Author Topic: Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)  (Read 13207 times)

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Offline MrFusion

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« on: March 01, 2004, 04:13:24 am »
I am planning to ride my bike across the country this summer.  I was just wondering what the best road/touring bike in the $1000 range is.  I understand that most often the "best" bike is the best fitting one, but don't entirely know what my options are.  A local bike shop tried to convince me that the Trek 520 was grossly overpriced and that a Jamis Aurora was a superior choice.  However, I am somewhat skeptical.  I am just wondering what all of you unbiased folk think.  Thanks.

Offline wanderingwheel

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2004, 07:53:53 am »
Although I have a Trek 520, I can't think of any $1000 touring bike that is significantly better than the others, and I don't think any of them are overpriced.  Expect to find a mix of 105 and Deore/Deore LX components at this price point.  Other usual suspects are Cannondale T800 and Giant OCR Touring.  

At the lower price point you will find Tiagra components.  They will work for a while but their durability ie questionable.  Others here are the Bianchi Volpe and the Novara (REI) Randonee.  I think the Jamis has 130mm rear hub spacing (standard road) and if tht is true, I would stay away from it for loaded touring.  The larger 135mm hub (mountain spacing) builds a stronger wheel and wheels are the most frequent trouble makers in my experience.  I suspect the Bianchi and Novara also use 130 rear spacing.


Offline jimmcw

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2004, 05:24:40 pm »
Go for the Trek 520.  It'll get you there.

Offline gingerloop

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2004, 03:37:43 pm »
I've been looking for the exact same thing for the last 6 months and after a lot of research, test riding, and head scratching I finally came up with a bike I'm very happy with so far.

First off I wanted an upright position, similar to a mountain bike.  I did not want a drop down handle bar position.  Next I wanted bigger tires, the mountain bike I've had has tires of 1.9 inch.  I test road a bike that had 25mm and I swear I could feel every pebble on the road so I knew I wanted bigger tires.

Anyways I finally came up with the Specialized Sirrus Comp, a hybrid model.  The price tage was $899 at a local bike shop.  I made a couple of additions.  I put bar extenders on the handle bars, a kick stand, rear view mirror on the handle bar, 3 bottle cages (it has eyelets for 3), a solid rear rack (eyelets for that also), and I changed the 28 mm tires to 38 mm tires.

I've been on a few long distance rides already with it, no touring yet or heavy loads.  I'm very happy with it and I think this will do very well.  The only bad thing has been the seat, not as comfortable as they lead you to believe, so I switched back to a Trek seat I bought about six months ago.

My initial plan is to use a trailer and the guys at the bike shop said this would do very well with a trailer or bags.

Once all was put on the bike the total was $1065, about where I figured I would pay for a good solid bike.

Need more information let me know!

Devin Holmes
devin at gingerloop dot com

Offline biker_james

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2004, 09:16:11 am »
I'm a Cannondale T800 fan personally. My wife and I each got one 4 years ago and they have been great. They fit our budget at the time, liked the look and ride, and liked the shop that carried them. Still no regrets. We swapped chainrings last year to get better touring gearing, but you need to do that on the Trek and many others also. Now we run 24/39/48 from the original 30/42/52. I think the new T800's run 28/38/48 which isn't bad. As to the durability of Tiagra, I'll let you know when we wear something out. But my idea of the perfect bike may not be the same as yours-people tour on all different styles of bikes-hybrids and MTB's work great for a lot of people, and can be a better deal than a touring bike.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2004, 01:16:15 pm »
I do the vast majority if my touring off-pavement, but when we do ride a paved rail-trail or something like that, I use the same Trek 930SHX. Including the bike and modifications, I have about $750.00 in it, with a new seat, stem, bars, rack, crank, wheels and tires. I am fairly huge (6"3" 250+lbs)and have found I am most comfortable on a hardtail MTB with a suspension seat post. The 930 was the last high-end chromoly mountain bike Trek made. Their only steel MTB now is the entry-level 820.

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol

This message was edited by Trailpatrol on 3-11-04 @ 9:21 AM
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
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Offline LDiskin

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2004, 10:04:54 pm »
The TREK 520 is one of the most popular main stream touring bikes in modern history. It is always a solid and durable choice. Trek has been producing this model for many, many years. You could buy a Trek, Cannondale, Jamis, or Specialized and you'll get similar value from each. --Larry

Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline bkrbll

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2004, 03:04:31 am »
The Trek 520 is not what I would call over priced. Checked it out while I was in the market for a bike to tour with.  I bought the 2003 Jamis Aurora ($650)to fit my budget and I wasn't sure how loaded I wanted to get.  So when you compare the two, Trek's 105 front and Deor LX rear to the Jamis sora front and Deor rear and Trek's heavier duty frame. Value wise there is not a significant difference. You get your moneys worth out of both.  The bigger question is how do you intend to use it. Really loaded self contained touring the Trek would likely hold up better in the long run.  In 2004 Jamis upgraded the components on the Aurora and now the price tag is around $840.  The Trek lists for $1099 but my shop quots $999 so this year the difference is even less.
So go out and ride both.  Consider handling, feel, comfort, and how you intend to use it. Pick the one that answers the questions in your favor.

1,500 miles on My Jamis and I love it.  Nothing fully loaded, about half loaded you might say, but I trust it to handle a full load in the near future.

Offline KiltGuy

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2004, 09:16:30 pm »
I am touring now using a 2002 Bianchi Volpe. There are only one thing that it needs perfect: lower gearing. To be fair, though, nobody seems to make touring bikes geared for touring :)

Anyway, even with the changed gearing, the price was under $1000. Definately worth a look.

 Yet another Kilted Welsh-Irish
 Cycling Martial Artist

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Offline kiarmuid

Touring Bikes ($1000 Range)
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2004, 11:55:40 pm »
I too, am a Trek 520 guy.  I shopped alot and kept coming back to the Trek.  I like the 36 spoke wheels, the mt bike hubs and rear derailleur, but I immeidately change the 105 crank to an XT.  If you look at Co-Motion sells for $3000, its got a Mt bike crank.

I was told by a tour operator and serious loaded touring freak that you want a bike to be durable.  He says you can't go any where in the world where someone can't weld steel. Aluminum is different.  Also, he isn't a fan of STI shifting.  Why? if you have cable problems, just tie knot in the cable and bar end or down tube shifters are good to go.

But, buy a bike that you love to ride.  You'll figure out how to make it accomdate you.