CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 9:17am
I rode from Toulouse to Nice last June great weather in the 30s every day. As I expected that hugging the coast would be busy I stayed in land and there were great roads and plenty to see. We went via Tarascon (great Castle with camping next door), Avignon, as we were ahead on schedule over the Ventoux (which obviously can be missed). We were planning to camp in Vence (just West of Nice) but this was busy so we headed inland again and stayed somewhere else and then came into Nice from the North.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

31 March 2015 - 9:03am
Do you think it could be the more sporty position of a road bike that might have aggravated your neck?

Re: Gluten Free

31 March 2015 - 7:52am
No help at all, but I have been gluten (++) free for nearly 15 years now.

Most places will do a jacket potato, or chips etc. so there will be more places than you think. A decent fish and chip shop can steam the fish without batter (depending on the level of allergy/intolerance you might be able to use the batter as a bowl....)

In terms of normal meals look to the Far East, where much of the stuff you expect to be flour based is actually gramm flour or rice flour.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 6:13am
I think you will find it very busy, very built up and not very pleasant cycling. At the beginning of May at least it won't be too hot or too busy but I wouldn't think it would make for a pleasant or relaxing bike ride. Unfortunately built up coastal areas rarely do.

If I were you I would choose somewhere more rural where you have a good choice of quiet roads, small towns and campsites better suited to the touring cyclist than the family holiday by the beach.

NB I haven't been to that area for a long time, but I used to live in Cannes many years ago. Also most reports on cycling that bit of coast back up what I have said.

Happy to be contradicted!

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

31 March 2015 - 12:15am
Thanks for all of the great advice. The other possibility I thought of was a hybrid bike. Halfords have a Boardman MX Sport for £405 at the moment if you use a discount code. It can take a pannier and mudguards. With what I would save on the discount, I could afford to have these fitted as well. It weights 13.8kg. Again it has front suspension forks. My reason for buying a bike with suspension is that I have problems with my neck. I had to stop using a road bike as my neck was too painful riding it. I thought that the extra benefit of front suspension may have made things easier going over bumps and jar my neck a bit less.

http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/h ... tAodNDcAXw

Sorry for the huge link

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 10:30pm
b1ke wrote:I've never bought a made to measure tourer. Everything I've ridden has been second hand and I've toured well over 10,000 miles on them without issue. I swap stems and bars if necessary, same with tyres and then fit racks and my Brooks saddle.

I've toured on tandems, a cargo bike, mountain bikes and touring bikes (including a Sherpa). And I liked them all for various reasons. And probably disliked bits about some of them as well. But I lived with what I had because I preferred to save my cash for the road.

My personal opinion is that a lot of the talk around touring bikes is hype. Comparing the Sherpa to, for example, a Kona Explosif, I preferred the Kona for it's lightness and responsiveness. The Sherpa however felt a lot more robust and had every braze-on imaginable, plus it had good heel clearance. Whether that justifies the price is the decision of the buyer.

Can't comment on 700c wheels because I don't tend to ride those bikes, but I can't see why the same wouldn't be true.

hear hear. I agree make the most of what you have rather than go after the ideal bike. When I bought my dawes 1-Down it was bought on the spur of the moment now 15 years or so ago at a large discount. Being a large person it wasnt a good fit at the time but by changing the steerer stem to a long one from Rose cycles and a seat pin which allowed me to push the seat further back - total cost less than £60 - the bike works rather well - the reach is what it should be and the seat relative to the pedals almost correct and certainly some thing that can be ignored - the body has some flexability. The 46/36/26 gearing couldnt be better ( for me now ) and the sti has proved very reliable and stable requiring little or no adjustment for years.

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 9:59pm
I've never bought a made to measure tourer. Everything I've ridden has been second hand and I've toured well over 10,000 miles on them without issue. I swap stems and bars if necessary, same with tyres and then fit racks and my Brooks saddle.

