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Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

22 February 2015 - 5:33pm
All on one chain
Yes

Mud guards
Not for off road touring

Tent did you have one
Msr hubba (only used it 4 times though as it was a little chillier than I'd expected)

Whats the locals like
Very friendly, though almost zero English speakers

Any grief
3 punctures and a couple of dogs that needed a boot.

You've done it before, but how long to plan.
Been planning a backpacking trip for a while, decided on this one about 3 weeks before I started

Population a bit sparce on route
Nope, passed through 2-3 villages most days.

Re: Pannier Inventory Lists

22 February 2015 - 5:26pm
I love those minimising lists of kit as they make so much sense. Lugging my own carcass weight around is enough. Carrying less kit is obvious.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 4:58pm
On the subject of braking with rim brakes, the important thing on long descents (eg Alps) is to have the courage to allow your speed to build up, then brake hard for the next bend. Rims heat up most when you are constantly on the brakes trying to keep the speed down all the time. If you are 2km down a 10km descent and you think your rims may be getting too hot, just pull over and (carefully) touch them. If your skin comes off I would pull over and let them cool. As previously said, its not a common problem and its easily handled.

In the 1990s I managed to blow a rear tyre on an alpine descent at 40mph due to keeping my brake on too long. Braking harder, for a shorter period is the key.

Re: Istanbul and cycle home.

22 February 2015 - 4:53pm
Hi rob
Sounds like a good tour plan you have.
I'm thinking of a similar trip home from turkey in early may but returning via greece and the adriatic coast maybe???..perhaps turning north to pick up the ev6 somewhere.... not sure yet.
Out of interest, can i ask who you are flying with and rough costs of the flight?
Cheers
Pete

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 4:43pm
Found this great looking Ridgeback Panorama on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RIDGEBACK-PANORAMA-TOURING-TOURER-BIKE-CYCLE-56CM-vgc-ONE-YEAR-OLD-EXTRAS/171683701161?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29165%26meid%3D657097efde0649d99ba7ae56db0b20fd%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D221689165720

Looks like a great bike but would a 56cm frame be large enough for someone who is about 181-2cm tall (5ft 11'')

Thanks for all your tips and advice - I am finding it all very useful!

PS: Erm, on Evans website it says the bike weighs 30kg! Can this be right?

Ah, it should read 30lbs!!

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 4:37pm
I opted for a 26 inch wheel bike because my wife's tourer has 26 inch wheels and it means taking only one set of tubes and one spare tyre, spokes etc. Her bike has rim V brakes though and we both have dynamo hubs on the front wheel - used for lights only. We have only occasionally toured and these bikes suit us. There are however, hundreds more experienced folk on this forum who can advise about their different experiences

Re: Is there a Round Britain route info thread?

22 February 2015 - 4:24pm
Thanks very much for the offer PWA! I'm still in the planning stages of my odyssey.

I've got it into my mind to go clock-wise and not to set off up the east coast as I would have to do it in parts.

First part would be from London to Canterbury to Dover and then the south coast route to LE.Up the SW coast from LE to Bristol and then use the Kennett and Avon Canal back to Reading and then London.
I am not going to stick to the coastal route, I shall come inland when and where necessary.

So, any good route proposals out there from Dover to LE?

The same from LE to Bristol?

I'll then plan to cover Wales in one go and not in stages. From the Severn up to the A55 and Chester.

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

22 February 2015 - 3:55pm
HI,
Looks good.
All on one chain
Mud guards
Tent did you have one
Whats the locals like
Any grief
You've done it before, but how long to plan.
Population a bit sparce on route

Shane goes lightweight :)

22 February 2015 - 3:21pm
Hi guys, just back from my first Bikepacking trip  



What a pleasure to travel so light after so many heavy weight trips

Photo's can be found here (tip: top left to make them bigger)>>> http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/shanecycles.com+mtb+bikepacking/

Enjoy

Stats :

20 days
1200+km
23,000 vertical M  
3 unplanned dismounts .....

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 3:02pm
Hills steep enough to have to worry about your brakes are few and far between. Remember if they are that bad you probably couldn't cycle up them and more importantly to the road builders, trucks couldn't get up them.

The biggest problem is normally your rims getting very hot on long descents. This can be overcome by modulating your brakes, or just stopping for a while.

