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Another noob...another question on bikes...

Old 02-04-22, 10:02 AM
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LaserjockTN
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Another noob...another question on bikes...

Hi everyone! Thank you for allowing me to join this community and thank you for some patience as I ask some questions that will help guide me on my bike purchase quest.

Because I see these responses from the experienced folks here I will begin with a couple of background items to help with your advice. I am turning 60 in April thought at least feel in my 30's mentally! I rode light trails on my MTB back around 2009-2011 before work sent me traveling and time was tough to ride. Have not been on the pavement much on that bike in quite a few years. Have been doing Power Zone training on my Peloton for about 4 years riding 3-4 times a week and when traveling at least 1-2 times per week. I am in better cardio shape from that than I was when riding my MTB.

My best friend from grad school and I have recently reconnected and he has asked me to join him on some Rail-to-Trial type touring...so anywhere from 20-30 mile trails to 100+ mile stretches like the Michelson Trail in Wyoming (on his bucket list). We are definitely talking B&B/hotel stop riding these trails when possible so it wont be any real bikepacking type thing...yet (ha). He currently rides pretty casually to enjoy the ride and scenery and when I begin riding with him it will be to enjoy our time together as well as the scenery and locations.

Now to the reason I am posting...I have been looking at a couple of bike options. The Salsa Journeyman and the Canyon Grizl 7 (aluminum version). I know these are different builds and pricing but I am less concerned about the pricing...both in my budgeted range. I guess I am asking for any advice on choice between the two and what pluses/minuses there are in folks minds on the two models.

Thank you in advance and I am really excited to get out and start riding some of these trails and as I do I am sure will have more questions to come. As a scientist by training I tend to read voraciously and maybe over think things so I need the sounding board LOL.

Alan
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Old 02-04-22, 10:30 AM
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I'll start with the heresy. Analysis paralysis will keep you from enjoying either bike. So don't go there. Limit yourself to one week of comparing specifications, geometry, components, etc. Then make your pick, buy a bike, and throw all the specs from the other one away so you're not tempted to revisit that decision and play what-if mental games.

Either model looks viable for your trip. Do you have an LBS or friend(s) with either bike that you could try one out? Do you live close to similar roads or trails to the Mickelson so you can start riding on them next week to build up seat-in-saddle time, or will you be riding mostly paved roads between now and then? It's great to be in good cardiovascular shape, but there's a difference between Peloton time and five hours on the bike time that only doing long rides can get you ready for.
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Old 02-04-22, 10:40 AM
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I like the Canyon with the better components but is it worth 1 grand more? Likely not for most people but if money is no problem, I'm a fan of Canyon.
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Old 02-04-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'll start with the heresy. Analysis paralysis will keep you from enjoying either bike. So don't go there. Limit yourself to one week of comparing specifications, geometry, components, etc. Then make your pick, buy a bike, and throw all the specs from the other one away so you're not tempted to revisit that decision and play what-if mental games.

Either model looks viable for your trip. Do you have an LBS or friend(s) with either bike that you could try one out? Do you live close to similar roads or trails to the Mickelson so you can start riding on them next week to build up seat-in-saddle time, or will you be riding mostly paved roads between now and then? It's great to be in good cardiovascular shape, but there's a difference between Peloton time and five hours on the bike time that only doing long rides can get you ready for.
Thanks for the advice…I definitely struggle with analysis paralysis but have managed to avoid it here so far. And to the excellent point on saddle time I am planning to spend some time as soon as weather permits on the local trails and greenways on my current mtb to begin developing the time in the saddle. We have mixes of paved and light gravel to work on as well.

Inventory is tight right now at the LBS in my area but good suggestion. I know Canyon is direct sell so that one may be hard.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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Old 02-04-22, 01:32 PM
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Whichever you go for, leave yourself some financial room for adaptations.

Even the best of bikes may need some tweaks before it becomes a good bike for you. Stem, bars, saddle. Pedals, maybe even cranks. Cassette.
And the stuff that can make the ride more enjoyable for you, like fenders, a good pump. Some decent tools.
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Old 02-04-22, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Whichever you go for, leave yourself some financial room for adaptations.

