All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
It was a recycled bicycle from the WSCN Bicycle Recycling Program Yes, it does have 26" wheels, and I have fitted 26" x 1.75" Kevlar-belted slick tyres to it - it goes real fast when you want it to!
Although, since I bought it I have replaced the saddle, seat-post, handle-bars, gear shifters, brakes, brake levers, tyres, tubes, gear and brake cables. As well as adding new items such as the stainless steel mudguards, mudguard-mounted reflector, carry racks (I have a front one for it too, but only put it on for touring) and what-ever else I may have forgotten.
I have thought about putting either drop handle-bars or trekking bars on it, but it is fitted with V-brakes (linear-pull cantilever brakes), and I don't think that there are any road bar levers that are compatible with them. The other option is to put a shorter reach stem on and fit North Road bars to make it more like a sports roadster. (I secretly would love a Rohloff 14-speed hub, but could never afford it). I have considered fitting it out with new wheels with an 8-speed hub on the back and a dynamo hub on the front.
HM I have a gitane frame that looks very similar to your bike but unfortunately it is way to small for me. I am building up a touring bike now (on a budget) I have 2 frames one is a peugeot, internally brazed with 460mm chainstays and lots of fork trail and very relaxed geometry. The other frame is a cromo shogun with tangaloy forks with pannier bosses. both are 700c.
I also have 2 racks one is a low rider and the other is a blackburn rack that attaches to the brake mount on the fork and has a rack on top. I have been using the rack on my workhorse bike and I have grown to like it.
I have everything else I need including 2 rear racks as well, both good pannier racks.
I just need to decide what colour to paint the frame. and decide what I want.
The 26" MTB wheels (559mm rims) is more of a case of that's what I happened to get. When I got this bicycle I didn't know exactly what I wanted, but a mountain bicycle seems to be a good way to go, because I figured that it would be easier to ride. I started cycling as a way to get around. I really enjoyed riding, and I started to explore the bicycle tracks around Fairfield. I then stumbled across bicycle touring and decided to give that a go and went on my first weekend tour in February/March to coincide with the Thirlmere Festival of Steam. With spring on it's way I'm looking forward to a bicycle holiday around Canberra.
I was reading an online article which recommended 26" wheels over 700C because apparently it is a lot easier to source 26" wheels and tyres if you are travelling in remote areas or overseas. I later read that 26" wheels are stronger because of their shorter spoke length, but in reality the main reason I stuck with 26" wheels is because that is what I had, and that is what fitted into my frame!
On the question of colour - it is really up to you. Some people have suggested khaki green in order to help hide in the bush if you are stealth-camping, but if you went overseas, some may think it's a military bicycle and you'll get unwanted attention. Others have suggested flat black, but I have seen touring bicycle in all sorts of colours - in the end it's mostly personal preference.
If you have to go with 700C wheels, my best advice would be to get strong wheels and run fairly wide tyres if you are doing loaded touring. The strongest Aluminium alloy rims you can get, and the best stainless steel spokes (preferably thicker ones). I'd even go with 40-spoke wheels if I could get them (but my 36 spoke wheels have worked fine so far). I would not run on tyres less than 32mm wide - and I'd say that 38-40mm is about the ideal size. I currently have 26" x 1.75" tyres, which are equivalent to 45mm wide. If you want speed, then go skinny, but be prepared to credit-card tour.
But the singular most important thing about a touring bicycle is comfort - you might spend 6 to 10 hours a day on your bike, and it has to be comfortable when you get on in the morning and still be comfortable when you dismount at the end of the day. 6 hours on a gel saddle convinced me to get a Brooks.
well I now have 2 new project tourers the first is a dawes renolds magnum mtb which is pinky orange. I'll be keeping this colour as 1. it is very bright and safe colour, 2. more importantly it will make the bike thieves cringe! and the 26"wheels will be good for off road trails.
I also got a claud butler frame and forks off a friend that I will build up as faster road tourer. (but will not really be faster as I will be powering it)
I know the Surly Long Haul Trucker is available in 26", as i have one myself in 54cm. These days they're available in 26" for all sizes, so i'm told(by someone on this forum!).
Not sure what else is available in 26" as well though.
I don't wish to seem sarcastic, but have you really seen touring bikes in shops over here? I mean a real touring bike, with racks, guards and NOT road gearing (ie 52T front large chain ring).
The reason that I ask is that I have not had much luck, even in getting parts, so I'm debating whether to get a new touring bike, or rebuild my old one which still goes, albeit with some problems.
Very few bicycles shops will stock a touring bicycle on the floor. They'll make more money out of selling BMX, MTB's and Road bicycles.
Cheeky Transport in Newtown, Sydney sell the Fuji Tourer, and I believe a few places can order in a Surly LHT if you ask.
Multiple emails and telephone calls to them from Perth and I never get a reply. I gave up chasing them and I don't really want to freight one over.
I ordered one about 2 years ago. After 6 months I gave up waiting and spent the money on a new Mac instead
The damage on the current bike can be repaired as it's apparent a part is available. Just have to wait for it to arrive.
Have Goldcross opened in WA yet? They sell the Fuji range which includes the tourer. They are expanding the branches throughout Australia.
In Melbourne St Kilda Cycles have a few touring bikes in the show room but tourers are few and far between here as well.
Surly do not have an authorised dealer network so if you know the frame size that you want your LBS could order one in for you.
Can't say I have heard of them, but I'll have a look.
Been down this path......
I have only seen 2 dedicated tourers in the shops here, one a vivente world randoneur at glen parker and a cannondale T400 at fleet cycles, both were 700c. I wasnt saying that 26" tourers don't exist or ar'nt available. They just seem as rare as rocking horse dung around here.
The last 12 or so months I have noticed a shift towards city style bikes. I cant help but feel that this bout of common sense may lead to the resurgence of the touring bike and like the phoenix it will rise again from the ashes!!
Anything touring related is. I checked out the Vivente, but would still have to spend money in changing the front chain rings as it's over geared for me.
Thanks Andrew. I rang them earlier this year. I either got the wrong Bike Force, or they lied when they said they didn't have any touring bikes.
I've committed to repairing the current bike, but am looking for a replacement next year, so I might check out Churchill.
memory jog, your right forgot about that one, my friend lives just around the corner, they have had some nice bikes of late, havnt been back to balmoral since a bad experience with a wheel nut. but I did go to the morley store before they closed down
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