Steel frame MTB for expedition

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
sano
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Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby sano » 23 Feb 2011, 10:39pm

Hi all,

I want to start doing some long-distance tours (on and off-road) around South Africa and surrounding countries, but I am having trouble sourcing a decent bike!

I can't afford a proper expedition bike, so I just want to buy a mountain bike and fit it with some decent expedition-suited parts. Common supplied brands in South Africa are Giant, GT, Trek, Cannondale and Schwinn, but all their bikes are aluminium! I really do want to settle on a steel frame... not only for comfort but also for peace of mind (in the rare case that I need welding).

I have been looking in the classifieds for second-hand bikes and have found some steel framed Giant Boulders. They aren't the greatest MTBs, but maybe they would do well as touring bikes? I can't find any info in the Net regarding this :(

Also, I have only ever mountain biked (rather casually too, might I add), so I know very little about racks. How would I know if a certain model of bike is capable of handling standard touring racks?

Thanks! :)

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Si
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby Si » 24 Feb 2011, 9:01am

I hired a Giant Boulder when riding around Orkney. It appeared to be a perfectly capable bike to me - perhaps not the lightest but that isn't a major consideration for touring.

Can't remember if it had rack mounts - if you google for a picture of one you should be able to find out easily. If it doesn't then you can still attach a rack with P clips.

I'd have not issues with touring on one if it had a rack and guards fitted, and slick tyres.

amaferanga
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby amaferanga » 24 Feb 2011, 9:06am

Can you get On One Inbred frames in SA? I know you can get Planet X so I'd have thought you could given that On One and Planet X are the same company.

sano
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby sano » 24 Feb 2011, 9:41am

Si wrote:I hired a Giant Boulder when riding around Orkney. It appeared to be a perfectly capable bike to me - perhaps not the lightest but that isn't a major consideration for touring.

Can't remember if it had rack mounts - if you google for a picture of one you should be able to find out easily. If it doesn't then you can still attach a rack with P clips.

I'd have not issues with touring on one if it had a rack and guards fitted, and slick tyres.


Ah, thanks! I might just buy a second-hand one for the frame. They go pretty cheap. Going to do a bit more research.

amaferanga wrote:Can you get On One Inbred frames in SA? I know you can get Planet X so I'd have thought you could given that On One and Planet X are the same company.


A new On One Inbred 26er frame is available but might be a little bit out of my price range, but they do seem perfect.


I also have an old Trek 800, which hasn't been used in years. I have read that it is a terribly uncomfortable bike for touring (even with replaced parts). What do you guys think?

irc
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby irc » 24 Feb 2011, 9:49am

sano wrote:[I also have an old Trek 800, which hasn't been used in years. I have read that it is a terribly uncomfortable bike for touring (even with replaced parts). What do you guys think?


I owned one years ago. I don't see why it would be uncomfortable. Why not stick a rack on it and try it out for yourself?

I think the comfort would depend on the fit and things like the saddle and bars being used.
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nmnm
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby nmnm » 24 Feb 2011, 4:02pm

| suppose the trek has a rigid front fork but the boulder might come with a basic front suspension. Personally, I'd prefer the non suspension as it's lighter and less likely to break. Big tyres, but with a smooth central band for the road, would be my preferred suspension.

Don't go too crazy on the second-hand purchase bidding as it is possible to get a new basic urban mtb (with new drivetrain) for £200ish. Also worth checking options to buy at the other end of the plane journey. Maybe there are some big bike shops in SA?

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b1ke
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby b1ke » 24 Feb 2011, 10:52pm

If the bike you choose doesn't have rack mounts and you don't fancy P-clips, you could look into a seat clamp rack mount like these :arrow: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mpart-single-bolt-seat-post-clamp-with-rack-mount/.

Don't know if you want to fit front loaders, but if you do, you could have a look at these clamps from Tubus (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/tubus-lm-1-mounting-set-for-forks-wo-eyelets/) if your front forks don't have rack mounts.

Tubus also do a quick release rack mount if your frame doesn't have braze-ons next to the dropouts :arrow: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/tubus-adapter-set-for-qr-axle-mounting/. Never used these but would have thought they could be awkward if you get a puncture.
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sano
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby sano » 25 Feb 2011, 9:20am

irc wrote:
sano wrote:[I also have an old Trek 800, which hasn't been used in years. I have read that it is a terribly uncomfortable bike for touring (even with replaced parts). What do you guys think?


I owned one years ago. I don't see why it would be uncomfortable. Why not stick a rack on it and try it out for yourself?

I think the comfort would depend on the fit and things like the saddle and bars being used.


I'll try it out :). Maybe with a replaced drivetrain, saddle and bars it will be sufficient.

nmnm wrote:| suppose the trek has a rigid front fork but the boulder might come with a basic front suspension. Personally, I'd prefer the non suspension as it's lighter and less likely to break. Big tyres, but with a smooth central band for the road, would be my preferred suspension.

Don't go too crazy on the second-hand purchase bidding as it is possible to get a new basic urban mtb (with new drivetrain) for £200ish. Also worth checking options to buy at the other end of the plane journey. Maybe there are some big bike shops in SA?


I think I would replace the Boulder's fork with a rigid one. What about lock-out suspension?

I live in South Africa, so no flights necessary hehe :P. We have some big bicycle shops out here, but I don't think that they would sell any decently priced steel framed bikes... only alum and above. :(

b1ke wrote:If the bike you choose doesn't have rack mounts and you don't fancy P-clips, you could look into a seat clamp rack mount like these :arrow: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mpart-single-bolt-seat-post-clamp-with-rack-mount/.

Don't know if you want to fit front loaders, but if you do, you could have a look at these clamps from Tubus (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/tubus-lm-1-mounting-set-for-forks-wo-eyelets/) if your front forks don't have rack mounts.

Tubus also do a quick release rack mount if your frame doesn't have braze-ons next to the dropouts :arrow: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/tubus-adapter-set-for-qr-axle-mounting/. Never used these but would have thought they could be awkward if you get a puncture.


Awesome! Thanks for the links :D

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Steve Kish
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby Steve Kish » 25 Feb 2011, 10:34am

My favourite frame is my steel Marin Pine Mountain MTB 'old skool' frame; recently powdercoated, hence the different transfers:-

Image

As can be seen from the f-a-t clearances, I've sweated a pair of 700c mudguards on it and it also has the lugs for a rear carrier - I never use these, as I'm a rucksack carrier. Perhaps something like this may suit you.
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

noel.shearer@uuplc.co.uk
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby noel.shearer@uuplc.co.uk » 25 Feb 2011, 12:40pm

I had one of the original steel Boulders that I used for commuting down canal towpaths for a few years. I thought it was fab! Big selling point for me was that the forks came with front rack mountings. It remains one of the most comfortable bikes I've had and wish I'd never sold it!

toontra
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Re: Steel frame MTB for expedition

Postby toontra » 25 Feb 2011, 1:27pm

An old Orange Clockwork or Prestige would fit the bill. Steel frame from a British company. Clearance for wide tyres, full rack mounts, good geometry for long rides. My '93 Clockwork is my touring frame and has seen many heavily-laden foreign miles.

Should be able to find something on ebay or retrobike.co.uk