MTB -> touring bike for France

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Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:42 am

MTB -> touring bike for France

Postby fizzy_piglets » Fri May 11, 2007 2:03 pm

Hi all,

Pleased to meet/read you all! I'm heading off to Europe in July & want to do some cyclo touring over there. Since budget's tight atm, I was thinking of converting my MTB (13" Trek 4100) into something more appropriate for touring. I was hugely encouraged by hoogie's article on bicycletouring101 (using a mountain bike as a touring bike).

Unfortunately I'm a noob still so I'm not sure if my bike's frame is suitable, hoogie & a lot of other posts regarding features of a touring bike mention... "relaxed geometery, longer wheelbase, longer chainstays and have rack mounting points on the dropouts".

Would you guys have guiding tips on those points? I'm still confused as to what they mean and how I measure them on my bike. Is there a general recommendation or ratio-to-size-of-rider for the size of the wheelbase etc..?

I figured the rack mounting points might be something important if I wanted to load panniers onto the bike, currently I don't think the bike's got mounting points or those holes in the forks for front mounts, and I already anticipate changing the fork since current ones have shock absorbers (suspensions?).

Looking forward to any of your input :)

- Piggy2

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Postby heavymetal » Sat May 12, 2007 12:00 am

I've toured extensively on an MTB. They can create problems with the hands if doing extended touring. There is nowehere else to put your hands except in the one position. Fit some bar ends if possible for different hand positions.

The long chainstays are required so when you put panniers on the rear rack, your heels won't hit the pedals when pedalling. I got around this by tilting the rack slightly backwards.

There should be some holes near the rear axle for mudguard mounts. A rack will bolt to these without any problems. The front however is a different problem.

On standard front forks, the Tubus Tara rack will fit but it is expensive. I've done a review here with some pictures -

If you get some suspension forks, you can fit front racks to them There is a set made by delta. I've reviewed them here.

The Tubus Tara has a kit for fitting if there is no holes for a rack on a standard fork (Mine is a touring fork). The bottom mounting fits to the standard mudguard lug.

The mountain bike's geometry makes it a bit twitchy to ride on the road with a load, but by packing the heavy stuff as low as possible, you can counter this. The shorter wheelbase and high bottom bracket (Pedal shaft) make it twitchy to ride.

A touring bike has a longer wheel base and lower centre of gravity.

There shouldn't be a problem touring with a load on an MTB, you may have to make sure that your heels don't hit the panniers when they are full.

There are a couple of photos of my ex MTB touring bike here.

Hope this helps a bit


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