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  1. #1
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    UK: Need a bike for a big mission, please help :)

    Hello all..

    Well I've decided to embark on UK's well knows cycle mission, lands end -> john o' groats. This as I'm sure most of you know is about 1000 miles.

    Currently I have a very decent mountain bike, about 2k worth. However there is no way I'm going to do the ride on that, considering it's efficiency is pretty much, and it's designed for heavy off road use.

    My question, coming from someone with literally "no" road biking experience is, what bike shall I get?

    I've got about a max budget of 500, and will be using two panniers I think, and maybe a front bag as well. I'll be keeping weight to a mininum obviously. Myself I'm about 6ft 2, and about 11.5st.

    Factors that I'm guessing are important are...

    Confort (going to be on it for a long time after all)
    Efficiency (ie, no shocks, and good gear ratios)
    Reliability (don't want some cheap junk that's going to fall apart)

    I know it's a question with many possible answers, but does anyone have any bike recommendations?

    Second hand is an option too, but then i'd have to consider reliability.

    Please any info would be great.

    Cheers

    Chris

  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    I've toured in the UK and was impressed with the many fine touring bikes available in your country. This one, by a well known builder, is right in your price range:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=60919
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  3. #3
    Member BananaMan's Avatar
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    Thorn bikes from St. John Street cycles in Bridgwater are superb. They may look a bit old school but are very well thought out and great quality. The cheapest tourer does seem to be £699 but it's worth every penny.

    http://www.sjscycles.com/thornwebsite/models.html

  4. #4
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    well Touring or a Road bike, I'm planning on doing around 100 miles a day?

  5. #5
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by croyce
    well Touring or a Road bike, I'm planning on doing around 100 miles a day?
    E2E rides have probably been done on all kinds of bikes, but my vote would be to go for a touring-specific bike because:

    * Geometry and handlebar height more comfortable than a road bike for the day-in-day-out long distance rider.
    * Braze-ons for racks, extra water bottles.
    * May accomodate wider tires and mudguards, which many road bikes do not.
    * Stronger frame for carrying more weight.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  6. #6
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    If your budget is £500 I can assume you are UK-based.
    Are you camping or hostelling?
    Some kind of touring bike would be ideal. You could go for an Audax style with long-reach caliper brakes (for 28mm tyres) or a med-weight tourer with cantilevers for more tyre clearance.
    There are quite a few sources in the UK:
    Orbit
    Thorn
    Dawes
    Saracen
    Edinburgh Cycles
    Paul Hewitt.

    Ask in the Cyclingplus website for more local info.

  7. #7
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    hostels.

    There's one on at evanscycles for 450 which looks pretty good, and is all kitted out already.

    Not sure what size though, im 6ft 2 approx, might go into a shop and try.

  8. #8
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    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/kara-kum.htm

    What you guys think, i've seen this for £440. Looks pretty good? I'm aiming for averaging say 15mph.?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by croyce
    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/kara-kum.htm

    What you guys think, i've seen this for 440. Looks pretty good? I'm aiming for averaging say 15mph.?
    Bike Looks good from here. Should be very comfy for all day riding. Speed will depend on how much you carry, but most of all, it will depnd upon the motor.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

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    sounds good, but compared to a racer, is the efficiency going to vary that much?

    or do the pro's of comfort out-weight the loss in efficiency?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by croyce
    sounds good, but compared to a racer, is the efficiency going to vary that much?

    or do the pro's of comfort out-weight the loss in efficiency?
    Efficiency won't matter if you get too uncomfortable to continue riding. And if the bike is too race-optomized, failures such as spoke breakage will stop you cold. Go for sturdy and comfortable first, then light and efficient second (distant thirds: unique, beautiful, conversation-starter, pretentious, ..)
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Good looking bike. I see it has STI shifters. A lot of people would prefer something more low-tech on tour, for ease of repair.

    I would make sure the gearing was good and low -- like a 22 or 24 on the front and a high twenties or ideally 32- or 34-tooth on the rear cassette.

    You may be able to find used panniers on ebay.

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    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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  14. #14
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    I'm only 22 btw, so can take a bit of punishment.

    am I right in thinking perhaps the tyres being softer are going to hinder my ability to keep up with road bike users? The only reason I ask is this tourer going to be better compared to a mountain bike (with no shock)

    ie. is the tourer going to be nearer the performance of a road bike, than that of a mountain bike?

    I'm just worried that I might not be able to keep up with some of friends on road bikes? or find it a lot harder work? or is the difference not that great? (assuming generic bikes)

    Thought I'd ask u guys as you know best from experience? also handles? with the dawes they have both types, which do you advise?

    Thanks for help so far

  15. #15
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    The ideal bike for a hostel-based LE-JOG is an Audax light tourer using 25-28mm tyres. You will be able to keep up with riders on road bikes and tackle occasional stretches of bridle path/trail.
    The Kara-kum is an expedition style bike designed for rough tracks. It is not a particularly good exp bike but will can be used for long trips.
    Galaxy is the classic British touring bike usually shod with 32mm rubber. It is a pretty good choice for LE-GOG but is towards the heavier end of what you need.

  16. #16
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    How about a Dawes Galaxy? I toured a bit on one about ten years ago, up to about 375 miles in four days and found the bike efficient, well capable of carrying luggage, and comfortable. Its gears were easily capable of getting over Lake District passes or rolling along in flat country at a decent turn of speed.

    These days though, I favour a more upright riding position, even at the expense of efficiency, and there are plenty of mountain style bikes which with road tyres at 65 psi, would make a capable and comfortable mount; maybe not for a hundred miles a day, but that depends how tough you are. My main reason for preferring the riding style of a mountain bike is that it feels more stable and controlable and will cope with uneven tarmac at the edge of roads, or wind buffeting from passing trucks on A roads without feeling too vulnerable. Also, the rather lower centre of gravity makes for better luggage carrying. It's horses for courses though - thin rock hard tyres and low handlebars for max distance covered, or a more comfortable and stable feeling bike with a heavier load bearing capacity.
    Last edited by EvilV; 04-25-06 at 01:39 PM.

  17. #17
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    The others have dawes giros, so i'm maybe thinking one of them, looking at the giro400/500 now, with a rear pannier, and a softer saddle. Will prob change the tyres to something a little more hard wearing!

    What you reckon?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    The Giro 500 looks to be about 800 quid. Have you changed your budget?

    Do you plan to ride this bike again after your tour?

  19. #19
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    I've seen giro 500's for 499.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/dept.jsp?...ubdept_id=4086

    for eg..

    Might get a giro 400 though, i've seen them for 360. Could use the spare money for types, panniers, bags etc..

  20. #20
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    For some reason the 2005 model is more expensive than the 2006, weird as surely the newer one is going to be better?

    I'm thinking a giro 500 now, seen one for 400. The main difference I can see is that it's 1kg lighter, which can;t be bad.

  21. #21
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    anyone know why the 2005 is more money than the 2006?

    Is it supposed to be better?

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