Author Topic: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???  (Read 5078 times)

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Offline SeverusCycler

HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« on: November 28, 2009, 11:05:49 pm »
So I need some help, looking to get into touring and have a budget of roughly between 1,000 and 1,300$ for a bike. My question is what bike would you recommend for touring?

A few that I am looking at are the:
Trek 520
Kona Sutra
Fuji Touring
Jamis Aurora
Raleigh Sojurn
REI Novara
and Surly Long Haul Trucker

Which bike would be a good touring bicycle? for short five day trips and a potential trip across the country? Obviously I would like to try them all out but I also don't know where to to that, do I have to just check a bunch of shops until I find different ones that have each bike, because I don't think any shop would have more than two...
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Offline geegee

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 11:59:59 pm »
They are all good. See if you can test ride most or all of them then make your decision.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 07:09:06 am »
Also be sure to read several relevant articles in the How To department at Adventure Cycling. http://www.adventurecycling.org/index.cfm.

Fred

hmoore71

  • Guest
Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 01:33:40 pm »
My recommendation would be the Surly Long Haul Trucker because it seems to be one of the more popular touring bikes. You can find a lot of information on setting up for touring and actual experiences touring with them.  On this forum and other bicycling web sites as well.

As far as trying that number of bikes out I suspect if you looked at the geometry of all of them you wouldn't find that much difference. It would be far more important, to me, to find a shop that would work with you to find a bike that fit you properly. Bike fit is more important than anything else.



« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 10:46:00 pm by hmoore71 »

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 03:04:08 pm »
I don't like the Trek.

a) it's a Trek.  They were good at one time, but those days are past.
b) The tubing is, IMO, too small.  If you look at most of the others, they have larger tubing to compensate for the additional weight of the loaded panniers.

Offline whittierider

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 04:19:23 pm »
Quote
a) it's a Trek.  They were good at one time, but those days are past.
I think that idea is totally baseless.  As far as I can tell from examining the pictures closely on the websites, the Trek 520 and the Surly LHT have the very same frame.  I don't know which of them makes it.  (They do use a different fork though.)  Some of Trek's low-end road bike frames are unfortunately made in China, but their high-end OCLV ones are made in Wisconsin and are without a doubt, from everything I've been reading, some of the world's very best.

Quote
b) The tubing is, IMO, too small.  If you look at most of the others, they have larger tubing to compensate for the additional weight of the loaded panniers.
The tubing diameter has more to do with the material than the load.  The load might determine the wall thickness.  What fatigues a steel frame most however is bottom-bracket torsion from hard pedaling, not the static load in the panniers.  Either way, the Trek has a lifetime warranty on the frame, and their customer service is outstanding.

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 04:22:29 pm »
All Treks, aside from the most expensive Madones, are made in China or Taiwan.  Trek had a chance, as the #1 bike company in the US, to ignore what everyone else was doing, and keep production in the US.  People would still buy Treks.  But they didn't.  They kept the prices high and farmed out the frame building to Asia.  I lost all respect for them then.

Offline MIBIKER

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 09:16:14 pm »
 Yes Trek does import some of their bikes. But Trek does has TWO bicycle factories in Wisconsin. The Trek 520 is built in Wisconsin.  For 2009 Trek install a mountain bike crank instead of a road crank, so the 520 now has better gearing for hill climbing without the need to charge out the crank.  I just bought a Trek 520 last year and love the ride.   When touring with full packs the ride is even better then with no packs.  I prefer a bike with a chromoly (steel) frame over an aluminum. I feel Chromoly dampens the road vibration better then aluminum. Remember the bikes built in the 70's and 80' all had small frame tubes. I rode one of they across Wisconsin in 1976 with full panniers and it did a great job. We have become use to see large tubing so we think it stronger then small tubing.  As stated early what is the  wall thickness of the tubing?  I agree the thicker the wall the stronger the tube. 
Please continue to read topics on what makes a bike suitable for touring.  You will find they one that is right for you.  Good luck!!!

Offline bogiesan

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 08:45:01 am »
You should include a test ride on a recumbent before you make up your mind.
the difference between touring on a conventional bike and a recumbent is indescribable but palpable and easily researched.
In today's marketplace, there is no difference between "made in Taiwan" and "made in USA" except the perception of the buyer. The frame might come from Mars but the rest of the components on a sub-$3k bicycle are all made in China.

