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Updated: 35 min 10 sec ago

Re: Chainstays too short?

19 March 2015 - 5:19pm
24x32 is as low (or lower) gear than you'd get on a standard touring bike (such as a Surly LHT). In truth it would be things like the wheels which I might expect to give you trouble whilst laden touring

Re: Chainstays too short?

19 March 2015 - 1:36pm
frame bags - a solution to buying the wrong bike!

Re: Paris to London

19 March 2015 - 1:11pm
You can find GPX files and instructions (both ways) for the Travel Log route Newhave/London at http://travelloglewes.co.uk/index.php?p ... -bike-ride

Chris Smith, Travel Log Lewes

Re: Chainstays too short?

19 March 2015 - 12:58pm
irc wrote:Because they keep the weight lower for better handling. Stuff can pretty much get flung in rather than carefully packed. They are quicker to put on and take off the bike. There is plenty spare capacity for stocking up with bulky beer and food near the end of the day. They don't take up space in the main triangle which I use for my 1.5L water bottle. There is space above the rear rack for my bulky but light tent and closed cell foam mat.

I don't need to strap anything to my handlebars. I like to be able to see the front wheel. But that's just a personal preference as most tourers seem to use bar bags.

Downsides for on road use? Panniers and racks are a bit heavier.

My post was slightly tongue in cheek but I am not sure the idea of keeping panniers low making for better handling (when riding) is really true. The biggest weight on a loaded touring bike is the rider and most of their mass is above the saddle.

My touring bike is slowly going the way of the one in the picture although I do still have rear panniers. Losing the front panniers has improved handling considerably. I have a full frame bag in the middle and the water bottles now sit on the front forks as per the one in the picture. The disadvantage of them there is they have to be removed completely if packing the bike up for flying but that is no hardship and they are easy to reach when riding. And yes I have a bar bag too, wouldn't be without it for valuables.

Re: Tour de Manche

19 March 2015 - 12:49pm
It was the British side of the route which put me off when I first looked at this last year. This may be an unjust judgement, I need to look at the route in detail but as a generality (and therefore not wholly true), I enjoy cycling in France but I don't like cycling in the UK - and it is the attitude of drivers which makes the difference.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

19 March 2015 - 12:45pm
Mick F wrote:A tip I read from a seasoned traveller/holidaymaker, is to take less luggage but more money.
My wife does that, and on the return she does the reverse. More luggage and less money.

Re: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Hawick - best route and how hard?

19 March 2015 - 11:53am
Sorry Mick F, that was meant for rualexander - I hadn't seen your post. But thank you too, though I do think I'll stick to the B road route that rualexander originally suggested: I don't mind extra miles if it means more peace and fewer range rovers!

Re: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Hawick - best route and how hard?

19 March 2015 - 11:51am
Ah, that's what I thought. Thanks though - seems like it could be an OK route. If you ever need routes in Norfolk, let me know!

Re: Best saddle for touring

19 March 2015 - 11:28am
Enjoy your B17. You are no doubt aware that it will be better after a few hundred miles of use. I would avoid over-use of proofide wax. Too much, too often, can make the leather too soft and cause the saddle to lose its shape. Other than that, it should prove to be a good choice.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

19 March 2015 - 11:24am
PH - I don't think the most important reason for washing clothes is to stop you smelling!

I wash mine because they are next to my sensitive bits which I also keep clean. Old dirty smelly, bacterially infected clothes are a recipe for all sorts of fungal infections, nasty rashes, etc.

An itchy crutch will slow you down a lot more than underinflated tyres.

Re: Tour de Manche

19 March 2015 - 9:50am
I did the French section from cherbourg to Roscoff last summer. Loved the route. Pics and brief reports are on this thread on the thorn forum http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/ind ... pic=9585.0

Re: Reducing pannier weight

19 March 2015 - 9:38am
I have a few ideas on my blog:


Hope they help.


Re: Reducing pannier weight

19 March 2015 - 9:33am
Ferial wrote:I Follow the rule of 1 on, 1 for spare and 1 in the wash. Light weight, quick-dry clothes + a tangier stove to save on meals. I survived 6 weeks through France & Spain like this.

For the merino stuff I don't need the spare, wear one wash one, change when it's dry or I need it. It also helps to have a mid layer that is still comfortable next to the skin, just offers more options. I don't want to be washing all the time, twice on a two week tour is enough and only then if I need clean clothes for traveling home. I've never tested merino to it's limits, there's stories of people using it for weeks before it becomes smelly.

