CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Re: Touring Cassette

11 November 2014 - 11:43am
cycleruk wrote:For touring I'd change it for the lowest gear that your current setup would take.
Initially what cassette do you have, 7,8,9 or 10 speed ?
What rear derailleur is on the bike - road or MTB ?

You could also change the "granny gear" for something a little smaller quite cheaply.

Many thanks for the replies........

Think my cassette is either 9 or 10 speed (think 10)

The rear derailleur is a MTB ....

Is the garnny gear you are referring to at the front as I hardly use it ?

Regards

Mike

Belgium and Luxembourg

11 November 2014 - 11:41am
Now starting to think about next year's tour and putting together some ideas for a trip through Belgium to Luxembourg. As far as Namur or so the routes are fine. After that I would like to do a relaxed tour through the Ardennes taking in some nice small towns, forests, high areas, preferably quiet country routes, in other words the high points and ending up in Luxembourg. Don't particularly want to just do a straight line down to Luxembourg but wiggle about a bit taking time to see the best bits. Has anyone cycled this area and can recommend some routes/ must see places? Routes in gpx format would be especially welcome. Thanks in advance for the help.

Re: Touring Cassette

11 November 2014 - 11:28am
It depends on many things - riding style, strength, touring areas, touring load and a whole lot more. You already have lower gears than I used for lightweight hilly touring right up until my mid 40s (20 years ago). When I ventured into mountains and then added camping equipment I geared lower, down to 24 front 28 rear. I agree that your top gear is already fashionably large, larger than anything I ever raced on.

Changing the cassette for a tour may be as easy as keeping a separate chain and cassette for those occasions, assuming you have a rear mech capable of supporting the range of sprocket sizes.

So to make a judgement we need more information on what your capabilities are and what you intend. If as you say it is only a couple of weekends a year then I would not bother.

Re: Touring Cassette

11 November 2014 - 11:22am
I used a 22 chainring with an 11-32 cassette when I lived in Paignton, I needed it there. My advice to the OP is; if your rear mech arm is long enough to cope just fit an 11-32 cassette and leave your chainset as it is.

Re: Touring Cassette

11 November 2014 - 11:21am
For touring I'd change it for the lowest gear that your current setup would take.
Initially what cassette do you have, 7,8,9 or 10 speed ?
What rear derailleur is on the bike - road or MTB ?

You could also change the "granny gear" for something a little smaller quite cheaply.

Re: Outer Hebrides/Orkeys/Shetland tour.

11 November 2014 - 10:21am
WOW!!! Fantastic photographs Peter.....those would make anyone want to come to Scotland

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

11 November 2014 - 10:14am
bogmyrtle wrote:foxyrider wrote:bogmyrtle wrote:If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.
well fit some pockets to them then - Ortlieb do two sizes which are fully waterproof and removable for when you don't need them.

The next most irritating thing about Ortliebs are the roll tops. The add on pockets have roll tops. I won't be using them.
Ortliebs have their fans. I doubt I will ever be one of them.

Not sure why you should be so hateful of the roll tops, if it was a UK company i'm sure you'd have no issue but Johnny foreigner came up with it (after a very wet tour in southern England!) so all the flaps, buckles and drawstrings are clearly better.

To satisfy such persons Ortlieb make their traditionally designed Bike Packer range, waterproof but not water tight complete with outside pockets (if you pack properly you shouldn't be in and out of your bags anyhow but for those less organised...)

Of course there's always Vaude who offer an extensive range of both traditional and rolltop bags - oh i forgot, they are German too - erm Lidl bags are cheap and work okay, damn, Johnny foreigner again.

Personally i don't care where the stuff is made as long as its the best, so my German bike has Italian running gear, British wheels, Taiwanese brakes, German luggage systems and I camp with an assortment of German, Irish, Australian, Japanese, American and British kit. When the UK companies start making better kit i might consider them.

Re: eurovelo 1

11 November 2014 - 9:59am
I doubt very much that the Eurovelo routes would take you along busy roads. Have done some of Eurovelo 6 and most of it was on dedicated cycle ways plus some quiet roads.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

11 November 2014 - 9:25am
I never even considered altura's. my tours going to be mostly U.K and Europe, possibly Morrocco one day. .
Carradice I like the outer pockets so I not goin in and out my panniers allday. .with this kind of touring I shouldn't be hittin monsoon..just the good old English rain fall.
I'm in the process of fixing my hybrid up so shall be ready for touring early next year.
Thank you all for helpful words.

Re: Reivers coast to coast on skinny tires?

11 November 2014 - 6:00am
Dean wrote:Have fun!And close the gates!



Re: Reivers coast to coast on skinny tires?

10 November 2014 - 9:37pm
Have fun!

There's a decent tea room in Falstone. And if you're going west-east, don't forget to look back on the climb up towards Bewcastle, as there are cracking views back over the Lakes and the Solway Firth.

