Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 14 weeks 1 day ago

Re: Aeropress Coffee Maker

8 February 2016 - 9:46am
you guys know the Porlex grinder (small) fits inside the Aeropress body?

Re: Aeropress Coffee Maker

8 February 2016 - 9:40am
That's not good to hear H
Think I'd be inclined to take it back.
I bought mine in June last year and has been used daily since. Showing no sign of degradation I can see at the moment. Still a clean way to brew and dispose of grounds. Always used inverted after the first week.
Are there different manufacturers of the Aeropress?

Re: Aeropress Coffee Maker

8 February 2016 - 9:19am
The Aeropress. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid. Ahem.

I wouldn't give the Aeropress a second chance. Useless after 6 months.

Aside from it's low weight and initial ability to make a clean cup of coffee, I feel as if I have wasted nearly £30. After 6 months the rubber seal has degraded to a point where it leaks in the 'upright' position or collapses in the 'inverted' position. As for the mess it makes: All very well in a campsite but I'm fed up with the extra wiping up I have to do in my kitchen

For the cost of postage, you are welcome to any spares: funnel, chamber, paddle, filters and holder. PM if you'd like anything.

For the extra few grams I'm back to my Bialetti....b

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

8 February 2016 - 9:11am
mnichols wrote:My current wheels are hand built on Ultegra hubs, I forget the rims as I type, but have been told that they are heavy due to the spokes rather than the rims. They are heavy and springy and therefore lose a bit of power. Also I don't need 32 spokes. I only weight 75kilos when I'm touring and carry one change of clothes. When I refer to heavy this is more to do with feel rather than actual weight. On a recent tour I swapped the hand-built wheels for Mavic Kysrium Elites from my carbon bike and this made an 'ell of difference. It flew up the hills - and this was on 2500 mile ride with 100k of climbing.

The Mavics are back on the racer, and now I want something similar, for the Enigma (bought frame only and built up a component at a time - so no wheels)

At the moment, I'm probably going to go with Ultegra 6800 wheelset which I can get for £201 = seems like a bargain

After 3 punctures today in my GP4s, I think I'll go back to GP 4 seasons.

Sounds like you have pretty much sorted what you need. But you raise a question that has always interested me. Do some wheels deflect vertically more than others. Is this all down to rim design (deep = stiff; shallow= flexy)? And how does this affect efficiency and comfort? Anybody know?

Assuming your choice of wheel will be vertically stiff and possibly tending towards a harsh ride, the GP4 Seasons are good at absorbing road chatter and giving a smoother ride. So that might be a good combination.

Re: Pump Recommendations

8 February 2016 - 6:14am
I've had a Topeak Road Morph for years and it's bullet proof. You can get 120 psi no problem. I believe the Mountain Morph is the same thing with a bigger piston so if you have large volume, lower pressure tyres it may be a better bet, the Road Morph takes a lot of strokes to pump up my wife's 1 1/2" tyres.

Re: Pump Recommendations

8 February 2016 - 12:08am
Got the Lezyne - excellent!

Pump Recommendations

7 February 2016 - 10:49pm
My much loved, and much used pump has finally given up

I've been supergluing and sticking it back together all summer and it's time to say good bye

It was an amazon special and sadly no longer available

Any recommendations?

I like to carry it on the bike so it doesn't have to fit in my jersey pocket. I like them with a hose

I'm thinking of the Lezyne Road Drive L

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 10:40pm
My current wheels are hand built on Ultegra hubs, I forget the rims as I type, but have been told that they are heavy due to the spokes rather than the rims. They are heavy and springy and therefore lose a bit of power. Also I don't need 32 spokes. I only weight 75kilos when I'm touring and carry one change of clothes. When I refer to heavy this is more to do with feel rather than actual weight. On a recent tour I swapped the hand-built wheels for Mavic Kysrium Elites from my carbon bike and this made an 'ell of difference. It flew up the hills - and this was on 2500 mile ride with 100k of climbing.

The Mavics are back on the racer, and now I want something similar, for the Enigma (bought frame only and built up a component at a time - so no wheels)

At the moment, I'm probably going to go with Ultegra 6800 wheelset which I can get for £201 = seems like a bargain

After 3 punctures today in my GP4s, I think I'll go back to GP 4 seasons.

Child friendly, car camping and cycling, Northern Europe

7 February 2016 - 9:50pm
Hoping for some advice/suggestions as to a few good places to go to on a trip this June.

I will be in Roubaix, France having hopefully completed the Paris Roubaix ride and am then taking the family for a holiday in Europe. Youngest will be 18 months so we don't want to drive too far in one go - say 2 or 3 six hour drives in the two weeks would be good.

