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Updated: 10 weeks 20 hours ago

Brompton touring in Belgium

6 February 2016 - 3:06pm
My wife and I are thinking of a 4 or 5 day tour of Belgium using our Bromptons starting from either Brussels or Ghent. Does anybody have any experience of similar touring with Bromptons?

Re: Sardinia

6 February 2016 - 2:55pm
Not totally sure about what you're looking for, however I've been cycling Sardinia in the between 30SEP and 09OCT 2015 (HERE THE LINK), I've been relying exclusively on B&B's, very low season, prices in the between 30 and 40 Euros/night-1person, generally all of them definitely excellent. Good weather, superb climbing ... unrevalled scenarios. That's just to give you an idea of what you might expect, let me know whether you need gpx tracks, good luck !!

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 2:24pm
mnichols wrote:- To be able to repair a spoke by the roadside should the need arise - let's not get into the whys and wherefores of that one and just say that I do.
- 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


If you want to be able to replace spokes at the roadside then you need to carry the tools and be able to use them (although possibly you could use your chain as a chain whip). There's nothing particular to specific makes of rim — they all come apart in more or less the same way with the major issue being getting the rear sprocket off. I'm sure there will be plenty of helpful how-tos on the internet - try youtube.

I don't know how heavy your wheels are but I suspect that you're not going to make significant weight savings without sacrificing durability.

Spokes are basically pretty standard. If you're worried about availability of spokes then the best thing is to carry a couple of spares with you. Some people keep them inside the seat tube. If the hub or rim fails you'll need to get a new wheel built with whatever is available locally. Sealed bearings are very difficult to change without a bearing press (although you'd probably be extremely unlucky to ever need to change them on the road). The loose bearings used by Shimano are a lot easier to replace - should you ever need to.

Somewhere on the Sheldon Brown website there used to be a table of ideal rim sizes for particular widths of tyres. Unfortunately I can't find it. IIRC you need a 13mm internal width for the sizes you're interested in.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 2:14pm
Referring to being able to replace a spoke at the side of the road, then that knocks out any fancy lightweight wheel.
Spokes for special wheels will not be available at a normal bike shop. Although, I suppose, you could buy a few in advance if you wanted.
I personally go for Open Pro's but there are other rims available. Spa won't (or didn't) recommend the Open Pro's as they say that they can deform at the spoke holes. I've not had that problem on my rims but I have had them wear out. Having said that I have a pair of similar Mavics that are now 20 years old.
One of my Open Pro front wheel is 4 ozs (~100 gms) heavier than a front lightweight Ksyrium. So back + front will be 8 ozs heavier in comparison. The Open Pro front including lightweight tyre ~ 2lb.8ozs and the Ksyrium ~ 2lb.4ozs.
I found that a good weight saving was in the selection of tyres. Especially if you get a "folding" tyre but then the cost will also go up. I use Continentals which also have good puncture protection. (Some web-shops quote tyre weight for comparison.)
At my current weight (78kgs) I have no problems with either 36 or 32 spoke wheels and I have a selection of both.
As an aside, my Kysrium wheels are a joy to ride as they are light and stiff. Being stiff helps to put through the power but you do notice the ride is also stiffer. Another draw back is that they have bladed spokes and are easily affected by side winds so I only use them for best.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 1:52pm
I had a set of Harry Rowland wheels made up last year for a tour - and he was excellent to deal with and the wheels have been superb. Harry seems happy to chat on the phone for ages about what you need and answers emails quickly. He's a pretty well known name and has been making wheels for years. I think he charged me about £220 for some Mavic A719 rims with LX hubs and 36 DT swiss spokes. Been using them for 6 months and still absolutely true despite a few bangs and pot holes. You will probably want something lighter I guess...

Re: Santander- Storing a bike box for a week

6 February 2016 - 12:43pm
I'd be looking for a dependable hotel chain (Ibis budget, etc) with a bike store cage. If you book a room for either end of your trip you are unlikely to be refused if you ask if you can leave something there. Make a small hole in the box to allow you to lock it to something.

Santander- Storing a bike box for a week

6 February 2016 - 12:37pm
Can anyone suggest a solution for storing my bike box whilst I tour the Picos for a week. Maybe a cycle friendly hotel, b&b or hostel within reasonable distance from Santander airport for first and last night stay? Or if I went with a disposable box then a bike shop that would supply me with a new cardboard box for the return journey.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 12:32pm
I'd recommend the Kinesis CX wheels - light, not too expensive and pretty bullet proof. I've been running a pair of the V3 28 spoke jobs for commuting, shopping and fully loaded touring across all surfaces for 18 months - they haven't seen a spoke key in that time and are still straight as a die. My mate has had his V2's for 4 years - same story.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 12:20pm
I too would be starting with 105 and Open Pro assuming you want to keep spending on the same level as the Etape.
Though Tiagra with Chrinas would not make a lot of difference.

I would also have a think about fitting an SP dynamohub on the front instead of a normal hub.

Then I would pay much more attention to the choice of tyres, which tend to make more of a difference than rims do.

The Open Pro are a bit costly and short lived. The CD versions are longer lived but even more costly.
As you already have a heavier set of wheels for general use, you can "afford" to have a pair of such luxury rims saved for best.

