New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Warin61
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Warin61 » 7 Dec 2018, 9:15am

alasdairjg wrote: 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 to compromise on front rack mounts


Putting a front rack on a carbon fork ... not something the carbon fork designer/maker may have envisaged?
Given how fragile I view carbon particularly when it is made for reducing weight it is the last product I'd want on a touring bike.

Vorpal
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Vorpal » 7 Dec 2018, 9:29am

What does 'under 10kg' include?

I'm not sure that requirement is compatible with an adventure touring bike, especially if you are nervous about CF.
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pwa
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby pwa » 7 Dec 2018, 9:30am

Warin61 wrote:
alasdairjg wrote: 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 to compromise on front rack mounts


Putting a front rack on a carbon fork ... not something the carbon fork designer/maker may have envisaged?
Given how fragile I view carbon particularly when it is made for reducing weight it is the last product I'd want on a touring bike.

No, I think the Ribble will be for light loads only, with only a rear rack. But that could work for touring at the lighter end of the spectrum. I'd be a bit more iffy about the wheels. Mavic factory wheels for touring in remote places? I might budget for a second set of wheels for those expeditions, saving the Mavics for nice local roads.

simonhill
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby simonhill » 7 Dec 2018, 1:48pm

There are plenty of people who are not ultra lightweight or even lightweight who only use rear panniers. I don't know why you are even considering (or worrying about) a front rack.

This all seems a bit confused to me.

I seem to remember that a front rack and 2 panniers adds up to something like 1.5 kgs. A big hole in your 5, or even 10 kg total.

hamster
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby hamster » 7 Dec 2018, 2:00pm

I agree - I camp solo with 13.5kgs and don't need front panniers.

iandriver
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby iandriver » 7 Dec 2018, 2:31pm

Check out the Merlin range:

https://www.merlincycles.com/merlin-x30 ... 05088.html

Like Spa, an independent who has made it's business building up bikes and wheels for many years (Decades).

https://road.cc/content/review/251556-merlin-malt-g comes in at 11ish KG
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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RickH
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby RickH » 7 Dec 2018, 10:46pm

hamster wrote:I agree - I camp solo with 13.5kgs and don't need front panniers.

Alternatively just use the front panniers. :D

I've used mine in combination with a 13l bikepacking seat pack (Ortlieb front rollers & an Alpkit Koala on a Kona Sutra). I can get everything for a weekend in good weather in just the front rollers (which I have used on a rear rack for such in the past) . The extra capacity of the sestpack gives a bit more versatility & the front low rider rack (Tubus Tara) is lighter than most rear racks.

I rarely use the rear rack & big panniers these days.

Bonefishblues
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Dec 2018, 10:53pm

Here you go. They will customise to your requirements.

https://www.alpkit.com/sonder/sonder-camino-alloy

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The utility cyclist
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Dec 2018, 11:54pm

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Specialized- ... Sw0X1b3uSp
Swap out the flat bar for drops and you're good to go.
I have a 2010 Sirrus Pro Ltd it's one of the very, very few carbon frames that has proper mudguard and pannier rack mounts. My 58 set up with a 50/33 -11-32 is under 8kg, that's with 40mm tyres though the wheels are fairly lightweight types and also carbon flat bar.

Below is my 2007/8 Specialized Globe Expert, originally a flat bar but converted to drops.
As pictured with 32 spoke wheels, Ultegra/105 triple with Miche c/set )50/39/24),rack and guards it's a shade over 10kg incl the XT SPDs. Frame is alu triangle, carbon forks, carbon seat stays, carbon seatpost. Takes up to 45mm tyres with guards, 55mm without, no discs however but braking is immense with the Mini vs. It has front rack mounts too though you can attach a low rider rack to carbon forks anyway that don't have low rider mounts.
IF I had to have/choose one bike, this would be it out of all the bikes I have, even over the Sirrus Pro Ltd (just).

Edit, these came out recently, the new design Triban, £750 with 105 STIs, rack mounts front and rear https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-rc-5 ... 54421.html there's a review on road CC https://road.cc/content/review/252475-t ... -road-bike
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Globe Expert.JPG

Ivor Tingting
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Ivor Tingting » 8 Dec 2018, 4:15am

alasdairjg wrote: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!


Quite a few different requirements to meet here.

If you are going on a longer tour you will carry more. There are so many variables - weather, terrain, your fitness. I would doubt very much you will get a dedicated touring bike weighing less than 10kg. More like 13-14kg. And it all depends how much you are prepared to rough it by bike packing going all minimalist? I couldn't do it, well not for more than a couple of days. The idea of strapping lots of bags to the handle bars and behind the saddle is just a fad imho. Not something I have found particularly easy to get on with as I tried it once with an Ortlieb bike packing roll bags. It was right PITA tbh. everything has to be tightly packed and the thing you want is always at the bottom meaning every thing has to come out and be carefully repacked. I much prefer panniers. Just take less kit and become and a stronger rider! I think half this fad of bike packing is because some cyclists just aren't strong enough to ride heavier bikes, they are lazy, so traditional racks and panniers have now fallen out of fashion. I wouldn't want to do a long tour riding on really challenging demanding routes and surfaces on a carbon frame or fork bike. No way.

Take a look at the classifieds on here. There are a few really nice condition second hand touring bikes e.g. the Thorn Mercury Rohloff bike which could meet your needs but the seller wants £1499 for it, but it does have a Rohloff hub. Then there are a few others. But I think you have to be very single minded to do a long cycle tour with much reduced gear that bike packing supposedly limits you to carrying but in effect most bike packers just carry the same amount of gear just higher up on their bike frames and themselves i.e. rucksack which is crazy. Each to their own I s'pose. Not my sort of thing.
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reohn2
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby reohn2 » 8 Dec 2018, 9:41am

Ivor Tingting
I think the minimalist touring isn't anything new,some tourists have always preferred to travel that way and are happy to do so,Nick Crane's book Journey to the centre of the earth is a classic example of how minimalist one can travel on a bicycle.
The current bikepacking trend is an offshoot of MTB road touring where tours upto a week are involved getting to places most cycle tourists don't.Travelling light has it's merits,traveling light off road needs careful thinking about kit,what's needed and what can be dispensed with.
I don't agree with the lazy comment you make especially if the opposite of that is to gruel it out with a pile of unnecessary kit and 'evening wear' that eats into your enjoyment and daily mileage.How one tours on a bike is a personal thing.
Last edited by reohn2 on 8 Dec 2018, 1:44pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pwa
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby pwa » 8 Dec 2018, 9:59am

The OP wants to tour but also wants a bike that feels fairly light and nippy when not in touring mode. And that means a full-on tourer is not an option, so taking less clobber is a necessity. That is a choice the OP has made, and nothing wrong with that. I'd not do the minimalist thing myself but cycle touring is meant to be a fun thing where you choose your own challenges and do things your own way. And you can get a lot of stuff in two panniers.

When choosing a bike I would avoid any with chain stays too short to keep full size panniers away from the feet. As a quick visual check, bikes with longer chain stays have a wider gap between the rear wheel and the seat tube. The Ribble option looks okay in that regard.

Vorpal
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby Vorpal » 8 Dec 2018, 1:40pm

An audax bike might also be okay in that regard, though a little over the weight requirement. Also, some audax bikes will not take bigger tyres.
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PH
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby PH » 8 Dec 2018, 2:05pm

alasdairjg wrote: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.


There's no reason for the gears to be unreliable, it's worth working out why and finding out to fix it, otherwise at some point you're likely to have the same problem on the next bike.
Likewise the brakes - I hope not to reignite the rim V's disc debate - but folks were touring on rim brakes for decades without issues and many still are.
Why is the bike so heavy? My steel tourer is 12 kg ready to ride and I haven't gone overboard looking for the lightest of anything (Hewitt Cheviot SE in the largest size) I'm sure you'll be able to find something lighter, but if you save 5kg it'll mostly be on components rather than the frame. Might be worth making the best of what you have before looking for a replacement. Really comfortable is a great starting point on a touring bike, it's impossible to quantify what that's worth in terms of speed and endurance but sacrificing any of that comfort for weight may make you slower or inclined to ride shorter days.

PH
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Re: New Bikepacking/ Touring Bike Advice

Postby PH » 8 Dec 2018, 2:08pm

Vorpal wrote:An audax bike might also be okay in that regard, though a little over the weight requirement. Also, some audax bikes will not take bigger tyres.

I've recently sold my traditional steel Audax frame and moved some of the components to my touring bike, with the same wheels and tyres there's 800g difference between them.