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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Re: Weight distribution.

27 February 2015 - 9:41pm
jamesgilbert wrote:I'm not sure when it changed, but I haven't seen any people loaded like this: http://site.cty.free.fr/images/historiq ... ique12.jpg .

He has to have those big bags on the front as his wife sits on the rear carrier.

I prefer to avoid having panniers both front and rear as I often use trains. It's bad enough fitting the bike in with rear panniers and bar bag, which have to be removed, without adding front ones as well.

Re: Weight distribution.

27 February 2015 - 9:32pm
I'm not sure when it changed, but I haven't seen any people loaded like this: http://site.cty.free.fr/images/historiq ... ique12.jpg I have only been touring for a few years though!

I got my bike from a touring bike shop in Paris, the only frame options were Surly or Fahrradmanufaktur...

Re: Weight distribution.

27 February 2015 - 9:18pm
That surprises me. Doing Semaine Federal we used to have fun spotting the nationalities of cyclists. One of the ways to tell the French from the others is that they had barbags and/or front panniers with nothing on the rear.
A Carradice saddlebag was an easily spotted Brit.
Other Europeans would have rear panniers rather like the British who didnt have saddlebags.

I did really like those French bar bags which were set up with all sorts of goodies to occupy yourself with while riding.

Re: Warmshowers "membership" charges.

27 February 2015 - 9:16pm
I really like Warmshowers, and I think I'm breaking even in terms of nights stayed with a host and nights hosting other cyclists.

I'm fairly happy paying something to use this service, although I agree that it's good that there is a loophole. I would also like to point out that as far as I know there is zero advertising on the website, and also it is a not for profit organisation.

Although it's on a very different scale, there are some parallels with what happened to Couchsurfing; there's a good article here if anyone's interested: http://bollier.org/blog/lessons-corpora ... uchsurfing

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 9:10pm
I have bar-end shifters on my drop bar converted mtb, I use compact bars and set them high and find them easy to reach.

On my LHT I've put the bar-end levers onto Retroshift brakes (now called Gevenalle).

I prefer them over STI as I can use V-brakes, mix and match gear components, and no fine-tuning of gears needed.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 8:58pm

perhaps you should just get the bike with the bar end shifters it comes with and give them a chance. Cut the bars down a bit if it helps. If you don't get on with the shifters you can change later. Simple.

I don't have any issues with using bar end shifters. It doesn't affect my steering at all. The hand doing the shifting remains partly holding and steadying the end of the bar with the thumb and index finger forming a grip, and the palm and other three fingers tilting the lever up or down. And I don't hit my legs with them. Braking and changing gear at the same time is something I found awkward with STIs so I don't miss it with bar end shifters. And after binning 2 sets of Ultegra STIs a few years back I don't trust them in the long term.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 8:35pm
Bar end shifters for me. You could always relocate the end of the bar .

More here.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 8:29pm

I can't remember exactly how much I sawed off. I took no chances, though. I rode the bike around and looked at how much space I needed on the lower part of the bar, allowing for the fact that the shifter effectively adds a little when installed. Even with STIs I saw a bit off because I don't like my hands too far from the brakes when on the drops. That last bit is just dead weight for me.

As always. measure twice and cut once.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 7:28pm
My recommendation would be STI every time for comfort, safety, reliability, and about every other reason. They are far more durable than some people infer and I just don't hear of failures. One argument often used for bar end shifters is the ability to go friction but (even though I have never used it) I just carry a spare downtube shifter when I'm on tour. Admittedly my frame has the bosses so they can be fitted. And how does the £180 for the STI work?? That seems a lot to me unless you are going high end. If its Shimano you are using, I don't see any point going above Sora and ideally 9-speed so probably half that amount would be right.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 7:03pm
I bought an LHT some years ago with bar end shifters. I dislike them for several reasons. Firstly, as already mentioned, you have to take your hands off the bars to shift, secondly, changing gear, for example moving a lever upwards, will actually put some steering input into the bars, very slight, I know but I found it noticable (OK, Princess and pea, I know). Thirdly if you are inattentive and take your hands off the bars when you stop, with panniers and bar bag fitted on the front, sometimes the bars will swing over and the bar ends jab you in the thigh.

