Another newbie question... (was: Why are expensive bikes better than cheap ones?)



K

Ken Aston

Guest
After getting so much helpful information here
http://groups-beta.google.com/group...ab21e41ea1c/045b79d7da5afa60#045b79d7da5afa60
I can't wait to buy a nice bike and get on the road. Yesterday I went
to the bike shop and almost bought a Marin Fairfax:
http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2007/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_fairfax.html
But after talking to the staff I got a little confused.

Mainly I will ride around the city, but next year I want to go on a
month-long road trip. I assumed that attaching front and rear racks and
going on the road with the extra 30 kg of weight would be OK. But the
shop staff told me that the bike is not suitable for this purpose. The
weight would be too heavy for the carbon fork and the thin tyres. And
besides I would not be able to attach a front rack.

My weight is only 70 kg so I don't understand why 100 kg would be a
problem for the bike. Does it mean that taller/heavier people would not
be able to ride the bike even without a load? I don't really believe
this point. But now I am worried that I won't find a front rack for
this bike. Here are some photos of the bike which I took at the store
yesterday:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Do you think I will find a suitable front rack for regular panniers
which I can attach to the bike? Do you see any problems with the extra
weight or with taking the bike on a long road trip?

Thank you so much for the help!

Regards,
Ken Aston
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
On 9 Nov 2006 22:40:55 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
wrote:
>
>After getting so much helpful information here
>http://groups-beta.google.com/group...ab21e41ea1c/045b79d7da5afa60#045b79d7da5afa60
>I can't wait to buy a nice bike and get on the road. Yesterday I went
>to the bike shop and almost bought a Marin Fairfax:
>http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2007/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_fairfax.html
>But after talking to the staff I got a little confused.
>
>Mainly I will ride around the city, but next year I want to go on a
>month-long road trip. I assumed that attaching front and rear racks and
>going on the road with the extra 30 kg of weight would be OK. But the
>shop staff told me that the bike is not suitable for this purpose. The
>weight would be too heavy for the carbon fork and the thin tyres. And
>besides I would not be able to attach a front rack.
>
>My weight is only 70 kg so I don't understand why 100 kg would be a
>problem for the bike. Does it mean that taller/heavier people would not
>be able to ride the bike even without a load? I don't really believe
>this point. But now I am worried that I won't find a front rack for
>this bike. Here are some photos of the bike which I took at the store
>yesterday:
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
>
>Do you think I will find a suitable front rack for regular panniers
>which I can attach to the bike? Do you see any problems with the extra
>weight or with taking the bike on a long road trip?
>
>Thank you so much for the help!


Bikes are often rated for the maximum weight of riders. Sometimes
that's as low as 170lbs. A bike like that isn't suited for anything
but racing, day rides or "credit card" touring.

The Marin Fairfax frame is probably strong enough to take the weight
but I personally wouldn't try loaded touring on a 28 spoke front
wheel (or carbon fork). You can simply fit a fairly large handle bar
bag and you would probably want one anyway. They're convenient to use
while riding. Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
unless you're treking the Andes.

This $140 rack could work:
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/baggage_racks/20075.html

There are likely similar and less expensive racks from other dealers.
There's no simple fix for broken rack. It can prematurely end a tour.

Or, it might be possible to swap out the front fork for a steel one
that has braze-ons for low rider style pannier racks.

I think free bikes are better than expensive bikes. Permit me to
gloat a bit; just tonight I was given a complete 1980's Miyata 1000
with a rack and pair of NOS Bluemels fenders. It's a legendary
touring machine. that would also make a good commuter or all rounder.
.. . .Oh, and a 1952 Sturmey Archer AG hub that still works.
--
zk
 
K

Ken Aston

Guest
> but I personally wouldn't try loaded touring on a 28 spoke front
> wheel (or carbon fork).

How about exchanging these two parts shortly before I go on the road
trip? Will the other parts be OK?

> Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
> unless you're treking the Andes.

The only experience I have in camping is from hiking. Tent, sleeping
bag, stove, gas, clothing for a month, food, 5 liters of water, hiking
clothes, ..., I think that adds up to 30 kg easily.

> This $140 rack could work:http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/baggage_racks/20075.html

It looks really useful and durable. I might get it in any case, no
matter which bike. Thanks.

