I’ve been thinking more about what bicycle to take for TDA 2013. The requirements are a cycle that is durable enough for 7500 miles and that will do well for extended off-road riding on gravel and rough roads. The bike also needs to ride well enough that 160km days as necessary can be ridden.
My default choice has been to use my Trek 520 cycle. A basic durable ride that I’ve traveled across Ukraine and Russia with. The touring model also is reasonable balance against friction and I’ve done a number of 100 mile rides with. My hesitancy lately is thinking if the roads might be more rough in Africa and also if the rims will last the full distance.
Hence, my backup alternative is to think of a mountain bike. I am back in India this week riding my Trek 4500 mountain bike. The mountain bike is reasonable choice for rougher roads I find here – though takes some more effort to push than my touring bike. So I think it would win on durability but make my cycling harder.
I might see about bringing back my Trek 4500 from India some time this year or purchasing another as possibility to at least do additional training on. A little slower for training is ok, though might help build up some muscles and other things. Will need to see if I can ride fast enough on it or whether to consider Trek 520 instead.
I also made a Bike Forums/Cyclocross posting asking for feedback on Cyclocross bikes. Some useful perspectives there, though makes me think more of using my existing bikes.
I am now leaning towards one of two bikes: either a Trek 7.2 Fx that I had purchased last year but not done much with, or a Trek 4500 that I just bought last week. Today I found my way to Sugar’s Wheel Works and ordered a set of hand built wheels on the Trek 7.2 Fx. If I get some bar end grips and other things that might be a well built bike. Fast though not sure if it will be durable enough.