Author Topic: Bike recommendation - Southern trail  (Read 616 times)

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Offline hcarlo

Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« on: June 23, 2020, 12:33:53 pm »
Hi all, I am beginning to plan for the Southern Trail in fall of next year, and my first question is which bike to get.  So I am reaching out to experts for advice.  Things like handle bars, type of brakes, casette size (can I get a 36?).  Whatever.  I am 62, do not have much experience with long self-supported rides.  I did Adventure Cyclings intro to touring in Oregon, and my most challenging ride was last year, the Empire State Ride, from NYC to Buffalo, 500+ miles in 7 days.  Appreciate your comments.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2020, 06:23:50 am »
Are you referring to the Southern Tier?  If so it is all paved.  It has the least amount of mountains of any coast to coast US route, but still has some long and steep climbs, so you will need fairly low gearing.  The route won't require anything very special and whatever worked on the routes you have already ridden likely will be okay there.

Bike and gearing choices for touring are pretty personal.  They will be affected by what/how much you plan to carry as well.  I at about your age carried a minimal load of very light backpacking type gear and rode a 1990 race type bike with a gear range of 25-88 gear inches.  A strong young rider who rode with me for much of the ST rode a road bike with a trailer and a fairly heavy load and pretty steep gearing.  Pretty much all of the other riders we met (there were only a few) were on more traditional touring bikes and packing fairly heavy, one used a trailer.

Offline froze

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2020, 05:50:25 pm »
You left out one critical piece of information...how much do you want to spend on this bike?

The lowest I would go on a touring bike is the Masi Giramondo 700c, anything lower priced and you have to pay for the stuff that the Masi comes with which all that would do is put the price back up the Masi anyways.  Also this bike is the lowest geared bike I found, and I'm a bit older than you so the gears are big deal when climbing mountains with a load.  Go to the Masi website and look at the specs on it; is it the best bike? no, you'll have to spend more money to find the best, like the Oxford Bike Works Expedition, or step up even further and get the Jamis Renegade Escapade; but the Masi is the best for the money.

Masi uses mechanical dual piston brakes instead of hydro brakes, I prefer he mechanical, no worry about bleeding the system, don't need to use a wedge to remove the pads, just less mechanical hassle on the road should it need something worked on.  The Deore derailleur for the most part is really smooth shifting.  It took a while to get use the seat but now I like it.  It comes with really nice Tubus steel racks front and rear.

The only change I made so far is I removed the front Tubus rack and replaced it with a Blackburn Bootlegger rack on instead because I'm only carrying about a total of 30 pounds in gear, so I don't need a set of panniers on the front.  The other change I want to make, when tires come back into stores, is to replace the heavy 1600 grams a piece Kenda Drumlin tires and put a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Almotion tires that weigh 500 grams each and have the lowest rolling resistance of any touring tire tested.  But in the meantime I have to use the heavy Kenda tires, maybe it will build up my endurance better.  That's really the only changes I made or want to make, the rest seems fine at this point, I've only owned it for a month so maybe something will pop up, but I don't think so.  Seat thing is personal, at this time I think it's going to work.  The bike does not come with pedals, so you need to buy pedals of course.  I got a set of Shimano A530's I took off my old touring bike, but there are lots of choices, you just need a wide/long pedal for foot support, the Shimano did get the highest reviews of others I looked at.

Offline Figaro

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 06:34:48 pm »
I did the TransAm two years ago on a Trek 520 and it was ok. In Feb of this year I bought a Salsa Cutthroat with the intention of doing the Great Divide this summer, but Covid spoiled that. However, the cutthroat is a great bike. I picked up the GRX600. It's full carbon and is a complete pleasure to ride. Since I had to put off my GD ride this summer, I'm thinking of doing the Southern Tier later in the year--Sep or Oct. I just sold my 520 last week and will be doing all future touring--road or off-road--on the cutthroat and just change the tires depending on the type terrain I'll be on. Lots of choices out there, but hard to beat this one in my opinion. Of course, I think these are pretty much sold out just about everywhere now, but if you run across one it's definitely worth considering. 

Offline froze

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 09:44:31 pm »
So did they close the Great Divide because of C19?  My understanding it's not closed, and that cyclists and hikers are scarce which means you have ZERO chance of getting Covid 19 in the great outdoors where nobody is around.

Offline Figaro

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 10:18:07 am »
So did they close the Great Divide because of C19?  My understanding it's not closed, and that cyclists and hikers are scarce which means you have ZERO chance of getting Covid 19 in the great outdoors where nobody is around.

Sounds like a smart ass question, so here is my smart ass reply...Canada was (maybe still is) closed. I don't think anyone is afraid of getting covid in the great outdoors, but some of us--it seems the vast majority of us--exercise good judgement.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike recommendation - Southern trail
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 10:34:09 am »
So did they close the Great Divide because of C19?  My understanding it's not closed, and that cyclists and hikers are scarce which means you have ZERO chance of getting Covid 19 in the great outdoors where nobody is around.

Sounds like a smart ass question, so here is my smart ass reply...Canada was (maybe still is) closed. I don't think anyone is afraid of getting covid in the great outdoors, but some of us--it seems the vast majority of us--exercise good judgement.
Yes, FWIW at age 69 I consider the risk of travel high enough that I am staying home for now.  My wife has some health issues that put her at a higher risk than me, but even without those added risks we'd be social distancing especially living here in Florida where the new Covid cases are through the roof and the death count is starting to grow pretty quickly in the last couple weeks.  We don't even go to the grocery store, but rather have groceries delivered.  I get outside locally, but that is it for now.