Regards,
Ken Aston


On Nov 10, 4:58 pm, Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 9 Nov 2006 22:40:55 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> >After getting so much helpful information here
> >http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.bicycles.misc/browse_thread/t...
> >I can't wait to buy a nice bike and get on the road. Yesterday I went
> >to the bike shop and almost bought a Marin Fairfax:
> >http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2007/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_f...
> >But after talking to the staff I got a little confused.

>
> >Mainly I will ride around the city, but next year I want to go on a
> >month-long road trip. I assumed that attaching front and rear racks and
> >going on the road with the extra 30 kg of weight would be OK. But the
> >shop staff told me that the bike is not suitable for this purpose. The
> >weight would be too heavy for the carbon fork and the thin tyres. And
> >besides I would not be able to attach a front rack.

>
> >My weight is only 70 kg so I don't understand why 100 kg would be a
> >problem for the bike. Does it mean that taller/heavier people would not
> >be able to ride the bike even without a load? I don't really believe
> >this point. But now I am worried that I won't find a front rack for
> >this bike. Here are some photos of the bike which I took at the store
> >yesterday:
> >http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

>
> >Do you think I will find a suitable front rack for regular panniers
> >which I can attach to the bike? Do you see any problems with the extra
> >weight or with taking the bike on a long road trip?

>
> >Thank you so much for the help!Bikes are often rated for the maximum weight of riders. Sometimes

> that's as low as 170lbs. A bike like that isn't suited for anything
> but racing, day rides or "credit card" touring.
>
> The Marin Fairfax frame is probably strong enough to take the weight
> but I personally wouldn't try loaded touring on a 28 spoke front
> wheel (or carbon fork). You can simply fit a fairly large handle bar
> bag and you would probably want one anyway. They're convenient to use
> while riding. Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
> unless you're treking the Andes.
>
> This $140 rack could work:http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/baggage_racks/20075.html
>
> There are likely similar and less expensive racks from other dealers.
> There's no simple fix for broken rack. It can prematurely end a tour.
>
> Or, it might be possible to swap out the front fork for a steel one
> that has braze-ons for low rider style pannier racks.
>
> I think free bikes are better than expensive bikes. Permit me to
> gloat a bit; just tonight I was given a complete 1980's Miyata 1000
> with a rack and pair of NOS Bluemels fenders. It's a legendary
> touring machine. that would also make a good commuter or all rounder.
> . . .Oh, and a 1952 Sturmey Archer AG hub that still works.
> --
> zk
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
On 10 Nov 2006 00:49:08 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>> Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
>> unless you're treking the Andes.

>
>The only experience I have in camping is from hiking. Tent, sleeping
>bag, stove, gas, clothing for a month, food, 5 liters of water, hiking
>clothes, ..., I think that adds up to 30 kg easily.


In most touring situations you'll be able to hit laudramats and food
stores so there's need to carry that much food or clothing. 5 litres
of water probably isn't necessary unless you're crossing a desert.

30 Kg, or more, would most easily be carried in a trailer but then
you've got the added drag, extra wide track and handling issues.
--
zk
 
Z

Zoot Katz

Guest
On 10 Nov 2006 00:49:08 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>> but I personally wouldn't try loaded touring on a 28 spoke front
>> wheel (or carbon fork).


>How about exchanging these two parts shortly before I go on the road
>trip? Will the other parts be OK?


Yes, you should be able to swap over the brakes, handlebar and stem
to a steel fork. 32 or 36 spoke wheels are the same diameter.
Ask your LBS.
--
zk
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsky

Guest

>>How about exchanging these two parts shortly before I go on the road
>>trip? Will the other parts be OK?

>
> Yes, you should be able to swap over the brakes, handlebar and stem
> to a steel fork. 32 or 36 spoke wheels are the same diameter.
> Ask your LBS.


At some point you're looking at a different bike, the original machine
having moved well beyond its intended use, such that alternatives might make
more sense. But I wouldn't get too hung up on the wheels. Plenty of mountain
bikes with 28 spoke wheels and zero problems. I will also point out that
there have been a great many sub-$1000 bike with 32 & 36 spoke wheels with
*major* spoke failure problems. The number of spokes is not an indication of
suitability to task by itself.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Zoot Katz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On 10 Nov 2006 00:49:08 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
>>> but I personally wouldn't try loaded touring on a 28 spoke front
>>> wheel (or carbon fork).

