Slicks on mtn bike vs. cheap road bike

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Hailey, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Hailey

    Hailey New Member

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    I am new to bike touring and serious cycling, and I'm planning a trip down the Natchez Trace Parkway. I have a mountain bike that I have ridden for years and is in decent condition. Funds are very limited. So my question is....should I just buy slick tires to put on my mountain bike? Or do I really need to be on the lookout for a road bike? There are several decent deals on Craigslist (mostly Schwins--I don't know much about different bikes and which are good). I don't plan on doing much touring after this trip, for a good while, so I would like to do whatever is most economical but also practical for having a successful trip. Thanks!
     
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  2. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Can you rent a good bike just for the trip?
     
  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    it all depends the distance that you are covering, where do you start from ?
     
  4. Hailey

    Hailey New Member

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    Renting a bike is a good idea, Volnix. There is a good bike shop right at the start of the Trace that I know does rentals, I will need to price check. That is the defining factor for me.

    And vspa, I am starting from the Northern terminus in Nashville and planning to do the entire 450ish miles down to Natchez, MS.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    It will be much more economical if you buy Slicks for your MTB ...

    BTW. The TYPE of MTB which you have does matter to some extent ...

    • if it is a reasonably good Hardtail, then a definite 'yes' to the Slicks (don't forget, you will probably need narrower tubes) ...
    • if you have an inexpensive MTB (sub-$150 MSRP), then you may be happier with another bike UNLESS you can lock out the front suspension and/or rear shock.


    BTW2. I presume the "Parkway" more-or-less runs alongside the Mississippi ... so, the only time you will truly be going uphill will be on the return trip + if you venture away from the River ...

    So, while 'I' am not keen on FLAT handlebars, DROP handlebars may be unexpectedly uncomfortable for you to use for the trip ...

    • MOUSTACHE handlebars may be a good transitional choice ... they are basically Drop handlebars with negligible drop + you can continue to use your MTB's current shifters & brake levers.
     
  6. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    450 miles is a respectable distance, you need to consider a small repair kit for punctures, broken spokes, a couple of chain links, touring is great but you cannot do it with a overly tight budget, remember you need a place to sleep and daily food, and transportation for the return for you and your bike,
     
  7. rcrampton

    rcrampton New Member

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    I've done plenty of fully loaded touring on both mtn and road bikes. Off-road fully loaded is done on my mtn bike, road touring is done on a road bike now but I did it on a mtn bike until I finally bought a road bike. I used a very large handlebar bag and tried to pack light since all of my weight was over my back tire (only a rear rack on a hard tail).

    Road-oriented tires make a big difference, you'll be just fine if you can get all of your junk on the bike. Enjoy, it looks like a great ride.
     
  8. Hailey

    Hailey New Member

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    Thanks for the good information y'all. I'm feeling more prepared to make a decision and also more at peace that I can work it work with whichever bike I do decide to ride, as long as I prepare correctly! And vspa, I have already budgeted out for all of those things, and also some bigger panniers. But a new bike is a far cry from a 20 dollar repair kit, so trying to save the dollars where I can!
     
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