Most comfortable touring bike?

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by TheNiceGuy, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Hi Folks!
    My first post here!
    I have a Specialized Rockhopper that I have tried to convert as much as possible for touring: padded seat, onzo bar extensions, slick tires, MTB clip in peddals. However, i often wonder if this is the best design, as I frequently have sore shoulders and neck and lower back from being jacked over the bars.
    Can you reccommend a basic good design or tips on models to get? Thanks so much?

    P.S.- I often do 100km+ road trips, with pannier bags. Am looking at a 2 week trip in August.
     
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  2. pwolffe

    pwolffe New Member

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    When I was touring in Japan in did something very similar--I used a Trek 8000 with slicks, front and back racks with panniers, bar extensions, though with no suspension and just regular pedals with baskets for my shoes (I've since equipped SPDs; I wish I had had them while touring!). I didn't know much about fitting a bike properly to my frame and I've since realized that MTB geometry just doesn't feel comfortable for me on long rides. Also, the center of gravity tends to be higher than on bikes made more for touring. It worked out fine (in that the bike got me where I wanted to go), but my back, shoulders, neck, and wrists were often sore.

    Currently I'm looking into finally buying a new bike, one fit for commuting and touring (as that is basically all I do; I've no need for a MTB), and considering the Bianchi Volpe, Trek 520, and Cannondale T2000. There is more out there and I intend to keep searching for information before I pick one (and I hope to test-ride each of these).
     
  3. nun

    nun New Member

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    Have you though of raising your bars up a bit by adjusting the stem. When I started riding my Bianchi Volpe I had the bars about 2 inches lower than the seat
    as that's how I'd seen a lot of people riding their road bikes. However, I got a lot of lowerback, shoulder and hand discomfort, so I installed a longer stem, a Nitto Technomatic and put the bars level with my seat and now I may be a bit less aerodynamic, but I'm a lot more comfortable.
     
  4. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Thanks guys!
    I will try the handlebar trick. I would love to get a whole education on this stuff, as there are no bike shops around here. Are there any principles to keep in mind other than high handlebars? How about frame design, handle bar design, etc.?
     
  5. FatherBob

    FatherBob New Member

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    I've been riding around on an indefinitely-loaned Trek 8000 for a few years now, mostly on roads. Since it's a loaner, I haven't swapped out the knobby tires or most of the original components, so it's been far from ideal for the road. However, it's been adequate to the task.

    I'd planned on replacing it with a Trek X500, but due to problems actually obtaining one, I'm opting for the Trek 7500 FX with hydraulic disc brakes (strong preference for brakes designed to handle well under waterlogged conditions). The new bike should arrive soon, and I expect it to be a lot easier on my old bones than the current one.

    Take that 8000 off-road, however..... nearly a religious experience! While it's a slow, steady cruise in traffic, the ability to hop it off into the muck when necessary (or merely desired) and keep pace while vaulting over or plowing right through debris and jagged terrain is a pleasure.
     
  6. nun

    nun New Member

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    If you do raise the stem nmake sure you don't go beyond the max, there is usually a line somewhere on the stem to indicayte this.
    You're opening up a can of worms. Everything contributes to fit and comfort.
    If you have the longer wheel base of a tourer you'll be more comfortable than
    on a road bike. The saddle is a big area of comfort. I replaced teh thin seat my bike came with with a Brookes B17 leather saddle and the wider area and the way it conforms over time to the butt has made my riding more pleasurable. Check out these links for thoughs on bike fitting

    http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html

    The next link gives some very particular thoughts on bike fitting that are out of the mainstream of modern road bike fitting thought, but the more laid back and approach suits my approach to bike riding now that I'm over 40.

    http://www.rivbike.com/html/101_pureopinions.html
     
  7. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    I recently bought a Trekking/Touring bike, Felt Trevisa, http://www.felt.de/felt/module/prin...evisa_men_2003&Jahr=2003&Rubrik=193&sprache=1 I have changed the tyres to Conti City contact 32x700, added a suspension seat post, rack, panniers, fenders and a loud bell. It is by far more comfortable for long rides and city commuting, however much heavier and slower than my FB Road Bike. I now use the SR81 just for training and intend to use it in short Tri events in the near future.
     
  8. lowracervk2

    lowracervk2 New Member

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    The most comfortable touring bike would be a recumbent by far. I've done 500+ mile tours and 100 miles per day on a racing recumbent with no pain. Well I take that back. You do have the pain of unloading everyone else's luggage from the baggage truck because you always seem to get to the next camp first.
     
  9. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Cheers!

    I was interested in recumbrant bikes, but the roads in Japan are often REALLY narrow. I dodn't think it would work for any long tours here - not even sure if its legal (I heard double bikes are not legal). But thank you for the input anyway!
     
  10. spartanstorkbir

    spartanstorkbir New Member

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    I would try a recumbent if you want comfort.
     
  11. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    Why not try installing drop bars on your MTB. If it has XT or XTR deraileurs you'll find that STI levers will be compatible but you'll need to use travel agents to get your V brakes working.

    Our tandem has 26" wheels with XTR r-der and Ultegra f-der. Drop bars at the front and profile cow horns at the rear. Works great and we have just finished a 2200km tour.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  12. rsheard

    rsheard New Member

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    Does anyone have experience with Co-Motion touring bikes (either the Nor'wester or the Americano)?

    They look great, but are they worth the $3,000 price tag?
     
  13. rayTerrace

    rayTerrace New Member

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    I have a 2004 cannondale t800. It's a lovely bike to ride. I've not done any touring though I generally ride 2-4 hours at a stretch with no comfort problems. At one stage I was getting some shoulder strain but moving the seat forward a little fixed that - I imagine that a lot of it really is about proper fit.
     
  14. nun

    nun New Member

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    I don't have direct experience of the Co-Motions, but everything I've read
    has been positive. No are they worth $3000. It seems a bit steep to me as
    you could probably just go to their website look at the components and get
    the LBS to make you up a similar bike using a touring frame for less. Failing that you should look at Heron and Waterford, I think Atlantis is really overpriced!
     
  15. philso

    philso New Member

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    for that price tag, why settle for a tig welded frame? you could get a nice, beautifully lugged, custom frame.


    http://www.richardsachs.com/gallery/index.htm
    http://www.peter-mooney.com/index.htm

    http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/...ck/ac/index.php
    british maker nice frame (at good price?):
    http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/p...&products_id=43
    not sure what the lb. is compared to the buck these days, but you might be able to import one of his stock frames, build it up with nice components, and still come out saving bigtime
     
  16. nun

    nun New Member

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    The custom Peter Mooney frames and forks go for $2350 so you'd never get a bike for under $3000 using that. I'd look for a lugged frame for $1500 or less and build up a bike.
     
  17. strider01

    strider01 New Member

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    I tried out a number of different bikes from road to touring and finally settled on a mountain bike. I took the Gary Fisher Advance and put some slicks, a solid front fork and some other modifications. I liked its upright riding position a bit more than the road and touring bikes. Plus it was really tough and could take the hard day to day abuse of a tour.

    I put 10,000 miles on it doing a number of the Adventure cycling routes the last two summers and had no major problems. Other than general maintenance I never really had to work on the bike, and it never broke down and left me stranded.

    Overall, I was happy with a basic mountain frame, and it left me pain free for months on end.

    Strider
     
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