CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 6 min 38 sec ago

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 11:29pm
Thistle wrote:32s will definitely fit, and possibly 35s. There is a whole lot of clearance. If the main weight is on a carry freedom trailer, will it not be good for the long hauls?
People tour on anything. I started my touring as a teen on a (much less suitable) Raleigh Super Grand Prix. You bike was made for it. Load it up, take it anywhere you are comfortbale riding and enjoy!

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 10:53pm
Thanks PH.

We did just buy this converted Dalesman for my son with the following specs (and no child carrier), is it better suited than the Mercian for paths etc? :

Claud Butler Dalesman 59cm frame Reynolds 631 steel
Thorn club tour forks
Orbit XL2 headset
Crank brothers flat bar
Shimano r550 levers
Deore M590 thumb shifters (right one currently seized)
Ergon gp4 grips
Brooks B17 saddle
Shimano BR R550 cantilever brakes
Front wheel - Mavic A719 rim, 36 spoke, Shimano XT T780 dynamo hub, vittoria randonneur pro tyre
Rear wheel - Mavic A719 rim, 36 spoke, Shimano XT hub, vittoria Voyager Hyper tyre
Deore trekking triple (48/36/26) chainset with 175mm cranks, touring pedals, 11-32 9 speed cassette, deore rear shifter, Alivio front shifter.
Rear rack
Tubus Tara front rack
Busch and Muller Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U front light
Trelock Duo Flat Signal LS 820 rear brake light

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 10:45pm
Thistle wrote:32s will definitely fit, and possibly 35s. There is a whole lot of clearance. If the main weight is on a carry freedom trailer, will it not be good for the long hauls?

Despite willem's opinion, that's what it was designed for. On another forum drossall has a photo of his loaded up with more stuff that most people will ever carry, maybe he'll post it here. If you're going to use a trailer, your bike is probably sturdier than it needs to be, MickF goes up and down the country with a more lightweight Mercian and a CF trailer. Enjoy your bike.

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 10:36pm
32s will definitely fit, and possibly 35s. There is a whole lot of clearance. If the main weight is on a carry freedom trailer, will it not be good for the long hauls?

Re: Thinking of going on a long tour?

26 August 2015 - 10:34pm
I think you've got enough material there for a book

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 9:50pm
You can't ride that bike!

You have to build a marble fireplace and mount the bike on top with spot lights pointed at it to show off it's true beauty
If you get rid of the tv you will be able to put a row of seats in the room so passing CTC members can pop over and gaze at it as well.

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 9:44pm
I am of the generation that started out on this type of bike (but at the time never could afford such a nice one). So I know such bikes were once considered full blown touring bikes, but conditions and technology have changed, now that main roads are no longer an option, and we have to tour on very minor orads and forest trails instead. So we need wider tyres, lower gears, better brakes etc. We now also have more oversized tubing options for a better handling bike when loaded. Without at least mildly oversized tubing the frame will handle much better with lighter loads. The narrow tyres are another drawback with a heavy load. You would need to inflate them pretty hard, and grip on gravel would not be great either. Enjoy it for what it is best at: fast and light touring.

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 9:05pm
willem jongman wrote: only for light touring. It is perfect for day rides to get you back into shape, or for hostel tours.

What makes you think that? It looks like the touring model, 531ST and built to carry four panniers.
And lovely it looks too

Re: Netherlands Tour - Rig Statistics

26 August 2015 - 9:02pm
Shane,is that your m-gineering bike, but with nice fast tyres and elegant French style mudguards?

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 9:00pm
norfolkboy1 wrote:This is my first topic on here. I'm toying with the idea of doing a cycle tour in Romania, Is it a good place to go i.e. cycle friendly, nice scenery, plenty of places to stay, expensive or cheap. Any comments would be greatly received. Bruce

I toured there last year (and was there years ago not by bicycle), went from north to south and through Bucharest. roads are as good as they are here, I used 28mm tyres no problem. always found somewhere to stay, and places to eat. it was pretty cheap. Transfagarashan is ok, but the Transalpina is better; less traffic. Scenery was very good. I only had a couple of traffic incidents, the worst was a British registered 4x4. Locals very friendly all round.

I think it depends on your motive for travelling. Maybe you want to see the world, understand your place in it, understand politics and culture on a more global scale than just western Europe. Maybe you want to expand your horizons and have a bit of an adventure. Then Romania is a great place to go cycling, it's challenging at times but the rewards are there. If you want to tour in a consistently nice and agreeable environment, then maybe it's not a great place for you to go.

I met a few people who'd followed the Danube (skirting the south of Romania) and they had a completely different experience of the country.


Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 8:50pm
Hey, good to see you back here. That Mercian is a steal, but only for light touring. It is perfect for day rides to get you back into shape, or for hostel tours. With camping gear, you need to have a close look at discussions about the lightest and most compact gear there is. Also, look carefully what the widest tyre size would be that fits.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 8:47pm
greyingbeard wrote:much of the transport is horse drawn with "roads" to match. Substantial tyres might be a good idea.
Remember the tesco etc horse meat scandal ? The glut of horse meat was created when the Romanian government banned horses from the motorways.
Its not so much "third world" as going back in time 90 years. Cant wait to go. A friend did and hasnt come back, never been happier.

erm, you're talking garbage. absolute garbage. you've never been. clearly...!

Thinking of going on a long tour?

26 August 2015 - 8:41pm
I dithered for years before I went on a big trip. Sailing was my dream back then. Now I cycle and dream of travelling the world by bike. Here's what I learned from my dirty laundry.


Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 8:12pm
Ben@Forest wrote:horizon wrote:And Tom Allen did his whole trip starting with nothing:

http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-to-go-cycle ... ks-part-1/

And really, having just looked at some of the story, that's what I mean. He is personable and unusual enough to have traded some small services for food or accommodation on his LEJOG. And people will offer such once or twice because it's unusual. They wouldn't be keen if it was happening three times a week. That is not to denigrate what he has done or the way he is doing it - simply that it wouldn't work on a larger scale.

As a for instance I live pretty much on the route of the (walking) Coast to Coast. A couple of years ago I met a couple who were having problems and I offered not only to run them into a local town by car but also to use our lawn to camp on if they wanted it (eventually they turned down both). I was happy to try and help but I wouldn't do it three times a week. That's my point.There are some people who take delight in hosting travellers & hearing their stories on sites like Warm Showers & Couchsurfing. Some have hosted hundreds of guests from all over the world.
I take your point about 'three times a week' but in some parts of the world it's custom to show hospitality to strangers.
When I travelled in India we where asked many times a day into peoples homes for chai, food, cool drinks or just shade.
If we had accepted a fraction of them we would have got nowhere fast.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 6:34pm
And don't forget the Transfagarasan pass

A couple of years ago I did a 2 week Romania tour in preparation for my big trip. Stunning rural scenery, lots of back roads, friendly people everywhere, lots of little homestays, good, cheap food, what's not to like? I even got rescued by gypsies.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 6:25pm
Thank you very much. When someone tells me they're enjoying what I'm writing, that is all the incentive I need. Hopefully I'll be back home in 3 weeks. Until then I'll enjoy the Spanish sunshine, the French clouds and the English drizzle. Thanks again.


Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 6:17pm
Handsome bike. Hope you get thousands of miles out of it. Get the smallest small chain ring that will work with your derailer. Trust me, you might not need it that often but when you have to use it you'll be glad you have it once you start loaded touring.

The Golden Book for riding in BC is Cycling British Columbia by Paul Wood ISBN 978-0-9684826-2-9. There's lots of stuff in it that's near the border. I suppose if you are going to visit your mum you'll be flying into Vancouver or even Calgary but if you decide to fly into Seattle send me a PM and we'll get you sorted. I live 10 minutes from SeaTac airport (SEA) Here's my write up of a ride I did from the Canadian border to San Diego that was a blast.

Buying a bike here and taking it back at first glance looks a great idea because they can be a lot cheaper over here but it can be a PITA getting them back into the UK. Search this forum for stuff on this topic.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 3:38pm
Remember reading your Facebook post, think it was on bikepacker group and wishing I could join you. Glad to hear that it went well.
Funny really, I just got your book on kindle this morning then stumble across this.So far a great read and your sense of humour keeps me laughing. Now hurry home will you and get typing.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 3:13pm
Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike? For example the Spa steel tourer weighs 12.8 kg compared to 17.1 for the VSF TX400. Add a front rack, dynohub and lights to the Spa and it would be getting on for 16kg so not much over 1kg in it. With 30kg of luggage the TX400 would weigh 47kg - little over 7 stone and not overly difficult to carry up a few stairs.[/quote]

Ok yes that's a good point, but there are 24 to 30 derailleur geared touring bikes that weigh in at 30 pounds with rack and guards. Steel framed as well. I guess after loading up a bike and touring I see 30 pounds as a level I'm realistically happy to start adding bags and luggage and pumps and lights and tools.
I still think they are pretty amazing though.

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 2:29pm
Thanks Pete Jack, I would love to tour more in the US. My first tour was from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 3 days, which was too much. Couldn't sit for a week. I'd probably buy a 26" LHT over there and bring it back with me. My mom lives in BC so I am hoping to ride from the Okanagan down to So Calif. in the next few years.

So here is a pic of the bike! Sorry it took so long. I need to change the stem so I can ride in a more relaxed position but aside from that, I love it. It's really nippy, I was expecting it to feel more like an old plodder. Maybe it will once it's loaded up. All in all , it's a great quality ride.


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