Author Topic: What Touring bike would you suggest?  (Read 22886 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline don quixote

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2008, 01:26:44 am »
Insurance : Read the fine print. Most insurance (as well as the airline or any freight company such as FedEx, even if you declare a higher value and pay extra) will only pay the depreciated value of the used item that was lost, stolen or damaged. This is true even if you have declared a higher value when applying for the insurance and paid the higher premium. And if there is a loss, you have to prove in some manner what that used value is. I would be most interested in knowing if anyone has found new "replacement value" insurance for a shipped bicycle.

San Diego
don quixote
San Diego

Offline Peter_Karwacki

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2008, 11:30:05 am »
I have had success taking a hardtail aluminum mountain bike and swapping out the knobby tires with slicks.

This gives a light bike, with a study frame and wheels to carry heavy loads but still a comfortable bike to ride.

Offline Tourista829

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2008, 01:38:13 pm »
Tony, Co-motion Americano Copilot. Not cheap but worth every penny. It will be comfortable, very durable, and fit like a glove. The Co-Pilot can be ordered with S&S couplers which allow you to break the bike down and put it in a bike case. You can even get it with disk brakes. The pound is still better than the dollar. Let me know how you make out. Bob

Offline TCS

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2008, 04:21:17 pm »
You didn't give a budget, and you're talking about heading straight off on a major tour without any kind of shakedown.

How about the definitive American touring bicycle, a Bruce Gordon?

You'd deal direct with the company and have the bike shipped to a shop near the tour start.  Gordons could certainly have it ready to go for you and it would be a nice "exotic" American souvenir after you got back home.


"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline Westinghouse

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2008, 07:15:18 am »
I am biased and prejudiced when it comes to which bike you should use for long distance touring. I look at touring web sites, and I see people using high grade mountain bikes for touring. They say they are fine. I have nothing against them, but I would not want to use one for that purpose. The next best choice is a hybrid with drop handlebars. You will appreciate the extra hand positions available on such handlebars. The best upright bike for the long haul is a---touring bike. You know, the old English racer type bikes with a triple chainset on the front, five to seven sprockets on the freewheel, drop handlebars, and good wheels of the size 27 by 1 1/4.  700 is fine too. So is 26 if you can get good tires.

I have tried out a few of the cheaper mountain bikes, and I would not want to go across town on one, much less across a continent. The feel and efficiency of a good touring machine simply is not there.

In the final analysis, you can cross America on a one speesd $45.00 Huffy if you are determined to do it, but there are considerations regarding pedaling efficiency, weight, structural integrity, and comfort that should not be overlooked.

Offline centrider

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2008, 11:54:33 pm »
I would look at the CoMotion website.  I have the NorWest'CoPilot, which as was pointed out has S&S couplers so you can meet the airline requirement of suitcase size/weight.

The NorWester is not as beefy as the Americano, or should I say, not as heavy.  In any case, CoMotion builds in Cromolly, and with a brooks b-17 saddle is a comfortable ride.

Another advantage I found is that because of the quick disconnect cables I can quickly swap out handlebars going from road/drop to flat.  Change the tires and you can even trail ride with it.

Truth be told, because I usually do my touring with my wife driving SAG, I just carry a Carradice Barley and an American made handlebar bag by Acorn of about 4-5L capacity.

It came with XTR on the rear and a (I think) 28--43 triple.  Tho I would get a Rohloff hub which I do not think CoMotion offers.  

So, as I think about it, Thorn also builds an S&S coupler bike and has the Rohloff hub.  That might be a better way to go.

This message was edited by centrider on 12-28-08 @ 8:59 PM

Offline geegee

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2008, 12:44:17 am »
I had to retire my custom touring bike a year and a half ago (a 15 year
old Marinoni). Itching for good tour last summer I had to quickly decide
on a readily available bike and settled on the Trek 520. I was lucky to
find one with flight-deck shifters installed instead of the bar end ones.
The bike is an incredible workhorse, and performed well on its maiden
ride up to the Yukon and Alaska. I found the gearing to be quite
sufficient, even on the challenging Top of the World Highway which
had miles and miles of unpaved hilly stretches.

Here it is functioning as a water filtration station by a creek beside the
Klondike Highway (where there were no taps for 100+ km sections):

I also devised a quick and cheap way of packing it for the plane using
pipe insulation and regular airline bags when I got to Anchorage. It
arrived without a scratch despite a transfer in Toronto.

This message was edited by geeg on 12-31-08 @ 9:22 AM

Offline jfitch

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2008, 08:36:04 pm »
Geeg, what's that you used to cover/protect the rear derailleur?


