Are there any touring frames that will allow you to use MTB tires ...



captn willard said:
When you get this bike built, please post a photo. It's gonna be hilarious! I can just imagine the aerobars paired with front suspension.
Well, just for those interested, here's how this combination looks: (see attachements).

p.s. Anyone out there cycled/plans to cycle the Taklamakan desert? I would highly appreciate any feedback and/or enagage in an exchange of information.
 
Back to the main issue, though. I understand your problem, since I had it myslef. I was looking for a frame that would fit 28" wheels of at least 1.75" width, preferably cro-mo for durability. I searched for ages and the only stand-alone frame I could buy was a 10 year old Trek, quite similar to the 1994 SCOTT FunXC (pictured above), with a roadlike narrow back fork. Finally I came across a decent frame of a European make called AUTHOR (model "Airline" - don't ask me). Although not cro-mo, but alloy, this 22" frame is made of tough Columbus ZONAL tubes (see Columbus web site), has all the fittings for water bottles and racks and what-nots, a removable derailleaur hook, etc, and comes at a reasonable 1800 grams. Cost me an equivalent of 170 bucks. Most importantly, the back fork has a clearance between the tubes of about 80 mm, plenty of room to fit even a 1.90" tyre. I'm currently building my wheels on Mavic 719 rims and DT Champion 2mm spokes, should do well in the future.
By the way, if I'm right in assuming you are from the US, do you have AUTHOR dealerships there?

Regards,
Rafal Felbur (Poland)
 
If you want to make a "trekking" bike, such as is needed for decent touring in this country at least, you need 26" wheels with frame space for wide tyres, ie up to 2.5". Most frames sold as touring frames are not up to this, including the Surly LHT (especially the larger 700c models).
I agree with all the posters suggesting that suspension is undesirable.
Your best bet is to get a robust MTB frame with rigid forks. Check that both ends have rack eyelets +/- mudguard eyelets +/- disc braze-ons. Drop bars are preferable (but, of course, optional) - so the bike could turn into quite a project. Next - problems with combining effective brakes and road levers, road shifters and MTB front derailleurs. All solvable with various bits and/or compromises, but a pain in the neck.
 
Pls explain why you believe front suspension is bad on a tourer.

Is it due to its (relatively) high complexity and thus a possibility of breakdown? Or due to its weight? Or due to the fact that it tampers down the dynamics by damping down your pedaling force?

I am aware of all these drawbacks, but still have FS on my tourer. And the reasons are as follows: 1) minimize shock to the wrists (useful if you get to cycle 4000 km. on dirt/gravel); 2) minimize shock to the headset and wheelset (better to have a malfunctioning FS fork than a cracked rim or busted bearings).

Just for sake of clarity, my "suspension" is a humble 50mm, set pretty tightly, so the fork does not really go nuts all the time like a disneyland funride.

Just my thoughts. What are yours?
 
felbur said:
Pls explain why you believe front suspension is bad on a tourer.

Is it due to its (relatively) high complexity and thus a possibility of breakdown? Or due to its weight? Or due to the fact that it tampers down the dynamics by damping down your pedaling force?

I am aware of all these drawbacks, but still have FS on my tourer. And the reasons are as follows: 1) minimize shock to the wrists (useful if you get to cycle 4000 km. on dirt/gravel); 2) minimize shock to the headset and wheelset (better to have a malfunctioning FS fork than a cracked rim or busted bearings).

Just for sake of clarity, my "suspension" is a humble 50mm, set pretty tightly, so the fork does not really go nuts all the time like a disneyland funride.

Just my thoughts. What are yours?
You've answered your own question the way I would have. I see the drawbacks as being:
-loss of robustness/ increase in complexity/ difficult to repair in the event of failure.
-loss of durability: they are a "perishable" item like tyres or chain.
-significant weight increase.
-expense.
-wastage of pedaling energy unless locked out.
-more hassles fitting racks (although I would admit that these can be overcome)

Let me state that I have never owned a bike with suspension, nor ever ridden one for more than a few minutes. I'm not biased (too much :) ) - my next MTB will have a front shock, whenever I can afford it.
I've ridden a loaded bike with fat tyres on rough tracks over rocks, gravel and sand many times, and I've never missed suspension, although maybe I would have if I were more familiar with it. I don't get wrist trouble - this would influence my thinking if I did.
I'm not sure that suspension is easier on your wheelset: the effect of fork torsion may cause premature hub failure for all I know - can anyone comment?
 

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