CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 32 min ago

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

31 March 2015 - 1:31pm
I'd be happy to tour on either of those bikes, I like the Boardman, but the Decathlon is a lot of equipment for the money. And that extra equipment will account for at least some of the weight, one you’ve added rack and guards the gap narrows. I don't really see the point of suspension forks on a tourer, though plenty of people like them, at least the Boardman* gives you the option of locking it out, so there's no harm trying it.
I did my first few tours on a Raleigh Pioneer, not ideal, not as good as my present tourer, but loads of fun non the less.

*You might be able to on the Decathlon but I can’t see it said.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 1:22pm
Alright, see below. Not a great picture but best I've got for now. I emphasise my current fit is probably wrong and bike is probably too small and I don't necessarily want the same position on a new bike. Also - for april's fool day I've got a 30mm longer than usual stem and funny wide horn bars on instead of the usual drops - please try to ignore this - it's just a little experiment with bar shapes. I'm also a bit tense trying to pose for the photo - my arms aren't normally that straight! (maybe it's also the longer stem which doesn't feel right).


Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 12:47pm
If you are looking for an easy route in the south of France then I can thoroughly recommend this route devised by Tom Vernon in his book "Fat Man in France"(ISBN 0 563 37051 3).
Starting in beautiful Collioure on the coast near Perpignan, he cycles inland to catch the "Little Yellow Train" to gain some height in the Pyrenees, then it's all down hill until meeting the flat Canal du Midi cycle path to the Languedoc plains and coastline toward Montpellier. Coastal scenery, a train ride in an open carriage, mountain pastures, castles, canal cycling, flamingoes. For an easy route, it has it all !!!
Good luck with the recovery.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 12:41pm
What about cycling along the Loire http://www.cycling-loire.com/

Here is a video of some people that tried it from Nantes.....


Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 12:37pm

this is from the bike fit thread i posted earlier somewhere....be interesting to see your equivalent picture....

France En Velo

31 March 2015 - 11:52am
Planning to ride the France En Velo, ferry to St Malo, start first week of June, approx 1000 miles taking 2 weeks and taking a flight back from Nice to UK at the finish. Planning to stay in guesthouses etc, fed up with camping! Anybody out there want to join me? Easy going bloke who wants to enjoy the route at a steady pace. Have planned the route with the aid of the excellent book and sorted GPX files for the Garmin. Contact me if you are interested.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 11:50am
interesting numbers reohn2.

You are right that my saddle is 80mm higher than yours even though my inseam is only 15mm longer. My BB to saddle-top distance parallel to ST should be 777mm according to Lemond, but I have it 43mm longer than that - highest I can get away with without rocking hips etc. - it feels fine (I have size 46 feet). Yours should be 764mm by Lemond, but you say you have it 34mm lower than that at 730mm. Net that's a difference of 77mm just due to me being above Lemond, and you being below. Add that to the 15mm difference that you would expect based on our different inseams, and you get 92mm, which is spot on (820 - 730 = 90).

I was studying the Vaya 57cm geometry recently and yeah I can see exactly how with your flipped stem you'd be able to get your bars to 40mm above your seat with the 300mm uncut steerer. Useful check on my math .

Like I mentioned my current bike fit is probably wrong and in any case I don't want to base my new bike sizing off it, as it's also a case of me having got used to it over the four years I've had it, but I'll give you the numbers anyway. The bike is a 54cm tricross sport 2011 (probably too small for me - the drop bar bikes that have been recommended to me so far have effective top tubes 10-35mm longer..) with
a) that would be 820mm + crank length (170mm) = 990mm.
b) saddle nose locations vary but mine is currently about 50mm horizontally behind the BB. But it depends on where the seat bones are, i think I'm close to KOPS.
c) saddle nose to bar is 490mm - I've been messing around with a longer stem last few days and this's gone up to 520mm and I'm not sure I like it though it's probably what a bike fitter would recommend. But the bars being lower than the saddle increases the effective reach.
d) my bars are currently about 60mm below the top of the saddle .

Maybe I should try lowering my saddle a notch .

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

31 March 2015 - 11:47am
I'd recommend the insurance and its not expensive - about £25 for an annual European policy from American Express (with whom I've had very good experiences). The Health Card only covers your medical costs and doesn't cover things like getting you to the hospital, repatriation of you and your belongings (e.g. if you break a leg and can't cycle) and people coming out to sort things out for you. I go for an annual cover policy but read the small print. Some insurance companies treat cycle touring as an extreme sport and either won't cover it or want an expensive extreme sport supplement.

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

31 March 2015 - 11:40am
bikepacker wrote:ANTONISH wrote:Obviously third party liability is something to consider ( although there is some cover from CTC membership. )

Does the CTC liability cover claims in Europe? It hadn't use to.
Coverage is worldwide except USA and Canada http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/fil ... idance.pdf

Budget Tourer Advice

31 March 2015 - 11:38am
Hi all! I've been stalking CTC forums for months and I'm getting progressively more and more excited about the prospect of getting a touring bike and getting out riding. I'll be wanting to use it for commuting, weekends and longer tours of up to a week or two. I'm based in Durham and have a few ideas of what bike I'm wanting to get but was hoping for any tips and advice you guys might have about the ones I'm looking at. As a bit of background, I'm a reasonably fit 25 year-old, I've only ever previously ridden cheap hybrid bikes so I don't really have much experience and my budget is £400-£700:
Dawes Galaxy Al 2014[1] http://www.evanscycles.com/products/daw ... e-ec050874
Revolution Country Traveller 2015[2] http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... aveller-15
Fuji Touring 2015[3] http://www.evanscycles.com/products/fuj ... e-ec072794
Dawes Vantage 2012[4] http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b1s21p2414
Ridgeback Tour[5] http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s21p3199
Raleigh Royal[6] http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s21p3177
Viking Coniston[7] http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s21p3193

I'm finding it hard to tell the difference between all of these, except the difference between a steel and aluminium frame (Aluminium more rigid but lighter, steel more robust and forgiving?) What should I be thinking about considering that I'm completely new to this? I'm off up to Edinburgh this weekend to see the gf and was going to pop into the Edinburgh bicycle cooperative to have a chat and potentially try out the Revolution Traveller.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 11:37am
Commiserations on the chemo. I had it just over 10 years ago. While I continued to cycle up to 20 miles throughout it took me until 6 months later to ride 60 miles unladen.

