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Updated: 42 min 23 sec ago

Proper Tour of Scotland

8 hours 7 min ago
Need some advice ! If you were going to do a tour of Scotland's coastline leaving from the west coast (central area) with the intention of doing the full(ish) coastal route , what way would you go? Up the west coast, across and down the east or down the west to Mull of Galloway, across and up the east coast before down the west?
Does anyone know where I can get a decent forecast /prediction of the predominant wind directions during April , May, June ?
Having seen the rest of our fair land already I'm pretty sure I would be quite happy to stick to coastal routes without venturing too far inland .

Your assistance and experience is appreciated as always !

Cheers
Jim

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

8 hours 38 min ago
I was only thinking yesterday that rather than talk about frame geometry, pictures of how far people lean forward on a bike would be far better and that's what's happening now. I use two bikes for touring, with the MTB, my posture would be similar to your picture above, whereas on my touring bike I'm leaning forward more on the hoods and can get down reasonably low on the drops, whereas I can sit up on the flats and have the same posture as my MTB for climbing etc.

Re: Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 8:59pm
There are a lot of myths around steel vs alloy for touring bike frames. My favourite being that steel is easier to repair in less technologically advanced countries. The question of course is, would you be happy to let the bloke with a cheapo arc welder repair your expensive steel framed bike knowing you still had thousands more miles to cover? Thought not
Steel can be more compliant and give a nicer ride, but so then can nice supple tyres and an alloy frame is more than enough for UK tours. This isn't a third world nation....yet.

Re: Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 8:51pm
mercalia wrote:the only thing I would add is that steel frames can take more abuse than alloy, so get a bike with a steel frame. I once came across a guy in a rail carriage with his bike that had a crumpled top tube - he said he this had happened as a result of over tigthening a clamp to secure it when it was being transported.
I've known similar to happen to steel bikes. In particular one with expensive (Reynolds 853) tubes. In fact expensive thin steels are probably more prone than anything. Bikes are not designed to see those kind of forces.

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

31 March 2015 - 8:39pm
Yes as mentioned I do want something to repatriate me and cover any third party risk:

Directline = £84 and they won't cover the bike

Also had a couple of quick quotes online but after the initial figure you just get referred to their policy wording which quickly becomes tiresome.

I might ring a few up the week before we go.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 8:17pm
22camels wrote:........sorry for the dumb question, but I didn't quite understand why the position in the first picture in your post was that bad? ....

The lass in the pink shirt had her saddle much too high....inches too high....in that "before" photo, you can see her heel is probably 2 to 3 inches higher than the ball of her foot....this is stretching to reach the pedal at the bottom, while maintaining some bend in her knee....she was rocking on the saddle too.

This is the "after" photo, this was as low as she would let me put the saddle....still a bit too high, i thought, which is why making big changes a bit at a time is a good idea....



Edit...leaning forward is of course a matter of preference, but.....
you won't get a position as upright as your picture with drops and anything near a conventional bike
leaning forward braces your lower back for hard pedalling efforts....when I have had an upright position and tried to pedal hard, I have found it a strain on my back, obviously I'm not used to it. Comfortable for pedalling gently just from the hips down.
easier to distribute your weight on our broken roads if you are not sat bolt upright, all weight on top of the saddle.
advantages in head or side winds, too
Google "Steve Hogg" for bike fitting information.

Re: Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 8:05pm
the only thing I would add is that steel frames can take more abuse than alloy, so get a bike with a steel frame. I once came across a guy in a rail carriage with his bike that had a crumpled top tube - he said he this had happened as a result of over tigthening a clamp to secure it when it was being transported.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 7:32pm
Bicycler wrote:The flip side has been the way that our expectations have changed in line with that technology. Once upon a time you just upped and left with what you had. Now it's too easy to spend months on the internet researching and to come away with the view that you need x bike with y kit and need to wear z clothes. You can easily come to the conclusion that you can't afford to go touring, that your bike isn't up to it, your tent is too heavy and your clothes are unsuitable. I understand that cycling is a minority pastime for enthusiasts who like to have good quality kit. That's all well and good but it risks deterring people by making them think that it is necessary to spend £££ on cycling stuff to go touring. That's why it is good when occasionally someone pops the marketing/enthusiast bubble to show you that you really don't need anything more than a bike and a desire to tour: http://tomsbiketrip.com/you-dont-need-a ... rob-maria/

I agree totally with this as I have done both and experienced on a budget and now with a lot more kit.. theres fun in both, however I believe yes we should do more to make sure people don't get put off!

