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  1. #1
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    Please suggest hardtail for touring

    I would like to get a new hardtail for touring. 90% is on paved roads, so I think locking fork is a must. Price about $800. What makers/models should I look at? New vs used?

    Another possibility is to fix the bike I have - Schwinn Frontier GSD. But this will require replacing pretty much everything - fork, breaks, deraulers, pedals, probably bottom bracket. Plus mechanical work, and I am in no way an experienced mechanic. I am willing to learn though. Good idea/bad idea?

    P.S. Road bike/touring bike is probably not an option. I like the offroad, even if it is only 10%. No jumps or anything crazy though, simple offroad.

  2. #2
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    I would keep my eyes on the local craigslist and ebay. Once spring gets here, prices in the used market will go up a little, but choices will be more abundant.

    Usually budget friendly suggestions in one way or another involve the name Surly. I can attest the the awesomeness of the Karate Monkey and the Cross Check.

    I would forgo the susp. fork, and stick with the rigid, especially if you'll be spending more time on roads. The KM can fit large enough tires to dampen any rough stuff when you do find yourself on trail.

    That said, you might be able to get away with a more touring oriented or cyclocross bike.

  3. #3
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    The Salsa Vaya sounds perfect for this. They're way more expensive, but maybe you can pick up a used one.

    CC
    Last edited by Crudcake; 02-09-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: spelling

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    I have done a bit of touring on Giant XTC 2 so guessing any reasonably priced hardtail would do the trick.

    My most recent play with the Giant XTC2 was on the Waterous Trail but have done longer tours with it.



    Andrew

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    Salsa Fargo. Perfect for light singletrack and paved roads. Might be a little more than you want to pay though.
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jddjirikian View Post
    Salsa Fargo. Perfect for light singletrack and paved roads. Might be a little more than you want to pay though.
    Surly and Salsa have some perfect options, even the ogre would be perfect, but like you said they all go a bit over the price range.

    I'd go on an Ebay spree and sell all my old stuff and try to save up. The difference between a bike designed to carry tons of stuff and retro fitting any basic mountain bike is significant.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the suggestions. I looked at them all. However, they are a bit above my price range (I'm sure for a good reason). For now I will go with modifying my existing bike - it is also much more fun this way
    Last edited by alexvi; 02-10-2013 at 12:07 PM. Reason: typo

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    I'd think that most hardtails or ridgids in that price range will do you fine. Obviously there are some ideals you'd be shooting for; steel frame, braze-ons, 29er, and obviously better components are gonna make for less troubles. But if you can strap stuff to it you can tour on it.

    If you do go for a new bike I'd tell you to make sure you get a good frame over anything, everything else can be slowly upgraded. Maybe buy a Surly Troll and swap your parts over?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I'd think that most hardtails or ridgids in that price range will do you fine.
    That's what I thought, but there are so many... Hoped to narrow the range by getting some suggestions. Got quite a few, but not in the price range.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    But if you can strap stuff to it you can tour on it.
    I think so too.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    If you do go for a new bike I'd tell you to make sure you get a good frame over anything
    Wish I knew how to see a good frame...

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    Maybe buy a Surly Troll and swap your parts over?
    Looked at this one too. Again, a new one is out of the price range ($1400 is what I get from google). What I decided to do is the inverse - get the parts I want and slap it on the frame I have. I suspect this will be enough. I don't really know if my frame is good or bad. Nothing on it screams "bad" to me. So that's the plan for now.

    P.S. The parts I am getting are:
    - Manitou Minute Expert Suspension Fork 100mm Black QR w/Bosses
    - WELLGO MG-1 PEDALS
    - 2x Avid BB7 Disc Brake Caliper w/ G2 Rotor 160mm
    Good/bad/stupid?

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    What I meant is that you could get a Troll frameset (less then 500 on google) and have it built with the parts off your current bike, while replacing what NEEDS to be replaced. Honestly it may be the best approach to just ride you current bike and upgrade as needed. I'd also tell you to consider the need for a suspension fork. The simpler you can make your bike the easier your life will be.

    BB7s though =

  11. #11
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    I guess I'm not sure why you would invest $800 in parts on a frame that was part of a bike that cost $450 new. IMO you'd be better off starting with a better frame.

    Again, just IMO, but I don't understand what you are trying to do with the parts you've picked. I'd be looking at something much more road that could do some off-road.

    Something like this: 2007 Specialized Tricross Sport Triple Cyclocross CX Cross Bike 54cm Olive Green | eBay might be a good starting point as an idea. A CX with a triple.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexvi View Post
    P.S. The parts I am getting are:
    - Manitou Minute Expert Suspension Fork 100mm Black QR w/Bosses
    - WELLGO MG-1 PEDALS
    - 2x Avid BB7 Disc Brake Caliper w/ G2 Rotor 160mm
    Good/bad/stupid?
    If you really are going to be 90% road, then I would recommend against a suspension fork (no need on the road and many of us have ridden rigid off-road at one time or another) and in favor of clipless pedals (maybe a platform/SPD combo like the one below).

