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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    11

    Can a Trek 2.3 WSD be used as a light touring bike?

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    Hi there,

    I am a mom of a 7 and a 4 year old and I used to be a runner but have had some foot issues that have sidelined me and now I find myself enjoying cycling much more than I ever did running. So last spring I bought a Trek 2.3 WSD road bike (my first road bike... and hopefully one that I will use for a triathlon as soon as my feet are better) and have been doing mainly paved trail riding in Northern Virginia about 15-30 miles at a time either on my own or with a small group (though no real road riding yet because it's much more relaxing being on the trail and not having to deal with cars).

    Lately I've had urge to see places around here both with the family and on my own by bike so I'm wondering how my current bike will fare and if I'm well- or ill-equipped.

    I just put clipless pedals on the bike (as a present from my husband for my upcoming birthday) and now don't really feel like I could use this bike to just ride around with the kids (my 4 year old is always suddenty stopping and I know I would go SPLAT in the first five minutes with having to clip out and not being used to it... not to mention the road shoes that are hard to walk in... still not sure that was the best thing to buy but I went to my local bike store and that's what they suggested - I am having problems with hotspots in both feet - Morton's Neuromas, whereas with running I only had problems with my right... so I'm bringing the shoes back to my LBS for adjustments so we'll see how that goes).

    Sooooo, after all that rambling... I was wondering:
    1) Could I use my current bike as a touring bike for day/weekend trips or would I be better off saving for a different bike (and if so, are there any recommendations? I'm 5'2" and on the light side and I don't know where to start. I went to the bike store and asked this question today and the bike store owner pointed me to a Trek 7.3 FX WSD bike and I wasn't quite sure about this since I thought that drop handle bars would be best for the different hand positions available... especially since my wrists like to switch it up for anything over 20 minutes! So since I didn't have much confidence in that answer - and he told me that you couldn't switch out the handlebars on that one - I thought I'd come here since I discovered this great site last week but have only been a lurker up until now)

    AND

    2) Can I use my current bike with a trail-a-bike (I just bought a Novara Afterburner single speed) - or if I should instead use my 14+ year old mountain bike to hook that up to.

    Any experiences or suggestions would be much appreciated!

    I knew I was going to be getting myself in trouble as soon as I opened up that cycling adventure book (I just finished Where the Pavement Ends and the kids already bought me my bday present: Momentum is Your Friend by Joe Kurmaskie, which I can't wait to read)!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,780
    Welcome to TE! I'm not sure I'd want to ride clipless with a child either! No kidding on the starting and stopping. What kind of pedals did you get? Anyway, as far as the hotspots go, try some metatarsal buttons or insoles with them. Defeet has them and so does Specialized. Made a world of difference to me. As far as another bike for touring, I have had a 7.2fx and that would be a wonderful bike to take out with your kids. Not sure why he pointed you to the 7.3...

    You may not know this about us, but we are all about enabling. We want you to have lots of bikes. You NEED a road bike, another for touring, a mountain bike and then a mixte. I am very proud of this thread because I started it and I feel personally responsible for many TE members laying out cash for these bikes! The mixtes are the most fun.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    You're getting yourself in wonderful trouble by wanting to go for some touring.

    I can't say much about your Trek 2.3 bike, but basically if you want to go touring overnight you want panniers. (Unless you go for "credit card touring" but that's another story!) If you want panniers you want a rack. Can you fit a rack on the 2.3? Don't know. Even if you can't, there are alternatives, which have been discussed at length in various threads. Someone around here could help you find if it came to that.

    I own a 7.2 fx and while I have used it for light touring (weekend) I would prefer touring on my road bike if I had the patience of getting it fixed up with a rack (or rack-alternative). But I'm lazy, so my road bike is mostly a "sports" bike and I use my commuter bike if I can go on a loaded two-day trip.

    With regards to your pedal, there are Shimano SPD pedals which are flat on one side and SPD on the other side, so you don't HAVE to clip in. There are also very stiff mountain bike shoes out there (which allow you to walk a little better than road shoes, and prevent hot spots better than soft mtb shoes). Lots of us love the Sidi Dominators but there are others I'm sure.

    Good luck! Looking forward to your future posts!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by lisacohen View Post
    Hi there,
    Sooooo, after all that rambling... I was wondering:
    1) Could I use my current bike as a touring bike for day/weekend trips or would I be better off saving for a different bike (and if so, are there any recommendations? I'm 5'2" and on the light side and I don't know where to start. I went to the bike store and asked this question today and the bike store owner pointed me to a Trek 7.3 FX WSD bike and I wasn't quite sure about this since I thought that drop handle bars would be best for the different hand positions available... especially since my wrists like to switch it up for anything over 20 minutes!
    If you mean loaded touring with gear on your bike, then no, the Trek 2.3 has no attachment point for racks, and carrying gear on a partly-carbon frame is not recommended. You could probably attach a trailer, but the 2.3 is designed for fast road riding, not riding with a load all day. It could be done, just not the ideal frame geometry and far from the ideal gears. The Trek 520 is designed for touring, other manufacturers make touring frames, or a steel frame cyclocross bike could be used (like the Surly Cross-Check), . I think you'd be wise to stick with drop bars if that's what you're used to.

