CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

23 February 2015 - 2:46pm
shane wrote:I'm known to carry way way too much of both

Me too Shane, would like to see your full kit list for this one?

Looking to lighten up (load not mood) in just over a couple of months time when I set off from the UK again.

My rig I'm on now is over 50kg excluding liquids (water/fuel for stove etc.)

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 12:53pm
Seriously that road from Settle to Skipton past Cold Preston and other little settlements is a nightmare at the best of times if you are behind a large vehicle. It is a bendy road so most drivers only manage 50mph at most more like 40 but trucks will do as low as 25-30mph at times. Add in any snow, slush, rain or standing water (yes that road can flood at times) and you have a real nasty drive.

I often go to a place near Wetherby and drive time is between 1.5 hours and 2.5 hours depending on what I am behind on that stretch of road. It is seriously that bad. That is before weather factors come into play too (the 1 hour difference is based on good driving weather and is solely based on speed of traffic through that section of road). One autumn drive home in heavy rain in the dark once took me 3 hours. That was when flooding and detours meant it took me twice what a good quite day's drive would take.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 12:52pm
Wasn't settling on the road, but was on the hills along the road. Started clagging up on my screen below the wipers also. At least I didn't get it where I was (A65) anywhere like over at Kirkstone Pass and the Struggle.

http://www.itv.com/news/border/update/2 ... t-in-snow/

Looked like it could've been if I just went off the main road a bit though. Was bad enough driving in it, would've been foolish to go that way without good reason. Made that mistake before...

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 12:41pm
mrjemm wrote:Spa used to be more like that, but since moving they're more of a warehouse with a counter. That was a couple of years ago though, so may've changed again...

Just get to Skipton and follow the signs. I guess you'll be going across on the A65. All very easy, but quite a drag of a drive; got stuck behind a juggernaut in the snow yesterday going to Skipton, urgh. Navigation in Harrogate more hassle though, and worth checking on a map/gps.

FWIW I really can't 'get' Wheelbase. Overpriced and oversized for the level of stock. Ghyllside (Ambleside) and Keep Pedalling (Manchester) farrr better IMHO. Just dangerous to enter; usually can't do so without spending. If you're thinking about longer trips though, you can't beat these two shops.
Snow. Yikes

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 10:36am
I get what you're saying about Ghyllside, and can agree it's probably so. Upstairs they've usually got some interesting bikes on display though.

Practical Cycles is the place in Lytham I guess you mean. I've not been as they talk about contacting them before going, and yes, they appear to mainly deal with cargo bikes and the like.

Lots of small and decent LBS' hidden around the area, but not with the sort of thing we're talking about though, unfortunately. Usually focussed on the more financially viable stuff of course; sporty, MTBs, commuters; but of course this is a general issue everywhere. Spa does sell good bikes, but it just doesn't look like an LBS any more.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 10:20am
My view on Ghyllside was it kind of catered for those who knew what they were about in touring. You know, the sorts of people who specify their own builds up, one step from a full custom made tourer that is. Every bike was too expensive for me (touring bikes that is) and it is too small to have much stock in. No way to test ride before buying but I assume most of their customers either know what they want or go with their advice if buying a cheaper/hybrid bike.

Although I have only been in there about 6 times over 10 years. They range from very helpful to I know you are going to buy from Evans so I will only be polite. A bit unfair perhaps. I will try and get there saturday and give them a real try out.

Manchester is one place too far for me (even though it possibly takes me less time to get there than Harrogate would). Harrogate is kind of only just out of the way to visiting family so there is some justification for going there. Ambleside is somewhere I end up passing every weekend it seems. There is a surly retailer in Lytham according to the Surley website but that Lytham shop tends to stock those Dutch style trikes with a box on the front (usually with kids sitting in it on the photos). That or e-bikes (glad they don't hop on the apple bandwagon and call electic bikes i-Bikes at least).

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 10:06am
Spa used to be more like that, but since moving they're more of a warehouse with a counter. That was a couple of years ago though, so may've changed again...

Just get to Skipton and follow the signs. I guess you'll be going across on the A65. All very easy, but quite a drag of a drive; got stuck behind a juggernaut in the snow yesterday going to Skipton, urgh. Navigation in Harrogate more hassle though, and worth checking on a map/gps.

