Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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pjclinch
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby pjclinch » 22 Nov 2018, 8:48pm

chrismisterx wrote:He thinks a Touring bike isnt the way forward and after looking at my bike said its time to move on from it, he said modern bikes are such better rides.

So he recommended that since I am new to cycling to choose a bike between £500 - £700 max, he said thats a good entry level bike price point that will last years.
He told me to stay away from mountain bikes and Touring bikes, he said I needed something thats good on the road but also can handle the crappy states of cycle paths and bridleways.


Yes, a modern bike at £5-700 should be a much nicer ride. But it'll also be £5-700 you don't need to spend at this point: you are only just getting back in the saddle and you don't actually know that touring will be your thing yet. If it turns out that day hacks at speed are more to your taste then that's £5-700 out of your rad bike budget.

I'm intrigued by the suggestion that a tourer wouldn't handle a poor cycle path or bridleway. This is utter nonsense, not to put too fine a point on it.
I wouldn't particularly suggest drops on a tourer to someone who wasn't used to them, but it's easy enough to find one with butterfly bars these days.

chrismisterx wrote:So to cut to the chase the bike he recommended was the Cube Natural Pro 2019 either the 27 speed or 30 speed ( 30 speed is £60 more but he said the gears are better quality but that I most likely wouldn't tell the difference between the two at my skill level lol )

this is his website and the bike :-

https://www.cjperformancecycles.com/386 ... black.aspx

I have no idea if thats value for money or not, or if thats good advice that he give, the bike isnt in stock and the one on the shop floor doesn't fit me, so he would have order in and its quite the wait he said atm. He didnt come across like a salesman and I didnt feel he was trying to sell me anything, was trying to help.

what do you all think, could use some honest advice.


Suspension fork like that is a wast of time if you're not going mountain biking IMHO. You'll need to spend extra on a rack to go touring and if you value comfort then some mudguards. You'd want to change the tyres for a tour, unless you like a bumpy ride and wasting energy. It's a bit odd, is my honest opinion: he's said stay away from MTBs but this is very close to a hardtail MTB.

chrismisterx wrote:On another not after my wife read the replies on the forum posts and she booked up B&B's and is planning to ride the whole way, no trains. Also means the camping isnt going to happen now so much less luggage needed, So we can work on the cycling this trip and next time maybe do the camping.
she has that going to prove everyone wrong look in her eye, she is bloody stubborn at times lol


There's no harm in giving it a go, and if it's not as much fun as she thought then there are still trains. The trick is to remember you're doing it for fun rather than to prove people you've never met wrong (though if proving people you've never met wrong floats your boats, go for it!). As they say on the gambling ads, when the fun stops, stop.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

1982john
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby 1982john » 22 Nov 2018, 8:49pm

Well, there's plenty around here with more than my 5 years of experience but I think most will agree that you don't want/need front suspension.

A good frame with the right tyres (at the right pressure) and a nice saddle should make any journey comfy enough. Unless you're planning some serious offroading?

Plus you can't stick a front rack - should you want one - on those sort of forks.

Other than that the bike seems fine in terms of a nice range of gears and hydraulic brakes (some will say unnecessarily complicated but I'm a fan).

IMO if you can get something like this which already comes with a rack and mudguards - and is even cheaper - then it seems better deal?
https://www.ukbikesdepot.com/m115b187s8 ... roEALw_wcB

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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby chrismisterx » 22 Nov 2018, 9:31pm

I see, some good points raised above, this is why these forums are so helpful for a novice.

There's a couple of bike shops in the same area, I think I will visit them all, meet the people and get a few different ideas, I think its important to find the right bike shop as it will help tons with learning and getting the right stuff, its a lovely 16 mile round trip that i enjoy riding so that is a bonus too.

Theres a little shop up from the one I went to today, it had just closed when I went past, but had a few trek bikes in the window, is that a good make of bike?

https://www.cyclecentreuk.co.uk/


thats the shops website, this one does courses for learning to look after your bike which could be a really handy thing too, but i think getting out visiting shops and seeing bikes in real life is a good thing.

thanks again for your replies!

slowster
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby slowster » 22 Nov 2018, 9:32pm

chrismisterx wrote:We are both mid 40's and being new to cycling all we have to go off for planning is peoples blogs and advice from forums until we get out and get first hand experience, hoping the advice we get from the forums will help us avoid too many mistakes, our biggest worry is buying the right bike, theres too much choice it seems!

Contact your nearest Cycling UK/CTC club/district association, and ask them about going out on a club run. You might have to wait until they have a specific newcomers ride, or it might be that they have runs for different ability/fitness levels, and you could try the easiest straight away.

That will give you the opportunity to build up fitness and stamina in the company of other more experienced cyclists, and you will quickly learn much just by riding with them. You will also see what bikes they ride (doubtless a variety, but seeing them and their riders will give you a better understanding of what might work for you).

Only then would I suggest you think about buying new bikes.

Fitness is not just physical, it's also mental. Riding with other more experienced riders will help you to build up the mental conditioning to cope when things maybe aren't going so well (rain, headwinds, punctures, mechanicals etc.). Knowing you've got the right bike and kit will also give you confidence.

For example, let's say you're on day 2 of your planned tour and it rains all day. If you've experienced that on club runs, you'll know you can cope. You will also have learned what kit works in such conditions - even down to such seemingly minor things as having a rear mudflap on your bike, which makes a big difference for the person cycling behind you.

Frankly, it seems to me that you and your wife are more focused on the goal of a big challenge, rather than just enjoying going out for a nice bike ride. If you went out cycling every weekend simply for the pleasure of cycling, you would probably find that the improvements in fitness, and especially stamina, would come almost without trying. If you don't actually enjoy getting out each weekend just for its own sake, then it will become a chore, and I doubt you'll succeed in your goal.

Lastly, I think that LBS owner is talking cobblers. That bike does not strike me as very suitable for what you are planning (suspension is pointless and unneccesary excess weight, it does not have mudguards or a rack, and I suspect the position would feel uncomfortable for the daily distances you are envisaging). If you were only riding 20-30 miles a day then almost any bike would do at a pinch. For loaded touring rides of 70 or 80 or more miles a day, for consecutive days, the bike becomes a lot more critical. You need a bike that is an optimum balance of lightness, comfort, efficiency and speed. What you are planning is exactly the sort of ride and type of cycling for which a good quality classic British touring bike is best.

40 years ago the default answer to your question about an off the peg bike for what you are planning would have been get a Dawes Galaxy. The choice of that type of bike is now a bit less, but classic touring bikes are still available. One name you will see repeatedly mentioned on this forum is Spa Cycles in Harrogate, because they specialise in touring bikes (their own brand, as well as Surly and Ridgeback), and you could do a lot worse than go to them for a test ride when you have a better idea of what you need.
Last edited by slowster on 22 Nov 2018, 9:51pm, edited 1 time in total.

chrismisterx
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby chrismisterx » 22 Nov 2018, 9:49pm

slowster wrote:
Frankly, it seems to me that you and tour wife are more focused on the goal of a big challenge, rather than just enjoying going out for a nice bike ride. If you went out cycling every weekend simply for the pleasure of cycling, you would probably find that the improvements in fitness, and especially stamina, would come almost without trying. If you don't actually enjoy getting out each weekend just for its own sake, then it will become a chore, and I doubt you'll succeed in your goal.

Lastly, I think that LBS owner is talking cobblers. That bike does not strike me as very suitable for what you are planning (suspension is pointless and unneccesary excess weight, it does not have mudguards or a rack, and I suspect the position would feel uncomfortable for the daily distances you are envisaging). If you were only riding 20-30 miles a day then almost any bike would do at a pinch. For loaded touring rides of 70 or 80 or more miles a day, for consecutive days, the bike becomes a lot more critical. You need a bike that is an optimum balance of lightness, comfort, efficiency and speed. What you are planning is exactly the sort of ride and type of cycling for which a good quality classic British touring bike is best.

40 years ago the default answer to your question about an off the peg bike for what you are planning would have been get a Dawes Galaxy. The choice of that type of bike is now a bit less, but classic touring bikes are still available. One name you will see repeatedly mentioned on this forum is Spa Cycles in Harrogate, because they specialise in touring bikes (their own brand, as well as Surly and Ridgeback), and you could do a lot worse than go to them for a test ride when you have a better idea of what you need.



Indeed we are looking forward to the challenge, but the main goal is to head upto scotland to visit her parents, been a while since we visited them and it seemed a great way to spend time with them and having some fun with the cycles, we will have plenty of small trips on a weekend between now and then.

The whole bike shop thing is why I joined the forums for advice, you guys have nothing to gain sharing your thoughts, where the shops are needing to make a living, so finding the right one is so important to us and when we do we will be really loyal to them, its important to look after your local shops imo. The bike he showed me he said was the type of bike that people doing the coast to coast would use, made it sound like the perfect bike, but i knew I should check in online and get second opinions from you guys, theres no rush to buy anything yet, but plenty time to shop around.

going to check out the website of that shop in harrogate, might give me a better idea of what is out that, thanks for that.

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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby eileithyia » 22 Nov 2018, 10:52pm

Well I would say, always remember a bike shop will make more money out of selling you a bike than fettling your current one. Having said that a decent bike shop owner will recognise, good advise and good service will keep you coming back... so a good drip feed of income.

Frankly I don't think you need that bike, as others (and as said originally) you don't need suspension on a touring bike that will be mostly doing on road. I like the suggestion above of the Dawes Galaxy, the Super Galaxy was my first own purchase, of a touring bike and I loved that bike. It was a standard touring bike with a good range of gears and pannier rack... it dealt with touring on the road and doing off road such as canals, old railways, the Ridgeway and some fairly other hefty classic off road routes. You really do not need a hefty MTB. with great big chunky tyres like that, it will give you a hard ride...

Check out a couple of other shops and contact Spa cycles.
Glad to hear you are reconsidering camping, it will be easier for your first trip and to get used to the whole moving on and packing up daily side of stuff. Introduce camping on some shorter rides and when you are ready to move on.
I still think with some tweaking your current bike is adequate to start with. As I have said elsewhere when people ask about riding routes such as E2E, remember in the past it was ridden on High Ordinaries on mostly unsurfaced roads.... Ok we don't have to cope with conditions of early cycling days and can have comfort, but as long as all the components work, the gears are adequate for the job, and the brakes work and wheels are in relatively good condition, your bike should get you there.. (I would still sort out the horrid saddle).
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby simonhill » 23 Nov 2018, 12:26am

Maybe the question you need to ask the LBS is "how much touring have you done?".

I love my LBS dearly, but neither of the guys tour. In that respect, I consider myself to be the expert when dealing with them.

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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby Ivor Tingting » 23 Nov 2018, 2:50am

simonhill wrote:Maybe the question you need to ask the LBS is "how much touring have you done?".

I love my LBS dearly, but neither of the guys tour. In that respect, I consider myself to be the expert when dealing with them.


+1.

Sounds like you are going ahead despite mine and others' reservations.

The bike the LBS has recommended is not suitable for reasons others have already given. You would need to buy so many other accessories and make changes to it to make it suitable for what you need that imho the bike is not financially worth it, but even then it would still not be a good choice. Cube do some nice bikes that might be suitable for you though, just not that one. They do touring expedition bikes and flat bar hybrids most with front suspension forks or rear suspension though. Maybe you get one for £500-700 maybe not, but you don't need to spend that much.

I wouldn't spend £700 on a new bike to do what you are doing given you have little cycling experience. You could ride the existing old bone shaker you have shown us pictures of, providing it fits. Get a new saddle from Decathlon. Hopefully the wheels would hold out and the gearing would get you up the hills.

Also try Evans. They are a marginal step up from Halfords and Decathlon. Although if you get some spotty kid who has never done any touring trying to wing it to you, they too could sell you something totally unsuitable.

Sod it. Evans are offering this Genesis Tour de Fer which would fit the bill perfectly. If you trade in the old clunker you've shown us a pic of you can get another £100 off meaning it costs £979.00. 9 speed, 27 gears, gearing is for touring so you don't need to make any changes which you might well have to do buying a cheaper generic bike. It has a good frame, a Tubus Rear rack (the best) and can take a front rack should you want one. Has mudguards, bottle cages and disc brakes and 36 spoke wheels which makes the wheels strong for carrying luggage. A really nice every day and touring bike. Sizes M and L left. You could do a lot worse buying some thing else a bit cheaper. More importantly it is ready to go, save getting yourself some pedals and panniers the only other cost really. Genesis make good bikes. Hopefully Evans would set it up properly for you, certainly better than Halfords or Decathlon.

https://www.evanscycles.com/genesis-tou ... e-EV320103

Alternatively the Spa Wayfarer £1090.00 seems a very good buy. Nice Reynolds Steel 725 frame, hand built 36 spoke wheels which will be high quality. 9 speed 27 gears with gearing for touring i.e. carrying luggage and going up hills. Tubus rear rack, quality SKS mudguards, leather saddle. The only thing you would have to buy would be pedals and some panniers. Bargain. Spa cycles have a very good reputation as an independent bike shop.

