Two Spoke Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to buy a bike for an upcoming adventure; Some friends and I are going to ride from Beijing to near DaTong in ShanXi province. Afterwards, I'd like to use the bike for riding around the city. I was thinking to get a racing bike and add a wider tire (about 3cm) and a back rack. I also wanted to add rest bars on the front for the long 100k days up and down mountains, and multiple waterbottle holders.

The trip is 300+ km each way, and we're hoping to do 100k per day, with 1km elevation gain on the way there. We'll be taking road G108 or G109, and they seem fairly well, from what I garnered online, but you never know here. We will stay in mountain hotels, farmers spare rooms, etc. We will maybe pack a lunch each day, but each morning and evening eat at a restaurant or whatever we can find.

So I am very tall, 198cm (6'6") and I have spent a couple days here trying to find an inexpensive bike to buy, but everywhere tells me that they only have expensive ones in my size. Near the velodrome at LaoShan, they only had titanium bikes in my size, starting at 7000 yuan. I was hoping to get something for a little over 1000.

I know how to fit the height, by standing over the bar (measure a few fingers to the family jewels), but I'm not too sure how to fit the length. I was leaning over trying to imagine, at least, that I could comfortably rest my elbows on the handlebars, and that there'd be rest bars sticking out in front.

Mostly only Giant's are available around here, or at least they're ubiquitous. I wonder what other people think about a purchase. Any suggestions on buying a mountain bike instead, or a hybrid? I think that a racing bike would be more suitable for me long term, but don't know how suitable it will be for the adventure.

One other option available is to rent a touring bike (too small) for 100 per day (7 or 8 hundred), bt that seems like a waste of money..

Any thoughts anyone? I want to go, but I don't want to be stuck on an uncomfortably/painfully? small bike for a week plus!

Thanks for any input!
 

·
bike geek
Joined
·
9 Posts
The Jamis Aurora is bullet proof. Made of steel so easily repaired given the off chance that you would have a failure. You can put larger tires on it, racks and fenders if you like.
They are a good value as well. They come as large as 62 centimeters which may be borderline for you. Price wise they are under $1000.00

You certainly don't want carbon if you are bee-bopping around China. Most carbon bikes won't have enough clearance for larger tires anyway.

2012 JAMIS BICYCLES - AURORA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks for the reply, Bashamki.

I ended up getting a second hand Diamondback Interval from no earlier than 1999 for 700元 (about $100!) It was the biggest frame I found in the 5 shops I visited. It did the trick too, though I pulled a lot of muscles and strained some ligaments on the first real mountain on day one! It made for a long 6 days, but still worth it!

I put some rest bars on there too, man what a life saver!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Get a Cyclo Cross bike (good on and off road and also for touring), see Genesis Croix De Fer and the guy who went round the world on one but I would get a good saddle, eg, Brooks. Alternatively the Kona bikes get good reviews always.
 

·
bike geek
Joined
·
9 Posts
The older diamondback bikes are good bikes. My boys had a dirt track racer that they used for jumping for a number of years before the frame finally broke.

The bicycle mechanic in town couldn't believe the abuse it took. He rebuilt it 3 times and it was a hand me down from some nephews.
Diamondback was eventually bought by some other company and the quality went down the tubes after awhile. they are pretty much An Almart bike now!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I agree also with getting an all steel bike including the fork and stays. Should you break a bike frame you can get steel repaired easily in any part of the world but aluminum, or titanium, or carbon fiber you can just about forget getting it fixed in a third world country. Also make sure you get 26" rims and tires, because 700c will be very difficult if not impossible to find in remote areas of the world, whereas 26" is found everywhere.

Problem is with your height you probably need at least a 64cm frame, and most, if not all bikes sold in America do not put 26" tires on a large frame, so this means you will have to purchase a bike then buy new wheels and tires! So probably your best bet is to find a really nice used older touring bike then replace the wheels with 26" (ATB). The best heavy duty touring rim in the 26" size is probably the Mavic EX721 if you'll be using rim brakes, or the EX729 for disk brakes, but be sure to get the 36 hole rims. Normally you would want to lace with dble butted spokes but I'm not sure if you had a wheel get damaged if you could get dble butted spokes in Asia however straight gauge is cheaper. Anyways, these rims are fairly cheap at real close to $100 for the rim, then you have to add spokes, nipples, and labor. Chain Reaction has the 721 rim from 2008 model on sale for $55 each; see: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=3442
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
A Diamnondback Interval bicycle was purchased in Beiging for the same price one might pay for a Mavic EX721 rim and the tour was completed successfully. :) I doubt the info on availability of 26" touring bikes in the USA will be of much assistance to the OP, but others may benefit from your advice.

Not all 26" wheels are the same size. Is the size most common in China the 590mmm diameter standard found on three speeds and older dept. store bikes or the 559mm found on mountain bikes?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
Not all 26" wheels are the same size. Is the size most common in China the 590mmm diameter standard found on three speeds and older dept. store bikes or the 559mm found on mountain bikes?
Not sure! I did an extensive web search and all the sites I visited simply recommended using 26" tires when touring outside of N. America. Even the wheel guru Peter White said the same thing. No mention anywhere that I could find whether 26" means 590 or 559mm. So I would assume that if you buy a tire and wheel marked for use for a 26" tire in N America then that translates into in other parts of the world will fit here would be 559.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
I forget how old I am. I remember when the MTB size was new. Before mountain bikes came into production about 25 years ago, most 26" wheels here in the USA were 590mm.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I forget how old I am. I remember when the MTB size was new. Before mountain bikes came into production about 25 years ago, most 26" wheels here in the USA were 590mm.
I found out that back in the time period you are talking about 590mm was correct for 26" wheels, but today the modern 26" wheel is 559 and it's that size that is the most popular tire size in the world. I think the US adopted the 700c and the 27" format because Americans are generally taller then other societies so the frames were larger, thus to keep from making frames even larger they went with larger diameter wheels instead. At least that's what I've read. I do know if you buy a touring bike in America, manufactures that offer the 26" size wheels on their touring bikes are only on smaller frames, the larger frame sizes get the larger 700c wheels.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I did check with Peter White Cycling, Peter White probably is the best wheel builder in the US, and I own a set of touring wheels he made. Anyway, he does make 26" tourig wheels...if anyone cares.
 

