CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

15 February 2015 - 11:53am
Thanks Vorpal!

So there's two more, the one mentioned above:

Dawes Galaxy AL 2014 Touring Bike
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/daw ... e-ec050874

and another option I've found at EBC, discounted and in my size. It doesn't have a back rack so I'd have to buy that:

Eastway ST 1.0 Steel
http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... ring-bikes

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 11:42am
It's possible to tour on pretty well anything - a lot of people in the 50's and 60's had one decent bike which was used for racing and with a saddle bag pressed into service as a tourer - most road bikes came with mudguard eyes.
When I returned to cycling after many years the first bike I bought was a tourer which I also used for Audax.
Several bikes later I still have the tourer which does it's job admirably but only gets use for a multi day tour - which means not every year.
So I'd guess - as others have suggested its a niche product. And as others suggest there are other types of machine which will suit the purpose with minor modifications.
Most audax bikes will take a rack so I think they are quite suitable as a light tourer.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 11:28am
It really needs a marketing boost, a change of image.

I'd rather it didnt. Its nice on the road meeting the occasional cycle-tourist. What i avoid like the plague is traditional tourist places (i live in one) or organised tours on organised routes. If there were loads more cycle tourism I wouldnt get near passes from swaying caravans anymore

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 11:16am
For a proper camping gear carrying tourer you do certainly have to deal with one of the small number of niche shops, probably on-line unless you are lucky enough to live close to one. Audax / winter trainer / light tourer bikes are excellent for day tours but not, of course, full=on cycle camping. The modern versions of traditional tourers are great all-round bikes, more so than hybrids, so it is a pity that you don't see them used more for commuting and so forth. But there are more trendy bikes (Genesis Croix de Fer) that pretend to be "cyclo-cross" but are in fact very close to traditional tourer.

I don't really remember a time when lots of people did long cycle tours (except for LEJOG). I did before we had the kids, and will again in a couple of years when they have moved on. I think the golden age was before my time. But it is an activity that could take off in the future. It really needs a marketing boost, a change of image.

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

15 February 2015 - 11:10am
I try to avoid leaving my bike on tour. I lock it up for quick trip into shop for drink/water.
Going to a supermarket. i carry the panniers round in a trolley.
Other than that mini padlocks to keep the paniers attached work well for a 5 minute stop.
If people want to rummage through my used underwear for valuables i'm not fussed. They go with me in my barbag.

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

15 February 2015 - 10:50am
Carrying panniers around is easier with a shoulder strap or something. When shopping, they can be stuck in a trolley.

I have left them a couple of times, when the bike was locked and I was just going to be gone for a few minutes, but I always worry about them.

People do use alarms, locking nets, locking mounts and various other things. I'd rather just take my stuff with me.

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

15 February 2015 - 10:40am
I have a small pad lock on my panniers and fits the the rack it stops someone just taking them off.

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

15 February 2015 - 10:36am
The only single rule is common sense. What is right in one circumstance may be very wrong in another.

Ideally leave luggage at hotel, maybe bike as well in some places. In a small country town, probably safe to leave while shopping etc as long as bike is locked. I wouldn't leave it anywhere for too long unless under someone's supervision, eg security guard, car park attendant, food stall, shop owner, etc.

Most thieves don't understand panniers and would be reluctant to start fiddling in a public place.

I have never locked my panniers on, the only things I could use, straps, handles, etc could be easily cut. Not sure about those pacsafe cages, might make your stuff look more valuable.

Its one of the joys of cycle touring I am afraid.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 10:22am
To answer the title question, I would say definitely not.

The fact that most shops don't stock tourers is presumably down to the fact that they wouldn't sell many. If someone came in every day and asked to buy one, I imagine they would stock some.

My LBS used to be a Dawes stockist and I imagine they usually had a number of Galaxys (it was a bit before my touring days). In those days the Galaxy was I imagine as much a general purpose road bike as a bespoke tourer so sales were probably good.

They don't do Dawes now but carry a stock of MTBs but much less than a few years ago, roadbikes, hybrids, folders, etc. They are 'stockists' for Surly, but rarely have any in stock. Those who want order, usually frames which are built to owners spec. This has made the touring bike side of the business very specialised.

It seems that other niche bikes are similar, ie he may have one Brompton, but you would expect to order the exact one you want.

I am currently in Thailand and have met quite a few first time tourers and also a few Thai tourers (all Surly shod), so I definitely would not say it is a thing of the past.

What me a dinosaur????

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 10:16am
Full on multiple day touring (carrying your own stuff) is a niche leisure pursuit. Its never been mainstream and will remain so I believe. You have to have the time, an understanding partner, an independent spirit and the will to ride into the unknown.
Most virgin cyclists want a 'Racer' or a Mountain Bike so thats what shops stock. I always go in new bike shops to see what they have got and there are very few tourers on display. For day touring you dont need a tourer, anything will do. Thats why proper tourers are scarce.
I just wish I had been able to cycle tour earlier in my life when I was working and bringing up my family.


Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 9:58am
I also think once you've bought a touring bike which is very reliable, you dont tend to need another... This doesnt pander to economics, and the buy more culture.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

15 February 2015 - 9:31am
The fact is that most tours are day tours and they don't need touring bikes. Any half-decent hybrid of today is easily better for a tour than my first "proper" touring bike (EBC Country, 1989). Given multi-day touring is a niche it's something probably worth visiting a specialist dealer.

I don't think touring is dying out, but I think it's quite possible the general availability of "normal" bikes has gone up a lot while the demand for tourers will have been reasonably static.


Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

14 February 2015 - 11:12pm
No idea as the the real reason but might it be that people looking for touring bikes search the internet, read reviews, check specs and only when they have pretty well decided do they actually go look at bikes.

And when they have purchased their ideal bike they pretty well keep it forever. Whereas your carbon/alu frame has a limited life; either as materials wear or get damaged and cannot be repaired or as next years model that is 20g lighter comes out to rave reviews and those into those types of bike have to get the latest ... so it is a more regular sale.

I wonder if it is also a somewhat different market in not only bikes but accessories. Unsure about components, I doubt many carbon frames have quite the same range of accessories fitted as your tourer and those into touring want solid reliable parts that "last forever" (so again sell one to somebody and that's it for them for ever).


Re: Pannier Security on Tour

14 February 2015 - 10:58pm
I always take my panniers with me, or if I want to be a tourist for a day, I leave them with a hotel, or in a station locker or something.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

14 February 2015 - 10:58pm
No it's just a bit niche.

Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

14 February 2015 - 10:30pm
This question has a fair amount of connection to several other threads in other sections here, partly those about the direction CTC seems to be going (e.g. http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=92645 or http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=94115, but has been prompted by my recent experiences and the thread about the future of the LBS (http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=33250). I hope I'm not repeating anything directly.
I have been touring on and off for many years and recently decided to change my tired old Galaxy. First visit to my most local LBS surprised me a bit because in their showroom, amongst probably over 100 new bikes, there wasn't a single machine that could be classed as suitable for touring. The nearest was a single (rather cheap) hybrid. A few years ago the same shop definitely had 2 or 3 tourers (e.g. Galaxys) in stock.
Now, rather than buying new bike, I have decided to renovate my old machine. This is well under way now but I needed a few more replacement parts and today I went on a ride (on my 'road' bike) to have a look at two other LBS's. I went mainly for the ride; I wouldn't be too bothered if couldn't get my parts because I could always order them on line afterwards.
My first stop was at the newest shop in the area; it opened only 6 months ago. About 50 bikes on show; all road or MTB. There were a couple of titanium models that had mudguards but I would class them as Audax machines.
The second shop has been around longer and had 70-80 bikes on show; again nothing that could be considered a tourer. Neither of these shops had the parts I needed in stock; indeed neither of them even had any tyres wider than 25mm unless they were MTB tyres. So it's not just cycle tourists who aren't being catered for, it's the everyday commuting cyclist too.
The third shop (my nearest, and the longest-established) did have the parts I wanted and, by comparison with the others, have a good range of tyres. But still, as I mentioned above, they don't stock any complete touring bikes.
Now I assume that market forces dictate what these shops stock, so hence my question - any thoughts?

Pannier Security on Tour

14 February 2015 - 9:58pm
Up till now I've only done long weekends of cycle touring/camping and I've generally been within visual of my bike and it's panniers. I've just left the luggage on the bike and so far I've been lucky. But you know what they say about jinxing things.

I keep all my valuables in my bar bag and take that with me when going into a pub, café or museum and leave the panniers on the bike. I reckon my time's up and need to make a better plan when doing longer tours. The Netherlands in the summer for example.

What do all of you do? Cable lock? Take all the panniers with you? Secure the panniers with those metal, net rucksack doobrees?

Thanks in advance...hc

(I'm perhaps a bit paranoid having grown up in a crime-ridden part of Afrika. A farmer I work for occasionally in Somerset told me I offend him because I lock my pickup truck up on his land)

Re: travemuende - germany

14 February 2015 - 9:47pm
I used the ferry last summer going in the opposite direction so more recent info ......
I just turned up, got my ticket, then boarded the ferry.

Re: River Rhine.

14 February 2015 - 9:30pm
Tigerbiten wrote:I'll be going up the Rhine again starting mid April.
Last year I turned off it to go up the Main before doing the canal to get to the Danube.
This year I'll be going further up as I'm aiming to then go down the Loire before turning left for the Med.

I was planning on hitting EV6 after cycling down from St Malo or Cherbourg then heading down to Basel and hanging a left up the Rhine. However almost tempted to do it in reverse...decisions

Re: Book Bike Holland to Germany by train

14 February 2015 - 8:27pm
That's good to hear!


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