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South America Tour - 6'6" Cyclist, what MTB and shock?

anronmoranronmor Posts: 19
edited July 2008 in Tour & expedition
I'm planning a year long tour of south america by bike :):D

I'm having trouble finding a bike that's suitable so I thought I'd ask and see if anyone could reccomend a manufacturer or custom frame builder :?:

I'd like to buy a mountain bike frame and build up the bike with disc brakes and a lockout front fork. Then mount panniers front and back. I've been told to buy a steel frame but I'm not too fussed if an alumium frame looks up to the job.

:arrow: Any links to reccomended manufacturers
:arrow: or someone who will custom build a steel frame would be appreciated thanks :wink:

:arrow: Also if someone could reccomend a shock thats got a lock out and is easy to maintain I'd really appreciate the help :?:

My budget for the bike and shock is around 1300 gb £
My current bike is an xl canndale f800 with 60 cm between the seatpost and stem.

I'm living in ireland.


  • niblueniblue Posts: 1,387
    It might be worth looking at the Thorn Raven, perhaps even stretching your budget a bit and considering one with a Rohloff. If you decide to build up based on a frame then the On-One Inbred or a Cotic Soul would be a good starting point.

    I'm not convinced I'd go with any suspension forks for a year long trip in areas where repairs could be a problem. If I was to pick one I'd probably go with something simple from Marzocchi rather than the likes of Pace or Fox.
  • Agree with niblue . Keep it simple . A stock ally straight framed , old time mtb and a top end groupset would serve very nicely as well ( at least it did for me ). Wouldn't fancy the anxiety that would accompany me were I to take a sophisticated squishy bike into the wild parts of SA .
    Have a good trip .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • If the 20'' will fit you (i suspect its a little small) then it would be hard to get a better value mtb thats good for touring than the On One Inbred. They do some very good customised option (the kit is customised, not the frames). Its a tough no nonsense steel frame - I've used one with a Rohloff for touring and its been a sound frame. It might be worth looking at a 29er, as the geometry and clearances would be better for someone as tall as you.

    I'm not sure about this years version, but I've toured with two Marzhocci MX ETA forks and they've been excellent. The lockout is in a 'down' position, which is very good for climbing, though not so good if you want lockout for riding on road sections.

    A bike you might want to look at is the Gunnar Rock Tour - Its one of the very few mtb's designed specifically for touring (Thorn do them too, but they are very expensive).

    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they\'ve always worked for me.\' Hunter S. Thompson
  • anronmoranronmor Posts: 19
    Thanks for all the advice lads,

    I've bought a karate monkey 22" steel frame and I'm going building it up as a 29er at the on one seemed a bit small.

    I'm also going to buy a rohloff hub and run a single chainset up front.

    The bike frame has a 54mm chainline
    I'll be running a rohloff hub in the back
    I'm interested in either 175 or 180 mm cranks
    I want to run a single 40T chainring up front

    Can anyone reccomend a crankset and BB for the bike?
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463

    have a great time

    I use the Fox Vanilla RLC with lockout.

    You may have problems with a 29er in south america, if spokes and rims go. The roads there are unforgiving. and Rohloff, good choice.

  • Hi there,

    I did a 3 month tour of SAmerica a few years ago. My biggest piece of advice is ditch the front panniers - they are a death trap (no intention to scare you!) but out of 4 of us on the trip only one set actually made it to Rio and when they go your front wheel is their first victim. Plus if you've got enough stuff to fill two large rear panniers, a rack pack and stuff under some bungees + the front panniers, you've got too much!!

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