Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Looking for some bike recommendations

salsarider79salsarider79 Posts: 914
edited August 2011 in Tour & expedition
I'm planning on doing some touring over the winter and more next year. I'm thinking of doing Wales or Ireland first, then next spring I hoping to do some of europe.
I've not been touring before, but am likely to take a tent and sleeping bag with me as I want to keep costs down. I am a keen cyclist and bike mechanic, and am really wanting to build myself a bike. I am thinking of building a bike with MTB gearing, 700c/29er wheels with disc brakes, drop bars (Or maybe One One's Mary bars).

As I haven't done any touring as such, I am open to suggestions (keep em clean though) as to what bikes and frames people suggest. Also places of interest and good places to ride.
jedster wrote:
Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.

Posts

  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    Well salsarider, how much cycling have you actually done? If you are old as your footnote suggests how come you have never done any touring? How far do you normally ride at any one time?

    If you are a novice I wouldn't bother trying to build your own bike as the cost of the parts will far outstrip the cost of a whole new bike. £400 for a reasonable cheapy, £2,500 for a Roberts Roughstuff. There a lots of threads on "which touring bike to buy". Everyone is different and what is comfortable to one person is torture to another. I would get yourself down to a largish LBS and ride some bikes that take your fancy. Search is your friend. You will then need racks and panniers, again search is your friend. But generally with these items buy cheap buy twice. Once you have these then some reasonable cycling clothing either wet weather jacket and cycling shoes. Then some maps ideally OS 1:50,000 or failing this electronic maps.

    Yep Wales is indeed a pretty good place to ride. Lots of empty yellow and unclassified roads which brings me to the sort of roads or terrain you are going to ride. On or off road? Wales is great for climbing so you have to like hills, big hills, but the reward is some pretty good scenery. Being from Bath you will be used to hills ..........
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • dilemna: I try to ride most days, happy to ride 70/80miles and done quite a few century rides.
    I ride purely on road at the moment. I sold my 29er last year as I didn't use it enough to justify having an MTB. I want to tour on road. I thought about building a bike as I have built my last 7 bikes, even building the wheels for one of them. I worked in a bike shop (Streetlifecycles in Norwich, opposite the Fat Cat pub. Both well recommended) and can still get some good deals from them, so building a bike isn't the big thing it might be. Also with building a bike I can get the things I want rather than accepting a bike which might not have the things I want on it.

    I should try riding some bikes, I know. I'm just looking for some inspiration really both with bikes but also routes and places to head to. Also advice on touring as I said, I haven't done any before, so things to think about would be very useful.

    p.s. I am 32 in two weeks.
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • flesterflester Posts: 464
    Ireland is not that great for 'official' campsites but you should be able to find suitable fields/riverbanks OK. Be aware that 'commonage' is a very rare thing here in ROI, (not een sure it exists at all) virtually ever square inch of even the wildest land is owned by individuals. Whether they are friendly or not, you'll be unlikely to meet them as our popuation density is pretty low. But if you do, who knows

    As for touring bikes, the single most important thing is frame geometry, I'd say.If self building, one of the leading suppliers of frames is http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/frames-dept425_pg1/

    'I do not believe in the three-speed gear at all', the sergeant was saying. 'It is a newfangled instrument, it crucificies the legs, the half of the accidents are due to it.' (From 'The Third Policeman')
  • Anyone tried the Surly Long Haul Trucker? SJScycles has Thorn bikes which look nice, but am able to get deals on Surly stuff.... :wink:

    Early plans at the moment, but think I'm going to do South Wales this winter/spring then go for a first world war battle tour around Belguim sometime over the summer.

    As I've never done any touring before, I want to try somewhere fairly close and local first to get some idea of how to do it properly, what distance I should look to cover each day, wether I should carry tent, etc or stay in a hostel, and so on and so on. Any advice on distance I should look to cover per day would be good (As I've said before, I'm happy to ride 70-80miles so think I could cover 50miles ish per day, though I am open to advice)

    p.s. I suffer from 'I wonder this road goes to?' syndrome...
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    I built our touring bikes up from scratch, well apart from the frames, had those made in Ti by Burls.

    I used hope mtb hubs and aerowarrior rims, touring crankset and deore mtb rear mech and sram mtb cassette. got some parts cheap from shops spares bins, paid out for the bits that i wanted that i didn't want to compromise on.

    cost about £2300 for my bike and £2500 (ultegra sti shifters is the main difference) for my wife's bike.

    yes we could have got touring bikes cheaper, possibly with better spec, but we wanted custom, especially for my wife who is non standard in so many ways.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Surly frames are very popular for what you want to do:

    http://www.surlybikes.com/frames/

    The Long Haul Trucker seems to be the number 1 frame these days for people wanting a do-it-all bike. But the new Troll seems excellent too, a review here:

    http://whileoutriding.com/2011/08/17/fr ... the-troll/

    (there is a full review earlier in that blog)

    Although from your description, you may be looking for something more lightweight - in that case, a Planet X or On One frame, maybe the Pompino would suit.
  • I had a quick look in Cadence in Bath a few days ago and I do fancy the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I could easily make it into a touring bike with MTB gears, and a winter/commute bike with a few changes to gearing and taking off the racks.
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    I had a quick look in Cadence in Bath a few days ago and I do fancy the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I could easily make it into a touring bike with MTB gears, and a winter/commute bike with a few changes to gearing and taking off the racks.

    It doesn't have mtb gearing? You might need to change: cassette, rear mech, front mech, shifters, chainrings/front crankset, new bottom bracket.

    Replacing these on a new bike will cost a few hundred pounds. Can you not get it in the spec you need?
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
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