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New bike or new gear?

Old 05-23-20, 05:56 AM
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New bike or new gear?

Getting things in order to start touring. Should I consider a new bike or quality gear, racks, bags and other equipment? Changed the drivetrain on my Trek to a mountain bike Shimano LX group. The bike fits and rides very nice. I was considering a LHT, but keep thinking my Trek will do just fine. Opinions?





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Old 05-23-20, 06:36 AM
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Biggest issue with any bike not designed for touring is if your heels clear the panniers, I toured once with a bike that was close and having to pay attention that my heel didn't hit was really annoying. Oh course touring with a backpack and a bag strapped to the top of the rack was worse. From the pic I can't figure out if your stays are long enough, my gravel bike is just long enough but my sport road is not. If the stays work, get equipment, if they don't get the bike first.
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Old 05-23-20, 07:11 AM
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From the photo, clearance looks nominal. It'll depend on your shoe size and pack size/mounting. If I had that bike, I'd make it work.

Brakes look like single-pivot side pulls. If I were to upgrade anything and had money to spend, I'd look at dual-pivot brake calipers.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:18 AM
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Won't you want fenders? If fenders don't fit on your Trek with your preferred tires, then you need a new bike.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:24 AM
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Chain stay is 43 and I wear 9’s. And yes the brakes suck.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Won't you want fenders? If fenders don't fit on your Trek with your preferred tires, then you need a new bike.
Definitely no room for fenders with the Pasela 32ís.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:43 AM
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Any bike you have is better than the bike you don't have for touring.

I'd go ahead and get the gear you want as most or all of it will work with any future bike you want. And a shiny new touring bike with no gear is not a very good touring bike.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:09 AM
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Great advice here. If u look into panniers and happen to get something with adjustable mounts you can get around the heel strike especially with some of the modern racks. Having said that, I wouldnt want to tour on anything less than 32s and I always want fenders. Doesnt mean you do. Try a tour or 2 without fenders and see where u r. Short weekend or overnighters are a blast and very illuminating.

Great looking bike btw. Might be a 650b candidate.

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Old 05-23-20, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Getting things in order to start touring. Should I consider a new bike or quality gear, racks, bags and other equipment? Changed the drivetrain on my Trek to a mountain bike Shimano LX group. The bike fits and rides very nice. I was considering a LHT, but keep thinking my Trek will do just fine. Opinions?
Your bike is a ďsport tourĒ bike which was supposed to be a sporty bike that you could (theoretically) tour on. But the short stays that make for a sporty unloaded ride start getting ugly when you put a load on the bike. Part of the problem is heel strike on even small panniers but a larger problem is how the bike handles when you try to move the rear panniers back to keep from having heel strike problems.

A classic touring bike has 46cm stays which allows the load to be moved rearward but still keep it over the axle. On a short chainstay bike, the load ends up behind the axle where it starts to wag the dog. Any side to side motion wiggles back and forth on the bike and makes for...um...interesting steering. It likely has a lighter frame as well which can result in oscillations under load which are, rightfully, called ďdeath wobblesĒ.

And, if your brakes are bad now, how well do you think they will stop an additional load? You brakes probably arenít all that bad and could be improved with better pads but they probably arenít going to be the best brake for stopping a bike with a load.

Yes, you can tour on anything. What people donít tell you is that touring on anything may not be the best experience. If every downhill evokes terror, itís not a pleasant experience.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Getting things in order to start touring. Should I consider a new bike or quality gear, racks, bags and other equipment? Changed the drivetrain on my Trek to a mountain bike Shimano LX group. The bike fits and rides very nice. I was considering a LHT, but keep thinking my Trek will do just fine. Opinions?
you're getting way ahead of yourself here. you haven't explained what you mean by "touring".

no mention of how much gear you plan to take, what conditions, or what length of time.
i haven't read "unsupported around the world tour" or "overnight to granny's house" yet.
you might be satisfied with a seatbag and a handlebar bag, and not need of saddlebags a'tall.
it may be possible to get by with a set of small front panniers.
you could go with a bike-a-packing setup, or maybe pull a trailer with no bags whatsoever.

try to fill us in on what sort of touring you intend to do at the start. otherwise, it's like planning
your new life with some chick named sophie, and your mutual dog, after only a couple online
chat sessions and some creepy meetup at some lake in the woods.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:47 AM
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Mainly unsupported solo rides, my longest was Indiana to Florida on a 99 Trek 520. After that I sold it and started racing. I’m just now getting back into it with a goal of going cross country in a few years. Until then 3-5 day unsupported rides with mainly camping.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Mainly unsupported solo rides, my longest was Indiana to Florida on a 99 Trek 520. After that I sold it and started racing. Iím just now getting back into it with a goal of going cross country in a few years. Until then 3-5 day unsupported rides with mainly camping.
unsupported camping runs into lots of gear when i do it.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Mainly unsupported solo rides, my longest was Indiana to Florida on a 99 Trek 520. After that I sold it and started racing. Iím just now getting back into it with a goal of going cross country in a few years. Until then 3-5 day unsupported rides with mainly camping.

groovy! you got those wee, skinny tires, so assume you're staying on pavement.
how much gear do you plan to take? any extreme conditions expected?
do you have a thru-hiker mindset, bare minimum?
already have camping gear? lightweight or walmart carcamping stuff?
or are you a guy who needs to carry a collapsible kitchen sink?
how much electronics do you need? laptop with full-spectrum access?
or just a cellphone, maybe a gps?

