Author Topic: What kind of bike should I get  (Read 2779 times)

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Offline mudnpool

What kind of bike should I get
« on: June 11, 2009, 10:38:25 am »
This summer I will be traveling great distance on a bike, around about 5000 miles. I will be on road and when I get out west some off road. Is there any bike in particular that I should set my eyes on?

Offline aggie

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 10:52:08 am »
If you are going to do some off road make sure the bike has tires that are wide enough to handle the surface.  They should be at least 28 for reasonably hard packed surface but 32's or better would give a better ride and handle the dirt better.  Other than that find a bike that fits and you are comfortable riding (besides being able to have racks and/or pull a trailer).

Offline paddleboy17

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 12:08:08 pm »
I think it comes down to how off road is off road?

Some years back, one of the guys I ride with decided to kick things up a notch.  He started riding mountain bike trails on his Cannondale Toruing bike.  Feeling pressured to keep up with him, I took a Bianchi Volpe to Maybury State Park, and tried riding the course.  I bailed after doing 30% of the course, convinced that if I keep riding, I would end up with a broken collar bone.  The Volpe was under-braked, and my center of gravity was too far forward to safely ride the course.  And since the Volpe did not have a flat bar with bar ends, it was hard to muscle the bike over big exposed roots.

If the worst you have to ride is two track fire roads, then any bike could do.  Racing road bikes might not be geared low enough for climbs that you will encounter, and their wheels might not be strong enough for dirt roads.  I might encourage you to use 32mm or wider tires.  I have 35mm Schwalbe Marathon tires on my touring bike.  Schwalbe  seems to have a bizarre sense of tire width, their tires have really big envelopes.

You might have to stage different tires for your off road segment.  I cannot imagine riding cross country on knobby tires.  There will not be any knobs left when you get to the other end.

 
Danno

Offline mudnpool

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 01:24:04 pm »
Would this be what I am looking for? http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/hybrid/7000/

I need much help as I do not know much about bikes. I currently ride around a mongoose mtb that I have had for 12 years. Enough said

Offline aggie

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 02:07:54 pm »
Take a look at the ACA "How to Department".  It has a an article titled "Buying a Touring Bike in 2008" in pdf.  It is a good summary of what to look for in a touring bike.  In my experience you will want a bike that has the attachment points for at least rear racks as well as for fenders.  A number of companies make good touring bikes.  At the end of the 2008 article it lists a lot of the companies that make touring bikes.  Most will have a way to check out what bike shops in your area carry the bike you are interested in.  Give them a call to see if they have one in stock for you to check out.  A good bike shop will also help you get fitted properly so you avoid the aches and pains of a poorly fitted bike.

Offline whittierider

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 05:10:18 pm »
Quote
Would this be what I am looking for? http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/hybrid/7000/

I think you would end up regretting that you didn't get more of a bike than that, especially if you want to put on 5,000 miles in one summer.  It skimps everywhere.

Like paddleboy says, you probably need to decide how off-road you want to go.  There is no bike that does everything well.  If you get one that will do well for the off-road, you'll pay, in that it won't be very efficient on the road.  Unfortunately a hybrid is kind of a compromise, and as such, doesn't do really well in any one area.  Road bikes (especially touring ones that allow for tires a little bigger than 25mm width) can handle hard-packed dirt roads just fine, but not going over big rocks, roots, etc..

Offline geegee

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 11:29:12 pm »
Splurge and get the Salsa Fargo. I'm lusting for that bike! Ride it on the road with slicks, then when you get to the off-road part of your tour, switch back to knobbies


Offline paddleboy17

Re: What kind of bike should I get
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2009, 11:45:29 am »
Would this be what I am looking for? http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/hybrid/7000/

I need much help as I do not know much about bikes. I currently ride around a mongoose mtb that I have had for 12 years. Enough said

Every bike design is a compromise, and a hybrids tend not to do anything well.

As for your existing Mongoose, there is a cult devoted to rebuilding old school mountain bikes into something that looks like the Salsa Fargo.  It all depends on how much life is left in your Mongoose, if it has dropouts for racks, and how ambitious a bike mechanic you are. 

I think we have all made assumptions that you are touring.  Are you going from motel to motel or are you camping.  Where are you starting from, where are you going to, and what route are you taking.  And tell us more about your off road route.
Danno