So do keep your plans light!

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

31 March 2015 - 11:36am
I think it's worthwhile. Where are you buying your policies? I used holidaysafe.co.uk mainly for medical top-up insurance because my home policy covers the bike as long as immobilised (not even locked to something else AFAICT - but it usually is!) and third party liability (check that it covers your destination, though) as long as I'm not racing (as if!).

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

31 March 2015 - 10:16am
22camels wrote:I recently learnt that I have exceptionally long legs (88cm bare-foot standover) for my height (180cm)....... .......My formula is this. I need my seat to be 780mm vertically above the BB. Max bar height above BB = Stack + (Uncut steerer length - Head Tube Length) * SINE (head tube angle). I know I'm making a couple of assumptions and it might be out by a cm or two but it gives a meaningful comparison between bikes.

Another problem is that shops love to cut the steerers (to make them look pretty?) and even for bikes that would suit me, it's hard to find a test ride with the bars set up level, so I have to guess how it would feel if it were set up for me..

Anyone else have this issue?

By comparison my bare foot inside leg is 865mm so 15mm shorter than yours
I also like to ride fairly upright ie;nose of saddle to centre of compact drop bars 540mm,h/bars 40mm higher than the saddle.
On my Salsa Vaya's there's 35mm of spacers under 6deg 110mm stem flipped upward.
The problem I'm having is that if I measure my saddle height vertical above the BB(an unusual way to do it IMHO) I get 700mm for mine.
From BB to saddle inline with the seatube it's 730mm and from pedal axle at BDC inline with seatube 890mm(with 175mm cranks).
Your saddle would be,if I'm reading your post correctly,80mm higher than mine even though your inside leg is only 15mm longer than mine ,I'm aware I ride pretty flat footed and some people ride on their toes ie; feet point to the ground,but still 80mm is a lot of difference.

My Vaya's are both 57cm frames the stem is 110mm,the saddle is 90mm behind the BB(to achieve KOPS) and the h'bars are 40mm higher than the saddle.I don't have any toe overlap with 40mm tyres,generous m/guard clearances,175mm cranks and size 47 shoes.I could ride a 58cm Vaya with 100or105mm stem and less spacers under it.
To get a clear picture or your requirements IMO the best way to measure your riding position is
a)saddle height to pedal axle with the cranks @ BDC inline with the seatube(Mine is 890mm).
b)saddle set back measured vertically behind the BB(mine is 90mm).
c)nose of saddle to either centre of the h/bar tops(mine is 540mm).
d)h/bar tops height in relation to the saddle(mine are 40mm higher than the saddle)

Going off your measurements I suspect a 57or58cm Surly LHT or DT,or a 57or58cmSalsa Vaya will be big enough but I like to see you measurements a to d, first.

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

31 March 2015 - 9:53am
For Europe I have an annual E111 top up policy. Like you I'm not too concerned about loss of baggage etc - although there is some cover for that.
If my bike is stolen that's a problem but I could probably replace my touring bike with something secondhand if necessary.
Obviously third party liability is something to consider ( although there is some cover from CTC membership. )

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

31 March 2015 - 9:44am
My reason for buying a bike with suspension is that I have problems with my neck. I had to stop using a road bike as my neck was too painful riding it. I thought that the extra benefit of front suspension may have made things easier going over bumps and jar my neck a bit less.

I think ipswitchcycler has hit the nail on the head. If you have a more upright position and larger section tyres you will probably solve that particular difficulty.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 9:35am
The area around Toulouse is fairly flat. From there you can head along the Canal du Midi for some distance (or roads parallel to as the surface isn't always very good). You could probably find a flat(tish) route to Perpignan or Narbonne. There are some flat coast roads but somewhere like Argeles - sur - Mer can get very busy and further south towards the Spanish border is quite lumpy.
As others have said the Cote d'Azur area can be quite busy.
You could of course try the Atlantic coast which offers other possibilities.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 9:25am
The coast is a bit too busy for my tastes but a little inland is some of the most pleasant cycling in the world. But to prevent it being too lumpy you would have to study the maps carefully to keep to valley bottoms as much as possible. And of course, make sure you have the lowest gears possible.

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

31 March 2015 - 9:17am
I rode from Toulouse to Nice last June great weather in the 30s every day. As I expected that hugging the coast would be busy I stayed in land and there were great roads and plenty to see. We went via Tarascon (great Castle with camping next door), Avignon, as we were ahead on schedule over the Ventoux (which obviously can be missed). We were planning to camp in Vence (just West of Nice) but this was busy so we headed inland again and stayed somewhere else and then came into Nice from the North.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

31 March 2015 - 9:03am
Do you think it could be the more sporty position of a road bike that might have aggravated your neck?

Re: Gluten Free

31 March 2015 - 7:52am
No help at all, but I have been gluten (++) free for nearly 15 years now.

Most places will do a jacket potato, or chips etc. so there will be more places than you think. A decent fish and chip shop can steam the fish without batter (depending on the level of allergy/intolerance you might be able to use the batter as a bowl....)

In terms of normal meals look to the Far East, where much of the stuff you expect to be flour based is actually gramm flour or rice flour.


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