    Quote Originally Posted by lisacohen View Post
    2) Can I use my current bike with a trail-a-bike (I just bought a Novara Afterburner single speed) - or if I should instead use my 14+ year old mountain bike to hook that up to.
    The trail-a-bike can be attached as long as your bike has a standard-diameter aluminum seatpost. However, using the trail-a-bike adds instability every time the child moves, so attaching one to a twitchy go-fast bike would not be the best. And expect to need low gears towing a child up hills (though if the child pedals too it helps).
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    If you can't put a rack with panniers on your Trek, you could buy a trailer (BOB, Burley, kiddie trailer) and load it up and take it on tours. Lots of people like the trailers. I, too, am all about enabling and convincing you that you NEED another bike in the stable. Why- a mountain bike and a road bike just aren't enough...
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Another possibility to consider for pleasure or family rides, or for touring is to not use clipless pedals at all, but use either clips (cages), or PowerGrip straps, or even just plain grippy touring or mountain pedals...and then you get to wear comfy normal everyday hiking shoes or hiking boots. For touring, that would mean one less pair of shoes to bring along, too.
    I don't compete or care that much about speed and I just love jumping on my bike and doing 20 or 50 miles in my most comfy shoes that I wear every day for walking, hiking, etc. I love my PowerGrip straps- they hold my shoes snuggly on the pedals, but still give me freedom. People have been riding 'epic' journeys across country on their bikes for generations without clipless, after all. Just another option to consider.
    Bike shop employees know what they know for their own situations and experiences, but they seldom know everything that might be right for everyone. Plus, they like to sell you stuff.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    11

    Smile wow

    Oh I love it!! Thank you for so many responses.... so it seems that I need more space for MORE BIKES, eh!! LOL!

    How do you store your multiple bikes in an orderly way? Our garage is pretty full and with having just bought the trail-a-bike (with plans to buy one more so we can all go riding as a family) I saw my husbands eyes flicker in fear as to the dwindling amount of garage space available. I think getting another bike might through him over the edge so this will need to be handled with care on my end!! Or I can just get rid of my old mountain bike that I used to get to and from classes in college but only took out once or twice on real technical trails (an A2R Baracuda)
    and call it an even switch (or just use *this one* for riding around with the family - though it's heavy.... and wait a bit to buy a new one)! LOL!

    After reading the responses I know now to ask the LBS about:

    1) a different pedal (or go back to my toe clips) - they recommend Look KEO Easy Pedals and I bought Shimano road shoes (the ones on the bottom in this photo - the top ones were bought for spinning class - one pair would have been nicer for both - maybe I have sucker on my forehead? I need to spend more time here so I can walk in KNOWING what I need!).


    2) if I stay with clipless pedals then I will try out different shoes (I bought the cycling shoes a little more than a week ago and have tried them only on my indoor trainer - though there's a bit of grease on the right shoe from rubbing against the chain when clipping out, grrrr! so I'm not sure if I can clean them up or if they will take them back). I use orthotics which fit nicely in both shoes above but will ask about metatarsal buttons if I stick with cycling shoes. I love the look of the Sidi's but I've heard they run narrow. I will have to check out another bike shop in my area to see if they have some to try. The one I went to didn't have the Dominator.

    Oh and I have a Burley double-seater trailer that I never thought about using for touring. Duh! What a great idea since it's something that I already own. And just when I was thinking about selling it because the kids have pretty much outgrown it (the older one size-wise; and the younger one patience-wise - he'd much rather be pedaling along too). You all rock!

    I love the enthusiasm and the enabling environment here!! Thanks for welcoming a newbie! I already feel right at home!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    I would hook the trail a bike up to the old mountain bike. I have a 2.3 now and have had a kid on a trail a bike/ mtb in the past.

    These girls are terrible. Now I am thinking I need a mixte and build up a fixie.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    11

    enabling and upcoming garage space issues!

    I posted this looooong reply yesterday that seems to have vanished. Grrrr! Those computer gremlins.

    Thank you SO much for all of your wonderful responses. I'm going to need to save up my money for another bike aren't I?!! I love all of the enthusiasm here (and the enabling, too). For touring and riding around with the kids I have my eye on a Surly Cross Check... but that's a little bit away... Is fall when there are sales on bikes? For now I need to figure out what to do with my shoes situation. I hate the white shoes... who thought that making white biking shoes was a good idea?

