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Giant Defy 3.5 for touring.

Stoo61Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
edited June 2011 in Tour & expedition
I have recently just completed the Scottish MTB Coast to Coast and got a real taste for riding every day and using hostels with goals for the day.

A while ago I bought a second hand Giant Defy 3.5 and have enjoyed road riding on and off between MTB'ing.

So I would like to join the two experiences together and go further, faster by touring on road. Ive got mates strewn across the British isles so figured this would be a good way to set up a route.

My initial thoughts are Dunfermline (home) to Inverness to Fort William to Glasgow to Stranraer to Dublin.

So is there any glaring changes to be made to my fairly budget bike in terms of reliability, comfort and performance? Wouldn't be carrying much and would probably use a back pack.

(I like to think ive got a fairly good knowledge of MTB concerns but out of my depth with Road stuff atm.)


  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Defy 3.5 is perfectly good for the task.
    A backpack may become tiresome. Other options include a Carradice style saddlebag, a standard rear luggage rack with small panniers. A front bar-bag is good for valuables and as a map holder. If you still chose a backpack, consider putting the heavier stuff in a barbag or saddle pack.
    Touring on wet roads is unpleasant without a decent mudguards. Bolt-on (SKS chromoplastic) should be your first choice. If these dont fit, then try the race-guard style clip-ons.
  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    I would agree with the above poster I have toured on a giant scr and it did just fine (I think the defy replaced the scr model a few years ago)

    I would be tempted just go with a very lightly packed backpack, possibly combined with a drybag strapped to the bars if you seak more comfort/ find the backpack too heavy. I would recommend airlok xtra bags which have attachments for straps and are pretty cheap.

    If you get serious and fancy longer trips I would steer clear of racks and panniers which are heavy even before they are loaded and if you have space you will use it...

    A large saddle bag, small back pack and dry bags on bars provide more than enough space even when carrying a shelter and cooking gear and can be used just as easily on your mountain bike (have tested my setup round afan and cwmcarn which got me some funny looks...). I dont rate the caradice seat packs and instead would steer you towards carousel design works or revelate designs (I have the Viscacha from revelate designs which I highly recommend).

    see following links for inspiration
  • jellybellywmbjellybellywmb Posts: 1,379
    I tour on my SCR 3 and have no problems and havent changed a thing on the bike.
    I use light rack and panniers as if its warm a backpack can get very uncomfortable with all the sweat etc.
    "BEER" Proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    i don't understand why anyone who has panniers and bar-bag would wear a backpack. take a pump-bag to use as a light back-pack off the bike.

    here is a tour from glasgow to inverness and back via skye on a giant scr2 and similar. It is fine with a light pack, but full for camping weight I would use a stronger longer bike.

    The throw-over pannier is very quick to put on , secure with three bungees. They have them at pound stretcher for £15 at the moment. I put my gear in several differently coloured plastic bags in the panniers, so I neither know nor care if it is waterproof.

    bar bag is a lidl strap-on with its contents in a carrier bag so that it is left empty as you walk away .
    oban to f/w cycle track is being developed and is now more extensive. The other side of loch linne is much nicer than the east side for cycling

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  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    The one change I would make would be wider tyres- I think 700x28c may fit on a Defy. Go as wide as you can; it will reduce your chances of punctures/buckles, add to comfort, and not cost you anything in speed.

    For general touring on that I would use a lightweight rack and small panniers but you can do ultralight with a saddle and bar bag (<3.5kg.) Don't use a backpack.
  • +1 on no backpack. For B&B touring I use a bar bag and a small dry bbag bunged on top of a pannier rack. I suspect a saddlebag would look cooler but too cheapskate to spend the money and bike already has rack. You have to be strict on clothes - but if you are in a different place every night that they don't know you only have 1 t-shirt.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    My bike is probably the same sort of spec as yours. I,ve just completed european 700mile B&B ride. Rack is so useful. Everything would fit in the Carradice rack bag [which can turn into a rucksack. £6 Barbag had plenty of spare capacity. I put a new £6 Michelin 25c tyre on the back before I set out but kept the 23c on the front. Met quite a few rough surfaces [gravel, mud, rubble etc] but had no problems with the bike at all. I weigh 14 stone. Would not ride with a rucksack.
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