Just starting out bike touring and looking for advice. (1 Viewer)

coyotecure

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(hii i don't use forums much, so please forgive me if it isn't done right. admins feel free to delete) So a friend just gifted me a Miyata 610. I'm helping another friend get down to NOLA from Portland at the end of next month and I want to ride my bike back home I think.

Currently I don't know what i'm doing AT ALL. ive been homeless before, slept in bushes and stuff but I've always floated around inside a city. and when i got out of the city, it was because i had a car. this is a big and daunting journey but i feel like i need it.

i'm having a friend help me with getting the bike fixed up and working well, but they don't know anything about saddle bags and stuff. there's a lot of information about everything out there!

anyway, if anyone has any advice for a first timer, or some encouraging words, that'd be lovely. i havent told any of my friends or my partner about this plan yet.
 
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Timothy Englert

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Start out with small overnight trips if you can, you'll figure it out..tons of advice on U-Tube......
One important thing is your back wheel and drive train. Get it respoked with the strongest spokes they have if you can afford it. It will cost around $100 bucks but it's cheaper than blowing spokes on the road and having a bike shop fix it. I got for $200 a back wheel custom built with 36 spokes instead of 32 a double walled rim and super strong spokes.......
 

coyotecure

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Yeah, don’t start a bike tour in the Deep South, in August.
I'd be staying longer, we're expecting to get there at the beginning of September and i'll help my friend settle in for a while. a realistic leave time for me would be closer to november
 

BikePunky

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I recommend an 80/90s steel mountain bike if you aren't getting a modern touring bike. People on here seem to recommend road bikes, but everyone I know who has been doing it a long time is on Surlys or the old mountain bikes that share their geometry.

I recommend 26 inch tires and with 1.5-2 inches width as well. Wide enough to handle random gravel and absorb bumps, but not enough to make speed suffer.

The main thing you want is a steel bike. I don't think it being butted really matters, but it can be a sign of quality to look for. I know folks who have been living and touring on old Treks and Specialized StumpJumpers of much less quality. As the truth is old steel bikes are much stronger than new ones, but heavier. Have to make sure they have no internal rust and have been taken care of though. Some more things to look for is a threadless fork is considered easier to replace. Forged dropouts with a built in derailleur hangar are considered much stronger. Low gearing range is very important. The bike fit is probably the most important and often unmentioned thing by folks. You need to have the ball of your foot in the middle of the pedal and your knee needs to be aligned over the ball of your foot during the down stroke. Otherwise, you are wasting power and likely to injure weaker points in your feet. You should be able to use the handlebars with your arms limber, if they have to be locked in place you will get very sore.

Pack as light as you can. Not more than 50 pounds of gear. Carry more water than you think. I have 6-8 liters of capacity.

The biggest upgrades bikes often need is wheels with 32-40 spokes for added strength (double or triple walled as well). Puncture proof tires are a must. I've had three flats in 7k miles running Scwalbe Marathon tires.

Carry several tubes and a patch kit.

Next make sure your racks are rated for the weight you carry. Lots of folks break those basic stock aluminum Blackburn ones. I recommend co-op hunting for used ones. I use a Topeak explorer on the back and Arkel Lowriders on the front, which is as strong as you can get without buying modern steel ones.

I can vouch for Ortlieb panniers, between having them fly out of a truck with minimal cosmetic road rash damage and having them submerged in three feet of mud without a leak. I found both pairs used online. But I've also known people to make cat litter bucket panniers or simply zip-tie random bags they found at the Goodwill with trash bags for a little waterproofing.

I recommend trekking bars, Jones bar, or moloko bars for comfort.

If you talk to international folks, nobody outside of america really uses dropbars for touring unless they have an ultralight kit.

Humid hot regions really will kill you without experience. I'm in my 20s and felt like I was about to faint or have a heart attack at every hill in the midwest heat. I recommend traveling with the seasons or in colder weather instead.

If you know how to dip behind bushes in the dark, you can stealth camp anywhere.
 
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Matt Derrick

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@coyotecure please don't bypass the thread title limit with spam. if you have two brain cells you can come up with two more words to describe your thread. it literally helps you get more people to click on and participate in your conversation, which only helps you, so not doing so is just shooting yourself in the foot. I've corrected your title for you.
 

coyotecure

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@coyotecure please don't bypass the thread title limit with spam. if you have two brain cells you can come up with two more words to describe your thread. it literally helps you get more people to click on and participate in your conversation, which only helps you, so not doing so is just shooting yourself in the foot. I've corrected your title for you.

sorry, i didn't remember that rule when i was writing the post
 

Desperado Deluxe

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I started out zip tying a four gallon milk crate to a rear frame. Worked really well. You gotta figure two gallons water and food/ sleeping stuff. Keep a good hardware store nearby. Get familiar with fixing it. Hand pump and tire patching knowledge is a must.
 

MatatuPuncher

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The Miyata 610 bike you have is perfectly acceptable for paved road touring. Run what you brung. First item to get is a rear cargo rack that you can hang panniers from. Put your sleeping bag in on side pannier and clothes/food in the other. Tent can be strapped to the rack itself. This is the minimum you will need. These items can easily be found on Craigslist for cheap. If you want you can also add front rack and bags and/or a handlebar bag for more capacity. Google image search "Miyata 610 Touring" for ideas. I've been bike commuting and touring off and on for 20 years. Let me know if you have follow up questions.
 

Desperado Deluxe

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Start out with small overnight trips if you can, you'll figure it out..tons of advice on U-Tube......
One important thing is your back wheel and drive train. Get it respoked with the strongest spokes they have if you can afford it. It will cost around $100 bucks but it's cheaper than blowing spokes on the road and having a bike shop fix it. I got for $200 a back wheel custom built with 36 spokes instead of 32 a double walled rim and super strong spokes.......
I might have blown a spoke once. And it's literally as easy as buying a new one and putting it in. You probably should know how but it's not a big deal. You'd have to really put your bike through some sh* to blow a spoke. Keep your spoke nipples greased. Might want to replace your sealed hubs(when they go) with cones to make later repairs easier. You can build your own wheels for pretty cheap but you better be good at truing. Look up wheel lacing on yt.
 

AJBird

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I apologize if im late to the party-

If you do any night biking, be sure to invest in some really bright lights for the front and rear end of your bike. Hitting the road in the early morning or late evening hours without them has landed me in more ditches and holes i didnt see more than i'd like to admit. Keeping a few extra batteries might be wise since its better to be safe than sorry

Best of luck and safe travels!
 

Gypsybones

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If you can afford it, get good have laced rims, if you can’t, you should be fine. Just have a mechanic do some trueing and everything should be kosher.

Don’t and I mean don’t use bungee cords with hooks! They can come unhooked and cause some damage to your drivetrain, I’ve hadit happen more than a few times and I would suggest getting the slip though ends or something that closes.
 

Gypsybones

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I’ve toured on a road bike that could only fit 700x28 max and I did 2500 miles. The more MTB style bikes are gaining popularity and in also looking into getting one, but your ride is great (I’ve never owned a triple butted frame) just ride the shit outta it.

you should be doing at minimum, 100miles a week to train. Ride everywhere and up everything. cause once you get loaded and on the road, those first three days are going to kick your ass! Keep going, it’ll get easier.
 

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