A guy with discs once told me his got very hot on a long descent and started to fade. Don't know if this is true, but it is a bit worrying.

I have just cycled a couple of short 17% ers and these are not the norm. I was pretty close to getting off as they were almost too steep to handle the bike round the tight corners. It wasn't my (XT V) brakes that were the problem.

Touring is not about flying down hills as fast as you can go, but rather about protecting you and your gear for tomorrow and the next day.

My Surly is not a disc version.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 2:47pm
You're right, 25kg does sound excessive until I explain that my cosy armchair weighs in at a 18kg!!

Re: help with a route

22 February 2015 - 2:23pm
1. As a resident of oxford, I will echo the previous comments about avoiding the oxford canal towpath.
2. I cycled from oxford to w. London last august following a fairly direct route across the chiltern hills to the thames at marlow. I recall 1 long hill where we got off and pushed (after nettlebed) but other than that it was ok. Very quiet lanes and very scenic too. We then followed the thames through maidenhead and windsor etc to kingston.
3. I find an app called cycle streets useful for giving ideas of cycle routes between point to point. It may be of use to you, for example, kings lynn to oxford.
Well done and good luck with the ride.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 1:36pm
You obviously have the right approach: you want to learn how to fix possible failures with your equipment before you set off. Some people remove discs during air / rail transit to avoid them getting bent.

25kg seems like a lot of baggage. Touring in Europe I always kept baggage down to about 15kg. That was with camping gear.

Extra weight does make for a bit more mass to stop, but not much more. I weigh 90kg (don't tell anyone). My tourer weighs maybe another 13kg. So adding 15kg to my bike will not produce a dramatic difference. And a bit of extra weight can help braking where traction is a problem. On my tandem (which does have a rear disc too) I can lock both wheels on a descent if I choose to using only the vee brakes. Good vees with good pads, adjusted properly, will give good stopping power.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 12:55pm
I hear what you're saying - and you're totally right, of course.What I'm a bit worried about is the overall weight of the bike, luggage and me sitting on top of it all, going downhill at a considerable speed and then relying on v-brakes to slow me down quick enough. Cantilevers are good but the braking distance on my (8kg) road bike is still fairly large when descending at high speed, so I worry a bit about what it would be like on a 14kg bike with 25kg of luggage (of course I wouldn't be going as fast (or I hope not!)).

If I do end up with a bike using disk brakes (mechanical) I would definitely make sure that i know how to fully repair/replace them before I set off to go anywhere! This would probably result in having to carry extra tools, a few brake pads and a spare rotor or two. Saying that, I should be happy using v-brakes as they are easy to fix and replace. I already have a bit of experience replacing pads on disk brakes and it wasn't that difficult but a bit fidly - what else should I be wary of!?

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 12:11pm
For anyone planning a tour of places devoid of cycle shops I would question the use of disc brakes. Discs are notoriously prone to damage. They are not as robust as some might think. Hydraulic systems are a different technology to the cable operated systems most of us are able to get our heads around, so I would avoid these for tours away from easily available help.. Could you contemplate fixing a disc brake problem in the back end of beyond? For some the answer will be "yes", and for them this is a non-issue. I would be happier with the relatively easy-fix rim brakes I understand.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 12:08pm
Merry_Wanderer wrote:You can have V brakes as an alternative to cantilevers and depending on the rims you have, they will last many thousands of miles. You can also have very low gearing on a 'normal' sized wheel, not just a 26 inch. The thing that complicates matters is if you want STI combined gear shifters and brake levers like a lot of drop handlebar road bikes because these aren't compatible with mtb gearing or v brakes.

If you want drop handlebars and aren't fussed about STI's then you can have bar-end (gear) shifters and a standard brake lever. These 2 separate items are cheaper than STIs and more easily repaired or replaced. As an example of low gearing, my 26 inch wheeled Surly has a 44/32/22 chainrings and an 11-34 cassette which gives me as a low gear, 22/34 x 26 = 16. something inch low gear. I need this to spin up hills as I have knee problems. Put the same gearing on a 700 wheel bike and it becomes 22/34 x 28. Not much higher than my low gear. As a comparison, my old road bike lowest gear was 34 inches which was bloom in hard work on hills.

