Touring - Advice needed on my 1st tour for charity [ Paris to Barcelona ]
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Next year We are all doing a cross country tour from Paris in France to Barcelona in Spain. In facT I have a few friends who regularly cycle in Scotland and in the French Alps and Its something I'd very much like to get into, not only for the fitness side of it but also for the "seeing the sights" side of it.
I have seen a few bikes but can anyone suggest exactly what I should be looking for.
I have been looking at those two bikes, It will be used mainly on roads however it may involve some off road tracks. also what type of equipment I'll need
11-21-11, 02:06 PM
First stop should be your friends who cycle regularly. Ask their advice. They'll know you and your level of fitness etc.
Halfords wouldn't be where I'd shop. Better off going to a reputable Local Bike Shop (LBS) for advice. Many have sales just after Christmas if you can hold out till then.
With road bikes you'll be limited in what you can carry so I presume you're thinking of lightweight 'credit card touring'. For the same money you could get a reasonable quality traditional drop bar touring bike that could carry camping gear etc. but I get the sense that's not for you.
Best of luck
Part of the route my wife and I took last summer included Barcelona to Paris. I probably don't have all the road numbers, but I could give you a list of the towns we rode through. It would't be hard to figure out the roads. It is a great ride. You can do it on those bikes, but it depends..........................
edit: You might also want to think about taking a train to get through the Paris suburbs.
The bikes you linked to may work for a credit card tour or lightly loaded tour. The issue is there does not seem to be a way to attach rear racks. There are work-arounds, but they are compromises at best. There are dropout eyelets, but no mounts on the chainstays.
The bike you use depends on what type of touring you plan on doing. Are you going fully loaded, lightly loaded or plastic? I don't remember any extensive unpaved sections. I ride a dedicated touring bike, a LHT. However, I think for that section, at least on the route we did, I could have used my cyclocross bike with narrower tires and still carried front and rear panniers.
We used these in 2004 for a 3 week, high milage trip (light and fast for us). The Trek is similar to the bike you are considering. I used a rack (old one) that attaches to the rear brake bolt. It worked really well. I also changed the gearing to give me a lower range, and ran 25 mm tires. I think you might have a problem even getting 28mm tires on those bikes. You will cross some hills on the route you are planning. I also made both sets of panniers with a sharp taper so that our heels would clear them. Depending on your plans, a more "touring" friendly bike might be worth considering. My wife's Specialized is a 50cm frame which presented its own problems. Her rack support was attached to her seatpost.
This is the rack I used. I took it off a vintage touring bike that was hanging in the shed for 30 years! It is a Blackburn, but I'm not sure if it is still available.
11-22-11, 06:49 AM
You don't say whether this is going to be a supported ride, or a tour in which you would be carrying your own gear, nor do you say whether you4ll be staying in campgrounds, or B&Bs or hostels.
Nor do you say how far you'll be riding each day.
I've bicycle toured and hiked quite a bit in France for my own enjoyment and I've never understood charity rides, especially a charity ride in France. To me asking someone to contribute to a charity if I ride from Paris to Barcelona is a little like asking someone to contribute to a charity and I will eat a nice meal in a nice restaurant.
11-23-11, 01:33 PM
How much luggage, how much support will you have, how fit and strong are you?
Are you going to ride out of Paris? Big city riding is the worst kind for tourists, usually getting lost in housing estates, industrial parks, major ring roads etc. Unless I have a known bike route, I would normally plan on taking a train to the outskirts but I dont ride for charity.
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