LEJOG on a mountain bike

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Darkman
Posts: 144
Joined: 30 Aug 2019, 8:46pm

LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Darkman » 2 Jan 2020, 10:25pm

Yay? Nay?

Aiming to tackle this maybe in 2021. I know it's been done on everything from unicycles and penny farthings to tandems but would I be making life much more difficult by using a mountain bike instead of a road/gravel bike? (I don't even have either of the latter).

I wouldn't be going for a speed run. 14 days or so. Just want to get there and say "I did it". Using quiet roads as much as possible, national cycle routes, not all of which would be tarmac I assume.

Doable?

I haven't planned a thing yet as it's way off, and might not even happen.

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby whoof » 2 Jan 2020, 10:53pm

Depends a great deal on what mountain bike. Whatever it is I would get rid of the knobbly off road tyres if you have them.
My tourer from 2003-2017 was a mountain bike. No suspension with touring tyres.
Mrs Whoof's first tour was Bilbao to Toulouse (along the Pyrenees) on a mountain bike with front suspension. She did it but found it hard work. The following year she changed to a hybrid bike, lighter and no suspension to absorb the effort of pedalling into compressing the forks (they could not be locked out).

Darkman
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Darkman » 2 Jan 2020, 11:06pm

Yeah I have a 2019 Specialized Rockhopper, hardtail with lockout forks. I think it's the first new bike I've ever owned and I utterly love it.

As for tyres I've already done some homework there and I'm thinking Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour, or Continental Contact Plus Travel. Think you can get both in 47-622 which should fit my rims just fine. Also, I have a set of Ergon GP2 grips on my other bike which have little bar-ends, so might help with fatigue in my hands as flat bars really limit hand position. Either that or get GP3/4/5 which have progressively bigger bar-ends?

Not overly concerned about the weight of the bike. I've just lost 80lb in the last six months and aiming for a total loss of 120lb+ by this summer.

Jamesh
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Jamesh » 4 Jan 2020, 9:47am

Unless doing loads of off road I would opt for 1.5" /35mm tyres which will be both lighter and more aerodynamic.

I have some wiggle commuter tyres in a 32mm which are both fast and ok for canal tow paths. They come in 26" if needed too.

Cheers James

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Mick F
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Mick F » 4 Jan 2020, 1:06pm

I did it on a Raleigh Chopper towing a trailer. Easy enough if you're fit and strong enough.
Granted, I modified the gearing and improved the brakes, but it was still a ton weight. Took me 15 days of cycling and I took a couple of days off enroute so the total time was 17 days JOG to LE.

MTB would be a breeze in comparison to a Chopper.
Chopper+Trailer.JPG
Mick F. Cornwall

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Jan 2020, 1:33pm

Mick F wrote:I did it on a Raleigh Chopper towing a trailer. Easy enough if you're fit and strong enough.
Granted, I modified the gearing and improved the brakes, but it was still a ton weight. Took me 15 days of cycling and I took a couple of days off enroute so the total time was 17 days JOG to LE.

MTB would be a breeze in comparison to a Chopper.Chopper+Trailer.JPG


Can I ask, "Why?"
John

LittleGreyCat
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby LittleGreyCat » 4 Jan 2020, 1:38pm

If you've already got the MTB and you are comfortable cycling your planned mileage on several days back to back then that should be fine.
I bought my touring bike because I wanted higher top gear and, well, shiny....
However I still ride my old steel MTB and could, I think, do the miles.

There is/was a fashion for converting steel no suspension MTBs into tourers because of the bomb proof frames and stronger wheels plus the gearing for steep hills.
I think the main issue may be the flat bars for limited hand positions for long hours in the saddle but as you have said there are bar ends.
You can also fit drops or butterfly bars to give more options.

Oh, and well done for the weight loss.
Respect. :D

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Mick F
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Mick F » 4 Jan 2020, 8:27pm

Oldjohnw wrote:
Mick F wrote:I did it on a Raleigh Chopper towing a trailer. Easy enough if you're fit and strong enough.
Granted, I modified the gearing and improved the brakes, but it was still a ton weight. Took me 15 days of cycling and I took a couple of days off enroute so the total time was 17 days JOG to LE.

