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Updated: 32 min 8 sec ago

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 2:58pm
Tangled Metal

with your list of requirements I think you are bound to choose a tourer. I like Spa, but I'm sure Surly, Ridgeback and Dawes all have decent products. I would say if in doubt, spend more rather than less, but don't spend more than you can afford.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 2:22pm
Tangled Metal wrote:There is a black metal u shaped component hanging over the top of the headtube from the steerer that I don't know what it is. I think the ridgeback expedition has a chromed thing similar.

It is a steering stop that prevents contact of the handlebar with the top tube of the frame preventing any damage - or at least that is what the Cinelli website says.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 2:11pm
I used a 25 year old reynolds 501 frame road bike a few years ago for the commute before i stopped through lack of commitment to it. It was getting trashed quickly not least because of the 700x23c wheels at over 100psi (I liked a hard tyre for some reason). Last year I commuted from early spring through to January but the bike was nicked. That bike was a Spesh Crosstrail hybrid. The route was the same with both bikes (the older bike did8 miles each way but the hybrid 7 because a change of job made it nearer to work). The speed difference was amazing and not all of it was down to me being fitter back then. 20 to 25 minutes to do 8 miles (that is door to door with stops for lights) about 20-24mph average speed (including stops so not moving average) on the road bike. The hybrid was 26-36 minutes for 7 miles !!!! That is quite some difference. I used to test the aero affect of the upright position by leaning over my bars and for the same effort I could get 2mph just by tucking down on my hybrid. That was not sustainable as I was holding my weight on my arms too much.

So to put it bluntly I need a faster bike than a hybrid which for this and other reasons means a drop bar bike. I could buy a CX type but posts on here have totally put me off it should I tour then it would be less than ideal. Even looking at commuting with a pannier rack on a gravel bike you are into heel clip problems with 420-430cm chainstays. The tourers I have seen are at least 445cm. That is significant. My hybrid was 445cm and I used to get heel clip on that on rare occasion if my foot has slipped on the pedal.

So a drop barred bike suitable for a wide range of surfaces but mostly road and gravel but able to cope with a bit more if needed. Able to take panniers with a little bit of commuting weight and a lot more at weekends. Even if not touring I tend to carry plenty for myself, my partner and child in my pannier so my partner isn't carrying anything. She is slow so anything that slows me down and speeds her up is done. I can't manage a child seat due to it being so high up and getting leg over crossbar is interesting when you are balancing a top heavy bike!! It will get a bracket in case needed and will get a burly hitch for a child or a cargo trailer.

So basically I could get away with anything reasonable for commuting this is my one and only bike purchase for perhaps 5 or 10 years. i do not trust my bike judgement to go secondhand. Well I do but I see that as taking money from my main bike which I will need to get.

This means I am researching online (forums, bike shops, reviews, etc) consulting collective knowledge and experience both on here and with people I know and trust (with experience too). I am also trying as many types of bikes as possible to get an idea as to what they are like to ride. So far hybrids, MTBs, 29ers are out due to flat bars (need drop bars due to dodgy hands/wrists/elbows needing changes of hand position at regular intervals). That leaves gravel bikes = too short chainstay i think and seem a bit twitchy to me or touring bikes. I have only tried my Dad's falcon tourer (£500 when bought probably 15+ years ago so not a bad tourer in 531 tubing and decent gearing) I always though it heavy and compared to my 9.5kg steel road bike from 1990 it was very heavy. It is now what I think is best but until i try a newer tourer I will not decide.

Not sure I have any choice than a tourer really.

Marathon Dureme tyres

24 February 2015 - 1:59pm
Does anyone know if this is the "right" version of the Duremes:

http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TYSCMDT/sc ... lding-tyre

or some other less durable version? Just I know there's some ambiguity with e.g. Mondials where one version (Evolution line) is way better than another (Performance line) and don't want to be caught out.

I heard good things about Duremes though they might have been discontinued it appears there's stock left. Thinking of getting some for a forthcoming Iceland trip and beyond.

Re: Canal towpaths

24 February 2015 - 1:53pm
So far it seems K & A is the favourite. Scotland a bit too far. We live in S. Shropshire and think we would like to travel with bikes by train otherwise if we take a car it means parking it somewhere then re-tracing our journey to get back to it. All in the pipe line at the moment.
I think we would do it mid-week rather than the busy times at weekends.
Thanks everyone for their help.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 1:43pm
Agreed, I use an old Orange P7 mtb frame for a commute of 10ml each way. I easily knock minutes off my time when I do the same route on my road bike.
If my commute was longer I would seriously consider something else. I suspect my time difference is more related to a 7sp hub v 20sp compact.
As for a hilly route then I'd be looking to us whatever is the lighter.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

24 February 2015 - 1:35pm
mcallaghan wrote:Will keep that in mind.

Here is my tentative gear list at this stage. Am I missing anything (important)?

