Mtb Or Road For Tour Nz

Postby CycAndy on Wed 12/Jul/06 10:42pm

I plan to tour NZ by bike for 6 month or so in 07.

Not decided whether to take my MTB or road bike yet. On one hand could do some off road stuff if I take MTB, on t'orther I prefer riding my Airborne and want to use trip to improve fitness for some serious road climbing in France later on.

So whats the road system like in NZ for getting around - I mean I know you have tarmac roads by now ;) but might I struggle getting around to many interesting places on a road bike which is more a racer than a tourer so I won't be on fat touring tyres for example.
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Postby Clarky on Thu 13/Jul/06 7:37am

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Postby jeremyb on Thu 13/Jul/06 8:35am

A lot of our roads are fairly rough chip seal, a mtb altho' slower would be much more comfortable :)
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Postby danose on Thu 13/Jul/06 9:23am

velo wrote: A lot of our roads are fairly rough chip seal, a mtb altho' slower would be much more comfortable :)


if the clearances on the airborne can handle 25mm (or even better 28mm) tires I'd go with that - touring on 23s on our roads will rattle you to bits

big question is what are you doing for lugging your stuff - trailer or panniers (is the airborne rated for panniers?)

if you go mtb you'll want to run decent fast rolling slicks (trusty old specialized nimbus armadillo1.5's seem very popular with the touring crowd)
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Postby radical_edward on Thu 13/Jul/06 9:38am

danose wrote:
velo wrote: A lot of our roads are fairly rough chip seal, a mtb altho' slower would be much more comfortable :)


if the clearances on the airborne can handle 25mm (or even better 28mm) tires I'd go with that - touring on 23s on our roads will rattle you to bits

big question is what are you doing for lugging your stuff - trailer or panniers (is the airborne rated for panniers?)

if you go mtb you'll want to run decent fast rolling slicks (trusty old specialized nimbus armadillo1.5's seem very popular with the touring crowd)


Or 37c :satan:

Does the Airborne have a triple chainring? We have few category climbs but that doesn't mean that the country is flat. Laden touring with a double is no fun.

A euro style road tourer would be OK if you are only sticking to paved routes, but there are a lot of unsealed b-roads that can be used to bypass heavily trafficed routes. A cyclocross/tourer with fat tyres or MTB with thin tyres is ideal on those roads.

There are a number of good tour diarys at crazyguyonabike.com that are worth a read.

The north and south island guides that can be purchased from http://www.paradise-press.co.nz/ are also highly recommended.
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Postby Clarky on Thu 13/Jul/06 9:45am

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Postby CycAndy on Thu 13/Jul/06 7:09pm

Thanks all for the info, and Clarkster for the links. Well my Airborne isn't really suitable for touring especially with panniers so I would have to get a new frame. I'm coming round to using me Marin hardtail as a safer bet. I wasn't intending camping so rear panniers shouild suffice.

Interesting to read about the inconsiderate drivers in the Ritchey blog Clarkster gave. My brother was warning me about potential dangerous drivers and thats even the ones who have passed a driving test at some point! :paranoid:
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Postby Al_Bushman on Thu 13/Jul/06 8:28pm

Having done heaps of touring overseas I found a MTB to be absolutely fine. I rode with semi-slicks which were cool for that litttle bit of mountain biking when you get somewhere that has some trails. Only down side is the front suspension makes the steering a little unstable especially if you've got front panniers or a bar bag.

Good luck!
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Postby psychavoc on Thu 13/Jul/06 8:33pm

Al_Bushman wrote: Only down side is the front suspension makes the steering a little unstable especially if you've got front panniers or a bar bag.

Lock-out is your friend :)
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Postby danose on Thu 13/Jul/06 9:08pm

Al_Bushman wrote: Having done heaps of touring overseas I found a MTB to be absolutely fine. I rode with semi-slicks which were cool for that litttle bit of mountain biking when you get somewhere that has some trails. Only down side is the front suspension makes the steering a little unstable especially if you've got front panniers or a bar bag.


a mate toured europe and then a year later west coast of the US and canada on his mtb - fitted slicks and took the suspension fork off and fitted a surly 1x1 disc fork (lighter, no bob and one less thing to go wrong)

he actually used a BoB trailer and reckoned it beat the crap out of panniers (but he was lugging quite a load - so would have been comparing it to front and rear panniers) - but if you could get away with just rear panniers that's probably the best (my limited experiences riding with front panniers have all been negative - totally whacks the bike's handling)

oh yeah - other thing to look at is changing the gearing - a wide range mtb cluster is probably overkill (and will drive you nuts on the flat grinding into a headwind with the big gaps between gears). A roadie 13-25 or similar would be about right
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