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Touring advice needed(4 posts)

Touring advice neededwonderdog
Jun 26, 2002 5:54 PM

stats on me: 6'2", 175lb. Strong rider. 3 bikes in my stable. A 9spd aluminum specialized mtn bike, a 9spd Trek OCLV, and a steel singlespeed Surly crossCheck (48X20).

I am planning on doing a solo 500-600 bike tour this fall over the course of 5 days. I will start in a pretty flat area, and the last 150 miles or so will be in hilly/mountainous terrain. I plan to pull a B.O.B. trailer behind me as I go carrying a single man tent, sleeping bag, and essentials (some food, tools, spare clothes, etc). I've raced quite a bit and am excited about this new arena of riding and exploration.

So, since this is my first time doing any touring, I am soliciting advice. I've been working on my route and have a good idea of where I'll be going and staying. My main concern at this point is which bike to take. Currently, I'm pretty set on the singlespeed but wonder if the gearing will be too high for mtns. I've ridden this bike on a few 60 mile rides but have never done a century on it. Recently, I got the position really dialed in and am starting to feel better about this bike choice. It has nice fat 28mm tires on it and a good upright riding position. Since there will be a couple of days where I do more than 100 miles, I figure that this gearing will help me to go slowly on the flats....thus preventing the urge to hammer for the first 50 miles and then die in the afternoon. I plan to pace myself and enjoy the ride. The mountain bike does, however, have 27 wonderful gears, and I can slap some slicks on there. It's been several years, though, since I rode a century on my mtn bike, and I haven't been on it lately. The OCLV seems like it would be too delicate for this taking a sports car to do the job of an SUV.

If I get the trailer and use the singlespeed, can I use the quick release mechanism that comes with the BOB, or should I order the bolt on version?

Should I carry extra water? I'll be passing through many small towns along the way.

How many spare sets of clothes? 0,1,or 2?

How many tubes?


Opinions and suggestions are welcomed. Thanks.

Strictly personal pref, but I'd take the MBcory
Jun 27, 2002 7:28 AM
I love my singlespeed, but it's not the bike I'd choose for five consecutive centuries in hilly country (nice to brag about if you do it, though...). If I were doing the same trip, I'd start now to ride my mountain bike, get the position dialed in and use that, with pavement tires as you said.
I'm not sure I'd use the trailer, either, but that's pure bias--I've never tried one, and I'm pretty comfortable with light camping gear in panniers. People I know who use trailers like them.
Running out of water is bad news--I always seem to carry more than I need, and arrive where I'm going with plenty left over. If you're sure you can get it along the way, though, you can save a few pounds by carrying a minimum.
Spare clothing is pure preference, too. I like to have something to change into for dinner, even if it's just a clean pair of street shorts. But I have friends who take only one pair of mountain bike baggies, a jersey and a sweater on multi-day tours and don't mind it. You'll be going farther for longer than I have in a single trip, but I think I'd take one more pair of socks than I needed, a pair of (non-bike) shorts and two T- or polo shirts, plus whatever I needed for rain/cold protection.
I envy you the trip, and your attitude about it. Have a great time!
re: Touring advice neededpmf1
Jun 27, 2002 7:59 AM
Have you tried loading up the BOB and climbing a hill? Stick a half dozen bricks in it and take it for a spin.

I'd worry that the fixed gear will not have the gear to do hilly stuff. Riding a mtn bike a long way on pavement is not pleasant for me. My hands get very tired being in the same position and sitting upright is not very efficient. Personally, I'd slap a 12-27 cassette and 53-39 rings on the OCLV and take it.

I've always wanted to do a cross country tour -- I envy you even if you're not going cross country. Sounds like a nice ride. Everyone I know who has done long range touring claims they'd prefer a trailer to panniers. The BOB strikes me as the best one out there.
some more stuffwonderdog
Jun 27, 2002 9:27 AM

a good point was raised that i hadn't thought about. no, i have not yet even purchased the B.O.B. trailer (soon though!), and i should hook it up, load 50 lbs on it and go cruise around. i'm sure that the simulation will help me determine my bike. the mtn bike is sturdy, but like a poster stated, i don't enjoy riding on the road for long periods on it. perhaps I'll see if the OCLV will be up to the task. the other thing is that i have a friend with a Redline Conquest Pro Xcross bike that is fully geared. Maybe I could borrow that.