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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

Re: TOURING 2015

4 January 2015 - 9:50am
Don't forget Beeston Tor, in the Peak District.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

4 January 2015 - 8:22am
Graham wrote:It would be useful to know how much you weigh and how much luggage you will be carrying on the bike.Graham's spot on. You have 3 options I think: you can buy a <£500 urban mtb with rigid fork and be bombproof, and heavy, or new wheels (and drivetrain even) for the tri and some lighter camping / travel gear, an option which is in budget and makes the hill climbing you mention easier, or double your budget for a new bike sold as bespoke tourer. Been a while since I checked thorn prices but you mentioned not wanting to spend anything like £1000.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

4 January 2015 - 12:24am
PH wrote:I think most of us are still reeling from the fact such a thing of beauty could in any way be rescued...
it's like the start of a fairy story, we want to know more, were there dragons involved...

Once upon a time there was a galant not so young but awfully handsome knight with a black steed called Mr Hyde. They'd had many awesome adventures together fighting off evil corrupt customs agents, touts and various horrible stomach bugs. Often rescuing beautiful maidens (and sometimes not so beautiful maidens) while travelling in far off lands.

Guess where Shane is 2 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

But this couldn't go on forever. The evil gold dragon started to complain that the gold was almost gone, so the awfully handsome knight once again had to exchange his spurs for spanners and go back to work. After a summer of spannering the brave knight was once again ready for adventure and the gold dragon allowed him to have a short escape, the only condition was that the brave knight couldn't go searching out adventure and maidens in Africa where he might have fun but had to suffer somewhere, a penance for only working 7 months in 2 years.

Happy to get the opportunity to hit the road again, the Knight and his trusty steed took up the challenge to become the first 2 wheeled team to attempt to cycle the Trans Labrador highway in winter.

Trans lab (13) by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Unsurprisingly they were thwarted by the evil Ice queen and had to take a couple of lifts despite their best intentions and heroism in the ice queen's garden.

Anyway, on their return the Gold dragon was very angry and insisted that the awfully handsome knight get his [rude word removed] back to work and make some gold again if he ever wanted to have a life other than renting a room while he worked each summer and living in a tent each winter. So, the rather smart Knight thought he'd be better off working freelance. During the free lance process the brave knight had an enormous fight with the evil insurance dragon that had no intentions of giving medical and disability insurance to someone brave enough to camp in the ice queens garden at -40. On his way back from the insurance dragons lair, bruised and bleeding from the 2 month fight the brave knight started having doubts about his choice to live such a brave and heroic life (and the choice to share his life on the internet giving the insurance dragon free ammunition), and renting a 3x2.6m room no longer seemed right for someone so heroic and handsome, maybe there was a maiden out there that wanted more?

So the choice was made to search down the Mortgage dragon and make a deal, the deal was possible but then the handsome knight would have to work more than 7 months a year and sell his soul to the dragon and take part in a very prestigious race. The awfully handsome knight couldn't understand what was so prestigious about a race involving rats?

So, no more trips of 3-12 months, time to start thinking of interesting adventurers that are shorter, more interesting and preferably closer to home.Things like the Trans Andalusia, Highland 550, and revisiting the more rugged paths of previous adventures. Though Mr Hyde was a thoroughbred and not ready to retire, he was a cross between a warhorse and workhorse and just wasn't quite nimble enough for the interesting adventures the awfully handsome knight was dreaming up for his winter escapes from the race with the rats. So, Mr Hyde received an early dismissal package of lighter wheels, shiny mudguards and only one gear to keep his life simple in his golden years.

Mr Hyde in singlespeed mode by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

It was time to look for a new young and agile though well build steed for the next round of adventure, it seemed so simple, a second hand 26" MTB should be cheap and easy to find during the current gold rush for 27,5 and 29". Sadly the brave knight had high standards and wishes after 25,000km of adventure on Mr Hyde, and just couldn't fall in love with aluminium frames. But, he had a cunning plan, with cap in hand he went to the great craftsman who had once build Mr Hyde for him and asked if maybe one of the 200 brave steeds hanging around his farm waiting to die of old age just maybe the one for the job, and just maybe the great craftsman could find it in his heart to sell one of his great creations.