Offline geegee

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2009, 01:54:28 am »
It's an exterior faucet winter cover I found in the Anchorage Home Depot. I came
across it as I was looking for the pipe insulation and thought I'd experiment with it.
I hacked it up to snugly fit around the derailleur and act as a bumper, distributing
any impact forces on to the chain stay and the gear cluster instead of the derailleur
and hanger. The McGuyvering worked relatively well:

This message was edited by geeg on 12-31-08 @ 11:12 PM

Offline biker_james

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2009, 07:24:27 am »
My wife and I have been using the pipe insulation and airline bag for a few years when we've been travelling by plane with our Cannondales. Personally, I think its as good if not better than the bike box. Because it isn't "just a box", they don't throw it around as much, and they tend to be the last thing put into the airplane's hold, because you can't stack on them. I like the derailleur cover-we've always just unscrewed them from the frame and zip tied them out of the way, which only takes a minute at each end.
I do have to say that some people may look at you funny as you ride up to the airport with a bundle of pipe insulation tubes strapped to the rear rack.

Offline Tourista829

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2009, 12:40:59 pm »
Have you purchased a bike yet? There is a good book from Adventure Cycling called "The Essential Touring Cyclist," by Richard A. Lovett that was very helpful to me. There are several factors to consider. Frame material, fit, weight, chain stay length, portability and saddle. I have toured on both aluminium and steel. Each has it's advantages. I like good steel for comfort and fixability & aluiminium for stiffness and weight. The one thing in steel to watchout for is frame flex. Getting out of the saddle to climb a hill or a fast techincal descent is not the time to discovery frame flex especially with a fully loaded bike. Fit is vital for a comfortable and more upright ride especially at my age. If you haven't purchased a new bike in 18 years, like me, I would take a trip to your local bicycle shop. Have them measure inseem for seat tube length, torso and arm length combo for the correct top tub and stem combo, femur to knee for correct crank length and your shoulder width for correct handlebar width. If you are like me 157 pounds and do not carry more than 60 pounds tops (including bags), or sometimes use a trailer, then you will have a lot of choices. If you weigh 230 and have 80 to 100 pounds of gear and bags your choices are fewer. 1 am the first scenario, fit and comfort, at age 57, very important so I purchased a Comotion Norwest Tourer. Chain stay length I would not go less than 430mm or 17 inches especially if you have a large foot. 460mm or 18 inches is better. Check your bags for heal clearance. Picking bags is a whole other discussion. Portability, S&S couplers, quick disconects for the cables, and a good hard case is the only way if you travel alot and value your bike. There are several shops in the states that do this retro fit. Bilenky in Phila, Pa. does a good job at a reasonable price. Saddle, as you already know if you purchase a Brooks saddle, buy it before your tour and break it in 300 to 400 miles or you may be very uncomfortable for the first few weeks. I am sure this post will generate some discussion. Let us know what bike you end up with. Have a happy and safe riding new year. Bob  

Offline Westinghouse

What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2009, 01:19:54 pm »
For years now I have been using pipe insulation for handlebar padding on long tours. You just cut it to length. It already had a lengthwise cut to make it easy to slip over the pipe. I put it on, and wrap duct tape around it. It's cheap and durable, and comfortable. By the time you get to say CA from FL, it will be pretty well compressed in the most often used spots, but by that time the hands are so used to the pressure it is no problem.

In my opinion, it is kind of a hard call telling someone what kind of bike to get for a long haul, loaded tour. I just use a touring bike. Which kind to use? I would not be able to give much advice on something like that. The frame must be strong, and it must be the right size for your body, legs, arms, etc. There is something to do with the angles at which the frame tubes are joined that determines efficiency of pedaling.

I have always used medium priced touring bikes, except for one tour in China when I used the mountain style bike. I have talked with a few persons who thought their bottom of the line mountain bikes would be great for touring, and I have ridden a few of those bikes. I suspect those guys had never ridden a well made touring bike.

Geeg has a good setup. The proof is in the pudding. If he is satisfied with the performance and the comfort of his bike, that may be exactly the make you are looking for.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 1-1-09 @ 10:24 AM

Offline bikeparts

Re: What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2009, 02:03:16 pm »
Cannondale T1 or T2Touring.I have uses T2 which was T800.Never had any Problems with it.Crossed the US Twice TramAM and Northern Tier.Cost $1300. Good Luck in your Choice

Offline mucknort

Re: What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2009, 12:23:18 pm »
A Recumbent!!! I having been touring for over 20 years and did many thousands of miles on my trusty Trek 720. I loved touring, but hated the butt/groin, wrist, neck pain associated with it. About 5 years ago, I bought my first recumbent and just love it. To me it is the ideal style bike for touring. There are many styles (and folks tour on most of them), but the 2 main types are short or long wheelbase. I prefer a long wheel base for touring and would recommend either a Rans Stratus (or Stratus XP), Easy Racer Tour Easy, or Bacchetta Bella. There are several shops in VA that sell recumbents, or you could find a good price on a used one from someone in that area.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 05:15:40 pm by mucknort »

Offline sjp5107

Re: What Touring bike would you suggest?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2009, 05:11:42 pm »
The Trek 520 is nice. So is the surly long haul trucker. The surly has a neat feature on the left chainstay, an extra spoke holder. Just a neat feature. Im not a big fan of the cannondale touring frame.