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Old 07-12-11, 11:21 AM   #1
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first time tourer going to Iceland

I am headed for my first tour ever this august for a month....and it will be in Iceland (please don't tell me I am crazy because the ticket is already booked and i cant change my mind now!). I have a Brodie Elan touring type bike and just have a couple questions. any help would be greatly appreciated!!

-tires and route: our plan is to go up the east coast and if we are feeling confident dip down by akakuri(sp?) and head south back to reykjavik. i know it will be mostly pavement for the first bit but ive heard there are quite a lot of gravel and dirt roads (or all gravel/dirt/sand if we go through the interior). what kind/width tires should i have?
-clothing: i have a down sweater, arcteryx jacket, yet to be determined rain pants, two pairs of cycling shorts (one capri, one short), leg warmers, two long sleeve merino wool tops, and am debating between two tshirts vs tanks to go under the long sleeves...i hate being hot....but will it ever be warm enough to be cycling or just hanging out in a tank top?
-Lock: i have a heavy ULock and we were thinking of bringing a cable lock as well. should i scrap the heavy duty (and bricklike ULock) for something less secure? i am assuming bike theft is not as big a problem in town in iceland as it is in vancouver...

i think that's it for now. any help would be AWESOME and greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 07-12-11, 12:08 PM   #2
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Maybe you can get together with the guy who lives there,
and cannot find a touring bike ,
that he likes , there, in Iceland, .. sell it to him, at the end of your trip,
and not have to ship it home.

North Atlantic current coming out of the Caribbean tropics,
warms western Europe and iceland.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-11 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 07-12-11, 08:42 PM   #3
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The author and cycle tourer, Josie Dew went to Iceland and toured. I think the book is called Wind in my Wheels.
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Old 07-12-11, 10:30 PM   #4
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Iceland is a great place to tour. If you plan to go through the interior i'd recommend bringing a mountain bike. Route 1 has easy grades the whole way except from the east coast to egilsstadir.

Camping is by far the cheapest way to go. There are plenty of campsites along the way. Have fun.
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Old 07-13-11, 02:16 AM   #5
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Lock: I would only take a cable lock, I have found that sufficient for low-risk areas.
Tyres: Rough tracks can be cycled with 35mm tyres but if you plan on doing any distance on tracks, then 38mm is probably the minimum for comfort and control. Ive done a lot of Scandinavian tracks and trails on 32mm, do-able but you have to pay attention.
Clothes: Drying can be slow so I prefer to take 3 pairs of shorts. Longer 3/4 length with pads are harder to dry out so I prefer to keep my leggings separate from my shorts. I find that one pr of polyester leggings that can be worn on or off the bike are more useful than legwarmers. A lightweight, cheap windproof is really useful. Dont forget woolly hat, full gloves and a neck buff, all lightweight ways of staying warm.
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Old 07-13-11, 02:24 AM   #6
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Iceland is reported to be beautiful.. When you pitch your tent it might be nice to stay upwind of the volcano..
Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living

^ Since January 1, 2012
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Old 07-21-11, 10:21 AM   #7
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You will get good roads the whole way if you stay on route 1 which circles Iceland, went round Iceland on 25mm tires in june.

You will most likely always be wearing something windproof. You can check the weather on this page
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Old 07-21-11, 05:28 PM   #8
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I'm just back from a 3 week trip to Iceland.

You don't need a heavy lock. Iceland is very safe, a light cable lock will be more than enough.

The roads, even N1, are quite rough. In the East parts of N1 are still gravel and even the tarmac road is rougher than I expected. The road surface is quite large gravel with only a little tar so it's tiring to ride on all day. So you need at least 32mm tyres.

In the North and East there are some hard climbing days too.

The weather is incredibly variable. I had hail and 3deg C temps up to 15c bright sun. The wind is a constant, usually from the East and can cut your anticipated mileage in half.
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Old 07-24-11, 01:47 PM   #9
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I'm sorry for hijacking the thread, but I'm planning on touring in Iceland next summer and will be a first time tourer as well. (I've only done short trips up to this point.)

I'm looking at bikes and as I'm on a tight budget - very tight budget - this is the best thing I could find, but even then I have a hard time understanding some of the specs.

Yosemite Panorama 28''

these are the specs in English (translated by me with the help of Google) and where I didn't know how to translate it, I've left it intact. Danish to English.

21 speed bicycle use for both city and highway driving. With front suspension and Shimano nav-dynamo.

Frame: Steel
Frame size: 50 cm
Fork: Suspension
Number of gears: 21
Back gear: Shimano Acera
Front gear: Shimano TY
Shifting: Shimano Stef 30
Crank: Prowheel, Alu
Crank Bearing: Completely encapsulated
Steering Bearing: Steel
Steer and frame: Kalloy Alloy
Hub: Joytech-Alu
Rear hub: Joytech-Alu
Front Brake: Pro Max Alloy
Rear Brake: Pro Max Alloy
Chain: KMC steel
Saddle: Biltema (This will be replaced with a different saddle)
Rim: Alex, jacketed
Tyres: 700Cx38
Pedals: Wellgo
Lights: Nav-dynamo
Weight: 16 kg
Miscellaneous: Screens, luggage rack, support, lights, bell

The bike costs 1800DKK or roughly 350USD. I can literally not afford to pay any more for the bike or I won't be able to afford any gear to go with it (and even there I'm going for cheap no-name brands rather than stuff like Ortliebs or what will you. Anyway I think Ortliebs stuff is way too heavy for my taste and the panniers I've found are sturdy and weigh 1/4 of what the same set of Ortliebs would do).
To me this bike looks sturdy and nice and I'm quite pleased that it's got Shimano gears and dynamo lights as that's what I've had on my mountainbikes and only ever been satisfied with.

So my question is: Can I take this bike to Iceland safely? I don't plan on hitting the interior roads at ALL (maybe on another trip, but not for my first), but having done the Ring Road+various several times in my childhood by car as well as short bike trips out of Reykjavík on my old mountainbike, I know what the roads are like. I just don't know much about bikes per se.

Will I need to replace the tyres? A lot of people seem to have replaced their tyres with mountainbike tyres or wider tyres or both, and some haven't replaced them. So much mixed information! It's driving me mad.

I've checked several biketravelblogs from people that've been in Iceland and looked at their equipment and it seems everyone takes along extra spokes. Is this really necessary? No one ever says anything about actually having had to fix their spokes, it just always figures in their equipment lists...I've had mountainbikes since I was seven and I've done a lot of rough terrain on them, but never had any problems with spokes. The only time I've experienced spokes breaking or falling off was with a 40 year old second hand (probably fourth or 17th hand) city bike that didn't like cobbled streets. The luggage carrier on the back of that one fell off as well, the bolts holding it in place unscrewed themselves.

It says it weighs 16kg - is this a lot or is it normal? It looks like a lot to me but then I have no idea what all my old bikes have weighed so I don't really have anything to compare it with...but I know that all my mountainbikes were heavy because I had trouble taking them down into bike basements without clutching the brakes to prevent it running from me, while with the old city bike (which was quite light in comparison) I never had that problem. So I'm guessing 16kg is normal? I wouldn't want to have a bike that's too heavy.

I don't think I've got any more questions for now... These are the most pressing matters. I hope someone wants to help me out.

Last edited by nerakrose; 07-24-11 at 02:52 PM.
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