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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here I am staring at my $8000 Titanium Jones Plus somehow longing for a $2000 Surly Troll. I've got a lot of factors at play here and was curious if anyone else has ever gone through the same existential crisis.

For a short background, My wife and I sold all our stuff a few years ago and currently live on a tropical Island in Thailand. We've had several multi month expeditions in Asia and Europe and have had the time of our lives. The time for another is fast approaching and a big question remains... To take the Jones, or to attempt to sell them at a massive loss and ride something more practical for the type of riding we will be doing. Namely avoiding anything with pavement like the plague and exploring as far from the beaten path as possible.

The bikes we have are literally our dream bikes, decked out to the max, and outfitted with top of the line bags and gear from days past when i had a real job and disposable income before we sold everything except our bicycles. Unfortunately, this is the problem when touring in undeveloped areas. Looking for an 11 speed chain? good luck. 29+ tire with a ripped sidewall, oh well. Bent derailleur, better hope fedex ships to wherever the hell I am right now. You get the picture.

While we are riding, we couldn't ask for a better steed, comfortable, big tires and top of the line components... Literally dream bikes!

The catch...

These bikes are frickin' huge. Getting them onto an airplane is a two day ordeal of tracking down multiple bike boxes to cut up and tape together or trying to find mattress bags to wrap them up. If our visas are running out and we need a bus or a train, they simply don't fit ANYWHERE! If a critical component breaks... We are screwed. Something as simple as an 11 speed chain was impossible to source in one of the biggest cities in Slovakia! I carry backups for reasonable items but I can't carry everything, anyway you get the picture.

I've eyed up a Troll or Pugsley and dreamed of a trouble free rohloff equipped simple steed that can be repaired with parts from the local hardware store's "Bicycle Section". A simple steel framed expedition bike that will be worry free and easy to chuck on the roof of a car in an emergency. Simple, reasonably sized, cheap, with easily sourced parts and no worries.

On top of all this, selling an aftermarket top of the line Jones Bike doesn't strike me as the easiest thing to accomplish without taking a huge loss. And on top of all that shipping it from overseas is going to cost a fortune.

Owning multiple bikes is basically out of the question for financial and practical reasons.

I know, woe is me, but this is my problem right now and I'd honestly appreciate any honest advice from someone who has maybe faced a similar situation and can offer some insight?
 

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You come here to ask if selling the dream bike is a good idea? :)

did you ride any of the bikes you consider? The geometry will be different. I never rode a Jones, but heard they are extremely comfortable. So on long tours you may regret downgrading.

As for spare parts, you can take some with you or temporarily downgrade your bikes to 8-speed or whatever you think has better availability.

If you really love the Jones, you will regret selling it. Every time you ride the cheaper substitute you will hate the geometry, the shifter, the brakes and so on. Every time your body hurts from hours of riding you will think the Jones would have been better.

The 29+ tires seem perfect for the terrain you describe. riding smaller will be a pain. at least mentally because every time it gets hard your brain will think you should have kept the 29+.

Overall, it is really hard to downgrade. Once you had something better, it is hard to use something lesser that was fine before you knew the better thing.
 

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OP you can find reasons to be dissatisfied with any bike you end up with. I didn't read anything in your post that doesn't have a straightforward solution or isn't something you should just suck up.

You love how the Jones bikes ride. They are set up well for carrying your touring gear. The rest is not that important. Just get out there and start turning pedals.
 

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Selling the bikes is pretty extreme but you do need bikes that are setup to be serviceable in 2nd and 3rd world locales. 650b or even 26 inch tires may be a better choice, 8 speed chains, cable operated brakes. Brake pads for discs can be packed.
 

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Why would you have bikes like that and then be cutting up cardboard boxes to pack them, who's buys those sorts of bikes, with the intent of traveling with them and not have proper cases, is my first question? :eek:ut: What you might consider is getting some couplers installed into the frames so they can be broken down to smaller packages.

As to the bikes themselves and sourcing spares while in the middle of nowhere. All I'd be looking to do here is go to a reliable setup like 10spd, they have a clutch and clutch RDs make a world of difference, just carry a spare hanger, chain, RD, shift cable and maybe a spare shifter.

As to ditching 29+, there's absolutely no way I'd consider that option, you will miss the cush/plushness and float factor of the big rubber. Just get yourself some proper 29+ tyres with good casings and take along some dental floss, needle, super glue and/or shoe goo and pieces of sidewall casing from an old tyre as patches/boots. If you ditch the plus tyres, you WILL miss the ride and traction they offer, trust me. I'd go for Bontrager XR2 tyres F&R on both bikes, the casing is super strong and the tread pattern should be more than capable enough to tackle most terrain.

As said, if you like the geo and how they ride and know them well, you'll be stabbing in the dark at your next bike unless you can test ride them and you'll always miss the lovely Ti. Also Ti does not rust or corrode, so traveling in moist, humid locations that is a big plus.
 

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^^^ This. Fixed a 1/2" gash in the center of my bomballoni with super glue and doubled up carpet thread and super glue. Still using it. Didn't even take it off the rim. Dried and cleaned the stans from the cut first.
 

