Author Topic: bike for TransAm trail  (Read 4792 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bigwayne3000

bike for TransAm trail
« on: January 06, 2010, 09:09:34 pm »
ok so i want to do the transam trail. never toured in my life so im not planning on doing it for awhile, what recommendations would you all have for a bike? im 6'6 about 200 lbs. like i said, ive never toured or anything so all the help i could get is appreciated. what should i take into account when looking for a bike? help please! haha thanks in advance.

Offline John Nelson

Re: bike for TransAm trail
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 09:37:44 pm »
If you're buying a bike for touring and nothing else, then by all means get a touring bike. If the bike will primarily be for touring and some other occasional riding, then also get a touring bike. But if this is to be your one and only all-purpose bike, then you might need to think harder.

A touring bike to the untrained eye looks just like an ordinary road bike, but it has many, many advantages for touring. Here's my list of what you would want if you could have everything. You don't need everything of course, but if you're buying a bike just for touring, then why not?

 1. Many touring bikes are steel, but some are aluminum. I would buy steel, but I wouldn't consider aluminum to be a show-stopper.
 2. Widely spaced fork and rear triangle allow for the wider tires you need to handle a variety of surfaces and produce a more comfortable ride.
 3. Low gearing, often using mountain bike rather than road bike gears and derailleurs, is good for getting a loaded bike up the 100th hill of the day.
 4. Fittings for as many water-bottle cages as you can get (at least three), unless you plan to use a Camelback (not very common among road cyclists).
 5. Front fork fittings for a front rack.
 6. Seat-stay fittings for a rear rack.
 7. Long chain stays to move the panniers back far enough to avoid heel strike without putting the weight behind the rear hub.
 8. Strong wheels to avoid spoke breakage under heavy loads. 36 3-cross spokes is pretty standard.
 9. Long wheel base for a stable and comfortable ride.
 10. Drop handlebars for a variety of hand positions.
 11. Fenders for riding in the rain.

If you buy a bike described by the manufacturer as a touring bike, you will get many if not all of the things in my list above. Most major manufacturers make one or two touring bikes. The Surly Long Haul Trucker and the Trek 520 are two popular models, but there are many other fine choices. Be sure to read:

Note that most bike shops do not keep touring bikes on the floor. So you may need to buy one sight-unseen. And you may need to wait months to get it, so act early.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 09:44:40 pm by John Nelson »

Offline bigwayne3000

Re: bike for TransAm trail
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 11:47:19 pm »
thank you for your input. i just started looking into the Long Haul Trucker Frame but my searches only turn up purchasing frames. the frames is relativly cheap at $430 some places so what would i be looking at at buying all the accesories? do you have any sites that sell the bike already assembled? what would the pricing be for these bikes? i really dont have 2k to spend on a bike but i also understand you get what u pay for so im not looking for a $200 bike but i am looking to stay within reason and not exceed 1k hopefully if possible. this bike i would also like to use around where i live in nj as i live in the country of jersey. would touring bikes be good for this type of riding as well?

**i found some completed bikes for under $1100. my question is, would it be cheaper in the end to buy the fram by itself and the rest of it individually and build it myself or just buy the bike pre built?**
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 11:57:30 pm by bigwayne3000 »

Offline whittierider

Re: bike for TransAm trail
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 12:23:44 am »
would it be cheaper in the end to buy the fram by itself and the rest of it individually and build it myself or just buy the bike pre built?
Normally B.  You get more for the money if you buy a complete bike.  You can still swap out a few parts to customize if necessary.

Offline Galloper

Re: bike for TransAm trail
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 06:48:04 am »
I pretty much agree with all of the above.   Steel frame bikes are generally more shock absorbant and therefore more comfortable.   I use both a steel framed and an alu framed for touring.   The alu bike has a suspension seatpost which balances out the comfort equation.   Not sure about prices in the USA but here in the UK, about $30 would get a fairly decent suspension seat post.   Worth considering.

While most touring bikes have drop handlebars, I've never much favoured them myself.   I prefer either flat bars with some rise or a pair of butterfly (trekking ) bars.   The latter give even more hand positions than drops and generally offer a more upright seating position which I find more comfortable.   This is a matter of personal taste so if you can, try out all the options.

Have fun


  • Guest
Re: bike for TransAm trail
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 02:56:27 pm »

Where in NJ are you?  (Love riding in Hunterdon Couty.)  If you are not unreasonably far from Philly, Trophy Bikes at 33rd & Walnut usually has some Long Haul's in stock.  One of Trophy's specialties is touring.   So they carry racks and panniers as well.  Last time I checked the LHT complete bike is retailing for around $1,100 these days.  I bought one a few years ago and I love it not only for loaded touring but for getting around town.