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Who has ridden Cambodia?

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Who has ridden Cambodia?

Old 02-07-19, 10:55 AM
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Who has ridden Cambodia?

I'm building a 26" wheeled bike for daily travel in Cambodia(plan to live there for a bit). I'll be in the Siem Reap area in particular. How are the roads out there? Do I need kind of aggressive tread, or will a Schwalbe Supreme do? Will I be fine with a 35mm tire, or would a 50mm be much better? I plan to take the bike on other tours while I'm on that side of the world, so would rather not just use a large, heavy tire if it's not needed.
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Old 02-07-19, 11:17 AM
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I have. Many of the roads are made, particularly around Siem Reap and down Tonle Sap towards Phnom Penh. I was using Schwalbe Marathons on my Brompton, and didn't have a problem. Took a spare tyre too, which wasn't needed. Some of the outlying roads my be dirt, but again the quality is pretty good.Don't know the supremes, but the Marathons were more than up to the task. Take a sturdy lock, whatever you do. If nothing else, you'll feel more secure when you leave the bike. I wasn't so much worried about the locals, by the way, as the tourists who only stay one or more days! I used 35mm tyres, which are the standard for Bromptons, last time, without a problem.
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Old 02-07-19, 12:22 PM
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think i've done almost all the major roads in cambodia with 26*1.95's, half before they were paved. you could probably get by with 38's nowadays unless leaving the main routes.


chinese have been paving just about everything, but quality varies. i suspect they subcontract out by kilometer sections to whoever's uncle's cousin depending on brown envelope requirements. leads to poor quality work and cutting of the corners. road surfaces don't last long because of that and the perpetually ueber-overloaded vehicles.


you wind up with alternating sections of smooth pavement, potholes, dirt, pavement..... conditions change quickly, road reports from last year no longer valid.
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Old 02-08-19, 08:50 AM
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A little bit more info would be nice. Many 27.5 bikes and a few 700c/29rs. What frame, wheels, drops or flat bars.?

I prefer 700c marathons and live in Kampong Cham.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:33 PM
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As mentioned, 26Ē. The frame is an 80ís mtb frame I got from CL(83 Diamond Back Ridge Runner). Iím gonna try it with drops to begin with. If that stretches me out too much then Iíll try it with flats.
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Old 02-09-19, 02:42 AM
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Flats might be better to begin with. I've done Bali and parts of Malaysia on drops, which fine but never toook the lower position, mostly because I needed to see the unexpected, apart from other motorists. Nothing like rounding a corner to see a family of apes heading towards you the other side, or, in Australia, a wild boar come crashing across the road in front of you.

The biggest problem had in Cambodia on the most recent trip was being too ambitious about distance at the start, and finding the heat got a little too much close to mid-day. when I still had a fair way to go. I should have know better, of course. The other was English - not much spoken the further you are away from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, and that includes the hotels.
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Old 02-09-19, 06:12 PM
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I practically Never ride drops anyway. I find the standard brake lever hand position and slightly more aero position preferable to flats, though. I might end up swapping it to flats once I'm there and just riding daily, but I want to fly out of the country with drops on it so that I'll be set up for touring in Europe too. I'm sure swapping to flats once I'm in Cambodia won't be too big of a deal if need be.

I have been thinking about trying bull-horns lately, though...
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Old 02-11-19, 07:35 PM
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In and around Siem reap I see mostly mountain bikes. Even the road bikes have flat bars. Where I live in Kampong Cham I am starting to see some drop bar bikes but mostly with mtb style thumbies and cross style brake levers. If you plan to swap bars styles bring everything you need to do the swap. Bikes shops here in Siem reap are mostly rental or old style step thru sales.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:44 PM
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Asked this question any where else, other than this forum?


I tour with extra tires (at least 1). a stiff steel bead tire can lay across my back panniers by bringing the beads to a near figure 8

so it curved .. then my sleeping bag in top of it..
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Old 02-13-19, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88
In and around Siem reap I see mostly mountain bikes. Even the road bikes have flat bars. Where I live in Kampong Cham I am starting to see some drop bar bikes but mostly with mtb style thumbies and cross style brake levers. If you plan to swap bars styles bring everything you need to do the swap. Bikes shops here in Siem reap are mostly rental or old style step thru sales.
Hmm... I wonder if I could fit MTB trigger shifters on bull-horn bars. I have a spare set of 3x9 Deore shifters and derailers. You might have just given me a new bar set-up. Thanks.
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Old 02-14-19, 04:00 AM
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Just a couple of thoughts: the worst surface I came across was that going from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom, which isn't far. It was a newly laid surface, and shook the hell out of my Brompton, but, other than that, most most road surfaces passable, particularly the main ones.

Now the Brompton is a folder. A major plus is that, if you get tired, hot, behind schedule or whatever, and want to take a bus or taxi, a folding bike the size of a Brompton will produce smiles, rather than the shake of the head. Most, if not all, hotels let you store bikes in your room, especially the smaller ones.
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