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WILLDO01's Photo WILLDO01 Posts: 313
4/20/12 10:48 P

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Touring bikes typically stronger steel frame bikes designed to carrier panniers front & back. They can look like a road bike but the geometry and purpose is different. They also frequently have triple crank upfront where a road bike will have two and they have a wider range of gears so you can go distances while packed down. They are not built for speed; they are built for long haul riding under weight. Think pack mules or RV of the bike world...reliable and stable but not a race horse by any means.

I'm pictured fully loaded on my touring bike. In that picture I was carrying my everything I needed for a multi day unsupported ride (tent, sleeping bag, tools, spare parts, first aid, extra gear, camera, food, et all). The only time I've blown a spoke it is when I had the misfortune of having a frame pump bounce off someone's bike and right through my spokes. Even with that I was able to remove the two broken spokes and make it in to get the wheel re-trued.

I disagree with the assessment that touring bikes don't allow you to go as far as a road bike. I have done 100+ miles days and I have hit 55+ on downhills. Heavier frame will cause you to go slower but gives you more stability on less that perfect pavement. The gearing allows me to haul loads over the long haul without tearing up my joints.

Edited by: WILLDO01 at: 4/20/2012 (23:22)
Kris


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,387
4/18/12 10:34 A

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From what you've said it sounds like there is a fair amount of overlap between touring and cyclocross bikes. I know my Tricross is definitely heavier and sturdier than most of the road bikes I see in our bike club. Although trying different bikes is a temptation, my wallet pretty much cures those thoughts in a hurry, anyhow...lol!

Don

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OHIOBLUEGRASS's Photo OHIOBLUEGRASS SparkPoints: (11,452)
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4/18/12 9:43 A

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Surly's website has a lot of good information about these sorts of questions. Just keep in mind that they write everything with a sarcastic sense of humor.

A relaxed frame allows you to ride sitting up a little straighter. The most relaxed frames would be bikes that allow the rider to sit up totally straight. The most aggressive frames would be road bikes designed for racing (on these bikes the riders are tucked practically parallel to the ground-a very streamlined position). Mountain bikes are fairly relaxed. Cyclecross too. Touring bikes tend to put you into a bit of a tuck for streamlining, but not as much as traditional road bikes.

Road bikes tend to be designed for speed, not comfort. They also tend to be a bit more fragile, with the emphasis on being as light as possible. That's not to say that a road bike can't last for a long time, but they don't stand up to abuse as well as some of the other bikes.
Touring bikes tend to be designed to be ridden all day and to be able to haul some gear along as well. They're heavier, which means it's harder to go the same distance on a touring bike compared to a road bike. They're also more durable, which means they can go more places. I can take my Surly (a cyclecross bike I have set up for touring) on the road, on a gravel bike path, or even some mountain bike trails. I'd hesitate to take a road bike off the road.

For me, touring bikes and cyclecross bikes are a great choice. I'm a stop and smell the roses type of rider. If I see a cool bird or turtle on the trail, I'm stopping to photograph it. I don't care how long it takes me to get somewhere. For me, the point is the journey, not the destination. For others, the enjoyment comes from speed, or improving their best time. Neither approach is right or wrong-they're just different styles of riding.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,387
4/17/12 10:42 P

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Thx for the info...let me pick a little at it just to have a clearer idea: a "relaxed" frame...what might that entail? The stronger wheels, fatter tires? Not sure what it's rated in terms of pounds, but I have a rear rack on which I plan to put a couple of panniers when I take my touring trip later this summer. I'm sure I have fatter tires than some "aggressive" road/race bike and the frame seems larger, sturdier.

I know there are many out there who own multiple bikes, but that day is a LONG way off, if EVER I see another bike in my future.

