vw vagabonds tour by bike
Here's a link to a good site for inexpensive bike touring and other good touring tips.
Touring Bike Advice in Japan
I'm am determined to do a month long tour while I am in Japan. I have read that the road and safety conditions are ideal. The problem is I don't yet have a touring bike and all the research I've done on American bikes doesn't really apply because those bikes are not offered in my part of Japan (Kyushu).
I would like to buy a Trek 520 type of bike but have only found Trek bikes that are out of my price range (as far as I know, Trek doesn't really offer touring bikes in Japan). The bike my nearest shop recommended is a Louis Garneau. I realize that it is probably not the best bike, but realizing that this will be my first tour & I may have to leave/sell the bike once I leave Japan, will this bike be sufficient? The gear information tends to confuse me, does this bike offer competent gearing? Is the aluminum Frame and Fork a deal breaker? The bike is about $950 U.S. http://www.louisgarneausports.com/bike/cyclo-gmt.htm
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone else in Kyushu, send me a note.
Broken spokes: memoires of a cycle tourer
The first real pain (after the line of blisters at the seat contact line turned to calluses) was knees:
Get low gears and use them! 80 - 90 revs per minute is required: no, you won't set any land speed records, but you will avoid trouble. And if you can't peddle that fast, then you are using too big of a gear. The first night I slept in a sitting position (night ferry from Shearness to Vlissinden) my knees went out within 20 km of the terminal; it felt like I had a nail driven through each of my kneecaps. It took a week of visiting friends before I could climb stairs without pain. When I slept in my tent, with my legs straight, I had no problem, but it returned after a night on a train. The second time I immediately halted and camped, and was able to proceed after 4 days. There appears to be a connection between these two observations (gears and knees).
Broken spokes: carry spare spokes, check your wheels regularly and replace them as soon as they happen. All I would do was tighten them to what the neighbouring spokes were and start riding; and the wheel would pull back into shape. So you need a spoke key as well.
Oil will not stop the squeeling of the bulls-eye pulley on the rear derailer (which for me started at about 3000 km coming south through the Ardennes). They have to be dismantled and greased.
Front and rear paniers also act as cushions in a side impact. My crank was bent and I was flung sideways, but my legs were uninjured.
Get a cycling cape and leggings as opposed to pants and a jacket. The ventilation is so much better...
I also endorse the Brooks leather saddle...
Bianchi Volpe or Surly LHT
I am getting a new bike, getting into touring again....planning to do some onger rides but also commuter too...
I have narrowed it down to
Bianchi Volpe or Surly LHT
any ideas on what would be the best choice?
the Bianchi Volpe doesn't have holes in the fronk forks for bags....but other than that?