And watch out for the coos

Re: Planning My First Tour

10 November 2014 - 9:36pm
Something will go wrong at some point. I used to cycle a lot by myself in my twenties and as a group of 4 girls, and got caught out a few times both in planned and non planned situations. We've also had some bizarre experiences in recent years.

The best option if time is moving on is to ask at a local bar, they will usually know a local farmer where you can camp. If you are in the middle of nowhere and haven't found anyone to ask then wait till late and find a quiet patch of trees to camp behind.

Ideally though if you find the campsite is closed and got there by by mid afternoon then head to the nearest small town instead and spring for a hotel or B&B. That's a low stress solution and don't forget about warm showers ( make sure you register before travelling). It is the unexpected situations that generally make this sort of travelling more fun but you could book the first few nights until you get into the swing of things as a pratical solution. If you find you prefer booking ahead then every few nights make a plan for the next few days and book those nights ahead.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

10 November 2014 - 9:26pm
foxyrider wrote:bogmyrtle wrote:If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.
well fit some pockets to them then - Ortlieb do two sizes which are fully waterproof and removable for when you don't need them.

The next most irritating thing about Ortliebs are the roll tops. The add on pockets have roll tops. I won't be using them.
Ortliebs have their fans. I doubt I will ever be one of them.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

10 November 2014 - 8:44pm
Point taken pj and foxy.

My alturas are used for round town not touring (they are small) and i find the fitting very good for that - they may possibly be more of a faff on tour, where until now i have used the ortlieb backpackers.

I think i was thinking of the dreaded ortlieb loose insert thing which has never been a problem with the R&K fittings. Have never bust anything and the attachment to the rack also seems more solid. Once or twice the bottom hook on my ortliebs has managed to bend/flip off the rack strutt.

But as i say i have never had to get them on and off a rack with a ton of stuff on the top.

All the best folks

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

10 November 2014 - 8:02pm
tyreon wrote:I'm not sure who is doing all this 'riding in the rain'. Yes,for an hour. Yes,for two hours. Longer,and I shelter. All day and I give up and stay in shelter or accommodation until it passes. I don't think there's a need for these Ortlieb jobs: its overkill. A Carradura type pannier will keep out most downfall,unless you're in Burma in the wet season,I guess. I don't like the plasticated look of the Ortliebs,nor 'em having no pockets.

I don't use Orts because they're waterproof (though I don't have what you'd think of as a problem with them being waterproof!) but because the fittings are very easy to use and secure and the overall build quality is exemplary.

Don't like the plasticy look? Get the "Plus" (more lightweight, not quite as bomber) version and problem solved.

Don't like no pockets? Get the optional pockets and mount them as needed, and problem solved. There is some degree of trepidation involved in adding the mounts as you have to punch holes through the pannier (tool and template supplied) for the fittings, but I've managed to do a couple with no mishaps and I am certainly not the best with my hands (the fittings seal the holes up so they should still be waterproof, if anyone was wondering).

I'd given my old Orkney Universals to my kids for school bags. They had problems with the R&K fittings, replaced them with Ortlieb Sport Packers and problem solved (but it wasn't with the Ort City Rollers, which go on and off nicely but are awkwar for youngsters to close properly). The internal organiser pocket is enough compartmentalisation for most jobs.

Pete.

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

10 November 2014 - 7:57pm
Penfolds11 wrote:I can't comment on Southern China Airlines as I've never heard of them before (and I've worked in the travel industry before) but I will advise that cheaper is not always best.
China Southern were excellent when we flew back from China a few years ago. Our intra-China flight was late, but they personally escorted us through a series of non-public passages at Shanghai airport to ensure we got to the London plane in time. The baggage was sent direct to our home immediately afterwards. Very efficient.

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

10 November 2014 - 7:52pm
Just a bit of follow-up feedback on this for others.
Ended up booking with Emirates. Going with Lufthansa+AirNZ had too many known unknowns (thank you Donald). In particular small plane on Birmingham - Paris or Frankfurt leg ('may be they take oversized bike box, maybe not'), changing planes twice (greater risk of handling damage) and issues with different baggage policies across airlines.
Like someone said, its a flipin long way without extra hassle!

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

10 November 2014 - 6:24pm
Keep your eye on Ebay. There's a seller there , bakedbeanman , who often advertises Carradice factory seconds with small imperfections which don't affect the function or overall appearance. Got a pair of Carradry rear for 40 quid including postage in the summer.

Re: Map(s) of Wales

10 November 2014 - 4:59pm
Will do a bit more research on my trip this week. I suppose I really won't know until the spring, when I fully load up my bike and do some training rides. Will figure out where to cut weight etc once I do that.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

10 November 2014 - 4:55pm
bogmyrtle wrote:If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.
Ortliebs do pockets. I have fitted these to my Ortliebs and they have worked a treat. Detachable too. I like that I can mix bottle cages with pockets on the same fitting.

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