Vague plan is to base ourselves in 2 or three decent campsites and explore the local area on bikes. So places with decent camping, child friendly cycling for a nearly 4 year old and not too many hills for dad towing the other.....

We have "done" France, Belgium and the Netherlands and I am thinking Germany may be the best bet.....

Would love to head to Austria and ride along the Danube but too far to drive for this trip!

Suggestions very welcome!

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 7:23pm
mnichols wrote:I was going to use Continental Grand Prix 4 seasons, although on a recent tour where my friends were on 4 seasons, I had far fewer punctures than them with Grand Prix 4sii

anyone found anything better than the above, and views on whether the 4s is actually better than the 4 seasons

I was on 28mm, they were on 25mm

Of the Conti range, I've only used the GP4 Seasons in recent years, but for audax type cycling I cannot see why anyone would need to forsake the extra protection of the 4 Season version, given that it is already so light, fast and supple.

Re: Sri Lanka

7 February 2016 - 6:35pm
I have returned a couple of days ago from a one month cycle tour of Sri Lanka. I would thoroughly recommend it as a touring destination, There is plenty of cheap accommodation and food is good and cheap too. The people are incredibly kind and helpful, and many speak some English even in the rural areas. The main roads are excellent, most of the B roads are good quality too, though there are quite a lot of road works, where the roads are rough, and some tarmac can be broken up quite badly. The mountain areas are incredibly beautiful, and the infamous road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, climbing up through the tea plantations, is one of the most beautiful rides you can do. At this time of year the weather was really good, in a month we only had half a day of rain. All the accommodation we stayed in had mosquito nets, so that wasn't a problem. We found the other road users were considerate and left us a lot of space, though their style of driving is different to ours and takes a little getting used to. The towns are a bit hectic, but as soon as you are a kilometer out of the town, there is little traffic. I cant comment on the weather in July, but I believe that the North and East have a different wet season, so maybe that is the place to go.

Re: Heathrow airport by bike

7 February 2016 - 4:36pm
Not really, that's what I read.

I'm used to cycling to terminal three. Now I have to find an infrequent bus to take me a few hundred yards. Why? And where is the bus?

Re: Bikes & trains in France - any experience?

7 February 2016 - 4:08pm
You should be fine, but bear in mind that travelling back into Paris on a weekday is going to be less busy than say coming back on a summer Sunday afternoon.

A quick look at the timetables suggests that you should be able to get back into Paris using the TER (regional) trains which are easier than the TGVs.

It's worth considering booking by capitaine-train.com so you could book a day or two before the end of the tour when you have a clearer idea of the finish point. If you need to you can book bike places on line. capitaine-train.com are also a much better and cheaper option than booking via the SNCF whose website aimed at the UK market is not only more expensive than its normal website but also doesn't give information about which trains take bikes.

Re: Bikes & trains in France - any experience?

7 February 2016 - 3:48pm
Hi, there have been quite a few useful posts on the topic recent - key words 'France' TGV' 'book' are fruitful. See for example: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=90047
The rule of thumb for French railways is: local train, no need to book; TGVs, better book first.

Bikes & trains in France - any experience?

7 February 2016 - 2:50pm
Looking to do a cycle tour in France on the Eurovelo 6 route in the summer. We're booking the eurostar home from Paris OK, but unsure whether to book a train from end point to Paris.

Has anyone any experience of just rocking up on the day and getting on French trains, with loaded bikes without booking? As this is our first long tour, we are unsure how far we will get and don't want to turn it into a chore by having to get to X trainstation in Y days...

Re: To the bottom tip of Sicily

7 February 2016 - 12:08pm
THE COMPLETE TRIP HERE



Just realizing now that travelling by bicycle often ends-up turning into a sort of a drug: any excuse, so far, regardless of the season, easily tends indeed to transform into a good occasion to pack-up your bike and just leave … and that’s exactly what happened for this new trip too.
In the deep South of Italy I’d already been several times of course, by bicycle however only a first time in October 2012 and most recently in October 2015.
Being January, this time it will be a full winter cycling experience and therefore, at least in the attempt to meet a milder weather, the trip shall start from Crotone and then following the Ionian coast of Calabria first and then Sicily we will aim to end-up to "Isola delle Correnti”, the southernmost point of Sicily.

Approaching the “start-point”:
17JAN2016, by car, passing through the snowy mountains near Altamura and Gravina di Puglia to reach Crotone, the place chosen as the actual starting point of our bike trip.
The day is terribly cold. In Altamura an heavy snow storm forces me to stop and mount the snow-chains; the journey continues through several difficulties and with some serious concern with respect to the bad weather that we might expect for the upcoming days !!!


