The Chainlink

anyone that has done long distance wanna give some advice

anyone that has done some long distance touring i would be interested in come advice

reference as in links,books ect.
anything you can offer up yourself
the best bikes do tour with?
 

you get what im asking 
thanks :) 

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To be honest, I think many of us are coming from different places in reference to what "long distance touring" actually would entail. I think without more specifics from the OP, we are all shooting blind and offering nothing of value.

*how many miles
*over how many consecutive days/weeks/months
*all weather?
*where will you be riding
Its a big topic...do you have specific questions? There are lots of sites out there with advice.

As far as bikes / gear: touring bikes are designed for stability and proper handling when loaded so they wont "steer like wet noodles". If you are carrying full touring gear, its important to balance the load between front and rear panniers; low-rider front racks help lower the center of gravity. If you are riding someplace where there are significant climbs, be sure to have low gears. Strong wheels (lots of spokes, heavy rims) prevent broken spokes or failures under the additional load.

Conditioning: Build up some miles with your loaded bike. Try to put some shakedown miles on your bike and equipment before your trip. Do some overnight or weekend trips before setting out on longer tours.

Good luck!

:Dan
I'm interested in this question too. I am planning on purchasing a touring bike, but am unsure what to get. My first trip I am planning is a circle around lake Michigan, roughly 1000 miles over the course of two weeks. People say Surly LHT is a great bike, but I keep coming across negative reviews, so finding a light to medium touring bike is what am looking for, as I am just getting started. I have a sibling converting a mountain bike for touring, is this asinine? Could I do that to my Giant Boulder SE? I get that with racks and panniers, quality and price tend to go hand in hand, but bikes vary. Thanks in advanced.
sorry about late reply i have not been online all day after posting this. im planning a long distance trip to portland from here most likely next spring so im doing some early planning. so it will be all weather big hills and mountains. time is not a issue im doing this trip as a move thing so i really dont have any plans on when i need to get there. i have also been told that the surly lht is a good bike for distance and really thinking about getting it. pretty much i know of what needs to be packed in such a situation because im hopping to camp out most of the time so the lest i rely on motels the better. but what to expert on such a long ride this im still very un aware. i would just hate to be stranded some where in the middle of no were with out knowing curtain basic touring stuff.
Whoa, that's a pretty ambitious goal, and way outside of my experience level. You need to get ahold of Mary Lauren Frisk on the chainlink.

That time of year, and that variety of terrain, you're going to encounter a huge variety of weather. Sometimes you'll be able to sleep outside, sometimes you won't. You need to join Warm Showers. http://www.warmshowers.org/

I'll post a link later to a blog written by a woman who did a similar solo ride last year. Just can't find it right now.

Amanda Olbrys said:
sorry about late reply i have not been online all day after posting this. im planning a long distance trip to portland from here most likely next spring so im doing some early planning. so it will be all weather big hills and mountains. time is not a issue im doing this trip as a move thing so i really dont have any plans on when i need to get there. i have also been told that the surly lht is a good bike for distance and really thinking about getting it. pretty much i know of what needs to be packed in such a situation because im hopping to camp out most of the time so the lest i rely on motels the better. but what to expert on such a long ride this im still very un aware. i would just hate to be stranded some where in the middle of no were with out knowing curtain basic touring stuff.
Amanda Olbrys said:
but what to expert on such a long ride this im still very un aware. i would just hate to be stranded some where in the middle of no were with out knowing curtain basic touring stuff.

Portland, eh? Take out a lot of the guesswork. Get yourself south to Carbondale and hook in with the TransAmerica cross-country route. You'll have to self-navigate once you're close to Portland (look at the Oregon map), but it's a well-traveled route.

Also, read people's TransAm east-to-west journals on Crazy Guy.
I have a Surly LHT that I ride almost every day to work. It's on about 1500 miles right now with no issues at all except a fork replacement due to a car accident. It's a great bike- well parted for the money, and can haul a ton of stuff. I've just got a rear Nitto Campee rack on it, and that'll hold pretty much all of my stuff when I ride. I would absolutely recommend it.

That being said, older touring bikes can be great too. There are a few out there. Just make sure to get cantilever brakes, one with braze-ons for racks on the front and back, fenders, a couple of water bottles at least, and comfortable geometry. Anything else can be added. I've even heard of people touring on early 90s steel framed mountain bikes since they tended to have all of those things. My Trek 930 does, though I wouldn't want to tour on it.

I also personally prefer downtube or bar-end shifters over brifters for their lower technology and less likelihood of epic failure somewhere in the boonies. And a comfy seat like a Brooks. You could look into a front wheel with a generator too if you'll be doing much night riding, since then you won't have to worry about batteries.

There's loads more, but I'm sure you'll ask more specific questions if you need to.

Tyler G said:
I'm interested in this question too. I am planning on purchasing a touring bike, but am unsure what to get. My first trip I am planning is a circle around lake Michigan, roughly 1000 miles over the course of two weeks. People say Surly LHT is a great bike, but I keep coming across negative reviews, so finding a light to medium touring bike is what am looking for, as I am just getting started. I have a sibling converting a mountain bike for touring, is this asinine? Could I do that to my Giant Boulder SE? I get that with racks and panniers, quality and price tend to go hand in hand, but bikes vary. Thanks in advanced.
OK, a little off topic, but it might explain something about Surly.

Did the Seattle to Portland ride this weekend. Me on my LHT, my friend on Specialized road bike. Over the 200 miles I got literally a dozen or more compliments about my bike, mostly from other Surly riders, and probably returned the favor an equal number of times. At rest stops people regularly came up to me and started conversations about my bike. Number of similar encounters my friend had? Zero.

I think it has to do with the way Surly positions itself in their branding and marketing. All steel bikes and a little offbeat. The negative comments about the LHT that I have seen are more about Surly fanboys than the product itself.
I would compare it with fixie-riding. Either you ride one and understand what it is all about, or you find it to be a bunch of pretentious hogwash.

Of course there are numerous other brands that make high-quality touring bikes in the same price range as a Surly LHT, so I wouldn't limit myself to Surly. If you are in the market for a new bike, I suggest you read this article from the Adventure Cycling Association. It gives a rundown of all touring bikes under $1500 currently available in the US

Tyler G said:
I'm interested in this question too. I am planning on purchasing a touring bike, but am unsure what to get. My first trip I am planning is a circle around lake Michigan, roughly 1000 miles over the course of two weeks. People say Surly LHT is a great bike, but I keep coming across negative reviews
Thank you for the site, I'll consult it prior to purchasing. The LHT is likely what I'll purchase when I get my funding together, as it is a beautiful bike.

Duppie said:
Of course there are numerous other brands that make high-quality touring bikes in the same price range as a Surly LHT, so I wouldn't limit myself to Surly. If you are in the market for a new bike, I suggest you read this article from the Adventure Cycling Association. It gives a rundown of all touring bikes under $1500 currently available in the US

I have gone on many tours and on rides ranging from BSO's,old mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes and touring bikes. If you know how to maintain a bicycle (or trike?) properly, there shouldn't be any problems.
As for the price issue, some people just can't afford some of the nicer gear available. I don't see why that should exclude them from the touring experience. If people over a 100 years go can tour entire countries and even the world on nothing more then heavy loads of metal (regulars and safety bikes), I don't understand why touring now a days has to be so specialized.

for instance my next trip will be a 240 something mile trip(not really long i know but its a test run) on a pedi cab. No special clothing or gear. I shouldn't NEED to buy a Fargo, LHT or a Miyata to have fun

Just my 2c on your comment... not to be rude or anything

Arrak Thumrs said:
Beware Glen's advise. If you intend to do anything of sustained distance, the bike will take more of a beating than you might think. Anything that could break, WILL break. I often see posts from people trying to save money on essentials such as racks, panniers, etc. If a $100 touring rack (such as a Tubus Cargo, just to give one example) is more than you want to lay out... my advise is touring isn't for you. I have heard so many people tell of their great low-budget "mods" only to have their trip cut short by disastrous, avoidable problems. Just my 2 cents, nothing more.
In addition to the geometry difference, a touring frame will likely allow wider wheels and the mounting of racks and fenders; but otherwise I agree.

The difference in riding styles isn't to be underestimated either. I've swapped bikes with a friend on a ride: my Jamis Aurora Elite with 700x32 wheels for her Bianchi (I forget which model) with 700x25 wheels. Talk about a world of difference in comfort and riding position. Her first reaction was, "Wow, it is soooo smooth".

Clark said:
Glen (FTF) said:
...my next trip will be a 240 something mile trip...on a pedi cab....

Wow Glen! Please post your experiences on this thread when you return. What's a PediCab like on the hills? Does it become unstable coming downhill fast?

As far a selecting a bike, the difference between a touring bike and a racing road bike is really only frame geometry: a racing bike is very rigid, with sharp frame angles, short tubes and short wheel base, in order to obtain maximum efficiency. Some people don't like the rough, bumpy ride of a racing bike. But any flex in a bike robs a bit of your power flexing the tubes, instead of driving the bike forward. So if you want maximum efficiency, you want maximum stiffness.

A touring bike on the other hand, is designed for long, comfortable rides. It has relaxed frame angles and longer tubes and wheelbase. But you pay for that comfort with a lot of flexing....and lost efficiency. Myself, I've never liked that trade-off. I do all my touring on a RRB custom-made racing frame...and have never regretted it.
Chucko said:
.... I've even heard of people touring on early 90s steel framed mountain bikes since they tended to have all of those things. ...

I am one of those people. I did a Chicago to Vermont and back, a couple of round-trips to Minneapolis and the GIT - some on a Ross Mt Rushmore hard-tail and some on a Ralieigh C-35 hybrid (I think that had an aluminum frame). Those were both pretty low-end bikes.

Since then I've moved on to vintage steel touring bikes but I sort of secretly covet the LHT (Tell no-one!).

Assuming your bike and body is in good repair,the most important element to success is emotional. You CAN do it. You may just have to remind yourself of that a lot, especially toward the end of a long day of riding and and even more so in the mountains.

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