On the plus side, I liked the friction shifting on the front and it is a simple and cost effective system. For me, however, the disadvantages outweighed the benefits. My solution was rather different, my LHT now sports butterfly (trekking) bars and easyfire shifters. Whatever your final choice, I'm sure you will be delighted with the bike.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

27 February 2015 - 6:25pm
I've experienced more problems in the UK in a year than touring to Cape Town.

There's risk in everything, just walking to the shops.

You'll find people are very friendly and common sense will keep you safe from all but the completely unpredictable.

Get out there, enjoy it. Once you get going and they see how much you like it their fears may lessen.


Weight distribution.

27 February 2015 - 6:22pm
Come on be honest! Front panniers also look the part. Lots of us are complete gear heads. I've only just acquired front panniers and I'm yet to use them. I've previously only cycle camped with rear bags and tent etc. The extra room up front spreads the kit out pretty logically and will make food/wine shopping much easier. PLUS it looks so darn cool [emoji41]

Erm. I might just think of a caveat for the above statement while I'm nose down in the next head wind [emoji302]

Is there a Round Britain route info thread?

27 February 2015 - 6:01pm
Psamathe wrote:I would love to do it as well, but I'd want to camp and the wild camping in the UK makes this somewhat impractical.

Why impractical in England, you can still wild camp, you need to find good spots

Jaydeepee, when are you looking to start?


Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 5:58pm
I've toured with both phil and quickly got used to the bar end shifters. I didn't think I would.
I had been planning to change them to STIs but after an entertaining afternoon trying to tune the front derailleur STI after a bump I shall keep with the bar ends.
pwa, out of interest, how much did you saw off? I am planning to do this as well but don't want to take them too far - it is not really reversible after all.

Re: Warmshowers "membership" charges.

27 February 2015 - 5:56pm
There's options for amounts to pay from as little as $10 a year. Peanuts if you use it.

In the last years tour I've stayed probably 28 nights plus with Warmshowers hosts so it's nothing. Even if it had been one or two it'd still be worth it.


Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 5:38pm
is one better than the other

I doubt it but some people prefer one to the other. Personally I prefer the finger tip gear change as I change gear very frequently and on rough ground and other times dont want to have to move my hands to change gear. Also you can brake and change gear at the same time.

The simplicity and reliability of the bar end levers is not something I feel the need of because the STIs are reliable and durable enough.

I agree that some front shifters on an STI can be a bit of a pain having to feather them but others behave themselves, I have both.

Re: Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 5:28pm
I used to use STI and came to the conclusion that they are more trouble than they are worth on a tourer. The front indexing is a pain, trying to get it so that there is no rubbing chain on a triple chainset. With bar end shifters the reach is just a slight move of the hands, no further from your shoulder than the brakes. I tend to saw off a little of the bar to get the shifters in the right place for me and completely eliminate any chance of knees catching shifters. Bar end shifters are also cheaper than STIs to replace when they wear out. For me STIs are for racers, Bar Ends are for tourers.

Bar end shifters or STI

27 February 2015 - 5:10pm
So it looks like I’m going to buy a Surly LHT but there’s just one thing I’m not too sure of and that’s the shifters.

It comes with the bar end type but I’m not keen because I have a dodgy back and don’t fancy reaching down that far all the time. Spoken to the shop and they won’t charge to swap them so will just be the cost of the STI, about £180, so I don’t mind going for them.

I just wondered what you guys think, is one better than the other. Bar end shifters seem a bit old fashion to me.

Cheers folks.

Re: Weight distribution.

27 February 2015 - 4:13pm
I've used front panniers on a couple of tours. I like the way they spread the weight and generally my touring bike handles well.
The drawback I found was when I came to roadworks in Bagneres de Bigorre last year. I found myself sharing a narrow newly laid section with lorries and decided to move to the adjacent footpath - all was ok until my left pannier caught on an ornamental planter. That rotated the front wheel and caused me to fall heavily. One of the road repair crew kindly helped me up but I'd pulled muscles in my back which made cycling uphill very painful. Put paid to my planned route.
I don't think a rear pannier would have caused the same occurence.

Re: faroe islands anyone toured there, how did you get there

27 February 2015 - 12:51pm
The time to be in the Faroes is on the 20th March this year for the total eclipse. Of course the chances of it being clear are remote I suspect!


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