CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Re: Extra stuff inside bike bag with Easyjet

20 June 2015 - 6:20pm
I always pad my bike bag/box out. I leave tent and sleeping bag in there plus tools and cooking gear. I've never had it checked or asked about. E/jet included. I've never known an airline ask to look inside a sealed bag/box. Most of the time they do not even weigh it. Though Ryanair always does. Some just ask. How much does it weigh? Once past check-in security don't seem to be interested as long as there is nothing dodgy in there. The only problem I have ever had is at Porto when the bag would not go in flat through the machine. They said I would have to undo it so they could look inside. Evidently they tried putting it through at an angle and it worked.

Re: Canal du Midi?

20 June 2015 - 5:41pm
May be something of use in the comments here:


Re: Travelling to Sylt

20 June 2015 - 1:51pm
Cycling Cat wrote:Please would anyone like to explain the attraction of Sylt?

There are much more attractive islands connected by ferries who are willing to take bikes.

My memories of Sylt include grumpy hostel staff, having to hitch hike and being able to swim in my birthday costume and no one batting an eye.

Have a good tour! Lucky people!
i'm actually doing about 10 islands up the Friesian coast. The attraction to Sylt for me is some archaeology i want to visit and also to visit the northernmost point of Germany!

Re: Touring in Norway

20 June 2015 - 12:05pm
I managed to cycle north out of Oslo to Hoenefoss using private roads through the forest. You don't have to pay on a bike. It wasn't too rough but very difficult to navigate. If you have detailed maps on your phone and GPS it shouldn't be too bad. It wasn't the most scenic route mind you.

Re: Expedition bike - all thumbs on 8 or 9

20 June 2015 - 10:59am
reohn2 wrote:20 years is a long time to own one bike without some changes.Will a frameset last that long for the type of work you have

in mind for it. ...10years is more realistic IMO How much use is it likely to get each year? How far are you planning

to roam,Europe,or the more far flung corners of the globe?

I don't see why the frame shouldn't last 20 years to be honest - I'm not planning to throw it down a mountain. I would

probably be roaming beyond eastern Europe, the Stans etc if lucky - probably no further than that - the world seems to be

closing up again/getting more dangerous these days.

reohn2 wrote:I'd go with 36 spoke Shimano hubs Deore spec or better.but I'd be inclined to steer clear of hubs with aluminium

axles,such as the later XT offerings. My preference would be LX for non disc and XT M756 six bolt for discs.Sputnik rims

are bombproof.

I specced LX hubs on a 700 tourer after taking note of that change to modern XT hubs. Though apparently the XT hubs have

better seals? An extra rubber boot on the outside? I did have some trouble with a front Deore single seal hub mysteriously

getting some grit in it recently after very little use. I was advised that the cup wasn't too badly damaged and that I

could just replace the cones - the cheapest way of doing this (and also by far the easiest considering Shimano's baffling

range of cones) was to buy a brand new hub and slot a new inside in. This could be a hell of a problem on the road though -

so although both LX and XT hubs are I am sure both excellent for normal use I am still pondering the LX/XT hub issue for

my application. Yes, the bike will have Sputnik rims, at least when it ventures far east.

Despite a big thumbs up for thumbies from b1ke, I must say I am now having very serious doubts about the entire thumby thing

after reohn and colin's posts. That link you posted was somewhat alarming colin, plus the one nested within it - and that

exploded pic of the bits inside one of those levers - I had never imagined that they were so intricate/complicated. Not

sure I can now see much point going down that route, which would be a certain amount of bother and expense, if there is

not a significant simplicity/reliability pay off.

To those who asked (well at least one), no, I have never had any significant problem with a rapidfire unit, even a cheapo one, that couldn't be

solved by - carefully carefully - removing a couple of tiddly screws and squirting some light lube inside.

So am now thinking of rapidfires (!) which would also make the bike more fun for general purpose off road riding - I

suppose I could pack a pair of downtube shifters - I think the Surly Long Haul Trucker has mounts for these and I am also

now thinking of the LHT as the basis for this project. Though it's a bit weighty, I think I'll also be packing my beloved

Park maintenance book - I'm a decent if slow mechanic but always do stuff with the book to hand. With that book and a few

choice tools I think I could probably tackle any non frame related mishap on the road.

531colin wrote:I happily use 8 speed chain on my one 9 speed bike with 9 speed mechs,.
Interesting Colin - so I didn't imagine this. This rather does beg the question though as to why the 9 speed chain was ever needed if the 8 speed chain will pass through an entire 9 speed system, including the cassette. Or have I missed something? - quite possibly - I can be a bit dim ... Many thanks for pointing out the different indexing of 8 and 9 speed - I should have known since I do know that 9 speed cassette cogs are closer together than 8.

mercalia wrote:well what ever decision u make since u intend it for the long haul, buy a number of drop in

replacements as part of your budget. I did this for my RSX system 15 years and glad I did as my 8 speed triple RSX works

well enough for me with out the need for trimming and I have a complete spare gear system should some thing go wrong -

just replace the damaged bit, rather than try and find some part 10 years on that maybe compatible with the rest.

And also get lots and lots of Clark's chains....

Good tip. Not the chains one though - careful mercalia - you aren't far from me - we may meet one day

Thanks to all for your replies to my musings.

More comments more than welcome of course.