will you carry an instrument? do you have the urge to carry a cello? a mouthharp?
could you manage with a concertina, or would you require a chromatic squeezebox?
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Old 05-23-20, 10:07 AM
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A bike more suited to carrying full camping gear and gearing for that, better brakes etc will of course be appreciated, but lets look at it this way, you'll have louts of time being attentive and actively looking for a very good used touring bike.
I say this because of dreaming of a cross country tour.

unfortunately some people will be selling bikes because of not being comfortable being out in a covid world.
but buying used involves watching, being quick, and having the knowledge to know if things are amiss.

keeping an eye out for pannier, tent, sleeping mat etc sales would also be a logical thing to do.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:36 AM
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Unless you really -need- a feature found on the LHT, it's not a big enough upgrade from your current rig. (wide tires for soft surfaces)

​​​​​​The #1 thing I would say is that it's not air travel friendly. Otherwise just ride the #$&@# out of it until so many parts are dying you may as well buy a new bike.

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Old 05-23-20, 10:39 AM
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Being a combat Marine veteran helps with minimal camping. I still have some quality camping gear, eureka solitaire tent and a few other things that fit in Panniers well. No plans on taking my guitar or leaving the asphalt if I can help it.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:02 AM
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For 3 to 5 day rides, if your camping gear was lightweight and you packed pretty minimal, that bike would do. But I can't tell from the photos how low the gearing is, your rear sprockets look a bit small for touring. I suspect that most touring bikes today would have much lower gearing than that bike. The shifters look like older friction shifters, modern indexed shifters are really nice to have in comparison.

I do not see mounting points on the fork for a front rack. Thus, most weight would be on the back wheel. But for 3 to 5 day trips, you can pack light enough that you can get by with only rear panniers and maybe a bag on top of the rear rack.

I am a bit confused by the photo, the rims do not look like they have been used with rim brakes, but you have rim brakes on the bike. Perhaps it is just the photo that is confusing me?

You said you have toured before, so I suspect it is unlikely you would do some short tours and then decide against it. But if there was any possibility that touring is not for you, try it on the bike have before investing in a newer bike.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
For 3 to 5 day rides, if your camping gear was lightweight and you packed pretty minimal, that bike would do. But I can't tell from the photos how low the gearing is, your rear sprockets look a bit small for touring. I suspect that most touring bikes today would have much lower gearing than that bike. The shifters look like older friction shifters, modern indexed shifters are really nice to have in comparison.

I am a bit confused by the photo, the rims do not look like they have been used with rim brakes, but you have rim brakes on the bike. Perhaps it is just the photo that is confusing me?
Gray hard anodizing on the rims can be very hard wearing and if bought used might not have been used much either. The ano also probably contributes to the lousy braking along with the old brake pads. With the triple on there it'll probably do fine as long as he doesn't head for the Rockies.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:47 AM
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Rims look like that because the bike is mint. Bought it off the original owner that rode it once and hung it in the garage.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Rims look like that because the bike is mint. Bought it off the original owner that rode it once and hung it in the garage.
Did you and or do you know how to repack hubs etc, would be needed if old. My 1991 tourer had black rims too like this.
126mm rear spaced hub?
6, 7 speed?
Rear hub will determine if you can easily go up to 7 or 8 speed, new shifter of course. Microshift is an option, although not sure of 8 availability. Probably used only.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:11 PM
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If the bike is that old, adding grease to the hub bearings would be a good idea. If the bottom bracket is cup and cone, re-greasing that too would be a good idea. And while at it, the headset.

I assume it is freewheel, not freehub rear hub.
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Old 05-23-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Being a combat Marine veteran helps with minimal camping. I still have some quality camping gear, eureka solitaire tent and a few other things that fit in Panniers well. No plans on taking my guitar or leaving the asphalt if I can help it.
do you think you can put all your stuff on bike as is?
think gearing will be ok?I can't tell what chain rings you have.
You can use clamps to put front rack on, and basic panniers for front, with lighter stuff.
lots of options as it is, but you know best for how bike would work for carrying stuff
brakes I'm sure can be changed at reasonable price if needed.
are wheels up to handling more weight?
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Old 05-23-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you're getting way ahead of yourself here. you haven't explained what you mean by "touring".

no mention of how much gear you plan to take, what conditions, or what length of time.
i haven't read "unsupported around the world tour" or "overnight to granny's house" yet.
you might be satisfied with a seatbag and a handlebar bag, and not need of saddlebags a'tall.
it may be possible to get by with a set of small front panniers.
you could go with a bike-a-packing setup, or maybe pull a trailer with no bags whatsoever.

try to fill us in on what sort of touring you intend to do at the start. otherwise, it's like planning
your new life with some chick named sophie, and your mutual dog, after only a couple online
chat sessions and some creepy meetup at some lake in the woods.
saddlesores...Glad I've made an impression.
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Old 05-23-20, 03:14 PM
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My very limited experience with loaded touring on a way too light bike, points to trying to get as much weight in front lowrider panniers as possible. A Blackburn front rack combined with Blackburn low riders would be the right vintage for the bike and together are attached to the fork a 5 points. A basket could go on top of the front rack but that's extra weight up high. Light stuff can go in a dry bag on top of the rear rack or in panniers pushed back enough to clear you heels.
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Old 05-23-20, 03:32 PM
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46-24, 26-14 7 speed freewheel and all the bearing have been cleaned and repacked. It came with the original Blaze group. The only thing left is the brakes and levers. Which I need to change the calipers. I haven’t had the bike long.
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