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Re: Spa Cycles steel Audax - any reason not to?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 June 2015 - 9:11pm
I've built a Spa Audax up from components from my old racing bike plus some new for various reasons. The componentry carried over were the campag veloce triple groupset and mavic open pro wheels. The new bits include charge spoon saddle, deda bars and stem and humpert seatpost. I've put on vredestein fortezza extremes in 28mm size, basically a lightweight ( 280gms ) all weather tyre. It's a lovely frameset with a nice carbon fork, pretty light at 2450gms in a 54cm( M ).. mine was only about 30gms different to the quoted weight, pretty good. Total weight for mine with mudguards, bottle cage, pedals is 10.5kg, not racing bike weight but not heavy. Without the guards and with a compact groupset ( current rather than the 2001 veloce I transferred over ) you coul be down at 9.5kg's. I think its an excellent frame to build a project bike with and it's competetively priced. The genesis equilibrium 2015 frame/fork also looks nice but the £150 saving of the spa can buy a nice wheelset. The equilibrium does also have the disc option if that appeals, I quite like them but the spa fitted my budget better and I'll just wait a little longer for the fun of discs.
Comfort wise it's hard to quantify a it is affected by tyres,saddle etc etc but suffice to say with the setup I have it's very good. It does have a spring like feel as you tick along, it's not as sprightly as my racing bike for obvious reasons but as an all round commuter, distance bike, light tourer it fits the bill well and it cope with most road surfaces well too. Clearly its a bike, so it won't smooth out everything but it does make a good job of most. I don't think you'll regret it if you go ahead, one thing to note is that I received a rather heavy stronglight headset with the F+F, I bought a fsa orbit mx to replace that, better design half the weight so it may be worth asking for an upgrade for change in price. A similar point was made above about the tange headset.
One point to add and that is I can use three bikes at present, cx bike, super acciaio roadbike and the spa..... well since building it the spa has had most outings of the three so it must have something good about it as the others aren't bad at all.

Re: Spa Cycles steel Audax - any reason not to?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 June 2015 - 8:52pm
Samuel D wrote:Is there any reason to suspect Spa may offer other colours soon, as implied above?

At York Rally they were displaying the Touring model in green and a musky red/pink (Sorry wouldn't know how better to describe it)
So suspect is the right level of knowledge, but as they have done well and are increasing the range, offering more colours makes sense. You could always ring and ask.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 8:47pm
Oats and water. There's no fun in it though.

On the other hand, in France, yesterday's baguette and supermarket nutella (in lightweight plastic tube, not glassware) is magnificent, cheap and - at 60 mpd - the weight falls off you.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 8:02pm
Bicycler wrote:A few mates were discussing the cheapest way to travel and the subject of food came up. What would be the cheapest way to get the necessary food whilst on a cycle tour (say 60 miles per day camping or long distance walk (15 miles per day camping) over a fortnight or so?

I think they've already lost the plot even before setting off. The trick really is to work out how you're going to lose weight and not be tempted by all that food. That way, you'll see the food coming: loads of it. We're surrounded by food and, despite the absurd claims of the GM lobby, the world is full of it. Your mates have already decided that food is expensive and difficult to get hold of so they're probably going to find that food is expensive and difficult to get hold of . . .

My recommendation is that they let the food find them rather than they having to find the food. Hunger has an extraordinary way of divulging to us the information we need to find the food that's out there. They should try it.

Re: Rhine-Moselle short tour, advice needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 8:00pm
Hi Rob


What was the surface like? I'm running 28 tyres on my Hewitt touring bike, hope they will be fine..


Are there any hills of note? Was kinda hoping for some.The route I'm planning doesn't follow the Mosel from Trier to Luxembourg City then on to Metz,hopefully I'll find a few hills to get the heart pumping for a wee while at least..

Re: Spa Cycles steel Audax - any reason not to?

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 June 2015 - 7:16pm
The Thorn Audax is a good bit more expensive than the Spa Audax but has a steel fork rather than the Spa’s carbon-fibre. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you.

The other obvious difference is Thorn’s choice of colours other than Henry Ford black. Is there any reason to suspect Spa may offer other colours soon, as implied above? If so, I could be tempted! Though for me it would be my only bike, not an October to February bike.

