Search found 330 matches

by AMC
4 Aug 2009, 5:59pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Fully loaded wobble
Replies: 17
Views: 1126

Fully loaded wobble

I swapped the 1.5" tyres for 1.75" Conti Travel Contacts on my 531 26" wheel touring bike for a fully laden (though not kitchen sink!) trip to Iceland. For the first time I experienced front wheel wobble when loaded up, although I've carried more kit on previous trips with no trouble. I ended up endlessly trying different packing ratios around the 4 panniers (40% / 60% both ways, & God knows what other combinations!) to lose the wobble, which was pronounced on descents, but never did completely manage. My partner's newly built up On One was even worse - we ended up changing the 2" Schwalbes for 1.5" Contis - even then he could hardly load the front panniers at all. We had no idea what caused it, but in his case put it down the the very high forks & non low-rider front rack on the On One, as well as the fattish tyres, & concluded we'd made a mistake using this particular frame as a loaded tourer. (He adores it as a rigid, unladen mtb though.) Anyway, the constant repacking (for a whole month) drove me mental, not to mention the instability. I had fitted a higher, shorter stem on the headset, so perhaps it was this, but I tried a lower stem position & it didn't improve really; I sort of intuitively felt that the bike was rolling around on the tyres rather than it being a steering problem. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what causes this? I do like the fatter tyres for all the (often accidental) off road touring I end up doing.
by AMC
4 Aug 2009, 5:24pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: More about rain gear
Replies: 40
Views: 4448

Re: More about rain gear

I've had various goretex jackets over the years, & always assumed the inevitable sweat build-up inside was the price you paid in order to keep warm when wet. However just recently here in mid Wales I got caught in a proper cloudburst. When I arrived home my bottom half was soaked to the skin & my shoes full of water, but, to my astonishment, my cycling base layer showed only slight creases of damp from under my North Face waterproof jacket. I'd had to cycle a bit slower & so wasn't sweating much, but it really worked in that heavy, heavy rain. So now I think it was well worth the money, & not just for the good fit & warmth in the wet & on descents.
by AMC
28 Jul 2009, 11:33pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Tent advice please
Replies: 51
Views: 8316

Re: Tent advice please

Exped Extrem - I'm so happy with it. Really good ventilation in hot climates, stood up well to rough weather too. Also very enamoured with our Hilleberg Stallon, makes everything alright for 2 in the wet. It was the tent of my dreams & I managed to get one secondhand, so I'm a very happy camper.
by AMC
28 Jul 2009, 11:29pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: What is the worst road you've ever cycled on?
Replies: 29
Views: 1542

Re: What is the worst road you've ever cycled on?

Keflavik to Grindavik in Iceland - tarmaced - so far so good - but raised with a loose edge as are most of the graded roads for drainage, so a nice drop onto the lava field. There are horrible dug out dips along the offside of the white lines (to warn the cars they're straying too far to the right,) and fast trucks kept us on the "hard shoulder", which gets narrower & narrower until you have to stay on the white line itself or it's the lorries, the gouges or the drop. I nearly lost it a few times in the lorry's backdraughts. Yuk. (Otherwise Iceland's fantastic cycling, despite the headwinds & the sometimes corrugated roads!)
by AMC
11 Jul 2009, 5:37pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Advice on bike for teenager please
Replies: 16
Views: 1223

Re: Advice on bike for teenager please

Must be a new bike as kids like the excitement of getting brand new things, don't they?

When I was 11 years old I pined for a second-hand racer I spotted locally - but my dad, bless his cotton socks, thought I'd prefer something new (& "suitable for a girl") so he bought me a Raleigh Shopper for Christmas - I can't tell you how disappointed I was! Still, it turned out to be not bad off road so that was some consolation. But I still sigh when I remember the bike I really wanted; I'd have been on "proper" road bikes so much sooner! Good luck, hope he likes your choice in the end.
by AMC
24 May 2009, 10:43pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Schwalbe Marathon plus vs Conti Touring Plus
Replies: 93
Views: 23857

Re: Schwalbe Marathon plus vs Conti Touring Plus

The Contis can be a struggle and I've heard Schwalbe are similar.

Never had any trouble fitting my Schwalbe Marathon ATB's (26 x 2) but by god, the Conti Travel Contacts were awful to get on. I dread a remote roadside puncture...
by AMC
15 May 2009, 6:42pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: cycling food advise
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: cycling food advise

My favourite standby for the sudden need to eat is mixed nuts & raisins; after trying all sorts of other snacks over the years they seem to do the job. The raisins give a pretty quick energy burst whilst the nuts hang around a bit longer, stopping me getting hungry again too quickly. I keep them in my bar bag - when you have that urge to eat you need to get at 'em pretty fast! But over 50+ miles these are definitely in addition to a stop for something more substantial.
by AMC
9 May 2009, 9:47am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: ...why "comfort" saddles are so uncomfortable?
Replies: 18
Views: 1045

Re: ...why "comfort" saddles are so uncomfortable?

