CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 30 min ago

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:13am
on the compression issue the thing that springs to mind is tent poles but i also often buy stuff on my trips - books, mugs etc and carry maps and so on - fine in a pannier - even my ultra lights but i'd be very wary if i was strapping in the way mentioned.

I'm a bit OCD about how the bike looks too so the messy look upsets me

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:08am
These particular Alpkit bags have reinforced strap "mounts" on the side that you thread the straps through.
So in theory you do not even need the strap around the bag. I have hung one of the single strap Airlocks off the back of my seat as a lightweight saddlebag before. Lightweight but not worth it normally because of the slight hassle of getting things in and out being more influential than the weight loss.
No nice little sidepockets either.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:01am
Just lying in my hotel room, waiting for the typhoon to pass. So I can think what I wouldn't want squashed in my panniers.

Food, shampoo, tubes eg toothpaste, packets of pills/medicines, computer tablet, etc. Plus all sorts of things that could get bent or broken by being put under pressure from a strap. (I am assuming the straps have to be pulled very tight.)

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

13 October 2014 - 9:00am
The new tourer - Focus Mares AX 5.0 DSCN5667tiny.jpg.

Its a work in progress - I've dumped the stock Shimano Tiagra gear set and converted to Campagnolo (some old kit i had laying around which will be replaced with new over the winter.). The Deore disc brakes are terrible so they will be replaced with TRP hydraulic calipers and the Conti City Contacts are not very grippy so the wheels will be reshod quite soon! Tubus rack on the back - for the summer it'll get a Tara front rack too.

Its doubling up as the winter commuter - the SP8 dyno is great although the Axa headlight could do with being a bit brighter.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 8:26am
simonineaston wrote:Sooper8 wrote:...on Alpkit site at moment, in clearance, they have a few dry bags with slight faults at discount price?
Good for trying a few ideas, AKA prototypes, but given their prices are so low anyway...

Yup - exactly my thinking. This was one of those cheap factory seconds.

simonhill wrote: The straps holding the bags on are presumably tightened around the stuff in the bag. This is fine if it is something !like a sleeping bag, but could be problem if it was tensioning around something more fragile, easily damaged or bent.

What delicate items would you take on tour? The only thing I ever have to avoid squashing are pastries and that's only an issue to this fat b****** if I've treated myself to so many they won't fit in my handlebar bag!

simonhill wrote: Just had another thought. Wear points.

That's a good point. Continuous rubbing would probably eat holes through that thin material quite quickly

Re: Motorhome Support

12 October 2014 - 11:35pm
Also a good opportunity to do something more exotic. Something like riding the Western Front, about 500 kms from Switzerland to the coast. Ideal trip for the 2 of you.

I call the van/driver etc my LSU ( logistic support unit) and god bless 'em!

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

12 October 2014 - 11:29pm
Just had another thought. Wear points.

There will be small points of contact between bike and bag. Make sure they are well protected. Pipe insulator or something similar will probably do. Check and replace frequently to avoid holes in the bags.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

12 October 2014 - 9:12pm
nirakaro wrote:"Deutsche Bahn has postponed plans to operate through-trains to London, in a move that must be considered a set-back for international rail travel.
DB had been planning to operate high-speed ICE trains from Amsterdam and Frankfurt via Brussels and the Channel Tunnel into London St Pancras.
Indeed, after a delay of several years, DB finally secured permission last summer from the Tunnel authorities. Services were set to start after 2016."
Business Traveller 19/2/14
And part of the reason why it won't apparently start until 2020 is that euro star plans to run direct trains to Amsterdam from late 2016. Could be good for many cyclists in southern England but for me the hull Europoort overnight crossing is best
As night trains had to be used by passengers with cyclists crossing borders for some inexplicable reason I don't see why db and others won't now permit cycles on day time international (and long distance) journeys

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 5:47pm
You might be better off sticking to Somerset as it's much flatter. They're not called the Somerset Levels for nothing

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 5:19pm
Hi Roger, allow me to convert your metric into imperial please.
Sorry, but I can't think in metric.

Single day, 44miles to 62miles ...... let's say that's 45miles to 65miles.
1,000metres is 3,380ft ...... let's call that 3,400ft.

Devon and Cornwall, you need to be thinking in the region of 100ft per mile. Therefore your "limit" of 1,000m = 3,400ft is a rather optimistic to say the least. ie it can't be done.

44miles will be in the region of 4,400ft = 70km - 1,341mtrs ascent
65miles will be in the region of 6,500ft = 100km - 1,981mtrs ascent.

Today, I rode 44miles and did 4,300ft of ascent and thought it was easy.

Re: Motorhome Support

12 October 2014 - 3:05pm
This would be an ideal way of doing LEJOG/JOGLE over 2 or 3 weeks.

See my blog for a route suggestion, though we stayed in B&B's rather than camping.

