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Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 10:12pm
reohn2 wrote:TonyR wrote:molzor wrote:Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Unless they seize or the cables snap or the pads wear through

And if they ever do you'll be able to repair them by the roadside

Yes and no. For worn out pads only if you've got new ones with you. Riding in gritstone areas you can get through brake pads pretty fast which was why I first switched to discs.

Snapped cables can only be fixed if you carry a spare cable with you.

I've just cut a seized cable off a bike. Last ridden two weeks ago and in the meantime its seized so solid that I couldn't pull the outer off the inner. So new inners, outers and a pair of cable cutters in the pannier to deal with that one.

Maybe I'm just lucky but in the 15 years I've had hydraulic brakes (on four bikes) they have been fit and forget apart from the occassional pad change. The cable brakes on my other bikes have needed regular maintenance. And I can repair the hydraulic hoses at the side of the road with a penknife and brake fluid bought from any garage. How many garages carry brake cables for bikes?

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 10:09pm
Thanks for the swift reply.

I know way way less than you but tend to agree.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 10:02pm
Sweep wrote:So what type of brakes do you recommend breton?

V?

Yes I'm afraid so - they do the job, indestructible, you can get pads anywhere. Like I said there are lots of pluses to discs (wet weather being by far the biggest) but for rough-and-tumble V brakes every time.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:58pm
So what type of brakes do you recommend breton?

V?

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:52pm
MacBludgeon wrote:Fair point, rotors can take a knock some people dismount them for flying etc but you're also in the hire business. People do tend to treat hire items rather worse, or at least carelessly, in comparison to their own things. I suppose the ultimate would be some sort of sealed unit, drum brake style. But the cynic in me says that development funds won't be directed towards things with genuine longevity.

Though the point still remains that disc brakes allow for varying rims that rim brakes never could.

Yes absolutely, and I'm not belittling the advantage - disc brakes are also pretty cheap nowadays! I always think that hire use is a pretty good equivalent of expedition use - hard!

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 9:38pm
Fair point, rotors can take a knock some people dismount them for flying etc but you're also in the hire business. People do tend to treat hire items rather worse, or at least carelessly, in comparison to their own things. I suppose the ultimate would be some sort of sealed unit, drum brake style. But the cynic in me says that development funds won't be directed towards things with genuine longevity.

Though the point still remains that disc brakes allow for varying rims that rim brakes never could.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 8:54pm
MacBludgeon wrote:Always a fascinating subject and interesting to see how things change over time. One of the things that is often missed is the upsurge of disc brakes meaning different wheel sizes can be run. As long as you don't mind the appearance of big clearances and skinny tyres. This is even more so now with the rise of the 650b. When comparing 700c and 26" the ability to interchange wheels was fairly narrow before geometry could be compromised...not so much between 700c and 650b. It's possible to envisage a frame that ran 700c up to about 700x40 for road use and wider 650b rubber for more offroad or heavily laden touring. Get stuck somewhere and whack in a cheap 26" wheel to get you to where your normal wheel can be repaired or replaced.

My first option would always be to consider 'fit for purpose' and that doesn't mean does it do what others claim but rather does it do what I need. Can the gears get me up what I want to ride?, can the wheels/tyres cope with what I want to ride and give me the comfort level I desire?, can the frame accommodate the luggage I want?, etc, etc.

On the adventure touring side I find the remoteness less and less of a persuasion for specific choices. Cable discs aren't much different to rim brakes, you can easily carry spare cable and pads and even a spare caliper. Spokes, if you're going that remote you should have spares with you. If you're remote enough then no spares will be available whatever you run. After that internet ordering, or packages you've left behind, can be sent pretty much anywhere. I've read plenty of journals where 26" wheel users were unable to get spares/repairs and had to order online.

For me I'd use a 29er setup with a Rohloff and SON, disc brakes and steel frame with full braze-ons and long chainstays...what I have actually. Tyres I'd give serious thought to tubeless, so many punctures are the result of thorns or those little bits of radial wires. Always the option to revert back to tubes, also you can always use 26" tubes if need be. Bars, again use what suits, I like swept flat bars with outboard and inboard bar ends, or Jones Loop.

