Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Old Marin suitable for touring?

rustychaincprustychaincp Posts: 235
edited May 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi there

I'm looking to do the Trans Pennine Trail later in the year.

As much as I'd like to use this as an excuse to buy a bike under the cycle to work scheme for this mini-tour, I was exploring adpating my trusty old Marin Indian Fire Trail ('96 - aluminium frame).

First question is whether this frame is suitable? The frame's obviously quite old now and I'm aware of the fatigue/age issues associated with aluminium frames. It's already taken 14+ years of battering from me, would putting it to touring be a step too far? I'm not planning to head off around the world at this stage!

The bike has recently been 'urbanised' for commuting to work, and has solid front forks, cantilever brakes and mudguards. The only thing it's really lacking is front pannier racks. Are these easy enough to fit to forks without the mid-height eyelets? Can anyone recommend a model of rack?

Other extras I'm interested in are some super comfy handlebars (+ bar ends?) and tyres that are reasonable fast but can handle the rougher parts of the TPT.




  • CumbrianManCumbrianMan Posts: 240

    I done the TPT last year on my Marin Palisades Trail, '95 model, and it held up absolutely fine. I've got Pace forks on it, which are almost as old, and they were good enough also.

    The tyres I have on it, which I used for the ride, are Continental Travel Contact ( ... goryId=133). They performed admirably, even on the sticky sections over the Pennines.
    And as most of it is firm surfaces, they role well, and so speed is higher.

    I just had a rack on the back, with two panniers, and seemed to be able to get in all my kit. Stayed in a couple of B&B's, so no tent or sleeping bag needed.

    I just had riser bars on mine, but my missus has some Specialized grips, which are reasonably comfortable. I found that my standard bars with some decent gloves were good enough. Deffo recommend bar ends though, so you can alternate your hand positions.

    "There are no hills, there is no wind, I feel no pain !"

    "A bad day on the bike is always better than a good day in the office !"
  • rustychaincprustychaincp Posts: 235
    Thanks for the response CM!

    I'll go for it with the Marin, sounds like it should be up to the job. I'll get onto Spa Cycles for a wheelset which the bike is in need of anyway. Getting a bit excited! :oops:
  • trek1trek1 Posts: 33

    Hi there. I just bought these pannier racks for my mtb: ... elID=14339
    They will be fine on your Marin.
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Old Man Mountain do a few different racks front and rear to fit on bikes without eyelets and very sturdy as well. Not sure how available they are in the UK though and not cheap. ... Racks.html
  • rustychaincprustychaincp Posts: 235
    Thanks for the pannier recommendations - my excuses for not doing the trip are rapidly disappearing...

    Looks like you can get the Old Man Mountain racks from SJS Cycles here in the UK. Not cheap, but they look the business!
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