FWIW I really can't 'get' Wheelbase. Overpriced and oversized for the level of stock. Ghyllside (Ambleside) and Keep Pedalling (Manchester) farrr better IMHO. Just dangerous to enter; usually can't do so without spending. If you're thinking about longer trips though, you can't beat these two shops.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 9:44am
No don't take my comments about Spa as negative, I suspected that they are a proper aladdin's cave of a LBS with a traditional approach to customers, i.e. face to face or through that new fangled thing called a telephone!! I nearly went back to remove my comment about them in case it was read as a negative. I honestly believe from what I have read that they are the retail version of an experience if you are a true fan of bicycles and especially touring. None of this cycle boutique just a small and committed staff (probably who grew up there or have been working there for decades) and a large stockholding of touring related bits built up over decades of trading. You have a 30 year old touring bike made by some guy in a bike shop called Bob or Fred with old fashioned kit they'll have the widget you need or can fix it for you. That sort of LBS.

Seriously intending to call them. I reckon they'll know how to sort out a tall lad with no idea of what he really needs all at a price point that would embarass you if you went to one of the boutiqu shops or a mainstream place.

BTW anyone know the best way there from Skipton side? Been through that way cutting down to Wetherby once as a passenger but never been to Harrogate from this side before.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 9:32am
Tangled Metal

don't be put off by Spa Cycles' lack of urgency at answering e-mails. They are firmly in the last century in some ways. I usually find them better on the phone. But they are proper bike people, and they will want to sell you something that will work very well for you. And don't expect a normal bike shop if you visit them.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 9:11am
What is a touring bike fit?

I am wondering because a touring bike is one option for my "one bike". I'm guessing it has a more upright feel to it like a hybrid based on an MTB. The weight is less on the arms and more on the seat/pedals (using your core muscles). I'm also thinking it is a longer wheelbase bike than other road bikes with longer chainstays and since it is likely to be a steel frame it could be a more open main triangle. I am tall so will need the biggest size of whatever bike make and model I choose so with the touring bike I am guessing it will look a really big frame due to the thinner steel tubes and more open main triangle (that is what my ancient steel road bike looks like, larger than it;s true frame size due to thin 501 tubing and large main triangle). I could be wrong.

For heavy loads 36 hole wheels, a triple with top chainring of 46 or 48 and bottom say 26 ish. Cassette is the classic 11-32. Mech disc brakes these days if closer to £1k budget or v-brakes at lower budgets. Steel throughout except at budget end where you might get Al frame and ChroMoly forks for comfort. Chainstay is 445cm typically and STA is 72 degrees. In the largest frame size (typically 60cm) a reach over 600cm I;m guessing is needed.

Sorry Jimstar79 if I have taken over with this question about what is a touring bike fit (and related summary of spec as I see it). Perhaps I should start own thread.

BTW I'm on the same bike journey as you are I suspect, a tourer but perhaps a tourer more capable of rough roads. Also in the NW England I think. I am hoping to take a trip to Spa cycles soon as I can get a pass out from family duties at the weekend. Although I am not impressed by their lack of reply to a website/email enquiry. I can only guess it failed to go through.

Re: New Forest Tour

23 February 2015 - 8:59am
simonhill wrote:I don't understand this post. It says tour in the New Forest for two weeks. For me touring is essentially about moving on.

I would have thought you would need far less time 'to tour' the NF.

Isle of Wight is good for a few days, but that stil leaves plenty of time to continue the tour. Are you moving on or looking for a static base?

Tours mean different things to different people. For fixed base touring the New Forest is lovely, and as you say there's always the option to shift the base to the Isle of Wight.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 8:52am
I suggest getting out and riding some of these bikes. It will help you understand fit in a touring bike (which you may find is a little different than what you are accustomed to), you may find one that you absolutely love, and it's fun, as well

To add to the braking thing... I've gone down some *really* steep hills with a loaded bike and not had any problems (with V or cantilever brakes). If it's all that bad, just take it slowly. If it's too steep for cars, then take it at a walking pace, or walk every other switchback. Any brakes can fade. Even braking systems that are relatively poor by modern standards can cope with descending on a loaded touring bike, if they are used within their capability.

Good luck!

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

23 February 2015 - 7:49am
Tangled Metal - yes, the Genesis Tour de Fer does look like a brilliant bike. I was first taken by that bike but have since looked at Dawes Super Galaxy and also Ridgeback Panorama, which are both more expensive unless you can find a good deal. I really like the look of the Panorama and missed out on getting a slightly upgraded, year old one on Ebay last night, which went for £746!

