Author Topic: MB Touring  (Read 14198 times)

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Offline jamesfrank

MB Touring
« on: January 02, 2009, 11:24:33 am »

My name is James and I have been contemplating a RTW bike tour and seek "hardware" advice.

Because I have owned and ridden mountain bikes for several years, like the mountain bike style, and feel comfortable on a MB compared to a roadie (have owned Trek and GT MB's), I would like to purchase a MB that would be right bike for touring RTW.  Does anyone recommend a particular model?  I do not want to have hardware problems on my trip  :)  Price:  3-4k


Offline geegee

MB Touring
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 01:49:39 pm »
You could consider getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and
building it up with mountain bike parts.

I've toured on a mountain bike before (a Kona Kilauea) and it was OK
but not great. I think they work better if you are the BOB trailer type.
I'm not a physics expert, but I find MBs are a bit more wobbly when
they are loaded up with panniers, which I attribute to three
First, the lower top tube and seat stays usually mean that the rack
brackets are more extended, and since this is the flexible part of the
rack, there is more tendency for the weight to shift left and right.
Second, the tighter triangulation on real hardtail mountain bikes mean
that the centre of gravity of the bike itself is lower to the ground, and
balanced with the weight of you and your panniers on top, the mass
distribution is more polarized. Third, the shorter wheel base (shorter
chain stay and straight fork) that give mountain bikes the quick
handling and tighter turning radius makes the bike really squirrelly
when it is loaded.

The generous geometry of a good touring bike means the frame is
really rigid. This means the force you exert is transmitted more
towards moving you forward on the bike as opposed to being wasted
on flexing or shock absorption which are issues that are more
important in mountain biking.

This message was edited by geeg on 1-2-09 @ 11:01 AM


  • Guest
MB Touring
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 02:16:53 pm »
Many of the points that geeg made are addressed if you step up to a 29er hardtail.  Unfortunately, few are made with braze-ons for racks, but a BOB Ibex is a good option.  To ensure a proper geometry for  touring with racks/panniers, your budget is sufficient for a custom frame like the Independent Steel Deluxe 29er.  I have one and its the bomb.

However, some will argue that 29er specific parts are not readily available.  If this is of concern, then you can go with a custom 26".

This message was edited by cyclesafe on 1-2-09 @ 11:18 AM

Offline jamesfrank

MB Touring
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 05:41:39 pm »
Thanks all for the advice.  I am aware that a MB is not the bike of choice for touring, but I am a year-around MBer and want to continue riding my new bike even when not touring.  In other words, I desire the best of both rides in one bike.  And again, I feel very comfortable on a MB, as compared to a roadie.

How about a 21' frame?  Would the larger frame be more stable?  Do manufactures build a frame that can accommodate both a hybrid tire, and a MB one?  And what about balancing a load in the panniers (aka saddle-bags?



  • Guest
MB Touring
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 05:52:55 pm »
try a hybrid bike, part road bike part MTB, with 3-4k youll have a lot to select from.


Offline brianlewis

MB Touring
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 07:43:13 pm »
Specialized makes a CrossTail for $1050 the Crosstail Comp gives you alot for the money, riding on 700cc x 45c tires, mtb handlebars, disc brakes, forks, mtb style frame.  You could put a rack on the rear since its single suspension.

Or maybe the Fuji Police Patrol ($720 msrp, performancebike can order for less)

Offline BeardedBiker

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 09:38:35 pm »
I picked up a pair of Redline D440's--they are MTB 29'ers, and I had the frames fitted with S&S Couplers.

I went with these bikes for a number of reasons.

#1. I love 29'ers for MTB riding.
#2. The 29'er wheel size allows for use of "full on" MTB tires, or cyclocross tires or road tires--an all around bike!
#3. The bike has braze on mounts.

My wife's bike is packed and ready for an upcoming trip, and my bike is in the garage with studded tires, fenders, a rear rack and has me BOB rear skewer. It will make a quick transformation by shedding the rack and fenders, and having knobby tires before being packed as well.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: MB Touring
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 04:45:20 pm »
Check out the Co-Motion Pangea or a Thorn EXP as they are touring specific 26" bikes and will be in your 3-4k price range.

Offline gregg

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 06:01:29 pm »
Well, lots and lots of people tour on mountain bikes and do not have any problem with them. In fact, many prefer them as you can see by searching this (and other) forums. Particularly if your going RTW,  many would say the 26' mountain bike wheel is more suitable, simply because tires and tubes for that size wheel are the easiest to find. Panniers or trailer? Up to you really, both work, it is just a matter of taste.

For touring, most will tell you to get a rigid rear on the bike. If your mostly on roads, get a rigid front also, you can always get shocks for when you get home and have a good off road bike also. With the kind of money you are willing to spend your choices are many. Bruce Gordon makes some excellent touring bikes, while many custom frame builders could do you well also. Waterford (and Gunnar) also make very suitable frames for what you have in mind.

Soma makes a very nice hardtail mountain bike frame (Soma Groove) that is relatively inexpensive (around $400 or so). I built one up for a tour I did 2 years ago (with panniers), and now use it for my commuter and have been very happy with it.

Whatever bike you get, make sure it fits you, and you get lots of saddle time before you leave. That way you can work out all the kinks before you take off.

Offline J_M_Campbell

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 03:41:36 pm »
Check out the Co-Motion Pangea or a Thorn EXP as they are touring specific 26" bikes and will be in your 3-4k price range.
+1 on the Thorn recommendation. They even have several builds available that feature the Rohloff internal gear hub which appears to have many benefits, especially for a world tour.

Offline TCS

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 01:59:52 pm »
I am aware that a MB is not the bike of choice for touring, but I am a year-around MBer and want to continue riding my new bike even when not touring.  In other words, I desire the best of both rides in one bike.

So you want this bike to carry you on expedition tour 10,000 to 30,000 miles around the world, and also want the bike to be a trail/cross country mount when you get back home?  And you want this bike to be the "best" at both uses?

This isn't going to be cheap; in fact, it will surely be more expensive than two seperate, more specialized focus bikes.  If you're serious and have the budget to back this dream up, we can certainly provide the contact information for some custom frame builders, some respected wheelwrights and also suggest some componentry.

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

Offline Westinghouse

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2009, 02:07:19 pm »
I am not anyone to tell someone what kind of bike to tour on, but of course on an RTW tour I would recommend you get a high quality one. My own personal preference is the standard touring bike, but as has been pointed out on this thread, there could be a problem getting 27 1/4 inch wheels and tires in the lands of scant goods and services. Many people tour on MBs. I met two fellows from Germany in Van Horn, Texas. I had cycled the extreme gulf coast roads from Florida to Brownsville, TX, and then gone north along the Mexican-American borber to Van Horn. They had started from San Diego. They were both riding mountain bikes. I think they had those waterproof Ortlieb panniers. They said they were extremely satisfied with using mountain bikes for long distance touring. I read a journal written by a married couple doing an RTW tour. The journal had pictures. They were using MBs too. A lot of people use them. My only  advice would be this. If you choose a MB, make sure it is one of good quality. Other than that I would say do your homework, and make the best educated decision you can with the information you have.  I toured in China with a MB. It was ok. I still prefer a good touring bike.            

Offline mimbresman

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2009, 01:04:37 pm »
Have you seen the new Salsa Fargo? Its a cool bike. I am considering one myself for my Trans-Am 2010. Looks like the Hummer of touring bikes.


Offline Moondoggy

Re: MB Touring
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 09:11:25 pm »
First of all get a 29er ( faster and more efficient IMO) and you don`t need brazons.Buy a frame, and build up the bike the way you want .I love my Niner BTW