Tour bike setup and Equipment

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
HobbesOnTour
Posts: 146
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby HobbesOnTour » 20 Jan 2019, 8:51am

drossall wrote: A trailer may be a good alternative, but is probably for the committed and experienced tourist (and no use off road, obviously).


I'd disagree that a trailer is for the the committed & experienced and the ExtraWheel I mentioned above is pretty much designed for off-road use.

In fact, for those people who have a comfortable and safe bike with appropriate gearing but without suitable geometry or braze-ons for racks etc. and who want to try out touring without going ultralight, I'd suggest an ExtraWheel as a definite option instead of buying a new bike.

The only issue I've encountered with mine is with gates & barriers at the start and end of cycle-paths which can be a bit trickier.

Aquila
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Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 11:02am

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Aquila » 20 Jan 2019, 12:04pm

Thank you all for your very informative and kind replies. Google is going to get some hammer, I definitely have the bit between my teeth with this.

A few Points I should of mentioned in my first post:

I've cycled in the Netherlands a few times now, all from IJmuiden with one night stays stopping in hotels and guest houses Amsterdam,Harlem, and twice to Alkmaar then back for the ferry the next day. However i wouldn't really class this as cycle touring (even though it really is) as its only 1 night, normally involving far to much Alcohol and not many KM's. On my 1 or 2 week trip I plan to use a mixture of camping and hostels.

As for old Yella Image (image is from google not my actual bike) He's getting on for 20 years old now and I don't really want to replace him when i said his chain set needed replacing its more like the chain rings, rear cassette and chain as they are all well worn now.

As for cycling on my own, I'm a little apprehensive having never took a break or holiday on my own before. Not whether i can manage on my own or fear for my safety i have no worries there, it's more a fear of spending time on my own, I'm more of a people person than a solitary person.

PaulaT
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Joined: 20 Dec 2018, 6:41pm
Location: Staffordshire

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby PaulaT » 20 Jan 2019, 1:01pm

Do you intend to camp because that makes a big difference to how much you'd be carrying. If you're not camping then a bar bag and a bikepacking saddlebag would probably give you enough storage space.

PS my touring bike is 20 years old and still strong so don't worry about the age of your bike.

Aquila
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Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 11:02am

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Aquila » 20 Jan 2019, 1:20pm

A mixture of camping,hostels and hotels though nothing set in stone, just figure that is how i'm going to roll.

It was more of can i adapt my bike to be a touring bike rather than old Yella being to old for the job in hand :D

MrsHJ
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Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby MrsHJ » 20 Jan 2019, 1:41pm

The downside about being by yourself is that people always blooming want to talk to you. I end up chatting with everyone even if I’m not ace at the language. Some countries are more reserved than others though- go to Ireland if you aren’t sure about other languages? It’s ace touring, good food and the pubs are very friendly.

TBH I’m not a people person but I find that after about a week of doing my own thing I need to interact to avoid losing interest in my trip. One solution is to go to places where they speak your language or you speak theirs (pretty much everyone in the Netherlands speaks English but I haven’t travelled there solo). That’s one reason I often go to France and I’m kind of assuming that in the USA they will want to talk to me.

More experienced than me expedition types go to far flung places and work harder on their interaction with others.

I think I would recommend hostels and campsites or b&bs more that hotels as people are more likely to chat but if you are naturally social that may be a non issue. For other trips places like carazy guy on a bike have places where you can look for companions.

andrew_s
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Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby andrew_s » 20 Jan 2019, 5:33pm

If you are going to camp, that means carrying a tent, sleeping bag and mat, at least, and maybe stove, fuel, pans, plate/bowl, mug, cutlery, condiments etc as well.

Whilst it is possible to go on camping tours without using a rear rack and panniers, that would generally mean spending considerable sums on lightweight/compact camping gear, and limiting your trip in some way (eg eating out all the time, short duration or summer/fair weather trips).

Your bike doesn't appear to have anything in the way of fittings for a rear rack (which would normally be M5 (bottle cage size) bolts near the rear dropouts and near the top of the seatstays), so that will mean a rack that fits via the wheel QR skewer, and either p-clips or a seatpost collar or clamp at the top (the p-clips will be cheaper at a random hardware shop).

