CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 23 min ago

Re: Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 5:03pm
Makes sense to me - I always take a couple of days to adapt to riding with luggage.
I think its more the handling than the weight.

Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 4:48pm
In the past I've just waited till I'm on the road with all my luggage. Albeit camping tours for long weekends, as apposed to trans-continent stuff. The first couple of days can be a chore.

My circumstances are different now as I have more 'me time' as my daughters are older now and they are spending a bit more time with their mum who I'm recently separated from. I'm still doing 70% of the childcare but I often have free weekends.

I've been learning a few tips from bike tourists on YouTube and one particular channel (Bike America I think) is really enjoyable. It suggests training with your full load.

Makes sense to me. We all know the logistics of packing/unpacking and living out of small bags so that would give you 'housekeeping' practice. As far as riding with a full load that would give you the bike handling skills not associated with a light bike.

I just feel a bit weird that I'm 'just pretending' for the day/weekend so I'm bike fit for Spring and Summer.

At 40 should I just grow up and stop worrying what other people might be thinking while I'm pedalling about with my full load?...hc

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

16 February 2015 - 3:59pm
Just as an alternative I'd like to say that there is a lot to be said for a second hand bike. I did somewhere in the region of 10k miles before the frame died on a ridgeback flight T2 I bought for £70 online. Just added front & rear pannier racks, bar ends & bottle cages, had it serviced & off I went.

Am actually going to mount the frame on the wall. <3 that bike.

You can find plenty of second hand hybrids online for around £100, less if you can find a local one. Having rack/s added & a good service won't cost that much. The best way to find something appropriate is to check what the specs are for the new bikes you are looking at then compare them to those of the second hand bikes that are out there.

Re: On a tandem to Santander with a deaf and blind person

16 February 2015 - 3:53pm
My idea is to do a loop around Santander -for 10 days any good routes -a tandem camping -deaf /blind person on the back .so--------------thanks

Re: Dawes Sardar Sizing Question

16 February 2015 - 3:35pm
why a Sardar? hardly common these days? And I doubt you would be able to choose, have to accept whats on offer? you might have a long wait... It would be better to consider a later same type of bike which you can try for fit? and would propably be better any way? I am now waiting for some one to ask about sizing for the Dawes 1-Down. even rarer....

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

16 February 2015 - 3:22pm
Plenty of people tour with only a handle bar bag and rear panniers. Also, there are rack options for bikes without eyelets. However, if you are planign to use front panniers, I agree that it's better to get a bike with mounting for a front rack.

Re: On a tandem to Santander with a deaf and blind person

16 February 2015 - 3:16pm
There are various threads on the forum about cycling to & from Santander

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=93998&p=865955
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=93185&p=860849
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=92987&p=851943

The last has some links to a couple of other threads, as well.

Or you could do a search on the forum for 'santander' and look through the results.

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

16 February 2015 - 3:15pm
That said, if you buy the Eastway, I would suggest taking it on a weekend tour with camping gear, someplace hilly, and see how you get on. You may not need to swap the cassette. Although I consider that gearing suitable for light to moderately loaded touring, other people may be happy with it for heavily loaded touring.

Yeah I'd definitely do this first and if I did want to change I'd probably do it myself so I know how the whole thing works before I go.

Although the Eastway looks like a good buy, the problem is the lack of compatibility for front racks, which is a little bit limiting.

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

16 February 2015 - 2:47pm
ndxcc wrote:Thanks for the information Vorpal, it's something I wouldn't even had considered!

How easy is it to replace the cassette? Is it something I can do? Or maybe I can convince EBC to fit free of charge for me?

Also, is this the kind of cassette I'd need to be looking at? http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... d-cassette

Current order of preference:

1) Revolution - it has everything ready to go at a reasonable price.
2) Eastway - lots of bike for the money (seen it even cheaper on wiggle.co.uk) but needs new cassette as above, also can't have front pannier rack.
3) Fuji - needs mudguards and smallest size is 54cm and I'd ideally need something smaller.
4) Raleigh - discounted this as others appear better bikes.

Any more feedback from others very much welcome and needed!
The Eastway looks to have SRAM, so yu need to look for SRAM PG 1030 11-36 instead of the 11 - 32 that bike comes with. You can ask EBC how much that will cost. I doubt they will do it for free, but they might do it for the cost of the parts, or offer a discount, if they'd rather sell you the Eastway than the Revolution.

That said, if you buy the Eastway, I would suggest taking it on a weekend tour with camping gear, someplace hilly, and see how you get on. You may not need to swap the cassette. Although I consider that gearing suitable for light to moderately loaded touring, other people may be happy with it for heavily loaded touring.