Which 25 mm tyres are you running, De Sisti? Maybe they’re heavier than the tyres on your other bikes. I wouldn’t expect a dynamo hub to make a massive difference in acceleration.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 6:09pm
I rode to the French Alps and back on this diet.
Breakfast, porridge.
Lunch, baguette with cheeese.
Dinner, Lentil and vegetable stew.
Cooked on a petrol stove. I stopped at a petrol staion, held out my litre can. "De l'essence, si'l vous plait."
"De l'essence, dans cela?"
"Oui, pour la cuisine."
Raised eyebrows, shrug.
One bottle of cheapest wine per day, and tabac a roule.
One tip is to soak the lentils in a bidon whilst underway.
Maybe not the best diet, but I did 100 mpd.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 6:06pm
I have, on many occasions, stopped to pick up stuff dropped from harvest vehicles. I used to cycle through an area with several cabbage farms. At harvest time, they'd be scattered on the road. I felt entirely justified in collecting as many of these hazards as I could get onto my bike. One year I managed 4 cabbages; one in each pannier and two on my rack, held by a bungie net. It may not sound like much of a feat, but they were about nine inches in diameter and heavy, as well. The looks I got, cycling home with my cabbages...

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 6:02pm
The first part of your post asks for the cheapest. Is that the overriding factor?

If in rural areas, you could try gleaniing, ie picking up the remnants after industrial style harvesting. Carrots, onions, potatoes, etc. A close eye on the road often finds things dropped off the trucks. Obviously cycling means you travel a lot further to enhance your chances of a find.

Out the back of supermarkets and other shops may be rewarding.

If not fussy then plenty of half eaten pizzas and burgers in an urban environment.

Is this what you meant by cheapest?

Generally things like pasta, noodles, rice and potatoes are cheap and give reasonable energy. Add flavouring, protein and veges as required.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:54pm
Vorpal hits on a important point that weight and volume of food are issues.

Beardy, I don't think any of us knows much about nutrition. The assumption was that getting the correct amount of energy would be the biggest issues in the short term and that a balanced diet wouldn't be necessary. Happy to be advised on this though.

Sweep, one friend had done several lengths of the North Sea Cycle Route before so was on about doing the Danish section as part of a loop from Hamburg. The other two are keen long distance walkers and were on about the Cape Wrath trail (Northern Scotland) which I think is what they are leaning towards. I suspect neither is likely to happen until spring next year.

Personally, I think they are all a bit strange but it did strike me that it was an interesting question potentially with wider application to others on a really tight budget.

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:47pm
Fat!!!

Full of calories and often tasty.... Lard or butter added to said oats or lentil soup increases the flavour and calories dramatically

Re: Suggetsions for food on tour with a tiny budget

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:15pm
Bulk Rice? They could could buy a big sack of rice form an Asian grocery and carry it around

Re: First tour, how much time would I need for this...

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:15pm
Thanks a lot, will continue my investigations there

Re: Day rides around Florence

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 June 2015 - 5:14pm
Thanks reohn2,

We have booked flights but not accommodation yet so basing ourselves in Siena after a stop over in Florence might be a nice option.

We are on cyclocross bikes so those strada bianche sound more than doable. Glad to hear about the local drivers, coming from London that will be a nice change.

Thanks,

Rob

Re: Tyre suggestions for hardtail

CTC Forum - MTB - 26 June 2015 - 5:11pm
Panaracer Trailrakers

Al

Re: Touring in Norway

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:10pm
jakobpoffley wrote:I'll cycle to Drammen and Konsberg and then follow the nummedal route.

A stop at http://www.drammen-skisenter.no/ to take the ski lift up to the forest is worth while, if only for the view. But if you are camping, you can camp up there, too.

Re: Touring in Norway

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 5:10pm
I found the section from Narvik to where the E6 splits off quite busy with quite a lot of trucks, I think I would get the bus to Harstad or possibly get off after the ferry which would probably cut a couple days riding out and may allow you to go a bit further down the coast or just take it more easily.

Tyre suggestions for hardtail

CTC Forum - MTB - 26 June 2015 - 4:59pm
I've an old (1999) Orange hard-tail. For ages, it's run WTB Velociraptor's in 26x44/50, but my last set are now shot. A few online reviews suggest the current Velociraptor aren't anything like as good as the old ones. So, what to get ? The more I read the more confused I get !

Riding is mixed, though Cross-Country is perhaps the best description. I expect it to do mountains in wet and dry (including a few lake district bridleways), hills (eg. Derbyshire, N Yorks Moors), and bits of Scotland (though mostly using stalking tracks as access for walking). Locally its sandy or muddy bridleway routes, but I don't use those often. I have done routes a few made centres, such as Whinlatter, though that's not my usual choice. Road riding is only done to get between off-road bits, or very occasionally in local winter snow, so I am not really bothered about road performance.

Thoughts anyone ?

Re: Tents without groundsheet

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 June 2015 - 4:56pm
I just use thick poly sheeting foot print - cheap. Inside I use a cheap tent carpet - got from Ebay fo ra few £s.
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