CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 41 min 38 sec ago

Re: Anyone use a trailer ?

1 August 2014 - 10:44pm
seems like those cheapo bobyak lookalikes getting very expensive?

eg

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Waterproof-Foldable-Bicycle-Transportation-Trailer-One-wheel-with-Luggage-Bag-/111233264760?pt=UK_SportGoods_CyclAcces_RL&hash=item19e604ec78

Seems like some very greedy people think they are onto a good thing

by the way the one shown is the one I got for free - it has simple suspension at the back

Re: Italy cycle resources?

1 August 2014 - 10:28pm
Does Italy use the same hand signals? What are the junction priorities? Other practical differences? Didn't find this on Italy cycling guide, but it seems to use a restricted template if you're on a mobile.

http://www.bicitalia.org/ has some routes but also little info on these practicalities, that I can understand, anyway.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

1 August 2014 - 10:18pm
Thanks for the replies!

That website is the only one I found with anything useful on so a massive thank you for putting it together! I've mainly been travelling using open cycle maps but it looks like there's a massive gulf in the middle of the route I want to take. Before anyone says it no it's not because of mountains. But I think there are routes on your site which should fill the gap! Just wanted to be sure I wasn't just typing in the wrong thing and missing a tourist office run overview of all routes throughout the country!

Thanks again!

Re: Luxembourg to Brussels

1 August 2014 - 9:54pm
Don't worry too much. The roads are either busy/medium busy in which case they have decent cycle paths 1m away from the road (small hedges or grass separate the two and btw, if there is one, you have to use it by law) or you will find quiet roads, in which case, you can relax.

Namur is especially lovely and the whole journey is filled with gently rolling hills. It should be great fun.

When you pass by, feel free to stop for a cuppa!!!

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 8:56pm
AaronR wrote:Piccy here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21583957@ ... hotostream

Steel frame with a brushed metal finish, all usual quality Specialized finishing bits - I used Nimbus Armadillo on a previous bike and got the rear down to canvas without a puncture, had forgotten about them!

well done, great buy .

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 8:47pm
See what condition its in by the end of May next year after daily commuting between now and the 1st May, then a 12-14 day JOGLE trip

Re: Italy cycle resources?

1 August 2014 - 7:52pm
You could try my website, lots and lots of resources - and as well as the route guides I've produced myself (with maps and gps downloads) there's also information about other useful websites.

http://italy-cycling-guide.info

iviehoff wrote:Italian mapping is dreadful. It's one of those Italian dysfunctionalities which indicates it hasn't quite made it into the club of properly run countries yet, even though its GDP did briefly overtake Britain's about 20 years back. And they don't spend much money on social infrastructure like children's playgrounds either, so expecting to find much in the way of cycle routes is wishful thinking, though there are probably a few model projects here and there. In a few popular tourist/mountain areas you can find a German/Austrian produced map which will probably be a bit better than the local one, though even those aren't perfect. The other option is to use GPS, because those have to have the actual roads on them.

Erm. The Touring Club Italiano 1:200,000 map is excellent for touring and personally I find it better than the Michelin equivalents.

I used to think that Kompass were a German firm but actually I think they may be an Italian from: (see this page) have their head office is in northern Italy near Bozen (Bolzano). I can't say that with absolute certainty, though. There are other good Italian map producers including Tabacco.

There isn't really an equivalent of the Ordnance Survey, so the Italian mapping community have put a lot of time into Open Street Map and it's very reliable.

I haven't totalled up how many kilometres of traffic-free cycle paths there are in Italy. It must run into thousands. But sadly considerably more than in the UK (and I wouldn't mind betting, more than in France).

Check out this flickr album of pictures I've taken of cycleways in Italy:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/118439818 ... 906681935/

A lot more than few model projects.

Living as we do in a country where every day there seems to be a new mis-selling scandal (not to mention Jimmy Saville etc), and it sometimes seems that if people are not lying, cheating and rigging markets they are busy filing personal injury claims, I'm not sure we have any right to be lecturing about 'dysfunctionalities'. The OP wanted to know about cycling in Italy: you obviously know very little about Italy, or cycling in Italy, so why don't you keep your ignorant chauvinist prejudices to yourself?

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

1 August 2014 - 7:21pm
Unless I missed it, there is another alternative that has not been mentioned: hire bikes in Germany. My wife and I have enjoyed numerous cycle tours in Germany on hired bikes and will be back there again shortly. We recently returned from an excellent trip to Austria where we also hired bikes. They were excellent quality, had numerous to choose from, we were not asked for a deposit, or proof of identity or even an address or telephone number. We just said we would return them in a week. We were told we were free to exchange the bike at any time during the week if we wanted to. When I asked for a puncture repair kit I was told "no need "we'll come out and bring you another bike". I asked what if we were several hour's drive away, and was told we'd just have to be a bit patient, but he would happily drive over to us. And the cost? 39 Euros for 7 days. At that price, I'm glad I did not go to the effort of taking our own bikes.

