Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Glumbags
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Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 3:39pm

Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:47am

Thanks Colin that's great advice. I thought everyone would say ditch it aswell! Shows what I know. I've just fitted the stand. Bought from Amazon and it's crap. Any suggestions as it will never hold the bike up fully loaded. Cheers

Glumbags
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Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 3:39pm

Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:50am

Des49 wrote:Looks like a great bike for touring to me. MTB frames from that era make up very practical bikes.

My old MTB is now a general purpose/touring bike. It is a Roberts White Spider (possibly towards 30 yrs old), had rack eyes on the back so could fit mudguards and a rack easily. But the front forks had no mounts, I fitted a Tubus front rack using fork clamps made by Tubus for the task. P clips and some other brackets enabled me to fit mudguards.

However the forks (non suspension) were made for racing and were a bit flexy with loaded front panniers, so last year I had Winston Vaz make up some new forks with proper bosses so much better now than all the clamps.

Cheers Des.

Glumbags
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Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 3:39pm

Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:52am

whoof wrote:I've converted a 90s MTB to a tourer. Like yours out has mudguard eyelets but no attachment mid-fork. I fitted a Blackburn (copy) front rack using the eyelets and I made a fixing using a 'U' bracket from a DIY shop and a steel plate on the back with two holes drilled in it.
Currently unavailable but this thing.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blackburn-FL-1 ... B007Y4FO7Y
U bracket looks like this.
http://www.precisionsupports.com

BTW best of luck picking up a_second hand Surly LHT for £500. I managed it a couple of years ago but it took two years of looking and it's not stolen!

Thanks for the advice Whoof.

Glumbags
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:54am

toontra wrote:Agree with the above. All by loaded touring has been done on a steel 26" '90's MTB - in my case an Orange Clockwork. With the right wheels and tyres they are pretty bullet-proof and can handle the surprise off-road incidents that tend to happen when touring.

My very first long ride was on a similar Saracen. They made decent frames in the 80/90's.

Thanks for that Toontra

Glumbags
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:56am

b1ke wrote:If you like the Saracen, then why not keep it. I toured on an old 90's Merlin mountain bike with Tange tubing for a couple of years. No problems at all.

The Merlin had no mounts for a front rack and I used Tubus adapters. Very good indeed.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/carriers-racks/tubus-lmi-mounting-set-for-forks-without-eyelets

Thanks for this mate. I thought I might have to change the fork but obviously not!

Glumbags
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Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 3:39pm

Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Glumbags » 30 Jun 2020, 8:59am

Des49 wrote:
colin54 wrote:I think there's a potential for damaging the chain stay with that stand clamped to it especially with loaded panniers, just my opinion.


This is an important point you have picked up on, there are many threads on here where frames have been damaged/cracked due to stands. In fact this one does seem especially vunerable as it is situated halfway along the chainstay, in fact is there already an upward bow to the stay?

I've just replied to Colin54 on this about the poor quality of the stand. I'm a bit of a newbie on all this, do you have any advice about the stand. It just about keeps the bike up unloaded despite loads of 5 star reviews on Amazon...I live and learn! Cheers for the advice btw.

Bonzo Banana
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Bonzo Banana » 30 Jun 2020, 8:59am

Curious to know people's opinions on changing the wheels. I've got an old mountain bike that I'm converting into a touring bike and I'm happy with the existing wheels. 26" wheels are very strong and it has decent Shimano hubs, I don't feel I need to upgrade the wheels. The bike in question is a Raleigh Gritstone which has a 21 speed Altus drivetrain with freehub not freewheel. It was a 99p ebay win some time ago. i'm upgrading some parts on it but thought the wheels were fine. This sort of thing;

Image

toontra
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby toontra » 30 Jun 2020, 10:12am

Glumbags wrote:I've just fitted the stand. Bought from Amazon and it's crap. Any suggestions as it will never hold the bike up fully loaded. Cheers


My touring partner has tried all sorts of stands without success on similar set-ups. They usually fail when fully loaded with potentially disastrous results. Anything sturdy enough to hold a bike + luggage is going to be too heavy to consider touring with.

