Okay, so my first thread
at the forum received a lot of replies, for which I am still very thankful. You helped me a lot.
I still intend for this voyage to happen. I will bike through Asia in its latitudal entirety. Time of departure is likely to be in three or four months.
Having returned to my home town (Kristiansand, Norway), I am currently working (or "playing", haha) in a kindergarten, trying to earn the money I will need for my adventure. I've already earned an amount which would suffice for a Cannondale Touring Classic
bike. I am still a big bike newbie, but I'd heard they make great touring bikes, and various people I talked to confirmed this. Cannondale seems to be the only brand manufacturing touring bikes which is available in any of the bike shops in my home town, and further, "Touring Classic" seems to be the only conventional touring bike they're distributing in Europe. I thought, "why bother looking around more... it must be a very good bike; I can afford it, and it can be delivered to me in a week... besides I don't seem to have many other choices". I was just about to order it on Saturday, and I am actually expecting a phone call from the bike guy in a local sports shop tomorrow, regarding sizing of the bike.
But I did some research recently, and while there seems not to be much written about the Touring Classic, what is written is not all good. Supposedly the chain is very prone to snapping, and the gear ratio (30-39-52 crank) is all wrong for the purpose. They say this 10speed thing is a curse. I am entirely unqualified--as I know nothing about bikes yet--to be judging from what I've heard, but this criticism just got me thinking: Is this the bike right bike to buy? I started looking around for other bikes available in Norway. While I never found a touring bike listed on any Norwegian distributor's page, Fuji, Jamis and Trek each appear to have their Norwegian distributor (selling their bikes in shops somewhere else in the country).
I also considered Thorn Sherpa. It seems like I can, to some extent, customize it myself
, and probably also have it shipped to Norway. However, with upgrades it would easily be £1000, another £150 shipping (shipping cost of a used bicycle which I put in my basket at sjscycles.co.uk), and finally there would be a ****load of taxes I'd have to pay for importing it. All in all, I would probably end up paying more for Thorn Sherpa than Cannondale Touring Classic (£1340)... but maybe not... if I will have to make adjustments and costly changes of parts to the Cannondale. Will I?
The advantage of buying the Cannondale is that I will have a local shop to help me out when/if something goes wrong in its first months of use here in my home town. It seems a whole lot more complicated with a bike purchased in Oslo or shipped to me from a distributor in the UK. Do you think this is an important factor?
I have considered building my own bike (I'd have to learn it), but I probably won't because it will end up being more expensive. I've considered getting a used bike, and, well, I would still like to, but I would have to find one very soon, it would need to be good, it would need to be my size, and it would need to be shipped to Norway, or be here already. I don't think I will find such a used bike very easily.
Yes, and this is a quite important factor: Time. I will need a bike soon. Why? (1) I am currently commuting almost every day on a poor bike. (2) I intend to do some shorter tours before embarking on the big one. (3) I would need to get to know my bike beforehand, and learn how to take care of it (before leaving).
Please propose other alternatives if you see any good ones. I guess the easiest for me would be to order the Cannondale Touring Classic, so please tell me if you think this is a good idea.
And by the way, regarding time: Do you know in how long time I could have a Thorn Sherpa?
I am highly grateful for any thoughts you may share with me.