Possible racks...
good/expensive: Tubus Disco (£109)
Cheap: Axiom Streamline Disc (£35)

I wouldn't expect the cheap one to stand up to prolonged use on rough tracks or last longer than 5 years or so, but for the tryout tour you are planning it will be fine.

Similarly there are a wide range of panniers ranging from expensive to cheap and basic.
Bear in mind that anything that is made from stitched nylon will leak through the stitching holes in wet weather, so you'll want to use un-perforated plastic inside.
There are two general types of fitting for panniers.
The old style is simple hooks at the top, and a length of elastic that runs from the top of the pannier, through a loop on the bottom of the pannier, and hooks onto the bottom of the rack, to stop the pannier swinging out sideways.
The newer style has hooks with clips that go round the top rail of the pannier, and an adjustable bar that slides behind one of the rack legs as you fit the pannier to the rack.
The newer style is worth paying extra for - the old style would sometimes allow the top hooks to jump off the rack if you did something like ride over a sleeping policeman too fast.

On the whole I would counsel against buying gear that's too expensive. If you decide you don't get on with cycle camping at all, you won't have wasted too much money, and even if you do like it, it's best to experiment at the cheaper end of the market. There are many ways to spend on gear that's good, but just not appropriate for the way you like to work.
For example, in the case of panniers, some people don't like the "all in one compartment" aspect of Ortlieb, and would prefer the multi-compartment style of the equally good/expensive Arkel panniers, or for tents, some people like the extra space of a two-person tent, whilst others prefer the reduced weight & bulk of a one-person tent.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 146
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby HobbesOnTour » 21 Jan 2019, 11:58am

Aquila wrote:As for cycling on my own, I'm a little apprehensive having never took a break or holiday on my own before. Not whether i can manage on my own or fear for my safety i have no worries there, it's more a fear of spending time on my own, I'm more of a people person than a solitary person.


There are many advantages to cycling on your own - probably the most important is that you get to do what you want when you want to do it. I've met more than a few solo travellers who can't take advantage of that - doing what they think they should be doing rather than what they want to do.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how we will cope until we are put in the situation.

I have toured solo, as part of a duo, part of a group and picked up several people along the way for varying lengths of time.

When solo, I prefer to be flexible so that I can make decisions on the fly. I find that with a definite route, a definite distance a definite destination it's easy to focus on the end and miss the actual journey. By paying attention to the journey I'm more open to opportunities as they arise.

I prefer smaller campsites rather than the large "resort" ones, it's easier to talk to people.

When camping, there are a lot of things to do to pass time in the evening, from setting up your tent, to washing, to cooking to any maintenance.
Podcasts (especially if they have some significance to your trip) can be handy too. I'm a big fan of a Kindle if you like to read.

One of the great things about bike touring is how approachable we become. For some reason a person on a bike, especially if heavily loaded, draws people to them. It's up to you how you take advantage of that.

Aquila
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Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 11:02am

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Aquila » 21 Jan 2019, 6:13pm

Again great and thank you...

I found an image on Google that will help with fitting a rack this guy has converted old Yellas twin into a touring bike Image

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Sweep
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Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Sweep » 21 Jan 2019, 6:21pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:
Aquila wrote:As for cycling on my own, I'm a little apprehensive having never took a break or holiday on my own before. Not whether i can manage on my own or fear for my safety i have no worries there, it's more a fear of spending time on my own, I'm more of a people person than a solitary person.


There are many advantages to cycling on your own - probably the most important is that you get to do what you want when you want to do it. I've met more than a few solo travellers who can't take advantage of that - doing what they think they should be doing rather than what they want to do.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how we will cope until we are put in the situation.

I have toured solo, as part of a duo, part of a group and picked up several people along the way for varying lengths of time.

When solo, I prefer to be flexible so that I can make decisions on the fly. I find that with a definite route, a definite distance a definite destination it's easy to focus on the end and miss the actual journey. By paying attention to the journey I'm more open to opportunities as they arise.

I prefer smaller campsites rather than the large "resort" ones, it's easier to talk to people.

