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Need some bike advice for a touring begginer

DoubleHelixDoubleHelix Posts: 18
edited April 2011 in Tour & expedition
I have a Mercier Corvus Al that I bought for $300 off of craigslist three years ago and have been using it for commuting and small trips. I currently avg. 15mi a day and do small 30mi trips on the weekends with no load other than myself.

I plan on doing some long distance touring this summer (Denver CO to Bellingham WA ~1500mi)

I also have a 2009 Rockhopper Pro which might work better. If I use this I will probably switch out the front fork for something rigid. It also has hydraulic brakes which would be a pain if needed maintenance on the road.

For the Mercier it has 24 spoke wheels so that has to be upgraded. Also doesnt have any braze-on or mounting for a rack. I have the tools to make something (I work at a university and have access to mills, lathes, drill presses, ext). I'm not sure if it will be worth it since the Rockhopper is already is fitted for it.

The Mercier has an aggressive geometry so am not sure I would want to use it. So I could get a new frame better suited to touring and build it up from the Mercier parts... I'm on a pretty tight budget due to school so that is why I am trying to use what I have.

Thanks for any advice!


  • xiliosxilios Posts: 170
    I don't believe the Mercier would not be a good bike for touring so that leaves the Rockhopper. If you're really on a tight budget than use the Rockhopper with a trailer. It would definitely be the cheaper option. As for the hydrolic breakes you just have to carry a complete repair kit.
    I'm a big fan of hybrids and panniers so if you can find and afford (a used bike and bags I would go with that set up.
  • What do you think about converting an old (late 80's) Specialized Rockhopper for touring.

    Here is what I found on craigslist:
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    You will be touring in the US of A. So spares will never be too far away. I'd stick with your MTB and do some off road bits as much as possible to see the amazing scenery. the low gears will be useful in Colorado too.....

    Jest get out there and see how it goes!
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    Take the Rockhopper! If you are worried about breakdown issues with the discs and if it has canti mounts and compatible rims, fit a cheap set of V-brakes. If you are on roads or tracks that don't need knobblies stick a set of road or multi-purpose tyres on it. If the forks will lock out don't bother to change them. Oterwise just hang the luggage on and go (and don't skimp on the water bottles)
    Cheers Jo
  • Thanks for the advice.

    Just got some travel contact tires for the rockhopper and have been doing 20miles a day with no gear. This weekend I am going to load to 50% and see how it feels.

    I also picked up a 2003 Novara Safari for $30, it needs a bit of work so I'll see how it goes.

    Now think I'm pretty set on all the gear. What is the best way to plan the route, are there any websites you all would recommend?
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