Untitled by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Untitled by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

" Built for a bike show in 2010, and ridden for one weekend, in the attic gathering dust, yours for......" It was slightly too big, top tube 20mm longer than Mr Hyde but the oversized red Reynolds 853 tubes were so pretty, wonderful details and the slightly too large frame meant lots of real estate for frame bags.

" I can make that fit, sold to the man with the big ears" .

Lots of new bits, some bits robbed off Mr Hyde, other bits that where lying around in my shed, a little room for improvement later but Frankenstein is ready for action.

And the rest as they say is history, waiting to be written .

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

3 January 2015 - 11:59pm
Here's Gloria just before our first tour on the South Coast/Isle of Wight last November using B&B, missing only water bottle and pump. That pannier bag has full jive dancing kit in it too, since I seem to be in the habit of combining the two, weighing just over 10kg in all.

20141108-boardman-team-gloria.jpg

Some things have changed since, and the next one will be fitting of an MTB crankset.

She is named for my MP Gloria de Piero, whom I would like to take more of an interest in cycling. If there is an professional media operation in place she should turn up here and talk to us.

Ferdinand

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 8:25pm
Phil66 wrote:. . . secondly, are the wheels strong enough to spend a long time on the dirt tracks. I’ve suffered a lot in the past with broken spokes and this time want to make sure the wheels/bike are bomb proof.
It would be useful to know how much you weigh and how much luggage you will be carrying on the bike.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 8:05pm
Phil66 wrote: At the moment I tour on a Specailized Tricross and its lovely and most importantly, it’s very comfortable, but I have a couple of concerns. Firstly, will I get up all those hills on it and secondly, are the wheels strong enough to spend a long time on the dirt tracks. I’ve suffered a lot in the past with broken spokes and this time want to make sure the wheels/bike are bomb proof.I

If it's comfortable and you'll be going relatively light just replace the wheels with a handbuilt set from Spa (or other good wheelbuilder). Broken spokes a thing of the past.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 7:55pm
from simonhill's exerience, no camping and mostly decent roads, it sounds like your Tricross with better wheels would easily be up to the task. The only downside is the unpopularity of the wheelsize, I'd do some research on it, maybe with a plan to have someone in the UK ready send you parts if needed.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

3 January 2015 - 7:47pm
shane wrote:Time to see what this bike packing non-sense is all about

Tis indeed a lovely looking bike, Shane. I am half waiting for someone to suggest you can't be bikepacking with a rack...

Every time I see a relatively 'bare' bike with Rohloff, I get the desire for one. It all looks so neat.

Have to ask though, is the frame a bit big? Seat slid right forward, and teeny stem. Swap you my P7.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 7:45pm
I have a thorn audax and its a wonderful bike... But given my money again its not the bike I'd buy. Thorns are expensive and you can get equivalent bikes for less or better bikes for the same. Just look at the price of the Spa steel touring bike for example. Having said that you couldn't go wrong with a second hand one if you can find something like a Thorn sherpa that would be pretty ideal.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

3 January 2015 - 7:39pm
shane wrote:It's quite amusing that with all the fancy bits on that bike that there's a discussion about the 20 quid grips

I think most of us are still reeling from the fact such a thing of beauty could in any way be rescued...
it's like the start of a fairy story, we want to know more, were there dragons involved...

Re: Big Cheat Alpine route?

