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Second Hand Touring Bike or Adapt HardRock Pro

richie fingerrichie finger Posts: 9
edited November 2010 in Tour & expedition
Sorry for the long post but I've been going round in circles for a few weeks and its getting in the way of actually riding.
I have just completed my first ever ride of more than 30 miles, 250 miles to Wales , camping wild all the way over 5 days, 50 miles a day.
I used my existing bike which is a Specialized Hardrock Pro 2005 with discs and suspension forks. To be honest its probably one size too small for me.
The last day of the ride was agony and so I have upgraded a few parts. Changed the cheap gel saddle for a Brooks B 17, the flat pedals for SPDs , thin grips for Ergon GP1s and dug out a longer stem from a box of bits I found.
These changes have definitely made an improvement.
My next tour will hopefully be JoGLE in March next year. Wild camping again with the odd YHA thrown in. My problem is this, I'm happy to spend money improving my current bike as long as those improvements can be transferred to a more suitable bike should I get one.
I've now noticed that my bars are bent and that is probably what is causing pain in one hand. I'm now thinking of buying a used bike that is more suited to touring rather than replace any more bits. Ive seen a few posts on here using old steel framed MTBs and wondered what particular brands,models would be suitable?
I think my ideal would be something with MTB geometry, V Brakes,Rigid Forks,Steel Frame, low low gears(my 22,34 got used a lot:() and able to take front and rear racks.
All ideas entertained. Ideally less than £400 in total.

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I'd definitely recommend an On-One 456 frameset as the basis for building a bike.

    But....

    Replacing one MTB frame with another MTB frame is not going to sort out the problem with your hand (although a steel frame might well be a help comfort-wise). Have you tried fitting bar ends to give you an alternative hand position? You might also find that Specialized Gel gloves help.
  • ....as an aside, and not really answering your question, I'm currently reading "riding home from siberia" and the guy is riding an old steel-framed mountain bike (over 3 or 4 years I think), heavily laden with stuff (60kg), so I think your logic is sound. However, I wouldn't be spending £400 on an old mountain bike. For that sort of money, you could something second hand with, perhaps, more suitable geometry - especically if your mountain bike is currently causing you problems. Perhaps, spend less on the bike and more on other kit to accompany it e.g. waterproof panniers etc.

    Have I helped?!
  • Lots of old steel MTBs on Ebay. They tend to go cheap because they aren't designed for disc brakes or modern suspension forks. So if you don't want these things you will get a bargain. Personally I'd be looking at a good quality old frame like Marin, Kona or Orange, but that's just me.

    If you want a more modern frame then look at Rock Lobster (via Merlin Cycles) or On-One.

    However you may find you don't need a new bike if you've changed the contact points (pedals, saddle, bars).
  • ....as an aside, and not really answering your question, I'm currently reading "riding home from siberia" and the guy is riding an old steel-framed mountain bike (over 3 or 4 years I think), heavily laden with stuff (60kg), so I think your logic is sound. However, I wouldn't be spending £400 on an old mountain bike. For that sort of money, you could something second hand with, perhaps, more suitable geometry - especically if your mountain bike is currently causing you problems. Perhaps, spend less on the bike and more on other kit to accompany it e.g. waterproof panniers etc.

    Have I helped?!
  • Thanks for replys. I 've read many blogs about people on old steel MTB going round the world, this is what gave me the idea, that and the fact the Thorn Raven Nomad MK11 S+S i tried out was just a little bit more than i can afford at the mo:)
    I have picked up an old Giant steel frame MTB in great condition which I'm going to play around with. MY £400 price was for all components including the bike.
    I already have all my touring extras such as steel pannier racks, ortlieb panniers etc.

    I tried looking round for a donor bike with decent components but for my price Ii couldn't find a steel frame. They also nearly always had FS and disc brakes.

    Im going to buy a complete Deore groupset and try it on the Giant, if its not for me I can always replace the ageing parts on my specialized.
    If the parts on the Giant are in OK condition i can replace the bits on my girlfriends rusty old MTB. So all in all the money shouldn't be wasted, and hopefully i'll end up with three good bikes.

    Im also going for a Dynamo Hub front wheel. My aim is to have all new fairly decent components except for the frame and forks and update that if I feel the need.

    All criticisms of this plan are welcome.

    PS I have much bigger plans for this bike than just a jogle.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    All criticisms of this plan are welcome.

    PS I have much bigger plans for this bike than just a jogle.

    Well it's not a criticism. The plan sounds like a good one, but in your first post you were talking about how you were in pain after going 250 miles (never mind round the world), and talking about pain in your hands due, you thought to the handlebars.

    Now you seem to be about to change everything ... except the handlebars.

    I still think it would be worth investigating the cause of the pain in your hand before you rebuild your bike.
  • OK, thanks for your concern Andy. I tried some flat bars I had lying around, they were no good, too low. When I put the old bars back on I left the bar ends off and pushed the Ergons to the very end of the bars. This extra 1/2 inch width each side seems to have made a massive difference on the 100 miles I've done since my original post.
    However depending on the setup of the Giant I may still end up getting some new bars anyway.
    Picked up a new 2011 Deore groupset off ebay (minus brakes) for £120 so things are starting to happen. To be honest I think posting on here kicked me into making a decision.
    Yeah I know riding round the world sounds a bit far fetched when I've only cycled 250 miles, but everyone I've met who's done it says after 2 weeks you just get fitter. We shall see:)
    I shall be trying the gel gloves as well.
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