We hire bikes for a living and having had a batch of disc brakes would never use them for 'expedition' touring. The chances of a bike being bounced thousands of miles, thrown in to busses or aircraft and emerging without bent discs is slim. In our experience we had 10 disc-braked bikes - within 6 weeks use all had discs that rubbed (I suspect mostly bike-rack damage outside supermarkets) and I found it impossible to get them straight. If you are careful with your bike and don't ever put it into situations where a disc might get bent they are utterly brilliant brakes and I would highly recommend them - for any other circumstances they are too fragile.

Re: touring on a trad touring bike?

2 February 2016 - 7:47pm
Always a fascinating subject and interesting to see how things change over time. One of the things that is often missed is the upsurge of disc brakes meaning different wheel sizes can be run. As long as you don't mind the appearance of big clearances and skinny tyres. This is even more so now with the rise of the 650b. When comparing 700c and 26" the ability to interchange wheels was fairly narrow before geometry could be compromised...not so much between 700c and 650b. It's possible to envisage a frame that ran 700c up to about 700x40 for road use and wider 650b rubber for more offroad or heavily laden touring. Get stuck somewhere and whack in a cheap 26" wheel to get you to where your normal wheel can be repaired or replaced.

My first option would always be to consider 'fit for purpose' and that doesn't mean does it do what others claim but rather does it do what I need. Can the gears get me up what I want to ride?, can the wheels/tyres cope with what I want to ride and give me the comfort level I desire?, can the frame accommodate the luggage I want?, etc, etc.

On the adventure touring side I find the remoteness less and less of a persuasion for specific choices. Cable discs aren't much different to rim brakes, you can easily carry spare cable and pads and even a spare caliper. Spokes, if you're going that remote you should have spares with you. If you're remote enough then no spares will be available whatever you run. After that internet ordering, or packages you've left behind, can be sent pretty much anywhere. I've read plenty of journals where 26" wheel users were unable to get spares/repairs and had to order online.

For me I'd use a 29er setup with a Rohloff and SON, disc brakes and steel frame with full braze-ons and long chainstays...what I have actually. Tyres I'd give serious thought to tubeless, so many punctures are the result of thorns or those little bits of radial wires. Always the option to revert back to tubes, also you can always use 26" tubes if need be. Bars, again use what suits, I like swept flat bars with outboard and inboard bar ends, or Jones Loop.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 7:30pm
TonyR wrote:molzor wrote:Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Unless they seize or the cables snap or the pads wear through

And if they ever do you'll be able to repair them by the roadside

Re: Sri Lanka

2 February 2016 - 7:20pm
Thanks Simon
Good info on Ethiopia
I am following Timothy Tower on crazy guy.
He is a week or so into his trip.
A northern loop.
No stone throwing yet but early days.
Good points about the roads and economy.

I think Sri Lanka would.be an easier.country to tour than Ethiopia so I must decide on that basis.
It was.tough last year in the Pamirs so may give myself an easy year.
Once again, thanks for your input.
Any more Sri Lanka info on weather would be appreciated

Matt

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 6:34pm
molzor wrote:Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Unless they seize or the cables snap or the pads wear through

Re: Sri Lanka

2 February 2016 - 6:25pm
matt2matt2002 wrote:My problem/ situation is that I can only have the summer months off from work. The other destination I am exploring is Ethiopia. But again, there are heavy rains then.

The historical situation, which was still the case when I visited the country in about 2001, although not to go cycling, is that there was very little tarmac, gravel roads tended to be very badly washed out with little maintenance, and many roads became impassable in the wet season. But the present situation is that the Ethiopians have been building/paving a lot of roads of late, as well as maintaining some older ones. But it started from a very low base, and the Ethiopians, for all their rapid economic growth, are still very poor indeed, so they just don't have the cashflow to do very much. Their main historical problem is that they have very little road, lots of settlements are not on roads at all, so their first priority is building roads to connect places rather than paving them. And building proper paved highways in a mountainous country with a wet season doesn't come cheap.

So, the difficulty may be getting up to date information over what roads even exist, let alone if they are paved.