THE TRIP STEP-BY-STEP
- 18JAN2016: Crotone-Cropani, 60km, 526mH+/565mH-
- 19JAN2016: Cropani-Soverato, 45km, 222mH+/224mH-
- 20JAN2016: Soverato-Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, 64km, 122mH+/123mH-
- 21JAN2016: Gioiosa Ionica-Melito di Porto Salvo, 85km, 313mH+/313mH-
- 22JAN2016: Melito di P.to Salvo-Reggio Calabria, 44km, 312mH+/312mH-
- 23JAN2016: Reggio Calabria
- 24JAN2016: Reggio Calabria-Messina, 32km, 112mH+/112mH-
- 25JAN2016: Messina-Taormina, 50km, 468mH+/412mH-
- 26JAN2016: Taormina-Catania, 72km, 588mH+/598mH-
- 27JAN2016: Catania-Siracusa, 72km, 418mH+/420mH-
- 28JAN2016: Siracusa/Ortigia
- 29JAN2016: Siracusa/Ortigia
- 30JAN2016: Siracusa/Ortigia
- 31JAN2016: round trip Marzamemi-Porto Palo-Isola delle Correnti, 38km, 118mH+/118mH-

- TOTAL = 562 km / H 3199 m

18JAN2016: Crotone-Cropani, 60km, 526mH+/565mH-
After a pretty cold night in Crotone, today this first stage has been marked-up by rather low temperatures and a strong side wind that gave us no peace till the end. However, all the way long, we’ve been very lucky to have a bright and somehow friendly sunshine, just few clouds ... and a sea of a blinding blue. ... unfortunately the weather forecast for the next days seems to be quite bad and promises rain and snow even at low altitudes !!
Passing by Capo Colonna we stopped for a while in the neighbourhood of the Greek temple of Hera Lacinia where the ruins of the only one left column still dominate the blue horizon.
The journey continues through a sort of gentle rolling fields planted with fennel and artichokes till the somehow unappealing urban area of Capo Rizzuto. It goes a bit better in the vicinity of le Castella where, barely connected to the mainland by a thin land strip, we can visit the beautiful and so far well preserved Aragonese castle.
Just a few more kilometers, not particularly beautiful, and we finally arrive in Cropani where we can find accommodation in the only open B&B of the place !!




19JAN2016: Cropani-Soverato, 45km, 222mH+/224mH-
Short but rather tough stage today. Cold, very cold, and water, occasionally mixed-up to snow !!!
The planned route was envisaging indeed some deviations to the sea but, due to the very bad weather conditions, at the end we unfortunately had to adapt the planned route to follow the main road (strada statale SS106), quite busy indeed though never dangerous at all.
To highlight the transition to Copanello, definitely the most critical section of the stage; here inevitable the passage for a very dark tunnel of 500 m that before leaving I studied with a magnifying glass ... just in the attempt to avoid it !!
Immediately out of the tunnel, taking a detour to the right and so far leaving the SS106, the road was repeatedly blocked by landslides and falling rocks. Nevertheless a very nice bit of a road, for the most part overlooking the sea from the top.
The arrival in Soverato under a very cold rain offered us a pretty well-deserved shelter where to warm&dry-up and make plannings for the day after.




20JAN2016: Soverato-Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, 64km, 122mH+/123mH-
Today, as soon as the dawn light started to filter through the window blinds I realized that the day would have been much milder than foreseen and, above all, with no rain at all.
Most of the road continued to follow the coastline with long stretches overlooking only from a few meters away the sea, from time to time crossing summer resorts mostly totally desert in these winter days.
A particular mention for their beauty goes to the waterfronts of Soverato, Gioiosa e Roccella Ionica.


21JAN2016: Gioiosa Ionica-Melito di P.to Salvo, 85km, 313mH+/313mH-
The nice weather seems to resist !!! Even today a wonderful day with temperatures in the between 13 ° C in the morning and 17 ° C in the afternoon.
Crispy air blows and superb sea views are obviously deeply welcome though, unfortunately, they seem to be totally unable to “compete” nor “compensate” for so much widespread degradation of the surroundings, hundreds of horrible and generally empty or incomplete houses just a few steps from the beach and then the usual infamous junk abandoned everywhere. A magnificent example of an environmental [rude word removed] anarchy, in other words a sort of a total social and economic self-castration !!!




22JAN2016: Melito di P.to Salvo-Reggio C., 44km, 312mH+/312mH-
The arrival to Reggio Calabria was certainly not one of the best, some twenty kilometers of large degradation that it would have definitely been better to avoid !!!
However, the thrill of being able to see Sicily across the other side of the Strait was equally great and rewarding; definitely exciting in the background the unique shape of Etna in the amidst of leaden heavy clouds as I had rarely seen before.




23JAN2016: Reggio Calabria
Apart the sad degradation of its surroundings the centre of Reggio Calabria is nevertheless worth to be visited. Worth to mention the magnificent magnolias that enrich the seaside boulevard and the Riace Bronzes, finally restored and now standing-up in all their majestic elegance !!!




