Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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horizon
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby horizon » 8 Jun 2019, 11:38am

LittleGreyCat wrote:
I think I am unusual in that I have the stem on the highest setting so I have no plan to cut the steerer down.


Don't worry - you're not the only one. :)
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

simonhill
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby simonhill » 13 Jun 2019, 8:13pm

I don't see why anyone should say posting this is either brave or stupid. It just lays out your post purchase thoughts. How many of us haven't realised something until later on.

It would make a good part of a guide to bike buying. It would involve people thinking, which is a rare commodity nowadays. Many post as soon as a thought comes into their mind.

Two points

I used to have a double bar rack, Tortec rather than Tubus. It did make loading a bit easier on the rare occasion I camped, but unless you are constantly loading and unloading, you are only talking about a minute or so a day.

When I wore my Tortec out, I replaced it with a Cargo, because it was much lower so fitted in an LBS box for travel and also the double bar rack looked like a load of scaffolding on the bike. The Cargo is much more pleasing to the eye.

Secondly, why did you go with drops? You seem to have been happy with flats, so why change. Did the forum convince you that to be a real touring bike it must have drops. If you had stuck to flats, just think how much simpler adjustments to levers, etc it would have been.

Anyway, enjoy.

Edited in a couple of words to make more sense.
Last edited by simonhill on 13 Jun 2019, 9:53pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Jun 2019, 8:26pm

simonhill wrote:I used to have a double bar rack, Tortec rather than Tubus. It did make loading a bit easier on the rare occasion I camped, but unless you are constantly loading and unloading, you are only talking about a minute or so a day.

When I wore my Tortec out, I replaced it with a Cargo, because it was much lower so fitted in an LBS box for travel; and the double bar rack looked like a load of scaffolding on the bike. The Cargo is much more pleasing to the eye.

While I agree with both of these points regarding double-bar racks (I used to have the same, or similar, Tortec), I did find it very handy when travelling by train. It meant I could leave stuff on top of the rack -- fewer individual items to carry -- but easily remove and reattach the panniers -- necessary for train travel.

dim
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby dim » 13 Jun 2019, 9:36pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
BTW I have never bothered about bike fit and all that. If the saddle is at the right height I just ride it and enjoy doing it too.



I was the same .... I've owned many bikes (some very good ones aswell) ...

I'd ride the new bike with an alan key and adjust the saddle height and position during rides, until I felt that I had the 'sweet spot'

after a few weeks, I'd get used to the bike and even though parts of my legs muscles worked differently to my previous bike, I eventually got used to the bike and got stronger/faster

then, a friend told me that he had a proper bike fit linked to a 3D computer, and although the price was high , it was the best £200 that he had spent

a bit more research on the internet and I was convinced to have a bike fit for my new touring bike. The bike fit was amazing and took 2 1/2 hours. everyhting was checked, handlebar width, hand positons, cleats were set, I needed insoles, my flexibility was checked, saddle was checked against a cushion thingy that measures your buttock, my pedal action, hip movement, back angle etc etc etc

while you pedal, you appear on a computer screen as a skeleton ... you are linked to a computer that automatically measures all the angles of your body in 3D and highlights the problem areas in red. The bike fitter makes adjustments and you pedal again .... more adjustments, until the computer has all the angles approved, and the bike is set

I've been riding for a few days now (40+Km commuting per day), and everything feels really good (but saying that, I have a really good bike :D )...

so, without a bike fit, if you go on a long ride such an Audax, and after 200km your left wrist is paining, or your right knee is tender, you could say that is because you have a weak wrist or you have a weak knee ...however, the pains could be due to the fact that your bike is not set up properly?

without a proper bike fit, you will never know ... so if you have a bike that you intend to keep for a long time and a bike that you wish to ride long distances, save up and have a proper bike fit

I had the stt-3dma fit (video below if for time trial fit, I had the fit for touring/long distance riding)

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Sweep
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Sweep » 14 Jun 2019, 7:09am

My analysis.

You need more cake.

Quickly.
Sweep

mattheus
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby mattheus » 14 Jun 2019, 8:41am

simonhill wrote:Secondly, why did you go with drops? You seem to have been happy with flats, so why change. Did the forum convince you that to be a real touring bike it must have drops.

It's nothing to do with having a "real touring bike": drops are just better.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Sweep » 14 Jun 2019, 1:36pm

simonhill wrote:Two points

I used to have a double bar rack, Tortec rather than Tubus. It did make loading a bit easier on the rare occasion I camped, but unless you are constantly loading and unloading, you are only talking about a minute or so a day.


@@@@@


Secondly, why did you go with drops? You seem to have been happy with flats, so why change. Did the forum convince you that to be a real touring bike it must have drops. If you had stuck to flats, just think how much simpler adjustments to levers, etc it would have been.
.


I have racks with and without the lower rail.

The first touring type rack I bought (Tortec Expedition) I think I selected because of the lower rail. It seemed like a good idea.

But in truth the way I (overpack) the stuff on the top kinda presses down on the tops of the panniers anyway and it isn't particularly easy to take the panniers off and get them back on leaving the stuff on the top.

I have a Tubus with the lower rail and one or two without.

I think it's more important to fasten the stuff on top in a sensible way - ie no bungees - I use rokstraps and adjustable bungees which don't have to go under the rack. With this arrangement I can get all (and it's a lot of all) of my stuff in its drybags off the top in no time, chuck it on the floor, and put it all back on again totally secured pretty quickly

On drops, yes I too wondered about littlegrey cat commenting on them and saying he wasn't used to them. But was scanning the thread and thought maybe I had missed something. I would have gone with what I was comfortable with. And fitting various control - spares would have been easier as well - far fewer compatibility issues.
Sweep

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby scottg » 14 Jun 2019, 2:15pm

Sweep wrote:My analysis.

You need more cake.

Quickly.


200 quid will buy quite a lot of cake,
may I spend some on some Theakston Old Peculiar ?,
which would make that bike fitting more entertaining.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

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horizon
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby horizon » 14 Jun 2019, 2:40pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:This is based around my Spa Wayfarer which I was guided towards by this forum.
I am very pleased with the bike, but there are things which I didn't know which might have made a difference to my detailed specification.




LittleGreyCat: did you consider the straight bar option at the time? Or was that another "I wish I had known that" moment?
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby LittleGreyCat » 14 Jun 2019, 3:07pm

horizon wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:This is based around my Spa Wayfarer which I was guided towards by this forum.
I am very pleased with the bike, but there are things which I didn't know which might have made a difference to my detailed specification.




LittleGreyCat: did you consider the straight bar option at the time? Or was that another "I wish I had known that" moment?


I've posted about the drops a while back and will soon be posting again.

I went with drops mainly because it was the standard build on the Spa website.
I also thought that they would give me a more "aero" riding position; having noted that I often felt the urge to lean forward on my flat bar mountain bike to try and reduce wind resistance when I was pedalling hard.
So far I am generally pleased with the choice as I find it easier to climb when my hands are on the drops and it also seems easier when riding into the wind.

I am vaguely considering butterfly bars for my mountain bike, but that is down the list a bit.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Richard D » 15 Jun 2019, 7:36pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:(*) Brifters - I am used to mountain bike style trigger shifters which have indicators to show which gear you are in. I find this very useful when I am not sure which combination of gears I am using. Forum response was "You should know which gear you are in without looking.". Umm....yeah? and "Just look down." but I have difficulty seeing if the chain is on smallest or next smallest cog most of the time.


The brifters with the indicators built in tend to be pretty low-end equipment.

The solution is to know which of the chain rings you need to be in for any given speed - and there is a gear calculator on Sheldon Brown's website. I know that at my preferred cadence, if I’m going slower than 14mph I really ought to be on the small chain ring, and at faster than 16mph the big chain ring. Between those figures it really doesn’t matter. Knowing this, I only need to look at my speedo and change if I think I’m in the wrong one.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Vantage » 16 Jun 2019, 11:11am

Sweep wrote:My analysis.

You need more cake.

Quickly.


:lol:
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Vantage » 16 Jun 2019, 11:39am

It's a learning process.
3 bikes over 7 years and I'm still tweaking things. And I'm having second thoughts about my Spa Steel Touring too frame too. It's tyre clearances are a major headache for me.
I wouldn't worry too much about the supplied headset. The main issue I (and others I think) had is that it's a real pig to adjust properly. In another thread, brucey put this down to its lower roller bearings. There's no 'give' in them whatsoever. I also found the seals to be utter tosh. But it served me well for about a year till I replaced it.
I've unwrapped and rewrapped my bars with the tape several times. As long as you don't pull on it like a neanderthal it should go back on just fine. A bit of the double sided tape coming off here and there isn't the end of the world and it shouldn't really move once wrapped.
Enjoy it!
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby LittleGreyCat » 16 Jun 2019, 11:44am

Richard D wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:(*) Brifters - I am used to mountain bike style trigger shifters which have indicators to show which gear you are in. I find this very useful when I am not sure which combination of gears I am using. Forum response was "You should know which gear you are in without looking.". Umm....yeah? and "Just look down." but I have difficulty seeing if the chain is on smallest or next smallest cog most of the time.


The brifters with the indicators built in tend to be pretty low-end equipment.

The solution is to know which of the chain rings you need to be in for any given speed - and there is a gear calculator on Sheldon Brown's website. I know that at my preferred cadence, if I’m going slower than 14mph I really ought to be on the small chain ring, and at faster than 16mph the big chain ring. Between those figures it really doesn’t matter. Knowing this, I only need to look at my speedo and change if I think I’m in the wrong one.


I am riding a touring bike with three front rings, so the overlap between them is a bit larger than the "one huge one little" I tend to see on road bikes with two front rings.

At my modest average speed of around 12 mph I can pedal successfully on all 3 front rings.
I have in the past found myself on the smallest front ring by mistake and only noticed when the chain grumbled as I went for the smallest rear sprocket.
So speed over the road and cadence can trick one at times.
Which brings me back to indicators on the front which avoid looking back past my ankles. :D

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Re: Buying a touring bike - things I didn't know

Postby Vorpal » 16 Jun 2019, 11:58am

I have some bikes with and some without indicators. Bikes with thumb shifters (tandem, hybrid, MTB) have them, and my road bike with Sora has them.

My tourer, however does not. And although I shift by 'feel' and I have gotten used to it, 2,5 years on, I would still like to have them.

I prefer the function of the Tiagra brifters over the Sora ones, though. If I had to pick between them, I think I'd still take the Tiagra brifters, but I'd be happy to pay a bit extra to get the Sora gear indicators on the Tiagra brifters.
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