In Wikipedia, quoting government data, by 2009 they claimed to have 90,000km of paved roads, which is 89% of the total, but I feel pretty sure this is a complete fantasy. They clearly have built some big new modern 4-lane roads interconnecting Addis and other major cities in the centre of the country, but these aren't really what you want to ride a bicycle on. Information from international highways journals suggests that they are only just now completing proper paved international highways to each of Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan, and that is simply inconsistent with the notion of having a country where in general, they claim, highways are paved - these roads were among their first strategic priorities for modern highways. As you see, proper information is very difficult to come by.

It may be that you have to check your route out on Google Earth. I've just done that to check out an unpaved highway I travelled on in about 2001, the Gonder to Axum road, which is a major internal highway, one of the two main roads to Tigray province. The satellite photos suggest it is still unpaved. Though I expect it is an all-year road.

Of course you'll still have the traditional problems with stone-throwing, etc.

Re: d lock for touring?

2 February 2016 - 4:52pm
scottg wrote:The OP was looking for a light weight d lock.

Palmy aluminum d lock, d lock as fashion accessory.
Probably better than a cable lock in the real world.

http://store.somafab.com/paalu.html

Which brings to mind the question, why not a Titanium d lock ?
Other than the silly price.
You wonder why nobody has thought of aluminium (that's how we spell it over here... ) before. Ok, it's easier to cut through than steel, but it still needs to be cut through, and that's still not easy, and a thief is hardly likely to be able to tell the difference before he starts...

Titanium, well, given how framebuilders say it's so tough it kills their tools, if you had a high-end bike you'd think it would be worth the expense.

Funny story, though: I read a book called 'The Mechanic's Tale', by Steve Matchett, a mechanic with the Benetton F1 team. On his first day he wanted to make a good impression by showing how well organised and neat and tidy he was. He found some sheet metal which he thought would be ideal to use to make drawer dividers for his toolbox. So that's what he did, only to be told that the sheet metal was titanium and he'd cost the team a fair old whack! Thankfully everybody saw the funny side of it and he didn't get fired straight away, but it wasn't the best of starts.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 4:41pm
molzor wrote:Well it looks like my post caused a bit of a stir. Shouldve known.

Im not worrying about it by any means, I quite like a risk. The last 3 trips (admittedly in summer) I slept in a hammock, didnt take a tarp or a tent. If it rains one day, deal with it. But no hotels allowed!

Anyway its just that if you are building up a new bike, its good to think. yeah ill use this because its most practical. Im sure losts of people have used all sorts of options to great effect. Ive never used hydraulics, and I heard a few rumours of people having trouble on planes. Just wanted to check.

Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

You can tour on anything you like, so long as you can carry your kit on it. It is worth asking about these things while you still have a choice though. Personally, I'd avoid any technology that I can't work on by a roadside, just to avoid unnecessary hassle. That would include electronic gears (not likely on a touring bike anyway) and hydraulics. And I'd make sure I knew how to do basic repairs to the components I did take.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

2 February 2016 - 4:25pm
Well it looks like my post caused a bit of a stir. Shouldve known.

Im not worrying about it by any means, I quite like a risk. The last 3 trips (admittedly in summer) I slept in a hammock, didnt take a tarp or a tent. If it rains one day, deal with it. But no hotels allowed!

Anyway its just that if you are building up a new bike, its good to think. yeah ill use this because its most practical. Im sure losts of people have used all sorts of options to great effect. Ive never used hydraulics, and I heard a few rumours of people having trouble on planes. Just wanted to check.

Im sure I could use them... but whats the harm in cables. Theyll stop me. Right?

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

2 February 2016 - 4:03pm
One of the most curious things you might experience on the GOR is the multi sign "things to do" whilst in X place or YH. Herein you will see a indicator post with up to 30 different signs signalling what's on offer to do around your accommodation/place of residence. But hold on,don't get too excited,for the thrill seeker/tourist will be invited to(via the finger-sign)...take a walk,look at the sky,play some cards,toilets,shops,see some cattle... Charming but also unsettling at the same time. Sometimes walking 5 minutes the view remains the same 100+ miles later. You might cycle for several days to get to the advertised must-see,to see it in 3 minutes to be left to think what-now.

At risk of repeating myself,saw Henry Cole(motorcyclist on tv). He wasw extolling some small town on his way to Adelaide/Perth. It was his dream town,he had to live there. he was going to buy a house there,it was...Heaven+++ The next day without explanation he appeared mentally distressed saying he had to get out of here,NOW! He looked/felt trapped. The quiet town had turned into a prison but it was without walls. He had to get to a city to see people,to listen to movement,see...shops,lighting... I think the Big Nothing was intimidating. I don't discredit his experience,maybe others solve it with a 4X! There's no way I could live in one of those bush towns.