The advice about buying 2 is so true - I bought one of the original (cheap - £15 from lbs) Bioflex femme saddles & immediately stopped needing padded liners. But by the time I went to buy another they'd 'improved' the design. I'd love another of the early ones so if anyone has one they want to get rid of...!
by AMC
9 May 2009, 9:41am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: "Double" sleeping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 1001

Re: "Double" sleeping bags

Willem - it sounds great. We're just using normal thermarests but when I can face the cost of down mats (I've eyed them up before!) that seems like a great solution.
by AMC
7 May 2009, 5:37pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: "Double" sleeping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 1001

Re: "Double" sleeping bags

What happens is left as an exercise for the reader...

You think I'll have any energy left for nocturnal exercise after a long day's cycling across Iceland??? Won't be much

Looks interesting - too late for us as I've just bought some square ended synthetic 3/4 season bags (as bulky & heavy as you'd expect but my god they're roomy!) but I'd be really interested to see how you get on if you go for them - let us know.
by AMC
1 May 2009, 10:06am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: "Double" sleeping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 1001

Re: "Double" sleeping bags

The bottom line in any case is you're much better off keeping the bag dry, whether it's synthetic or down.

I have to say I strongly agree with you - without wanting to sound smug (although obviously I am) I've always kept my down bags dry, it's my partner who seems to have been warned off them through wet camping experiences (resulting from his & his mountain biking mates' rather relaxed approach to camping, & a few very wet Glastonburys!) As a sensible tourer I'm very particular about my tents & so have rarely had problems.
Useful advice re the zips, I'll have a look at what's around. Deuter seem to do a reasonable looking square footed down bag so maybe I'll put my foot down (pun unintentional!) at least for one half of the deal. Of course I'm obviously a total saddo - despite years of lone touring, when I do go away with the other half I can't bear the thought of separate sleeping bags, despite the inevitable tussles that ensue throughout the night. This makes a liner pretty impossible so I suppose one advantage of synthetic is being easier to wash.
Separate bags are the sensible answer; it's not like I need to be spending money on more kit, but I suppose we're thinking of it as an investment, (& if this persuades He Who Must Be Persuaded into more touring then I'm all for it!)
by AMC
1 May 2009, 12:10am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: "Double" sleeping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 1001

Re: "Double" sleeping bags

Well, we've been using the in-laws' rather aged down & feather double bag (which, despite the tapered feet fills a whole pannier!) but thought that 2 zipped ones would mean we could stay in hostels should the opportunity arise (or, let's face it, when it's so wet we can't face another night in a tent). I've had another look at the Northface sites but doesn't seem to be anything. Might have to make do with the Snugpack Navigator - cheap & cheerful; might be heavier & bulkier than the old down one but should be warm. Otherwise it's the Snugpack Travel lite - temptingly small & light but could be freezing...
by AMC
28 Apr 2009, 4:47pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: "Double" sleeping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 1001

"Double" sleeping bags

Anybody have any experience of sleeping bags that zip together to make a double? Preferably 3/4 season, synthetic (we've got a variety of down bags but want something for wet conditions) & ideally square footed. The Snugpack Travelite looks as though it might be too cold, although they seem to do a cheaper, warmer (& bulkier!) version for just over 20 quid. Prepared to pay more for something that does the job. I suppose the temperature range would be +2 - +15 degrees. I've thought about duvets but they're a bit big. Information & tangential suggestions welcome!
by AMC
24 Apr 2009, 11:16am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: What these bars are called?
Replies: 7
Views: 394

Re: What these bars are called?

Those bars look like they've come off an exercise machine at a gym.

Ha ha, they do, that'll put him off!

if you can't find the bars you want here i'll be amazed


Oh, this site really is good. From it I surmise they may be a 'Hornbar Classic'.

Unfortunately couldn't find anything for 'Moth' bars. I did try butterfly bars one time, but they didn't work on that particular bike - maybe I should give them another go.

Mary bars? He's got 'em, although admittedly not built up yet; I have an eye on them myself for a trial as it happens. And yes, they do look rather stupid, I think that might be part of the appeal.

Cheers for the contributions
by AMC
23 Apr 2009, 11:09pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: What these bars are called?
Replies: 7
Views: 394

What these bars are called?

bars.jpg

My partner wants to buy a set of these but we don't know what they're called & can't seem to find them online - any ideas from the panel?