Gear List:
2 x Bib Shorts
2 x Bike Jersey
3 x Bike Socks
Rain Jacket
Rain Pants
Arm Warmers
Leg Warmers
Short Gloves
Rain Gloves
Allen Key Multitool
Tire Lever
Spare Tire
Patch Kit
Bike Pump
First Aid Kit
Lightweight Shorts
MTB Shorts (?)
1 x Jeans (?)
Hiking Pants (?)
3 x T-Shirts
4 x Boxers
3 x Regular Socks
Back Pack
Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Camera + Spare batteries
Wallet + Passports
GPS + batteries
Converter + Cables + Rechargers

I would suggest carrying some travel wash and less stuff. 5 pairs of socks for and 4 boxers for an 8 day tour? I did most of the same route (Bristol to Holyhead) last year and took 2 pairs socks and 1 pair of boxers. If you are riding during the day and only wearing them in the evening for say 4 hours a pair of boxers will last two days. Wash them before you go to bed and then hang them up,pegged to your bike next day they will dry as you are riding ready for the following evening. One pair of light-weight trousers that convert to shorts rather than jeans should do it. Tights and leg warmers?
One thing you might want to add if you are staying in some hostels is a travel towel. I also take a cycling cap good if it's cold under your helmet or in the evenings plus good if it's hot. A buff is also very versatile as well.

Re: Canal towpaths

24 February 2015 - 1:28pm
The K&A is indeed very nice. My only comment for the OP would be that if you are "touring" it, you can easily do the whole length in 2-3 days even if you're not strong cyclists. Being a canal it is mostly pretty flat, apart from at Devizes. Depending on how long you intend to take, you might want to extend the trip or plan some side excursions. There are plenty of nearby attractive places to explore - e.g. Bristol (especially Clifton (steep hills) and docks); Bath; Bradford on Avon (steep hills); Savernake Forest; and lots more. I live near the eastern end and am happy to suggest local excursions if you're interested.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 1:28pm

plenty of good suggestions there. What you can commute on depends on the type of commute you do. I used to commute over 10 miles (each way) including several miles of hilly lanes, and my touring bike was ideal. An mtb would have been harder work on those roads. A racer would not have coped with my panniers. I think touring bikes are as versatile as bikes get.

Re: Canal towpaths

24 February 2015 - 1:26pm
rannochraider wrote:Thanks for the reply Allan. I'll be starting from Glasgow too. It sounds like it'll be just fine for me. Looking forward to giving it a visit.

The path is pretty good as far as Falkirk, with just a few stretches of potentially muddy bits, and these are gradually being surfaced properly. Beyond Falkirk it is not nearly so good and personally I wouldn't do it unless there had been several days of dry weather.

If you want to add a very pretty out-and-back detour, at Kirkintilloch you can change on to the Strathkelvin Railway path to Strathblane, which is very well surfaced and a very pretty ride. There are lovely views of the Campsies and a great cafe at Milton of Campsie, not to mention Big Al's bike shop, Wheelcraft.

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

24 February 2015 - 1:12pm
Thanks DaveP I had removed the Fuji from my list, mainly because it was a 54cm frame only and I think that will be too big. Glad I did now based on your feedback.

Vorpal, again thanks for this brakes info, I'll look into that if I'm struggling on my practice weekends away. I assume it'll be fine and just something to get used to.

Sweep, thanks for your gearing help, I've now figured out how to calculate gearing (thanks to Vorpal!) so I know what to look for.

Regarding the bike, I might look at extending my budget and try the Genesis Tour De Fer. It's a big step up, but none of the bikes in my current price range seem up to. If I'm considering the bike as a long term purchase. Spending many a happy weekend and tour away then I should get something I know is up to the job straight away and something I'm happy to build up in the future. Spending £500-600 on something I (and you guys) think is 'just ok' isn't really what I want to do.

http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... -de-fer-15

If you know of any other decent bikes in this price range please mention them.
Bearing in mind that Dawes and Ridgeback will be out of the question, based on what I've read around this forum the frame fit won't be right for me.

Re: New Dawes 26"

24 February 2015 - 12:54pm
The more I look at the new Dawes range the more I like them. The paint jobs are particularly nice this year I think. If it comes to year end and I get a decent work bonus I may end up replacing my commuter/tourer with one of their higher end models on a discount. I'm liking the look of the Gran Tour at the moment, and it doesn't seem to be that expensive to replace the front wheel with one with a dynamo.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

24 February 2015 - 12:51pm
Tangled metal

Don't push the button, I get the impression you are a long way off certain what you need. I'll give you my tuppence worth to add to your deliberation/dilemma.
As touring is not in the foreseeable future forget that for now. Commuting and weekend family rides and the trails you mention anything will do it. I've ridden them on Mtb and 25mm road bike with the kids.
For commuting I just would NOT use a new bike. My preference would be for a bike with IHG as they are so much less maintenance. I watched a bike on Ebay , for sale in Carnforth, recently ideal for commuting around £100. At the same time I bought a mtb bike from Garstang for £40. Light steel frame, so light the seller advertised it as alluminium, 15+years old and like new. Probably done 10mls around the town. Once again an ideal commuter.
So I would hang onto your money until you are 110% certain you want and need a tourer. And you've looked at and quizzed the attributes of individual bikes and are certain what you think is worthwhile.

