Tag Archives: Touring Bicycles

Bicycle Accessories. Gearing up your touring bike.

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We’re going to start a series of threads discussing all the accessories you can think of when it comes to touring bikes. We welcome comments if you’ve owned, seen, or use any of the accessories we mention. If you have other recommendations, post them in the comments.

Fenders

Civia Fenders

Civia Fender

Civia Fender

These fenders accommodate 700 x 35c tires. They are pricier than the Planet Bike and SKS models. They retail for about 70 US dollars.

Planet Bike Fenders

These are the least expensive of the three fenders we’ve looked at. They come in a wide-range of sizes and models and are quite reliable like the SKS fenders.  Most models, especially those in the hybrid/touring type like the Cascadia, come with mudflaps attached.  Nice value to be found here.  Generally quite high rated reviews on most of Planet Bike fenders, with common grievances being a slight lack of coverage.  They are said to be reliable, strong, and fairly light.  Most fenders are gonna require a little altering to fit your touring bike because of the racks and such, so don’t be scared away by reviews saying the owners had to do work to get them to fit.  You’ll find that with all models.

Planet Bike Fenders

Planet Bike Fenders

Touring bicycles; Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10

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Choosing a touring bicycle; Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10.

Here is your next option. NUMBER 9… Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10.  http://www.bikes.com.

Please comment if you have ever ridden, owned, or know anyone who owns this bike.  Email photos of your setup to me at recklesscognition@gmail.com and have them posted on this site.

Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10

Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10

Before we begin….Check out the links on the left side of the page.  Go to the “About Me” page to the left and read about what this journey is all about.  If you are into it, support my journey by helping others and adding to the donations we will deliver to the Mercy Corps organization. Donate, Sponsor, or Pledge on a per-km/mile basis, anything will help.  Learn more by here…Bike Journey

Frame- Steel (Reynolds 853 chromoly)

Chainstay Length- 445mm or 17.5 inches

Brakes- Tektro Oryx cantilever

Tires- 700 x 32c Kenda Kwest with Shimano hubs

Components- This bike comes equipped with Shimano Alivio, Sora, and Deore components.  These are the lowest grade of components I’ve reviewed thus far.

Weight- 29 pounds

Price- $1,110 The Rocky Mountain Sherpa is a solid bike that comes out of the factory well equipped and well priced.  It was recently featured in bicycle magazine as the best tourer available in this price range.  A little difficult to track down, but solid.  There is also a Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 available. Needs much better components.

How are ratings calculated?

Overall Rating:

Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10:

Value:  3/5

Quality: 4.5/5

Compliance: 4.6/5

Overall: 12.1/15

Value. With such a price tag it’s hard to give such a good rating to this bike that has such low-end components.

Quality.  There aren’t many complaints about the quality this bike.

Compliance.  This bike is well equipped for touring.

We’ll be compiling all of the ratings on a new page, look for it to be complete shortly.  Check it out here.

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Choosing a touring bicycle; some things to consider…Part II

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As mentioned in the previous post, touring bikes differ from other bikes in certain very important ways.  We’re going to delve into those ways a little deeper in this post thanks to my LBS owner June who helped me write this post.  He’s owned his shop for 15 years and is a well-toured rider himself.

From June….”

When you’re gearing up for a tour, something long enough to require carrying a load, you’ve got to consider these important things when choosing your bike.

Frame material- I only ride steel-framed (you’ll see cromoly often on spec sheets) bikes and recommend them to all my customers who are going touring.  There is a lot of talk of the reasons people choose steel-framed bikes for touring.  Most people you talk to recommend a steel frame because it is easy to repair cracks on the road, even in developing countries, and it is strong.  Sounds good to me.  I have repaired many a steel frame but can be honest in saying I do not have the equiptment to repair aluminum or and composite frames.  I’m sure the same goes for some repair shop in the middle of Turkmenistan.

Chainstay length- So, the next thing you can look for in a good touring bike is foot clearance.  You’ll probably be hauling panniers (bags on racks) and don’t want to be kicking and hitting them with your feet everytime you pedal.  In order to gain clearance, you want a long chainstay measurement.  Chainstay length is the distance from the middle of your rear dropout where the axle sits to the middle of the bottom bracket spindle.  You should be looking at something in the 18″ (~460mm) range to ensure good foot clearance from your panniers.  I’ll be back to post the specs from my popular touring bikes in another post.

Rims- If you’re hauling heavy loads (including yourself), you’ve got to have sturdy rims.  When you look at a touring bike, check out it’s rims, spokes, and hubs.  You should be riding with 36 spokes to extra strength.

Road vs. Touring

Brakes- You’ve got 2 pretty obvious options here, cantilever vs. disc.

Cantilever Brake

Cantilever Brake

Disc Brake

Disc Brake

I would say that 95% of my customers ride their touring bikes with cantilever brakes (the ones that were on your bike as a kid with the pads), and only a handful ride with disc, and they are the ones on Raliegh sojourn bikes.  The argument for disc brakes is their power.  When you’re carrying a heavy load in the rain going down a dirt road in the mountains of Bolivia, you want your brakes to work, and disc will do the trick. Disc brakes are made of metal and are not prone to weather lubrication like the rubber in cantilever brakes, thus they are suitable for all weather conditions.  They are connected to the bike hub and apply force to the hubs and spokes instead of the rims like cantilever brakes.  Disc brakes will wear on your hubs/spokes, cantilevers wear on your rims.  The placement and size of disc brakes will effect your load racks though, and that is why you don’t see these types of brakes on most touring bikes.  There are specially designed racks out there for these brakes, but they are not the norm.

But as far as repair and replacement go, cantilevers are the way to go.  These brakes are cheap, light, repairable/replaceable, and powerful in dry situations.  Most of us have used these brakes in the rain and know that dreaded feeling and sound when trying to stop on a dime.  Other than that, they don’t effect your load racks, are easy to carry replacements, and readily available overseas.  They get my vote.