I've never bothered and just lean it up against something or on its side (carefully) if there's nothing to support it.

colin54
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby colin54 » 30 Jun 2020, 10:15am

Glumbags wrote: I've just fitted the stand. Bought from Amazon and it's crap. Any suggestions as it will never hold the bike up fully loaded. Cheers

I don't bother with one, the frame is quite a big lever on a stand especially with the added weight of luggage, convenient though they may be. If there's not a wall/kerb or hedge to rest against, give the bike a bit of an old rest laid down on the non-drive side. Here's my Saracen relaxing thusly, whilst perhaps sharing thoughts of an existential nature with it's prone companion?!
P1130248.JPG


There are quite a few threads about the pros and cons of stands on the forum, just search 'stands, cycling uk forum' in google, here's one to start you off..
viewtopic.php?t=97099
A bit of a cross post with toontra there

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b1ke
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby b1ke » 30 Jun 2020, 10:17am

Curious to know people's opinions on changing the wheels. I've got an old mountain bike that I'm converting into a touring bike and I'm happy with the existing wheels. 26" wheels are very strong and it has decent Shimano hubs, I don't feel I need to upgrade the wheels.


My take on wheels is, if they do their job then keep them. Obvious stuff to check for is rim wear, loose/noisy bearings and buckles, but assuming all these are in order, then there's no reason to worry as far as I can see. If you're touring in Europe, you're rarely that far from a bike shop, so repairs can be carried out en route, if necessary.
http://www.farewellburt.wordpress.com - Europe on a Tandem....
http://www.thespokeandwords.wordpress.com - West Africa on a Tandem....

hamster
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby hamster » 30 Jun 2020, 10:21am

If the wheels have box sections and eyelets, then fine. If they are simple open sections then you are liable to find they give trouble staying true. Load up, do some shorter tours and see what happens.

Cheaper Shimano hubs are fine, the only difference with the upmarket ones is that they don't have quite such a fancy finish. The bits that do the work (seals and bearings) are the same.

simonhill
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby simonhill » 30 Jun 2020, 10:44am

I wasn't recommending replacing the wheels for the sake of it, but if originals then there could b a lot of wear. Whatever, I would get them 'spun' by a good wheelbuilder to make them as good as possible.

My old Saracen was too long ago to remember, however with the GT, I upgraded each time a component needed replacing. It was a so called entry level bought new very cheaply after GT went bust. The level was Acera, but that did fine for a few years of month after month touring on sometimes very bad roads in places like Vietnam, Lao, China, India, etc.

I did have the wheels checked by the LBS wheelbuilder and never had a problem. By the time I sold it, most things had been upgraded to a good quality - CR18 rims on LX hubs, LX rear derailleur, etc.

As an aside, I have only broken a spoke once and that was on the original Saracen wheels when riding the Kennet and Avon with full camping kit. Since having my wheels built by my LBS I have never had any problems in tens and tens of thou Kms in some pretty tough conditions. Thanks Martin.

PH
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby PH » 30 Jun 2020, 12:41pm

Plenty of good advice already, I agree with the consensus that if it suits you there's no need to change.
Re front luggage - It might be worth checking out some of the bikepacking options such as Gorilla cages. These can attach to forks without fitting and carry stuff sacks, they look good for light bulky items, such as your sleeping bag and mat.

Nebulous
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Nebulous » 30 Jun 2020, 12:46pm

Re: Bike stand.
For maximum stability the bike stand/support should be as high as practical (and definitely above centre of gravity) on the bike and give the bike between 10° and 20° of lean.
I always carry* a purpose made collapsible pole made from aluminium tent poles. This pic shows use of a hiking pole that can be quickly extended to suit.

* Strapped to underside of downtube

20200630_compress23.jpg
Ride, Eat, Sleep. Repeat

Jumbosausage
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Re: Saracen Tange MTB for touring - keep or ditch for touring and rough stuff

Postby Jumbosausage » 30 Jun 2020, 7:00pm

Reference the rack for the front of the bike the tubus adapters certainly look good.
Both 'Old Man Mountain' and 'Blackburn' make front racks for bikes with no eyelets. Neither of these are that easy to get hold of but certainly not impossible.
I've toured with and pretty much daily use a Blackburn Outpost front rack no prob at all.