If you do decide to change it yourself, check these resources:
SRAM site https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/prod ... 0-cassette and read the instructions
http://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html
also, it's usually worth looking on youtube. Watch a few videos, though (unless someone comes by with a specific recommendation). Anyone can post rubbish on YouTube. Watching several videos (see if there are some from reputable companies, like Park Tool) will allow you to figure out which ones are rubbish or miss out steps, and which ones are easy to follow.

Re: Cycling the Italian lakes

16 February 2015 - 2:20pm
To everyone that replied to my query,

Thank you all so much. I am sure that your advice will help us greatly. We will be in the area at the end of July, but will be able to avoid the weekend. The diversion through a natural cave sounds fascinating, I will get the maps out and determine how to access that route.

Thanks again

Robert

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 2:15pm
I also don't think it is dying, I am in my 40s and my generation appear to have spent their time traveling the world on cheap package holidays, or during break years after Uni back packing. I have not come across that many my age, but a hell of a lot in their 50s plus. Those that return to cycling my age, were MTBers until the foot & mouth and then they all returned as MAMILs. Probably the reason as to why we are awash with road bikes that are not fit for purpose, but have a lot of bling.

My son's generation appear to be a little different, he is about to embark on his first tour with his friends after his Alevels. They are all looking for a 'new' adventure, which involves a level of challenge. When I went to Holland with my son last year, we got off the ferry with quite a few younger riders, who were heading into Europe for their first time. Although getting lost and out of Europort probably put a few off!!

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 2:09pm
I come from a walking/backpacking background and I can say that in the past you used to get loads of traditional tourists using hostels. I used to always see the Dawes Galaxay and similar. Now I don't use hostels since they started upgrading them and the cost per night went up. I am guessing that they are being used less because of that.

I think there is a different style of riding happening that has made the traditional touring become even more of a niche market. I think more people are about instant thrills then back to a base. For example people on holidays might take their bike to use from a base rather than cycle in a linear way with everything on the bike. This matches the destination cycling site like bike parks for MTBers. Even the Lakes is one great big bike park you can ride from a base. Those day rides take a MTB or a sportive/audax type of more relaxed road bike. These are also capable of being used touring by credit card or even light camping. Bear in mind in the backpacking world people are dropping weight of their kit which could be suitable for tourists. This is exemplified by the bikepacker. The MTBer who takes his shelter, stove and other kit on a rackless, guardless mountain bike. My backpacking kit was only about 4.5-6.5kg depending on the amount of spare clothes needed due to the weather variability. I can wear that in a 20 litre rucsack on my back and still ride comfortably if I wanted to. Does that make the trad tourer redundant?

Also image is a problem. I live off the A6 in north Lancashire. I see a lot of fully laden tourists and those are almost all retired people or those edging to retirement. That is a specialist group in themselves. One that has money to spend and would easily be able to afford a custom tourer. That niche market is one where you travel to a shop for measurement not to a LBS near you. SO why stock it if those with money won;t buy it off you. Then the image is not good. People will more likely tour on a hybrid or MTB I think now. Even one with suspension. On the continent I believe they have always gone for flat bar trekker bikes and these are coming into the UK. These are bikes with hub dynamos built in lights and at least guards and a rear rack, often a low loader. They are 700 wheels or even as low as 26" wheels and wider tyre sizes more along the lines of a hybrid. This gives users the idea they can go off road better than a touring bike.

Evans Cycles stock touring bikes (about 2 or 3 depending on the size of the branch) if you need to get one but they are all nasty bikes I think at the cheaper end with v brakes. nowadays there is no reason why a touring should have them, get a mech disc anyday for touring IMHO, preferably with dual pivot.

On a tandem to Santander with a deaf and blind person

16 February 2015 - 1:15pm
Hello -I am off with my daughter to Santandare -Spain -during May -June --camping for 2c weeks -any ideas please -thank you .

Routes -Campsites etc thanks JohnBull

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 12:39pm
Mark1978 wrote:Aren't touring bikes going to be more often a flat bar or butterfly bar orientation? It seems that some have the idea that, this is what a touring bike is, and it cannot vary from that specification.
I think that flat bars or butterfly bars are becoming more acceptable int he UK, and drop bar touting bikes are becoming more acceptable elsewhere. So there is more variety in the market than there was, even 10 years ago.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 12:37pm
Aren't touring bikes going to be more often a flat bar or butterfly bar orientation? It seems that some have the idea that, this is what a touring bike is, and it cannot vary from that specification.

