My first tour (I didn't make it)

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
theDaveB
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby theDaveB » 20 Aug 2014, 10:25pm

To answer some questions (can't remember who posted what) -

Am not against panniers but against all that weight on my back wheel as well as me being 17 stone. I thought a trailer would be less strain on the bike. Kept reading about people with broken spokes and replacing back wheels on tour.

Am sure my wife is keen to get rid of me ;-)

I didn't take much clothing, what I had on, spare socks, 2 pairs of undies and trainers (I wore sandals).

In the camping shop they told me a sleeping mat is for insulation not comfort. This is sorted now, got a blow up single airbed.

I don't think 40 miles is too much for a trailer but I do agree the hill killed me. After pushing up that hill on every other hill I had to get off and push, I couldn't cycle up without pain.

Will go through my kit tomorrow and list exactly what I had with me.

Dave

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bigjim
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby bigjim » 20 Aug 2014, 11:07pm

believe me pushing a bike fully loaded with those cheapo trailers uphill no fun.

One more reason not to use a trailer. maybe you need to look at your rear wheel. For a lot less than the price of a trailer you can have a 40 spoke rear wheel built with a good Marathon tyre that should solve any spoke problem.
I toured once with a big guy your weight. He had four bulging panniers on, barbag etc. Standard Halfords Hybrid. I rode it for a while. It was like a tank. But he had no problems.
This was his outfit.
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mercalia
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby mercalia » 21 Aug 2014, 12:15am

well these trailers cost about £50 or so, in my case it was free. I did have a look at get a super strong wheel made but the parts are not easy to find and it would have cost in my case £140+. Further more you have to think about the limits the frames can take.

wearwell
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby wearwell » 21 Aug 2014, 11:38am

It is possible to over do it.

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irc
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby irc » 21 Aug 2014, 12:03pm

theDaveB wrote:To answer some questions (can't remember who posted what) -

Am not against panniers but against all that weight on my back wheel as well as me being 17 stone. I thought a trailer would be less strain on the bike. Kept reading about people with broken spokes and replacing back wheels on tour.


I'm 16.5 stone. I've done around 14k miles loaded touring on my Spa Cycles built rear wheel - Rigida Sputnik 36 spokes. A good 36 spoke wheel with a stout rim is all you need. After around 8 or 9k miles I had to correct a slight wobble by tightening a couple of spokes. Other than that and regreasing the hub once or twice it hasn't been touched.

Broken spokes can be a problem. I broke several on standard wheels. Even on a Dawes Galaxy. Buyinb even relatively expensive bikes does not mean good wheels. Spa or another good wheel builder can supply a wheel with standard components which will deal with a 17 stone rider no problem.

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sabrutat
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby sabrutat » 21 Aug 2014, 2:56pm

For me, it depends on perspective. I actually like the challenge of getting off and pushing my loaded trailer rig up a mountain too steep to pedal, sometimes I even break into a near-jog now I've been on tour for two months and am fit as hell. It's a workout, and is one of the reasons I decided to travel like this.

This is in the mornings, of course. In the afternoons I want Norfolk with a pub at the end.

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fausto copy
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby fausto copy » 21 Aug 2014, 8:42pm

Dave, I salute you.
Any attempt to escape from Runcorn leaves me with admiration ( I succeeded 30-odd years ago :lol: ).
I'm glad you've not been put off and are determined to have another go.
A mate of mine set his heart on a first tour and opted for the Coast and Castles route (Edinburgh to Newcastle?).
I thought he was a bit optimistic choosing a start point 400 miles from home.
Sadly he packed after a coupe of days. Like you he overdid it somewhat for a first tour and felt dreadful about it.
I convinced him to build up slowly with a couple of good day rides closer to home and then an overnighter.
Happily, the following year he went back and completed it.
Good luck mate,
fausto,

vernon
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby vernon » 21 Aug 2014, 11:21pm

theDaveB wrote:To answer some questions (can't remember who posted what) -

Am not against panniers but against all that weight on my back wheel as well as me being 17 stone. I thought a trailer would be less strain on the bike. Kept reading about people with broken spokes and replacing back wheels on tour.


I'm six stones heavier than you and have never used a trailer. Yes, the trailer reduces the weight on the rear wheel but it does increase the weight that you have to get up hills. There's no shame in getting off and pushing. One thing to bear in mind is that you ought to up your calorie intake if cycling in hilly territory - you need extra energy to move your bike, trailer and payload uphill. A calorie deficiency is a killer which turns roads into sticky 'treacle'. I tour with panniers, sometimes two of them, sometimes four.

I have had one or two spokes break in the past twelve years but nothing catastrophic. The spokes that failed were on the cheaper bikes. Yoiu can safely ignore the advice to use use 40 spoke rear wheels they simply aren't necessary. A thirty six spoke wheel is perfectly acceptable.

As for locking your bike and trailer - a thickish cable lock will immobilise your bike - the trailer is a complication making parking your bike problematic at some supermarkets.

