Touring - Round the world on a...?
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For my gap year starting this september, a friend and I have decided to attempt to cycle around the world. The only problem is, apart from doing some relatively easy touring in the UK on inadequate bikes, we are both pretty much novices...
The first problem lies in where and how to get a bike...made harder by the fact that I am 6"9 (206cm) tall and weigh about 230lbs...so it seems that a custom built one is my only option if it is to be used comfortably for 250days or so. With a budget of a bout £1500 for the bike, I don't think I'm doing too badly but don't know really where to start.
Any help on the bike issue or on other aspects of long distance touring would be appreciated,
03-05-07, 07:49 AM
these (http://www.zinncycles.com/bikes.aspx?bike=coupler) are what you'd be looking at, more specifically
I was going to say....."whim" to complete the question of the thread title, but I see with your size, a bit more planning is needed. :D
03-05-07, 10:03 AM
Awesome! We are about to do the same thing. On March 18th, we are going on a cycling tour around the world although we will be skipping parts of the map. We'll start in Amsterdam, ride all the way to Turkey. We'll take a couple months break in Turkey. The second part of the trip will be riding in SE Asia to Australia.
I'm not familiar with custom built bikes. I bought a Trek 520, my husband upgraded a mountain bike which he bought second hand for $200, after having his Cannondale T800 stolen (bastards!).
We bought Arkel panniers and no name handlebar bags. Since we'll be camping a lot, we bought an MSR international. We also bought a good filter for 3rd world countries.
We splurged on books and tried to make ourselves familiar with the places that we are headed.
We also became members of Servas, which is an organization that allows you to stay with host families around the world. However, this service is not for cheap/free stay, it's about blending cultures and world peace.
We are really excited. Good luck to all of us!
03-05-07, 12:51 PM
Some of the UK small frameshops can do custom bikes at reasonable prices, much lower than big-name artisan builders. Paul Hewitt (http://www.hewittcycles.co.uk/)has a rep for excellent touring bike that dont break the budget but there are plenty of others.
The current wisdom is that MTB 26" wheels are stronger and spares are easier to find so most expeditionists are using them. Thorn (http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html)are a good source of expedition bikes and they may do custom sizing.
Zinn has some excellent advice for big guys esp on long cranks and dimensioning frames for them. Highpath Engineering (http://www.highpath.co.uk/cycles/notes/03.html)is the first port of call in the UK for odd cranks.
You also need to emphasize stiffness (fat tubes) over weight on a huge frame.
Do you have a good local bike shop (LBS) for touring? If you need more local info, try the Cycling Plus forum or the Cyclists Touring Club.
Thanks so far...Edward's is the nearest shop to me, its been reasonably good in the past...
07-01-07, 06:22 AM
Hey, I'm hoping to do the same but not for another year, what kind of research have ye put into it? I cycled from budapest to Normandy (france) a few years ago so i was going to take that route back and then hopefully get onto the Tans-Siberian highway until we get a plane/boat to alaska. Do any of ye know anyone who's done this before?
The other big thing we were trying to figure is time to leave, if you leave to early you get winter in europe, to late, winter in russia... anyone know of any good ideas to get around this? i lived in hungary for a year and know that it's -18 after dark up until feb/march.
If you have got any info it would be great if we could pool it, i've got a bit but not much
07-04-07, 08:34 AM
I would go the custom route on a frame as well. Although smaller wheels are stronger when you are as tall you I would still go with 700cc wheels so as to help improve the proportions. If you got some good hand built wheels on 145 mm or 150 mm spaced rear hub (tell the frame builder about this so he can space the rear triangle) and have 40 or 48 spoke hub they should be really strong.
I guess you will be doing alot of flying as well if you are going to get around in one year?
07-04-07, 09:48 AM
I put the Adventure Cycling Guide (link below) together for people starting out in long distance cycling, so hopefullly you'll find something usefull in it.
On the timing thing, setting out from Europe in late winter, isn't that bad.
If you are doing this now, I would look at something other than custom since in most cases you are probably months away from getting one. Thorn has a wide range of sizes and ratios, i don't know if they would have anything for a 6' 9" guy. Possibly an amateur maker who was interested in your adventure would be interested. A frame can be spit out in a short period from a good guy who doesn't have a backlog. Check Frame forum.
If you are thinking abour world around tour you should look to singlespeed bike. There are lots of points why it is better for a long travel then any other multyspeed bikes.. Then if you'll choose it you can get
even titanium frame set builded bike still within your budget.
You know there are a couple of big oceans in the way, right?
Sorry, nothing to contribute except jealousy and wishing you good luck!
07-05-07, 03:12 AM
Rob Mather built us some beautiful bikes in that price range for our tour :)
Don't worry about the lack of experience... you'll get it on the road!
07-05-07, 03:13 AM
BTW, if you want to go custom you should order pronto for a September departure! We ordered our bikes in March. I would say you need to make a decision now...
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