Don

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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

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FATMANRIDING's Photo FATMANRIDING SparkPoints: (17,400)
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4/17/12 10:30 P

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Well, I can explain the touring vs road bike. A touring bike is a subset of the road bikes. It generally has a more relaxed frame, not as aggressive as the road/race bike. It will be built a bit more study, meaning heavier. The wheels will be stronger and have fatter tires. It can carry the rider plus another 50-100 pounds on optional front and rear racks. My rear rack is rated at 75 pounds and the front at 40 pounds. It isn't the quickest bike in the pack, but it is sure footed, comfortable, and extremely reliable. I love my Surly Long Haul Trucker.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,387
4/17/12 8:54 P

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Here's a challenge, because I'm a relative newbie and unfamiliar with all the intricate differences between the different types of bikes. I'm wondering if someone could explain in lay, VERY basic terms some concrete differences between say, for instance the cyclocross type of bike that I have, the Specialized Tricross and touring bikes such as the Surly Long Haul...?

And is there a difference between a "road" and "touring" bike? Or is "road" simply a larger category of bike within which "touring" is a sub-set?

Reason I ask is that as I look around at the various bikes I don't really see a heckuva lot of difference between them all. I DO hear lots of good things about Surlys though, enough to make me wonder if I'm really missing out on anything significant when comparing them with my bike. Perhaps because I can't "see" much of a difference it means someone like me shouldn't concern himself with the difference?

Just got my curiosity going here...thx in advance if someone could explain this at least a little bit to me.

Don

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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

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OHIOBLUEGRASS's Photo OHIOBLUEGRASS SparkPoints: (11,452)
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4/17/12 6:03 P

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I second the suggestion to check out Surly bikes. I was 350 pounds when I started riding. I switched from a mountain bike to a Surly Cross Check and totally love it! I did a week long bike tour with it two years ago, and I'm going back to do it again this summer. The bike and I held up well to the major hills of southeastern Ohio.

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WILLDO01's Photo WILLDO01 Posts: 313
4/16/12 10:37 P

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Awesome,I thought I was the only one out here riding a touring bike! I feel a bit of an oddity, especially when doing the training rides witll the loaded panniers on...On the bright side it is always a conversation starter.

Kris


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FATMANRIDING's Photo FATMANRIDING SparkPoints: (17,400)
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4/16/12 1:29 P

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I am currently at 277, but have spent the most part of the decade at or above 300. My first 'real' bike was a Trek 4900 hardtail mountain bike. I got used to going through at least a dozen spokes per year. I wasn't doing anything crazy, just riding hard. I March of 2010 I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I have nearly 10000 miles on it with no mechanical problems what so ever. A good touring bike is designed to carry heavy loads long distances and I am a heavy load who likes to go long distances.

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4/15/12 11:45 P

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Bicycle frames have a large safety margin. I don't think you would have a problem with any style of bicycle even if you are technically a few stone heavier than they recommend. Heavier riders often find the Achilles heel of their bike is the wheels. Sport bikes often do not have wheels that will hold up for heavy riders. Back in the day I used to build wheels for 300+ pound riders with 36 double butted spokes and Super Champion Model 58 rims. The old Model 58 rims were touring rims but were only a bit heavier than the clincher rims most racers rode. I recommended 48 spokes for tandems but I noticed cyclists using these wheels on tandems as well; they were almost bulletproof. The model 58s are long gone but no doubt a good wheel builder could recommend a combination of parts that will hold up for you.
I'm not trying to talk you out of a 'cross bike. I think they are really cool. When I was in the biz' most inexpensive bikes were sport-touring designs. They split the difference between the short high strung race frames and the long slow handling touring frames. These were great bikes for so many riders and about perfect for club and charity rides. Sport-touring bikes are out of style but 'cross bikes are the closest modern equivalent. I'm just saying that if you want a road bike than a set of beefy wheels would be all you need to make it robust enough for Clydesdales.

DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,387
4/15/12 10:09 P

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You might want to check in with BOBBYD31 as I nudged him toward getting a Tricross and I'm pretty sure he's been happy with it:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=BO
BB
YD31


Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

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ON2VICTORY's Photo ON2VICTORY SparkPoints: (47,149)
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4/15/12 9:55 P

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Hi Don... thanks for the info on the Specialized Tricross, that thing is centerfold material!

