CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Re: Default tourer?

15 December 2014 - 9:59am
PH wrote:My American friends tell me that before the popularity of the LHT, touring bikes were very much a niche item and the choice for off the peg affordable models was usually the Trek 520 and Cannondale Touring. The other thing is that the choice has now increased thanks to the LHT popularity, I don't think SOMA (Which is a make I like, I have the ES) had a specific touring bike until recently.

I thought the Soma Saga had been going quite some time, while the Disc was only a recent addition. You may well be right though about affordable touring bikes, I don't really know; it's largely an assumption on my part that they'd be better off for such things. Perhaps the psychology there is less thrifty, and a less 'affordable' touring bike is seen as an investment, leading to more high profile brands in this market, such as Rivendell, Gunnar, etc. I dunno.

Where we have such names as Hewitt, Ghyllside and others selling a standard Taiwanese frameset in their own colours, I would again make a leap and guess that something similar would likely be offered by local/regional cycle stores (gotta use the lingo!) over there, perhaps even the very same framesets from the very same factory.

Just wondering in my head about the idea that there's an equivalent to Spa over there. Harris Cycles perhaps? http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/bikes.html Interesting to note the brands there; a significant proportion being UK names.

Sweep wrote:Some configurations can look like two wheels on a farm gate.

26" Wheels in a largish frame... Oh my, those are... erm, 'niche' products indeed. Ahem.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

15 December 2014 - 9:58am
But other than the bears, pumas, wolves, coyotes, racoon's, skunks, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, psychopaths, water born parasites, hypothermia, desert heat, altitude, lack of food, water, motels and phone signal...its quite a nice place?

Re: What is the best dynamo hub for touring?

15 December 2014 - 9:58am
Question, is it possible to take a standard wheel, namely the one found on the Dawes Super Galaxy:

http://www.bikesheduk.com/dawes-super-galaxy

And replace the standard hub with a dynamo hub? Ideally I'd like to do this myself, but would I need to buy new spokes too?

Thanks

Re: Established touring routes?

15 December 2014 - 9:16am
shane wrote:http://www.eurovelo.com/en/eurovelos

Some of the Eurovelo routes are better completed and signed than others but a quick google should reveal lots of information on 1,6 and the North Sea route for example . If you need more guidance you may be looking for a supported or semi supported ride. It's not a sin to use them especially if you are too busy at work etc to sort out a good route plan.

Local tourist offices also offer varying standards of info on route networks near to them.

Try Stamfords too, either online or in their shops- they carry a lot of route books for places like france and Germany. It's like the kid in the sweetie shop upstairs in there. I've also got UK cycle route in the downstairs sections.

http://www.freedomtreks.co.uk/about-us/

Re: Established touring routes?

15 December 2014 - 9:15am
Have a look at www.cicerone.co.uk

They do an ever increasing range of cycle guide books both here and abroad. As a rule they include enough info on suitable types of bike and what to take to enable a novice to give it a go

HarryD

Re: Multi Function Watches

15 December 2014 - 6:23am
My first priorities are solar power and then atomic sync. With these 2 things sorted you are pretty much going to be fine for telling the time for ever. These features are relatively inexpensive on watches these days.

I have long been a vintage watch collector and in particular, Japanese ones.
Over on the Japanese watch forum, we all pretty much have the opinion that Casio wins out bang for buck every time, even if other more expensive sensor watches can make stronger claims to accuracy with the alti/baro..

I have had a few Pro Trek/Pathfinder (different names for the same line in different countries) and G shock. I recommend them without hesitation.

This one is my favourite. I love the large face, as it's really easy to glance at and read, even across the room if you've taken it off. As other people have pointed out, the temp sensor also measures your wrist temperature and as such won't give ambient readings unless you take it off for a while.
The compass I found to be as accurate as I'd ever need it to be. This is Mick Jagger's multi function watch of choice...(seen wearing one at a film festival a few years back)


and this is my daily wearer. Nothing can go wrong with it.


The next one I plan to get is this one. It's a bit smaller so will fit under a work shirt, but still has the big face. It also has sun up and sundown and I think moon phases on this one.



MickF- out of interest what is your Seiko auto from the 70's? I have a number of Seiko autos from that era.