Even the best of bikes may need some tweaks before it becomes a good bike for you. Stem, bars, saddle. Pedals, maybe even cranks. Cassette.
And the stuff that can make the ride more enjoyable for you, like fenders, a good pump. Some decent tools.
Oh I am an addict for addons. My plan is to get a good base bike and then upgrade/modify once I have some time with it and have an idea of what I need. I am fortunate enough where budget is not a big concern here but more getting what makes sense and is useful vs simply sticking everything I can on it just because. I have a lot of learning to do for sure and appreciate the advice and recommendations.
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Old 02-04-22, 02:31 PM
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Pdlamb is right. Not only is over analysis counter productive, it leads to erroneous conclusions. No matter what bike you choose, riding it will change the value you assign to various characteristics. It is sort of like the Heisengerg uncertainty principle. Even if you choose the perfect bike, riding it will change your definition of perfect.
Have fun.
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Old 02-04-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
…My plan is to get a good base bike and then upgrade/modify once I have some time with it and have an idea of what I need.
Financially, ”upgrades” is a semi-sensible plan. Bike parts are much more expensive bought piecemeal than when bought fitted to a complete bike. Some fit & function mods may be unavoidable, but it really pays - or keeps you from paying - to get your bicycle as right as possible from the start. Do try to avoid thorough upgrades - unless you enjoy spending as such.

Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
I am fortunate enough where budget is not a big concern...
I that case, knock yourself out.
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Old 02-04-22, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
I have been looking at a couple of bike options. The Salsa Journeyman and the Canyon Grizl 7 (aluminum version). I know these are different builds and pricing but I am less concerned about the pricing...both in my budgeted range. I guess I am asking for any advice on choice between the two and what pluses/minuses there are in folks minds on the two models.
I guess I'm curious what the pluses and minuses are that led you to those two particular bicycles. Or at least what the general criteria were. I feel like for the specific application you described, almost any organism-powered vehicle would have been basically up to task, from Hot Wheels to dogsled
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Old 02-04-22, 05:32 PM
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If you are always staying indoors, we often refer to that as credit card touring. Instead of carrying a tent you are carrying a credit card.

Don't forget to consider a rear rack and panniers or some other means of carrying other clothes, etc.

I think the minority of bike tourists use a handlebar bag, but I am sold on having one. With a quick release mechanism, you can quickly remove it and take in restaurants or grocery stores with you, your valuables are in it.

A good pump. A few years ago I wrote up a comparison of two popular ones for bike touring. At:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...l#post18521373

You need to think about bike shoes if you do not use hiking shoes or trail runners. And you need to think about pedals.

Mickelson trail, I am sure you could find a place half way to stay for a night. A friend and i did it in four days, but we camped so were in a campground at the half way point. North end stayed in a motel in Lead. Parked the vehicle at the south end.
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Old 02-04-22, 05:54 PM
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Just for the record, the Mickelson Trail is in South Dakota, not Wyoming. If there is a Michelson Trail in Wyoming, I'm not aware of it. You might want to check out other things on your buddy's bucket list to be sure he isn't leading you astray.
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Old 02-04-22, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
Just for the record, the Mickelson Trail is in South Dakota, not Wyoming. If there is a Michelson Trail in Wyoming, I'm not aware of it. You might want to check out other things on your buddy's bucket list to be sure he isn't leading you astray.
Yeah you are correct I was having a moment today LOL…that was all me.
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Old 02-04-22, 06:29 PM
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Between the two, I kind of like the Salsa. If it were me, I would get it with the 650b rims. With those rims on the Salsa, you can go up to 57mm tires. The Canyon with 650b rims will only allow you to go to 50mm tires. That may not be important to you though.

It also looks as if to mount fenders, or mudguards and Canyon calls theirs, you need to use a special mount, that also will limit your tire width to 45mm on the Canyon. It looks as if you can mount regular fenders on the Salsa, as there is a hole in the fork under the headset. The Canyon, though they make incredible bikes, seems just on the edge of proprietary for some things for my liking. The Salsa seems more "normal" if you will.

