Author Topic: Trip form Airzona to Alaska  (Read 9686 times)

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Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« on: October 10, 2008, 05:56:03 pm »
I'm going to ride my bike form Airzona to Alaska, and have no prior experience in cross country trips. If any of you have suggestions on what type of gear I should purchase, please reply.


I plan on buying a Golbe sport...I know it's not ideal but if I kept up on mantinace, do you think it would last the trip?


Offline whittierider

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 07:16:43 pm »
Quote
I plan on buying a Golbe sport...I know it's not ideal but if I kept up on mantinace, do you think it would last the trip?

The $500 Specialized Globe Sport, like this?



I can't get excited about it, but it could work.  At least it's from a reputable company, and it's not department-store junk.

As you plan, use this website's how-to page at http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/howto.cfm .  There's a very minimal page on choosing a touring bike for the road at http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/bikefortheroad.cfm .  Browse around the site, also http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/ .


Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008, 09:33:03 pm »
haha Yes that's the one. I really want the tri cross comp. But I just don't have any money. Thank you for those referances!


Offline whittierider

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2008, 12:01:18 am »
The Tricross is a cyclocross bike, right?  I couldn't tell you from personal experience, but someone on another forum I'm on who's an extremely knowledgeable shop owner and has done different kinds of racing for the last 20+ years and has a several cyclocross bikes says they have a high center of gravity and a high bottom bracket to get over large obstacles, they're made to be maneuverable at low speed not stable under load, and they generally have a harsh ride on pavement if you don't use wide tires on it.  I see the Tricross has the zerts in the frame, so it should not have such a hard ride; but although I know a few people do use cyclocross bikes for touring, it sounds like they're generally not a good choice.

A couple of favorites for long-distance touring with a full load are the Surly Long-Haul Trucker and the Trek 520.  With some effort, you could probably find a used one in good shape within your budget.


Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2008, 02:27:05 am »
The Tricross is a Freeroad/CX. I've been looking around for the Trek 520 and the SLH and they both seem like awesome bikes. My friend has a Sirrus Sport which is a Fitness/Commute bicycle. He would like to know your opinion. Based off the referances you gave me the alumminum fork might be a problem and so might be the chainrings and the cassaette may pose some problems as well. haha the only problem is, is that I don't really know what all that stuff means. Thanks a lot for your help.


Offline whittierider

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2008, 04:31:06 am »
Chainrings are the front sprockets.  The cassette is the set of rear sprockets, commonly called cogs.  The chainrings on the Sirrus Sport are a good size for your application.  You might wish you had a bigger cassette for a lower gear at some point, but what's there won't keep you from reaching your destination.  It probably won't even make you get off and walk, but you might have a hard time pedaling up the steepest hills with a full load.  The derailleur the bike comes with will let you go up to a 27T (27-tooth) big cog on the cassette.  The difference from 25T to 27T is pretty minimal-- less than the difference between a 10% and an 11% grade.  You could go up to a 30T, 32T, or 34T to get lower gears, but they would require changing the derailleur.

Many parts are easy to change out; IOW, you're not necessarily stuck with the parts that came on the bike.  For more expensive bikes the dealer may make certain changes free of charge before you take delivery of the bike, like putting a bigger cassette and matching rear derailleur on if the retail value is about the same; but they will probably be reluctant to do it on a bike that's only $500-$600.  Profit margins on bikes are quite narrow compared to the accessories; so don't think they should just do it for free because they're "making all this money."

A carbon fork will add less of its own resonances than a metal fork, and that results in a smoother-feeling ride.  It does not absorb shock, but it sure makes the ride nicer.  Carbon forks are quite a bit more expensive though.  That upgrade definitely won't be free!  A metal fork will do the job just fine-- it just won't be as nice to ride.

This field is rather information-intensive.  Assuming the plan is to do this trip next summer, you'll have time to educate yourself on more details than you had any idea there were.  Take time to ask questions and read up.  For now just ride whatever bike you have-- lots-- and don't be in too big of a hurry to get the bike you'll take on the tour.

By the time you get all your luggage and camping gear and pay for your food and campsite fees, the bike probably won't be as big of a part of the overall cost as you thought, so there's no point in skimping if it would really reduce the pleasure of the trip.

You should probably take a shorter trip before the big one, just to evaluate the equipment and find out what you need to change, what you can leave behind, etc..


Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2008, 01:54:23 pm »
How much do you think changing the cog and getting a good derailleur would be? It shouldn't be too much. I've been reading about a Windsor bicycle which I'm told are just as good as a Fuji Touring bike, which it's my understanding are pretty awesome touring bicycles. What do you think about a Windsor? And should I change anything? We are definetly planing on doing a few week trips before our big tour. A few trips to Flagstaff San Diego I think would suffice. So you think Carbon is a good choice if I had the extra money laying around?

What do you think about arobars with drop bars? Again thanks a lot for your help. It's awesome getting all this feedback.


Offline scott.laughlin

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 11:31:38 am »
I remember a high school math teacher who, 20 years ago cycled from Oregon to New Jersey on a fit tire with a coaster brake.  

I'd say use what you got and see how tough you are. :)


Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 10:16:44 pm »
haha that's nuts. I like your thinking.


Offline staehpj1

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 07:23:59 am »
You asked about the Windsor...  We did the TA on three of them.  Check out our journal at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007
The "What worked and what didn't" section has some relevant comments.


Offline biker_james

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2008, 07:26:33 am »
I don't think I'd worry about putting drop bars on it. Personally, I think just putting bar-ends on it would make it a fine touring bike. The gearing is pretty good for most people as it is. The barends just allow a differnet position for your hands, and wrists which can be important on a long day on the bike.
There are a lot of people touring on comfort/hybrids or lower end mountain bikes, and not having an issue with it.


Offline ultratastybagel

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 04:18:33 am »
Oh, I was told otherwise concerning the gearing. Would you concider putting a new cass. on it? Or are eight gears fine?


Offline biker_james

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 07:32:48 am »
I don't see a problem with 8 gears on the back. It gives you the same range as the 9 speeds out there, just with a little larger gaps between gear.
You may want to have the inner chainring replaced with something smaller( or not-its what 26?) I toured for a couple years with a low gear of 30/32, before changing things up , and now have a 22/32 low gear. How low you want or need depends on the person. I don't know if I ever really need a 22 tooth granny ring, but I like to know I have it in reserve.


Offline RussellSeaton

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 09:58:24 am »
The 2008 Specialized Globe Sport comes with a 48-36-26 triple crankset and 11-32 8 speed cassette.  I suspect you could find a smaller inner chainring.  The crankset probably has a somewhat common bolt circle diameter and different parts are available.  But it would likely be a $20-30 custom order for a smaller chainring from the local bike shop.  Probably not worth it.  8 speed cassettes only come with a maximum big cog of 32 so no way to get lower gears by changing the cassette.  If you went to a 9 speed shifting system you could get a 34 cog in back.  But you would also have to replace the shifters.  Costly.  So changing your rear cassette is pointless.

I rode the Alps and Dolomites on a bike with a low of 24x32.  A little lower than this bike has.  It was sufficient.


Offline whittierider

Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 01:31:27 pm »
8-speed 11-34 cassette

I don't think you'll be able to feel the difference between 32 and 34 when you're climbing the steep stuff though.  When what you have isn't low enough for that, I always recommend more drastic measures, like that coupled to a considerably smaller chainring.  We have a 24/34 low on the tandem since my wife is anything but a strong climber, and that's only 7-speed, not 8 or 9.  The cassette is 13-34.  I think 24 is the smallest chainring you can get on a 74mm BCD.