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Updated: 2 hours 20 min ago

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 10:09am
nmnm wrote:Didn't the etape come with a nice set of light wheels? Imho, posting this question here is getting you a lot of answers that bias towards the trad touring end of the viewpoints, with deviations into moneysaving options that surely aren't an issue for someone asking about £500 wheels for a £1000 frameset. Anyway, that's maybe just me . I'd email the Enigma guy for a recommended wheelset or post on a board where people are talking more about lightweight £500 wheelsets for general use (not "touring and expedition"). And that flexible wire roadside spoke repair kit is worth a look maybe. Actually, this board is maybe better for that roadside spoke repair point, to be fair.

If you really read the criteria of the O.P. then "traditional" wheels will always come out tops.

"looking for something that's fast and light for the mountains and long distance and multi-day tours and audaxes"
So availability of single spokes is also required - not a full set
- Take between 23mm and 28mm tyres, but mostly 25mm
- Cost less than £500
- Parts available around the world if I get stuck on tour

Where are you going to get replacement parts "available around the world"?
And some fancy wheels will not be take your Flexible wire spoke" because of the spoke design system.
It would be helpful if we knew what wheels the O.P already has including their weight.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 6:00am
Didn't the etape come with a nice set of light wheels? Imho, posting this question here is getting you a lot of answers that bias towards the trad touring end of the viewpoints, with deviations into moneysaving options that surely aren't an issue for someone asking about £500 wheels for a £1000 frameset. Anyway, that's maybe just me . I'd email the Enigma guy for a recommended wheelset or post on a board where people are talking more about lightweight £500 wheelsets for general use (not "touring and expedition"). And that flexible wire roadside spoke repair kit is worth a look maybe. Actually, this board is maybe better for that roadside spoke repair point, to be fair.

Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

7 February 2016 - 5:40am
Interesting page about Brompton touring from an interesting fellow:
http://www.shanecycles.com/the-genius-o ... n-touring/

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

6 February 2016 - 10:08pm
Spend a night in Koala Cove. You will see lots of wild koalas then you can micturate off Australians telling them about it, and discover that most Aussies have never seen a wild koala
We did GOR in a camper, loved it, now have our own VW Cali, but it would make a fantastic ride. Your Brompton could do it!!

Re: Touring in Rutland/Leicestershire

6 February 2016 - 8:54pm
Hello All
Firstly my apologies for not replying to you sooner, I have been away for a few days.
I greatly appreciate all the really useful advice (especially all those café stops) it will help me to start planning some of the day rides.
"honesty" as you gathered we will be further East, however there is a possibility we will be up in that area next year, thank you though for the info.
I used to live in Melton Mowbray over 45 years ago and at one time knew the area like the back of my hand, however memory fades with time.
Regards
Chickenlegs

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 7:05pm
PH wrote:Rabbit wrote:I had a set of Harry Rowland wheels made up last year for a tour - and he was excellent to deal with and the wheels have been superb. Harry seems happy to chat on the phone for ages about what you need and answers emails quickly.
He is like that, until there's a problem, then he really doesn't want to know, tells you it was a poor choice of components though didn't mention it when he took the money.
That's an interesting perspective as he a seems very forthright on component Pros and Cons on his rather old-fashioned website.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 6:19pm
£500? Wheel truing stand £80 (Minoura is fine), rim for £30 (£60 for 2), spokes £40, wheel building book £10 (eg, Muson).

If you want a wheel that's repairable at the side of the road, then you're going to need to now how to do that repair. If you just fit a new spoke and tighten it up, then there's a reasonably good chance it (or another spoke) will snap a few miles up the road.

"I've already got some handmade 32 spoke, heavy as lead wheels for fully loaded touring...." and "...I'm looking for something that's fast and light for the mountains and long distance and multi-day tours and audaxes"

can you really not feel the irony? skimping on spokes doesn't make your wheels fast, or light. what rims are on your 'heavy as lead' wheels?

