CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 44 min 22 sec ago

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 10:55pm
Interesting question OP and i look forward to more replies.

The recurrence of the point on clothes is very interesting and a lesson for me.

Note to self: take few clothes and ones that are light, tough, wash easily (in the shower with you if need be) and can stand a certain amount of abuse. In the latter respect cheaper stuff often better I feel.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 10:13pm
ipswichcycler wrote:
Also you can get some fine v brakes.

Tom seems to favour v brakes for this standard set-up.


Re: Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 10:11pm
You lot are brilliant if not mad! Concrete blocks? [emoji23] And I like the positivity DaveP.

I'm planning to tour the Netherlands in the summer so I'm going to miss out on any Alpine action. Seems a shame with all the lumps and hills that I ride on round here in Somerset/Bath/Mendips.

Re: North Germany to Berlin

16 February 2015 - 9:57pm
Thanks FoxyRider


Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 9:54pm
bigjim wrote:I wonder if many of these touring bikes are overkill for the work they will be put to. I’m surprised there is a market for them. Lets look at that market.
From puberty most boys [yes I am being sexist, but I believe the bicycle touring thing is usually a male thing] spend most of their time thinking about football, music and the opposite sex. I don’t think they think much about touring the world and they probably can’t afford it on an expensive touring bike anyway. I know there is the gap year thing but how big a market is that?
Then they become loved up. Into a long-term relationship, have children and responsibilities.
The shackles don’t start to loosen until they are in their early fifties. Loosen. Not unlock. Because you are always locked into a relationship involving people you love or loved. There are weddings, christenings, birthdays, Xmas and so on. Oh and there is the world of work. How are you going to do that world tour?
So reality. You may stretch things to 3 weeks away. Probably 2. Where will you go? Not so far and much of the world is not a good place to be at the moment. Those short tours are perfectly feasible and comfortable on a road bike that will take mudguards and therefore a rear pannier.
Do you think these expedition tourers are sold to dreamers or people who will actually test them to their limits?
I know there a those who do not fall into the categorys above but I've not met any [yes I,ve read about them] and still the question is. Is this a big market?
All my own opinion of course before you start shouting.

Sold to dreamers yes probably to a large part. I count myself in that category and have a nomad mk2. I know you don't need to and people are currently doing big trips on a unicycle and penny farthing and everything else in between... But still in dthe depths of winter is good to have a dream.

I hear what you are saying about whether people will test the bikes to their limits but forget the bikes how many people push themselves to their own limits of what they can achieve?

Ps. Also a teacher has 12 weeks hol per year so I think could probably fit a tour in there somewhere!

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 9:31pm
thornie1543 wrote:if anyone can point me in the direction of a decent cheapish camping stove
http://www.fieldandtrek.com/karrimor-al ... e=78708790
If you are going to Europe, it's worth getting an adapter for the unthreaded blue Camping Gas canisters, which are commoner than screw-on in many areas

Re: Pannier Security on Tour

16 February 2015 - 9:01pm
I take all valuables in the bar-bag with me, but it also depends on the area. When i stop for lunch, I always try to remain in view of my bike - via a window etc - if in a busy area. In a quiet area, I just lock the bike up.

For instance, my tour of Ireland...due to the weather (near constant wind and rain) I only took my valuables with me when I went inside. I locked the bike up and never felt in danger of having things stolen.

My issue with the PacSafe thing....thats a signal to a would-be-thief that you have something valuable locked up, making it more of a target. While something secured loosely, of with just a simple lock, is not nearly as enticing of a target since its not deemed as valuable due to the lower level of security. I saw a youtube video of some one breaking even the sturdiest of bike locks in a matter of seconds, in the middle of a city (i forget which) even using a power-saw in one occasion. Not one passerby tried to stop him or call the police. Padlocks etc deter crimes of opportunity, while a career thief will find a way to get what he wants.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 8:59pm
Clothes are what I used to take too many of. Think very carefully. I know it sounds daft but weigh each item of clothing you are thinking of taking, it helps you sort them out. If you can find cycling shoes that double as evening shoes that is good. Take a smartphone, its a camera, a radio, an emailer, texter and a map and navigation device. With a big auxilliary battery its all you need. It does take a couple of trips to sort out what you should take, so do a couple of weekends first, then all will become clear.


Re: Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 8:57pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:I just feel a bit weird that I'm 'just pretending' for the day/weekend so I'm bike fit for Spring and Summer.

