CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

23 May 2015 - 9:47am
I am so not sure about the idea of pre-planning a detailed route, to follow on a screen. My experience is that I'd rather potter about, going wherever I please, even if that means getting into some navigational pickles, now and then. Part of the pleasure of cycle touring is the unexpected discovery and the unplanned detour - I know these are both possible regardless of whether you use a Garmin or a compass, it's just that that clever piece of plastic on the handlebars has a magnetic pull and a mesmeric tendency to get the rider to follow the line... I'm not 100% convinced yet!

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

22 May 2015 - 9:38pm
I use an Etrex 20 with Garmin City Navigator Europe maps. Works beautifully. For route planning I use Open Runner, but it gets a bit phunny over 1000 km.

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

22 May 2015 - 6:23pm
You can pickup a garmin legend for less than £50 S/H these days. Runs on 2 AA batteries and lasts a long time on a charge. Spare batts no problem. It will track you and tell you where you are and you can follow a preplanned route if you wish. I use mine with paper maps and would not be without it. Its old tech now, but works fine even in the rain.

National Parks in the Netherlands

22 May 2015 - 6:23pm
This summer I'm touring the Netherlands for 2 weeks. I've finally decided to theme it on National Parks. Birds and insects being my interest, but landscapes being important. I'll only be camping.

This is the plan so far: start at Hoek van Holland and head north up the coast to NP Zuid-Kennemerland and then head off in a South Westerly direction, avoiding Amsterdam, possibly via Utrecht. I need to get back to HvH.

The rest depends on my nose, the lap of the Gods/Godesses or any inspiring suggestions from the wise and experienced on here...

...Thanks in advance.

Caen to La Rochelle to Santander.

22 May 2015 - 6:21pm
Or Santander to La Rochelle to Caen. In July. Thoughts on North to South vs South to North. Many thanks.

Tour of Switzerland

22 May 2015 - 6:20pm
For next summer we are planning a tour around Switzerland , from Chiasso, through Vaduz, Costanza Lake, Zurich, Bern, Geneve, Martigny, Lugano....There is someone already did it?
any suggestions? safe cycling routes?

Re: Probably the best cycle touring video I've seen...

22 May 2015 - 5:23pm
Many thanks for the link, I've really enjoyed watching this series of films.

touring around france

22 May 2015 - 5:22pm
hi all

i am touring around france from the 13th june for 3 weeks from st malo over to lyon and was wondering if anyone else was in france at that time to meet up or can offer me any advice on all things touring as this is my first time touring.

many thanks

Re: best iphone satnav for spain

22 May 2015 - 4:30pm
garibeet wrote:...also using airplane mode during the day etc....
If doing this, make sure you have upgraded to iOS 8.3. (important if this is what you need to do).


Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 4:17pm
Light touring = not camping in my book. When i camp i have @ 12kg all up on the bike, for CC/light its @ 5kg of mostly clothing.

Re: best iphone satnav for spain

22 May 2015 - 3:38pm
Not sure about a turn by turn vocal description but something like orux could be used as a bar mounted satnav/gps. Battery usage can be an issue, though having the screen pretty low can help quite a bit, also using airplane mode during the day etc. Given the speed one would travel on a bike I am not sure how useful the vocal element would be, except maybe in towns etc for directing into streets? I would guess that a mapping app and a little time spent making a few cue-cards would be more use IMO.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 3:26pm
My set up is 2 front panniers, on the rear, of about 15L, my list Iis a bit shorter than al_yrpal's. 2 dry bags 8L and 5L with sleeping bag and camp mat on top of the rack and my 2kg tent strapped to the handlebars. Or I can throw the whole lot in 2 Super C rears.
The frames I was looking at are the Spa Audax or Tourer.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 2:52pm
Heres my list about 8kg for light B&B or CC touring and an additional 6.5kg when camping. I like to have a change of clothing to wash and something decent to go down the pub.