Re: Spain North to South

1 August 2014 - 7:20pm
Yes, there are plenty of albergues on the VDP not to need a tent. We wild camped one night in the Picos but that was all. You may find a pension in the mountains though. We averaged around 85 - 100km per day in Spain and stuck with the N630 from Benevente onwards rather than the walking route. We also wild camped about 30km outside Seville but could have probably made it into the city.

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp

1 August 2014 - 7:17pm
Now I think about it your possible chainring size is limited by the "bolt circle diameter"....http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html#bcd
Ultegra rear mech. specs. are probably here somewhere...http://si.shimano.com/#seriesList/38....you should find the biggest sprocket your mech. is "meant" to take....however, those specs. are a bit conservative, you can often run a bigger sprocket in the real world than the specs. say.
I wouldn't splash out on an Ultegra cassette personally, it will only save you a few grams over the cheapest, and is no more durable.
(but then, I wouldn't splash out on 10 speed, either....)

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 6:57pm
No wonder you are happy. That is a great looking bike -very similar to mine but being older mine has cantilever brakes and a quill stem.

I was too tight to pay the extra for the Armadillos but not regretting it yet!

If you change your mind I'd be happy to buy it off you

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 6:40pm
Piccy here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21583957@ ... hotostream

Steel frame with a brushed metal finish, all usual quality Specialized finishing bits - I used Nimbus Armadillo on a previous bike and got the rear down to canvas without a puncture, had forgotten about them!

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 6:02pm
AaronR wrote:The bike has been purchased

.... its a 97/98 Specialized Rockhopper 17" in what can only be described as superb condition ...........

............ suggestions for easy rolling long distance puncture resistant tyres

Is that steel or ali? I have a rigid 1995 Rockhopper that is steel but I know they went ali and suspension forks soon afterwards.

I'm running on Specialized Nimbus Sport, 26x1.50. ( £18 each from Evans with CTC discount )

4800 miles this year, including a LEJOG, without any visits from the fairy.

Re: Spain North to South

1 August 2014 - 5:48pm
I arrive in Santander on aug 5 with the intention of heading over the Picos and then to Seville on the Via De Plata.
Are there enough refugios on the VDP route not to need a tent?

Thanks

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 August 2014 - 5:01pm
The bike has been purchased

£60 plus £25 in diesel to go and collect it, its a 97/98 Specialized Rockhopper 17" in what can only be described as superb condition - I pumped up the tyres, gave the chain a spray and have ridden it everywhere since I got it on Tuesday evening

Just ordered rear rack and bottle cages, fitted the saddle off my old bike and will swap the pedals over later when the kids won't overhear me swearing at them to loosen them

Tyres are the next thing, although the current ones are in near perfect condition the noise they generate will ruin long distance riding! Personal Preference because I know the puncture fairy hates them would be Schwalbe Marathon Plus, but open to other suggestions for easy rolling long distance puncture resistant tyres

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp

1 August 2014 - 4:42pm
Thanks for the reply
The Tri cross's lower in the range had triples the comp has a compact

The 30 rear and 30 front would certainly get me the best ration - do you know if it is possible without changing by derailleurs?

Re: Specialized Tricross Comp

1 August 2014 - 4:13pm
Rear....27 to 30 T......that's about 11% change
Front ....34 to 30 T....that's about 12% change
Do both and bottom gear will be around 25% lower, which is noticeable, I don't think you will notice much difference if you just do one or the other.

(doesn't the "Tri" in "Tricross" stand for "triple chainset".....?

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

1 August 2014 - 3:47pm
Having exhausted places we wanted to tour which we could get to by ferry, we flew for the first time this year. We went with British Airways and found them very bike friendly. Yes there's a bit of stress packing up a bike for the flight, but it's not that difficult, probably less stress than you get cumulatively with multiple changes by other methods, and your holiday starts sooner.

You're also in First Great Western territory who I've found very bike friendly, so I'd suggest train to Slough (you might need to change at Reading) then it's a short easy ride to Heathrow Terminal 5 which is very bike friendly.

Specialized Tricross Comp

1 August 2014 - 3:43pm
Hello
I have a Specialized Tricross Comp (2008 I think). I would like to do some light touring and could do with changing some of my gearing for lugging up hill.

Currently it has:-
Front - FSA Gossamer (175mm) 48/34T with 105 derailleur
Rear - 12-27 Ultegra 10 speed cassette and Ultegra derailleur

What is my best option?

I believe I can put a cassette on up to 30 - so was considering a Ultegra 12-30T but would I be better off trying to change my front small chain ring to a 32 or 30 - is this possible? What about a combination of 32 front and a 11-28T rear?

The 48 front and 12 rear is fine for down hill at the moment as I'm not really a speed merchant

Thanks for any advice
Richard

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