CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 32 min 36 sec ago

Re: Shocking Dawes build quality.

10 June 2014 - 10:20pm
It would be interesting to know who does what. AFAIK the bikes are assembled and finished in the UK. So you might be paying for a good frame, a well-thought-out design and of course good quality components. You may be being let down by the bike shop that hasn't quite got the showroom finish and final assembly right. So it's the bike shop.

We never really know who's doing what in a big company. That's why buying from say Thorn or Hewitt is a completely different experience. And you have to compare like with like. How did the Dawes compare with other bikes in the same shop from large firms?

Re: Eurostar - luggage allowances

10 June 2014 - 8:20pm
Thanks Spicerack - that's what I wanted to hear! I know luggage space is a bit limited on those trains but haven't been on one for a while so was worried they might have really tightened up. But sounds as thought they'll probably be reasonable so that's good! I did do a search for a previous thread but was obviously asking the wrong question - I'll have another try

Re: Shocking Dawes build quality.

10 June 2014 - 8:10pm
well I have had no trouble at all in the 14 years I have had it from new. got it from YHA Adventure shops long time ago at 20% off new price of £649. And all the stickers are in attached condition after that time!

Surly Haul Long Trucker Cross Check

10 June 2014 - 5:55pm

I know this question has been several times asked but I cannot make up my mind and the time is pressing me.

In two weeks I will start a touring trio from Chicago to San Francisco by bike and I can't find the proper bike! I wanted to take the Surly Long Haul Trucker but the shop which will prepare my bike advised me to tack the Cross Check. Because this bike will only be for one touring. After I will use it as a commuter without any loads.

The problem is that 2 friends of mine have already started the trip but from New York and I'm going to join time midway. I don't want to slow down the group with a bike not fully adapted. Moreover they have the Long Haul Trucker, so it might be more adapted for this trip.

The shop proposed me to do some modifications on the bike : Bar end shifters Microshift 3 x 9 shifters, Sugino XD500T Triple cranset, set of 36H Shimano Deore Hubs laced to Velocity Dyad or similar rims.

Thank you in advance!


Re: Anyone recommend any good books?

10 June 2014 - 5:43pm
no probs Tom.

I bought the full kindle book in the end - am enjoying it though haven't finished it yet.

So enlightenment on your shower aversion may await me

Re: Eurostar - luggage allowances

10 June 2014 - 5:43pm
I've took a slightly oversized bike bag on last summer, there was nobody there with a tape measure trying to catch us out. It's more of a practical restriction to ensure you can go through security and store on the train. So, as long as it's not way oversize you shouldn't have any trouble.
I remember there are some other posts on here from last year if you want more details.

Around the world by bike; 23,000 km in 9 1/2 months

10 June 2014 - 5:10pm

I'd like to introduce my website http://www.tombrucecycling.com. There is lots of information on there about cycle touring and the various adventures I've done including tips and advice on choosing a touring bike, planning a route, what to take with you and loads more. There's also loads of photos and a blog about my adventures.

The best, the longest, and the most life changing adventure I have done is a cycle ride around the world. I cycled 14,400 miles without taking any other form of transport (with the exception of when I hit the coast!), passing through the continents of Europe, Asia and North America. It was a truly incredible experience and you can see thousands of photos from the road on my website. The highlights of the journey were the long desert crossings and the mountains of Central Asia, as well as meeting wonderful people from around the globe.

I've also written a book about the experience, more info on the site.

Many thanks, and please feel free to get in touch if I can help with any expedition planning advice or anything else,



Re: Anyone recommend any good books?

10 June 2014 - 5:09pm

Thanks for the comments on my book about my bike tour around the world. I've now made the whole of Part 1 (the Europe crossing) available to read for free on my website http://www.tombrucecycling.com.

The website has also been revamped so feel free to have a look.

Thanks a lot,

Re: Shocking Dawes build quality.

10 June 2014 - 5:05pm
mercalia wrote:I m glad my Dawes 1-Down comes from a differnt era? It has been a good problem free bike.

Sorry to possibly rain on your parade.....but there have been stories about the rack eyelets coming away on the One Down! Not that I want to make you paranoid or anything But mine has been OK since I got it a few years back despite having stupidly heavy loads on it.

Re: bike tour companies in europe

10 June 2014 - 4:24pm
I've used this company a couple of times when organising trips for friends. http://www.freedomtreks.co.uk/ - always found them to be reliable and pretty good value (although it is so much more expensive than doing it yourself)
Cheers John

Re: Who uses a mirror?

10 June 2014 - 2:14pm
I use the mirrycle. It took a while to get used to it, as initially I thought it added to my stress levels as I had to keep checking it (i.e. I found blissful ignorance was less stressful).
Now, I wouldn't be without it. It gives me an indication of the speed, size and road positioning of an approaching vehicle and I take action accordingly. A very useful addition to my bars.

Re: Corsica it is

10 June 2014 - 1:45pm
We flew to Bastia and did a loop of the Northen Cape which was nice. I also liked Corte, from here the Restonica Gorge is beautiful though can get a little busy at the top end in high season. If you want a rest day and are staying in Corte head up the gorge about 1 -2 km. The river is on your left and there are some wonderful pools which you can swim in. The best ones are where the last place you can access the river before it drops away too far from the road to access. We took a picnic and spent the day here. Liked it so must in the late afternoon I popped back to Corte bought some beers and some more food and had dinner there as well.

There are many other great river swimming opportunities on the island
puy Cascades de Purcaraccia inot google images.

Re: Who uses a mirror?

10 June 2014 - 1:41pm
I bought a mirror for the first time for our big tour. A b&m bar end one. Unfortunately it broke when my bike fell over in Turkey. Cycling without it was much more difficult, having to keep looking around when you heard something coming up behind you.
Fortunately I managed to get one shipped over when we were processing visas in Ankara. 1 week shipping from SJS for £3.50 postage, money well spent. I now have some spares if it happens again.
If you are cycling abroad I think a mirror is essential.
We are currently in Uzbekistan and we see more bikes on the roads than anywhere we have been since Albania. The roads are bad in places but the driving is not bad.

Re: Eurostar - luggage allowances

10 June 2014 - 10:28am
Thanks - do you think they'll haul us up at check-in for the size of the bags though?

Re: Eurostar - luggage allowances

10 June 2014 - 10:10am
I think the 85 cm limit is due to the size of the luggage racks on the train, but you find an empty rack can squeze the bikes in on a slight angle.

Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

10 June 2014 - 9:24am
Could I have those as well jim if I PM you an email address?

Eurostar - luggage allowances

10 June 2014 - 9:22am
We're just about to leave for a fully laden trip down the Danube on our 20" wheel folders when I belatedly discover this on the Eurostar website:
If you’ve got an adult ticket, you can take a maximum of 2 bags with you on the train. That’s as long as each item is no longer than 85cm. You can also take one small item of hand luggage. We can put the 4 panniers each into laundry bags (already a bit dicey in size) but the bikes are a bit over that size in their bags Does anyone know how strict they are likely to be on the 6.50am Friday train to Bruxelles?

Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

10 June 2014 - 9:21am
Ben (?), I've sent you a message with my email address. If you send me a mail i'll reply with copies of the maps I used. They are quite detailed and trimmed up fit the map case of my bar bag perfectly.

Re: Calais to Dijon, or not ...

10 June 2014 - 6:39am
Five files sent to Ben (NOT Bernard)

If they are used await postings on this thread as to how they go.

You can be my guinea pig Ben

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