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 7:29pm
thank you, this is great. I did say my current position is probably off, though whether or not it's related to the neck issue I wouldn't jump to conclusions - i spent two days test riding two other bikes recently each set up properly by a shop and i had the same neck issue each time..

i'll have a go making small adjustments to saddle height and fore/aft though and see if it's any better. Though I've already adjusted a lot over the time i've been riding this bike and feel there is not that much more I can gain from understanding why it doesn't work, I may as well start from scratch with the new bike (I've spent over 12 months deliberating now and will probably end up going with the Thorn Sherpa - still have to decide between frame sizes though).

sorry for the dumb question, but I didn't quite understand why the position in the first picture in your post was that bad?

I can see your position has much more forward lean than mine, and that this can be a good thing, but this aspect is a matter of preference is it not?

p.s. the sti levers.. yeah.. funny I know.. nowhere else to put them, it's just a little experiment, will be back to drops in a week.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 6:54pm
Please remember the following is advice, offered in the tradition of cyclists trying to help each other.....I'm sure bits of it will come across as critical, but I don't see what else I can do, as I think your position is miles out......

The saddle needs to go down quite a lot, and back quite a lot. As soon as you alter a riding position you have used for a while, it will feel "all wrong" .....its bound to. So I suggest you drop the saddle and move it back 5mm at a time and get used to each adjustment before you make the next increment. Saddle height needs to be right for smooth pedalling, if its too high you will point your toes and wiggle your hips just to keep a bit of bend in the knee at the bottom of the stroke.....lack of fluidity at the bottom of the stroke is the hallmark of too high a saddle. However, I have seen worse......



Saddle position front to back is much more about your balance on the bike than about pedalling efficiency. If the saddle is too forward, it throws weight onto your hands, and I think this is the likely cause of your neck problems....this is me, aged about 64, and now at 67 my position hasn't changed..(68 in a couple of months...how did that happen?)....You can't judge too much from the position of the saddle nose, as you don't sit on the nose, but mine is 75mm behind the BB, and I'm shorter than you.



How to tell if your saddle is far enough back? The small amount of weight I put on the bars I can support with no strain on one finger of each hand on the brake hoods.
My saddle height is set so there is still bend in my knee with my foot level or even heel down, in cycling shoes with low/no heel. This means i can carry on pedalling fluidly on rough tracks while letting the saddle bounce underneath me, with little weight on the saddle.

My position has much more forward lean than yours. This braces my lower back for those occasions when I'm pedalling hard, and means off-road I can un-weight either wheel by redistributing my weight to go smoothly over the bumps.

Riding past Pen y Ghent.....in balance, and relaxed.....nice day in a place like that.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 6:39pm
Just think, in pre "technology" days, say pre1990 --
1. We might send a post card to work colleagues. Now many are in email contact.
2. We might phone home once a week from a phone box. Now it is constant contact through mobile phones and other devices that demand charging.
2. We just went, we did not need routes to follow.
3. We might arrange to do a slide show when we got back. Now it is all on the blog.

Simpler times and I'm happy to be a simpleton

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 6:39pm
The flip side has been the way that our expectations have changed in line with that technology. Once upon a time you just upped and left with what you had. Now it's too easy to spend months on the internet researching and to come away with the view that you need x bike with y kit and need to wear z clothes. You can easily come to the conclusion that you can't afford to go touring, that your bike isn't up to it, your tent is too heavy and your clothes are unsuitable. I understand that cycling is a minority pastime for enthusiasts who like to have good quality kit. That's all well and good but it risks deterring people by making them think that it is necessary to spend £££ on cycling stuff to go touring. That's why it is good when occasionally someone pops the marketing/enthusiast bubble to show you that you really don't need anything more than a bike and a desire to tour: http://tomsbiketrip.com/you-dont-need-a ... rob-maria/

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 5:58pm
The really amazing thing is that new technology has completely and utterly let us down. The greatest benefit that technology could have conferred on cycle touring is the huge diminution in working hours that would have allowed everyone if they so wished to go touring - the Great Leisure Time revolution. It was promised but never happened. Compare that to the universal adoption of the two week holiday early in the last century - that was a technological revolution as much as a social one.

So how much time has technology freed up for touring? Not a lot as far I can see. Cycle touring, obviously, is a time consumptive activity - technology cannot shorten it. Personally I would give up every piece of new technology for the freedom to have few weeks' extra time to tour.