Re: Best saddle for touring

19 March 2015 - 5:56am
Brooks B17 is just fantastic. I've used it for years. Perfect in hot climate as in south east asia!
i don't even use lycra short anymore.because it's so comfortable.

Re: Custom Wheel Build around Son 28 Dynamo Hub

19 March 2015 - 1:45am
I'm about to do the same as I try turn a 29er mountain bike into a tourer type thing. I might just use the standard OEM rim but then try buy some decent spokes. This is because I already have it (cost) and I don't have weight on the front of the bike so shouldn't be too much stress on it. I've never really problems with even pretty basic front wheels touring (rear ones different story) although I pack light with no additional weight on the front. I think you can get the SON 28 in 32h and 36h. Total cost roughly 210 for hub + 30? spokes (equivalent cheapo OEM 29er rim maybe £25 if I didn't already have one).

I've built some wheels with Rigida Sputnik rims on another bike I've toured on. No problems there so far - they seem solid and were cheap (think I got them from eBay).

With the Son hubs do you happen to know which is best if you are only interested in charging a phone?! (not fussed about lights) I think when I researched this before I concluded the 28 would be best but now I'm questioning myself...

Re: Tour de Manche

19 March 2015 - 1:17am
I live near Bournemouth/Poole and last year set off for Lands End and so cycled this route from the Sandbanks Ferry to Exeter before deviating. I'd never heard of it until that trip when I kept seeing the signs along the route. I think anything like this is a good thing and it has a nice twist in that it is a multinational loop.

However the thing that I remember about a good part of the Dorchester to Exeter section is that it was no walk in the park - there were a couple of steep undulations in there! This is not really a negative - there is probably no avoiding it in that part of the world - it's just the thing I remember and maybe I wrongly have some expectation in my head that European/nationally funded/promoted routes are generally more easy going (like the bit around the Exe estuary). It does a do good job of keeping away from busy roads and of course you have some great countryside and coastal scenery to cycle through. Elsewhere there were one or two short off road sections where I was thinking 'i'm glad I'm not trying this on a racing bike' but they could probably be avoided quite easily with some minor detours if you wanted to.

Part of my issue with the short steep climbs may have been taking on a bit much each day - end of day 1 I camped near Axmouth then Day 2 ended in Dartmoor somewhere.

This map shows what bit I'm going on about:


Re: Custom Wheel Build around Son 28 Dynamo Hub

19 March 2015 - 12:04am
Rigida Sputnik rims built by SJS cycles are a good strong rim although I'm not sure that they do one with 36 holes that I believe your Son hub needs

Re: Sustrans Routes

18 March 2015 - 11:58pm
There are a couple of ways to enhance cycle.travel's usefulness as a planning tool. (At least that appears to be the case; ask me again at the end of May when we get back from a five-week tour of unfamiliar parts of England.)

1) You can check the nature of on-road routes and the presence of Access Points to traffic free sections with the Street View function on Google Earth.

2) This from Richard Fairhurst, cycle.travel's creator in response to a recently posted question of mine http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=94782
You probably know this, but if you click a section of planned route on cycle.travel, you can see pictures taken by the lovely users of geograph.org.uk - often helpful in recce-ing surfaces and path width.
This works a treat in many locations.
The weak point in both techniques is that the information may be quite dated, but in planning at a distance (across the Atlantic) I find they offer some real advantages over the blind fumbling that has been my previous method.

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

18 March 2015 - 11:08pm
Portugal is one of my favourite countries to cycle. Gorgeous, we did Lisbon to Santander in late May/ early June and had a big mix of weather from over hot to cool and overcast and then snow in the mountains! ( we sheltered in a shepherds hut with the shepherds and there were real hams hanging from the ceiling). Fabulous border forts too along the spanish border (Almeida). Gorgeous roses along the Tagus with little white towns and then in the back country valleys around places like Castelo Branco full of wild flowers.

If campsites are closed little hotels in the small towns are cheap and clean except for a dodgy workers hostel high up in the Douro valley that I'd rather forget (Mogodouro). I'd like to go back and make it to Braganza as my companion thought it would be too mountainous getting there.

Ps cycling from Lisbon airport is ok. I went back last year and would still assess it as doable.

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

18 March 2015 - 9:57pm
Regarding eastern Europe, Montenegro is amazing, especially the Piva Gorge. I've heard great things about the coast too. I also loved Bosnia. Romania had busy main roads or dirt tracks and not much else. Slovenia is also very pretty especially in the Julian Alps. And though only Montenegro of those countries uses the currently cheap euro, the other countries are even cheaper. Happy cycling!


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