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Road bike c2c confusion

tomeatscaketomeatscake Posts: 5
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
i have recently bought a Giant Defy 3 road/race bike. I love it. i have always had mountain bikes and wanted a change. The problem is, i am confused about where i want to go with my bike (not location, ha).

i love bombing it to work and racing traffic, i love the freedom of a 50mile ride on a sunday and i love time triling myself on all of these things.

i have decided to do the whitehaven-tynemouth c2c on the 9th Oct, fully unsupported and camping, but don't know if i have right bike for the job. The reason i am writing this is because i don't see this ending. Next April i have already planned the LEJOG and maybe in August i would like to do Sweeden or something equally as adventurous.

I guess what i should have done was to buy a touring bike, but i love the challenge of a race and the freedom of a trip.

Can i have my cake and eat it?

Is my bike fine for travelling or are there any modifications i could make?

has anybody done the c2c on a road/race bike and what route did you take? Any good suggestions of stop off's?

I don't know if this post warrents a responce and i am worrying too much or are these bikes just not designed for carrying me + gear hundreds of miles.

Any stories of trips, advice or reassurences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Tom :)

Posts

  • I'm not much help as am relatively newbie...but there are quite a lot of LEJOG blogs on line if you google them.

    the main issue seems to be the panniers etc and whether they suit the bike...lets see what the forum experts say...
  • ProssPross Posts: 26,988
    Get yourself a seatpost mounted rack and some panniers and as long as you've got decent wheels and don't go over board (and have suitable gears) you should be able to go anywhere. It's the problem with bikes, you either have to compromise to do everything you want or buy a load of different bikes. I bet in a few years you'll find you take the second option and end up with a shed full of bikes and wife etc. giving you a hard time about it :wink:
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    i did it on a trek pilot 1.2 - which is similar in 'range' to the defy.

    I had 28mm tyres on it at the time as some of the sections are bumpy - whilst it wasn't the 'perfect' machine (I would say a titanium framed, hardtail MTB with quality slick tyres and 'road' gearing would have been) - it did very well over the course and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again for similar trips,

    enjoy the c2c - it's a great ride really awesome actually - I especially like the first days route - whitehave to graystoke through keswick and the lake district - really nice.
  • sovedasoveda Posts: 306
    Pross wrote:
    Get yourself a seatpost mounted rack and some panniers and as long as you've got decent wheels and don't go over board (and have suitable gears) you should be able to go anywhere. It's the problem with bikes, you either have to compromise to do everything you want or buy a load of different bikes. I bet in a few years you'll find you take the second option and end up with a shed full of bikes and wife etc. giving you a hard time about it :wink:

    You don't need a seatpost mounted rack because the defy has rack eyelets. Would be a good bike for lightweight touring.
  • gkerr4 wrote:
    i did it on a trek pilot 1.2 - which is similar in 'range' to the defy.

    I had 28mm tyres on it at the time as some of the sections are bumpy - whilst it wasn't the 'perfect' machine (I would say a titanium framed, hardtail MTB with quality slick tyres and 'road' gearing would have been) - it did very well over the course and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again for similar trips,

    enjoy the c2c - it's a great ride really awesome actually - I especially like the first days route - whitehave to graystoke through keswick and the lake district - really nice.


    Brilliant, thanks for that. Can i ask, did you stick to roads only? I have planned the 1st part of my route which is Whitehaven - greystoke, but i have planned it on B roads as i am dubious of cycle paths and tracks as they can be quite rough. Will i be missing out on amazing scenery by doing it B-road style?

    p.s. i will be avoiding major A roads at all cost
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    no no - don't plan it - just follow the C2C signs - it is very well planned out - you don't need to do any planning at all

    see here:
    http://www.c2c-guide.co.uk/

    there is an off road section (alternative route) which is off road - i didn't do that and wouldn't advise you do either - it is (apparently) strictly MTB
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The Defy is ideal for light touring, but you'd probably want to upgrade the back wheel if you were planning on carrying camping gear. I've done some touring on a Giant SCR2 (precursor to the Defy) and had no problems at all. I've also done an unsupported LEJOG on a Kuota carbon road bike using a seatpost mounted rack (rack bag and no camping gear though). Pretty much any bike will do if you travel very light.
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    gkerr4 wrote:
    no no - don't plan it - just follow the C2C signs - it is very well planned out - you don't need to do any planning at all

    I kind of agree, but with a few exceptions. Notably the absurd detour between Keswick and Penrith up to Mungrisdale.
    More problems but still living....
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    amaferanga wrote:
    gkerr4 wrote:
    no no - don't plan it - just follow the C2C signs - it is very well planned out - you don't need to do any planning at all

    I kind of agree, but with a few exceptions. Notably the absurd detour between Keswick and Penrith up to Mungrisdale.

    hmm - thats a good point - i stil followed it though - at least it takes you away from the bloody A66
  • Hi, did the C2C the other weekend. We all did it on Mountain Bike me on a Full Suss which wasn't fun. Two of my mates who did are keen roadies, they think you could do most of it on Roadbikes (I'm look at the Defy on my C2W scheme). It's well signposted most of it is on road however the section into Keswick through Winfell is offroad. There may be a Road alternative. Leading out of Keswick it's on an old railway track but loads of people were doing that section on road bikes & tourers.

