Buying/Building a bike for touring

Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby onemorebike » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:52 pm

Hi guys,

Planning an 8 week cycle tour through panama, costa rica, nicaragua and Honduras. Leave in about 6 weeks.

I need a touring bike though.

I'd like to build one if I can. I'm hoping that the advantage of this will be...

1. When it breaks on the road, I'll know how to fix it
2. I'll learn some stuff
3. It'll be fun

Unfortunately I have never built a bike before and have no idea where to start.

My second option is just to go out and buy a Fuji Touring for $1000. Would much prefer to build though.

Could anyone point a complete noob in the right direction?
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by BNA » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:16 pm

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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby il padrone » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:16 pm

For a 'ready-to-roll' touring bike the best option is the Vivente World Randonneur.

Image

If you've only got 6 weeks and have never built a bike before, I'd advise against this route - too many things to go wrong and throw you. While you could do some really good deals on overseas on-line purchases, it all takes time to get parts shipped and built. Then you need to ride the bike to get to know its peculiarities. Building up a bike would be fine if you had 12 weeks or so before your departure.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby just4tehhalibut » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:53 am

il padrone wrote:If you've only got 6 weeks and have never built a bike before, I'd advise against this route.


Yep, second that. I've built 3 new bikes in the last 12 months, all needed some work after riding a bit. One needed a new stem as the handlebar kept slipping after a while, really hard to find the right sized stem while out on the road and in the middle of a mass cycling tour. The second I had some issues getting all the parts together on time, went with what I had and suffered hiccups, had to pull out halfway through an Audax I had been looking forward to all year. And the third, I've had to order more parts as some components turned out not as compatible with each other as expected.
If you buy an off-the-shelf bike then you would expect that it might not be perfect but most bugs are worked out. Of course you'll need to have the bike ridden in a bit before you leave, to sort out what to take or not, make adjustments, do panic purchases of bits you think you might need. Cables will stretch, some bits like hub bearings might need tools to adjust that you won't want to carry on tour, all that stuff that pops up in the first month or so. If you're building a bike you've got less time for that whole run-in process. As it is it might take a while to find your perfect tourer, in your size and get it delivered. See what your LBS can get in, Fuji is just one brand that sells a readymade tourer, you might be able to get Globe, Cube, Specialized, Masi, Tout Terrain, whatever so ask. If you really want adventure you could just buy a secondhand tourer out of the Quokka/Gumtree/Trading Post and do some quick upgrading.

Are you in Perth?
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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby onemorebike » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:12 pm

Ok, so sounds like I need to buy one then...

Not sure I can afford the vivente though. What options do I have around the $1000 mark?

I'm in Brisbane by the way.
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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:58 pm

...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:09 pm

Model changeover time in your LBS now. Often some good buys can be had.

About 12 months ago I bought a Trek 7.3FX for my daughter for just $600 including a helmet. Pretty much like this one. You may notice it has all mounts for pannier racks and mudguards. I then spent another $400 on top quality Tubus racks, mudguards and kickstand for the bike. It is a classy little tourer that she happily rode 1000kms around Tasmania.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Buying/Building a bike for touring

Postby elStado » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:04 pm

I'm bias, as I own a 2012 VWR, but I'd honestly recommend saving up the extra $800 to buy it. With touring bikes you really do get what you pay for. A $1000 touring bike will end up costing $800 more just to get it up to scratch and even then it'll be missing features that the VWR has.

There's a full review of my VWR on my website if you want to have a read:
http://www.velophile.com.au/2012/04/24/ ... s-version/
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
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