Flying has changed people's horizons and yes, you can fit a trip to Australia into your annual holiday now. Using Google to plan a trip saves a little time. But two weeks is still two weeks and then it's back to the grindstone.

Cycle touring by its nature tends to eshew technology beyond the bike itself - that's the idea. And all those gadgets don't really detract from that (even though I don't use them). But they cannot really enhance it either: cycle touring needs time, serendipity, an open mind, some physical resilience, a sense of wonder and a feeling of joy. Technology could have released us to be able to experience more of that (even with paper maps) but instead it chained us to our work and held out as compensation some new toys to use on a short break. Give me an extra week over GPS any day.

Re: Handlebar bag views and costs

31 March 2015 - 5:51pm
In case anyone is interested, the bag from Planet X (previous post) is holding up well during my tour through Holland and Germany.

The bracket is solid and the map case does a good job of holding my phone in a landscape orientation for navigation.

The bag isn't waterproof though so dry bags required for anything that needs to stay dry.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 4:59pm
I have avoided facebook/twitter in favour of my own blog which is more for me really although people are always telling me to get onto facebook.... I like blogs and forums not bought into the whole social media thing as I have seen the dark side of it all working in education and having left a few forums because of very nasty individuals.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

31 March 2015 - 4:48pm
My first tour was only about 7 years ago, but in that time I've got my first smart phone, joined facebook, etc. The smart phone made on the hoof research realatively easy. It's still slow as browsing goes, so I only tend to use it when I have to. Facebook and social media - well that has a corrupting influence on all walks of life. It is very easy to make choices that are blogworthy or for some facebook attention rather than what you might do otherwise without an audience. My last long tour I wasn't on there, but I bet if I was I'd have spent rather more time staging photos than just getting on with it.

Re: Gluten Free

31 March 2015 - 4:23pm
Thank you

Re: Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 3:54pm
This is the review that sold me on the Vantage...

http://www.ctc.org.uk/file/member/201105064.pdf

There's a little over 9500 miles in just over 3 years on mine and they have been mostly trouble free. Parts wear out as on any bike and so far she's on her second rear mech, third cassette, second bottom bracket, second rear hub, countless chains and cables and the other bits that were replaced were done for fit and comfort. As bikes are built to price, the rear hub and bottom bracket were just plain crap but other owners have had reliable service from those parts.
The ride itself is lovely imo but then again I do roll on Hyper Voyagers which are vastly superior to the stock Randonneurs fitted when I bought it. I also ride on a suspension seatpost which smooths things out even more. The steel forks (no posh cro-mo here, its high tensile only) seem to help the ride too.
For me, the bike has always felt a little too quick handling, twitchy almost although it didn't feel sluggish when fully loaded. The Tektro cantilevers while not the most powerful in the world, are very reliable and even better when you ditch the stupid Shimano link wire and use a proper straddle cable instead. The square taper (theres a good argument for these over modern designs) Truvative chainset has yet to fall off despite lots of other users having problems and the shifters, front mech and headset which are the only other remaining original parts have been trouble free also.
The rear rack is ok for daily use but I discovered after about 6000 miles that the stays were bending, having not had a lot of weight on them. Not good.
Maybe not the most important thing in the world, but the colour is absolutely gorgeous and I frequently get comments from folk telling me what a nice bike she is It does the ego no end of favours
I have to agree with Chris Judens remark about the 'aero' downtube, it does seem pointless and rather stupid for a touring bike but part of me thinks it adds character to the bike and maybe even helps in the stiffness stakes when she's fully loaded. It doesn't flop about like a wet towel.

edit: If I remember correctly, Dawes quoted 31lb as it's off the shelf weight. I think that's a little optimistic of them. 33-34lb is more like it.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 3:43pm
I'd say the saddle's too high and that you have short thighs and long lower legs,hence KOPS @ saddle 50mm behind the BB.

BTW,that's the weirdest arrangement of road STI's I've seen But if it suit who am I to judge.

Re: Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 3:23pm
I like the look of the Fuji frame, and personally I like simplicity and power of v-brakes on a loaded bike. I also like the Deore chainset (Hollowtech II, which people either love or hate) it's fitted with, I've got them on a couple of bikes.

If you don't like the shifters on the bar-end you can always get Gevenalle shifters or look at the ideas in this thread.

If you want STI I'd pick a bike with Claris shifters and mechs as they get good reviews.

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