"My vintage MTB has all the pannier mounts in the world but no suspension. It weights a tonne. Could I do the trail on an 18kg, 18 geared, 15 year old bike? I doubt it, but its a great training aid."

I've got a 17-year-old Hillman MTB (actually, it was referred to as an ATB - all-terrain bike - in those days). 18 speed (early Suntour index shifters!). Heavy. Slow. But comfortable, reliable and durable. It's given great service as a commuter and on various tours over the years. I'd be quite happy to do the Tasmanian Trail on it, albeit with some minor refreshing with new parts e.g. chain, cluster, BB cassette, brake cables. It's got braze-ons for a carrier at the bottom of the seat stays (no problems 18 years ago with disk brakes and limited frame real estate), but not on the front forks. For tours I use a Blackburn carrier on the front with u-clamps around the forks - I'm not sure they'd hold up on extended dirt | off-road trips, but might be OK if the load is limited. Anyway, here's a suggestion: how about we do the retro thing and take our old bikes?

Hmm, best be warned Andrew has the ultimate beast here the Blue Trail Demolisher. Which was at one stage equipped with what looked like a 54 tooth big ring, a Shelby Cobra of mountain bikes, I spent many a km trying to hang on to the back wheel.
As for the Summit, well it needs a new back rim but otherwise should be OK. Brakes could be a problem, it has cantilver and U brakes, I think its possible to add the larger v brake pads on these which will help if there is 30Kg of cargo on board. Might have to take if off the wall and ride it to work for a while to see where the problems are.

Well here it is the lead sled. 15 gears, 18 Kg, plenty of CrMo and attachment points. Will it survive 480Km of Tassy wilderness? Who knows! Its the rider I have more concerns about. * Comfort 3/5 * Handling 3/5 * Braking 1/5, I miss those Shimmy disks * Performace 2/5, with a decent rider Adds about 9 minutes to the commute....

Here's the Hillman (name not apt description of rider):


Started out with my retro Shogun Trailbreaker 18sp MTB, that's about as old as Steve's and David's bikes. Went to the bikeshop last week after a few troubles. Thought a fairing would be great to keep the wet out and the cold off so I rebuilt the bike just a little, but I seem to have misplaced the pedals somewhere. You can see it's the original bike though, cause it's blue. Not sure where the confetti print ended up.

||steveMcBike.jpg || Steve McCoy's new bike. Learsport TR3200 ||