Re: d lock for touring?

2 February 2016 - 2:35pm
The OP was looking for a light weight d lock.

Palmy aluminum d lock, d lock as fashion accessory.
Probably better than a cable lock in the real world.

http://store.somafab.com/paalu.html

Which brings to mind the question, why not a Titanium d lock ?
Other than the silly price.

Re: Best way to the Alps

2 February 2016 - 2:02pm
Did that run on a bike last summer (albeit 1000cc petrol assisted) and visited a few historic forts along the route - there are lots give it's been a contested border for centuries. There's an IGN map of France showing all the castles & forts which I used as my road map. Forts weren't purpose of the trip, but there were so many on the way. Highlights included the fortified star-fort town of Neuf Brisach - stayed in modest hotel within the walls. Visited Verdun (Fort Douamon) and the cemetry / ossiary in rememberence of one of the most horrific battles in history, and also took in a couple of Maginot Line forts.

Re: Routes near Banbury

2 February 2016 - 1:36pm
This would be a nice little loop
Check out my Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12028337

Nice ford to cross at 2.5miles ( usually runs about 6" deep) at 6 miles as you pass through stourton just off the route is the Cotswold distillery and cherington arms hotel.
Another nice pub at 10 miles in todenham village or lots of nice cafes etc in Morton in marsh at 13.5 miles in
There is a short section of the A346 but it's not too bad and allows you to visit the rollright stones at 23 miles in, about after you cross the A3400 there is another cafe at the farm shop on your left. 28 miles in your in Hook Norton village village shops pub and a very old brewery to visit if you have time.

If your planning on extending the route avoid the A429 fosse way, it's very fast but you could cross it at moreton in marsh and head up through batsford and Aston magna, very pretty and some good climbs towards bourbon-on-the-hill ( unsurprisingly) chipping Camden is very nice but possibly a bit far out for you.

Re: d lock for touring?

2 February 2016 - 1:26pm
On the continent usually only take lightweight cables and never had a problem. At night have always found somewhere happy and willing to store securely, sometimes as part of group of 4 or 6, often in basements, kitchen, storerooms, etc. When alone, initially nervous when doing things like shopping but soon relax and unlikely the average bike thief would want to take UK steel bike with panniers – but I accept, there is some risk. At campsites, again, ask to store securely or near tent and awkward access. Going out in the evening on the bike the bigger challenge because no off-putting luggage to deter thieves, but I would choose somewhere I can keep bike in sight or otherwise secure. Locking bikes together, even with lightweight cable, more awkward for potential thieves.

However, in the UK I’m more nervous. On end to end from York last year took Kryptonite Evolution Lite mini 6 (at 737g their lightest). My first night in Derby I managed to drop the key after I’d locked it and had major panic with hotel staff kindly searching the hotel with me until we found it - sitting underneath the bike, complete with coloured tag matching the lock (we have several locks on the go at home)! I used it when stopping to buy food or alternatively asked suitable someone if they’d mind keeping an eye for 2 minutes (eg outside shop with buggy, sitting in car, etc); usually gains positive response, opens conversation and helps maintain faith in people. When I met my partner later in the ride I left the D lock with her and only kept a café lock.

I use this D lock + cable for trips into town, to language classes, or whatever. I did try a cheaper alternative to Pitlocks but found I couldn’t tighten them up sufficiently on the rear wheel to prevent it slipping when under pressure but I think they’re a good idea. D locks provide immediate visual deterrent in the same way that a burglar alarm (real or dummy) might mean potential burglar goes elsewhere but nothing will stop the really determined and well-equipped bike thief. Generally, touring bikes with luggage don’t usually match targets for thefts. Mind you, in 1978 we camped for a night in Galway on a patch of grass near the Spanish Arch (if I remember right) and left panniers on the bikes, ancient single speeds enveloped in a heavy chain. In the morning we found someone had reached in and removed our clothes and proceeded to drop them as they walked back into town – we recovered most items.

Think that’s the last theft we’ve had while cycle touring …

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