Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: Miner shack on November 16, 2020, 02:37:45 pm

 
Title: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: Miner shack on November 16, 2020, 02:37:45 pm
Planning on doing Denver to Yorktown VA in 2021 as a hybrid TransAmerica and Non stop USA rails trails and dirt. I am vacillating on the need for a LHT if I just put some 43 mm tires on my MTB. I’ve done half the GDMBR with the MTB and didn’t seem bothered by the asphalt sections and wondering if there is anybody who sees a quantifiable and justifiable advantage to the Surly vs a hard tail mountain bike. Just curious. I pull a BOB and intend to continue that on this trip. Thanks
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: John Nettles on November 16, 2020, 03:59:56 pm
First, welcome to the ACA forums. 

I would think the Surly would be measurably quicker and more comfortable but have not first hand experience.  That said, since you have already done portions of paved road with no issues on the MTB, I would probably just use that.

Tailwinds, John


Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: jrswenberger on November 16, 2020, 09:23:27 pm
I've done many miles touring off the pavement with my LHT and 26" x 50mm tires. If you're fully loaded for a cross-country trip, you likely aren't going to be trying much single track so the LHT wouldn't be very limiting. If you are mainly on some sort of pavement to somewhat maintained trails, it comes down to which bike you are more comfortable pedaling for many hours.

Either way, enjoy the ride!!!

Jay
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: staehpj1 on November 17, 2020, 06:27:24 am
A lot of this comes down to personal preference.  I have ridded the TA on a regular touring bike and 4 panniers, have since done quite a bit of touring on a light road bike with ultralight camping gear, and have also done a bit of mixed surface touring with a rigid mountain bike with UL gear.  Any of those setups would work okay for a coast to coast trip like the TA.  My comments on my experiences with those setups are as follows:

Edited to correct typo on tire size.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: John Nettles on November 17, 2020, 10:07:08 am
I used 20"x2,1" tires with lots of small low knobs.


Is this size accurate??  That seems like it would be a small (non-folding) bike for an adult.


Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: staehpj1 on November 17, 2020, 10:21:07 am
No that was a typo.  It should have read 26x2.1".  I'll edit the original post to correct that.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: John Nelson on November 17, 2020, 09:37:24 pm
If it was me, I’d prefer the LHT. But you’re not me.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: hikerjer on November 17, 2020, 10:07:42 pm
I've always felt that for extensive touring a decated touring bike is preferable. After all, that's what they are built for.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: staehpj1 on November 18, 2020, 06:34:23 am
I've always felt that for extensive touring a decated touring bike is preferable. After all, that's what they are built for.
Yes there is definitely a case to be made there and it is the most likely candidate for folks carrying a heavy load.  The biggest reason why that may not be the case is if the rider decides that they want to pack much lighter than the heavy loads that the touring bikes were designed to accommodate.  It is possible to tour with light enough gear that many may find a less truck like bike more fun to ride.  I know that I did when I went lighter.  IMO the lighter you pack the less sense the less sense the touring bike makes.  That said some folks may like them regardless of the load, even unloaded.

With heavier loads the case for something other than a touring bike is harder to make, but some may still reasonably choose something else like a mountain bike or a road bike and a trailer.

Personal preference allows for lots of choices.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: hikerjer on November 19, 2020, 08:38:20 pm
Personal preference allows for lots of choices.

Very true.  RYOR.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: BikePacker on November 20, 2020, 08:37:48 am
with the MTB and didn’t seem bothered by the asphalt sections and wondering if there is anybody who sees a quantifiable and justifiable advantage to the Surly vs a hard tail mountain bike. Just curious. I pull a BOB and intend to continue that on this trip.
I did asphalt via a MTB hardtail + single track trailer on the Northern Tier Anacortes to Marblemount, as well as, the Skyline Drive and an across a state group ride and all was great.  Have a full blown touring rig now; however, actually found the MTB to be an overall slightly more comfortable spin.
Wish you a wonderful tour Miner .... send us updates.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: Miner shack on November 20, 2020, 09:46:44 am
What size tires did you use?
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: BikePacker on November 21, 2020, 07:12:43 am
What size tires did you use?
On both MTB and Tour Bike 1.9"x26".
Added point(s) of info on the MTB ... it has no front suspension (one of the early Schwinn Moabs) .... Also, on the MTB, replaced the handlebar with a little wider one + added Bar Ends, reversed positioned & located just inside the grips thus providing vast counter hand fatigue gripping options.  Work so well, for me, ... did the same with bar ends on my Tour Bike. 
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: Miner shack on November 21, 2020, 09:48:40 am
Thanks. I use bar ends myself. Have used Jones H loop bar on some rides which worked well too. Have considered aero bars attachment with them for this ride just for additional positioning.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: staehpj1 on November 21, 2020, 10:23:55 am
Thanks. I use bar ends myself. Have used Jones H loop bar on some rides which worked well too. Have considered aero bars attachment with them for this ride just for additional positioning.
The bar choice is obviously a very personal one, but I never found anything that was quite as comfortable as the on the hood position of my drop bars so I run drops even on the rigid MTB.  I still run regular MTB bars on the MTB with front suspension though, but have not toured on it and have no plans to at this time.
Title: Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
Post by: HikeBikeCook on December 03, 2020, 07:42:18 am
I am planning for a cross country ride post pandemic. We have done numerous week long bike trips and a lot along the GAP, which is gravel. I own 4 bikes, only 3 of which I really ride anymore; a 1998, Litespeed Classic (my go fast bike); a Scott Scale front suspension; and a new Surly Disc Trucker. We have done all the long self supported rides in the past few years on my Scott and I can tell, that you for me, the riding position and frame geometry do not suit me for a long day of riding. My butt and back are killing me by 2:00 pm and I move to the 5 and 10 method in the afternoon -  5 miles, 10 minutes off the bike to stretch. When I mountain bike I am usually moving from hanging off the back of the saddle then all the way forward for climbing, and on the pedals over rough ground, but that is not what you are typically doing on level ground or pavement.

I have done numerous multi day, 100 miles a day fully supported rides with the LightSpeed (drop bars) both here and in the Alpes without the same problem. I bought the Disc Trucker and have swapped the bars for the classic European touring bars (aka butterfly bars) with a stem the allows for height adjustment. I have not done any real miles on this yet, but as others have said, this is really personal preference. I think you need to spend several back-to-back riding days, with your bike loaded as it would be on your trek, and see what hurts and focus on that. While you tend to get stronger as the tour gets longer the things that nag you or give you pain usually get worse.