Re: Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 12:06pm
To be honest I would suggest more or less what you have got already. I'd avoid superlight rims for any cycling on potentially imperfect country lane surfaces. I'd avoid wheels with too few spokes. I'd stick with 105 / Ultegra hubs. Maybe you could save weight by having lighter spokes. Paul Hewitt will make you something for not much over £300, and he will probably be happy to chat about your requirements over the phone. I've long preferred Open Pro rims, but next time I'll look for something a bit stronger and probably heavier. Bent rims are the slowest.

Wheel recommendations for credit card touring

6 February 2016 - 11:57am
HI, I'm looking for a new set of wheels for my Enigma Etape. They should be for fast and light for credit card touring on good roads. I've already got some handmade 32 spoke, heavy as lead wheels for fully loaded touring, so I'm looking for something that's fast and light for the mountains and long distance and multi-day tours and audaxes

Other that fast and light, other criteria are:

- To be able to repair a spoke by the roadside should the need arise - let's not get into the whys and wherefores of that one and just say that I do.
- 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

I weigh between 75kg and 80kg depending on who's asking. I do up to 200 miles per day, and tour for multiple weeks. I like quiet walks in the country and cosy nights in by the fire, would like to meet nice set of wheels for touring... maybe more, good sense of humour, no smoker preferred

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

6 February 2016 - 11:23am
Thanks Richard. I wasn't sure if I could have faith in the 'cycle friendly' lines on google maps. They go through the massive roundabout at the north of Oxford (A34, A44), but on streetview I couldn't see a safe way through for a cycle. The NCR5 route takes me on the A44, but streetview clearly shows me the cyclepath. here is a cyclist using it.

Applying your advice, the route currently looks like this: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Oxfor ... 484838!3e1

I'm now going to try and make a route using cycle.travel. ... The first try / no modifications route it gave me was similar to the one I worked out to include your NCR5 recommendation, except for the getting out of Oxford bit. It takes me to Kidlington via Oxford Road, and then skirting around the southern outskirts of Kidlington on the Bicester Road. It's certainly an order of magnitude better than google maps for cyclists as google maps magnetically takes me to dangerous A-roads all the time, with modification of the maps frequently snapping safer routes to unsafe ones. Once the automatic cycle.travel route gets to Kirklington, it's then pretty much identical to the route I spent a long time working out. And the Bicester road recommendation looks a good one. If cycle.travel allows a larger number of via points than google maps that would help a LOT. I live in fear of the 'This route cannot be modified any further' message. EDIT: The Bicester Road looks a bit big, but there is a paved cyclepath. The road out of Oxford is the A4165, and there isn't a cyclepath. There is a bus lane. I would be travelling on it a bit before 9am on a Saturday. There may be many buses. NCR5 as you recommend seems better.

I've been looking into the cycle.travel forums to look for things such as export modes, and note that you are a contributor there whose contributions indicate a very important role in that site! As navigation is my biggest issue for long distance cycling, I would like to learn more about maps and options. I'd like to have my phone attached to the handlebars showing a live map, but don't know how to get maps from other formats into google maps and navigate from it. This should be possible, but I need to learn more about the systems to make it work. More googling now ensues. My current strategy for maps not in google maps format (e.g. GPX of the Audax I'm doing next Sunday weather permitting) is to just simply recreate the route in google maps, and then email the weblink to myself which I can then pick up on the phone. There must be an easier way. I don't think I will ever completely ignore google maps as I use streetview a lot when planning.

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 11:03am
Point of order; if you finish in Florence or Astoria, you won't have completed the ACA Bicentennial Trans Am. For the want of approx 40 Miles in the case of Astoria. I'm a bit OCD/purist about this and you'll have ridden over 4000 miles to get to Florence or Astoria. Finish it off properly there's a good chap

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:41am
OR click on the User Control icon at left hand top of page then click private messages tab and then look in Inbox! Just click on your messages to read them and then reply if you want to! I hope I got that right ...

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:33am
Click on your messages button - where it says view your posts ... top of the page just under the Board Index sign

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:24am
how do i get access to a pm?

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:19am
Hi David I have sent you a PM about those maps and a chat about your route!

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:13am
DavidWC wrote:
Hi, we did the transam with adventure cycling last year, the central route, started May finished early August, you will struggle to cross Rockies before June so East-West is best, Yorktown to Florence Oregan.
But Astoria is a better finish but the wind going north from Florence could spoil that bit.
If you want a full set of maps let me know - no charge
Good luck
David

Re: trans am for novice advice needed

6 February 2016 - 10:06am
I am doing the trans am next year East to West so may see you out there!

Re: Bristol to Reading - on road bikes?

6 February 2016 - 9:47am
san0 wrote:Bedwyn to Newbury (Following the NCN route 4 on road, I chose these points incase others want to return earlier by train)
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/970406337

Unless you specially want to follow the canal, I think you'd be better bearing right out of Kintbury via Hampstead Marshall, Skinner's Green Lane and the Enborne Road into Newbury. These are pleasant country lanes, undulating but no killer hills; the towpath is rough in places and can be busy with dog walkers etc as you get close to Newbury.

Newbury to Reading (Avoiding the rough Kennet and Avon path, so going a back route)
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/970414931
Your route looks fine if you want to get to Tilehurst rather than central Reading. For central Reading, I would turn right in Theale, and cross the canal at Sheffield Bottom, then follow the road (bearing left where there's a choice) then left onto the Burghfield Road towards Reading, then right onto marked on-road cycle route through Southcote into the centre.

If you find yourselves short of time, the A4 is faster and not very horrible between Hungerford and Theale.
 
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