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Re: Is a cadence sensor worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 May 2015 - 7:39pm
It's not quite true though, a cadence of 400 wouldn't be high power.

There is an optimum range, and it will be a bit different for each of us. MickF's range is lower than some others, but that's fine.

Personally I work best at 90-100 rpm, so what - we're not clones...

Re: Brittany - Voies Vertes

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 6:58pm
I have only used the St Malo to Dinard path in Brittany which was very good. However, I have used the Voies Vertes extensively in neighbouring Normandy and written up some of my experiences here if you're interested: https://roundthebendpart1.wordpress.com ... june-2011/

As you'll see my conclusion is similar to others; whilst well surfaced and very good to cycle on they can often miss interesting places, don't go by shops etc for food and, being old railway tracks the sides can often lined with trees that obscure attractive scenery. The solution is to use them in combination with smaller roads - I use the Michelin 1: 150,000 (yellow) maps which also clearly show the voises vertes.

Re: Brittany - Voies Vertes

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 6:28pm
simonineaston wrote:al_yrpal wrote:Voies Vertes are all marked on the Michelin Local 1-200000 maps which to me are the best maps to navigate with in France. Personally I found the Voies Vertes often surrounded by trees rather boring as is the canal after a bit. The best bits of Brittany are mostly in small villages.Al
+ 1 for the above. I'm fast coming to the conclusion that their best use is as part of a mixNmatch approach to touring in Brittany, forming a minor variation on a theme rather than the bulk of your itinerary.

Couldn't agree more. We often get people wanting to do the whole Nantes-Brest or all cyclepaths and I do steer them away from it generally - they are lovely for a break or for younger children, but as the canal tends not to go through villages you miss out on so much. For example the section west of Gouarec has about 70 kms where there is not one single bar/shop etc in sight and nothing resembling a village. When the roads are so quiet and the villages so wonderful you've got to have a really good reason not to make them a major part of any ride.

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 6:26pm
gsix14 wrote: but with some use of Sustrans bike trails?
Sustrans trails vary widely; some are good ashphalt (and smoother-surfaced than many minor roads); others are rocky or muddy and you'll find yourself walking if you use the road bike. But that may not matter if you can make up the time/distance on the smoother bits. One of the online cycle route planners (I forget which, sorry) has links to photos of some parts of these trails so you may be able to have a look before you go.

Re: Is a cadence sensor worth it?

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 May 2015 - 5:40pm
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Low cadence low power.
High cadence more power.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66742#p569959

A good rule of thumb.

I zip past many people on road bikes as they pedal in high gears at low cadence.

My road bikes are fitted with 42/32/22 MTB chainsets and I spin away in a comfortable gear all the time. To keep a decent, efficient cadence on a traditional road chainset you have to be very fit indeed, and probably young too.

I don't think cadence sensors are that useful. Once you realise that straining laboriously at high gears is inefficient and slow it is easy to find a comfortable and efficient cadence for yourself.

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 5:35pm
I would go for a long ride on each with the approx kit you plan to carry and see which you prefer.
My personal leaning would be toward the MTB.

Re: A long shot - Genesis Longitude

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 5:29pm
Thanks Bicycler I shall cross it off my list.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 5:25pm
In one sense, TKMaxx stuff isn't really a bargain: it's selling at the true market price, nobody having bought it at the original daft price or any interim reductions. My originally £300 trousers were never worth that, which is why they ended up going for a tenner in there. Some trendy designer had decided that Ventile would be the next fashion must-have but it wasn't. Ventile is still Ventile and they make excellent outdoor trousers.

Something I intended to mention before but forgot to include was that since you have specified quick-drying, avoid cotton. Polyamide (AFAIK another name for nylon) is excellent: dry in no time.

In both branches I visit (Leeds and Bradford) they do try to keep on top of the organisation of the trouser displays, in that leisure trousers like you are after are kept separate from jeans and tailored trousers.

Altura Ultralight Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 5:04pm
Anyone using the above panniers?
Are they as flimsy as the ultralight tag makes me think thet could be.

Re: Ian Austin MP - Couldn't make it up

CTC Forum - On the road - 28 May 2015 - 4:48pm
Flinders wrote:I have no idea why politicians tweet. You need to be far cleverer than most MPs are to be accurate, not to be misleading, and not to make an idiot out of yourself, when you have so few words.

Blaise Pascal wrote:I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter.

It's very hard to write anything meaningful in 140 charac

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 4:10pm
Barrenfluffit wrote:My experience was that a touring bike was 50% faster than a mtb.

The key issue is toughness; as a shakedown taking the weaker bike might help clear this up. That said tourers in general are tougher than road bikes so my experience may not be valid.

I'd agree with the 50% if the MTB is on knobblies. However you can get tyres like Gatorskins for 26" wheels which gets you somewhat closer on rolling resistance. It all depends on where you intend to ride. A steel MTB with rigid fork is a versatile machine.

Re: Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 3:43pm
There is a rail path on the former Witham - Maldon line, as well. http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home ... ycle-route

Re: Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 3:32pm
Good advice. There is a section shut at Bath on the K&A and on the Bristol-Bath so keep an eye out for detours. (Or current news)..b

That reminds me the Bath/Bristol Railway path is closed between Saltford and Bitton from 1st June for three weeks. The is no planned detour. An alternative is take the A4 from Saltford into Keynsham and then the A4175 from Keynsham to Bitton and rejoin the path. There are shared cycle/footpaths on both A roads but they are of variable width and quality.

Re: Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 3:24pm
If you want to add a bit in the East of England, you could take NCN 1 from London Docklands that partly follows the Thames (towards Dover), then take the Gravesend - Tilbury ferry, and ride the back lanes to Chelmsford, where you can pick up NCN 1 again, or take the Chelmer and Blackwater towpath to Maldon. There are a couple of places where the rideable part of the towpath switches sides, and you have take a bike up some steps and over a pedestrian bridge. It can also be quite rough if there has been a very dry period, after a period of rain. I've ridden on a road bike, but IMO you need something with 32 mm tyres or wider for comfort on that towpath.

There is also an on-road alternative. Either way, therre are two very nice cafes. One at Papermill Lock, and the other at Heybridge Basin.

You can either pick up the NCN 1 (on-road) again and carry on from Witham, or switch to NCN 16 to Braintree and the Flitch Way, which is a very nice route for an upright bike, but has some A Frame barriers, so isn't suitable for an especially wide bike.

If you don't want to use the Flitch Way, there are many lovely lanes in Suffolk and Essex.

Or if you are only going from Cambridge, and not returning, you can do what I suggested in reverse.

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 3:05pm
Depends on the distances you are riding, 60-80 km is my prefered distance on my MTB, even though I've done heaps more, but if I was riding longer distances then I'd go for the road bike, providing the roads are ok.

Re: Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 3:05pm
whoof wrote:I don't know about the Grand Union canal but I see your route goes from Devises to Bristol. The section from Devises to Bath is on a canal path and from Bath to Bristol is on the tarmac Railway path. The canal section is narrow in places especially East of Bradford Upon Avon and can get very busy at the weekend. This is fine if you don't mind going at walking pace or stopping relatively often. Otherwise it might be best to do these sections mid-week if you can and if not make an early start.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TZnjlW9jLqs/hqdefault.jpg

Good advice. There is a section shut at Bath on the K&A and on the Bristol-Bath so keep an eye out for detours. (Or current news)..b

Re: 29 incher - all hype?

CTC Forum - MTB - 28 May 2015 - 2:56pm
For XCM the 29'er is the overwhelming favorite. If you look at the bikes of the recent ABSA Cape Epic, the 29er is the overwhelming favorite. Having owned and ridden all three sizes fairly extensively, I personally don't see the purpose of the 650b.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1432821329.183550.jpg

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 2:37pm
Fair enough. I did say that I would tend to be cautious going from an airport that I wasn't familiar with. If the airline recommends 3 hours, and the airport recommends 3 hours, then I would be therre at least 3 hours in advance. United can also be a little slow at British ariports. They often share staff with one or more of the Star Alliance airlines. I expect it saves them all money, but on a high volume day, there can be queuing.

Re: Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 2:13pm
I don't know about the Grand Union canal but I see your route goes from Devises to Bristol. The section from Devises to Bath is on a canal path and from Bath to Bristol is on the tarmac Railway path. The canal section is narrow in places especially East of Bradford Upon Avon and can get very busy at the weekend. This is fine if you don't mind going at walking pace or stopping relatively often. Otherwise it might be best to do these sections mid-week if you can and if not make an early start.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TZnjlW9jLqs/hqdefault.jpg

Plans for a summer tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 28 May 2015 - 1:26pm
This summer I'm planning to get away on a 2 week tour (please see attached map), and I'm hoping to follow as many country lanes and canal towpaths as possible. And it's like I've heard about cycle paths along the Grand Union canal, which I'm hoping to use from Birmingham to London, does anybody know if this is possible??
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