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

Offline Tourista829

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 07:52:26 pm »
The most important things are fit, frame geometry, components, and frame material.(not necessarily in that order)  First decide on what size wheel you want. That will narrow your selection. The Surly is a good choice but I do not know your height. If you fit a 54c frame or smaller, you will get a 26" wheel. 56c frame or above a 700c wheel. (toe overlap) There are proponents for both. May I offer a suggestion, although at a higher price, Google Thorn Bicycles. They are in the UK. I like their Thorn Touring Club 700c. It is made of a higher grade steel, than the Surly (less frame flex) There are several things I really like about it. They offer, in stock, 10 frame sizes in both short and long top tube lengths. You can get it with a drop or straight handle bar. Two colors, Medium Blue or British Racing Green. It comes with fenders standard. The best thing is, you pick from a component and sizing sheet which you can chose components, accessories, and the sizing you want. Their upgrade prices are fair and you can even choose your handlebar width. They ship the bike with an uncut steering tube, so you can get it to fit exactly to the height you like. So for a little more than a regular touring bike, you get a semi custom bike, one that will fit like a glove, and be comfortable for thousands of miles. The price they show, is in British Pounds so you will have to convert. Take off 15% since you will not be paying VAT. The only negative is the shipping cost. However, if you subtract your state sales tax, it isn't all that bad. My girlfriend has one of their bikes and loves it. They are the nicest people to deal with, know about touring, and have a money back guarantee. (although, I am not sure you wouldn't want to incur the cost of shipping it back) I hope this helps. Let us know which bike you choose. Good luck and have a good holiday. Bob

Offline cincy

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 08:26:06 pm »
They are probably all good bikes, I can only tell you that I have taken two long trips on my 2008 Aurora and I am totally satisfied with it. This year's ride was a 4 month, 7,100 mi trip in US. I use the standard components except for better tires. I had no problems at all with the bike, and only 4 flats.

I selected the Aurora based on an ACA article for a good entry level touring bike, and I was fitted for it at a reputable bike shop. Very happy with it.

My other choice would have been the LHT. Both are in the $1,000 range and solid touring bikes.

Offline Houston

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 06:44:15 am »
The Surly is a good choice but I do not know your height. If you fit a 54c frame or smaller, you will get a 26" wheel. 56c frame or above a 700c wheel.

Surly now offers all Long Haul Trucker frame sizes with 26" wheel.  In addition, the bike has quite a following and they have created an owner databasehttp://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pdb5rlL1ns0XLxM31WpvkCw which describes the height of the rider, along with the frame size that they own.  Good luck with your decision.

Offline santiam bicycle

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 01:05:18 am »
    From my experience, i really like the Surly and the Sojourn. They are both tanks, but I'd feel confident on either to take me around the world. Over-all I love the spec on the Surly. They use high-quality DT spokes and Shimano XT hubs. I personally think it is a must to have quality spokes and hubs on my wheels. If you buy any bike that has generic spokes, pay the extra to have your shop re-lace at least the rear wheel with either DT or Wheel-Smith spokes.
    I've looked at the 2010 Sutra, they've ironed out the disc mount design flaw they had in 2009 and used the same form of drop-out configuration that the Sutra has. (I've ridden the Sojourn a lot and really love the ride.)
    The Surly has 1 hitch I can think of ...if you ride a 54cm or smaller, they only offer a 26" wheel. 56cm and larger are 700c wheels. Now, I personally think that a 26" wheel is really a great choice for people who do plan on traversing in ......out of the normal places. It is stronger than a 700c wheel and there are far more places that will have a 26" tire than a 700c (28").
 ....And now that I've said that, I realize i'm talking out of my @#&^%. I've traveled a lot, but only in Western cultures.
So, what say the rest of you?  What are the easiest to find tires? 26" or 700c?

Offline cjfbfd

Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 12:24:55 pm »
Can't speak for the others, but I have pedaled close to 20000 km, mostly loaded on rough roads on a  Long Haul trucker. It has proven to be strong and comfortable. The fact is that people in Taiwan can cut steel tubing and weld as well(maybe better?) than their American counterparts.  And with careful shopping you can build up a bike, with XT, for about 1500 .  The parts that seem most stressed, in my travels, are the rims.  Good spokes and strong rims, that's how I roll.  I have had real good luck with hubs, even cheap ones. If you will be pounding your bike, the LHT is my recommendation. I don't have any experience with the other bike that you listed. So, carry on. 

Chris
On a cellular level I am very busy.