    Most of the offroad stuff can be avoided, but you will have to do the killer Crawleyside Bank out of Stanhope.....I wanted to die after doing that one.

    The route down from Waskerley Way & into Consett is also dirt track but should be ok on a road bike.

    Enjoy it, we had a great time apart from we had one rider hospitalised within 6 miles, got lost after laughing so much after someone else fell off into cow [email protected] and added 30 miles onto the ride.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    equinefunk wrote:
    Hi, did the C2C the other weekend. We all did it on Mountain Bike me on a Full Suss which wasn't fun. Two of my mates who did are keen roadies, they think you could do most of it on Roadbikes (I'm look at the Defy on my C2W scheme). It's well signposted most of it is on road however the section into Keswick through Winfell is offroad. There may be a Road alternative. Leading out of Keswick it's on an old railway track but loads of people were doing that section on road bikes & tourers.

    Most of the offroad stuff can be avoided, but you will have to do the killer Crawleyside Bank out of Stanhope.....I wanted to die after doing that one.

    The route down from Waskerley Way & into Consett is also dirt track but should be ok on a road bike.

    Enjoy it, we had a great time apart from we had one rider hospitalised within 6 miles, got lost after laughing so much after someone else fell off into cow [email protected] and added 30 miles onto the ride.

    all true - but IMO - the section into keswick is easily do-able on a road bike and the waskerly way is probably the 'worst' section as it is downhill and fast - but still OK.

    I would put as thick a tyre as will fit on the defy though - the 28's were fine on my trek but I wouldn't want to do it on 23's!
  • I'm not a roadie, so I'll bow to your superior knowledge....but I thought the section into Keswick where you go through the forest is a pretty steep & rapid downhill.

    Go to BikeHike.co.uk for a sattelite overview of the route.

    I thought the Waskerley Way was the best section for me anyway, apart from a head wind.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • ok, yeah, that sounds much better. I'm not a big fan of making plans. i don't even know how many days i will do it in. i figure i will cycle untill just before dusk and then find a campsite. If lady luck is on my side, i will cover half the distance in one day, if not, then it's not a big deal.

    I won't have a map or anything, so are the on raod alternatives clearly signed?

    Thanks a lot for the c2c link, very helpful.
  • We consulted our map once, when we got lost & we had a GPS as well with Memory Map. It is very well signposted but you have to be wary that the National Cycle Route number changes from 7 to 71 & a couple of other numbers this is after Keswick & Penrith. We ended up heading to Appleby instead of Langwathaby out of Penrith hence our 30 mile diversion. For £9 it's worth buying a map or at least review the route online & note where you're going to stop. It's a very popular route.

    We did it in 2 1/2 days. Keswick first Night after 30 miles, then Nenthead after 50ish But actually was 80ish then 50 odd to Tynemouth.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • Thanks everyone else for the advice. i have no more money to put into this trip so can't buy new tyres unfurtunately.

    i think i will follow the c2c signs and if it all goes a bit too offroady i shall GPS a road route if there is no obvious signage for an alternative. I don't mind doing a little detour every now and then. i'm not timing it, it's all about being away from work [email protected] for a few days and not having to think about anything other than where to turn and where to sleep.

    Again, thanks everyone for all the advice.
  • dd1dd1 Posts: 73
    Did this a couple of years ago on a road bike. In our group there were 4 on mountain bikes, 3 on hybrids and me on a road bike. The off road sections were manageable on the bike, but it was certainly an advantage when it came to the climbs.

    We followed the signs and it was pretty well signposted. Make sure you take plenty of inner tubes or better still buy some p***ture resitant tyres. I had some bontrager hardcase and never had any whereas as a group we averaged 2 or 3 each. (used same tyres on London-Paris with no p***tures, so either they were good or I'm a lucky B*****d !)

    We did it in two and a half days as well stopping at Penrith and Allenheads (i think), but in hotels not tents. First two days are definatley the best, the first for the scenery and the second for the climbs !! good challenge.

    With a decent level of fitness it is definately do-able in two days. Enjoy
    Cannondale Super Six Hi Mod Sram Red
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    dd1 wrote:
    Did this a couple of years ago on a road bike. In our group there were 4 on mountain bikes, 3 on hybrids and me on a road bike. The off road sections were manageable on the bike, but it was certainly an advantage when it came to the climbs.

    We followed the signs and it was pretty well signposted. Make sure you take plenty of inner tubes or better still buy some p***ture resitant tyres. I had some bontrager hardcase and never had any whereas as a group we averaged 2 or 3 each. (used same tyres on London-Paris with no p***tures, so either they were good or I'm a lucky B*****d !)

    We did it in two and a half days as well stopping at Penrith and Allenheads (i think), but in hotels not tents. First two days are definatley the best, the first for the scenery and the second for the climbs !! good challenge.

    With a decent level of fitness it is definately do-able in two days. Enjoy

    good post - completely agree about the route.

    also weird as I too used bontrager hardcase tyres (in 28mm) and didn't have a single puncture - where all our group had at least one!
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