Author Topic: New to Touring  (Read 2455 times)

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Offline mkmiller91

New to Touring
« on: February 16, 2017, 02:07:21 pm »
Hello All! I have just recently joined Adventure Cycling and was looking for some advice. I have been riding my 2012 Cannondale Caad8 for the last 5 years. It was my first road bike and I have really enjoyed getting into biking. I recently came across bike touring and would love to get into it. I have been trying to read up on it as much as possible and hope to ride the Trans-America Trail. It feels a little overwhelming with all the information out there but I guess my main questions would be about my tires and the gearing. I figured rather than buying a touring bike I would just adjust some things to my current bike. My frame size is a 61 and the rims are, (Maddux RS 3.0 Speed, 32 hole) What would you suggest for a specific touring wheel/size? In regards to the gearing should I try and put something on that gives me lower gears? The current specs I have are (Cassette Shimano Tiagra 4600, 12-28, 10-speed Level: Mid-Range). Any help and info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Offline canalligators

Re: New to Touring
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 02:27:29 pm »
Do you plan to go light, i.e. light packing or so-called "credit card" touring?  Or will you be self-supported, with tent and possibly cooking gear?

Either way, I bet your low gear isn't low enough.  Most tourists recommend a low gear in the 20-25 inch-gear range.  You need it at least this low for loaded touring.  Probably get away with it a little higher if you're packing light.

If you're planning to load up and go self-supported, you need to either add stronger wheels or tow a trailer.  Caution: if you're going to load up with panniers, the short chainstays on this bike may give you heel interference.

Does this bike handle well at very low speeds, with the intended load?  How about at 40 mi/hr?  You might change the fork for better stability; my daughter replaced the alloy fork on her CAAD3 with a straighter carbon fork, that gave her more comfort and more stability.  Note that loading on both front and back is usually more stable than rear-only.

Without any more info, I'd  think your best choices are:
- Use the bike mostly as-is (gear it lower), plus a trailer, or
- Rebuild the wheels and gear it much lower, and use four smaller panniers

And by the way: start out short.  Take an overnight, then a weekend, then a week long tour.  This will help you to perfect your gear and help you to learn about touring.

Offline mkmiller91

Re: New to Touring
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 03:09:17 pm »
Yes I was planning on going light. Including a tent and some overnight gear but no cooking gear. I do intend on this summer just starting off by taking weekend rides and getting the hang of things then going for longer trips. I would like to maybe just use smaller panniers for now. To me the bike handles great I feel comfortable on slow climbs and going 40-45 mph downhill although it is the only road bike I've ridden and never with any gear attached.

Offline canalligators

Re: New to Touring
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 10:46:07 am »
Sounds like a plan.   Four small panniers makes a lot of sense.  Have fun!

My daughter ended up putting a triple crank on her Cannondale.