Re: Cycling the Italian lakes

16 February 2015 - 12:10pm
Tunnels are an unfortunate reality. I take lightweight LED lights, front and rear. Sometimes see people cycling with no lights, which can be scary. I've just invested in slightly larger, rechargeable LED lights, but significantly brighter, and I would use these in future - some tunnels are unlit so you need to see ahead, not least to avoid holes or debris.

Two other observations: the noise of vehicles in tunnels is, I find, really unnerving or downright frightening, sounding like everything is driving really fast - actually, drivers are invariably considerate and careful. The other is, make sure your lights are easily accessible while riding and easy to turn on and off. The thought of being in tunnels is worse that the reality I find.

One place I would not go back to, however, is Monaco - seemed to be tunnels and roundabouts underneath the city, very busy, very fast, and very smoggy! We did cycle very fast and were relieved to get out. Either side of the place there were compensations with the views and beautiful surroundings so made it worthwhile.

Enjoy your trip.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 12:04pm
I think there are more people touring than ever before. However, the traditional British touring bike is something of a unique beast, so defnitely a specialist market. Tourers in other countries have had diferent configurations, (flat bars, trekking bars, etc.), though it seems (as mentioned above) more people are unstanding the benefits of a British style tourer, so more companies are making something suitable.

Also, I think that touring bikes are relatively expensive, even at entry level. It's much easier for a shop to justify space for a £300 or £600 bike that is likely to sell within a few weeks than a £1200 bike with a very limited audience which is likely, therefore, to sit there for some time, or only prompt special orders.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 11:55am
Like everything else, cycle touring evolves. There are some who remain traditional tourers, with panniers, racks, using tents, cookers, etc, and probably always will be. I sometimes still tour with panniers and tent, and all the gear that goes with it. I also tour with a credit card, which means far less luggage, but costs more. I now also have mobile phone and garmin that need to be charged, so even if I'm camping I need / prefer access to electricity.

Credit card touring means I've been to the Dolomites, the Alps and northern Spain over the past 12 months. I've used a modern carbon bike with a Brooks saddle and a larger saddle bag, and I've used a reasonably modern Dolan steel bike with a pannier (their bikes come with fittings). In terms of going up long climbs, there isn't any contest about which bike to choose. However, when it comes to going down the same hills the stability of a rack and panniers means the heavier Dolan is preferred to the lighter carbon bike.

Actually, evolving ways of touring means that more of us can carry on for longer and my partner will still enjoy occasional cycle touring holidays with me or friends. I haven't used my Dawes Galaxy for some time now, bought to cycle from Roscoff to Santander back in 1979 with my partner, but I still have the panniers and still use them, probably a testament to the quality of Karrimor back then.

It is a shame there aren't the shops with a range of touring bikes to ogle at, but there are a few. I'm about to sneak over to Spa Cycles to ogle their leather saddles, and might take my credit card with me - they have more uses than just for touring ...

Re: Dawes Sardar Sizing Question

16 February 2015 - 11:18am
I had a Dawes Sardar the steel version, it is the 56cm version. I am 6 foot but with short legs! It has a similar feel to my Dawes Galaxy 23inch, but as previously stated it has a sloping top tube so its slightly better for my stumpy legs. I do prefer a longer top tube on my tourers, but agree with the comment that the steerer is a little short. Its an A head, 1 inch threadless set-up, so fairly easy to put a rising stem on it.

I cannot recommend the bike enough, it is an absolutely awesome bike. I have actually just renovated it and my son now owns it as he intends to take it across Europe after his Alevels. The set up is versatile and it's a beast with what it can carry and do!

I think a 48 may be a little on the short size, possibly a 52/54???

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 11:17am
From what I can see there are more touring bikes available now that over the past few years. Large manufacturers are now doing touring bikes; Specialized AWOL, Trek 520, Kona Sutra in addition to the smaller more brands Thorn, Hewitt, Surely, Koga Miyata, Genesis, Ridgeback, Edinburgh Bike Coop and the usuals from Dawes, Raleigh and Claude Butler.

Currently 'road' bikes that either are or are similar to road racing bikes are popular and the shops are full of them. 25 years ago only club racing cyclists rode this type of bike and if you wanted one you had to visit a specialist shop (you certainly didn't go to Halfords) or buy mail order through an advert in Cycling Weekly. During this time mountain biking was popular (I remember local cross country races having fields of over 100 in a single category) and shops were fully of these. Perhaps cycle touring will become trendy and shops will be full of touring bikes, but I doubt it.

As others have said it's not something you change that often so it's not a large market.

My touring bike is an old converted mountain bike that I've had for 12 years. That's not going to keep the cycle industry going.

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