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Updated: 2 hours 20 min ago

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

2 hours 39 min ago


I am a Bike-Packer Plus user, actually have four of them, having started out on Rollers. I wouldn't go back now.

The full set in use ....



Andrew

Re: Notes from a third tour (Wales)

28 August 2014 - 11:45pm
Thanks, yeah I would have done the Coed-y-Brenin route just I had some friends to meet that day and left myself too little time.

Thanks for the tip about the Pennine Cycleway.. I might actually do some of that in December as I'll be up that end of the country anyway.

Re: Dieppe to Paris camping

28 August 2014 - 10:56pm
Recently completed this too. Last section into paris is excellent. Overall i surprised at how varied it was.

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

28 August 2014 - 10:24pm
Jamesjohnson wrote:Now I jut need to work out what's causing the twinges in my knees :/

Hey buddy - I suffer from twinges in my knee - I was touring with a friend who did sports science and he told me to get some bandages to wrap around my knee keeping it open on the patella itself - this did the job - I went from being in agony on each pedal stroke to fluid and painless. (apparently the bandages stop the patella from moving around which stops the tendon flaring up).

Hope this works for you and good luck for the rest of your tour!!!

Craig

Re: Dieppe to Paris camping

28 August 2014 - 10:13pm
so three years after starting this topic I finally got around to cycling to Paris. many thanks again to Donald for the guide - we found it very easy to follow! I am now hooked on cycling tours and am dreaming up the next one! (suggestions welcome)

Re: NCN Route 1

28 August 2014 - 9:39pm
dplant45 wrote:Planning a touring holiday in North Scotland from Inverness & on my way would like to use NCN 1. Looking @ OS maps part of the route uses old railway track towards Cullen. Is this route OK for laden touring bike using 700/28 wheels/tyres. Or am I better sticking to the lanes ? Dave
Yes, very suitable for a loaded tourer on 28mm tyres, a nice coastal route with good views. A fair bit of on-road back roads too if I remember.
Have you seen the Sustrans zoomable online map? http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map

Re: Notes from a third tour (Wales)

28 August 2014 - 9:31pm
Great write-up!

The Coed-y-Brenin route is doable on a loaded hybrid (I did it on my Ridgeback Velocity) as long as you're not scared of gravel and a bit of mud. If possible, take a GPS loaded with the route as currently marked on Sustrans/OSM-based maps. There was an earlier version of the route that followed Sarn Helen which was seriously uncyclable in parts - very scenic, true, but full of rocks! Hopefully the signage has been fixed to point along the proper route, but when I did it a few years back, it was frequently ambiguous/wrong - I actually ended up modifying one sign which was too confusing.

Agreed that the Llyn is worth it. If I were to do the route again I'd probably start from Abersoch rather than Holyhead, though public transport isn't great on the Llyn.

Oh, and if you like Lon Las Cymru, you'll love the Pennine Cycleway.

Re: Notes from a third tour (Wales)

28 August 2014 - 8:58pm
Thanks for this write-up. We could do with more of this type of personal feedback on the forum, it's full of useful information and can encourage others to take the plunge and go touring. (BTW, you really do need lower gears for that terrain, I use 22 to 34 = 17.5inches and I'm not ashamed of it )

Re: Notes from a third tour (Wales)

28 August 2014 - 7:49pm
Thanks for the info, this is a route I'm interested in doing at some point.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 5:08pm
I'm using bikepacker plus. I have had these on the bike since 2006 and have used them most days for commuting or touring. Can't say whether they are any better as I've not used the classic or roll top versions but they work well and are waterproof. If you are prone to totally immersing the panniers in streams then maybe you need a roller, otherwise hard to choose IMO.

Notes from a third tour (Wales)

28 August 2014 - 4:44pm
Did (mostly) the Lon Las Cymru / NCN8 last week. Some reflections. It was my third tour, if you can call it that, since I got into multi-day rides a year ago - first was Portugal, second northern Italy. About a week's cycling each time, with rest day(s) in the middle. Thought I'd try going closer to home this time and it was one of those things that had to be done whilst I'm living in Wales (*).

Route North to South, Holyhead to Abergavenny, 527km, with a loop around Snowdon and a detour around the Llyn peninsula, then mostly following NCN8 around Criccieth, Porthmadog, the diversion avoiding the still broken bridge near Harlech, the hill route above Harlech, then down the coast to Barmouth, staying on the coast till Tywyn, inland to Machynlleth, Llanidloes, Llangurig, Rhayader, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells, Glasbury, then NCN42 to Hay-on-Wye, Llanthony, Abergavenny, planned to get to Chepstow but got lazy and got the train home.