    Jury is still out on disc brakes for road. One anecdote: Road Bike Disc Brakes Are Coming, But Will They Work? - Bike Rumor

    You will save $$ going with rigid and rim brakes. You won't need to spend much more, if any, on clipless + platform pedals. That might free up some money for a frame.


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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    What I meant is that you could get a Troll frameset (less then 500 on google) and have it built with the parts off your current bike, while replacing what NEEDS to be replaced.
    This is a very valid suggestion. I was thinking about that too. If I get the parts now and the frame later, wouldn't it be the same as getting the frame now and the parts later? My parts are pretty bad, so I suspect better parts will improve my ride more than better frame. May be wrong here.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I'd also tell you to consider the need for a suspension fork. The simpler you can make your bike the easier your life will be.
    I think I will miss it if I don't have it. That's why I keep insisting on it, even though many suggest rigid. I guess if the fork breaks in the middle of nowhere, I will learn my lesson then

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    BB7s though =
    Thanks . I try to do my research.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    I guess I'm not sure why you would invest $800 in parts on a frame that was part of a bike that cost $450 new. IMO you'd be better off starting with a better frame.
    $450 in parts. If I get a new frame later for another $450, that's in the ballpark of the total $800 I mentioned in the opening comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Again, just IMO, but I don't understand what you are trying to do with the parts you've picked. I'd be looking at something much more road that could do some off-road.
    As I am not a very experience rider, I can't say that I know what I am doing. I do want front suspension though - I've been to places where I would be sad if I didn't have it. So I want a road bike with front suspension... or MTB for road... pretty contradictory, I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Something like this: 2007 Specialized Tricross Sport Triple Cyclocross CX Cross Bike 54cm Olive Green | eBay might be a good starting point as an idea. A CX with a triple.
    Will it do well on a trail like this? Random picture, but I've been to similar. That's my 10% that I don't want to lose.
    http://curiousimagery.com/curious_ph...l_kauai_01.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    If you really are going to be 90% road, then I would recommend against a suspension fork (no need on the road and many of us have ridden rigid off-road at one time or another) and in favor of clipless pedals (maybe a platform/SPD combo like the one below).
    Was looking at clipless. I probably will kill myself on a trail with them, so I will go with platforms now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Jury is still out on disc brakes for road. One anecdote: Road Bike Disc Brakes Are Coming, But Will They Work? - Bike Rumor
    I like disc for the coolness factor That's the only reason really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    You will save $$ going with rigid and rim brakes. You won't need to spend much more, if any, on clipless + platform pedals. That might free up some money for a frame.
    As I mentioned in a post before, I don't really understand what a better frame is, and what it gives me. I can see how better fork, pedals, and breaks make my ride better. Please point me to a reading/post/explanation. Thank you.

  14. #14
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    Re: Please suggest hardtail for touring

    Any place where you might actually need a suspension is probably somewhere you shouldn't be riding with panniers fully loaded

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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    Re: Please suggest hardtail for touring

    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Any place where you might actually need a suspension is probably somewhere you shouldn't be riding with panniers fully loaded. 38c cx tires will do you well on dirt roads

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2


    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Any place where you might actually need a suspension is probably somewhere you shouldn't be riding with panniers fully loaded
    Definitely. For now I want to mix short tours (a night or two) with trail biking. So I won't actually have both harsh trail and panniers at the same time.

    The long-term plan is to go touring (late summer maybe). Then I want to have the freedom of going on a trail if I see one. Still trying to figure out what I would do with panniers then.

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    Alex, are you in Hawaii? I'm actually gonna be out there, in Kauai, on the 20th.

    Anyways, from experience I can say that a rigid can go almost anyplace a hardtail can, you just have to pick your lines better. You will also want to pay attention to your PSIs more. And soft luggage will go a long way when riding loaded off road.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    Alex, are you in Hawaii? I'm actually gonna be out there, in Kauai, on the 20th.
    No, I'm from New Jersey. Would love to tour Hawaii, but for now my experience includes only a single overnight trip to the local camping site. I would like to build some experience with short trips, then bike the east coast, as it is closer to my home.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    Anyways, from experience I can say that a rigid can go almost anyplace a hardtail can, you just have to pick your lines better.
    Yes, rigid has been suggested so many times that I am wondering if I'm being overly stubborn here. Maybe I will get a rigid fork, put it on my current bike, and make a few rides to see how it is. I have a suspicion I won't like it, but it is not backed by any experience. And I imagine it is a relatively cheap experiment to do.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexvi View Post
    No, I'm from New Jersey. Would love to tour Hawaii, but for now my experience includes only a single overnight trip to the local camping site. I would like to build some experience with short trips, then bike the east coast, as it is closer to my home.



