Strong Steel Mountain Bike for Conversion to Expedition Bike

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by davidbuttle, 1 Apr 2008.

  1. davidbuttle

    davidbuttle New Member

    Hi All,

    Following my previous thread about the best type of bike to take on a tour of Asia. It was suggested that purchasing a 2nd hand steel mountain bike and converting it would be best. I wondered which mountain bike people would suggest would be suitable for this. I've already heard that the Marin Bear Valley or Orange P7 would be suitably strong candidates. Are there any other bikes, cheaply available, strong enough for this job?

    Many Thanks,

  2. An orange P7 is a jump hardtail, isn't it? Definitely not suitable for touring. Tourers need to be long, low and stable. Because of this a low bottom bracket height is needed. Mtbs tend to have higher BB heights to get over rocks etc so look at that aspect. Also some mtbs are built to fit with a shorter stem to give sensitive steering, which is not something you want in a tourer.

    I suppose what you end up with depends on the kind of touring you'll be doing. If it's all road, go for a roadie-like one. If it's light off road, go for a hybrid style. If you are dead set on steel, early Marins and Konas might to do the trick, but check for fit first, and include a check for stem length (100mm minimum) and BB height. Also have a look at some of the Dawes hardtails. Don't go for something ultra cheap because the built quality will rattle your teeth out. For long distance touring I actually rate GTs for comfort but I know they're not steel.
  3. GaryA

    GaryA Subversive Sage

    High Shields
    The GT timberline and GT karakoram are both quality steel MTB's from the late 90's David

    I own a has rack and mudguard eyes has a nice 'springy-zingy' feel of quality cro-moly steel...used it twice for the C2C loaded up with 15kg of luggage it still managed 49mph down blackhill so rest assured the frame can handle a load and its very comfy :angry:

    I changed the bouncy rockshox forks for good old kona p2 upgraded mechs etc...i have i piccy of her in full touring mode somewhere at home

    The frames occasionally come up in e-bay and go quite cheaply because not many people know about them

    Good luck!


  4. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    There was an article in Cycle recently (the CTC magazine) about a chap who travelled the world by bike - he liked Specialized Rockhoppers.
  5. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    I've a Bear Valley, unsuspended, so 10 years old. It's certainly a tough bike and it has quite a stretched position for a mtn bike which means it's not too bad a ride with slicks on, which is how mine spent most of it's time as well as the odd red trail. I think it would do the trick, sorry mine's not for sale though.
  6. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    No its not. It's always been a cross country bike, plus Orange also make a point of saying that it's so versatile, it's also suitable 'to take you to the ends of the earth'.

    Its been in production for more than 10 years, so there should be some around secondhand.
  7. well excuse my ignorance
    i was getting them mixed up with P2 forks, which are a jump fork.
  8. Pottsy

    Pottsy ...

    SW London
    My 1999 steel Kona Explosif works very well as a rugged tourer. I would recommend one of these or a another steel Kona from around that time.
  9. wingedpedals

    wingedpedals New Member

    I have used very successfully a steel framed Rocky Mountain Hammer.
    Very strong with rear rack points and as always choice of suspension or rigid forks.
  10. Simply fitting skinny tyres will drop a mountain bike BB to a reasonable height.

    A P2 fork isn't a jump fork in anyones book.
  11. bikefettler

    bikefettler New Member

    Swansea by the sea
    I did lejog on a saracen tufftrax (1997 rigid fork) and I ride a marin bear valley with single chainring as my general urban bike, so I would say rigid late 90`s rigid quality steel will do the business .
  12. I've seen a no of kids at chicksands with them fitted on their jump bikes. Led me to believe that they were suitable for jumping. Also seen them on urban assault rigs as well.
  13. I stand corrected, there is a heavy duty version these days. The vast majority of Project twos are XC weight. Apologies.
  14. one-eyed_jim

    one-eyed_jim New Member

    I'll second the Rockhopper recommendation. The mid to late nineties oversized Nitanium steel models make excellent heavy touring and hauling bikes. Mine was £50 for an as-new frame on eBay.

    The Kona P2 (XC) fork suits the geometry quite nicely as well...
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