What worked:

- the weather, sunshine and showers but got lucky and it stayed mostly dry, except half a day of downpour but that was OK as waterproofs sufficed. Still it was far wetter and cooler than Portugal and Italy.
- the traffic: away from the A roads which I either had to or chose to go on a few times, there was hardly any - 95% of the route is on roads, just quiet roads - not many people in Wales!
- the views: some stunning ones. Gospel pass between Hay and Llanthony, the 500m or so high point on the road from Machynlleth to Llanidloes, the hills above Harlech, Mynydd Mawr the 200m high headland at the extreme west of the Llyn peninsula, around Pen-y-Pass in Snowdonia.. Not quite on the same scale as the 2100m Passo Falzarego in northern Italy but still nice.
- the Llyn Peninsula, IMO should be an obligatory extension to NCN8, probably one of the most remote parts of England and Wales, at least its the northern side, really beautiful, very nice quiet roads, everyone speaks Welsh.. Remarkably hilly!
- the narrow gauge steam trains in north Wales - felt like a trip back in time
- the direction: despite the headwinds it felt like the ascents were steeper and shorter, and the descents shallower and much longer, going north to south.
- orientation: despite the sign makers' best efforts to lead me astray (route signs really are minimalist in this country), with the help of a GPS app with a cycle route layer (pocket earth) I only went the wrong way 5 times.
- the language: good to be in a country where they speak your language (though I should really learn some Welsh).
- Tubus rack (Cargo): huge difference compared to the cheap alu rack I relied on last time.
- Brooks saddle: pretty uncomfortable at one point but now I think I've finally dialled in the right tilt..
- Shimano sandals: my favourite piece of kit owing to their versatility and hassle-free nature, plus no clipless falls this time..
- the beer: discovered ales from the Purple Moose Brewery, really good.

What didn't:

- the helmet mirror: my handlebar mirror works pretty well but I was going to test out a Cycle Aware reflex helmet-mounted mirror, unfortunately it got unstuck on the train on the way up and I lost it..
- the wild camp in the pine wood above Nefyn on the Llyn.. everything was farmland and this looked like the only option - it said no trespassing and live shooting so I stuck to the edge the wood, on a pronounced slope I tried to find a flat bit till I realised it was under a tree which was half bent so I had to move to the side onto the slope, it was very windy and I was worried my tent would get blown away or a tree would fall.. but it was alright in the morning..
- sticking to the route: got a little tiresome in the end, kept wanting to take me on the scenic route.. now I don't like cars either but when you see there is a good road from A to B following a straight line along the valley floor with a good surface and probably a pavement for some of it, and you, looking forward to breakfast in the next town, are taking the alternative route around the side of the valley, up and down, left and right, on a pretty rough track with gates you have to open and close every mile, sheep in the way, somehow the scenic aspects of it start to feel like a bit of a sacrifice. The good thing about cycle routes is that you don't have to think too much but I'm not sure I'm sold..
- the extra unexpected 5 miles just before Llangurig.. after mentally having already reached the target of that long stretch, the last thing I needed was more pointless hills.. I like honest ascents but this was probably my lowest moment.
- cooking kit: took along my DIY beer can stove as not yet sure what I want in a camping stove that a free one doesn't do.. but I still don't have a suitable lid for it to put out the fire, probably an empty tin will do, but been using large yoghurt pots which it melts through.. also not yet confident enough about safety to be sure that I won't set something on fire..
- the gears: definitely need lower than my 25 gear inches to get up some of those ascents! Currently max can do is 10% (steady) and 15% (for a short time) depending on the quality of road but anything above that (altimeter measured up to 23%) is impossible as well as feeling dangerous as the bike is rear heavy.. need to try adding front panniers.

Next time:

- go back and do the section of NCN8 through Coed y Brenin forest "unsuitable for loaded touring bikes / road bikes" to see how bad it can get.
- do it again in winter to see how bad it can get.
- will probably do another trip in the UK, but somehow abroad just seems much more interesting.. thoughts of Corsica, southern Spain, France, the Balkans..
- longer trip.. 2 weeks or even just 7 consecutive days.. at the moment I'm finding the first couple of days feels a bit weird, like what am I doing here, and hills are a pain, but from day 3 onwards I really start to get into it.. not sure if further down it will start to feel repetitive.. with a short schedule I'm finding I need quite fixed plans, more time would allow something more freeform, just a general direction being enough..
- this is all kind of preparation for the "really big one" which I've not yet set a date for, but will happen..