    Yes, rigid has been suggested so many times that I am wondering if I'm being overly stubborn here. Maybe I will get a rigid fork, put it on my current bike, and make a few rides to see how it is. I have a suspicion I won't like it, but it is not backed by any experience. And I imagine it is a relatively cheap experiment to do.
    It is much easier and cheaper to start with a ridgid and then decide you want a suspension fork later than to spend exorbitant money on a suspension fork only to find out that your riding really doesn't require it. Quite frankly, it's sounding more and more like you need 2 separate bikes altogether. I have a surly disctrucker, road disc brakes are great, if I put knobbies on it, I know it could easily handle dirt roads no problem, but if your really looking to do some touring and some serious trail riding the ridgid fork Surly Troll or karate monkey is probably the way to go. if you look around on ebay you may find one of those frames used for a couple hundred.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Any place where you might actually need a suspension is probably somewhere you shouldn't be riding with panniers fully loaded
    Totally 100% disagree with that sentiment ... There is heaps of fantastic touring to be had where suspension forks are very desirable indeed.

    Andrew

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    Re: Please suggest hardtail for touring

    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    Totally 100% disagree with that sentiment ... There is heaps of fantastic touring to be had where suspension forks are very desirable indeed.

    Andrew
    Our definitions of touring are probably quite different. Id love to see someone ride my trails with panniers. Frame bags sure.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Quite frankly, it's sounding more and more like you need 2 separate bikes altogether.
    Yes, sounds like that to me too. But I can't take two bikes to a tour . So I am looking for the right kind of hybrid.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    but if your really looking to do some touring and some serious trail riding the ridgid fork Surly Troll or karate monkey is probably the way to go. if you look around on ebay you may find one of those frames used for a couple hundred.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely keep my eyes open for these and for CraigsList and Ebay in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker
    There is heaps of fantastic touring to be had where suspension forks are very desirable indeed.
    I think this is the touring I am searching for. And the right kind of bike to go with it.

  23. #23
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    You can get a brand new titanium 29er frame and reba fork with lockout for under $1100. Great setup for bikepacking. It doesn't have rack mounts on it BUT if you want to go with a rack then get an OLD MAN mountain rack which attaches to the rear quick release and you use a couple of clips to attach the top part to the seat stays. Solid system. Or you can just go with frame bags, seat bags and a handlebar sling along with gas cans and feed bags.
    I never really understood hybrids. To me they seem to be the worst of both worlds. Not fast like a road bike and pretty horrible offroad when the going gets rough. They are probably fine as a fitness bike if you are not worried about speed or ever doing any true off roading.
    A 29er mountain bike will accept road tires, hybrid tires and mountain bike tires so it is the most versatile bike out there.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    You can get a brand new titanium 29er frame and reba fork with lockout for under $1100. Great setup for bikepacking.
    It seems that's what I'll do. I'll use my existing frame for now, but may eventually replace it. I also was reading about Reba vs Manitou forks, and it seems Manitou will do fine for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    It doesn't have rack mounts on it BUT if you want to go with a rack then get an OLD MAN mountain rack which attaches to the rear quick release and you use a couple of clips to attach the top part to the seat stays. Solid system. Or you can just go with frame bags, seat bags and a handlebar sling along with gas cans and feed bags.
    I actually have a rack (topeak I think) that fits to my current bike. So that's fine for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    I never really understood hybrids. ... They are probably fine as a fitness bike if you are not worried about speed or ever doing any true off roading.
    That's me I'm not into racing - I prefer to go slow and enjoy the scenery. I'm also probably going to kill myself on any true off roading, so I don't do that either. That's why I think I will be fine with a hybrid. Even though it is the worst of both worlds, it gives me both worlds to enjoy.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    I never really understood hybrids. To me they seem to be the worst of both worlds. Not fast like a road bike and pretty horrible offroad when the going gets rough. They are probably fine as a fitness bike if you are not worried about speed or ever doing any true off roading.
    Stand up straight and turn your torso and around your lower body and see how many degrees of shoulder turn you can make. For me being a low handicap golfer, I can easily turn a full 90* and then some. now stand up straight and hinge at your hips until your torso has come down about 45* then try to see how many degrees of shoulder turn you can make. IT will be drastically reduced. On a road bike, you have very little visibility around and behind you because as your spine angle tilts, the ability to rotate around your torso decreases. IT's not big deal on a racing/road bike, you are focused on what is in front of you and going fast. Hybrids are designed to give you the upright positioning that will let you see around if your commuting and not force you to have strong abs to maintain the hunched over aerodynamic position. There are so many types of hybrids these days but many of them are WAY faster than a MTB and Way more versatile than a race bike. Put 32mm CX tires on a flatbar hybrid and you can take it down a bumpy country dirt road and easily rip away at 20mph. that wont be too fun on a road bike with 23's on it.

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