24JAN2016: Reggio Calabria-Messina, 32km, 112mH+/112mH-
During the night I unfortunately had a very bad dream: the bridge over the Strait was there !!! In the dream it appeared to be beautiful, refined, elegant ... horrible !!
Fortunately it was just a dream, nothing more !!




25JAN2016: Messina-Taormina, 50km, 468mH+/412mH-
Getting out of Messina, and that wasn’t for me the first time, always has been one of the most complicated things I could think.
Nevertheless, once overcome the initial town outskirts, the rest of the route followed the main road again that, thanks to the parallel motorway, was never busy at all.
The various waterfronts up to Taormina, our final destination for the today stage, enrich with a certain continuity all the surroundings; worth to mention the ones of Ali, Roccalumera e Mazzarò.




26JAN2016: Taormina-Catania, 72km, 588mH+/598mH-
Nowadays it appears somehow easy to have everything as for granted, though certain little emotions are still possible, such as cycling in the heart of winter and be faced with scenarios like the one of the picture below: this was the volcan Etna this morning in all its “white cap” elegant magnificence.
Other awesome pieces of a road during today stage, perhaps a little bit "rough" but still definitely beautiful, were: Fiumefreddo, Riposto, Giarre, Acireale, Aci Trezza, Aci Castello.




27JAN2016: Catania-Siracusa, 72km, 418mH+/420mH-
I do not know exactly why but getting out of Catania has always been easier than entering its urban area. The road between Catania and Siracusa is not particularly cycle-friendly and, especially around Augusta, not simple to follow at all. Indeed once in the surrounding of Augusta, not far from the petrochemical plants of Priolo, things all of a sudden get somehow complicated: the SS-114 Orientale Sicula becomes a sort of a motorway and as such effectively banned to the transit by bicycles. Mandatory therefore at this point to move to the provincial road (i.e. SP114, ex SS114) following by close several kilometers of the petrochemical plants for finally arriving to Siracusa through the splendid cycleway built just a few years ago on top of the dismissed railway track.




31JAN2016: round trip Marzamemi-Porto Palo-Isola delle Correnti, 38km, 118mH+/118mH-
A very mild day today … January the 31st, here in the deep South of Sicily !!
An exciting piece of coastline, all over through extremely quiet roads always overlooking by close a splendid sea. After a few km, just from a little more than an handful of meters away, l’ Isola delle Correnti (the Isle of Currents” ... a kind of magical mirage between the Ionian Sea and the Channel of Sicily.


Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 11:24am
When somebody asks for recommendations, then that is what they get. A broad range gives more options than just a few well focused ones.
The OP then does what they want with the recommendations that they receive. If they dont fancy 36 spoke 105 Open Pros that is no skin off my nose. Same goes if they dont want a dynamohub on their bike. Too often though people just leap in to the "obvious" and then later realise that something else may have suited them better.

I am also reading other peoples' recommendations as they may well offer a better option even for me than my own.

My own credit card touring and Audax is done with either 105 or Tiagra and Open Pro, Open Sport or Chrina. I see such wheels riding alongside ones much more expensive and the riders are not suffering from it.

Heathrow airport by bike

7 February 2016 - 11:17am
Looking at the Heathrow airport website, it now states (no date given) that you now can't cycle through the main tunnel to terminal 3. I was under the impression that this was always forbidden but that you should use the parallel service tunnels where cyclists have right of way over other traffic, which is what i have done in the past.

They mention a free bus service.

So what's that all about?

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

7 February 2016 - 11:09am
nmnm wrote:Didn't the etape come with a nice set of light wheels? Imho, posting this question here is getting you a lot of answers that bias towards the trad touring end of the viewpoints, with deviations into moneysaving options that surely aren't an issue for someone asking about £500 wheels for a £1000 frameset. Anyway, that's maybe just me . I'd email the Enigma guy for a recommended wheelset or post on a board where people are talking more about lightweight £500 wheelsets for general use (not "touring and expedition"). And that flexible wire roadside spoke repair kit is worth a look maybe. Actually, this board is maybe better for that roadside spoke repair point, to be fair.

If you really read the criteria of the O.P. then "traditional" wheels will always come out tops.

"looking for something that's fast and light for the mountains and long distance and multi-day tours and audaxes"
So availability of single spokes is also required - not a full set
- Take between 23mm and 28mm tyres, but mostly 25mm
- Cost less than £500
- Parts available around the world if I get stuck on tour

Where are you going to get replacement parts "available around the world"?
And some fancy wheels will not be take your Flexible wire spoke" because of the spoke design system.
It would be helpful if we knew what wheels the O.P already has including their weight.
 
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