·
bike geek
Joined
·
9 Posts
I hate to add confusion to the wheel topic but there is also a 26" wheel size that's 584mm. In most circles it is referred to as 650b wheel size. It was extremely popular on bicycles in France for years on Ranndoneuring (sp) bicycles. Schwinn, in the early days of mountain biking, used 584mm and marketed as 26" as did other makers. So there is another dimension of the 26" variety to worry about.
I actually built a bicycle for my very short wife with 650b wheels. The very small mixte frame warranted it to get away from toe overlap. She really loves it.
The 650b is an extremely versatile tire. The tire itself is tall and narrow giving the rider some options while riding on different turf such as dirt versus pavement; just adjust the air pressure accordingly.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I hate to add confusion to the wheel topic but there is also a 26" wheel size that's 584mm. In most circles it is referred to as 650b wheel size. It was extremely popular on bicycles in France for years on Ranndoneuring (sp) bicycles. Schwinn, in the early days of mountain biking, used 584mm and marketed as 26" as did other makers. So there is another dimension of the 26" variety to worry about.
I actually built a bicycle for my very short wife with 650b wheels. The very small mixte frame warranted it to get away from toe overlap. She really loves it.
The 650b is an extremely versatile tire. The tire itself is tall and narrow giving the rider some options while riding on different turf such as dirt versus pavement; just adjust the air pressure accordingly.
My understanding from the web search I did was that the 26" universal size tire was the 559mm and it took a lot of research to find that...but I could be wrong. I know it's not the old 590, but now you threw in another monkey wrench with the 584! So why not you do your own research to see if you find out that it's the 584 not the 559 or vice a versa, and please and let us know, because I'm not sure. Normally I would research it, but I don't have the time right now. I for one would be interested in what you find out though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
If your research showed 559mm to be the most widely available size world-wide, learning of the existence of 650B shouldn't change your conclusion.

Sheldon Brown's site indicates 650B is found on "French utility bikes, tandems, and loaded-touring bikes; some older Raleigh and Schwinn mountain bikes." I've been riding mountain bikes since 1986 and I'm certain the vast majority of Schwinn and Raleigh mountain bikes from the eighties speced 559mm wheels.

From an anonymous source, posted on a site similar to this one, "AFAIK, Schwinn reintroduced the 650B (same size as the S-4) on the Frontier in 1992 as a way to get around the 30% tarrif on MTB's from China. Needless to say, the lower tarrif on their cheap mountain bikes didn't save the company."

From another anonymous post "One of the alternate reasons (IIRC) behind the 650B Raleighs had to do with the duty rate on imported bikes and their tire size. In effect skinny tired bikes have a 5.5% import duty and fat tired mountain bikes are hit with an 11% duty rate. I think the 650B Raleigh "mountain bikes" was an attempt to get around paying the 11% duty."

The 1992 Schwinn Frontier and the 1990 Mirada which also came with 650B wheels were not among Schwinn's better mountain bikes. They were marketed as "city bikes", precursors to what we now call hybrids. As far as I can tell, the only Raleighs that had 650B wheels were the 1984 Raleigh Tamarack, marketed as "Mountain Tour" and the Raleigh Portage, a drop bar touring bike offered in 1985 and 1986.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
There are those days when I wish we'd convert to the metric system and be done with ASA and any necessary conversions. 26" equates to either 590mm or 559mm, thats over 31mm difference. That's over an inch difference. The conversion of 25mm to an inch indicates 26" is 650mm. Assuming the tire has a slightly smaller diameter then the rim the 590 is closer to believable. 559mm is about 22-1/3 inches.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
There are those days when I wish we'd convert to the metric system and be done with ASA and any necessary conversions. 26" equates to either 590mm or 559mm, thats over 31mm difference. That's over an inch difference. The conversion of 25mm to an inch indicates 26" is 650mm. Assuming the tire has a slightly smaller diameter then the rim the 590 is closer to believable. 559mm is about 22-1/3 inches.
I remember when I was in third grade back in 1960 the teachers told us that the US would convert to the metric system for everything in 10 years and do away with current system entirely...whatever happened to that idea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I remember when I was in third grade back in 1960 the teachers told us that the US would convert to the metric system for everything in 10 years and do away with current system entirely...whatever happened to that idea?
Yeah I remember that but American Industry and John Q Public were/are so in love with the ASA system of measurements that they convinced Congress to indefinitely postpone it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
There are those days when I wish we'd convert to the metric system and be done with ASA and any necessary conversions. 26" equates to either 590mm or 559mm, thats over 31mm difference. That's over an inch difference. The conversion of 25mm to an inch indicates 26" is 650mm. Assuming the tire has a slightly smaller diameter then the rim the 590 is closer to believable. 559mm is about 22-1/3 inches.

559 is in fact almost exactly 22 inches (22.008) so with fat tires you're in the 26" range. :)

26" equals 660mm.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top