The guys in that LBS who have those Dawes sitting around in the warehouse should get on here and make us an offer!!


Stu57 - thanks for the links; both wonderful bikes. The Coast2Coast really looks like an amazing bike - it's just a bit pricey for me at the moment as I need to get all the panniers and other stuff to go with it. Maybe I will hold tight for a month or two and look for a drop in price <fingers crossed>.

Another dilemma I'm facing is sizing, some bike it works out that I'd be better off with a 58cm frame and others with a 56cm frame. I am waiting on Winstanleys Bikes to find out if they can still supply a 58cm frame Dawes Super Galaxy, priced at £799, but am worried that I might order a bike based on price and find out that it is slightly too big. I am 5'11'' - and actually think 58cm might be too big for a tourer - my single speed feels like quite a big bike and that's 58cm. Hmmm, more to ponder!

Off to work - Happy Monday folks!!

Re: New Forest Tour

23 February 2015 - 7:24am
If I had my binoculars, my bird book and dragonfly book I could spend all summer in the NF. Saw a keeled skimmer last summer [emoji41]

Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 February 2015 - 7:18am
JBB wrote:I would not advise leaving your vehicle in a New Forest car park over a Bank Holiday - it is notorious for breakins even when there's nothing on show. Use Google maps and find a residential street in Lymington with on street parking and leave it there. Works well for us.

Appreciate that JBB. I've marked a little residential street in a village to the north east of Lymington. I could do with a short cycle after driving to Hampshire. I hope the coffee is OK on the ferry [emoji477]️

Re: New Forest Tour

23 February 2015 - 1:55am
I don't understand this post. It says tour in the New Forest for two weeks. For me touring is essentially about moving on.

I would have thought you would need far less time 'to tour' the NF.

Isle of Wight is good for a few days, but that stil leaves plenty of time to continue the tour. Are you moving on or looking for a static base?

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 11:51pm
Jimstar79 wrote:I'm going to start looking at 26" wheel touring bikes - just out of curiosity - but so far I have only come across Surly and one or two others (like Thorn) but these are just out of my price range. It seems that people who own Surly's really love their bikes!! I'll have a look around for second-hand ones.

There are some new options out there this year -

http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/bike/expedition

http://dawescycles.com/product/coast-2-coast-26/

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 11:09pm
In the bike shops I've been in all the racks show 25kg max load. One bike I looked at came with metal mudguards with a rack that uses the guards for extra strength, that had 45kg max loading. Thorn cycles do a tourer capable of handling 45kg and use a tubus rack IIRC. I'd think for most bikes 25kg on one wheel is enough.

I'm looking for a commuter/tourer/general road and easy off road leisure riding. Been looking at gravel bikes or adventure road bikes, others call faux CXers. Like of genesis cdf or Croix de fer. The tour de fer looks a good bike. It's a cdf with longer chainstay length I think. Not sure if it's the best for you but I'm tempted. My LBS is a bit sniffy about Dawes. The bike mechanic said he hates them from the maintenance side because every one he has to work on has been in a bad state. He doesn't think they're any good nowadays. The sales guy agreed. Said their boss bought a load expecting them to sell but they didn't. Now rotting in a warehouse apparently but could still bring them in if I insisted.

I'm debating getting a tourer or a gravel bike. Purpose commuting but aim to tour with it. Plan to check out ridgeback bikes. Their world range of tourers look good to me but I don't know enough.

Wheelbase is a decent shop but I get the impression unless you have over £1000 to spend they've not got much I feel. Limited tourer range. I'm from north Lancs so been looking for a new bike myself so checked out most or all bike shops in the area. Not many tourers stocked if those adventure road bikes or CXers are not your thing.

Re: New Forest Tour

22 February 2015 - 10:24pm
I'd also recommend Acres Down http://www.acresdownfarm.co.uk/campsite.html. The north side of the Forest is quieter and hillier. There are several campsites near Fordingbridge in the NW corner which is a good place to buy food. The route through the Forest edge villages from Downton to Ringwood is lovely too. Various other camping options around Nomansland but no idea about the quality.

HTH
Julia

Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

22 February 2015 - 10:15pm
I would not advise leaving your vehicle in a New Forest car park over a Bank Holiday - it is notorious for breakins even when there's nothing on show. Use Google maps and find a residential street in Lymington with on street parking and leave it there. Works well for us.

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