Author Topic: which bike to buy?  (Read 5503 times)

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Offline julian

which bike to buy?
« on: June 28, 2006, 06:31:02 pm »
Today I went to a bike store that i dont normally go to and asked if trek makes a touring bike.  They told me they stopped making it and that todays touring bike is not worth buying anyway.  They said that a true touring bike was only built during the 70s and 80s and that no bike now adays can handle 50lbs of gear.  He told me that his bike shop could make me a true touring bike for $1200.  So what is this guy trying to say that all the touring bikes I have been looking at recently are not really that good for touring?  Even if this guy could build me a touring bike for the price of another I wouldnt even begin to know what it would need, Im not a bike mechanic.  This is the first time I have ever heard that todays touring bikes will not hold up as well.  Could some one just tell me what a good touring bike is before i spend $1000.


Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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which bike to buy?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2006, 12:06:25 am »
Julian,
First off, he was full of poop. (Can I say that here?) Go to www.trekbikes.com and click on "touring". They still make the 520. Bianchi makes the Volpe. (www.bianchiusa.com/06_volpe.html) REI/Novara makes the Randonee. (www.rei.com/rei/gearshop/novara/index.html) Fuji makes the Fuji Touring (www.fujibikes.com/2006/bikes.asp?id=143) And those are just the stock touring bikes under $1,000.00! There are a whole list of stock, semi-custom and custom touring bikes running from 1200 bucks to whatever you want to pay. Go to the Adventure Cycling website by clicking on the bottom of the page, and head into the magazine archives, find the 2006 Buyers Guide for all the latest info and models. The Trek, Bianchi and Novarra are really good bikes to start touring on. Strong, sturdy and built to carry a load. Then if you like it you can keep riding that bike or move up to a Bruce Gordon, Waterford or Rivendell. You can find information on them all in Adventure Cyclist. Better yet, Join Adventure Cycling! You can do that on the website too!

Ride safe,
Hans

www.trailpatrol.org
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Offline biker_james

which bike to buy?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2006, 08:38:18 am »
My Cannondale T800 handles 60 pounds of gear no problem. There are a lot of decent touring bikes out there nowadays. I think this guy is just living in the past. At least some of the toruing bikes from the 70's and 80's are famous for the way they shimmy at speed because they didn't use adequate tubing for the weight, and they didn't hav the gearing options of today.
Trek and Cannondale are probably the most common touring bikes out there right now, and you can probably find a list of a lot of other manufacturers on this website.
And go to another bike shop!


Offline TheDaltonBoys

which bike to buy?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2006, 09:02:09 am »
Julian - ...what Trailpatrol, and Biker_James said....enjoy the voyage, Mark of the Dalton Boys


Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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which bike to buy?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2006, 10:00:08 am »
...or for spite's sake, you could march back into the shop, take the current Trek catalog, open it to page 33 and ask the same guy if that's the bike Trek doesn't make any more? Tell him he cost his shop a sale and leave. Better yet, the Trek 520 is a bit over $1,000.00 MSRP, but if he wants the sale he owes you a good discount!

Ride safe,
Hans

www.trailpatrol.org
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"Every person has a river to ride...you are to Ride the River."--Pr. Larry Christenson

Offline RussellSeaton

which bike to buy?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2006, 11:39:54 am »
Not sure what he means by Trek not making a touring bike today since the Trek 520 is still in production.  However, he may have a point about the adequacy of current touring bikes compared to European models from the 50s and 60s and into the 70s.  Bikes built exclusively for touring from the ground up, use only the best parts to accomplish the task, nothing more, nothing less, lights and racks built specifically for that bike alone, not bolt on accessories.  Needless to say these touring bikes were not made for the budget conscious shopper.  Similar models from today would be Mariposa, Beckman, Gilles Berthoud, and maybe a few others.  Bruce Gordon, Rivendell, etc. are not in the same league.

When I look at current touring bikes built and sold to the budget shopper, I see lots and lots of parts I would replace immediately.  Not that there is anything wrong with the parts on the bike, but they are not chosen because they are the very best at accomplishing a task or the best at fitting me.  The parts are chosen because they fit into a price point for the manufacturer.  If you are looking at getting the best touring bike, you have to pick out everything individually based on your touring experiences.  Or if you trust the shop, they could of course use their experience to outfit the bike.

But for most people, the budget touring bike made today works fine enough.  Its best to tour on a less than ideal bike than to not tour at all.  As already mentioned, the Trek 520 or Cannondale T800 bikes will work very well for most people with only minor modifications.  After touring for years on these, then you can decide if you want to buy a different bike.