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Touring bike stuff(10 posts)

Touring bike stuffEssdeegee
Mar 3, 2002 5:18 PM
I'm going to get a road bike this spring and since I've done MTB exclusively for the past 15 years I would like your comments on components. I'm going to get an Airborne Carpe Diem frame (I want the bike for "unloaded" touring),I'm leaning towards an XTR drivetrain/brakes because of familiarity with its quality. Any advantage to getting an Ultegra/another brand triple set-up?. What kind of gear range for the rear cassette would you suggest (I'm 45 and a specialist at the slow and steady climbing school). I've seen several companies are making CF cylocross forks, these are what I was looking at, comments. Thanks for the advice, BTW I won't be giving up my MTB, singletrack on a Racer-X is way too much fun.
re: Touring bike stuffmr tornado head
Mar 3, 2002 6:45 PM
Really, Shimano 105 series would work quite well, Ultegra is just extra cash spent, unless you're _really_ serious about weight. But it, too, works very well. If you want a really trick triple and aren't scared off, try the TA Zephyr crank.

For the rear, I'd go with a 12 or 13 - 28 or 32. Personally I use a 14-28 out back and a 52 x 36 up front (the advantage of using an older Sugino crank w/110 bcd). Works great for the hills around here, which aren't mountains, but frequently quite steep. Depends on the hills/mountains/inclines in your area, but with a triple you should be able to get by with the 28 on the back.

And no, never give up the MTB. IF you're having fun, that's all that counts!
Touring bike stuffSpoke Wrench
Mar 4, 2002 7:22 AM
1. I'd definitely recommend a road bike crankset. You're going to find yourself spun out all the time with typical mountain bike gearing. A wide range cassette on the back with a mountain bike rear derailleur often makes sense for the type of use you describe.

2. Tires are the next big decision because they often drive your brake choices. Most road brake bike calipers will only open wide enough to handle a 28mm tire. If you want to go any wider, you will have to use a canty or v-brake. Radius canty's work best with STI shifters. V-brakes require the use of a Travel Agent or similar cable pull device. Don't fall for the Tektro mini-v hype, they suck.

3. For pure touring use, lots of people prefer bar-end shifters. They're cheaper and they have fewer maintanance issues.
Couple of small additionscory
Mar 4, 2002 8:43 AM
FWIW, I agree with just about everything spoke and tornado head suggest. You'll especially appreciate being able to run big (bigger than 25) tires on long, rough-road tours--that's why I used canti brakes, and I've never been sorry. My standard tires these days are 700x35 Paselas, though I sometimes go down to 28s (I weigh 220; forget those 23s).
Only thing I'd question is the gearing. You may be stronger than I am, but my Atlantis is running 46-36-26 in front, 12-28 in back, and that's plenty for me under any road conditions. I ride in the big ring most of the time, which I can't do with a 52-39, but I don't remember ever being spun out. Any time I can push a 52-12, I'm going to be coasting anyway.
I disagree with all these thoughtsLC
Mar 4, 2002 10:19 AM
I MTB too, but on the road there is only one king of the road and that is full deal road bike. People that are not as fit as you will pass your cross bike and that will bug you. As long as you are doing unloaded touring, then there is no reason for any extra breaking that the 105 and up components can't handle fine. The extra hand positions that a road bar with sti shifters is what will make touring more comfortable. Without the geometry of a full road frame (not compact for touring) you be uncomfortable on long rides.

You already have a MTB, and have probally allready tried to half ass do the job with slicks, but found that it still did not do it for you. A cross bike is still a half assed road bike.
Nah, a cross bike is a half assed road RACE bikeRay
Mar 4, 2002 12:02 PM
But it can be a great all around road bike if you're not a racer, pseudo racer, or otherwise speed obsessed. I have a ti race bike, a steel road bike, and a steel cyclocross bike that I sometimes put slicks on and ride on the road. I'm probably a couple of tenths slower on my cross bike than on my ti racing bike, but not much more than that. I've fallen in with groups of people who are faster than me on both bikes and I can hang on both bikes until the serious hills start and then I get dropped a few seconds sooner on the cross bike than on the race bike.

But the cross bike is a blast to ride on those all day, leave the stopwatch at home rides and eat up the miles. Unless you're really after absolute maximum speed, don't worry too much about the differences.

You must reevaluatecyclaholic
Mar 4, 2002 12:21 PM
I am with LC, you need much more information before you decide on which specific bike will best suit your plans.

Today's road bikes are so good, they can make long rides very comfortable. You're talking about "light touring" which, to me, says you are going to be taking long bike rides. That's what today's racing bikes are designed to do. You can find a very light bike that won't beat you up.

The tires are so good today that you can get a "fast training" tire at 25mm that will handle rough roads very well.

If you are going to be loading the bike up with lots of weight, or you are going to be riding off road or on gravel, then maybe you will want to look at cyclocross frames and forks. But I sure don't know why anyone would want to ride long distances over gravel roads.

And the Ultegra (and DuraAce, Record, Chorus) components offer much more than weight advantages, they offer demonstrated dependability; that's exactly what you want when you take long bike rides. The last thing you want is a failure 50 miles from home. Some of these people just don't know what they are talking about.
Some people don't know what they are (You must reevaluate)mr tornado head
Mar 5, 2002 4:53 AM
"Some people don't know what they are talking about..." I've been riding a early '90's Deore rear der and a 105 front for the last 3 years on my older Trek 2300 with NO PROBLEMS. Ultegra and Dura-Ace are lighter, yes, but not more reliable. With the Sugino crank. However, I'm using donwntube shifters which by being MUCH simpler than STI's are more reliable. Not necc. better, just less moving parts.

My Late 80's Bianchi will fit 700 x 35's (but sadly, not w/fenders) with _standard reach_ sidepulls. And I use them because a lot of the country roads here are tar-chip sealed and 23's need too much air to make that ride much of a joy.
25's are a little better, but not enough. Besides, if I'm wandering around and the road goes to all gravel, I've got no worries.

And regarding the 'cross bike vs. road racer type: Whatever bike you are most comfortable on is the right bike. The heck with what the rest of us say.
more: Some people don't know what they are (You must reevaluate)mr tornado head
Mar 5, 2002 4:56 AM
FWIW: I'm only weighing in at 155 lbs. so I can go with the lighter tires on smooth pavement. But unless you stick to paved trails, you never know when the road will get rough.
re: Touring bike stuffSteven in Arizona
Mar 5, 2002 2:57 PM
I own a Trek 520 (insert rude comments here) and I am currently using in the front 105's w/52/42/30 and on the rear 11-32. I am a bigger rider, 6' and 210lbs and this gearing gets me everywhere I need and want to go. The bar end shifters are not a issue with me since I don't do hardcore racing. I have used this bike on charity rides of up to 100K and also train on it on regular intervals. My road bike is a 2200 (again insert comments). I bought the 520 for a "self contained" tour for next summer. The gearing, riding position, and dependability of componets make this the logical choice.

My advice would be to go with comfort first, i.e gearing & riding position, and all else will fall into place.