Other suggestions would be the various side to side routes - C2C, Reivers route, Hadrian's Cycleway, Way of the Roses - these only take 3-4 days but you can string them together to do a there and back again route. Lon Las Cymru and Coast and Castles are others.

Also have a look in the Camping sub-section - particularly Campsite reviews. No reason why you couldn't do a cycle-camping route, overnighting in the Motorhome.

Re: Berlin to Copenhagen

12 October 2014 - 2:40pm
Thanks everyone for all the information and advice re Berlin to Copenhagen - it's really useful for planning. The hotel recommended in Roedvig looks lovely by the way - think I will have earned it by then!

I've added some information below which might help anyone else planning the ride.

I found the following link (after I'd made the initial posting!) which I've added to this resource for completeness.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 285495&v=j

Transport at beginning/end of the trip is proving fun. Not too bad getting to Berlin with Bromptons on the train. We had been planning to return from Copenhagen to Utrecht on the NightSleeper but Deutscher Bahn have just pulled it (along with some other NightSleeper services as reported elsewhere). Looks like it'll be a long day train ride with several changes rather than the rather elegant solution of a night journey. Will then cycle/train to Europort for ferry back to Hull.

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 1:29pm
Given our plans, it looks like Padstow - St. Austell circular route would be a good option...

finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 12:25pm

New to the boards, and new to the UK (from Melbourne Australia).

I've taken a few hours searching the forums and looking at the various route planning websites (bike hike, strava, cycle.travel) but am having some difficulty finding something that's going to work for us.

Looking for a single day, round-trip, roughly 70-100 km total and with limited total elevation (less than 1000m).
We'll be travelling with a car from London through Somerset and Devon to Cornwall (google maps route http://bit.ly/1vYHkiG)

From my initial searching, it seems like Cornwall/Devon and Dartmoor are all pretty hilly. We're not unfit, but it's been a while, and I'll be on a Brompton, with the wife likely on a hired hybrid, so want to keep it fairly easy riding, ideally between smaller towns on quiet(ish) roads.

If anyone could point me in the right direction for some recommended options, I'd be very appreciative!

Cheers, -Jonny

Re: Cotswold Line

12 October 2014 - 11:03am
Cotswold Line Part 2

My wife was keen to see the villages I had passed through on my first trip along the Cotswold line route so we tackled the route fro Honeybourne to Charlbury on Sat 12th Oct. The extra photographs dont seem to be able to capture the big skies and landscapes that capture the eye and arrest progress seemingly at every corner.

The route is peppered with extensive pubs, cafes etc' this one in Chadlington is recommended; http://www.cafedelapost.com/

Below are a small section of the same my wife took on her phone.

Re: Chepstow to Portsmouth cycle route.

12 October 2014 - 10:41am
I'd head towards Bath and then take NCN 24 to Eastleigh, which is mostly on minor roads. Good opportunity to do the Two Tunnels out of Bath too!

Re: Chepstow to Portsmouth cycle route.

12 October 2014 - 10:17am
Not the best map...

There is a good off road route from Cosham to the Ferry

Alternatively you can avoid Portsdown Hill by coming down through Fareham and Gosport, then cycle from the Gosport Ferry to the Ferry

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

12 October 2014 - 10:10am
Depends on the Drybag

The lightweight ones are not robust enough and often designed to waterproof items rather than an outright bag

The more durable Ortlieb and similar will do the job

Re: Motorhome Support

12 October 2014 - 9:51am
I'm not sure if you are new to cycling or camping in a van. What now have is a high degree of flexibility.

Basically you have a number of options, you just choose the one(s) that appeal.These might be different on different days,depending on what you want to do that day.

You can pre book your campsites and then meet there. Alternatively you can meet at an arranged place, load on your bike and drive to where you want to camp. The former means you cycle all the way and the latter enables you to choose camping places off your cycle route.

If you are unsure of how far you will cycle you can liaise via mobile phone to arrange an end of day pick up, then find a site.

Obviously your wife will have a say in this (??). She might prefer to have a fixed destination so she can set up camp and have your dinner cooking! Perhaps you should ask her how she wants to play it.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

12 October 2014 - 9:36am
I tour a lot in Asia and have seen all sorts of ways of carrying stuff on a bike. Yours is quite sophisticated in comparison and should work well. I do have one problem and one suggestion.

The straps holding the bags on are presumably tightened around the stuff in the bag. This is fine if it is something !like a sleeping bag, but could be problem if it was tensioning around something more fragile, easily damaged or bent.

Regardless, I can see the bags slowly slipping down, particularly on rough roads. Obviously you could keep tightening the straps, but as I said above, I would be wary of damaging my stuff. My suggestion therefore is to put a strap running all round the bag but from top to bottom . This could be fixed to the pannier rack to stop downward slippage. To make it even more secure you could put a sort of platform, like shoulder pad that shoulder baag straps have.

I don't think this is really an option for long haul rough touring. My panniers take a real hammering, particularly on rough roads. I don't think your attachments would ever be really adequate.


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions