Author Topic: Choosing a Bike  (Read 5512 times)

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Offline Merlin

Choosing a Bike
« on: October 26, 2004, 06:33:53 am »
I've been an exclusive mountain biker for 2 years - and I'm thinking about buying a road bike for an east coast tour - however, I know very little about them.

I'm in the initial stages of planning a tour from Georgia to Virginia in late-spring.  I'm 6' tall, 175 lbs.  What should a consider most when choosing a bike?  A coworker rides a Trek 1500, and is lobbying for me to buy one for my trip - but she only uses it for day trips, no tours.

Can anyone give me any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Offline JayH

Choosing a Bike
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2004, 12:10:18 pm »
Well, to start, don't discount your MTB for touring, unless it's like a downhill rig or FS.  I use a hardtail MTB (an old '95 Marin Team (Tange Cromoly steel) for commuting and long distance touring. Kind of like the SUV of tourers since a lot of time, I am going down dirt or gravel roads so it's kind of nice every now and then. Plus with slicks, it's got a decent clip if your in shape.

Anyway, rather than rehash the wheel:

Scroll down and look at how to buy a touring bike for the road, etc. etc.

Certainly look for bikes with eyelets for racks and fenders for the front and rear. Look for long enough chainstays for heel clearing the rack. A longer wheelbase may make for less abrupt handling and check the rake of the fork for again, more predictable steering. MTBing usually requires a nimble steering bike, touring is not always advantageous.  

pricewise, anybody from Trek, Giant, Surly, Rivendell, Co-motion, Bruce Gordon, Specialized, Fuji. name your price range and all sorts of models can appear!


Offline jharte

Choosing a Bike
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2004, 12:36:15 pm »
Merlin, I agree with JayH's advice. I also have toured/commuted with a '88 Specialized Rockhopper Comp (MTB) converted for touring. I have several thousand miles on this bike and the set-up fits me well enough to ride 100mi days if I want. One advantage the road/touring bike may have is longer chainstays for rear panniers. Longer chainstays help keep your heels from hitting the panniers if you choose to go that route. Of course, there is always the choice of pulling a trailer, too.

I think the best touring bike is the one you like to ride! If it's comfortable enough to ride all could probably tour with it.

Touring...Therapy for the soul.
Touring...Therapy for the soul.

Offline OmahaNeb

Choosing a Bike
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2004, 04:47:52 pm »
I thought I would just throw a new angle into the mix.  If any of the following are problems, then visit the "Old Man Mountain" web site (  They have racks that will eliminate the need for eyelets and fix the problem of short chain stays.  I tour on both a road bike and a modified Mt. bike.  I changed the handlebars from a flat, to a modified infinity symbol looking handlebar bar from Nashbar.  I changed the Mt. crank to a road crank to get larger chain rings.  I changed the tires to narrow smooth tires.  With the handlebars, I have just as many hand positions as with my road bike.  The Old Man Mountain racks connect to the skewer rather than frame eyelets.