3 January 2015 - 7:27pm
My only thought ( and I haven't cycled it but have visited a lot) is that switzerland might be for you. It's rather pricey but the trains permit bikes and are incredibly widespread. The other thing with any moutain touring is to try to stick to the valleys and limit yourself to a pass a day. I say that having quite merrily done three passes a day when I was young and keen but the last one always seems to be in the heat ofnthe day.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

3 January 2015 - 7:13pm
So where are you planning to head on your new steed Shane?

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 6:59pm
The Tricross has caused disagreements before
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=66971&hilit=+Tricross

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 6:22pm
Sorry if this is fast turning I to a Thorn fan club page but my vote is for a Thorn Raven.
Not as heavy as the Nomad but can carry almost as much IMO.
Rohloff hub adds a grand but complete piece of mind re back end.
I added a chain glider guard so pretty happy with set up for far flung touring.
Off to do the Pamir Highway in May.

Lots of other bikes around but happy with the Thorn.

Matt

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 4:56pm
+1 for the Thorn

I agree about getting a strong bike with strong wheels and they don't come a lot stronger than Thorns.

I have a Thorn Sherpa and it's very reliable. 26" wheels with deore hubs , 36 spokes and Rigida Grizzly rims. (These are very light but very strong).
The bike has V brakes which are simple, easy to repair and replace.
The Thorn frame is Double Butted, Seamless, Heat Treated, Cold Drawn, Cro-mo. which again is light but very strong.

You have plenty of time to find a 2nd hand one but make sure you get the right size for you.
check out the size chart of the Thorn "mega brochure"

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/THORN ... OCHURE.pdf

Big Cheat Alpine route?

3 January 2015 - 4:20pm
I experienced riding in the Alps for the first time last year (Austria and the Reschen Pass into Italy) and was so impressed by the Alpine scenery that I would like to tour there for a couple of weeks again this year. The problem is that, though I don't mind some climbing, I'm no longer a young feller so am looking for an easy-ish option. Please can anyone advise of an Alpine route of say 400 kms which isn't too difficult, maybe with a train ride to ease the way, !!!
Thanks.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 3:35pm
MartinBrice wrote:The Tricross isn't made for carrying luggage and doing very long trips on rough roads.
I think you will find that that is precisely what the Tricross was designed to do! So maybe the latest models are not as nice as earlier ones but they still do the job very well.

MartinBrice wrote:It's more of a cyclo-cross bike - one light bloke, lots of mud, all over in a few hours.
In fact its nothing like a cross bike, well okay a slight resemblance.

There are lots of 'anyroad', 'allroad', 'adventure' available these days, some of which like my Focus Mares and the Kona Jake do have cyclo X heritage but that doesn't mean using one will compromise your comfort and/or enjoyment.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 3:33pm
Depending what size you want, this struck me as good value http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/ind ... ic=10379.0

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 2:47pm
Another point is the 26 v 700 wheel argument. I personally go for 26 with an MTB type set up as spares are easier to get.

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

3 January 2015 - 2:36pm
al_yrpal wrote:A friend went cycle touring in Vietnam recently, hit a pothole and busted his arm in four places. Make sure you get a tough touring bike.

Al

Of course we never have potholes in the UK! Any more pointless scare stories?

Turning to the OP. I am not sure why you think you will be riding lots of dirt in these countries. Most of the major roads are paved and I imagine that if you only have a month in each you won't be venturing far off these well cycled routes.

Many of the roads are better than you will find in the UK. Last year I rode over 3000 kms mainly in VN and Cambodia and only rode 220kms of dirt. Most of this was a particular road that I sought out in the far east which is probably paved by now.

Edit in as it got lost in posting: you may find longish sections of roads under (re) construction that can prove challenging. These are likely to be the most dirt that you will ride.

As for a bike, I am no expert, but would recommend something reasonably tough that you can rely on. I ride a Surly LHT, but as I am light and travel light it is probably a bit over the top. Nonetheless I like the security it offers as I am often in fairly remote areas, albeit on paved roads.

You don't say if you are thinking of doing it, but I don't recommended camping.

I ride these countries often, as in a few months most years, so happy to advise on routes, etc.

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