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  1. #1
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    What bike for 1,000 trip?

    I want to get a new bike to cycle from north to south of France, on roads.
    I need comfort more than speed, but aim to cover 60 miles per day over 20 days, so cant be too slow.
    It need paniers to carry stuff, but I'll be staying in B & B so won't have to carry tent etc.
    I find drop handlebars give me a stiff neck.
    I have a budget of about 900.
    I'm 55, 5' 10" slim/medium build.
    The guy in the local Giant shop said what I need is a Giant rapid 2. Is he right?
    Any help gratefully received!
    Steve

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Anything you are comfortable riding for 6 hours a day, for weeks at a time..
    What do you own now?
    You may like buying a bike from a French Shop when you get there.

    I had some fellow group trippers , and we went to FW Evans in London
    and got a decent British made steel framed bike on the spot

    maybe a Brompton which will be easy to take on any train at anytime..

    I have a nice Bike made by Koga Miyata in the Netherlands.
    Mine is a 26" wheel Trekking bike with a Rohloff hub [OK that broaches the 900 figure ]

    they have a Signature Program to pick from a component menu To build similar,
    and have it delivered to a convenient European/UK dealer to pick up, would be ready to ride,
    Tubus racks and so forth mudguards lights etc.
    some Dutch dealers are a short Bus ride from the AMS airport ,
    then you can put you and your new bike on the train to Paris,

    sounds like you May like a bike with trekking handlebars , they are a figure 8 bend,
    offer multiple hand positions near and far and sides , rather than up and down, of drops.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    IDK.

    Fit is First. When you get past that, are there braze ons for front and rear racks? Bottle cages? Is it geared low enough for your fitness level and the terrain? Are the tires high quality with belted protection? How will the saddle and your rear get along? Are the bars high enough to be comfortable for day after 60 mile day? Are the chain stays long enough to keep your heels from striking the panniers? Query the lbs about all these points. Be aware that the salesman has likely never done any touring.

    As long as you get a good frame fit, most problems can be fixed, for additional money of course. No way to know how much fixin' it'll need until you've ridden it a few hundred miles. Unless you're already an experienced cyclist.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  4. #4
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    I currently have a Boardman carbon fibre racer. I do arout 2 x 35 mile rided per week.
    The multiple hand position bars appeal.
    Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve201 View Post
    I currently have a Boardman carbon fibre racer. I do arout 2 x 35 mile rided per week.
    The multiple hand position bars appeal.
    Steve
    Throw some bar extensions on flat bars. Double tape the bars for better ergonomics and less hand/wrist problems.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  6. #6
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Here is a pretty good list of touring bikes. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...pdated-30-July*

    I'm only familiar with the bike brands that are common in Canada...Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Surly...
    There are some good bikes made in Britian. I was interested in a Thorn touring bike at one time, but didn't bite.

    Read up on the internet about bike "fit" and take longer test rides... 1/2 hour to a full hour so you can really feel the fit. Also do a little internet research on what makes a good touring bike and remember that you are doing a tour of a rather civilized part of the world. You don't need a bike suitable for cycling across china.

    After you've done some research, talk to the bike salesmen again. You will be able to see the differences in the bicycles and not be so gullible to their marketing.

    Remember this is supposed to be fun. Don't let finding a bike become a burden.
    Start with "bike fit", then look for the ability to install a rear rack and fenders, chain stays at least 44 cm. 45 is better. This gives your feet clearance from the panniers when pedaling. A comfortable relationship between the seat and handlebars... Handlebars at least as high as the seat, and perhaps higher. Low gears... a rear casette that has from 11 to 32 teeth and a small front gear no larger than 30 teeth.

    Read the other threads about selecting a bike in this forum. Others will give you different features to look for. There is no "perfect bike", Selecting a bike is a compromise.

    Enjoy finding a bike as part of the trip.
    Good Luck
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    1000 miles is just over 16 days riding, at 60 per, throw in another week for seeing the sights .

    Bike : 700-35 wheels with the new cassette stuff 12/48 is plenty tall
    a 48 36 24 chainset , 12 - 32 0r 34 t cassette, no more than 9 speed ,
    Bar end shifters, they can convert to thumbshifters
    cantilever brakes or V type and just use mountain shift/brake levers.

    front and rear panniers , try to pack all your stuff in just those ,
    minimal on the racktop a handle bar bag for snacks
    and point and shoot camera.

    plenty of decent bike brands frames made in UK, why get one from Asia?

    Mercian a good trad make.
    Midlands still has some shops that build bike frames

    I'm about your height ,
    a 56ish is a good size to try for starts [if top tube is level.]
    the top tubes are about 56~57 in common proportions

    OR .. make the packing a piece of cake .. folding bike & trailer.
    A Brompton M6 3x2 6 speed hub. add a double chainset,
    34, 44 chainrings .. ergon grips , and bar ends, fancy clipless pedals ?
    MKS has QR pedals, pop right off to pack easily.

    Brompton's Touring bag on the front of the frame , and a Carry Freedom city,
    a folding trailer , with a sling duffle bag in it ..
    for the rest of the stuff to stow in it .
    need more space, a second duffle will strap on top.

    jump on the train thru the Chunnel and you're there in no time..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-06-11 at 12:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    The Giant Rapid 2 is a lightweight fitness/commuter style bike that can accept rear panniers. It is quite suitable for light touring; you dont need anything heavier duty. The Rapid has a good reputation and it is from a well respected brand.

    The flat handlebars limit the number of hand positions so i would advise switching for a trekking /butterfly style of bar.

    The only point I would query is the clearance between the brake and the tyres. It comes with 25mm tyres which may be OK but you really want the option for a wider tyre, maybe 28mm. Caliper brakes come in 2 types, standard race-bike with tight clearance and long-drop style with sufficient room for 28mm tyres+fenders. Check which ones come with the Rapid. Frames are built for one or the other style, you cant just switch brakes.

    A luggage system of 2 small/medium rear panniers and one front bar bag is more than enough. Travel light but take sufficient tools and leave room for carrying food.

    Some people are advising steel touring bike, Ive got one but these days aluminium is just as reliable and comfortable. Others advise carbon fibre race bikes, these cannot accept racks or wider tyres. Koga and other premium brands such as Mercian are above your budget.

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