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Touring bike on the cheap

stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
edited October 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi All

next March I will turn 40 and am thinking a midlife crisis tour is required. I am slowly putting together the required kit and am now turning my attention to the bike requirements.

I lust for a thorn or a koga but alas the pennies wont stretch that far. I am thinking that I will buy a bike and custom it for my needs. Im thinking steel frame and have identified something like an old raleigh kalahari geometry might suit

see here http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 0e703e542b

im thinking i could stick on some good strong wheels and change out the bars and matbe change brakes etc. The downside is lack of front rack fittings.

i think the tour will be fully loaded self contained and last a week or so.

is this type of frame suitable and should I look at getting the front fork fitted with braze ons for a rack?

your thoughts are appreciated and any other suggestions welcome.

Cheers
Paul
Burning Fat Not Rubber

Scott CR1
Genesis IO ID
Moda Canon

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Where do you want to go (eg Europe or further afield)? What sort of touring (tarmac road, dirt road).

    What parts have you already got? What's your budget?

    flat-bar/butterfly or drop-bars - or undecided?

    Major things to think about:

    - gears. Unless you are an experienced, fit, cyclist you probably want a triple with MTB gearing;

    - rack mounts. There are workarounds for bikes without rear rack fixings but it helps to have them. so far as I can tell, the vast majority of people tour with only rear panniers. you can get front pannier racks that use the axle and clamp on to the fork leg - so braze-ons aren't essential (you certainly don't need front panniers for one week);

    - tyre clearance. You need enough so that you can fit bigger tyres. You can happily tour with 25mm tyres but the ability to have bigger ones (and wider rims) is a good thing to have if only as future-proofing.

    The bike you've linked to looks like a decent buy for £50 (although presumably no longer available).
  • I'm not an experienced tourer but I can't see a front rack being essential for a week-long tour, if you travel light.

    That Kalahari will not be the lightest bike in the world, but if it fits and everything works then it's a steal for £50 I reckon.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    What about this:
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/ebwPNLq ... 155c018343

    I've had one of these for years and put loads of miles on it. The current one has disc brakes, great in wet weather. It'll take front racks too. Had mine over 40mph once or twice so it's no slouch.

    Or maybe a used Dawes Galaxy?
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Do you plan on doing more touring or is it just a one off? If its a one off can you borrow a bike from a mate instead?
    More problems but still living....
  • stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
    andymiller wrote:
    Where do you want to go (eg Europe or further afield)? What sort of touring (tarmac road, dirt road).

    What parts have you already got? What's your budget?

    flat-bar/butterfly or drop-bars - or undecided?

    Major things to think about:

    - gears. Unless you are an experienced, fit, cyclist you probably want a triple with MTB gearing;

    - rack mounts. There are workarounds for bikes without rear rack fixings but it helps to have them. so far as I can tell, the vast majority of people tour with only rear panniers. you can get front pannier racks that use the axle and clamp on to the fork leg - so braze-ons aren't essential (you certainly don't need front panniers for one week);

    - tyre clearance. You need enough so that you can fit bigger tyres. You can happily tour with 25mm tyres but the ability to have bigger ones (and wider rims) is a good thing to have if only as future-proofing.

    The bike you've linked to looks like a decent buy for £50 (although presumably no longer available).

    think ill stick with uk to begin with. basically leave my front door and just ride (on road)

    ive already got my tent, sleeping bag roll mat etc and have just finished my diy cook system based on a pepsi can penny stove. (cost me a fiver to put together and boils a pint in 6 mins). ive got a full toolset from other cycling formats. will need to get panniers and bar bag etc and will go with ortliebs.

    ive got tons of components lying around to pimp anything that i buy but will invest in some good hoops. flat bars with bar ends will probably do me. I spent most of the time on my road bike on the hoods or flats.

    I agree a triple is the way to go if im loaded and id probably want to fit at least 32 width tyres

    that bike isnt available to my knowledge so it was just an example
    Burning Fat Not Rubber

    Scott CR1
    Genesis IO ID
    Moda Canon
  • stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
    unixnerd wrote:
    What about this:
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/ebwPNLq ... 155c018343

    I've had one of these for years and put loads of miles on it. The current one has disc brakes, great in wet weather. It'll take front racks too. Had mine over 40mph once or twice so it's no slouch.

