Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thoughts on MTB touring vs. traditional Touring bicycles?

  Brian Perić

Thoughts on MTB touring vs. traditional Touring bicycles? I rode my 2008 Blackcat MTB (Made in China) with updated 2008 Gary Fisher/Bontrager components across western China, I like the SMP saddles, received a used one from a local sponsor. What do you ride, where do you ride, dream tours around the world or parts of it? 


Some of my bicycle touring friends share their experiences in a short discussion. We can share this knowledge with anyone new to touring.
  • Kob Fu I will cycle more far than today to everywhere.I love to learn more everything on this world.This world is not small but we are all very small.In our life(perhaps 100 years old),anyone can learn all everything on this world?I think I'm a one who can not.

    Therefore,go out and absorb it when you can.
    February 4 at 12:35am · Unlike · 2
  • Brian Perić True words Kob Fu. I haven't been to many places in the last 10 years of my life, just this photo and expedition and South Korea and a year in Shenzhen, southeast China and back home (Canada) over 5 years ago. The rest of the geographical regions of the world, are unknown to me...I sure would like to go, but when and where and how...only dreams for now, perhaps that is good too, motivates us to try harder
    February 4 at 12:38am · Like · 1
  • John Jd Dockery if one bike fit everything there would be no others ride, what is right for you and the job
    February 4 at 8:34am · Unlike · 1
  • Rachit Mehta Even i tour on mtb in india
    February 6 at 10:14pm via mobile · Unlike · 1
  • Brian Perić MTB touring is the affordable option, John Jd Dockery is right, many options available for a price, Rachit Mehta, if I ride to India, I will be on a mountain bike most definitely (: Peace guys from Korea!
    February 6 at 10:19pm · Like
  • Rachit Mehta brian....whenever you hit india, delhi...let me know,would love to welcome you at my place and ride aswell....:-)
    February 6 at 10:47pm · Like
  • Kyösti Tikkanen That is not so important what do you ride. But it is important that you ride!
    I am riding traditional touring bicycle. And I have no ambitions to change.
    Europe is enough for me. I
     am tired to ride in countries (even here in Europe) where I can't use languages I can speak (English, Deutsch, français, eesti, svenska, suomi).
    February 6 at 10:51pm · Unlike · 2
  • Peter Van Der Lans The world is getting bigger and bigger. 100 years ago it took a very long time to get somewhere, nowadays you can fly to a place and start from there. So it seems the world is smaller but in fact with all the possibilities, you can do more. "Worse" is that the more I see the more I realize I know little to nothing. Put it this way, I've spend a year in India and more than 2 years in China on the bike. I have seen quite a bit but if I start thinking what I DIDN'T see or areas that potentially could be great, it dazzles me. Leave alone places I have been 10, 20 years ago and have changed. I'll cycle Chiang Mai - Penang (to Sitiawan) in February-March, done that 20 years ago and expect it will be totally different.

