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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:49 pm
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Location: Boiling in a Bivvy Bag
Personally I would definitely choose a steel frame for durability and the repairability issues mentioned. No need to worry too much about strength here, welded frames should be fine, but stiffness is a priority. Not all old, tough steel frames are stiff by any means and it's possible to end up with the worst of both worlds, so choose something with stout stays if possible. Wheel strength and reliability is likely to be a much bigger concern than whether the frame's tough enough.

I don't know whether the inconvenience would make it prohibitive, but a BOB Yak trailer is a serious alternative to panniers. The single wheel trailer handles much better than a pannier-laden bike and doesn't require the bike to have a suitable geometry to keep the ride stable, though a stiff rear triangle is still important. It can carry huge loads up about 80lbs, which enables light but bulky items to be taken which would be impossible with panniers. Also, as the load is shared between the trailor and bike, a lot of stress is relieved from the rear wheel. I would go as far as saying that a much lighter bike can actually be used with a BOB as long as it's stiff enough and still has strong wheels.
One last bonus is that if you flip it upside down it makes a surprisingly useful table!

I switched over from panniers to a BOB years ago and have never looked back - the handling is that much better.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:15 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 pm
Posts: 5782
Location: Lost in Translation
bhumidravi wrote:
From the 5-arm cranks & quill stems these appear to be a little earlier than the late 90s, but are these the model Rockhoppers you had in mind?

Pretty much. The slightly later models (circa 1998-2000) had forged Ritchey dropouts, threadless steerers, and V-brakes, and those are the ones I tend to favour. Here's an example:

Image

edit:

... and here's my '98 Rockhopper with a Kona fork getting converted for touring (excuse the picture quality):

Image


Last edited by one-eyed_jim on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:36 am
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Location: Northwest USA
Interesting topic to me because i'm considering building a off-road touring bike for some wilderness travel/camping next year.

My ride will be this late 80's Torelli, minus the Flex stem and Spec saddle. Bike has the relaxed geometry for stable handling, relatively short top tube for comfort, and multiple eyelets for racks front and rear.

Frame is tigged from Tange Infinity and quite stout but still smooth with the thin seat stays.

I will start a build page when I get started on the rebuild.

Please keep us updated on your progess.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:53 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
http://www.adventure-cycling-guide.co.uk/bike2.htm

Has to be steel.

Consider tandem hubs.

I have big feet so clearance is an issue for me, might not be so much for you.

:)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:38 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:52 pm
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Location: Trancecentral
That article covers most of it.

Something like my old Univega would probably do:
Steel, canti brakes, guard/rack mounts, 3 bottle cage mounts, trekking bars, larger frame than my off-road MTBs, 3x7 gears with a large big ring than modern MTB, pedals with clips rather than SPDs, cup/cone hubs, BB, headset.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:50 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:41 pm
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Location: Chiltern Hills
Sounds like a fun trip, I've decided to keep my old Trek 950 for such adventures - not travelling quite so far just yet though.

Slight thread hijack - anyone know anywhere reasonably local to the Chilterns that I can get some minor frame mods done (cable stops & eyelets added)?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:43 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Location: Birmingham
your very welcome to this 1989 offroad master frame made from tange infinity and with the required luggage racks bosses, yours for postage.

It makes me feel guilty everytime i walk in the garage :cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:51 pm 
South East AEC
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BITD I did a long tour just as you are planning and did it on a Orange clockwork, there were a few stumpjumpers.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:05 pm 
Gold Trader
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steel is definitely the best choice - it's stronger, more easily fixed (welded or bent) and is easier to get a frame adapted to your needs. make sure the bike handles very very well when fully loaded before you go - a fully loaded bike that handles badly can be a recipe for disaster.

make sure you have good eyelets for your racks - get some brazed on if the frame hasn't got any (get the type that have a lot of screw thread, and use long bolts to hold racks on). get some extra bottle cage bosses under the DT at the same time.

get decent quality racks (I can highly recommend tubus steel racks)

as for equipment, well cup and cone hubs are far easier to service than sealed bearings (and good quality ones will last a long time before they need servicing anyway). an 8 speed freehub body is a good idea, you can always use a 7 speed cassette but you'll still have all the options, just in case.

avoid stuff like hydraulic brakes - they may work for years without a problem, but what will you do if they do break down miles from anywhere?

make sure you have plenty of hand positions - either drops (maybe with tri bars or similar) or flat bars with barends, etc.

steel chainrings are a good idea - they last a lot longer than alloy ones

tandem hubs might be nice but you might have a problem fitting them into a normal frame. go for 36 hole, with decent spokes and (very) strong rims. good tyres are a must too. and a good patch kit (for tyres and tubes)

and look after the little things too - a pump that breaks is no use at all, and even less if you're 50 miles from anywhere or anyone with a flat tyre.

and don't worry about weight - there is absolutely no point at all in spending extra money to get lighter parts, especially if they're not as reliable as heavier/cheaper ones. the number one priority for a bike like this must be reliability, followed very closely by serviceability. when I was in australia, a quick calculation of the weight of my fully loaded bike was 60kg at it's heaviest (going down the middle, when 15 of those kg were water). even without the need to carry so much water, it was still approaching 50kg. so saving a few kg here and there makes no difference at all really!

I'm sure there are lots more things I've forgotten - it's been 9 years since I did a decent trip (and will be many more than 9 before I can do another one :cry: )

above all, enjoy the trip - I can guarantee it will be a physical and emotional rollercoaster, but one of the most satisfying things you ever do!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:04 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:43 pm
Posts: 11
Wow, this thread blew up since yesterday!

I'll be driving around the country this weekend checking out a bunch of bikes, including a Univega Alpina & a Rockhopper, based on recommendations in this thread. If anyone has other specific frames to look out for I'd be very grateful (would never have found the univega on my own).

Of course I can't really bolt on racks & panniers, so a test ride won't reveal how a bike handles fully loaded. I guess a BOB yak does give more options to pick a sportier geometry, but I'd rather not have the extra weight and breakable parts.

Whatever bike I end up getting, I plan on hand-built wheels (Rigida Sputnik rims, Sapim Force spokes, spare Deore LX hubs or whatever's on the bike), SKS fenders, Tubus racks, Brooks saddle, new cassette, chain, & TA chainrings. Everything else will depend on condition, but I'd like to keep as many original components as possible.

Charlieboy28 thanks for the offer, what size is the frame? I'm 1,70 m. Don't know anything about the Outdoor Master, but reading the thread about how you found it, it sounds like the connoisseurs rate it. Only issue is that all I've got lying around is a Deore DX group & STX cranks, so I don't think I have the parts to do it justice either, & I don't have time to go on a component hunt/restoration project.

Finally, any opinions on this unidentified Shogun & Panasonic MC 2500? Squinting at the low res pics I can just about make out lugs, & my newbie rule of thumb is "late 80s lugged steel + Japanese manufacturer = promising". But everything else about the listings screams "entry level BSO".

Image

Image


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