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saddlemeat
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I would be more concerned about looking a little less ostentatious. A 29er klunk, or appearing klunk, with basic components. Save the Jones for endurance races and brew pub duty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why would you have bikes like that and then be cutting up cardboard boxes to pack them, who's buys those sorts of bikes, with the intent of traveling with them and not have proper cases, is my first question? :eek:ut: What you might consider is getting some couplers installed into the frames so they can be broken down to smaller packages.

As to the bikes themselves and sourcing spares while in the middle of nowhere. All I'd be looking to do here is go to a reliable setup like 10spd, they have a clutch and clutch RDs make a world of difference, just carry a spare hanger, chain, RD, shift cable and maybe a spare shifter.

As to ditching 29+, there's absolutely no way I'd consider that option, you will miss the cush/plushness and float factor of the big rubber. Just get yourself some proper 29+ tyres with good casings and take along some dental floss, needle, super glue and/or shoe goo and pieces of sidewall casing from an old tyre as patches/boots. If you ditch the plus tyres, you WILL miss the ride and traction they offer, trust me. I'd go for Bontrager XR2 tyres F&R on both bikes, the casing is super strong and the tread pattern should be more than capable enough to tackle most terrain.

As said, if you like the geo and how they ride and know them well, you'll be stabbing in the dark at your next bike unless you can test ride them and you'll always miss the lovely Ti. Also Ti does not rust or corrode, so traveling in moist, humid locations that is a big plus.
I guess I wasn't as clear as I thought in my first post, We don't own anything in the world other than the bikes. Right now, my wife and I live in a bungalow on an island with no possessions other than a second hand electric stove and some secondhand plates and forks along with our camping gear... Oh and we bought a rice cooker :)

We essentially live on the bikes when we are on the road with no other possessions and no home to return to. The chances of us going on a trip and returning to the same airport to retrieve a hard case is zero.

Honestly your guy's advice has helped me to reach a good decision and reinforce that I can put up with inconvenience when we need to pack them for air travel or shove them on a train or bus in order to have the perfect bike for when we are actually riding them. I guess sometimes it helps to just think it out and ask for some sound advice!

I've carried dental floss, a needle and glue and been lucky enough to not have to use it but I'm glad to hear that it works in real practice.

There is no brew pub duty or weekend single track expeditions, when we are on the bikes we are on the bikes for months at a time soon to be years in the future. Although we do tend to stop at bars quite a bit.

I'm now giving some consideration to outfitting them with Rohloffs and calling it a day with a secondary possible option of switching to a 1x10 direct mount granny chainring setup (2x11 doesn't seem to work as the chain rubs on the rear tire with the current setup even though it is boost). Not ideal for trudging through peanut butter mud when the chain becomes a tire cleaning apparatus!

Thanks again fellas for the kind words of advice, I think it was exactly what I needed and is much appreciated. Cheers!
 

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I would be more concerned about looking a little less ostentatious. A 29er klunk, or appearing klunk, with basic components. Save the Jones for endurance races and brew pub duty.
No, no, no.... Nobody out there will even know what they are looking at. Probably most people even in the USA have never heard of Jones and wouldn't know titanium from Cheeze Wiz, much more so in third world countries. Any kind of bike will be a possible target for theft so it would be silly to ride junk or a pretend junk bike just to thwart would be thieves.

And besides, you weren't paying attention - they can't own more than one bike in their situation so it's Jones or no Jones.
 

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I have Ti bikes with S&S couplers and Rohloffs....10 yrs of riding, only changing chains, tires, and just a few oil changes....just had to have new cables on the mtb. Soft case with bike, supplies, and clothes can be carried while riding....
 

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Seems pretty clear that you spend a lot of time ON your bike. Why worry about a day or two of trouble every few months for the rare time you are OFF your bike. Whenever my wife and I travel with our bikes, our first stop from the airport is a corner store to buy some drinks and snacks. Then we have a nice afternoon of drinking, eating, and bike building.

I will never rent a bike again. I'd so much rather have my personal dream bike with me than something that is "more convenient" for travel.
 

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The Jones bikes have a weird, difficult to understand or believe cachet in north america and europe. You should be able to sell them there for a good price (if you're willing to ship) to someone that's drank the koolaid and longing after one.

Going steel and rohloff sounds smart to me. Have you considered S&S couplers?
 

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Ditto!

My "doable" sweet spot is a Surly ECR (Troll/Pugsley) with Gates CDX belt drive Rohloff and S and S Machine Couplings; plus a nice travel case to put it in.

Folding Travel Bikes using S and S Machine Bicycle Torque Couplings™

All done at about half your $8,000 dream…

I've got the Surly ECR and am working on the Rohloff, then belt drive and S&S Coupling only if I start flying around. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Once again, thanks to those of you who offered constructive advice, I've decided that a few days of inconvenience every few weeks or months is not worth giving up on these beautiful machines... Sometimes you just have to think it through and bounce ideas off like minded folks and get a dose of healthy objective perspective.
.
 

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Once again, thanks to those of you who offered constructive advice, I've decided that a few days of inconvenience every few weeks or months is not worth giving up on these beautiful machines... Sometimes you just have to think it through and bounce ideas off like minded folks and get a dose of healthy objective perspective.
.
I would take the Jones and a Rohloff. Here's a New Zealander riding around Asia on a Jones Plus for some inspiration:

https://www.instagram.com/roam_around/

Enjoy your travels.
 
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