I would want a little lower gearing than comes on the Salsa though, I would go with something smaller than the 40T chainwheel up front. Of course I run a triple on my bike, with a 24T on the smallest position. 34T or 36T would be what I would go with on the Salsa.

The Canyon is beautiful, and I love their bikes overall, but the fact it would be more difficult to mount fenders, from what I can see, turns me off. Between that, and something I cannot really quantify, I would not go for the Canyon. The Salsa just seems more my style I guess, and not so limited on tire width. I hate having to futz with proprietary mounts for things like fenders, which further limits your options.

As for components, the components on the Salsa can be replaced when they wear out, which likely would be a long time.
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Old 02-04-22, 06:34 PM
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I liked the Canyon 2x11 gearing, with a low of 30 front and 34 rear. That's good very light loads on steep paved roads, moderately steep rough gravel roads, and fine for any rail trail, which aren't as steep. Rough gravel chunks or touring loads will want lower gearing.

The "crushed stone" rail trails I've ridden have mostly been quite smooth, hard packed and easy to ride. There's the occasional bumpy area, the washed out sandy areas, and temporary gravel patches to deal with. But for 90% of the miles, a smooth tread or minimalist tiny knobs will be most efficient.

Fenders are really nice if it gets wet, keeping water and mud off the bike and off of you. And I'm more likely to want to go riding on wet roads after a rain if I have fenders.

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Old 02-04-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ericoseveins View Post
I guess I'm curious what the pluses and minuses are that led you to those two particular bicycles. Or at least what the general criteria were. I feel like for the specific application you described, almost any organism-powered vehicle would have been basically up to task, from Hot Wheels to dogsled
So you are spot on, I did not exactly specify any criteria that would make anyone nod in agreement with my choices. I have read a lot of reviews online and really just read through a lot of the bike manufacturer’s websites and tried to find models that were in the range I wanted to spend. I am realistic that I am new
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Old 02-04-22, 06:47 PM
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Out and back day rides
I usually do "base camp motel" riding on trails. This gives me flexibility for skipping bad weather, and for very lightweight riding--just food and water, maybe a jacket to carry. Most of the trails are very scenic, so it's interesting to see the same places at a different time of day and at different speeds. (I try to plan an outbound climb, with a return downhill.)

Some trails I liked:
These all had crushed stone. I liked my 38mm tires, but even 28mm could work.

The New River trail. Quiet and few riders. Lots of forest.

The Virginia Creeper Trail. The full 70 mile round trip is challenging. Or start in Damascus, ride uphill for 15 miles (!) and then the return is easy. You'll see balloon tire riders doing the 15 mile downhill only--shuttled uphill by bike services. But by coasting fast downhill, they are missing the great scenery that really sinks in while slowly climbing. The downhill grades were kind of bumpy in the fall season a few years ago, I had sore arms and shoulders at the end of the day. Still good though.
It follows a mountain stream valley, with whitewater and forest, and about 45 bridges along the route.

The GAP trail. I did a couple of 60 mile day rides out and back with sunny warm weather, and lunch stops at the turnaround. Recommended. Kind of busy near the larger towns and Ohiopyle State Park, otherwise very quiet. I just slow down where there's lots of walkers and bikers, no need to hurry.