    I went to a different bike shop yesterday and the guy I got seemed very knowledgeable. He showed me some different bikes (the cross check being one of them and seemed to think it was fine to go with a mountain bike shoe even if it was a road bike whereas the other store didn't seem to be so keen on that) shoes and pedals (though I feel like I need to do that actual buying at the place that did my first ones since I'm having problems with the shoes and pedals bought there and I don't want to be out money. I hope they'll offer an exchange of some sort so I'm not stuck with bad shoes AND pedals. They'll likely want to try adjusting things first. Right? Although I may completely go back to my toe clips too if all this cycling shoe stuff and the hotspots don't work themselves out. I'm totally cool with this. I just want to go riding!)

    I didn't know what a mixte was so went to look it up on Wikipedia! LOL! Yes, I can see something like that in my future to... which leads me to ask: how do you store all of your bikes?? I am running out of room in my garage (my son has one, my daughter has one, my husband has one, we have a double child Burley trailer, and soon two trail-a-bikes, not to mention the other garage detritis like balls, scooters, garden equipment, lawn mower, etc. LOL!) and can just see the look that my husband's will give me when I tell him that I envision getting another bike. He had a hard time when I can home last week with the trail-a-bike (and we need to get another one as well in the next month or so for the other child!). OY! Any good garage/bike organization arrangement that you can to share??

    Thanks again for all the great input! I hope the shoe stuff works out. I'll keep you posted! And thank you for making me feel at home here already!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    LOL... white shoes... I'm picking up my brand new pair of white shoes, probably today... Why white? My husband once got burns on the tops of his feet from black shoes on a very hot day.

    What kind of pedals are you using? Sometimes hot spots are caused from having a very small pedal platform and can be solved by using a different style of pedal. Also check to make sure none of the screws on your cleats are sticking up all of the way through the sole of your shoe.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,132
    Mountain bike shoes/pedal system with a road bike is fine. Many people I know do it, even me. I prefer mountain style shoes because with the recessed cleat, I can walk in them. Perfect for bike touring when you stop to take pictures, walk around to enjoy the scenery, or stop at a cafe along the way. And you mentioned hooking up the child trailer to it. I don't know about your kids but with mine I have to stop at almost every playground that we come across on my rides with them. I can easily chase them around the playground in my shoes without having to carry around a second pair - something I'd probably forget to do when I really needed them. Just check for pieces of bark chips that can get lodged in the cleats. They can make engaging and disengaging difficult. They are also great for bike errands, too.

    As for the garage, we don't even try to park our cars in there. We have a stand (it holds a couple of bikes) that we puchased when we had to store our bikes inside with us in an apartment. A few floor stands to keep the kids bikes organized and easily accessible to them. And a couple of them are just leaned up against a wall. I'm thinking about getting a couple of the bike pulley systems so I can hang bikes on the ceiling.

    Our stand is similar to this one:
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

    If you have wall space to lean it against, there's this:
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

    Our floor stands:
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...se=&lang=en-US

    Bike pulley:
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...se=&lang=en-US

    The good ole wall brackets sold in the home improvement isle would work too.

    ETA: I just counted our bikes in my head and we have eight. The one I just purchased from uforgot will make nine. The Xtracycle that Dh is planning to build will make ten. I swear they're breeding in there. I'm just not sure how though. Dh's and mine are both girls.
    Last edited by sgtiger; 04-03-2009 at 06:50 AM.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    2007 Rodriguez Adventure/B72
    2009 Masi Soulville Mixte/B18
    1997 Trek 820 Step-thru Xtracycle/B17

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    291
    I have those dual use pedals that Grog mentioned. They're great! And the platform for your regular shoe (or flip flop ) is very large and sturdy. Plus they are all metal, so heavy but will last forever....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    54
    I have those shoes! The bottom ones, anyways. I also have the mountain bike type pedals and cleats on my road bike.. Haven't experienced any problems. The cleats snap into the spinning bikes too, so it all works out. Plus I got fairly used to snapping in and out on the spinning bike, so when I had to do it on my actual bike, it was obviously different (I was actually moving haha), but so far no falls.. Many close incidents, but they seem to snap out right before I'm a total goner haha..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,056
    If you're just looking for something to ride with the kids/family on the weekends, what about going to someplace like Target and picking up a cheap bike?
    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Comp
    2006 Trek 7100

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Quote Originally Posted by surgtech1956 View Post
    what about going to someplace like Target and picking up a cheap bike?
    BLASPHEMER!

    One good reason not to do that is take a look at who works at Target, et al. Do you want those people assembling your bike?
    And you can't take it back to them for adjustments either.
    I think you can find an affordable bike that will fit your needs at a bike shop.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

 

 

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