LLC-5649-2.JPGLLC-5638-2.JPG

(*) Wales was the goal of one of my first ever forays into long distance cycling, when as a 15yr old I set off from east Cheshire at 6am on a Sunday morning with five pounds pocket money and no spares or maps, and got to somewhere near Mold, accidentally ending up on a dual carriageway before turning round. I got a puncture about 20 or 30 miles from home and had to walk, at least the uphills, the rest of the way..

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 4:27pm
I've got both rollers and packer types. I suspect it's a bit of a 'marmite' question which you prefer. I can get on with either, but I think I prefer the packers for some reason I can't place. However with rollers you don't need to adjust any straps depending how full they are tho, so they are easier if your load is tidal - i.e. with food and beer.

The plus material is lighter than the classic, but maybe not as durable - after 6-7 years, I have a small split in mind where they've been contantly stretched in the same place. It was easy enuff to repare with a innertube patch tho. I'm happy with them otherwise, the classic material seems a bit OTT on the durability.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 1:47pm
I am not a fan of the roll top. My preferred choice and the one I have used for the last 12 years is the Bikepacker Plus. You can see them in use on most of the pictures on my website.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 1:08pm
[quote="PsamatheI purchased my Backroller Classics late last/early this year and inside they have a full width pocket and a zippered pocket (on the outside bit of the full width pocket). But these are internal and you may be talking about external pockets (sorry if I picked up the wrong aspect).

Ian[/quote]


Thanks, I didn't know this.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 12:47pm
I have/use both Classic and Plus. The Plus are quite tough, the Classic are very tough. If you're using daily then I think the extra is worth it. If it's not quite so much thrashing the Plus are lighter and have a nicer (IMO) feel.

Next choice is roll-top or flip top. I use rear rollers but for lowriders/front/small I use the 'Packers. They both work, one thing about the roll-tops is they overload relatively gracefully which can be handy on tour, or if the shopping trip found something bulky on special offer. Obviously the waterproofing is somewhat compromised if you leave the top gaping open, but it does substantially increase what you can carry. OTOH the flip-tops are naturally more-or-less closed by default.

Pete.

NCN Route 1

28 August 2014 - 12:02pm
Planning a touring holiday in North Scotland from Inverness & on my way would like to use NCN 1. Looking @ OS maps part of the route uses old railway track towards Cullen. Is this route OK for laden touring bike using 700/28 wheels/tyres. Or am I better sticking to the lanes ? Dave

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 11:54am
Currently going through the same decision process for Mrs Hufty's rear end.

A previous thread on the difference between Classic and Plus materials: http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46822

Also try googling "Ortlieb Classic or Plus". Compared to the Plus, the Classic is thicker, more plastic looking, more wipe clean, and weighs more. Also it's made of PVC if you are concerned about the enviromental impact of PVC. Not getting the impression that people think the lighter material is less robust though.

Then I guess it depends whether you want a lid or a roller top. Mrs H doesn't like the lid of her front Ortliebs because when you're trying to cram stuff in and tighten it all down hard the straps pull at their anchor points and I guess there is more risk of pulling a hole in the material than with a roll top.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 11:34am
whoof wrote:Only down side is that there no pockets to separate stuff or easier access. You can buy an add on pocket but I don't like the look of it.
They are very good panniers.
I purchased my Backroller Classics late last/early this year and inside they have a full width pocket and a zippered pocket (on the outside bit of the full width pocket). But these are internal and you may be talking about external pockets (sorry if I picked up the wrong aspect).

Ian

Re: Devon C2C

28 August 2014 - 11:29am
We had a great couple of days. In summary - amazing wildlife (a buzzard at very close quarters and a pair of deer), the lanes are more interesting than the rail trails (unsurprisingly, I guess), bikes on trains no problem, well signposted on the whole, met some friendly people (a pair doing pretty much the same as us, a chap doing the whole thing in one day training for London to Paris and a family who did it over five days), a mix of surfaces on the trails, not the prettiest entry into Plymouth...
Here are a couple of links to the route we took (including a diversion for maintenance works at Grenofen) for anyone that's interested.
Day one, Barnstaple station to Sourton Down: http://www.brytonsport.com/mapTrackView/2?id=6148064
Day two, Sourton Down to Plymouth Hoe: [/url]http://www.brytonsport.com/mapTrackView/2?id=6148066[/url]
Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.
Sean.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 11:28am
I have used my roller back classics for the past 11 years.
I like the build quality, they are 100% water proof and the fitting system.
Only down side is that there no pockets to separate stuff or easier access. You can buy an add on pocket but I don't like the look of it.
They are very good panniers.

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