I've toured on tandems, a cargo bike, mountain bikes and touring bikes (including a Sherpa). And I liked them all for various reasons. And probably disliked bits about some of them as well. But I lived with what I had because I preferred to save my cash for the road.

My personal opinion is that a lot of the talk around touring bikes is hype. Comparing the Sherpa to, for example, a Kona Explosif, I preferred the Kona for it's lightness and responsiveness. The Sherpa however felt a lot more robust and had every braze-on imaginable, plus it had good heel clearance. Whether that justifies the price is the decision of the buyer.

Can't comment on 700c wheels because I don't tend to ride those bikes, but I can't see why the same wouldn't be true.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

30 March 2015 - 9:46pm
Well the trouble with this coast is that, in the main, a main road follows it and if you want to get off it it can be very lumpy.
I found getting round Monaco and into Nice quite busy. True the promenade of Nice was nice but it soon ran out on the western side.
Having ridden the velodysee as well I don't think you will find this area as accommodating.
My sympathies re the chemo - if you are just getting over it don't over estimate your capabilities. I know it affects different people different ways and it depends on the cocktail but I have lived with someone who took many many months to recover strength.
Good luck

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 9:27pm
Thanks for that Gaz to long for me so.looking for 53 cm or 52 i reckon.height would be good tho..
very confusing these frame geometry .

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 9:19pm
jags wrote:That SPA tourer looks a cracking bike.
colin on the 51cm frame is the top tube 51cm.just curious.
Top tube is 54.4cm, effective top tube 56.4cm
Spa publish the frame geometry: http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploa ... ometry.jpg

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 8:20pm
That SPA tourer looks a cracking bike.
colin on the 51cm frame is the top tube 51cm.just curious.



jags.

Re: Touring frame differences

30 March 2015 - 6:34pm
22camels wrote:Apologies for my poor communication skills. I really should not have started these two threads at the same time! If you read carefully, I am asking a very different question in this thread. It is about what makes two steel touring frames, of similar weight, and geometry, one rated for expedition touring (e.g. a Thorn Sherpa) , the other for light/medium and more sporty touring (e.g. a Salsa Vaya), different. How much of it is to do with weight distribution between tubes, tube thicknesses. And how much of it is it to do with image/hype/marketing/fashion/trend.

A great deal of "marketing", a little substance would be my first reply. If you are just looking at "categories" of frames its almost pointless.
If you have 2 specific frames in mind, there are some things to look at which might be important.....
disc forks need to be stiffer (heavier?) than forks for rim brakes, particularly long (suspension corrected) forks.
An expedition bike needs long chainstays to clear heels and big panniers, stable steering also.(maybe!) A long wheelbase is considered detrimental to ability to do quick turns (for "sportier" bikes), but for a touring bike I like the feel of a stable, long wheelbase rig, and I like sometimes to ride in boots with big tyres and mudguards without toe overlap.
If you want to compare Thorns in any detail, you are hampered by their "secret" geometry.
Just to take your "Fargo" example, with a long trail.....that would normally rule it out as a "fun" bike, (because the steering will be "slow") and place it in the stable/expedition category. .....but does it have long chainstays and lots of toe clearance to go with it, or would you risk kicking the panniers and front tyre/mudguard?

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 6:26pm
the Spa steel tourers do look nice, unfortunately I am looking for 26 inch wheels for parts availability.

regarding Thorn, yeah i've had thoughts about mixing it up a bit between their drop and straight bar setups too, but I think if I do end up going for the Sherpa, I'll go with their recommendation which is either 565S/600S for drops, or 565L/600L for straights and only retrofit if I really have to.. I'm not sure I really need that short a reach (I have longish arms too), guess it depends on how this neck thing evolves, I hope it's just a matter of spending more time in the saddle.

thanks for all the responses so far.