I would look at a bike for frame size and geometry first and then consider gearing and wheel size

You make some brilliant points here. I didn't realise that STI's weren't compatible with v-brakes, hmmm. I have seen what damage STI's can pick up from a simple crash (or should I say, getting 'doored' off my bike!). The right one was ruined and costly to replace (Ultegra). With the Dura Ace bar end shifter's costing £45-50 they look like a good thing to have on a long distance touring bike. I've never used them before but have read a lot of good things about them. I'd be prepared to sell the STI's off any bike I get and replace them with bar-ends (if this isn't too complicated to achieve).

Even if I get a 700cc/28 inch wheeled bike it is always possible to change the lower chainring and get an alternative cassette/sprockets to change the gearing - I often do this when tackling different passes in the Lake District and north Yorks and, to be honest, I still find them tough - it's that 3rd chainring and lowest gears that I need!!

I'm so glad that I opened this thread because there isn't anyone around me that knows anything about bikes and I was really getting in a pickle over these kinds of things.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 11:39am
You can have V brakes as an alternative to cantilevers and depending on the rims you have, they will last many thousands of miles. You can also have very low gearing on a 'normal' sized wheel, not just a 26 inch. The thing that complicates matters is if you want STI combined gear shifters and brake levers like a lot of drop handlebar road bikes because these aren't compatible with mtb gearing or v brakes.

If you want drop handlebars and aren't fussed about STI's then you can have bar-end (gear) shifters and a standard brake lever. These 2 separate items are cheaper than STIs and more easily repaired or replaced. As an example of low gearing, my 26 inch wheeled Surly has a 44/32/22 chainrings and an 11-34 cassette which gives me as a low gear, 22/34 x 26 = 16. something inch low gear. I need this to spin up hills as I have knee problems. Put the same gearing on a 700 wheel bike and it becomes 22/34 x 28. Not much higher than my low gear. As a comparison, my old road bike lowest gear was 34 inches which was bloom in hard work on hills.

I would look at a bike for frame size and geometry first and then consider gearing and wheel size

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

22 February 2015 - 11:08am
simonhill wrote:Your long term plan is to move from UK to European, to long haul stuff. I don't know how quickly you will be doing this, but you may want to be thinking about a bike for the end of your plan rather than the beginning.

Debate rages, but many would say a robust 26" tourer would be more suitable for fully loaded touring in Central Asia.

PS I am biased, I ride a Surly and tour amost exclusively in Asia.

Well, it is hard to argue with you seeing that you already have experience touring in Asia! Nearly everything I have read about 26" wheels is positive - especially regarding strength, manouveability, low gearing, and, importantly, getting replacement parts. To be sensible about touring I think I need to start at home, in the Lakes and in and around Scotland before I can head off towards Europe. It may be a year or more before I head off towards C. Asia.

I'm going to start looking at 26" wheel touring bikes - just out of curiosity - but so far I have only come across Surly and one or two others (like Thorn) but these are just out of my price range. It seems that people who own Surly's really love their bikes!! I'll have a look around for second-hand ones.

I've only experience riding a disk brake bike for a short while and really liked it - now, I am getting hung up on a touring bike with disk brakes over standard cantilever. Part of me feels like this is wrong and normal brakes are fine for what I want to do, another part of me nags away saying that disk brakes are stronger, more effective and work better in bad weather - they also don't ruin rims in the same way.

I haven't done this much research since I was at university!

thanks guys!

Re: Pannier Inventory Lists

22 February 2015 - 10:56am
This thread (although it also has discussion of women-specific items) has a good list and discussion viewtopic.php?f=42&t=85590
And this one is about minimising viewtopic.php?f=16&t=48438 but is also pretty comprehensive.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

22 February 2015 - 10:45am
My mum's life is fuelled by worry and regret. Without both she'd be a different person. I was 40 years old when I set off on my 3 year, 22,000 mile around Europe. She told me all the ways I was going to die. Now that I've safely finished the ride she chastises herself for three years of unnecessary worry - bonus! another source of regret - but it hasn't changed anything. Now she says that my last ride was alright really but the one I'm planning this summer is just mental. So she's worrying again.

My brother races motorbikes. You can imagine how much she likes that.

Incidentally, you are safer cycling anywhere on your planned route than you would be cycling at home.

Have a great trip! You'll have a ball.

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