I keep all of my valuables: phone, wallet, camera, passport, and documentation in a bar bag and take it into shops and supermarkets with me once I've locked my bike. The theft of laden touring bikes is a rarity and you can relax about the risks of theft.

theDaveB
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby theDaveB » 22 Aug 2014, 11:07am

vernon wrote:I'm six stones heavier than you and have never used a trailer.

I have had one or two spokes break in the past twelve years but nothing catastrophic. The spokes that failed were on the cheaper bikes. Yoiu can safely ignore the advice to use use 40 spoke rear wheels they simply aren't necessary. A thirty six spoke wheel is perfectly acceptable.


What bike do you have ?

I haven't spent a lot on a bike as didn't want to unless I really loved touring and was going to make use of a more expensive bike. So for my £200 bike I thought a trailer would be better for it than panniers.

Dave

mercalia
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby mercalia » 22 Aug 2014, 11:33am

I think Vernon is sailing close to the wind with his recomendations. 23 stone plus heavy touring kits is asking for it.

Not much worse than breaking spokes for spoiling a journey - you keep wondering when the next will go, waiting for the tell tale ping.

When I was much younger I have also done heavy laden 4 pannier touring with my conquest cotton 3 man tent ( madness! 8 kg for that) and the whole shebang was a monster ( handle alright though) and I wouldnt say much better than having a trailer other than matters of transporting it all on trains. Weight is weight however you pull it.

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Mr. Viking
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby Mr. Viking » 22 Aug 2014, 11:54am

don't concern yourself too much over the 100kg recommended limit for the bike. I weigh in at 120 and carry up to 30kg on my bikes. Have not had any serious issues. Braking can be hairy though and it's a good idea to make sure nuts are all tightened and wheels are straight. Never had one fail under me yet though

PH
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby PH » 22 Aug 2014, 11:57am

I toured with a trailer earlier this year, not just a Bob Yak but two full panniers, a saddlebag and a bar bag as well. I was carrying everything needed for two of us to camp in comfort, including the trailer at least 35kg. We didn't do any mountain passes, though we did cross the Chilterns, 35 - 45 miles a day. It wasn't a struggle, but it was at least as hard as my usual touring with 15kg in two panniers riding 90 - 120 miles a day.
The point is there wasn't one thing you got wrong, you can take that much kit, you can take a trailer, you can go over the mountains, you can do a lot of miles, it's just that you can't do all of them without being fitter. Plenty of good advise on here, all worth considering, but in the end it'll be you turning the pedals, decide where you want to make the compromises and experiment.
Most of all, enjoy it.

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bigjim
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby bigjim » 22 Aug 2014, 1:44pm

I toured with a guy with a trailer for a couple of days. The thing was a pest. It got in the way all the time. Hotel rooms, train, cycle paths. It's the first two days of my blog with pics under "Paris South". Put me off for life.
Nothing left to prove.

BE1
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby BE1 » 22 Aug 2014, 1:54pm

vernon wrote:.
you ought to up your calorie intake if cycling in hilly territory - .


Translation = eat lots of pies :D

Getting enough food and liquid into you is important, especially if you do not do long distances very often.

I always get this wrong on the first day, to the extent of, on one occassion, ending up flat on my back with cramp in both legs being licked half to death by a friendly sheep dog. :shock:

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pjclinch
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Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

Postby pjclinch » 22 Aug 2014, 2:06pm

theDaveB wrote:In the camping shop they told me a sleeping mat is for insulation not comfort. This is sorted now, got a blow up single airbed.


The two are not necessarily exclusive!

A blow-up airbed won't do much to protect you from heat leaking away underneath you (insulation compressed by your body weight doesn't do so well and an airbed is a poor insulator as there's loads of room for convection currents) so you tend to get cold underneath unless it's a warmish night. Nights often are warmish in summer, but not always...

A closed cell mat, on the other hand, gives good thermal insulation but not much suspension so you're warm but not necessarily comfy.

There's another class of thing however, the insulated air-bed, which gives you both.
Self-inflating mats are one, which is open-cell foam (like a sponge) in an airtight shell. Compress the foam to squeeze out the air and do up the valve and it packs down to not much more than an airbed. Open the valve and the foam can expand, drawing in air and the mat blows itself up. You can top it up with extra air from your lungs if you want. These are available in varying thicknesses, the thicker they are the comfier they are, but also the heavier and bulkier when packed. Thermarest are the leading brand, though there are many cheaper alternatives. Spend less and expect more weight/bulk.
More recently there are airbeds with down or synthetic insulation added, which are just as comfy and almost as low bulk as the lightest airbeds (lighter than cheap ones) but very effective thermally too; things like the Exped Synmat/Downmat range. Not cheap though. Thermarest do an airbed called the NeoAir which uses clever internal baffling in reflective materials to keep the insulation value up, which is as light as you'll find but again not cheap.

So you can do better, but it does need money throwing at it. One can always ask Santa...

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