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Kawarthabob
02-12-2010, 01:42 PM
I'm planning on going on a road trip this summer crossing various counties through ontario's north country. I'm having a problem on deciding what type of bike to buy. I'm thinking on a mountain bike for it's ruggedness. I have the option of an 18 speed without suspension and one 21 speed with suspension. Any thoughts from the experianced cyclists out there? Most of the trek will be on backroad highways starting from Bobcaygeon heading towards Minden.
And yes I plan on taking pictures for a photographic essay on my travels. what do you usually pack on your excursions?

Mad Aussie
02-12-2010, 03:26 PM
I don't usually do excursions ... well I never do excursions actually ... but I have been riding bikes, both MTB and Road for almost 30 years now.

By the sounds of it the terrain is going to dictate you go the way of an MTB or similar for sure. Hybrids are an option but the wheels will need constant attention in rough terrain so my choice would be the standard MTB.

Suspension? Well ...that depends on your pocket I guess. Cheap suspension bikes are heavy and parts are unreliable or break. On the other hand riding a $10,000 bike isn't necessary either.
If you are nice and light yourself then I'd only go for front suspension I think and big tyres. That way you can run a lower rear tyre pressure to get some comfort. This will depend on the weight of your pack on the rear panniers I assume you will have.
If you are a big boy then you might appreciate the rear suspension but again, not worth it if you aren't spending enough to ensure it's good gear.

As I'm assuming you are mostly to be traveling on roads (even if they are gravel, dirt, rock) I would probably look at the 29'er range of bikes out there. The shift to 29 inch wheels from the std 26 inch hasn't been the big step forward many believed it to me but they do have the advantage of being better on open roads.

At the very least I'd be making sure the bike has Shimano Deore (or Sram x9) parts on it to ensure reliability out there.

Tubeless. I love my tubeless tyres and wouldn't be doing something like this without them. But you need the right rims. I run one of the latex solutions like 'Stans No Tubes' in the tyres as well. Very handy and I rarely see that I get punctures at all.

Hope some of that helps.

Mad Aussie
02-12-2010, 03:30 PM
Just re-reading your post again Bob ... and you say backroad highways. Are these paved (bitumen/tarmac) mostly? If so I'd have a good look at Hybrid bikes too. They'll be way more efficient on the tarmac.
It sounds like you might be restricted to the two bikes you mention though in which case If the suspension is just the front on the 21 spd I'd go that way.

Choose your tyres to suit the terrain and weather. Knobbys are way slow on tarmac compared to a semi slick but the knobby's are so much better in damp or wet conditions it's not worth risking injury.

Kawarthabob
02-12-2010, 03:36 PM
Thanks M A ! yes the roads are mostly black top. The farther north the more granite is used in the mix. Although if i do see an interesting trail i will definately explore it. We have trails used by quads , cyclists and hikers that cross the entire province. I'm hoping to use these trails more than the pavement ( if i can ) as there is more exciting places ( i think) to explore and experience.

AntZ
02-12-2010, 03:48 PM
MA is right, Unless you can get a quality full suspension bike don't bother. Even then it depends on the roads and type of riding. I have a mid to high range dual suspension bike, and I have gone to a hardtail again because of the pedalling efficiency. For touring especially, you want to make sure you can lock out the front suspension. I hate riding my full sus. bike on roads and paths etc because of pedal bob, and like I said that is with a quality bike.
Tyre choice is also some thing to consider, If you will not be riding in mud, you want a hight rolling tyre. That means an almost closed treat pattern allong the center line of the wheel. I have just started on the 29" route, and it is definitely an improvement on the rolling stakes.Parts for 29" tend to be harder to find and more expensive...especially in small towns.

Even if you go tubeless, you will want to carry some spare tubes.

Don't worry so much about the number of gears, but more the range of gears. ie the lowest and highest ratio. if you are carrying a lot of weight, you will want a nice low gear.

biathloneil
02-12-2010, 06:22 PM
Cycles Marinoni (http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/Html/Touring.html)

I have one of thier tri-bikes. Works great. Get one made to order...go to QC.

-Neil

Kawarthabob
02-12-2010, 07:12 PM
Cycles Marinoni (http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/Html/Touring.html)

I have one of thier tri-bikes. Works great. Get one made to order...go to QC.

-Neil

That's a little out of my price range, maybe if i was training for the olympics:clown: