Suggestions For A Touring Bike.

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Bluman, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Bluman

    Bluman New Member

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    Short story short: I've been living and working on the island of Shikoku, Japan and because all the beautiful cycling country is right here (as is my job), I haven't really explored Japan. However my contract ends at the start of August and I would like to bike Japan for about two months before heading home. So I'm looking to buy a bike for about 4,500-5,000 km of touring and then sell/donate it before coming home.

    I've just started to look into what I'll have to buy/pack for unsupported touring since my plan to have a support car just recently fell through. However, what I'm looking for is somewhere between credit card touring and some kind of light touring (in this case, meaning sleeping gear but I don't really need cooking and survival gear). The plan is to sleep outside when the weather's nice and hotel it up when the weather's not so nice. Hotels are rather cheap in most parts of Japan's countryside. 40USD will get you a rather nice place to stay complete with a bath house or hot spring... it's just that even $40/day adds up rather quickly over ~60 days.

    At this stage what I'd like to carry is:
    * Light tent
    * Sleeping bag and some kind of soft mat to sleep on
    * Change of clothes or two (cycling clothes & street clothes)
    * Computer, 1-2 TB of external storage, & phone so I can internet and download GoPro vids (those tiny flash cards are too expensive to justify having more than one or two per camera)
    * Water and snacks
    * 1-2 days of emergency rations
    * The things I'm forgetting.

    I've budgeted $1600 (USD) or 200,000 yen for the bike AND equipment. (I figure USD is the more recognizable currency.) I've only budgeted 500,000 yen for the whole trip and even though there's an emergency fund, obviously I'd rather not tap into that if I can avoid it.

    So while I'm doing my homework, I'd love to gather some suggestions for bikes. This weekend I hope to make the rounds of LBSs and see what they recommend as well. They seem to have all major brands... so somebody's gotta have something.

    Also, any useful resources about touring to help me prepare would be nice. I've been working my way up to double metric centuries on my road bike in hopes to get my fitness up to being able to average 100 km/day for extended periods.
     
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  2. namestakensuck

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    How much weight will you be carrying? And I think you will have to up your price a bit. If you can stick to 30lbs in the rear and 20lbs up front, or less, the a surly cross check might work. If you're doing heavier and will put the weight up.front I'd recommend against the troll. The fork becomes wobly with less weight than you'd expect on it.

    After you include lights, rack, panniers etc... The costs add up. Might take a look at Jamis.

    And please sty away from the Fukushima region. See enenews.com for detail. ThT thing is still lit up.
     
  3. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I wanted a medium bike - in weight and in cost. There is a plan for me to join some friends in a long trip and I don't think my present bike is good enough for that purpose. So I guess I have to buy a new mountain bike. A bit more expensive than my present one which is a cheap model. My only concern is what happens when I get tired of biking. I am nearing retirement and I have no guarantee that my strength and liking for biking will be sustained in the years to come.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Japanese make some wonderful bikes that most rarely or never see the light of day in America but they're expensive, your best choice may be to find a used one. However Fuji has a very well priced touring bike called the quite simply the Tourer, Kona Sutra, of the two the Fuji is less expensive but the Kona is built slightly better; both of those bikes are steel framed which will last longer and be more comfortable to ride than an aluminium bike. Toyo which doesn't import to America under the Toyo brand but use to import for Rivendell under the Atlantis name makes very nice bikes but expensive.

    I would go to a lot of LBS's there and if possible find something used, you could get a gently used Toyo, Miyata, or a Panasonic from an earlier era, those were fantastic bikes so don't dismiss them just because they're older, actually the older components are far less problematic than newer stuff and easier to fix on the side of the road than newer stuff.
     
  5. Bluman

    Bluman New Member

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    I'm still figuring out what I'll need to bring with me and how much everything weighs, but it's looking like 20-30 pounds would be a reasonable range. I'm trying to keep in mind that the lighter I pack, the faster I can travel but having to take a laptop with me is keeping the weight up.
    Oh, I have no intention of going anywhere near Fukushima.

    Thanks Froze. I started looking at the Fuji Touring the other day and depending on what I can find locally new or used, that might be my best bet if I have to order. (When I bought my Roubaix I realized that the largest size stocked by the LBSs is a 54 with the occasional 56 cm... I was after a 58.)
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The Fuji get high reviews here in the states, 4 1/2 stars out of 5 on every site I looked at, which is very high for a lower costing touring bike, so definitely a bike worth looking into.
     
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