My local trail, the Little Miami Trail, is paved and easy to ride. It's a bit busy near the south end in the mornings. I like it. But it's hard to evaluate something that's so familiar.

~~~
Rural roads
It's worth getting comfortable with riding on rural roads. I often see very few cars, and they are mostly well behaved. Road riding is easier to do with a partner or a group, it feels safer, and there's help with flats, etc.
There's some amazing routes around Kentucky and Ohio, scenic and quiet. Way better than I knew before I started doing these rides, and only knew the areas from highways and freeways.

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Old 02-04-22, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I liked the Canyon 2x11 gearing, with a low of 30 front and 34 rear. That's good for steep paved roads, moderately steep rough gravel roads, and fine for any rail trail, which aren't as steep.

The "crushed stone" rail trails I've ridden have mostly been quite smooth, hard packed and easy to ride. There's the occasional bumpy area, the washed out sandy areas, and temporary gravel patches to deal with. But for 90% of the miles, a smooth tread or minimalist tiny knobs will be most efficient.

Fenders are really nice if it gets wet, keeping water and mud off the bike and off of you. And I'm more likely to want to go riding on wet roads after a rain if I have fenders.
Fenders are nice for crushed limestone trails like the GAP as well, rain or shine, it keeps the dirt out of the drive train. My wife and I ride the GAP often, and when she first got her bike, it didn't have fenders, her drivetrain got very dirty quickly. I tired of cleaning it so I installed fenders. It stays much cleaner now.

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Old 02-04-22, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
Yeah you are correct I was having a moment today LOL…that was all me.
No worries. Wyoming is grateful for any publicity, even if it's wrong.
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Old 02-05-22, 12:10 AM
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I'm not a fan of 1X gearing for a touring bike. Either you don't have high enough or low enough. Not sure what your intended geography is, but the Journeyman with 40 x 42 is pretty high for a loaded bike and any hills you might encounter.
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Old 02-05-22, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I'm not a fan of 1X gearing for a touring bike.
The Sora 700 model Journeyman comes with a double crank of 46/30 and 11-34 cassette so would be better than a 1x for sure.
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Old 02-05-22, 10:22 AM
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I didn't look at the specs on those bikes, too lazy. What I would want might give you some ideas on how to evaluate differences. I like 3X gearing on anything except race bikes. I prefer a 3X10 3X9 3X8 because I don't need super-fast small incremental gear changes for the way I ride. I would rather spend $35 on a new cassette than $400. I like external cable routing and cable brakes. I even actually prefer friction shifting. I like simple, cheap and serviceable by me.

You need to choose a bike based on specific criteria. Don't spend a bundle until you know exactly why you prefer X to Z.
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Old 02-05-22, 10:30 AM
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Thanks to all for the feedback. I have some thinking to do because I am not as well read on the differences in gear like Apex vs Sora and the nuances of chainring sizes and impact on climbing and simple riding pavement vs light gravel/dirt roads. I don't anticipate riding heavily loaded though want to be prepared for when I do toss on a back rack with bags for longer day rides.

I have tried finding the button to like posts but I cannot find it so not sure if that is an option for premium members only or not. I do know I have not replied as much because I found I am limited to 5 posts per 24hr period. If that is fixed by paying for the membership seems a small and fair price to pay and will do so. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time pulling advice from the experienced folks here as well as asking more questions.

Thanks to all...I am reading these and taking notes for sure.
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Old 02-05-22, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by LaserjockTN View Post
...
I have tried finding the button to like posts but I cannot find it so not sure if that is an option for premium members only or not. I do know I have not replied as much because I found I am limited to 5 posts per 24hr period. ....
I think you will also find you can't post photos and a few other things.

But once you have posted more stuff, your membership level changes and restrictions start to disappear.

I do not pay anything to this website for membership, but there are a lot of ads.
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Old 02-05-22, 11:30 AM
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The learning route I took was with used bikes. Don't get in a hurry and be prepared to look at a few but Facebook Marketplace can still turn up some bargains if you check every day. I have bought a dozen there in the last 2 years. My favorite bike is a Marin I bought there for $100. It's all aluminum frame and fork MTB with 26X2.2 tires and 3X9 Deore group set. I picked up a Miyata 610 in very good condition for $125 and with only a tire change have put several hundred miles on. I like horses for courses Rather than agonizing over which bike will best do everything I want to do, I would rather have a racing bike for when I feel like smooth pavement, and a MTB for when I feel like getting muddy.
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Old 02-05-22, 01:57 PM
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Excellent Cardiovascular shape and a Peloton Guru. That's highly commendable. If ya have not been ridding a real bicycle then I do think you should get out and ride more than a few times before making the trail. It's not that you could not do it but rather how enjoyable the ride will be. Bicycle set ups change. If I were to go out and buy a bike based on how I rode 10 years ago it would be disastrous on a long ride. If you have not already done so then you need to find out how your current ridding style and requirements have changed.

So go get ya a beater and hit the road a few times before you buy anything.

"pdlamb" is correct - Analysis paralysis is a real factor. If you have done so then you need to get out there and ride...
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