Re: Default tourer?

15 December 2014 - 2:46am
Yes, I'd agree with Dale. The Surly Disc Trucker is a special bike to ride. I was on and off numerous road and mountain bikes for amateur racing and for just faffing around lots were fun but that was it. I had a break from cycling for a while and when I got back to it I thought, I like the feel of steel and I want to get back to low tech, basic, enjoyable riding on something that brings a smile to the face mile after mile. I had a look at a lot of bikes but when I got a test ride on the disc trucker I knew I'd found what I was looking for. I love it! It's a fantastic bike that makes you want to use it.
I'm now progressing to longer rides on it and looking at a decent tour fully loaded and I have every confidence in the Disc Trucker for the job. 10 / 10 from me.

Cheers
Jim

Re: North or south ?

15 December 2014 - 2:26am
Thanks very much for all your replies folks. Lots of good advice and food for thought in there and it seems good and bad points for North or South. All valid and worthy of serious consideration.
Something that really grabbed my attention and gave me a swift boot up the action button was the suggestion that the South of France was a nice destination to aim for. I ran that one past the wife tonight ,having filled her with fine red wine and was given royal approval for a European trip as part of a 'reccy' for a future trip for both of us. So having been scared sh1tless by the 'weather bomb' of touring in the UK, I'm now having a look at migrating south into deepest France sometime soon.
If anyone has done it in late January or February and can offer any advice I'd love to hear of your experiences.

Thanks again
Jim

Established touring routes?

15 December 2014 - 2:06am
Hi Folks,
Could anyone give me a steer towards a book/ publication / web site/ blog where I might find details of established routes through Europe, France to South of France , Portugal , UK - North to South, West to East etc etc ? There's got to be something out there to help with planning a bike friendly trip along some of these lines?

I'm looking for an idiots guide ( yes, I need it!) type thing that would take me from A to B along scenic routes with info on stops/ good points/hazards etc along the way ?

As always, all replies very much appreciated.

Cheers
Jim

Re: TOURING 2015

14 December 2014 - 11:28pm
Hoping to dawdle around Suffolks Painters Trail in 2015 with my watercolours. After falling off, my shoulder is still not right and am hoping for an op to set it right. Was going last September but my accident prevented it. Picked up an info pack from the Information Centre in Lavenham this morning. They still have 1 copy left if anyone wants one.
Probably do something across the channel too.. Wish it was further afield.

Al

Re: Default tourer?

14 December 2014 - 10:30pm
Disc Trucker > LHT.

Absolutely love mine. Best bike I've ever owned. Mine was bought when I got a refund on a Genesis Day01 Alfine 11 that spent more time in the workshop than on the road.

I don't think they're expensive at all. Before I got mine, I sat down and priced up everything I wanted - steel frame, BB7s, XT hubs laced to good rims, bar end shifters, etc. and the individual parts came to what I paid for the DT. Other brands skimp on things like rims/crankset, Surly don't. Every part of their bikes are properly thought out.

Re: TOURING 2015

14 December 2014 - 10:13pm
geocycle wrote:France for me, something loosely based on France en velo route time permitting. Btw if anyone has this route on gpx I'd be grateful. The guide is beautiful and ideal for wet Sunday reading in December. Looks like the route will be St Malo South to Cevennes then head east via Arles to Nice.

I've seen the book in the shops, but never examined it, assuming it was 'just another book about cycling in France'. Just had a quick google, and it looks good - I've put it on my late Xmas presents list!

Maybe some or all of it in 2015?

Re: TOURING 2015

14 December 2014 - 9:15pm
MrsHJ wrote:dodger wrote:Where does the Tour de Manche go? I like cycling in France. Could be an option if I can get permission!

The full thing is the North Coast of Brittany, South Coast of Normandy, along the centre South of Dorset and Devon. We met a Dutch family last year who found the Dorset and Devon sections too steep for the kids but obviously you can choose which bits you do. 1200km for the whole thing according to a quick google.

I think that distance figure includes the ferry crossing distances. I think the cycled distance is around 750k. There's also the petit tour de manche which is about half that as well. I can cycle from home to the route as well which helps.

Re: Default tourer?

