Author Topic: Touring bike question  (Read 8914 times)

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Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« on: June 01, 2008, 11:07:33 pm »
I'm brand new to this forum so please be nice. I have been riding for about ten years, and have decided that I'm going to plan a trip. Maine to Florida I think. I would like your thoughts on riding the Eastern side of the country versas the Western side. I currently have a Trek 5000 & am looking for a bike more suitable for this kind of travel. I will be camping 70% of thetime and hotels the rest. Also I'm not familiar with the use of Panniers some does & dont's on these would be helpful as well. I usually don't like to buy the cheapest but with todays economy cost is def. a concern. Thanks for helping out a grean horn!!


Offline WesternFlyer

Touring bike question
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 02:14:34 pm »
Just a thought, but why not tweak your Trek 5000 a bit and take it on the road?  I looked it up on the web and it is a sweet looking bike. It would certainly be the talk of the hiker/biker campsites.  It would have to ultra-lite camping equipment, but lots of folks travel with under 30 pounds of gear or less.  

My wife will be riding her full Campy equipped Bianchi on a couple of rides with me this summer.  I contacted Wayne at the Touringstore.com and he fixed us up with the right rack and panniers.  I put on a Campy compact crank, a long cage derailleur and a wider range cassette and called it good.  For tires she will ride with 28 rear/25 front.  From the Trek 5000 picture online I would think you would need a little heavier duty rear wheel, but maybe not.  




Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline whittierider

Touring bike question
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 03:52:52 pm »
I have a Trek 5000 from 2005, the last year they were OCLV carbon and made in Wisconsin, before they went to China.  (Trek's Madones are still OCLV and made in Wisconsin though.)  It's a wonderful bike for long distances, but unfortunately is not made to accept any kind of rack except a seat post rack.  I don't think of that as being adequate for camping gear, but if you know how to get everything in under the weight limit of a seat post rack, I'd like to hear how you do it.  Otherwise, I like the bike so much I might look into a trailer before another bike.  That's just me though.  This summer I hope to do two- to three-day tours where a large seat bag is enough to carry what we need to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants.


Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 06:39:17 pm »
I had actually considered the trailer idea, I had a bob that I pulled on ragbri here in IA. The problem goes a little further however I have some issues with my neck & the 5000 lays down just a little to much for the long haul. I'm giving serious thought to the Surly long haul trucker. Anyone have any reservations about that bike? Also, where can a guy go to find nice used bikes for sale, or sale a nice bike?



Offline WesternFlyer

Touring bike question
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 04:15:07 pm »
I think you can fit a Tubus Fly rack on your Trek 5000.  It is the rack I put on my wifes Bianchi with a set of Ortlieb Front Roller panniers.  It is much lighter, stronger and more stable than a seat post rack.  You can also use a riser to raise your handlebars.  I use one for my 35 year old neck problems.

I have not ridden a Long Haul Trucker, but there are lots of Surly bikes here in Portland, Oregon.  They look well made and properly designed.  The Surly fixed geared bikes are particularly popular here.  The LHT seems like just the bike for the fully loaded, round the world tour.  I think it might be a little sluggish for more lightweight touring.  It is available as frame/forks at a very reasonable price if you want to speck your own components.  

I am personally looking at the Surly Travelers Check for some riding on the US east coast and eastern Canada next year.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 05:47:19 pm »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what's a Surly travlers check? Are we talking about travlers checks as in monitary value or something els? What time of the year would you make that ride, wouldn't that be masquito heaven? That would be an awsome ride though, very scenic route I bet. I'm an avide archer an love the outdoors thats kind of why I'm looking at running down the east coast. Have you ever been on a trip between Maine & Florida & how long is the trip your looking at next year?


Offline whittierider

Touring bike question
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2008, 01:31:47 am »
Quote
I think you can fit a Tubus Fly rack on your Trek 5000.

