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Which bike would you take?

Old 08-11-20, 03:02 AM
  #1  
rivers
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Which bike would you take?

In a couple of weeks time, I'm cycling down to Southampton from Bristol, camping overnight, then catching the ferry with some friends to cycle around the Isle of Wight. It is around and 80 mile ride with about 3000 feet of climbing. My friends are being sensible and driving down, but I spent the winter assembling lightweight-ish camping kit for various bikepacking adventures that never happened because of Covid. So this is the only time I'll really get to test it out. But I'm debating which bike to take. On one hand, I have my lovely 105 equipped custom build carbon bike (50/34, 11-28) that is lightweight and is my best bike. It has rim brakes and is running 25mm GP5000s. It really is a lovely ride, however not suitable fully loaded with lots of climbing as I found out last year in Devon and Cornwall (80 miles/day with 7000-8000ft of climbing). But the route I plotted has roughly 3000 feet of climbing over 83 miles, and nothing categorised. My other bike is a felt F40x aluminium cross bike, which is a slightly heavier tiagra equipped bike (46/30, 11-34) and has hydro disc brakes, and 32mm Pirelli Cinturatos tubeless tyres (would obviously still bring spares). I'm torn between the two. The route is mainly on road, but according to commute there is around 1000 yards of various unpaved surfaces (cobbles, packed gravel, and a bit of unknown). I do not know the state of these surfaces. While it's only an overnight trip, it's not much lighter than what I would take for several days, if at all as I would just wash my kit every other day. So if you were me, which bike would you take?
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Old 08-11-20, 03:16 AM
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The aluminum Felt. Have fun.
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Old 08-11-20, 05:20 AM
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How steep are the steeper climbs? You want a low enough gear for the climbs, but 3000 feet over 80 miles sounds pretty flat so based on that I am guessing that any bike has low enough gearing. In that scenario, take the bike that you want to ride. It is only a few days, you can't really make a bad decision when it is not much more than a few training rides.
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Old 08-11-20, 06:05 AM
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I will offer my thoughts, but they aren't worth much.

I have never liked the 50/34 compact crank, especially when mated with the 11-28 cassette. I'm a spinner, an older guy who has never liked standing up on the pedals to muscle up hills. Since you mentioned the carbon bike is a custom build, I guess that you either don't ride hills or you ride differently from me. My experience with carrying luggage, even lightweight camping gear, is that you must have a front/rear tooth ratio of less than 1:1. Well, maybe it's not mandatory, but my carbon adventure bike, which came with a 50/34, now has a 46/30 and a 10-42 cassette. Other than that, 1000 yards of rough surface can be walked if the skinny tires aren't up to the job. You can even push the bike up the hill if you don't have the low gears. Ride the bike that fits the best. Long days in the saddle will bring fit issues to the surface.
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Old 08-11-20, 07:06 AM
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You didn't mention whether you're carrying your lightweight kit or getting your friends to bring it for you. If you're taking it, how will you carry it?
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Old 08-11-20, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
You didn't mention whether you're carrying your lightweight kit or getting your friends to bring it for you. If you're taking it, how will you carry it?
I'll be carrying the kit on my bike to Southampton. I have a saddlebag, handlebar bag and a couple of fork bags

Last edited by rivers; 08-11-20 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 08-11-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ups View Post
The aluminum Felt. Have fun.
+1 Would be a no-brainer for me
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Old 08-11-20, 09:28 AM
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Ride the one that you think will be the most fun. For me, these days I tend to ride the sportiest one that I can get by with. Will the CF one carry the gear and provide low enough gearing? If so it would be my choice, Maybe even if the gearing was a bit tall in one or two places.

On the other hand if you will be miserable struggling with too tall gearing the other one would be the way to go.
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Old 08-11-20, 09:37 AM
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You got the Felt for exactly this type of thing. Use it.
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Old 08-11-20, 10:52 AM
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I got a Mid 80's Toyo made Specialized Expedition that served me well for a decade or so..
Should have kept it.
Order a new Mercian Tour, like this guy did (found picture)


Last edited by fietsbob; 08-11-20 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 08-12-20, 01:16 PM
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Testing the Felt on tomorrow's commute
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Old 08-17-20, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I got a Mid 80's Toyo made Specialized Expedition that served me well for a decade or so..
Should have kept it.
Order a new Mercian Tour, like this guy did (found picture)

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Old 08-17-20, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rivers View Post
Testing the Felt on tomorrow's commute
For sure this.
The easier gearing is available if needed and wider tires = more comfort, assuming they are quality tires.
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Old 08-18-20, 02:29 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
For sure this.
The easier gearing is available if needed and wider tires = more comfort, assuming they are quality tires.
Pirelli cinturato velos, so they're pretty good. Good balance between rolling resistance, puncture protection, and grip.
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