14 December 2014 - 6:52pm
mrjemm wrote:PH wrote:Surly certainly hit the jackpot with it, right bike, right time, right price and some great marketing. I suspect many of those on that site are American, where it's a real bargain, I don't think they have the choice we do.

I am quite surprised that this could be thought possible. They certainly have a very wide range of bikes available in the US, and as I understand it, a higher level of disposable income than here along with many many custom builders and a healthy/ier cycle culture. It is possibly that Surly is a bigger name in the US than here, what with it being a US brand, which is a good selling point of course.

My American friends tell me that before the popularity of the LHT, touring bikes were very much a niche item and the choice for off the peg affordable models was usually the Trek 520 and Cannondale Touring. The other thing is that the choice has now increased thanks to the LHT popularity, I don't think SOMA (Which is a make I like, I have the ES) had a specific touring bike until recently.

Re: Default tourer?

14 December 2014 - 6:36pm
mrjemm wrote:and maybe also the traditional horizontal toptube design, which tends to result in mucho spacerism when a comfy set-up is arrived at.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I saw a Disc Trucker in Brixton Cycles redcently.

It looks like a supremely capable bike but the thing you pointed out does bug me. Some configurations can look like two wheels on a farm gate. Apart from the aesthetics, I find a sloping tube far more practical.

I don't suppose Surly are going to change the design though.

So I'll just have to lump it.

Re: Default tourer?

14 December 2014 - 6:18pm
PH wrote:Surly certainly hit the jackpot with it, right bike, right time, right price and some great marketing. I suspect many of those on that site are American, where it's a real bargain, I don't think they have the choice we do.

I am quite surprised that this could be thought possible. They certainly have a very wide range of bikes available in the US, and as I understand it, a higher level of disposable income than here along with many many custom builders and a healthy/ier cycle culture. It is possibly that Surly is a bigger name in the US than here, what with it being a US brand, which is a good selling point of course.

For me, Soma, with their Saga/Saga Disc are amongst other brands available more widely in the US than here. Also, Novara, which I believe is the own brand of REI, is a popular name for touring bikes if I am not mistaken, with the Randonee being a well regarded one I think.

I've never ridden a Long Haul (or Disc) Trucker, but have seen numerous and looked closely at several. They always appear very well designed and solidly built. For me, the only drawback (as a disc brake preferer (my word)) is the ugliness (in my eyes) of the drop outs of the DT, and maybe also the traditional horizontal toptube design, which tends to result in mucho spacerism when a comfy set-up is arrived at. But these are just aesthetics, and barely important in the grand scheme of things.

I see a Surly every day, but that's Mme's Straggler, and tis a great bike, though perhaps not so suited for touring as we'd've liked- mudguards are proving an issue right now, which isn't a problem for LHT/DTs. As for the comparison against Thorns- can't see the reason folk go for Thorns except the outdated cachet or reputation they've claimed for themselves- Surlys are clearly not inferior and yet cheaper. Better colours and styling too...

If you want to see just how popular the LHTs are, similar to Fully Loaded, but I think bigger, is the CGOAB equivalent, where LHTs alone have 34 pages!

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=S ... 8000&v=4GB

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

14 December 2014 - 5:22pm
Having ridden the Great Divide, the Southerrn Tier, the Pacific Coast twice over and round Florida I have seen very few bears, a few coyotes, lots of very lecherous old men, some turantulas, about 3 snakes and no scorpions.

McNichols you will be absolutely fine. Be sensible, take Halt dog spray, carry spares and maybe a Katadyn filter. I can lend you one if you need it.

Just go and have fun.

Re: TOURING 2015

14 December 2014 - 4:37pm
Eight countries in eight weeks is what Pauline is planning for us. The rest of the year will be made up of a couple of solo tours and meeting up with others at various rallies.

Re: Multi Function Watches

14 December 2014 - 3:27pm
An altimeter can be helpful if you want to know how far up a pass you are.
I find a compass helpful with route finding particularly at junctions but it's better in front of your eyes.

I have seen them with "memory bank" type functions which could be handy for a pin/password reminder.

Definitely carry a watch as it runs forever on a separate battery; no unzipping the sleeping bag to check the time.

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