    As for important you ride... hmm I disagree there to some extend. Cycling for the sake of cycling is great but you can do that at home and make km's around the city you live. The trick is to make a balance of cycling and experiencing where you cycle. No need to go fast, make plenty of kms or climbing high mountains. The bicycle gives the freedom to learn about the land you're in more than any other form of transport. The bike you ride needs to make you feel comfortable, it needs to be your best friend;)
    February 7 at 8:28am · Unlike · 3
  • Adrian Wagner Yeah, I'm with Peter here. We have just cycled from Indonesia to India (by way of China/Tibet). Altogether it was 18000 Kilometers - and it took us two years. Some tourers might frown at that. To us, the bicycle is more a means and a reason. On a bicycle you're 'forced' to take it slow and be able to get to know the country/region upclose and personal. In my opinion, if all that matters to a tourer is kilometers, speeds and 'a tick on the list', then he/she is missing out on something.
    February 7 at 10:09am · Unlike · 3
  • Adrian Wagner As for the ride, I rode a 50$ 90s mountain bike I bought out of the shed of rider in Perth. I set it up with all Deore components (no XT and Rollhoff). I can see the benefit of better quality - but if the bicycle becomes as important as the ride itself, then it's also sort of missing the point. Additionally, had my bike been stolen, all I'd have lost really would have been sentimental value.
    And just an example of 'value for money'. My wife's rear Schwalbe Marthon XR (going at around 100 AU$) split in southern China after 9000 kilometers. We replaced it with what we could find: a 6 AU$ Chinese-made no name tire. It completed the other 9'000 kilometers without one flat and is actually still on the bike now.
    February 7 at 10:15am · Unlike · 4
  • Tzar Christopher Cokley Ive toured on both road bikes and MTBs. they both have pros an cons but I think I am sold on29 in hardtail mountain bikes you can really eat up some miles on one and hit a lot of spots. but whatever works for ya works!
    February 7 at 4:21pm · Unlike · 1
  • Adrian Wagner Tested a couple of 29ers last fall in the Swiss alps. Found them a bit unruly in tight spots. But they are great for your standard roots-and-rocks XC riding.
    February 7 at 5:18pm · Unlike · 2
  • Dale Beeman the first touring bke I had was $10 fea market clonker that I road for thousands of miles till I broke it,,,,then in 1983 I bot a speclized expedition touring bike that ran me $1900 out the door. I road that bike from Seattle Wa to the Panama canal and back to wa. I spent 5 years on that one.....The bike I ride now is a 84 Trek mountain bike that I was given to me a few years ago then I rebuilt it and I will spend a few years on it. I never did really like the road bike much as I do alot of stelth camping (like amost only) and the road bike always felt as if I was about to land on my face in the dirt at any moment. The riding I do now is almost always on dirt roads and for me the monutain bike just works better. I'm never in a rush and always stop along the way, 4 or 5 hours is all I normaly ride so I don't feel the need for a "fast" bike at all......never had the money for a credit card tour and I can't sleep in a real bed anyway (been sleeping on a therma rest for the last 30 years) so why bother I say. I have worked in so many diners that I know better then eat in one. All this means is that I need to haul all of my gear with me every place I go and I think (for me) that the mountain bike is the best burro for the job.....I never buy into the "Laytest Greatest" tires and have been using tires on the cheaper end of the offerings as well as tire liners for many years and miles, I never had one get so bad that I unable to boot it or sew it together good enuogh to get me to a new one. For me it's not the end disstantion but rather the ride, the places and the people that make it all wroth doing. This year I'm going back on the road after 7 years living in one place (can't belive it's been that long) and am starting this new trip by riding from where I live now in New Mexico to Montana up the contenental divide bike path.
    February 28 at 12:35pm · Unlike · 6

      • Brian Perić Hey guys, I came across this website on Ultralight biking, another angle on weight reduction. I thought I went light in Mongolia (45kg total with mountain bike weighing about 14kg)... And I appreciate everyone sharing information and experiences here, last was Dale Beeman with years of touring experiences, awesome! Check out Igor Kovse, World Cycle Touring Pro who rides ultra-light all over the world, (:
        Tips and thoughts about ultralight bicycle touring worldwide – by Igor Kovse
    • Una Nelson-White I had a touring bike back in the 1980's and it was great. It had bigger tires than a racer, but smaller than a mountain bike. It had stronger frame than most racers. I removed the fenders, because I didn't think they were worth the weight. It could handle dirt roads, but not off road. All that and it cost $195 new (with trade-in bike). Now I have a very light Trek WSD (Women Specific Design) 4500 mountain Bike.
      4 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    • Bruce Lane One of the things I like most about cycle touring is how grounded you are to the country you ride through. When you drive you really miss a lot and the experience amounts to just a few fleeting glimpses. The bike slows you down enough to take it all in. Almost all my cycle touring (including across Canada) has been done with a light mountain bike (which is nice when you need to go down some rugged back roads to get to campsites). I ride a hybrid now (Brodie Dynamo) and it's probably as light as I'd want to go, given some of the places I ride.
      about a minute ago · Unlike · 1

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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