    Or maybe a used Dawes Galaxy?

    nice looking ride but im looking to do this for a max of about £300 so need to make do and mend I think.
    Burning Fat Not Rubber

    Scott CR1
    Genesis IO ID
    Moda Canon
  • stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
    amaferanga wrote:
    Do you plan on doing more touring or is it just a one off? If its a one off can you borrow a bike from a mate instead?

    id like to make a regular thing of it and i also like tinkering so im definately up for getting a new ride. you can never have enough bikes :)
    Burning Fat Not Rubber

    Scott CR1
    Genesis IO ID
    Moda Canon
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    What about a 2009 Kona Smoke - bargain at £189 from Rutland Cycling. It is a butted steel frame, 24 speed touring range gears, 700x42 continental tyres, complete with mudguards. Just needs a rack, panniers and bottle cage and it would make a good tourer. The large volume slicks really soak up the potholes. They are £10 cheaper on Rutland's eBay shop if you assemble yourself. Rutland told me they bought the entire remaining UK stock - they are discontontinued now.
    kona_smoke.jpg
    My g/f and I bought one each for pub/shopping bikes, pictured here doing the shopping last weekend, really pleased with them (front basket and plastic boxes on rear are optional).
    kona.jpg
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    If you already have loads of components then buying a frame and building a bike yourself might well be the best option. Maybe something like a Planet-X Kaffenback (£165 + £35 for a fork) or a Cotic Roadrat? Or there are firms selling steel MTB frames that would work - if you are happy running disc brakes (eg Kona, On-One, Orange).

    If your budget is £300 then it would be worth looking at a secondhand frames.

    If you could stretch to a bit more then maybe a Surly Long Haul Trucker or a Condor Heritage? If you don't already have a spare set of good wheels you'll need to budget for these as well.
  • stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
    alfablue wrote:
    What about a 2009 Kona Smoke - bargain at £189 from Rutland Cycling. It is a butted steel frame, 24 speed touring range gears, 700x42 continental tyres, complete with mudguards. Just needs a rack, panniers and bottle cage and it would make a good tourer. The large volume slicks really soak up the potholes. They are £10 cheaper on Rutland's eBay shop if you assemble yourself. Rutland told me they bought the entire remaining UK stock - they are discontontinued now.
    kona_smoke.jpg
    My g/f and I bought one each for pub/shopping bikes, pictured here doing the shopping last weekend, really pleased with them (front basket and plastic boxes on rear are optional).
    kona.jpg

    that looks to be a cracking deal. can I ask what size you went for. im normally a 56 in a road bike.

    also just found this close to home on the bay which looks like it could be a nice project


    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dawes-Horizon-Tou ... 230ac7abaa
    Burning Fat Not Rubber

    Scott CR1
    Genesis IO ID
    Moda Canon
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    We both got 18" ones, my g/f is 5'7", I'm 5'9" - it fits us both well, though my seat is right back on the rails. I could have fitted a 20" as well, and if using it for touring duties a longer reach would have suited (I have a Condor Heritage tourer, but my g/f is considering using this rather than her trek 1.2 for touring). I have a 56cm road bike.

    It really is quite liberating to have a "cheap" bike for round town and I am really enjoying it.

    The Horizon looks good, ideal if it is affordable - hopefully the local pickup only will keep the price down. The loose crank may suggest a new BB & / or chainset is needed.
  • stokepa31stokepa31 Posts: 559
    alfablue wrote:
    We both got 18" ones, my g/f is 5'7", I'm 5'9" - it fits us both well, though my seat is right back on the rails. I could have fitted a 20" as well, and if using it for touring duties a longer reach would have suited (I have a Condor Heritage tourer, but my g/f is considering using this rather than her trek 1.2 for touring). I have a 56cm road bike.

    It really is quite liberating to have a "cheap" bike for round town and I am really enjoying it.

    The Horizon looks good, ideal if it is affordable - hopefully the local pickup only will keep the price down. The loose crank may suggest a new BB & / or chainset is needed.

    If I can get it for £100 will go for it. but the Kona is calling too
    Burning Fat Not Rubber

    Scott CR1
    Genesis IO ID
    Moda Canon
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