Author Topic: Carbon or touring bike?  (Read 6668 times)

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Offline Mimster

Carbon or touring bike?
« on: September 12, 2015, 08:31:55 pm »
Expert advice needed-
if you were to go on a van supported tour across the U.S., would you take a Surly for its robustness, or a carbon road bike?
Feedback appreciated. thank you

Offline BrianW

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 09:43:48 pm »
I don't see why you'd need a robust bike if a van is hauling all your stuff. Just make sure whatever you ride is comfortable for long multiple days in the saddle. I wouldn't ride a full on carbon race bike for example.

Offline RonK

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2015, 12:45:13 am »
I've done a supported tour. I took my carbon road bike.
Now I'm a little older, if I was planning supported transcontinental ride I'd probably opt for a carbon bike with more relaxed endurance geometry and slightly  wider rubber for a little more comfort.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline staehpj1

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 08:30:10 am »
I think that a carbon road bike is an excellent choice even for a self supported cooking and camping trip if you pack very light.  For me at least, and for a supported trip the touring bike wouldn't even be considered.

If you usually ride in flat country, you may want a bit lower gearing than normal and maybe, but not necessarily, slightly wider tires.  Basically I'd take whatever bike I'd ride if I was doing day rides in similar terrain.  I would probably just use the 23mm tires that are on it, but putting on some 25mm wouldn't be a bad idea.  On my road bike 28mm are a bit tighter fit than I like.  If a wheel gets slightly out of wack a little extra clearance is nice, so I avoid up sizing to the max.

I did the Southern Tier on an older (1990) Cannondale Crit bike with 23mm gatorskins for the first half and when they wore out I put on 25mm gatorskins.  Gear and bags were 14 pounds, not counting food, fuel, and water.  The bike was an OK choice IMO, and the 23mm tires were OK, but the 25mm ones did reduce the buzz on the Texas chip seal quite a bit.  I think that a carbon road bike actually would have been more comfortable.

The question may be, how comfortable are you on your carbon bike.  After doing a few centuries around home one Fall using different bikes, I found that I felt better not worse after the ones where I rode the road bike.

Offline Mimster

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 08:32:43 am »
Thank you so much for your input. It really helps.


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indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 08:35:24 am »
No way would I take my Surly LHT on a trip like that. If you are worried about gearing, there are ways to get lower gearing without breaking the bank. One option to look into is getting a long cage RD and a MTB cassette with something like a 34t large cog. Pair that with a 50-34 compact crank if you have one and you should be good to go.

Offline Mimster

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 08:45:11 am »
Thanks Indyfabz. I'm gonna change my cassette this weekend and go with go with lower gearing. I have 23mm tires and wanted something "more stable"   I know 28 won't fit. Will try 25 this weekend too. Thanks for your input.


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Offline richschurter

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 03:47:31 pm »
For day in day out riding, supported or not (I do both), touring bike geometry will be much more fun. I've done multi-day credit card tours with the road bike crowd and they are usually thrilled by day 4 that there is only one more day on the road bike. It does depend somewhat on the miles per day, the group I road with were usually 80+ miles a day.


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Offline Mimster

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 03:54:36 pm »
Hi Richschurter. It's for the transam van supported. 60 miles average daily


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indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2015, 09:43:05 am »
Thanks Indyfabz. I'm gonna change my cassette this weekend and go with go with lower gearing. I have 23mm tires and wanted something "more stable"   I know 28 won't fit. Will try 25 this weekend too. Thanks for your input.

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Sure. When I did my conversion for two weeks of day riding in NE Italy I think I spent a total of about $150 including labor. The bike was built with SRAM. Got an inexpensive SRAM MTB cassette, new chain and (I think) X9 long cage RD. Had I shopped around for part I probably could have spent less.

As for tires, maybe look into something a bit tougher like Conti Gator Skins.

While my Surly might (I have a new custom ti road frame that I can ride all day) be more comfortable over the long run due to geometry and larger tire capacity, the weight and aerodynamic penalties would not be worth it for a supported tour.

Offline richschurter

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2015, 09:46:13 am »
You'll love it, I have done some sections most recently Pueblo, CO to Missouri. Loved the open plains of Kansas and the solitude. My wife drives our camper to next stop so I'm not really carrying a bunch of gear but have loved my Cannondale touring bike.


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Offline csykes

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 06:28:46 pm »
Often road bikes come with their stems in the down position.  If that is the case, you can flip it up and maybe add a spacer to bring it up a little more.  Sometimes some small changes can make a big difference for long hours in the saddle.

Offline Mimster

Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 08:31:38 pm »
Ha. Great point csykes. Thank you


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