New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
alasdairjg
Posts: 7
Joined: 5 Dec 2018, 8:48pm

New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby alasdairjg » 5 Dec 2018, 9:35pm

Hi, I'm looking for a new bike so I wonder if you can help me. I already have a Cannondale CAAD8 and a Dawes galaxy AL but I'm thinking of selling both of them to get one really good touring bike that has the best of both. I don't need 3 bikes anyway, even if I want 3 bikes! :D

The touring/ bikepacking bike that I am looking for:
    • Very relaxed geometry for 12hr rides day after day
    • Under £1300
    • Under 10KG
    • Disc Brakes
    • Drop Bars (maybe flared drops)
    • Tiagra/ 105 or similar
    • I don't like 1x setups- seems like a waste of gearing options
    • Mudguard mounts
    • Rack Mounts front & back
    • Not a mountain bike- no suspension
    • Capable of going anywhere- some gravel/ mud riding- wide tire clearance etc. I'd like to take it on big cycling adventures.
    • I'm not that bothered about material but I'm worried about carbon fibre breaking (even if I could afford it)

Also FYI...

Problems that I've always had with my Dawes Galaxy AL touring bike:
    • The gears are really unreliable. Sometimes it works fine and the rest of the time it just gets stuck on the middle chainring.
    • The brakes are really bad. I've changed the brake pads but it's never been exactly safe. I didn't like this when I bought the bike but it was cheap so I didn't care at the time.
    • The bike is SUPER heavy. Just the bike alone is about 15Kg! I could have all my kit on my Cannondale for less than that weight
The good thing about the Dawes is that it's really comfortable, which is why I ride it every day and on LEJOG. I just put up with how rubbish it is to ride. It's also practically bulletproof so I don't care what happens to it.

My Cannondale:
    • Gets uncomfortable after about 4 hours.
    • 9KG is nicer to ride
    • good brakes
    • Can't have racks or mudguards (without modifications) so it's very impractical
    • It's terrible on even slightly bumpy terrain.
    • The more racy geometry is more fun than the Dawes but I've never found a way to make it more comfortable. Either the bike doesn't fit or it's not designed for 12 hour rides.

Thanks for any advice you can think of!

rotavator
Posts: 151
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby rotavator » 5 Dec 2018, 10:58pm

I can't help much but here is a brief summary of various CF touring bikes some of which weigh less than 10 kg. It seems to be a US site so I guess some will be difficult or expensive to obtain in the UK.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/carbon-touring-bikes/

As for gravel/adventure bikes, I would read the reviews, identify those that have all the features that you need then go and have some test rides. There are plenty to chose from!

simonhill
Posts: 2059
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby simonhill » 6 Dec 2018, 2:37am

Can't help on lightweight tourers, but maybe you should define your proposed load. You say you can get it all on the Cannondale for less than the 15kg Dawes. Adding a few bits on the Cannondale to carry it plus guards, etc, I reckon you are talking 5kgs of gear. Is that about right?

I partly ask as you go on to say you want to do long tours. These normally mean unsupported and by their nature a fair bit more gear.

I s'pose what I'm asking is does super lightweight fit your long term plans.

pwa
Posts: 8249
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby pwa » 6 Dec 2018, 9:17am

Spa Cycles do bikes that fit the brief, except for the weight, so you could look at those to refine your ideas about gears and so forth. Spa's bikes start at just under £1k, so I'd be interested to see if you can get something that will do a similar job with a lot less weight for just a few hundred quid more.

keyboardmonkey
Posts: 508
Joined: 1 Dec 2009, 5:05pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby keyboardmonkey » 6 Dec 2018, 9:29am

I’m not au fait with the various permutations of Tiagra/105 10 (or 11?) speed in conjunction with cable/hydraulic discs - have you decided on cable or discs? That will concentrate your mind on which shifters to go with.

