Suitable bike for

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
wannabetourer
Posts: 4
Joined: 31 Jan 2011, 7:45pm

Suitable bike for

Postby wannabetourer » 31 Jan 2011, 7:56pm

Hi all! Your advice on a bike required...

This summer I am planning a ride through France, Germany, and wherever the wind takes me! I am not a speedy cyclist, I enjoy pootling about and admiring the view, stopping at sites, long lunches...so I don't need to go very far, fast - but in the future I fully intend on doing something a bit more adventurous.

I did a similar trip last year on a second hand 1980's Dawes Galaxy, which I thought I would love, but I really didn't (sorry to all Dawes fans!). I hated the riding position and drop handlebars - I think a 'sit up and beg' position suits me better.

So the million dollar question is...what can you recommend? I have a budget of about £500 but can go up to £600 at the absolute max. I want a steel frame (I'm old fashioned) but also front and seat suspension (unless you can tell me why I shouldn't have suspension - all views wanted!). I'll mostly be staying in hostels for this trip, but will be taking a tent and camping equipment for emergencies. However for my future 'adventurous' trips, I imagine I shall be camping a majority of the time - so the ability to carry weight over long distances is paramount. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby Barrenfluffit » 31 Jan 2011, 11:08pm

It sounds like your looking for a hybrid or a mountain bike conversion. the main issue is getting a steel frame.

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 31 Jan 2011, 11:46pm

keep the galaxy and fit one of these 300mm quill bike handlebar stem, you will then have your sit up and beg riding position, all for 12 pounds.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/300mm-quill-bike- ... 41522c70ef

wannabetourer
Posts: 4
Joined: 31 Jan 2011, 7:45pm

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby wannabetourer » 1 Feb 2011, 1:01am

Thanks for your replies! If I do convert the Galaxy to have a more sit up and beg position, is it possible to also change the gear system round? As currently it runs on the ones on the frame (no idea what they are called, sorry!) and I would like ones on the handlebar - or is this sacrilege to such a bike?!

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:09am

wannabetourer wrote:Thanks for your replies! If I do convert the Galaxy to have a more sit up and beg position, is it possible to also change the gear system round? As currently it runs on the ones on the frame (no idea what they are called, sorry!) and I would like ones on the handlebar - or is this sacrilege to such a bike?!



what you are referring to is down tube shifters that you have. you can have bar end shifters or intergrated brake and gear shifters called STIs.

ias your bike is from the 80s it may be 5/6 speed, if so to upgrade t could be expensive with new gear shifters, you will also need new casette, chain, cransket, derailleur and will need to have your rear frame widened to accomadate newer 8/9 speed cassettes.

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:11am

alternatively if you are not too picky you can just fit bar end shifters and run them in friction mode (the same as what you have now in how you operate your existing gear levers.)

this will cost approx 50 pounds new or cheaper on ebay. you then keep everything else.

if you go for bar ends you will need to drill a hole in your bars for the cable to go through and you will need a simple device to route the cables on your frame, forgot what they are called, I'm sure someone will answer that one.

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:15am

this may be suitable,

http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/ebwPNLq ... 155c018343

unfortunately it's got drops and not easy to get a sit and beg position due to an ahead stem, you can only raise them so far.

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:18am

or this dawes karakum (with a quill stem) combined with the quill stem above will give you a good tourer and sit up and beg position and it is from spa cycles an excellent shop.

it is priced at 640.00

http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b1s21p2036

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:20am

if you want steel

http://www.ashcycles.com/site/index.php ... anguage=en

at 399.00

drop bars and harder to get up sit and beg position on this bike, but I did and it rides good.

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby stephenjubb » 1 Feb 2011, 1:21am

you can get suspension seat posts for most bikes, apprarently suspension on the front means less speed as it takes some of your energy when pedalling so is harder and is only needed for off road really though having not used it I may be wrong.

Edwards
Posts: 5981
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 10:09pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby Edwards » 1 Feb 2011, 6:50am

wannabetourer wrote: did a similar trip last year on a second hand 1980's Dawes Galaxy, which I thought I would love, but I really didn't (sorry to all Dawes fans!). I hated the riding position and drop handlebars - I think a 'sit up and beg' position suits me better.


To convert to straight handlebars you would need to purchase.

Handlebars and grips.
New stem as the bars are normally thicker in the middle. This is best using a Ahead converter and a modern Ahead stem with removable front plate that unbolts.
Brake levers to match the flat bars.
Gear shifters cheapest is MTB or Trekking range. This could be a problem with the front mech so a new one is likely to be needed.
If the rear shifting is not indexed then this would need a new mech.
New rear freewheel (screw on type) that is 7 speed to match the gear shifters.

All the above can be reasonable cheap if you use thumb shifters and a gear system designed for the square taper axle for the front crankset.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 13335
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby 531colin » 1 Feb 2011, 8:54am

Plan B
Get a cheap bike that "will do" for a year or two.
Something like http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=46332
or http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=46322
or http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=46510
....I'm sure you are getting the picture!!
Any of these bikes will teach you much more than you now know about bike fettling and also what riding position/style of bike really suits you.
And they are being sold by the nice people on this forum, who are likely to tell you of any snags they know about!

Save your money until you know what you really want!

User avatar
b1ke
Posts: 484
Joined: 30 Mar 2010, 2:17pm
Location: Brighton
Contact:

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby b1ke » 1 Feb 2011, 9:13am

want a steel frame (I'm old fashioned) but also front and seat suspension


Nothing old fashioned about a steel touring bike (check out Thorn Sherpa and Surly Long Haul Trucker - very 'modern', very popular and pretty pricey). Steel is a good choice, I'd say.

Front suspension - heavy and more to go wrong, less options for fitting front racks. Have you considered rigid forks and larger tyres? The cycle lanes in Germany (with the exception of the old East) are pretty good. In France, unless you're riding the Canal du Midi, you'll probably also have a good surface where larger tyres would provide a bit of suspension. Not sure what the max tyre size is on a Galaxy, but certainly on an old mountain bike you'd get plenty of tyre clearance.

Suspension seat post - we toured with these last year for 3.5 months. Beware of cheap ones, the ones we had did little (if anything) to ease any discomfort. I've heard good things about the Thudbuster, but haven't used one. A good saddle and a bit of padding also helps make the ride more comfortable.
http://www.farewellburt.wordpress.com - Europe on a Tandem....
http://www.thespokeandwords.wordpress.com - West Africa on a Tandem....

Edwards
Posts: 5981
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 10:09pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby Edwards » 1 Feb 2011, 9:49am

You do not say where you are based? Lots of people on this forum would not mind explaining bikes to you in person.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Suitable bike for

Postby Barrenfluffit » 1 Feb 2011, 10:43am

531colin wrote:And they are being sold by the nice people on this forum, who are likely to tell you of any snags they know about!

I have personal knowledge of an example where this was not the case. Need to inspect and take the usual precautions before buying secondhand. Yes the seller was nice but nowhere mentioned the completely knackered bb until I did.

I think the options for the original poster depend on how much mechanical tinkering they are prepared to do.