I'm brand new to bicycling and I'm looking to buy my first bike (touring)

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by mrhihat, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. mrhihat

    mrhihat New Member

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    Ok, almost brand new. Of course I rode a bike as a kid.
    I've been looking at bikes and browsing forums and trying to understand weird bike terms for awhile now, and I think it's time for me to start seriously looking at what to buy. The problem is, I have no idea where to begin. I know that I want to start touring at some point in the near future, but unfortunately most touring specific bikes are way beyond my budget, about 400, maaaaybe 500 dollars, max. I'd much rather spend 300-400, or less if I could find something used, as I also need to get racks and panniers. I could just spend more on a bike now, and add on racks in a few months when I have more money, and I'll probably build my own panniers, (I'm thrifty...Ok, I'm cheap).

    So, do you folks have any recommendations? I don't really want to have to buy another bike any time soon, so if I just got a road bike (which I'm also considering) instead of a touring specific bike, which seem very costly, I'd want to make sure I'd be able to add front racks if I ever needed to.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?
    I greatly appreciate the fact that there's a place for beginners to come and learn a thing or two. Maybe even three things, hopefully : P

    Thanks
     
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  2. Steve_A

    Steve_A Member

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    Considering your limited budget and desire to go touring, I'd say that used is the way to go. Craigslist is an excellent source, and of course there's eBay. Look for a used Trek touring bike, I believe the 520 was (is) a touring model. As long as you know you correct frame size, you should be able to find something if you're patient. Most regular road bikes do not have the provisions for loaded touring, such as eyelets on the frame to attach racks, etc. And lightweight frames are not designed to take the extra weight. So be very careful when you're looking at bikes. Check back here if are looking at a prospect and we can help. Good luck, Steve
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. You probably need to focus on two things --

    • Tire clearance ... with enough to allow you to mount fenders, so no frames whose maximum tire size is 700x28-or-less ... that is, you do not want to use any frames which use "normal" reach (39-50) brake calipers.
    • If you are going to be touring with panniers, then you need to be aware of the length of the chainstays because with most bikes you'll probably be hitting the back of your heel against the front of the pannier -- this will not be a factor if you will be fabricating your rear rack because you can it so the pannier mounts an inch-or-so further back on the rack.

    If you are handy & can DIY, then a vintage Hardtail would probably work ... of course, you can use it with 26" wheels AND 700c wheels if you find the correct length (probably, "long" reach) brake calipers. Here's one of my Hardtail frames which was modified with 700c wheels for regular Road riding:

    [​IMG]

    The frame has clearance for 700x42 tires. The particular fork does not have sufficient clearance, and a different (e.g., "Touring") fork would need to be used if I wanted to use the frame for touring ... steel Tandem forks are available for a reasonable amount of money on eBay.

    For loaded touring, I think you want wheels (at least in the rear) with 36-spokes, or more.

    If you decide to pull a trailer, then almost any bike will do as long as it can accommodate fenders.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    ERRATA:

    ... you can make it so the pannier mounts an inch-or-so further back on the rack.​
     
  5. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    touring bikes are not that expensive, professional road bikes are,
    a touruing bike could be of good ole steel and work great,
     
  6. Steve_A

    Steve_A Member

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    Agree with vspa: OP's budget is $400-500 and that says to me that he should look for a used steel touring bike.
     
  7. nuliajuk

    nuliajuk New Member

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    The KHS Flite 220 doesn't have cantilever brakes, and the forks and rear triangle are hi-tensile, but it might be suitable for light touring. It's not an expensive bike, just under $600
    http://www.khsbicycles.com/05_flite_220_11.htm
     
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