You just got the wrong end of the stick!
Look: Full load training = weekend trips = happiness.
Nothing self indulgent about that - It's training innit? Sensible....

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 8:51pm
On the specific point of the external BB removal tool, I would not bother.

The bearings will not fail quickly and catastrophically, most people replace them because they dont like the play or noise, not because they can no longer cycle. Also you do not need a special tool, so long as they went on with copper grease and not decades ago they will come off with a choice of domestic tools and at ten quid a set it doesnt matter if they get damaged.

The number of tools needed to tackle every thing reasonable on a bike is pretty small, normal workshop tools can be replaced by much smaller, lighter tools such as the NBT2 cassette remover. They have always come back unused but it gives you a degree of confidence.

Normally the bulk of the stuff which goes with me and doesnt get used is clothes.

You can pack with the "I might need that so I will take it" attitude and fill four panniers or the "Is it probable that I will need that" attitude and just fill two panniers.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 8:45pm
On my first tour I took too many clothes. Camera also redundant as phone camera was good enough. Also took a mini TV which I thought would be good for camping but was complete waste of time.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 8:32pm
I,ve done 4,000 miles in 6 months on my deroe external bottom bracket,it's really lasting well,was told they were rubbish but this one seems ok,but I will fit a new bb before I go,but I guess for the extra half a pound weight it maybe worth taking the removal tool,but then where do I stop? spare rear derelier? spare chain? .But that's why I,m asking the question I suppose.Thanks for the replies so far.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 8:16pm
In Spain you can be miles from anywhere. In the 1980s riding between Madrid & Lisbon my companion was very glad that we had taken a crank removal tool as it would have resulted in many mountainous miles walking in great heat.

Re: Is there a Round Britain route info thread?

16 February 2015 - 7:16pm
I would love to do it as well, but I'd want to camp and the wild camping in the UK makes this somewhat impractical.

For me, when travelling somewhere with a target/destination I don't like the idea of planning ahead and stopping when you arrive at a pre-arranged point (e.g. B&B/hotel). Some days you find weather is good, you have energy so you carry on a further and stop later. Other days turn out miserable and/or you are tired so you stop early and after shorter distance. Having to book in advance stops you taking advantage of conditions. Wild camping allows you to take advantage of this flexibility to a far greater extent. So well done Scotland, but England/Wales not so good.

If you are just travelling taking things as they come and going for the journey rather than the destination/target then it is not such an issue.

My attitude anyway.


Question for seasoned tourers

16 February 2015 - 7:03pm
I guess this is for the campers among you who need to carry all your stuff(not saying credit card touring isn't good but its not what I,m looking at).So then,what did you take on your first tour that you didn't need/use and what did you not take that you wished you had? I've read that people say never take to much but then when they show a pic of their bikes they have two big back and two front panniers and a bar bag most of the time,so now I,m a bit confused as what to take,i know most of the obvious as I've been cycling awhile but what kind of tools do you take(besides a bike tool pump,maybe chain links,iNner tubes).I realise it depends where you are touring but I will be in france and maybe spain for a first tour so not exactly the middle of nowhere..And if anyone can point me in the direction of a decent cheapish camping stove I would be grateful.Sorry about the rather rambling post,guess I,m thinking/typing aloud:).Oh and I have the tent/sleeping bag and panniers:),i,m thinking of stuff I may not realise I need that you found really useful.

Re: Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 6:44pm
I went out on my trike the other day with a concrete block weighing 40lb in the trailer and went up a very steep hill to check out my gearing and of course my legs.

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 6:30pm
Evans selling only cheap and nasty with v brakes... Seems not.

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... e-ec070581

Also you can get some fine v brakes.

Re: Getting Fit with your Full Load

16 February 2015 - 6:23pm
Ive toured a fair few miles and over a fair few mountains - trouble is ive never been that good physically nor have I ever really manged to get to the level of fitness before a tour that is necessary - my strategy is to include a week of relative flat before I get to the tricky stuff


Re: Is there a Round Britain route info thread?

16 February 2015 - 6:08pm
Would love to do this. Have the time, but not really the money

Re: Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

16 February 2015 - 6:04pm
mercalia wrote:The YHA responding to the way of the world ( & spending too much cash on on either city or ramblers hostels) has effectively killed off the classic cycle tour ( in the UK ) of old that I loved. Now you have to do it with B&B I suppose, not really the same as u dont meet people and can cost a lot?
Exactly. Pity we can't turn the clock back sometimes.


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions