Author Topic: New bike for next ride  (Read 341 times)

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Offline billn.ward

New bike for next ride
« on: August 15, 2018, 09:17:35 pm »
I have a dilemma for my next bike. I'm planning on a van supported ride across the country in 2020. So, I do have some time to test my new ride. Someone is going to haul my gear for a change!! Looks like it'll be about 65-75 miles per day.

My current bike is a 2014 Kona Sutra 56cm that works well loaded, very compliant but heavy unloaded. I've been looking at what my options are and invite experiences from the group.

Where I'm located, Southern Alberta Canada, I have to travel 5+ hours to test out any bikes. Road bikes are about 2 hours away. My LSBs have a high percentage in mountain bikes and would have to order in any bike on spec.
It is nearing the end of the season so the pickings are slim. One bike that stands out is the Salsa Vaya 55cm. And they have them in stock. Why it stands out is a taller Head tube. Which I prefer for my neck and shoulders. The other bike is from MEC (REI up here) called National.

When I asked about Surly LHT, the response was loaded great, unloaded twitchy.
Bikes like Fuji touring, or even Trek 520 have to be ordered in.
I don't mind travelling to test out a bike. They're not in my backyard.

Any comments and experiences that can aid me in my purchase would be appreciated. Am I looking at this right or am I missing a bike? And like most I am on a budget. Haven't won the lottery.

Cheers and thanks

Offline John Nelson

Re: New bike for next ride
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 12:00:36 am »
The idea that the LHT is twitchy when unloaded is, in my opinion, ridiculous. But it’s unnecessarily heavy for supported touring. Tell us how much stuff you think you need to carry. Just a water bottle and an energy bar? Maybe a rain jacket? If so, you can use virtually any road bike on the market. Travel far enough to get to a shop with a good selection and an expert staff, ride everything in your size at least a few miles, and buy the one that was most comfortable and fun. Pay particular attention to how the saddle feels and whether the reach and posture are good for you. Look for a bike with wider tires (maybe 25 or 28), and a longer wheelbase for stability. Take it up and down some steep hills. Make sure it is stable on descent and has a wide range of gears.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 12:04:06 am by John Nelson »

Offline Nyimbo

Re: New bike for next ride
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 01:49:53 am »
I like the suggestions John wrote.  I wanted to add, if I were doing what you suggested, I might also add a hybrid type bike to the list of bikes you try because you said you like to ride a bit more upright.  And, I would travel with a my handlebar bag.  If you just get an extra hardware attachment kit then you can use the handlebar bag interchangeably on both your old touring bike and your new bike.

I know you can carry your stuff in a variety of bags and locations, but for me, even if I was on a road bike I would like having my iPod, and my camera and my granola bar and my tp and wallet, my sunscreen and rain slicker close at hand in my handlebar bag.

And, unless you are just a super fit cyclist ... even if you are traveling unloaded I would make sure like John said that it has a wide range of gears.