I might consider the aluminium Kinesis AT frameset at around £700 and look to specify my own components to build from scratch. £600 should get you some decent kit - once you’ve decided which way to jump re discs.

https://road.cc/content/review/226602-k ... meset-2017

pwa
Posts: 8249
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby pwa » 6 Dec 2018, 9:46am

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s21p355 ... -triple%29

As a starting point for thinking about this, this Elan exceeds the budget so may be out of consideration. But it gives an idea as to what a "light tourer" might look like, and some of the kit options. Even at this price I bet that bike will be a bit over 10kg once it has guards on, even more with a rack. I'd up that weight target a bit. It has the option of a change to a steel fork that will take a rack. But the steel fork will add to the weight.

andrew_s
Posts: 4548
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby andrew_s » 6 Dec 2018, 11:12am

rotavator wrote:I can't help much but here is a brief summary of various CF touring bikes some of which weigh less than 10 kg. It seems to be a US site so I guess some will be difficult or expensive to obtain in the UK.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/carbon-touring-bikes/

As for gravel/adventure bikes, I would read the reviews, identify those that have all the features that you need then go and have some test rides. There are plenty to chose from!

Thanks for the link it should be useful.
I've been idly looking around for something a bit lighter and more sprightly than the Disc Trucker, and have so far failed to find anything that doesn't disqualify itself by a pressfit BB, or the lack of a fork crown boss for a light (etc)

whoof
Posts: 1458
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby whoof » 6 Dec 2018, 11:35am

I think that you might have to compromise on something.
Sub 10 kg touring bike with front rack mounts but no carbon?
It might be that you do need three bikes.
This year I've toured with full camping gear for two and half weeks: Surly LHT.
Weekends (and most years one week) in B & Bs: Aluminium 'training/winter' bike
Weekend camping with the bike and all gear coming in at under 10kg: Specialized S-Works tarmac

This has most of what you ask. However, the weight is 10.1kg, the forks are carbon and there are no rack mounts on the front.
https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-ar ... e-EV306246
As to how comfortable it is the Pinnacle has a longer wheelbase than your Cannondale which should make it more stable and a 71.5 as opposed to 73.5 degree head angle which may make the steering more stable. As to how comfortable you find it this can be down to a combination of things.
Which tyres you use, their width and pressure.
The position your contact point on the bike are.
Your flexibility and core strength.
Do you have any pre-existing health issues such as joint pain.
How you ride it.

You can test ride a bike from Evans to get a feel for it but not for more than 4 hours!

reohn2
Posts: 31873
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby reohn2 » 6 Dec 2018, 11:58am

Sub 10kg is the sticking point,good luck with your search but I think you'll need to compromise on the bike's weight.If you're prepared to extend that to12kg the world's your oyster.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

thirdcrank
Posts: 27283
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Dec 2018, 12:38pm

My Cannondale:
• Gets uncomfortable after about 4 hours.
.....
• The more racy geometry is more fun than the Dawes but I've never found a way to make it more comfortable. Either the bike doesn't fit or it's not designed for 12 hour rides.


IMO you really need to get to the bottom of why you are uncomfortable on this bike, otherwise you may just inadvertently replicate the problem on another. Presumably, it's your riding position on it which is causing your problems. :?

hamster
Posts: 2925
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby hamster » 6 Dec 2018, 1:08pm

Whatever you do, check loaded handling. Lovely light frames can be whippy and downright nasty when loaded up. That's one of the reasons the Dawes is so solid.
That said, the Dawes always had unremarkable finishing kit and you can save a lot of weight by swapping seatpost, bars etc. Likewise new brake and gear cables and outers should make everything work really well. I've never heard anyone seriously complain about the Galaxy's braking capability.

Chat Noir
Posts: 160
Joined: 22 Jan 2010, 8:52pm
Location: York

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Chat Noir » 6 Dec 2018, 2:00pm

Probably the most helpful advice would be for you to visit shops that have ranges of bikes to look at and try. I used a Galaxy for many years for commuting, touring, transporting children, off-roading, etc, did everything, comfortable and bombproof. These days, like lots of others on here, getting hold of old frames and building them up something enjoyable to do so I have a choice of what to ride and can set up a bike to be comfortable for me. My favourite for touring is a Dolan frame made out of Dedacciai steel with Shimano components. Not light fully set up, about 24 lbs, but bomb proof with full camping gear, all day comfort, stable (taken this up things like Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, etc, and very reassuring on laden descents, something to do with relaxed length of the frame). For lightweight touring and things like end-to-ends I use a Bob Jackson with either saddle bag or light weight rack held on with P-clips, depending how laden I will be. This is equally comfortable and stable, just a bit lighter but certainly quicker.