I am going to have to look further into it. the ratings for that are very reassuring. lots of great reviews. I am with you, I cannot wait for the day when I can "give up" my mountain bike for a good roady that is more suitable for distance / endurance cycling. Cycling is how I am winning the battle of the bulge and it is time to upgrade my weapon.

Someday, when "I grow up", I will have a sleek, sexy, carbon fiber, professional bike but for now.....

thanks everyone for the input, i will follow up on all of this when I get off of night shift.


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TAHOEKARIN's Photo TAHOEKARIN Posts: 981
4/11/12 10:59 A

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A person I ride with is 250 lbs and own a Motobecane cross bike and loves it. Put road tires on it, adjusted the brakes, and away he goes.

One thing when looking at a bike is to get a cross bike with 'top brakes' which some people call 'sissy brakes'. You don't necessarily need them but when getting used to drop bars, these are great as you can ride on the top bars and have your brakes right there. They are used in cyclocross to make dismounts easier which is why you will see alot of cyclocross bikes with them.

I think you would be fine on whatever bike you choose. It's more of a question of comfort than whether the frame will hold you as some point. Make sure it fits!

The only way out is through...

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WILEE323's Photo WILEE323 Posts: 670
4/11/12 9:50 A

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Most of the heavier riders I know ride steel framed road or touring bikes. My friend Biggie has a Salsa, and he's around 280 lbs. My son is in the 230-240 lb range, and he rides a Specialized with no problems. A lot depends on where you plan to do most of your riding - road or trail. Is this going to be an entry level bike that you plan to upgrade someday, or a "rest of your life" bike? That may be a determining factor in how much you spend.

Stacie

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,387
4/11/12 8:33 A

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I've been VERY pleased with my Specialized Tricross:

www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProd
uc
t.jsp?spid=52721


My LBS recommended it due to my size (around 240 pounds) and even though the fellow is much trimmer than I HE owned one and suggested the Tricross as a versatile, do-anything kinda bike. Whether commuting, local 'round town riding or even longer, touring rides he felt that this would meet my needs and said he had been very happy with his.

I have road tires on my Tricross and have done centuries and lots of rides with my bike club under a wide range of conditions (including crushed limestone) and have never been disappointed. Well, ONE route with larger stones & tree roots was a bit of a pain on my bike. One thing I HAVEN'T done, ironically, is cyclocross...which doesn't interest me. For all intents and purposes, my bike seems to have very little difference between it and touring / road bikes.

I remember the sheer JOY of giving up my son's old mountain bike when made the upgrade to the Tricross! Just a WORLD of improvement in my enjoyment of road cycling!

Keep us posted on your choice (s)...! :-)

Don

Edited by: DDOORN at: 4/11/2012 (08:40)
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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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KA_JUN's Photo KA_JUN SparkPoints: (51,618)
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4/10/12 11:14 P

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Check this out. Lot of resources that are Clyde specific.

www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/
24
8-Clydesdales-Athenas-%28200-lb-91-kR>g%29


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LIV2RIDE's Photo LIV2RIDE Posts: 6,205
4/10/12 7:19 P

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I have the TREK FX 7.1. It's called a "fitness" bike. I like that I can go long distance and also go on the crushed limestone trails as well as paved trails.

Kelly

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4/10/12 6:15 P

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I am a heavier rider and am not able to effectively reach my goals with a mountain bike anymore but am too large for a standard road bike. My current set up is a Trek Mountain Bike with road tires and a few other accessories.

I am kicking around the idea of getting a cyclecross bike and putting road tires on it. I think it would be a much better set up than what I have. It is my understanding that the general rule of thumb for road bikes is a weight limit of 250 but 300 for mountain and cyclecross bikes. I'm not quite to 250 yet and I dont want to invest in a really good bike only to put far too much stress on it, blow tires, or otherwise ride unsafely.

Do you feel that this is a reasonable option? I feel my distance rides would be really improved by making such a move.

What do you think and what would you suggest?

Thanks



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