Re: Round the world on a unicycle

30 March 2015 - 5:03pm
Mick F wrote:Also, it tends to be single speed only.

I did read somewhere(?) that it's possible to fit a SA 3sp (fixed) to one. It would certainly help on longer runs on a road.
There is a Schlumpf-based 2 speed unicycle drive available.

Rick.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 4:18pm
22camels wrote:...........
531colin - the spa cycles link you posted in the other thread, http://www.spacycles.co.uk/info/pedaltosaddle.php, is a good illustration of what i mean here. I need a saddle to pedal height of 37in, and in the photo (http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploa ... tourer.jpg) you see that in the recommended frame (57cm) presumably with the full steerer, the bars still barely reach the level of the saddle........................

Since we did all those photos, there is now a 60cm bike, which I have personally fitted quite happily to riders 6' 6".
Crotch to floor on me is about 32", saddle to pedal is about 34", that's this on a 54cm bike http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploads/tourer/5434tourer.jpg
I'm 5' 10", you are an inch taller than me with crotch to floor 88cm, that's about 34 1/2" , or 2 1/2" longer than my legs.
I actually designed the 54 for me, the 60 head tube is 2 1/2" taller than the 54, I would be ever so surprised if it were too small for you.
Since the photos, we have also changed the fork supplier, the steerer is now 350mm.....after all this time I have no idea what length the steerers in the photos were cut to.....you could probably scale it from the 700c wheel, if you had a mind to.
You can be considered to have long legs for your height, or a short torso for your height....that being the case, you might fit better on a 57 with an uncut steerer, as the reach is less, although if you also have long arms, it might all cancel out. (I have never heard of 1 1/8" steel steerers breaking.....ever).
The 60cm bike is huge....like a field gate with wheels.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 4:13pm
22camels wrote:horizon, why do you suggest a drop bar Sherpa retrofitted with straights is preferable to a straight bar Sherpa?



Two points:

1. Thorn (to their credit) run two frame lengths throughout their range. They reckon that because drop bars throw you foward 12 cm (see above), the top tube needs to be correspondingly shorter for drop barred bikes. Of course, no-one (AFAIK) really knows what the starting point for this is: is Thorn making its drop bar bikes shorter or its straight bar bikes longer? In the end I came to the conclusion that it was the latter, just. (Thorn's short tubes are just a tiny bit shorter than others e.g. Club Tour versus Spa).

Anyway, assuming that Thorn's drop bar bikes are normal (whatever length that is) they are shorter than straights (e.g. 565S and 565L). So if you are not normal and need a shorter frame, buy the drop bar bike and put straights on it. La voila! The top tubes on my MTBs are longer than the top tubes on my tourers. But put straights on my tourer and voila! Of course if want drops you are still struggling: basically, drops on a 700c frame with a normal steep head tube will require long arms - the wheel cannot come back any further as it would hit your toes.

2. I haven't talked about bar height because it isn't the same problem. Although height and reach are related due to the angle of the head tube, really it's easy to deal with height - you just keep on going upwards - six feet anyone? To get more bar height, just leave the steerer uncut. To get the bars lower - well ... If only it were that easy with top tube length.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

30 March 2015 - 4:07pm
I have cycled from Monaco to Perpignan with detours to Avignon, Nimes and Beziers and I don't remember any really difficult climbs. Much of the way is especially around the Camargue is very flat. Don't know of any special cycle routes but most of the roads are cycle friendly.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 3:47pm
"Blimey, you're all making me feel like I have really stumpy legs... at 179cm and 83cm bfso height…"

I think that's close to average. I first realised my legs were long when I let a mate the same height as me try my bike out, I had to lower my saddle by over 5cm for him!

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 3:41pm
Blimey, you're all making me feel like I have really stumpy legs... at 179cm and 83cm bfso height...

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

30 March 2015 - 3:25pm
and the bars are still 2 inches below the saddle,

Only 2 inches?

Mine are nearly 8 inches below - "Why is that guy riding his hybrid like a road bike.."

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