Weight ist by Al, on Flickr


Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 1:18pm
Apart from weight, another limitation to what you can carry on a bike is heel clearance. Chain stays on tourers are longer to allow racks (and, therefore, panniers) to be a little further back than on a more standard road bike. Large panniers may not fit on an audax style bike without being clipped by heels. And the weight might be too far back, in relation to the rear axle, making the steering feel too light.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 12:55pm
The OP did define what they mean by light touring, to paraphrase them, how much can you comfortably carry on an Audax bike?

At 5 Kg, I can pretty much forget it is loaded. At 10Kg, I may have worries about doing any rapid tricky manoeuvres but generally OK. Somewhere before 20Kg, I would wish for sticking weight on the front too or a tourer.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 12:16pm
This is interesting thread. If you were talking what lightweight backpacking means this is easily found because there has been a consensus formed courtesy of the American cottage industry and MYOG attitudes to long distance trekking. IIRC lightweight starts at about 9kg (because that is the nearest metric to a whole imperial weight 20lb). It is about the weight that you cease to really notice the load on your back and start to walk a bit more like someone with a light day pack. then the next weight is about 6.5kg I think. You can ultimately get down to sub 2kg loads (excluding food and water) to get into the ultimate of reduced weight backpacking. Basically the scale goes down from sub-20lb, 15lb, 10lb to 5lb or less for the lightest category. The Americans do like their precise categories though.

For cycling i have no idea. For me on my own I would consider 10kg as the goal for me. Backpacking I can get down to below 6kg and my base load (kit without fuel, water or food) is nearer 4kg). For cycle touring I think my load would go right up though because I have no real experience of it and that usually results in carrying excess kit. Also camping might actually not be too much heavier because if I am hostel or hotel touring I would be tempted to carry a lot more kit in the way of off bike clothes. I did that when I went hostel/bunkhouse backpacking with mates along the Hadrians wall once. My pack was about 20kg when I was normally camping at 9-10kg with 1 litre of water included in that.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 11:49am
It's a bit like asking what speed constitutes cycling fast? Every person will have there own idea.

Every year I do a two week cycling/camping tour including cooking stuff. I don't know the weight but between two of us we carry a TOTAL of two rear and two front Ortleib panniers, two bar bags and a tent. We do this on 'touring' bikes which weight about 14 kg.

I also do a week long B and B/ hostel tour and we take one rear pannier each . We do this on 'road' bikes that weight 9 -10 kg with a rack. I personally call this light-weight.

I have seen someone touring through the Alps with a spare pair of shorts in a bottle cage and some stuff in a small saddle pack. We saw them a few times and in the evening the wore a pair of nylon football type shorts, the jersey they had worn all day and a race cape. I've also seen some Dutch tourers who were camping and they carried folding chairs (not little stools but full chairs) with them. Each to their own.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 11:36am
For me "light touring" does not include camping gear, and keeps other clobber to the essentials. The sort of load you could get into one large pannier (or, better, two small panniers).

My wife (5ft4inch) used to tour on a Reynolds 753 framed road bike (51cm or thereabouts) with two large panniers and a bar bag. It sounds wrong, but it worked okay. She got through the Alps (including the Stelvio Pass and the Cime de la Bonnette) with that set-up. These days you might call that bike an audax bike, having as it did the ability to take guards and a three point pannier rack. And the cycle camping gear she carried was hardly light. So I think a small rider on a small frame can probably carry baggage that would badly affect the handling of a large frame. Perhaps it would be best to make sure the wheels are fairly strong, though.

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 11:20am
YHA touring or similar where u just need to take change of clothes and toothbrush & lots of money

Re: What constitutes light touring?

22 May 2015 - 11:08am
Personally always defined light touring to mean credit card touring or B&B touring rather than carrying the full camping caboodle. So rather than light being a statement of the weight it indicates less equipment being carried.

So camping kit etc. is full touring, B&Bing is a full touring light. (or lite if you really want to...)

That's just my view though.


  • 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