Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
gordy
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby gordy » 27 May 2013, 9:05pm

ossie wrote:100 miles a day ? You need to seriously reduce that and get a reality check as it isnt sustainable unless you want torture yourself. I always shudder when I see 'Newbie and 100 mile days ' in the same post.


I absolutely disagree. 1000 miles in ten consecutive days if perfectly comfortable if you can keep up a reasonable speed... and there are many tourers who ride a great deal further than that. Someone (I think) went round the Baltic averaging 240km (150 miles) a day whilst camping too. I've forgotten his name though.

Do whatever distance is comfortable - mentally as well as physically.

digga
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby digga » 28 May 2013, 11:58am

ossie wrote:100 miles a day ? You need to seriously reduce that and get a reality check as it isnt sustainable unless you want torture yourself. I always shudder when I see 'Newbie and 100 mile days ' in the same post.


I completely agree.

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meic
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby meic » 28 May 2013, 12:10pm

We could try and guess at what proportion of cyclists could do a hundred miles per day for two weeks, I would reckon around 2-5%.
I would probably go for the same figure from the general population as many are fit from other activities but they may suffer somewhat from bloody underpants and aching necks and shoulders.

A hundred miles can be pretty easy, on the flat, a nice bike and a still day. On the other hand you can get headwinds, hills, rough roads and rain in real life.
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Big T
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby Big T » 28 May 2013, 1:09pm

100 miles a day is possible if you strike camp at 8.00am and don't mind cycling into the evening, but i wouldn't want to do it. 10 mph average speed in rolling/hilly terrain is just about sustainable, but that's 10 hours a day in the saddle. I'd go for 60-70 miles a day, which means you can have a more leisurely start and have time for sight-seeing/shopping, etc along the way.
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Vaya
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby Vaya » 28 May 2013, 1:49pm

As others have said, you may want to reconsider the goal of 100 miles a day - it is possible with the right conditions but trying to maintain it day after day will slowly suck the fun out of the tour.

Best way is to aim for 50 to 70 miles a day, ride as far as you feel and try to be as flexible as possible. Taking rest days or only cycling for half a day will help as well.

Main thing is to enjoy it and have fun!

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CJ
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby CJ » 28 May 2013, 4:06pm

In Spain it's generally easier (and relatively cheap) to find somewhere to stay than somewhere to camp - unless you're intending to camp wild. As others have noted, the decision not to camp will halve the weight of your luggage.
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snibgo
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby snibgo » 28 May 2013, 7:40pm

Start the trip with new tyres anyhow ...

I would say "newish", but definitely not brand new.

I started on this forum 3 years ago for advice when I discovered a brand new Schwalbe Marathon was delaminating. That would be unfortunate on a tour.

My rule of thumb: prep the bike for the tour a month before the start. Then use the bike, loaded, for a hundred miles or so, and only change things that absolutely need changing.

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foxyrider
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby foxyrider » 29 May 2013, 2:46pm

[quote="snibgo"]
I started on this forum 3 years ago for advice when I discovered a brand new Schwalbe Marathon was delaminating. That would be unfortunate on a tour.
quote]

Is the tyre less likely to fail if you've used it, taken some of the tread off, added a few cuts and bruises?

I stick by my original statement, fit new tyres before you go, we hope they won't fail and in my experience you have to be quite unlucky for that to happen so i'll continue to take the chance that new tyres will survive my tour rather better than part worn.
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meic
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby meic » 29 May 2013, 3:00pm

Is the tyre less likely to fail if you've used it, taken some of the tread off, added a few cuts and bruises?


If it is the same tyre then no. It is obviously more likely to fail as you have already proven that it worked before by riding it. :wink:

Like Snibgo, I prefer tyres that have had a little test ride to brand new, untested ones, when setting off on an important ride.
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snibgo
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby snibgo » 29 May 2013, 7:56pm

I'm not advocating part-worn tyres (or anything else). Merely not brand-new.

Bike components (like many other things) have a failure graph shaped like a bath tub. They are most likely to fail either when they are new (from manfacturing defect or use beyond design limits) or when they are old and knackered.

willem jongman
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby willem jongman » 29 May 2013, 9:07pm

I increasingly like light and fast tours, and I am just back from a short one in the Ardennes and Eiffel, with just two front panniers on the rear rack, plus a tent on top (and a bar bag). With the two of you, it should be a bit easier still, since you can share things like tools, and because e.g. a two person tent is lighter than two solo tents. Even so, you need to reduce luggage weight as much as you can (10 kg for the gf, and maybe 12 for you, i.e. she with just the small panniers or a Carradice Camper Longflap saddle bag, and you with the tent as well). This only works if you can keep the volume of the sleeping kit low, as with two light down sleeping bags and something like Exped Synmat Ul mattresses.
If the bike has fittings for a rack, go for a Tubus Fly or Vega depending on your frame. As for the bike itself, make sure you lower the gearing. Modern Shimano rear derailleurs can handle 30 t cassettes, and you will be happy that you fitted one. Similarly, have a look at your chainset to see if there are easy ways to lower the gearing a bit. Raise the handlebars a bit if you can. Fit the widest slightly sturdier touring tyres that you can, like the Panaracer Pasela. Have a serious look at the rear wheels, particularly of the heavier rider (you?). A traditional handbuilt wheel with a stiff rim and 36 spokes is much more reliable than many fancy and fashionable road wheels.
Finally, 100 miles a day is possible, but only for very well trained riders who are prepared to ride long hours.
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Binkyboy
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby Binkyboy » 29 May 2013, 10:26pm

100 miles a day? Don't you want to see anything? Why not just go by plane/train?

I did a 4 months cycle camping tour with a Bob-Yak trailer but taking the trailer was an overkill.
It encouraged me to take too much kit.
It weighed too much (more than not taking it)
The 3rd wheel added drag to the bike.
It was awkward to handle when wheeling the bike.
It made travel by train/underground difficult.

Now I just use a pair of front and rear panniers and what won't fit in doesn't get taken.
I then go through all the kit again and ask myself what would happen if I didn't have that particular item with me, and take it out again.
Remember, if it later transpires that you really should have put it in, you can always buy one en-route, but you probably won't.

I was doing 60mls/day and found out the hard way that after a couple of weeks on the road I had to have a rest day once a week to catch up on food, drink, energy and do some washing etc.

ossie
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby ossie » 29 May 2013, 10:39pm

I would test tyres out for a few weeks before you go. I put some new Marathons on the night before flying out and they failed big time.

North Wales Yorkie
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby North Wales Yorkie » 30 May 2013, 10:43am

If you're doing this as a challenge then good luck, if it's supposed to be a holiday then 100 miles per day average is way too much. You'll take the main roads rather than the more rewarding back roads because keeping up the mileage will dominate your route planning. Will your route take you through any of the wonderful Spanish cities thay you'd want to spend a day exploring? What time of the year will you be cycling? We were cycling in southern Spain late April/early May and the temperature reached 32 degrees in the shade, it'll be even hotter in the summer.

willem jongman
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Re: Newbie long tour kit / equipment questions

Postby willem jongman » 30 May 2013, 10:46am

It pays to note the bikes the OP and his gf want to take: road bikes. So front and rear panniers are out, and realistically they will have to limit their gear to what will fit into two front panniers per bike only. If they want to take more, a trailer is the only option, but preferably not a one-wheeler like a Bob. Two-wheelers are much easier on a flexy road bike. But the best bet is going very light, and spending the budget on ultra compact sleeping kit.
Willem