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North Sea Cycle Route - Equipment suitability?

Matt-BMatt-B Posts: 112
edited June 2008 in Tour & expedition
Hi All,

A friend and I are thinking of attempting a bit of the North Sea Cycle Route sometime this summer/autumn. He lives in Amsterdam and we are thinking of meeting there and cycling for around 9-10 days along the route.

Basically, I have a Giant SCR 2 (only a month old!), which is my only road bike (I also have an Orange P7 S MTB.) Whilst it does have rack mounts, I have read that the wheels are not up to the job of load-carrying. We will not be camping - so I will only be carrying clothes and essentials, will this still ring true? Will I be wise to get a new back wheel built? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for which rack/panniers/bar bag to buy?

Also - will the tyres be adequate? It has 700x26 tyres - I have read that the North Sea Cycle Route varies from smooth tarmac to coarse gravel - will I be alright on a road bike - I don't have the capital to buy a hybrid as well!

Does anyone have a tips/experience of the route from Holland going anti-clockwise?


  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    I'd say that if you're packing quite lightly and you're not too weighty yourself then it will be fine as it is.
  • JHcpJHcp Posts: 144
    If you are going fairly light weight and not carrying camping gear then I agree that you will be OK with the bike set up as it is. If there really is a problem then you are not very far away from good bike repair shops in Holland.

    From what I remember of that section you will have no problems with the 700x26 tyres, as nearly all the route is on tarmac or pammets. It is only when you get up into the Danish part are there any gravel tracks, but I don't think you will get that far in 10 days.

    Our travelogue of that part of the NSCR with some pics can be foundhere.

    There is also some information on the Dutch section of the NSCR here.

    Have a great trip.

  • Matt-BMatt-B Posts: 112
    Thanks for the advice - I reckon if I am sensible I can pack quite light and get away with rack bag + panniers + bar bag. It sounds like my bike is suitable for the purpose, so that's good. I did actually notice my MTB has rack mounts as well, so I could take that, but it just isn't as nippy as the SCR!

    How far do you think we could get given 10 days of cycling? I am reasonably fit and am comfortable cycling long distances, but I also don't have much experience of cycling for days on end. We reckon we'll be very happy doing around 60 miles a day, is it unrealistic to try and do any more?
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    How far you can go is very much down to you. 60 miles for 10 days is quite do-able but it may not leave you enough time to sample the local beer on route. It really comes down to what balance of cycling and relaxing you want to do.

    Going back to the bike shops comment - there are plenty of bike shops in Holland but many of them are there to look after the utility bikes that everyone rides. Finding replacements for 700c wheels and fancy rear mechs can be surprisingly difficult.
  • BrainsBrains Posts: 1,732
    Even if you get as far as the Danish bit the track is nearly all tarmac in various states of repair

    As for the bike - it's fine
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