Can you put the tongue of the rack between the brake and the frame?  (It's hard to tell in the picture.)  I don't know if it matters which side you put it on, but I ask because the 5000 has a monostay, meaning just one big tube from the seat cluster down to the brake area, instead of the more common "A"-type of arrangement.  Next, I guess you'd use the gizmos that the skewer clamps onto in order to fasten the bottom of the rack.  What's the approximate price?


Offline valygrl

Touring bike question
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 05:50:03 pm »
whittierider:
Yes, the bracket mounts between the frame and the brake body, with the brake bolt through it.  You may need to get a longer brake bolt.  You definitely need to do some creative bending for the top stay, I suggest starting with something cheap and easy to bend to make a template.  I used a hanger.

For the lower attachment, the QR adaptor works just fine.  I mounted the Fly & QR adaptor on my titanium road bike, and used it for credit card touring. I think I would want to have a converstation with someone knowledgable about using it on carbon, to make sure that wouldn't put bad stress on the frame.

The fly rack itself is rated to 40 pounds which is a camping load!

Wayne at www.thetouringstore.com carries these products, he is extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

bowman, the Surly Traveller's Check is a bike - Surly is the brand, Traveller's Check is the name.  It's a Cross Check (cyclocross style bike I think) with S&S couplers so it travels well.  cute name.  wouldn't recommend necessarily as a tour bike.

if you go over to www.bikeforums.net and visit the touring forum, there are numerous discussions ad nauseam of which bike to buy, and I'm sure you could put together a short list of appropriate bikes in your price range by searching that forum.

Good luck with your upcoming adventure!


Offline whittierider

Touring bike question
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 06:21:20 pm »
Quote
For the lower attachment, the QR adaptor works just fine.  I mounted the Fly & QR adaptor on my titanium road bike, and used it for credit card touring. I think I would want to have a converstation with someone knowledgable about using it on carbon, to make sure that wouldn't put bad stress on the frame.

Thanks for the reply.  I did a lot of research on carbon before buying, and am quite satisfied that it is at least as strong as the other materials; so as long as we're not talking about clamping something onto a hollow carbon tube which was not designed for that kind of use, I would have no hesitation about clamping to the points that are made to take the stress anyway.


Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2008, 10:11:39 pm »
valygrl, thanks I had a feeling it had something to do with Surly. That forum site you suggested has a lot of good info., Thanks for the insight. Thats what makes a good forum people helping people. I'm going down to my local bike shop tomorrow to talk to them about a surly & I think I'm going to make some modifications to my 5ooo. I think I'm goin to add a diff head set to get the bars up a little to help straighten up my back & neck + maybe a seat post change. But I think for over the road I'm either going to go with the Surley LHT or the Trek 520 with a couple of mods. I don't think I want to pull a trailer 1 more thing to break down. Plus two wheels of resistance would be better then three I believe anyway.


Offline WesternFlyer

Touring bike question
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 02:17:26 am »
I uploaded a photo album on Google Picasa, which shows some details of my Tubus Fly installation.  
http://picasaweb.google.com/westernflyer108/Tubus  

A few notes of clarification are needed.  

First, as near as I can tell the mounting bracket that goes to the brake can be mounted on either side in either direction.  On the Campagnolo brakes there is a long shaft nut and a longer brake bolt was not required.  I dont know about other caliper brake setups, but they are probably similar.  In one photo you can see I turned the bracket bend to the front of the bike and I think you would have to have the bend facing to the rear, which is I think the more normal position.  I cant remember why I set it the direction I did.

Second, you will need a bench vice or the like to bend the connecting rod from the rack to the brake bracket and perhaps the brake bracket itself.  The rod is a malleable aluminum and is pretty easy to bend.  I used a small length of aluminum tubing to help with the bending.  Wayne at the Touring Store suggested, and I concur, using a coat hanger or other bendable wire to make a template for the bending that is needed.

Third, in the photos you will see that while I did use the adapter kit to connect the rack to rear dropouts they are not connected to the axle skewer as designed.   I originally set it up that way and it worked great.  (How to put this so I dont raise the ire of women members on this forum?)  My wife is a very accomplished rider and certainly has no problem changing a wheel or fixing a flat, but she gets a little miffed when I make improvements to her two bicycles that add any extra hassle to her life.  Having to deal with taking the axle skewer apart every time the wheel came off, taking off the panniers and if you are going to stick the bike in the back of a car trunk probably taking the entire rack off rated as extra hassle.  (Taking the rack off requires a single turn with a hex head wrench.)  

The fix was simple.  Her bike is one of the last Bianchi lugged frames with Campy investment cast rear dropouts.  This allowed me to use stainless steel T nuts, some JB weld epoxy and Bianchi Celeste touch up paint.  Wayne said Blackburn used to make a triangular nut just for this purpose.   With a little grinding of the dropout adapters to clear the skewer ends the wheel comes off separately from the rack (I am sure I voided the warranty on the adapters.).  I would say I had about and hour or more of fiddling to make everything fit.  It is more work than the Topeak quick-release seat-post rack it replaced, but it works and looks better.  My wife loves it and commutes 20 miles daily with lunch and her work clothes neat and dry in the Ortlieb panniers.

I cant find my photo showing heel clearance.  My wife wears 9 ½ womens shoe size, there is room to spare and you can see in one photo that there is considerable adjustment left to move the panniers back further to accommodate a larger shoe.  Her bike has very short chain stays.

Price:  The rack was about $90 the adapter kit was $32 and the panniers $115 I think.  The Yankee dollar is not doing so well compared to the Euro so the prices have gone up a bit.  I strongly recommend using The Touring Store www.thetouringstore.com.  They have good prices and great service and lots of personal assistance in selection and installation.  Wayne the owner would be far more able than me to say if you can put a rack on your bike and what parts are needed.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline paddleboy17

Touring bike question
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2008, 02:13:33 pm »
I am not a big fan of Bob Trailers.  I toured with one, and I felt they have a tendency to bounce.  I stopped using a Bob trailer after two trips as mine liked to leverage off of the rear deralleur and bend my rear drive side lug.  The only other person I know who bought a Bob trailer had the same problem.

I would not encourage you to tour on your existing bike.  I would be concerned about if the 5000 could carry the extra weight of your gear, and I suspect that you won't like the handling with the gear on it.

I currently have a Bianchi Volpe (my new Waterford Adveture Cycle may be in this afternoon).  While the Volpe is not as zippy as my 1993 Paramount Series 3 bike, it is still a lot of fun to ride.  I would suspect that a 520 or LHT would handle similar to my Volpe. Light touring bikes are a blast for commuting, and riding dirt roads.  The frame and wheels can take a lot of abuse.  

You might want to consider taking a back packing class.  You pack for touring a lot like how you pack for back packing.  I found the class that I took to be quite helpful.  For the record, I hate back packing but love touring.

I have not toured out West, but I hear that the biggest difference is that they have switchbacks on their mountains.  I am from Michigan, but I have toured in the Canadian Maritimes and Pennsylvania.  

Danno

Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2008, 03:11:01 pm »
Well I have decided on the Trek 520. What if any modifications might a person consider & I want to know about differant handle bar sets to get me set up some?


Offline valygrl

Touring bike question
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 03:55:24 pm »
Many people, including myself, swap out the crankset for mountain bike gearing.   I have LX on mine, and there was no need to change any other parts.

Also, the rear rack is a bit flimsy, and is often replaced.

have fun, i love my 520!


Offline bowman

Touring bike question
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 06:06:46 pm »
vlygrl, I tried to get registered on bike forums web site but it gave me trouble. Are you registered on there and if so I wondered if you could have a moderator get in touch with me? I don't know what the problem was but it kept telling me it wouldn't except my password or something else. My email is nupper@machlink.com
Thanks, John