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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm a recreational biker (usually mountain biking but lately road riding) that's looking to do an unsupported tour in early August (~2200 miles). Right now I'm just in the planning phases and the biggest obstacles are my bikes. I have a stock 2000 Marin Larkspur ("hybrid", with thin tires with treads, http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2000&Brand=Marin&Model=Larkspur&Type=bike) and a 2007 Ibex Ignition 2 ( http://ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2007/IGN-2-Specs.html), which is an all mountain full suspension mountain bike with a faux bar that has no ability to install racks.

I'm currently looking for advice on the cheapest way to get a bike for touring. I don't want to pull a trailer; I'd like to use panniers, but I'd need a new bike for that (or to use the Marin I guess). Does it make sense to get a cheap used mountain bike off craigslist to convert? I read this topic http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=211086 in which the Surley Long Haul Trucker was recommended, but I don't think I'll have the money to buy that bike plus gear for the ride and have enough money to support myself for 4-6 weeks for food etc.

Thanks in advance for responses!
 

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resette said:
Hi all,

I'm a recreational biker (usually mountain biking but lately road riding) that's looking to do an unsupported tour in early August (~2200 miles). Right now I'm just in the planning phases and the biggest obstacles are my bikes. I have a stock 2000 Marin Larkspur ("hybrid", with thin tires with treads, and a 2007 Ibex Ignition 2 which is an all mountain full suspension mountain bike with a faux bar that has no ability to install racks.

I'm currently looking for advice on the cheapest way to get a bike for touring. I don't want to pull a trailer; I'd like to use panniers, but I'd need a new bike for that (or to use the Marin I guess). Does it make sense to get a cheap used mountain bike off craigslist to convert? I read this topic http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=211086 in which the Surley Long Haul Trucker was recommended, but I don't think I'll have the money to buy that bike plus gear for the ride and have enough money to support myself for 4-6 weeks for food etc.
I think your best bet would be to put the widest tires that will fit on the Marin. No need for tread unless you're going to ride on soft surfaces. Depending on where you'll be touring, you might want fenders, so use tires small enough to leave room. You could get some bar-ends to give you a bit more in the way of riding positions. If the Marin doesn't have all the needed eyelets for mounting racks, you can get clips for that purpose. I can't see how a full suspension MTB would be a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the response. I am looking into converting the Marin, but was under the impression that non-touring/mountain bike frames might be too weak to support the 25-35lbs of weight added by panniers+gear. I can lock the suspension on the Ibex and change out the tires, but without the ability to add paniers it wouldn't help...

I am meeting with a friend-of-a-friend bike tech this weekend for advice. Any other responses would also be appreciated. Thanks again!
 

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+1 on everything Kerry said. According to the specs in your Bikepedia link, that bike ought to be fine- just make sure it`s all in good shape before you take off, especially the wheels. The factory gearing might leave you wanting a little lower, depending on you and on your route, but you should be able to live with it, or might even prefer it as is. If not, you can always get smaller rings.

Unsolicited advice:
If at all possible, try a few shorter trips before leaving on the long one to get your methods, bike, and luggage dialed in. There`s a lot of info on the internet about bike touring, a few of my favorite sites are Adventure Cycling (mostly for their helpful articles and tips, but they also have a forum and sell preplanned route maps that are supposedly top notch) and Crazy Guy On A Bike (tons of people write about their touring experiences all over the world). you`ll read a lot of claims for this and that product or ways of doing things. Take note, but remember that it`s all opinion and don`t get too hung up on The Perfect Whatever It Is- it all works. Have fun, ride safe, and post pics!

http://adventurecycling.org/
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/
 
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