MTB would be a breeze in comparison to a Chopper.Chopper+Trailer.JPG


Can I ask, "Why?"
Why?

Because of this forum.
Long long story, but it's all there in many a thread.

Nutshell:
It was given to me, and I asked what I should do with it.
I did it up and sorted it out.
I went for a ride or two on it.
Many conversations about it on here.
It was suggested that as I'd done JOGLE, LEJOG and Back, I should do End2End on a Chopper.

Goodness knows what the original threads were entitled and where the discussions are, but I have a blog about my trip.
http://jogleonachopper.blogspot.com

This is Page One.
http://jogleonachopper.blogspot.com/201 ... shape.html

Original photo:
We were given pallets for firewood!
PICT0100.JPG
Mick F. Cornwall

PH
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Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby PH » 4 Jan 2020, 8:39pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:If you've already got the MTB and you are comfortable cycling your planned mileage on several days back to back then that should be fine.

That would also be my answer. Plus you've plenty of time to see for yourself what works and what doesn't and still have chance to change it. I'd say a goal of 3 back to back days in the same conditions as the E2E by August should be achievable.
I think the main issue may be the flat bars for limited hand positions for long hours in the saddle but as you have said there are bar ends.

I did the E2E on a drop bar bike, but several longer and higher daily mileage tours since on straight bars with bar ends, again it's something you have plenty of time to find out for yourself.

Darkman
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Joined: 30 Aug 2019, 8:46pm

Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Darkman » 4 Jan 2020, 9:10pm

Yeah that's why I've penciled it in for 2021! Got a lot to plan, still some weight to get rid of, and a whole year of riding ahead to see what works for me.

Only downside with my bike is that there's pretty much no way I can see of adding rack/panniers but at the moment there's talk of it being semi-supported i.e. the missus driving a motorhome and doing her own thing with daughter and dog during the day, then meeting up at predetermined points for overnight stays. But any delays/dramas could wreck that. The upside is I'd have to carry very little.

I REALLY don't fancy the solo/tent approach.

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

Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Jan 2020, 9:48pm

Mick F wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:
Mick F wrote:I did it on a Raleigh Chopper towing a trailer. Easy enough if you're fit and strong enough.
Granted, I modified the gearing and improved the brakes, but it was still a ton weight. Took me 15 days of cycling and I took a couple of days off enroute so the total time was 17 days JOG to LE.

MTB would be a breeze in comparison to a Chopper.Chopper+Trailer.JPG


Can I ask, "Why?"
Why?

Because of this forum.
Long long story, but it's all there in many a thread.

Nutshell:
It was given to me, and I asked what I should do with it.
I did it up and sorted it out.
I went for a ride or two on it.
Many conversations about it on here.
It was suggested that as I'd done JOGLE, LEJOG and Back, I should do End2End on a Chopper.

Goodness knows what the original threads were entitled and where the discussions are, but I have a blog about my trip.
http://jogleonachopper.blogspot.com

This is Page One.
http://jogleonachopper.blogspot.com/201 ... shape.html

Original photo:
We were given pallets for firewood!PICT0100.JPG


Praise where it's due. Respect from me!
John

Vorpal
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Location: Not there ;)

Re: LEJOG on a mountain bike

Postby Vorpal » 4 Jan 2020, 10:00pm

Darkman wrote:Yay? Nay?

Aiming to tackle this maybe in 2021. I know it's been done on everything from unicycles and penny farthings to tandems but would I be making life much more difficult by using a mountain bike instead of a road/gravel bike? (I don't even have either of the latter).

I wouldn't be going for a speed run. 14 days or so. Just want to get there and say "I did it". Using quiet roads as much as possible, national cycle routes, not all of which would be tarmac I assume.

Doable?

I haven't planned a thing yet as it's way off, and might not even happen.

The main thing for cycling long distance is that the bike is comfortable for you.

As for carrying baggage, most hardtails will take a pannier rack. Even if it won't, there are other alternatives, such as frame bags, seat post mounted rack, etc.

My first touring bike was a mountain bike based hybrid.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom