MTN Bike, years ago, I always had a hard time keeping my hands, wrists comfortable after an hour or so on the C&O Canal.  Bar ends helped but not enough.  Hope this helps.

Offline TCS

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 08:37:59 am »
It takes special equipment and lots of skill to weld thin gauge steel bicycle tubing, whether steel or aluminum.

Yep, welding, sure, but brazing steel is low tech and ubiquitous.

Best,
tcs
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline RussSeaton

Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 09:56:36 am »
It takes special equipment and lots of skill to weld thin gauge steel bicycle tubing, whether steel or aluminum.

Yep, welding, sure, but brazing steel is low tech and ubiquitous.

Best,
tcs

None of the steel bikes mentioned in this thread (Co-Motion Americano and Pangea and Surly Long Haul) are brazed lugged steel frames.  All are TIG welded frames.  No brazing on them.  No lugs.  If a TIG welded frame breaks, you will have to weld it back together, not braze it.