Orange / Vaucluse / Luberon - ideas?

24 February 2015 - 10:31am

I've just plunged in and booked myself, my missus and my daughter (16) on the Bike Express coach to Orange for late August. Yes, I know its quieter at other times of year, but late August it has to be. We have a touring background and my wife speaks fluent French, so all should go well. We will be cycle camping.

Does anyone have any route suggestions for the Vaucluse. I know about Mont Ventoux, but the area to the east of Orange is a wonderful maze of minor roads and lumpy landscape. I would welcome any info on specific bits of road so that I can patch together an interesting route. We have about 2 weeks but mileage will be a modest 30 miles a day to avoid mentally scarring my family.


Pete W

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

24 February 2015 - 10:09am
gplhl wrote:
Me too Shane, would like to see your full kit list for this one?

Looking to lighten up (load not mood) in just over a couple of months time when I set off from the UK again.

My rig I'm on now is over 50kg excluding liquids (water/fuel for stove etc.)

How much? Maybe my 25kg (inc bike) is on the light end of things but i can't imagine toking around twice the weight!

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

24 February 2015 - 10:02am
Thanks for the thread and the links,looks like it was good trip
Photos are great!

Re: Canal towpaths

24 February 2015 - 9:07am
Hiya Jim, I can't comment on the Union Canal from Falkirk to Edinburgh as I haven't done it, though I can't imagine it being any worse than the Forth and Clyde. I pedal along the canal from Glasgow and find the path surface is pretty good for the entire route. I am on a tourer with 700/32 and have no worries whatsoever. Its mostly tarmac; either smooth or with a fine gravel on top. A few stretches, generally out of towns, are unsurfaced, but hard-packed....not a surface I would hit at 30mph on racing skinnies, but acceptable with a wee bit of care......a wee bit of care is required under some bridges, mainly due to the narrowness, but hey....its a towpath!

Re: Canal towpaths

24 February 2015 - 12:40am
Thanks for that bud, I've never been on the canal path at all. I am from the west side but quite fancied a ride from the Glasgow end to Edinburgh, overnight stay and return so it's all relevant.

Re: Rotterdam > Istanbul - Which bike?

24 February 2015 - 12:19am
I imagine Sweep is pointing out that the bottom gear on the Jamis is a bit on the high side. Most of my cassettes go up to 32 teeth and a lot of the time - at least when I'm fit - I don't use the bottom gear. But its very nice to have the option!
As Vorpal said earlier. If your gears aren't low enough you can walk it. My longest push has been about 6km, but that was with a tandem and trailer...
I had a look at the Shimano site. Unless I'm mistaken you could use a 30 tooth sprocket with this mech. Its not a common size, but they are available. Doing so might require a new longer chain. I think I would still go for it, personally. The cassette would cost about £18
As for the brakes - did you try riding on the hoods? I can operate my brakes from that position, but it does depend on the angle at which they are mounted. You can experiment by rotating the whole bar slightly. Re positioning them properly would usually entail re taping the bars, a DIY job requiring new tape...

I had a look at the Fuji specs. It does indeed have a better quality drivetrain with lower gears. Mudguards are not expensive and fitting them, though fiddly, is usually not too tasking. However I also read the single review. It appears that the rear drop outs are horizontal which IMHO is a total mismatch with quick release hubs. QR is intended to lock the wheel into the frame, not to withstand the pull of the chain. I think someone has goofed big time with this one. Avoid.
The Galaxy Al doesn't look too bad, but I don't like cantilever brakes. I find them a real pain to set up and I don't think they are as effective as v brakes. Do feel free to differ. You wont be alone!.

Re: Canal towpaths

23 February 2015 - 11:54pm
rannochraider wrote: How is the Forth and Clyde towpath ? Are we talking mountain bike tyres or would standard road bike tyres be ok?

I don't know about the western part but we meant to cycle from Edinburgh to the Falkirk Wheel via the F&C a few years ago (part of the day's ride from Kelso to Stirling) - we gave up before Linlithgow and used the roads instead. It wasn't impossible but it was very slow and not very much fun. Too many rough bits of path, narrow slippery places under bridges etc. We were on loaded touring bikes.

I suppose it might be OK with robust tyres if you really weren't in a hurry.


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