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s21p386 ... S-Wayfarer

Finally you could check out the Bikes For Sale on this forum. There is a nice Koga Signature World Traveller Touring bike for sale £850. Good condition, but large 63cm frame. Also a few other good touring bikes in the classifieds.

There there is Ebay for second hand touring bikes such as has already been mentioned - Dawes Galaxies or Ridgeback Expedition bikes or indeed any of the above or something like a Kona Sutra or Trek 520. A seller on Ebay might include panniers as well. You're not going to get a 2nd hand Surly Long Haul Trucker for £500 though. But on second thoughts given your knowledge of bikes seems limited looking on Ebay might not be such a good idea on reflection. You don't appear to even know what size of bike you need????

Right that's it I am out now. Given far too much of my time and advice already.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby Paulatic » 23 Nov 2018, 8:41am

chrismisterx wrote:Indeed we are looking forward to the challenge, but the main goal is to head upto scotland to visit her parents, been a while since we visited them and it seemed a great way to spend time with them and having some fun with the cycles, we will have plenty of small trips on a weekend between now and then.

The whole bike shop thing is why I joined the forums for advice, you guys have nothing to gain sharing your thoughts, where the shops are needing to make a living, so finding the right one is so important to us and when we do we will be really loyal to them, its important to look after your local shops imo. The bike he showed me he said was the type of bike that people doing the coast to coast would use, made it sound like the perfect bike, but i knew I should check in online and get second opinions from you guys, theres no rush to buy anything yet, but plenty time to shop around.

going to check out the website of that shop in harrogate, might give me a better idea of what is out that, thanks for that.


He’s not lying I’ve met a lot of people riding similar bikes. Staying in Penrith Wayfarers Hostel I’ve seen them limping in, and having to be rescued, at 9 o Clock at night. Been on the road since dawn and they are all fed up, grumpy, and wishing they hadn’t started.
Go down into the bike cellar at 4pm you’ll see proper touring bikes, having done the same journey, who’s happy riders are happily ensconced in a local restaurant with a glass of beer.
The guy is trying to sell you an inappropriate bike for your needs. Walk away.
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pjclinch
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby pjclinch » 23 Nov 2018, 9:21am

chrismisterx wrote:Theres a little shop up from the one I went to today, it had just closed when I went past, but had a few trek bikes in the window, is that a good make of bike?


To paraphrase in to automotive terms, that's a bit like asking "does Groupe Renault make good cars?"

In other words, they're potentially as good as anything out there, but you still need to get something appropriate for the job in hand. But as I've said before, you're looking for an appropriate bike and not the perfect bike, and given a change of brake cables and blocks and maybe a different saddle, you've already got an appropriate bike. Yes, you could get a better bike for this challenge, but this is one challenge and not necessarily the sort of thing that will be your main cycling thing. And if it's a challenge then doing it without spending a ton on new bikes can be part of the challenge. A chap called Ed Pratt has just ridden around the world on a unicycle: I don't think anyone's pretending it was a sensible performance choice to ride around the world, but that wasn't the point (interestingly, he met Mark Beaumont during his < 80 day round the world, and they both had enormous respect for what the other was doing).
Having said that, if you've money to burn then by all means burn it. Something like that Cube but with road tyres, no suspension fork and rack and mudguards would be an okay choice (not perfect, but okay).

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Oldjohnw
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby Oldjohnw » 23 Nov 2018, 12:17pm

image.jpeg
The latest expensive kit isn't everything.....
John

chrismisterx
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby chrismisterx » 23 Nov 2018, 12:21pm

Oldjohnw wrote:image.jpeg


cracking photo!

JBB
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby JBB » 23 Nov 2018, 11:27pm

With your budget and requirements I'd be trying to get a VSF, see our contributor bretonbikes for the review here http://www.bretonbikes.com/homepage/cyc ... e-vsf-t50s

Also well worth reading his other articles.

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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby nigzy » 24 Nov 2018, 7:57am

Hi,

I'm currently in the process off builder a steel framed MTB up for all round tourer..(i got the frame next to nothing) ..before that i done few short
tours on my hybrid bikes ridgeback( before was stolen) then a carrera

Have you looked at the ridgeback,jamis fuji ,cube or the dawes karakum touring bikes they come into your budget

Oldjohnw
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Re: Planning our first small Tour ( novice cyclists )

Postby Oldjohnw » 24 Nov 2018, 8:22am

John