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Lands End to John O'Groats on a Specialized Allez Sport 2008

mike 123mike 123 Posts: 6
edited April 2008 in Tour & expedition
I am riding from Lands End to John O'Groats in September on a tour over 3 weeks so will be averaging about 55 miles a day. There will be a support vehicle to carry all of our luggage. I am in the process of deciding on which bike to buy for this event and also for other day rides of a similar distance.

The favourite at the moment is the Specialized Allez Sport 2008 as I have heard nothing but good reviews about Specialized Allez bikes. My main concerns though are:

1) It only has a double chain ring rather than a triple, however it is compact so I presume this means it covers a greater range then a normal double. Do people think that there will be enough gear range to conquer some of the hills en-route?

2) The company I am going with says that the most suitable bike for such a trip is probably a hybrid or a touring bike and they also suggest a medium width tyre of 25-28mm. Do people agree with this or or is a road bike an equally attractive bike to use for such a ride?

3) They also suggest putting a rack on your bike so that you can attach a bag containing what you need for the day, rather then carrying a rucksack as thats not so good for your back or your balance. I know that a rack would probably not be suitable for a Specialized Allez Sport bike, however I have always used a rucksack for long rides with no ill effects but am not sure how I would feel after 3 weeks of solid cycling.

If anybody has any advice/comments on the above it would be very much appreciated.

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    mike 123 wrote:

    2) The company I am going with says that the most suitable bike for such a trip is probably a hybrid or a touring bike and they also suggest a medium width tyre of 25-28mm. Do people agree with this or or is a road bike an equally attractive bike to use for such a ride?

    3) They also suggest putting a rack on your bike so that you can attach a bag containing what you need for the day, rather then carrying a rucksack as thats not so good for your back or your balance. I know that a rack would probably not be suitable for a Specialized Allez Sport bike, however I have always used a rucksack for long rides with no ill effects but am not sure how I would feel after 3 weeks of solid cycling.

    Haven't done LEJOG and I don't know the specialized Allez but here's my sixpennyworth to get you going:

    - a 25-28mm tyre sounds like a good plan. The slightly wider tyre will help absorb some of the vibration so be a bit less tiring;

    - a rack on the back isn't a bad idea but it's not essential - personally I prefer to ride with a backpack with a hydration bladder. If you get a bag with something like a Deuter with their Aircomfort system then it should be perfectly comfortable even over three weeks. Mudguard/rack eyelets are very handy, but again not essential as you can fit a rack to a bike that doesn't have one.
  • fto-sifto-si Posts: 402
    mike 123 wrote:

    3) They also suggest putting a rack on your bike so that you can attach a bag containing what you need for the day, rather then carrying a rucksack as thats not so good for your back or your balance. I know that a rack would probably not be suitable for a Specialized Allez Sport bike, however I have always used a rucksack for long rides with no ill effects but am not sure how I would feel after 3 weeks of solid cycling.

    As far as carrying your daily requirements are concerned could you not use jersey pockets and a small wedge bag under the saddle?
    As you are only riding an average of 55 miles a day surely you would not carry enough to warrant a rack or rucksack?
    As far as hydration is concerned two bottles on the frame and the opportunity to refill en route should be fine.
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  • wasp707wasp707 Posts: 116
    1. A compact chainset should be fine. Test it out over some of your local hills. You can always fit a larger cassette if needs be.

    2. A road bike will be fine. Make sure that you get used to riding it before you go. 25mm tyres, or even 23mm will be fine.

    3. I wouldn't bother with a rack on the back. If anything use a bar bag.
  • TheBoyBillyTheBoyBilly Posts: 749
    Or you could consider, for similar money, the Specialized Tricross Sport. This has a triple chainset, similar geometry to the Allez (slightly taller stand-over height, longer wheelbase and wider bars) and wider (Borough) tyres which might be better suited to varied road surfaces than the Mondo's supplied with the Allez.
    I also think a lightweight backpack filled with gels, nutrition bars, a towel, spare jersey/fleece and first-aid kit is enough to be laden with (with water in bottles on the frame).
    To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity - Oscar Wilde
  • PeasoupPeasoup Posts: 63
    I used a tricross sport on my lejog last year and it stood the test well.
    choice of gear (compact or triple and cassette) depends on you and your route, but for myself the triple was particularly handy over bodmin and in the highlands of scotland (I wouldn't say necessary - but it took the sting out!). Tricross uses an mtb rear cassette (11-34) which certainly ain't close to close-ratio but gives a really wide range and plenty of options.
    Taking 3 weeks and 55mi per day probably means you will be off the main A roads and onto a more rural (hilly) route so maybe triple is the way to go.
    The wheels and tyres of the tricross are heavier than the Allez kit, but will give a softer ride and are less likely to give any problems (more spokes etc).

    if you are supported, i wouldn't bother with a rack, as suggested above just use your jacket/jersey pockets and bottle racks to carry fuel. I would, though, fit a saddle bag to carry other kit and spares (tubes, allen keys, phone, loose change, patches etc.).

    Mudguards are a good idea as well.

    Ultimately it's your ride and your choice. Above all, enjoy it.
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