Touring Netherland gearing option

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
matorky
Posts: 5
Joined: 12 Sep 2014, 4:32pm

Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby matorky » 3 May 2018, 9:03am

Hi, this is my first post here.
Next week we are going on touring vacation in part of Netherlands. We are doing combination of Dutch coast route and Zuiderzee route (clockwise direction), with start and finish in Amsterdam.
I am writing this regarding my gearing option.
I have trouble with my current touring crank and there is no way I will be able to make it work before the the trip due to the lack of time.
Instead I have an option of regular compact crank (34/50) which I can put on in few minutes. The cassette is 11-34. Do you you think this will bee enough for the route mentioned above? I am travelling with two panniers+tent and handlebarbag.
I don't know what flat actually mean in Netherlands since this is my first trip there. And there are also some winds as I have heard. :D
Otherwise I am fairly fit.

whoof
Posts: 1891
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby whoof » 3 May 2018, 11:18am

I used to work in the Netherlands and whilst there did all of my riding on either a single speed Dutch city style bike
or a 9 euro a day hire bike that might have 7 gears.


Although the Netherlands is mostly flat, unless you are heading toward Maastricht as you have said it can be windy and riding all day into a head-wind can be a pain which can be alleviated somewhat by having a different gear to change into. IMO any reasonable spread of gears will be fine and 34/34 to 50/11 (20 gears) should be more than adequate.

BeardyWeirdy
Posts: 33
Joined: 10 Jul 2007, 10:49am

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby BeardyWeirdy » 3 May 2018, 11:26am

We are following you over in a few days. I should think you will be fine - from my expereice in that area it is pretty flat - There are quite a few ramps to get up on top of the dykes etc. that might take some effort - depends how young and fit you are!

It can be quite windy, so long as you are happy plugging away against the wind full loaded you will be fine.

I personally like low gears so I can spin if needed

hamster
Posts: 3177
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby hamster » 3 May 2018, 11:38am

I don't think I changed off the 36T chainring in my entire Dutch tour two years ago.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13777
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby mjr » 3 May 2018, 11:47am

I've toured a loop roughly the Hook - Dune Way / Coast Route - Lisse - Utrecht - Dordrecht - Hook and also up the coast (mostly) Dunkirk - Bruges - Vlissingen - the Hook on a loaded-up 3-speed geared at roughly 45/60/80 inches with no walking that I can remember.

The hills aren't much. Even most of the ramps up onto dykes were gentle slopes diagonal up the sides, rather than straight-up English-style ones. I think the steepest things we did were some bridges but even many of the smaller bridges were flat drawbridge-type things.

The wind (aka Dutch Mountains) is a far bigger problem. There's not much to block it on some stretches. It's far easier if you can "kiss the bars" for 5+ minutes at a time if needed.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

reohn2
Posts: 35957
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby reohn2 » 3 May 2018, 11:54am

It's flat in that part of NL,the worst you'll suffer is head winds but with a bottom gear of 34/34 you'll have no problems coping
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

willem jongman
Posts: 1989
Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby willem jongman » 3 May 2018, 1:17pm

I am Dutch. You will have no problems anywhere, apart from the deep south east of Maastricht. Remember, roads and bridges were designed with people with single speed bikes with coaster brakes in mind. As for the wind, the advise is the same as for climbing hills: don't blow yourself up trying to beat it.

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4518
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby foxyrider » 3 May 2018, 4:33pm

I've done a couple of Dutch tours now, loaded for camping with 4 panniers. In something like 1000km I changed out of the big chainring twice - to climb the ramp back onto the ferry!

Wang the compact on, you'll be fine and enjoy your trip.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

matorky
Posts: 5
Joined: 12 Sep 2014, 4:32pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby matorky » 4 May 2018, 9:14am

Thank you for your replies and best wishes.

I have another question. Since this is also my first tour including travelling by plane I am wondering what do you do with your mudguards and racks when putting bike in the box?
Do you remove them and just live them beside the bike or what?

For me it seems strange to remove the front wheel and live bike with mudguard on, but removing them takes a lot of work since I have to remove brakes too then (mudguards attached with cantilever bolt)
How do you approach to the problem? Cardboard box is the only option according to airline.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13777
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby mjr » 4 May 2018, 9:31am

As you may guessed from the ports at the ends of my routes, my approach was to use ferries not planes.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

matorky
Posts: 5
Joined: 12 Sep 2014, 4:32pm

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby matorky » 4 May 2018, 9:41am

mjr wrote:As you may guessed from the ports at the ends of my routes, my approach was to use ferries not planes.


I'm coming from central Europe : no ports for me.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13777
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby mjr » 4 May 2018, 10:31am

Trains are better.

But I've searched the site for you and viewtopic.php?p=587545#p587545 suggested there was a page on the old CTC site which searching the CUK site makes me think might be now https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-libr ... /bikes-air which seems to leave the mudguards in place but disconnect the front stays from the forks. The older viewtopic.php?f=16&t=35233 mentions removing mudguards as well as some being damaged :-(
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

cotswolds
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 10:47am

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby cotswolds » 4 May 2018, 10:33am

A mudguard without a wheel inside it obviously pretty vulnerable to damage. I take them off and attach them to the wheels with short velcro straps. It may seem like a big deal because it's not something you do very often, but if you practice at home, make sure you have the ideal tools, grease the bolts so things come undone easily, it really won't take very long.

User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 3761
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby pjclinch » 4 May 2018, 11:08am

There is the odd short-sharp climb in the dunes, where I did use my granny ring but only because I could rather than I had to.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4518
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Touring Netherland gearing option

Postby foxyrider » 4 May 2018, 11:36am

matorky wrote:Thank you for your replies and best wishes.

I have another question. Since this is also my first tour including travelling by plane I am wondering what do you do with your mudguards and racks when putting bike in the box?
Do you remove them and just live them beside the bike or what?

For me it seems strange to remove the front wheel and live bike with mudguard on, but removing them takes a lot of work since I have to remove brakes too then (mudguards attached with cantilever bolt)
How do you approach to the problem? Cardboard box is the only option according to airline.


As others have suggested, its not a big deal removing the mudguards at home. I have often flown with racks, guards, wheels, handlebars, saddle removed - about 30-45 minutes at the airport to put it all together and be on my way. Don't deflate your tyres!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!