12 hour days riding are seriously big days. Getting your bike fit spot on would be pretty essential (531colin has good guidance on bike fitting, find a post from him and look in his tag), ie position of saddle, bars, frame size, etc, size of tyres, type of bar tape, all will factor in. If you will want to go with a lot of luggage look to heavier-duty tourers but, if lightweight is your thing, you have a lot more choice.

Happened to be in Spa Cycles the other day picking up a rim and some spokes. Leaning against the counter was an Elan, complete with Ultegra components, H Plus Son wheels, discs, etc: it was dangerously tempting, particularly as my ‘casual’ enquiries were met with comments about there being a number on clearance, can build it up as you like, etc. Their prices provide an awful lot of bike for the money and something like this might match your requirements exactly.
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012

alasdairjg
Posts: 7
Joined: 5 Dec 2018, 8:48pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby alasdairjg » 6 Dec 2018, 8:32pm

Thanks for all of your replies. I can see that I might have to make some compromises but I want to get as close to that list as I can. I'm not against carbon completely, but I think that the cost might be the main issue. I think that a carbon fork is reasonable since it can be more easily replaced than the frame and it also fits into my price range.

I might have exaggerated the weight of my kit just a bit but I am seriously looking for ultra-lightweight kit after carrying so much stuff on LEJOG last year. I don't exactly know what my touring plans are in the future but I want to do something bigger than LEJOG. The 12hr days that I mentioned is just based on my past experiences of similar trips. I have a habit of saying "I'll just take it easy a couple of hours a day" and then I end up not stopping because it's too much fun! At the moment I only ride for 1-2 hrs a day which is why I want a bike that is good at both big and small rides.

I might have to compromise on front rack mounts but otherwise the Ribble GCR looks prety good and 9.5KG in Aluminium.

1982john
Posts: 296
Joined: 3 Nov 2012, 9:29pm
Contact:

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby 1982john » 7 Dec 2018, 7:11am

alasdairjg wrote:Thanks for all of your replies. I can see that I might have to make some compromises but I want to get as close to that list as I can. I'm not against carbon completely, but I think that the cost might be the main issue. I think that a carbon fork is reasonable since it can be more easily replaced than the frame and it also fits into my price range.

I might have exaggerated the weight of my kit just a bit but I am seriously looking for ultra-lightweight kit after carrying so much stuff on LEJOG last year. I don't exactly know what my touring plans are in the future but I want to do something bigger than LEJOG. The 12hr days that I mentioned is just based on my past experiences of similar trips. I have a habit of saying "I'll just take it easy a couple of hours a day" and then I end up not stopping because it's too much fun! At the moment I only ride for 1-2 hrs a day which is why I want a bike that is good at both big and small rides.

I might have to compromise on front rack mounts but otherwise the Ribble GCR looks prety good and 9.5KG in Aluminium.


Genesis equilibrium disc or datum might fit your bill with exception of front rack mounts (why you would want these if you're planning UL anyway???). Dolan bikes do a nice carbon gravel bike which has rear rack mount and full mudguards at a decent price.
Kona rove nrb dl is also popular in this range.

pwa
Posts: 8249
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby pwa » 7 Dec 2018, 9:08am

alasdairjg wrote:Thanks for all of your replies. I can see that I might have to make some compromises but I want to get as close to that list as I can. I'm not against carbon completely, but I think that the cost might be the main issue. I think that a carbon fork is reasonable since it can be more easily replaced than the frame and it also fits into my price range.

I might have exaggerated the weight of my kit just a bit but I am seriously looking for ultra-lightweight kit after carrying so much stuff on LEJOG last year. I don't exactly know what my touring plans are in the future but I want to do something bigger than LEJOG. The 12hr days that I mentioned is just based on my past experiences of similar trips. I have a habit of saying "I'll just take it easy a couple of hours a day" and then I end up not stopping because it's too much fun! At the moment I only ride for 1-2 hrs a day which is why I want a bike that is good at both big and small rides.

I might have to compromise on front rack mounts but otherwise the Ribble GCR looks prety good and 9.5KG in Aluminium.

Ribble are great on price, and I can see why that particular bike draws you in. It does look versatile, and could be light. Ribble can be weak on details, so you might for instance find the wheels are not ideal for a long tour in remote locations. I don't know that for a fact, but it is something I would check.