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LEJoG on a Mountain Bike

edited December 2007 in Tour & expedition
I am preparing to do the LEJoG in 2008. I am planning to do an unassisted ride. The problem is that I have a number of road bikes (Scott and Cannondale) but these are not a good option I'm told as i will be carrying a bit of weight (tent and all that). I have a mountain bike (Scott) with a fixed tail. I don't want to buy another bike unless it is absolutely necessary. The garage is a bit full of bikes at the moment.

Can anyone give me advice on whether I could make the trip in 10 - 12 days on the MTB and what i probably need to do to fit the bike out with to make life easier?

Posts

  • stu99stu99 Posts: 177
    I completed LEJOG on a hardtail Marin MTB (no shocks). Specced it out with rear rack and this pannier

    http://wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx? ... 20Panniers

    although you'll no doubt need something bigger for a tent. Also had a small backpack (Deuter Race Pack - 10 litres) and frame bag. I hate handlebar and front pannier bags but you may need them if you're camping.

    I used 26 x 1.5 Specialised Nimbus Ex tyres which were excellent - no punctures or even loss of air in 1032 miles!

    http://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/produc ... roogle6293

    You should be able to do it in 10-12 days if you're reasonably fit and used to riding 100kms a day with a fully-laden bike - I built in a couple of rest days which came in handy.
  • Thanks for the information. I'm glad that at least someone else has done this and also thanks for the links.

    I now have to build up a trainign regime with panniers!
  • Ashley_RAshley_R Posts: 408
    My training in the final stages consisted of riding everywhere with both panniers full of book and tins of beans etc to get used to the weight!

    Would it be worth investing in a new set of front forks without the suspension? Otherwise you're just lugging around dead weight

    Slick tyres are a must though, used to tour on a similar bike, used Continental Sport slicks, still on there now years later though bike mainly used for pub runs only now!

    I was full of trepidation before i set out, you'll find once you get started you'll be fine, did it over 13 days unsupported and loved it!
    10 days is doable, though you're looking at 100 miles a day, not much time for sightseeing, which there is. You forget how beuatiful this country actually is and how much there is to see at times
    You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead
  • I have checked and i can lock off the front forks. I will definitely need the slicks and will carry just rear panniers.

    Can anyone point me to anymore sites where i can look at panniers. What capacity would be needed for the trip?

    And any ideas on a tent. I have a two man tent but it is a bit heavy!
  • I have checked and i can lock off the front forks. I will definitely need the slicks and will carry just rear panniers.

    Can anyone point me to anymore sites where i can look at panniers. What capacity would be needed for the trip?

    And any ideas on a tent. I have a two man tent but it is a bit heavy!

    Training. No need to buggerabout doing pointless miles with pannierbags filled with junk. Do one or two weekend tours to get a feel for packing unpacking for real.

    Panniers, difficult to advise as capacity is determined by what you consider to be essential.

    Slicks - definitely though my pal tours with a peculiar tread pattern which is knobbly up the shoulders of the tyres and continuous rubber in the middle. A compromise which is still energy sapping.

    A two man tent offers a tad more comfort in my opinion than a one man tent. There again I am a big chap and one man tents feel like sleeping bags :-)

    Sites to look at panniers:

    www.carradice.co.uk
    www.wiggle.co.uk
    www.bikeplus.co.uk
    www.spacycles.co.uk

    Hope that helps.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    I have little experience of distance touring but have seen other users recommend this sort of thing

    http://www.bikesandtrailers.com/bike-trailers/bob_yak.html

    which gives you a chance to ride whichever of your bikes seems most appropriate, + the payload length looks adequate for a two man tent.

    Personally I've never found a slicked MTB to be in the same league as a 700c road bike for speed and effort.

    I'd love to be planning this sort of thing though...
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I would go for a pannier rack (though I have seen some MTBers using saddlebags). I wouldn't trust the racks that attach to your seatpost only.

    I have a Tubus Cosmo rack which is expensive but tubus do an accessory kit that enables you to mount it on a special quick release. If you have a 34.8mm seattube M:Part do a neat seatclamp that provides a third mounting point.

    You should have enough space in a standard size (42/44L) pair of panniers (though if you are planning on carrying food and cooking equipment you may need a bit more space). Put the tent and sleeping mat on top of the rack with a bungee.

    http://www.hike-lite.co.uk/ is a good place to start researching lightweight tents.
  • Thanks for all the information. I really would have liked to have had 700c's but the budget is a bit tight. I did London to Paris escorted in three days last year. The 2008 ride is unescorted, my main issue is to choose a route which is simple and doesn't take me into conflict with too much traffic. It seems as though the planning is critical as i think a lot fo good energy will be wasted with the wrong route!!!

    Any good ideas on the best route out of Cornwall without going onto dual carriageway?

    I'm hoping to do this ride in May...let's hope the weather gods are playing ball!

    Thanks also for the pannier info, it is really appreciated.
  • Thanks for all the information. I really would have liked to have had 700c's but the budget is a bit tight. I did London to Paris escorted in three days last year. The 2008 ride is unescorted, my main issue is to choose a route which is simple and doesn't take me into conflict with too much traffic. It seems as though the planning is critical as i think a lot fo good energy will be wasted with the wrong route!!!

    Any good ideas on the best route out of Cornwall without going onto dual carriageway?

    I'm hoping to do this ride in May...let's hope the weather gods are playing ball!

    Thanks also for the pannier info, it is really appreciated.

    It's worth joining the CTC for several reasons:

    You get insurance cover.
    Free legal assistance if you need to make an injury claim and access to the CTC route guides.

    They puiblish a free to members set of three routes for LEJOG. The 'scenic' route avoids major routes but is lumpy in Devon and Cornwall.

    I didn't bother using the CTC routes in the end. I used a large scale motoring atlas. Cloured in my chosen route and tore out the pages that I'd need for the trip. the method has served me well for LEJOG, JOGLE and Channel to the Med rides.
  • Slicks would be OK.
    Forks. if you can pick up a pair of used On One rigid forks (providing they fit) it'll save weight and they're good especially if you can get the Carbon ones. You can sell em after for what you paid for them if your canny.
    I can't cycle with weight on my back.
    Tent, Coleman 1 man. It folds down small and is OK for size, it's only to sleep in.
  • As others have mentioned slicks will make a difference, would also suggest guards, especially on the rear, a bit of grit splashed up into places where the sun doesn't shine is a joy best reserved for moments when you are not on tour day after day.

    That aside 10-12 days using the scenic route (approx 1,100 miles) is of course 91 to 110 miles average per day depending what duration you decide for, many decide to do less in the hilly areas (Devon Cornwall and Yorkshire dales) so that may mean some days 120 plus miles. On a fully loaded ATB bike this will be quite a target you have set yourself, I would strongly suggest you leave as early as you can each day, it is achievable but you may not get a lot of time sight seeing.

    Envy you doing it though, as you can see I have ridden Lejog, not my favourite tour, but one I enjoyed immensely and will never forget

    Paul_Smith
    www.bikeplus.co.uk

    I am preparing to do the LEJoG in 2008. I am planning to do an unassisted ride. The problem is that I have a number of road bikes (Scott and Cannondale) but these are not a good option I'm told as i will be carrying a bit of weight (tent and all that). I have a mountain bike (Scott) with a fixed tail. I don't want to buy another bike unless it is absolutely necessary. The garage is a bit full of bikes at the moment.

    Can anyone give me advice on whether I could make the trip in 10 - 12 days on the MTB and what i probably need to do to fit the bike out with to make life easier?
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