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Thread: Transitioning bikes

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Transitioning bikes

    Hi everyone,

    I'm getting back into biking after a period of inactivity following some surgery. I know those of you that are involved in the type of riding I am looking to engage in can offer some advice.

    I am in the process of selling a Canonndale road bike and a Trek 8000 mountain bike. Both bikes are 30 years old, and I'd consider keeping the Trek if it could be fitted with disc brakes. From what I've researched, this doesn't seem to be practical. In the meantime I bought a Trek DS3 for general riding and fitness. It's a great hybrid, and I'm currently doing 60 to 70 miles a week on it, generally on weekends.

    I'm interested in bikepacking, and the proximity of the North Georgia Mountains offers me a lot of opportunities to ride FS roads and some light trails. I'm not particularly interested in singletrack or hard core trail riding but rather to explore and camp along the way.

    I need a bike that's suitable for this, but can also support longer self-supporting rides during vacations, which include segments of pavement and non-pavement. An example of this type of ride would be to ride the length of the Outer Banks in an upcoming trip I am planning.

    Something like the Surly ECR or Troll seem ideal. They appear to be very capable and of good quality, but I don't want to rule out any other practical alternatives.

    Any thoughts on these bikes or alternatives would be helpful.

    Also, how important is a suspension fork to this type of riding? I am aware that the higher volume tires absorb much of the shock, and a front suspension fork limits front mounting options for packs and accessories. Any comments on this?

    Thanks
    Kos,
    N4NIA

    2003 Jeep WJ / Off-Road Trailer
    www.inlandcrossing.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    Something like the Surly ECR or Troll seem ideal.
    If I was in your shoes, it would be the ECR. 29+ and looks perfect for the task.

    I tried suspension forks 25 years ago, didn't like them, and never tried them again. For packing and 29+ I think the suspension would be a liability.
    2016 Toyota Tundra SR 4x4 Double Cab Long Bed 5.7L..... DIY camper on the way...

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Snellville, GA
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    Thanks,

    Looking at the medium ECR frame, which I believe I need, I can choose 29+ or 27.5+ wheel size. Given my standover clearance on most frames I might opt for the 27.5+ but might be able to swap in 29+ if needed later. Kind of frustrating that the Surly dealers in the Atlanta area don't have bikes in stock, given the size of the local market.
    Kos,
    N4NIA

    2003 Jeep WJ / Off-Road Trailer
    www.inlandcrossing.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sand Lake, AK
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    I have found that the ECR and Troll have a very upright body riding position. I prefer this but something you may want to consider if you do get into more technical trails. The Troll felt more lively than the ECR but the ECR felt like it was advertised to do, tour with a load for long distances in rough terrain. Both are point and go bikes. I've never driven a tank but riding 29+ gives me a good idea what it would be like. If you will see pavement more often find a faster rolling tire like WTB Ranger or Surly knard over a big lugged tire like Surly Dirt Wizard.
    2011 Toyota Tundra TRD Rock Warrior W/
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    Expedition Portal Member #4318

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  5. #5
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    I just saw that you are on the line between 27.5+ and 29+. I went with 27.5+ for a more nimble ride over the 29+ that can roll over anything. rock and roll vs. heavy metal. The only other thing is that with the 27.5+ your crank arms will be lower to the ground in a bike like the ECR and you will have more pedal strikes if it is a narrow rutted single track or big cobbles. Believe me the bike will ride through it you will just be shaken by a pedal strike more frequently. I went with 27.5+ for my bike and it will have those issues but it does not bother me that much. I got used to it on my old school fat bike geometry.
    2011 Toyota Tundra TRD Rock Warrior W/
    1996 Cache Camper
    1995 Toyota T100
    2014 Ti Fatback with some bikepacking bags
    1984 Koga-Myata Traveler full road tour kit FOR SALE
    1995 Trek 930 dirtbag bike

    Expedition Portal Member #4318

    Past rigs:2000 Nissan D22 Last-Frontier-Build
    1974 VW Type II
    1985 BMW E28 euro M5 Summer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    If you get up north to Ellijay, Cartegay Bike shop is nice. I have no recommendations for in the metro area but is sucks not being able to ride the bikes first. Test ride as many as you can, there are lots on the market, and test the same bike in different sizes also.
    2011 Toyota Tundra TRD Rock Warrior W/
    1996 Cache Camper
    1995 Toyota T100
    2014 Ti Fatback with some bikepacking bags
    1984 Koga-Myata Traveler full road tour kit FOR SALE
    1995 Trek 930 dirtbag bike

    Expedition Portal Member #4318

    Past rigs:2000 Nissan D22 Last-Frontier-Build
    1974 VW Type II
    1985 BMW E28 euro M5 Summer

  7. #7
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    Snellville, GA
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    Thanks for the advice; I will call Cartecay and see if they offer the bike in stock. It'll be worth the trip if I'm going to invest that kind of money.

    Sounds like the 27.5+ would be the way for me to go, but I'll check both options out before I commit. Ideally I'd like to ride both to get a feel for each. I don't plan on doing any technical riding and will mostly be on forestry service roads, double track, and pavement.
    Kos,
    N4NIA

    2003 Jeep WJ / Off-Road Trailer
    www.inlandcrossing.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Atl
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    1
    I would take a look at the Salsa Fargo for that type of riding. Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, Out Spokin' in Canton, and REI sells them.

  9. #9
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    Snellville, GA
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    The Fargo GX looks like an interesting bike, but I am not a fan of drop bars for off road riding; I prefer a flat bar, and according to their website adapting a flat bar results in a too-short top tube. I like the option I could run 29+ or 27.5+ on the frame size I would need, but appears to ship with 29, so that would be extra cost to get them swapped out for the 27.5+ I think I am leaning toward. In addition to the features of the ECR, think I like the fact that I can get it with the wheel size I need.

    The Fargo Rival gets me to 27.5+ from the factory, but there is still the limitation on adapting a flat bar. It's also $400 more than the ECR, unless they're heavily discounted from MSRP. No listing for the Rival at REI.

    Thanks for the suggestion; still looking and open to alternatives.

    Talked to Loose Nuts on Saturday, and I'll try to hit them up this weekend to have a look around. I'll definitely have a look at the Fargo when I'm there.
    Kos,
    N4NIA

    2003 Jeep WJ / Off-Road Trailer
    www.inlandcrossing.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    The Fargo GX looks like an interesting bike, but I am not a fan of drop bars for off road riding; I prefer a flat bar, and according to their website adapting a flat bar results in a too-short top tube. I like the option I could run 29+ or 27.5+ on the frame size I would need, but appears to ship with 29, so that would be extra cost to get them swapped out for the 27.5+ I think I am leaning toward. In addition to the features of the ECR, think I like the fact that I can get it with the wheel size I need.

    The Fargo Rival gets me to 27.5+ from the factory, but there is still the limitation on adapting a flat bar. It's also $400 more than the ECR, unless they're heavily discounted from MSRP. No listing for the Rival at REI.

    Thanks for the suggestion; still looking and open to alternatives.

    Talked to Loose Nuts on Saturday, and I'll try to hit them up this weekend to have a look around. I'll definitely have a look at the Fargo when I'm there.
    Check out the Salsa Woodsmoke then. $1999 gets you an amazing bikepacking package that has versatility for days.

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