Re: Air France no to CTC bag

6 February 2016 - 6:11pm
More details please.

Not had a refusal yet,but always worried++ Travelled with bike unpacked,and packed in just bubble-wrap.

I always get names and confirmation that airline will take bicycle as I am prepared to take it. Howsoever,I also know that on-the-day,rules can and will be changed as and when they want.

Just a crack-pot question: I wonder how much extra it is to take an animal by plane: dog,Shetland Pony,Giraffe? I'm thinking,I'm paying extra to have my bike go by plane? Surely less aggro than a pony. Yes,I know there's a difference! Cost differential?

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 6:09pm
I was going to use Continental Grand Prix 4 seasons, although on a recent tour where my friends were on 4 seasons, I had far fewer punctures than them with Grand Prix 4sii

anyone found anything better than the above, and views on whether the 4s is actually better than the 4 seasons

I was on 28mm, they were on 25mm

Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

6 February 2016 - 5:54pm
A couple of years ago we based ourselves in the northern part of Luxembourg in a town adjacent to the Belgian border by the name of Clervaux, with a view to touring round 'Battle of the Bulge' country on our Bromptons. The idea was take the train from Clervaux up to Liege in Belgium, then over to Aachen, and cycle back to Clervaux down the Vennbahn cycle way. As it panned out, we actually started from a place in Belgium called Eupen, then cycled to the Vennbahn to join it just east of the border at Raeren. The route then headed south, snaking in and out of Belgium and Germany, before reaching Troisvierges in Luxembourg. We took great care to be absolutely minimalist with luggage (basically one dry bag each, fastened to our carriers with bungees), and more importantly, we made sure that we didn't overstretch ourselves mileage-wise. As it happened, we only spent one night out on the bikes, and we probably did a total of about 130 kms in those two days. For the remaining time available, we cycled locally around Clervaux on day trips, sometimes using the trains to 'kill' the stem mileage. It's an extremely hilly area, but our six-speeders coped fine with all the hills.

So, in a nutshell, the Belgium we've cycled in was very enjoyable (I appreciate it's not Brussels or Gent, but eastern Belgium is an equally viable alternative!), I'm not convinced that Bromptons are the easiest option for cycle touring, but they are good fun and always prompt interest from our European cycling brethren, almost a two-wheeled confirmation of British eccentricity! As I said earlier, I think it's very important to be aware of your own limitations, within the context of the further limitations imposed by a loaded small-wheeled folder. To give you an idea of our fitness levels, we did the Way of the Roses east to west (ie against the wind) on fully loaded Bromptons a couple of years ago in four and a half days, neither myself nor my wife managed the climb on the alternative route out of Pately Bridge, but that was the only time we had to get off and push!

If you have questions either about our experiences with Brompton touring or perhaps about the Vennbahn and Luxembourg, just post them on here and I'll try to assist

Re: Air France no to CTC bag

6 February 2016 - 5:28pm
I see from the above link that the prohibited item list also includes;
...electric unicycles (even with batteries removed)
That's my plans scuppered.

Re: F1 hotels

6 February 2016 - 5:16pm
bikepacker wrote:F1 hotels do allow bikes in the room. Remember however these hotels because of their cheapness are generally of very poor standard. We have only ever stayed in two and both have been a nightmare experience. If you are looking for low cost hotels, Ibis Budget are good value and usually exceptionally clean. Premier Classe slightly more expensive than F1 are much better and rooms are ensuite.
They don't all allow bikes in a room - and I refer to all the three you mention.
We stayed in a F1 near Moulins a couple of years ago. However they did allow us to put the bikes in a lock up - which was better. I think you are being a bit unfair about the standard of F1. They are not my favourite accommodation but generally I've found them acceptable as an overnight stop and I've used them a number of times over the years -of course you need to pay attention to the word "BUDGET".
Ibis budget are better ( used to be Etap). Campanile IMO are ok but the restaurants are not so good. Premier Classe have pretty small rooms - not good if there are two of you with bikes.
In fact some areas of France like the Pyrenees don't have many budget chain hotels available - but I've found with all the online booking agencies that there are a number of B&B type places that are very reasonable.

Re: Air France no to CTC bag

6 February 2016 - 5:15pm
Bummer. Seems you need to get approval at least 48 hours in advance but there's nothing about a CTC type bag not being sufficienct packaging.

http://www.airfrance.co.uk/GB/en/common ... france.htm

Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

6 February 2016 - 4:59pm
Not Brompton.

Many main roads had a cycle path alongside and provision was quite good. Brussels was a bit tricky to get out of / onto the correct road. Its that bit beyond the centre but still built up, where your trying to find a specific road that's tricky.

If you need gas there's a Decathlon at Evere. There is a mountaineering shop nearer the centre that sells it too but I can't remember where.

Lots of big canals in Belguim.

Re: Air France no to CTC bag

6 February 2016 - 4:12pm
So what happened? Did they put you on another flight?

Re: Brompton touring in Belgium

6 February 2016 - 4:12pm
Not with a Brompton, but Belgium is a good place to Tour and you will find lots of general advice on this forum if you play around with the search function.

Once you get a general idea and have more specific questions there are many on here who will be happy to help

Air France no to CTC bag

6 February 2016 - 4:08pm
Just a quick warning to anyone flying with Air France that they would not accept my bike in a CTC bike bag recently when flying to Cuba. Worse still i had taken a cardboard box as well just in case but they did not make a decision until it was too late to re pack. I had been waiting with the bike for over hours since initial check in. I shall write to Air France to get a final rule from them and then post the result hear. Meanwhile someone we met flew with Air Berlin and he was able to ride to the airport and just give them the bike with the usual handlebars and pedal alterations.
Good luck all - Richard

Re: SE Asia routes advice

6 February 2016 - 3:33pm
I can probably help. I've cycled quit a few times in Vn and also know other parts of SE Asia pretty well. I am on tour at the moment and may find time to answer some specific questions. I'll be happy to speak (phone) when I return to the UK in April. Message me then if you want.

In the meantime you need to decide some basics.
How long are you going for.
When, climate is important.
Do you like hills, do you really like hills.
What do you want to see eg culture, food, history. Reading a good guidebook can be the start of a route.

If you like big hills the NW circuit is unbeatable. Plus great scenery, a bit of history (Dien Bien Phu) and plenty of hill tribe colour.

The Ho Chi Minh Highway running from Hanoi to Saigon is a good way of doing an end to end and can include historic, cultural, war, etc in Hue, Hoi An and the DMZ.

Delta area completely different. Also worth a good look.

..................and I haven't even mentioned Thailand yet, one of the best all round places to cycle in the world.

As I said, I'm happy to answer specific questions.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 2:41pm
Rabbit wrote:I had a set of Harry Rowland wheels made up last year for a tour - and he was excellent to deal with and the wheels have been superb. Harry seems happy to chat on the phone for ages about what you need and answers emails quickly. He's a pretty well known name and has been making wheels for years. I think he charged me about £220 for some Mavic A719 rims with LX hubs and 36 DT swiss spokes. Been using them for 6 months and still absolutely true despite a few bangs and pot holes. You will probably want something lighter I guess...
+1

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 2:35pm
beardy wrote:Then I would pay much more attention to the choice of tyres, which tend to make more of a difference than rims do.

I think that's right, unless your current handbuilts are cheap and nasty I suspect any gains are going to be marginal. I notice Steve Abraham converted to tubeless on his mileage attempt, seems to have liked them, so there's a bit to be gained there (If there is a problem you can still stick a tube in) Slightly wider rims that give a different profile are becoming popular, I haven't looked that closely so don't know if it's fashion or the theory holds up. If you stick with tubes you could go for really light ones and a quality pump and accurate pressure gauge, always having that right is going to make a difference.
Then the tyres, high mileage on good tyres gets expensive, but if money were no object I'l like to try these
https://www.compasscycle.com/shop/compo ... yuse-pass/

After that, just talk to a decent wheelbuilder and if they're not asking about your weight and usage, don't use them.

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