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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Re: Netherlands Tour - Rig Statistics

28 August 2015 - 9:56am
For added geekiness, you could also split your body weight front and rear, in your normal riding position

Re: camp site recommendations for Derbyshire

27 August 2015 - 10:46pm
Waterloo Arms at Biggin. Close to the Tissington Trail and to Hartington. Good basic site, and nice friendly pub.
Callow Top just outside Ashbourne. On the Tissington Trail, walking distance to Ashbourne. Maybe a bit rule-driven and elaborate, but does have on on-site pub which brews its own beer.
And I think there's a basic farm site at Wetton, close to the Manifold trail and Thor's cave. The pub (Royal Oak) is good, but not as good as when it was more basic and had its own campsite.

Re: New Route Planner

27 August 2015 - 10:45pm
Richard Fairhurst wrote:I've done a bunch of work today on the GPS downloads:

[list]
[*]TCX should now work properly on Garmins - I've tested it on BaseCamp and Training Center and it works fine, though I don't have a new Garmin unit to test with;
...

Oh, amazing. I'll have to try it out. In the past I've done the route finding on your site then (I can't remember if the reasons are from bad experience or just stupidity on my part) I've had to manually recreate the route in Garmin Connect, since I've never had success with GPX or TCX files. Fingers crossed that TCX works nicely.

Re: Bought the bike!

27 August 2015 - 8:22pm
And the same for the Dalesman: fit the widest posible tyres for maximum effect. I have just come back from a tour through the Czech Republic and Germany, and while admiring the quality of the German cycle routes, pretty large chunks were forest trails and gravel. That was part of what I like about them, but my 42 mm tyres were on the narrow side: next time I will use something wider.

Re: Bought the bike!

27 August 2015 - 8:18pm
Enjoy the ride.

Re: Solar charger or dynamo

27 August 2015 - 8:17pm
I like simplicity. So I keep my phone switched off during most of the day, and only turn it on for a few minutes at the end of the ride to text my wife t5hat I have arrived safely at the next campsite. That way I only have to charge it, say, once a week. For that I have a litle charger. I also have a small and light battery pack that is good for one charge of the phone. That way, I recharge the phone, and can recharge the battery pack when and where it is convenient and safe without risk of the telephone getting stolen. As a gps I have a Garmin Etrex 30. It is the cheapest range, and also the lightest. The final and perhaps most important advantage is that is also lasts longest on a set of batteries. If you buy really good rechargeables like the Ansmann Eneloop type, one set is good for five days of cycling if you switch it off when you have a break, and only follow tracks. So on a 2-3 week tour I don't need a charger, but only a few sets of spare rechargeable batteries. For the record, I have a Schmidt hub generator on my bike for the lights, but I really do not want to have to deal with stuff like an Ewerk and all those cables. For a trip in outer Mongolia the choices will be diferent, of course.

Re: Bought the bike!

27 August 2015 - 8:07pm
Thanks all. I am borrowing (um stealing) the bike we bought for my son as it will be fantastic as a heavy duty off main roads tourer. I'll do as Willem suggested and use the KoM with wider tyres, tour with both and see what works for me.

Thank you again!!!

Re: Bought the bike!

27 August 2015 - 8:02pm
I much prefer road bars, and I think the Mercian is a great bike. I would fit the widest tyres that you can squeeze in (but remember, the nice Panaracer Pasela's run pretty wide, i.e. more or less true to nominal size, unlike many other tyres). Wider tyres are much more comfortable, and greatly extend where you can still ride. My preferred tyre for a bike like this would be the Panaracer Pasela. Personally I would go for the version without puncture protection, as it rides just that bit nicer. If you are worried about punctures, use the puncture protected version at the rear (where most punctures occur), and the more flexible and more comfortable unprotected version at the front. I have been riding without puncture protection for a few years now, and only recently had my first puncture.
As for luggage weight, I would still maintain that a bike like this rides better with a lighter load. You should be fine with two rear panniers and the tent on top, totalling some 12 kg. With light camping gear, that is perfectly doable, and the ride will be that much more enjoyable. Of course, if you really need to take more (but do you, in the UK?), the trailer will be fine, as weight in the trailer does not affect the frame and handling as much as weight on the bike. But it will be a slog in the hills.
Once again, congratulations on a beautiful bike.

Re: Netherlands Tour - Rig Statistics

27 August 2015 - 7:46pm
Now I get it. As you know I have a rather similar bike from the same builder, and I am quite happy to use the 26x1.75 Paselas. In fact, I still found them on the small side on my tour this summer through the Czech Republic and Germany. German cycle routes are great, but partly because so much of them is forest trails and gravel (and in the Czech Republic the gravel was even coarser). So the next step will be the new Compass 26 inch tyres in 50+ mm, also made by Panaracer. My mudguards broke this summer, so it will also be a good excuse to invest in French style metal mudguards (Gilles Berthoud in my case, as I need them in 65 mm wide).

Re: New Route Planner

27 August 2015 - 7:40pm
Richard Fairhurst wrote:(TCX really is an accursed format - turns out that Training Center, at least, squawks if two trackpoints have exactly the same location, which rather kiboshes circular routes. I've worked around it...)
I've found (with an Edge 605) that in use the end point needs to be slightly farther away (just by a few metres/yards) from where you start than the beginning. Otherwise there is a tendency for the 605 to declare that you've finished your Course as you set off!

Rick.

Re: New Route Planner

27 August 2015 - 4:42pm
I've done a bunch of work today on the GPS downloads:

  • TCX should now work properly on Garmins - I've tested it on BaseCamp and Training Center and it works fine, though I don't have a new Garmin unit to test with;
  • GPX route option for those who prefer them to tracks;
  • KML option for Google Earth and the like;
  • Names come from the title of your saved route, rather than just 'cycle_travel.gpx' or 'ACTIVE LOG';
  • Safari now downloads the file automatically, though you still have to rename it manually from 'Unknown' to 'track.gpx' or whatever

(TCX really is an accursed format - turns out that Training Center, at least, squawks if two trackpoints have exactly the same location, which rather kiboshes circular routes. I've worked around it...)

Re: camp site recommendations for Derbyshire

27 August 2015 - 1:26pm
A further recommendation - Barn Farm Camping at Birchover. Convenient for the High Peak and Monsal Trails.

Re: Thinking of going on a long tour?

27 August 2015 - 12:03pm
Nice piece and all so familiar....

I've been slowly sucked back into the " normality" of the rat race but now look at it with a different point of view, and still dream of big and small new adventures.

My biggest challenge now that I know how easy it is to just go, is not to run away every time things in life don't quite go the way I want them to. Now, my default first reaction to a bad day at work is " bugger it I'm going to sell everything and hit the road again"

Re: Netherlands Tour - Rig Statistics

27 August 2015 - 11:52am
@Wim.

Indeed, converted it to a single speed this year for commuting , its a joy to ride even if the geometry looks a little strange with the skinny 26"x32 panracer tyres instead of 2" XR's

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 11:31pm
Thistle wrote:is it better suited than the Mercian for paths etc? :


I think both are well suited to paths, which is better might depend on who's riding it.
I have a preference for flat bars for most touring and all off road, I also like Ergon grips and Thumb shifters so it'd be a simple choice for me (Though I'd look into replacing the cantis for V brakes on the Dalesman) Others may prefer the Mercian for their own reasons.

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
mudguards
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

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