When camping, there are a lot of things to do to pass time in the evening, from setting up your tent, to washing, to cooking to any maintenance.
Podcasts (especially if they have some significance to your trip) can be handy too. I'm a big fan of a Kindle if you like to read.

One of the great things about bike touring is how approachable we become. For some reason a person on a bike, especially if heavily loaded, draws people to them. It's up to you how you take advantage of that.


Wonderful post hobbes.

Another thing about being on a bike I find is that it's easier to wander on it into places where someone in a car might be seen as a threat - and if you really know you shouldn't be there, easier to play dumb on a bike - after all a large part of the population will think you bonkers for carrying everything you need on a bike - and just peacefully pedal away.
Sweep

Aquila
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Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 11:02am

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Aquila » 21 Jan 2019, 8:06pm

Wonderful post Hobbes


It is....my main concern is night time .. I do own a kindle and i like reading but on holiday or traveling I'd rather be meeting people and socialising ...my worry is not talking too or meeting anyone at all... I do find it to difficult to initiate a conversation ...but i do love riding my bike and traveling new road's and routes and all the sights and sounds that this brings as you peddle along your way.

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby foxyrider » 21 Jan 2019, 9:35pm

Aquila wrote:
Wonderful post Hobbes


It is....my main concern is night time .. I do own a kindle and i like reading but on holiday or traveling I'd rather be meeting people and socialising ...my worry is not talking too or meeting anyone at all... I do find it to difficult to initiate a conversation ...but i do love riding my bike and traveling new road's and routes and all the sights and sounds that this brings as you peddle along your way.


By the time i've eaten, had a bit of a walk, caught up with the diary and looked at the next days route - well i'm usually ready for my bed.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

MattH
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Joined: 3 Feb 2018, 11:02pm

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby MattH » 21 Jan 2019, 10:48pm

If you're sticking with the MTB handle bars it may be worth investing in some bar ends.

I agree with the other comments, in that camping itself consumes quite a bit of time in the evening (and morning!). Quite a few times people have approached asking questions regarding what I'm doing, or sharing their own stories at campsites.

There are often plenty of interactions throughout the day with people, either on the road or when stopping for coffee or lunch - each of which I appreciate a great deal. These can be with the people serving you or just other people in the vicinity.

When staying in B&Bs I've had some great conversations with the owners and with other guests - prefer them over hotels primarily for this reason.

m-gineering
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Joined: 23 May 2015, 12:01pm

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby m-gineering » 21 Jan 2019, 11:04pm

drossall wrote:Traditionally, luggage is carried on the bike. It's lower to the ground, giving better centre of gravity and balance, and it doesn't tire you carrying it (though you still have to pedal it up hills, except in the NL!).


Aiming for a 'low centre of gravity' on a bicycle? That doesn't help any, it just makes the bike more nervous and with the largest weight 4 feet of the ground you have to carry way to much luggage to make a meaningfull difference.
Hills in the NL (we've got them, just not in Amsterdam) work the same as everywhere, but G is expressed in m/s2 (all 9.81 of it) so maybe that 's confusing.

The gravitational constant is also the reason you don't want a heavy rucksack, your posterior will take a beating for it. Nowt wrong with 9sp XTR if in decent shape, it is probably the last of the MTB groupsets built to last, current stuff is more aimed at the ' it's at most an hours walk back to the car when it fails' customer
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

st599_uk
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Joined: 4 Nov 2018, 8:59pm

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby st599_uk » 22 Jan 2019, 5:32pm

I tried a rucksack last year on a short trip with German friends. Afterwards, one of them bought me these panniers and sent them to the UK:

Image

Think they were 40Euros with a rain cover.

They're not 100% waterproof (especially since I sewed a CTC badge on :D ) but they work well. I have a plastic rubble bag in side each "leg" and then store clothes and food in sandwich bags.

The top bag has a helmet net, plus it zips off and has shoulder straps, it's ideal for sightseeing and going to the shops.
A novice learning...
“the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

Oldjohnw
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Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Tour bike setup and Equipment

Postby Oldjohnw » 22 Jan 2019, 5:48pm

Note to self: find some Geman friends, go cycling with them carrying a rucksack :)
John

Cycling and recycling