>
>>How about exchanging these two parts shortly before I go on the road
>>trip? Will the other parts be OK?

>
> Yes, you should be able to swap over the brakes, handlebar and stem
> to a steel fork. 32 or 36 spoke wheels are the same diameter.
> Ask your LBS.
> --
> zk
 
G

gds

Guest
Zoot Katz wrote:
> On 10 Nov 2006 00:49:08 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> >> Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
> >> unless you're treking the Andes.

> >
> >The only experience I have in camping is from hiking. Tent, sleeping
> >bag, stove, gas, clothing for a month, food, 5 liters of water, hiking
> >clothes, ..., I think that adds up to 30 kg easily.

>
> In most touring situations you'll be able to hit laudramats and food
> stores so there's need to carry that much food or clothing. 5 litres
> of water probably isn't necessary unless you're crossing a desert.
>
> 30 Kg, or more, would most easily be carried in a trailer but then
> you've got the added drag, extra wide track and handling issues.
> --
> zk

Agreed! 30 kg is a lot to lug around. Even hiking lots of folks do the
Appalachian Trail with under 50 lbs. On a bike you are ususally need to
be far less independent of stores.
As a guide I would look at the packing lists that are shown on the
websites of a number of bike touring companies. Usually they supply
items like tents, sleeping bags and cookware but I still think they try
to get their clients to be at 30 lbs. or so. Depending on time of year
and area of the country you may be able to get by with a light bivy
sack and save huge weight over tents, sleeping bags etc. I've toured
the uper midwest in summer this way and only had to retreat to a motel
~10% of the time.
Before you head out for a long tour with over 60 lbs. I'd try some
shorter shake out rides to see what you realy need (it will be less
than you think) and how you can handle the weight.
 
B

Bill

Guest
gds wrote:
> Zoot Katz wrote:
>> On 10 Nov 2006 00:49:08 -0800, "Ken Aston" <[email protected]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>> Thirty Kilos of gear is too much to take on a tour
>>>> unless you're treking the Andes.
>>> The only experience I have in camping is from hiking. Tent, sleeping
>>> bag, stove, gas, clothing for a month, food, 5 liters of water, hiking
>>> clothes, ..., I think that adds up to 30 kg easily.

>> In most touring situations you'll be able to hit laudramats and food
>> stores so there's need to carry that much food or clothing. 5 litres
>> of water probably isn't necessary unless you're crossing a desert.
>>
>> 30 Kg, or more, would most easily be carried in a trailer but then
>> you've got the added drag, extra wide track and handling issues.
>> --
>> zk

> Agreed! 30 kg is a lot to lug around. Even hiking lots of folks do the
> Appalachian Trail with under 50 lbs. On a bike you are ususally need to
> be far less independent of stores.
> As a guide I would look at the packing lists that are shown on the
> websites of a number of bike touring companies. Usually they supply
> items like tents, sleeping bags and cookware but I still think they try
> to get their clients to be at 30 lbs. or so. Depending on time of year
> and area of the country you may be able to get by with a light bivy
> sack and save huge weight over tents, sleeping bags etc. I've toured
> the uper midwest in summer this way and only had to retreat to a motel
> ~10% of the time.
> Before you head out for a long tour with over 60 lbs. I'd try some
> shorter shake out rides to see what you realy need (it will be less
> than you think) and how you can handle the weight.
>

As a back woods rider I sometimes fill 2 metal racks on the back of the
bike with about 30 pounds worth of food, water, and camera gear. For the
broken bike possibility I take a backpack filled with tools and enough
gear for an over night stay in the woods if need be. Needless to say,
the bike handles a lot worse but I can compensate for the extra 40
pounds on my back. Climbing is a total pain but when I get so far I
can't use the bike I can just lean it against a tree and hike to where I
want to get. So far no bears have stolen my bike. The worst I have done
by doing this is killed the bearing race on a rear wheel, just by total
wear out. It was ridable enough to get home and change wheels. No broken
wheels or spokes though.
Maybe I have been really lucky.
Bill Baka
 

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