Re: Expedition bike - all thumbs on 8 or 9

20 June 2015 - 9:56am
Vantage wrote:I'm no expert but I'd go with 9 speed. And that's despite me currently running 8 speed.
My reasons are that I don't think the wear rates would be significantly shorter on 9 speed, you would be sort of future proofing it for the short term (I can't see 8 speed supplies lasting all that long) and a better gear range. The last point is the important one for me.
My current Mega-range cassette is toothed at 11-34 and the jump from the 34 to the 26 (or is it 27) toothed cog is quite big. Uncomfortably so.
I think 9 speed throws in the extra cog to fill that gap. This is based on Shimano parts, I'm not sure what Campbling or sram are like.

Thanks for the reply Vantage.

That cassette is I think the same as one of mine - 8 speed 11-34, in which case, yes, the second biggest cog is 26. Yes it's a big jump but I don't mind so much - my shifter handles it - that 34 is only for use in extremis with the small 22 front cog. I suppose that extra in between cog of the 9 speed does give you an extra cog to wear - spreads the wear more - less use of the 26.

Re: Touring in Norway

20 June 2015 - 9:25am
You can also go north - northwest out of Oslo on the national cycle route 4, or make your own route via Hønefoss, but you will miss out the Numedal route.

Actually going down to Drammen and following the river valleys to Kongsberg might be a good way to start a Norwegian tour. It's relatively flat for Norway. The scenery isn't amazing, but it's nice, and there are some nice bits and a couple of places where you can see amazing scenery a little out fo the way

Re: Off touring tomorrow! (well later today)

19 June 2015 - 11:00pm
Hi tourers

I feel a bit of a user because I got loads of tips and help on this forum and since I got back I've not posted once!

Had a fantastic time, weather was amazing apart from 1 rainy day and 1 drizzly one.

I've been meaning to do a bit of a write up but not got round to it.

Thanks everyone for contributing to this site

Re: Tubus Ti racks

19 June 2015 - 6:39pm
Bonefishblues wrote:Is arms production increasing?
Maybe it is due to Mr Wiggins custom Ti bars on his Hour Record bike?

Re: Travelling to Sylt

19 June 2015 - 5:46pm
Please would anyone like to explain the attraction of Sylt?

There are much more attractive islands connected by ferries who are willing to take bikes.

My memories of Sylt include grumpy hostel staff, having to hitch hike and being able to swim in my birthday costume and no one batting an eye.

Have a good tour! Lucky people!

Wickford Essex navigation questions

19 June 2015 - 5:30pm
Hi all
Is the pedestrian railway crossing at Beauchamps Dr still accessible?

Is there a pedestrian gate open during working hours between Doublegate Ln and Hurricane Way?

Thanks in anticipation.


Re: Travelling to Sylt

19 June 2015 - 4:38pm
Cheers - i was thinking Niebull too as i'll be coming from Amrun/Fohr that day

Re: Travelling to Sylt

19 June 2015 - 4:23pm
Researched this earlier in the year and it is possible take a bike on a train to Sylt, although they encourage you to do so out of peak hours. I think I thought Neibull was going to be a good point to catch the train.


Who would not take advantage of the offer, may take his bike on the train. We recommend this to plan the trip as a result of low capacity, that they are not in the rush hour falls (6-9 clock morning and afternoon 16-18 clock). We also ask for your understanding that wheelchair users and prams with babies have priority over bicycles. For the transportation of bicycles, a bicycle day ticket is (4,00 Euro) is required.

Re: Ouistreham ferry disembarkation hazard.

19 June 2015 - 4:16pm
The "ramp" in the discussion in not part of a ferry, it is the sloping road taken by cyclists and cars after leaving the ferry.

My post on 7 Oct 2014 explained why some people experience the "significant drop" reported by the OP and some don't.

Possibly it has now been fixed.

Re: Tubus Ti racks

19 June 2015 - 2:10pm
Sweep wrote:mm

Anyone had a rack rust away?

Yes, my Tubus cargo wore away due a mixture of abrasion against a shed wall and then corrosion. Literally wore into a hole on the 'elbow'. I now have a stainless steel tubus fly which is better.

Travelling to Sylt

19 June 2015 - 2:01pm
Has anyone experience of travelling from mainland Germany across to Sylt?

I've checked the Sylt rail link page and that apparently doesn't carry bikes and i can't see any option on standard trains for Sylt.

Re: Tubus Ti racks

19 June 2015 - 1:59pm
I've seen quite a few over the years, have had one go myself - even my Tubus Logo is suffering from some corrosion and its only 11 years old After 5 years my Ti Carry still looks almost like new apart from a bit of bag 'polish'.

Re: Tubus Ti racks

19 June 2015 - 1:45pm

Anyone had a rack rust away?

Re: Tubus Ti racks

19 June 2015 - 12:45pm
Sweep wrote:Is this ti rack shortage any sort of problem?

What's the advantage, if any, other than a bit of weight, of a TI rack?

Lack of corrosion without the weight of stainless and better strength and damage resistance than aluminium - apart from price whats not to like?

It's not a prioblem per se unless you were hoping to purchase one

Re: Touring in Norway

19 June 2015 - 12:31pm
So my main choices for getting out of olso are either going south to larvik and then going up the nummedal or meeting the numedal route in Kongsberg? I'll have to think about that and decide.

I'll probably stay in a hostel for two nights in oslo once i arrive, anyone got any recommendations?


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