First Bike

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
BikeBuddha
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Aug 2019, 6:15pm

First Bike

Postby BikeBuddha » 13 Aug 2019, 10:49pm

Hello

My second post. I read Tom Allen's book, have sold my car, and plan on going around the world. OK, I am a bit crazy. But I intend to set off in two years time.

But, as for a bike.... for expedition travel you kind of need an expedition bike? There's the Koga world traveller s2.0? The Oxford Works Expedition. Both pricey and with options.

Do you think it best to invest straight in an expensive tourer, or pick up another bike that is cheaper first, then invest nearer the time.

I have seen three that are new:
    Dawes Galaxy Ultra
    Ridgeback Expedition
    Giant SLR 1
Trouble is, not sure what bike I want. I am an experienced hillwalker in Scotland, but due to damaged tendons, have to take up biking to stay sane.

Can you tour world on bikepacking bike? What's the best model? Does open up avenues? I live in Scotland.

Should I be investing in a cheaper bike first (like those listed above), before buying a Koga or Oxford's Expediiton, or some other bike?

Or should I just jump straight in, head first!

What is a good first bike?

Now, I have trouble with decisions... at moment. I am physically fit but head needs some work. :D
For now, just fancy touring outer hebrideas and Scotland and learn all about bikes (only ever ridden mountain bikes).

Anyway, thank you for any advice your can give.

Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First Bike

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Aug 2019, 11:14pm

As you will see from searching this forum there are many opinions on how best to go about such long distance touring, especially in terms of the bike. On balance you should get a bike (but not the bike iyswim), start cycling in earnest, do some shorter tours, as you suggested, and enjoy the 18 months of speccing up 'The bike'. Others to look at include Thorn and Stanforth, but as your knowledge increases, you'll be able to make a judgement about which builder suits you best.

hamster
Posts: 3147
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: First Bike

Postby hamster » 14 Aug 2019, 8:35am

Agree totally with Bonefish. The Ridgeback and Galaxy are true tourers and provide excellent starting points. Ride them and you will be in a strong position of knowledge if you have the ideal tool for the job or want something slightly different. As much as anything it depends on what type of riding you like - rough off road or tarmac for example.

Above all this will depend on route - pick that and the type of bike falls into your lap. Mark Beaumont used a carbon road bike for his Africa End to End, so having a super-tough bike is not necessarily essential. https://www.cyclinguk.org/cycle/africa-solo
https://road.cc/content/news/144912-mar ... rd-attempt

Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: First Bike

Postby Tangled Metal » 14 Aug 2019, 8:50am

I suspect most people see a RTW trip as being on rough roads and needing a tough touring bike. I bet there are routes that match that image but equally the world is developing fast and there could also be routes that don't need the old style roughstuff tourer.

I know someone who toured parts of China for 2 or 3 months on a cheap, local mtb with a single rear rack and cheapo, local made panniers. At the end of the trip just left it for someone else to have. A good few years back I think and things weren't as developed, plus it was in out of the way areas where locals hadn't seen European Caucasians before. Rough roads meant mtb with even a cheap front suspension was a good choice.

Pick a cheaper tourer for UK use then get the bike that's right for your intended route / RTW trip style. A double expense but still better than a single expensive buy that you find out is not right mid trip. Of course that's just my view of what common sense is as I have no experience of touring outside of Europe (the most developed parts for cycle touring parts at that).

Jamesh
Posts: 500
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: First Bike

Postby Jamesh » 14 Aug 2019, 9:11am

Roux 250?
Genesis tour de fer?
Evans Dacrite?
Trek 520
Cube touring
All good bikes what's you budget?

700c great for Europe and North America but 26" seems the norm in Asia.

If getting a bike now in two years of substantial use many of the components are going to be a bit long in the tooth and need replacing before a big tour..

Might be worth getting something cheaper to start with and then you will have a better idea of what you really need?

Cheers James

whoof
Posts: 1818
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: First Bike

Postby whoof » 14 Aug 2019, 9:27am

If you are thinking of riding around the world this site can provide plenty of ideas regarding bikes/kit and also some inspiration.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doctype=journal

WRT bikes Surly LHT is a popular choice available in 26" & 700 C wheel, disc or canti/v brakes straight or dropped bars. Spa Cycles have them starting at £1090 (other options back in their touring bike section) and as the can be built to order there's lots of choice to allow options such as gearing ratios, saddles, dynamo systems etc.

https://spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s21p4027/SU ... t-bar-2018

reohn2
Posts: 35235
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: First Bike

Postby reohn2 » 14 Aug 2019, 9:53am

Bonefishblues wrote:As you will see from searching this forum there are many opinions on how best to go about such long distance touring, especially in terms of the bike. On balance you should get a bike (but not the bike iyswim), start cycling in earnest, do some shorter tours, as you suggested, and enjoy the 18 months of speccing up 'The bike'. Others to look at include Thorn and Stanforth, but as your knowledge increases, you'll be able to make a judgement about which builder suits you best.

I agree with that and add Genesis Vagabond,Tour de Fer or if you intend a lot of offroad touring Longitude.

In the long term a RtheW tourer would be a steel frame set Rohloff hub(maybe with a gates belt),Son front dynamo hub for lighting and charging stuff,built into bombroof rims all with 1.5 to 2inch tyre capabilities.

Day in day out riding in harsh conditions means the bike has to be comfortable,with minimal maintences and maximum reliability,the first bike should be a step toward that end,or you can do some homework and buy the RtheW tourer straight off,the choice is ultimately yours.
Last edited by reohn2 on 14 Aug 2019, 10:07am, edited 1 time in total.
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HobbesOnTour
Posts: 358
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: First Bike

Postby HobbesOnTour » 14 Aug 2019, 9:55am

BikeBuddha wrote:Hello

My second post. I read Tom Allen's book, have sold my car, and plan on going around the world. OK, I am a bit crazy. But I intend to set off in two years time.


Hello, welcome and what a great idea!

BikeBuddha wrote:But, as for a bike.... for expedition travel you kind of need an expedition bike? There's the Koga world traveller s2.0? The Oxford Works Expedition. Both pricey and with options.

The Koga has lost some of its appeal, I believe in recent years because it now has an aluminium frame.
Have a read of this guy; https://www.stephenpeel.co.uk/ set off on a world trip on a Koga. Like Tim, stopped after a while...

BikeBuddha wrote:Do you think it best to invest straight in an expensive tourer, or pick up another bike that is cheaper first, then invest nearer the time.

Personally, I think it's best to start off basic and learn. Then when you know more, invest. It's quite possible to transfer components from your first bike to your second, if clever with purchases.

BikeBuddha wrote:Trouble is, not sure what bike I want. I am an experienced hillwalker in Scotland, but due to damaged tendons, have to take up biking to stay sane.

You have half the knowledge from your hillwalking. The other half you have to learn. If I came to you and said I want to do hillwalking, never having done it before what advice would you give me regarding my gear - go top of the range or start with the basics? Or should I be focused - concentrate on really good basics then pick and choose the rest?

BikeBuddha wrote:Can you tour world on bikepacking bike? What's the best model? Does open up avenues? I live in Scotland.

Not sure what you mean by a backpacking bike. It will mean different things to different people. People have toured the world on Penny Farthings and unicycles. Where there's a will.....

BikeBuddha wrote:Should I be investing in a cheaper bike first (like those listed above), before buying a Koga or Oxford's Expediiton, or some other bike?
Or should I just jump straight in, head first!

Again, what advice would you give me starting out in hillwalking? Given I may start in the summer in the lake district, move on to the Highlands in Autumn and finish in the Andes?

BikeBuddha wrote:What is a good first bike?

Any bike that gets you out practising for what you want to do! Sorry, it's boring, but it's the truth.

BikeBuddha wrote:Now, I have trouble with decisions... at moment. I am physically fit but head needs some work. :D
For now, just fancy touring outer hebrideas and Scotland and learn all about bikes (only ever ridden mountain bikes).

If the head needs work I'd focus on getting out there on whatever I had. I'm sure you know yourself from the hillwalking that once out there, in the open, our heads lighten and things become clearer. Or, at least, that's my experience.

I'm of the opinion that the bike is less important than the person. What I like/enjoy/am prepared to endure may well be different to you, therefore we'll favour different bikes.

As mentioned above, CrazyGuy is the goto place for inspiration for such adventures.

Good luck!

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6573
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First Bike

Postby Bonefishblues » 14 Aug 2019, 10:46am

Worth saying that the world tourist linked above wasn't, by his own admission, your average, nor were Stephen's mechanical issues related to his aluminium frame.

BikeBuddha
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Aug 2019, 6:15pm

Re: First Bike

Postby BikeBuddha » 15 Aug 2019, 9:52am

Thank you

Food for thought.

YEs, maybe a DAwes Galaxy Ultra, or, for expedition, a Ridgeback Expedition is best?

Hmm...

Both good bikes, I guess.

Vorpal
Moderator
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Re: First Bike

Postby Vorpal » 15 Aug 2019, 9:57am

I recommend getting a used tourer, almost anything in the right size will do, and getting some touring miles in. Learn what you like and don't, what works for you, etc.

After that, if I were going on an around the the world expedition and buying a new bike for it, my first stop would be Thorn.
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simonhill
Posts: 2442
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: First Bike

Postby simonhill » 15 Aug 2019, 11:16am

At this stage, I would say that it is not a good idea to spend too much on a bike for your plan. Firstly because I don't think you know yet what your plan is.

Secondly you need to find out if your body will take extended cycling - we use tendons on a bike as well.

Thirdly, will you enjoy it.

Get a basic bike - something like an old MTB would be a good start. Add mudguards and a rear rack, then a pair of good quality panniers and with the gear you presumably already have you can start doing some short tours.

Once you are happy that you want to do long distance touring then you need to do some detailed planning. What does round the world mean; where do I want to go; budget; etc; etc. Personally I am not a great fan of the round the world idea. It often has cyclists following a fairly narrow pre defined channel through multiple countries, very much like the backpacker circuits favoured by the gap year travellers.

Hopefully by this time you will be a lot more knowledgeable and well read and can start making your own decisions re bike, with a bit of help and guidance from this forum.

Quite a few bikes mentioned so far are not the normal choices for far flung touring. Nonetheless as said above, you could easily cycle round the world on tarmac that puts most UK roads to shame. Only once you have a better idea of what you want to do, then can you decide on what is appropriate.

Feel free to ask specific questions about touring; bikes; countries; etc.

Thehairs1970
Posts: 136
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: First Bike

Postby Thehairs1970 » 15 Aug 2019, 10:16pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:
BikeBuddha wrote:But, as for a bike.... for expedition travel you kind of need an expedition bike? There's the Koga world traveller s2.0? The Oxford Works Expedition. Both pricey and with options.

The Koga has lost some of its appeal, I believe in recent years because it now has an aluminium frame.
Have a read of this guy; https://www.stephenpeel.co.uk/ set off on a world trip on a Koga. Like Tim, stopped after a while.



Sorry, but I have to disagree with this. There is a lot o anti-aluminium feeling amongst the touring crowd but I think it's in justified. The frames made from aluminium for touring are specific to touring. They have been engineered to do the job. And if you want to see what an aluminium bike can do, check out Alee Denham on Cyclingabout on YouTube. He goes EVERYWHERE including places I wouldn't walk.

That aside, I think there's some really good advice here. I'd get something cheap and play around on it to see if you like touring. My first touring bikes were old hybrids that I cadged for next o nothing. You'll learn what you can do, what you like without the expense. Gear wise - buy in eBay. Start cheap and use rubble bags for waterproofing. Build up as you find out what you like. My full Ortlieb from and back cost me £100 on eBay.

It will depend on what you do but I reckon most people who bikepack around the world, do it for speed. Touring is a slower journey. Looking at the people I follow on YouTube, most of them seem to have developing luggage as they travel, that rarely seems to get smaller. They collect things that might. Useful instead.

Good luck!

Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First Bike

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Aug 2019, 11:01pm

I think there is anti aluminium feeling, that's tangible, which was the point being made, but there's little doubt that the Koga is up to the job.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 358
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: First Bike

Postby HobbesOnTour » 16 Aug 2019, 5:39am

Bonefishblues wrote:Worth saying that the world tourist linked above wasn't, by his own admission, your average, nor were Stephen's mechanical issues related to his aluminium frame.

I wasn't trying to implicate the alu frame as a problem. As far as I recall all the World Tourers are customised. I'd suggest that blog to anyone thinking of setting out on a tour, especially without a lot of touring experience. It's honest, direct and shows that no matter how good your bike is, we should still strap our tents on securely :D