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Morocco to Portugal

Old 06-15-12, 01:34 AM
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Morocco to Portugal

hi everyone!

I received my 5 year all clear for cancer, so on the 4th of July I'm going to be cycling from Casablanca to Lisbon, 730 miles in 7 days! I currently have a Univega hybrid, but my work has just signed up to Bike2Work scheme, so I can get any bike under 1000 from Halfords (I know, but it's the only option we have)

So I've had a few people look at the options for me and the general consensus seems to be that the Tifosi CK1 Cyclocross Road Bike is the best choice

https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...Id_165710#tab2


Apparently it's a speedy road bike designed for trails, so will be able to handle the ****ty roads I'll have to be dealing with, plus it's made to have racks and such attached, so can carry the vast amounts of water i'll need in the Moroccan July sun!

Any advice would be wonderful, in regards to the bike and the trip itself, I'll leave a link below for my justgiving and blog in case anyone is interested

https://www.JustGiving.com/DanTasticBikeAdventure

https://www.****ThatsCool.com
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Old 06-15-12, 03:49 AM
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Hi Daniel,

Doing 730 miles in 7 days requires some experience, and a fairly trained physique, especially if your plan is to go camping and do all your own shopping. To illustrate: I am 35 years old, have done many tours of up to 5600 km length, but would not embark on such a project because I know I wouldn't make it. As a supported tour, I might be able to, but I would go for training rides, to see how my body reacts to several days of riding a 100+ mile average. The problems are not just in pedalling away the miles, but also all the practical things like finding food and a place to stay, washing and getting enough rest to continue the next day. Those things take time, and doing them efficiently requires some experience.

So here's my confusion about your plan: assuming you have the skills to do it, surely you know what is necessary for a long bike ride? For example - how does the Halfords bike fit you? I would not buy a bike for a long ride unless I could test it. Do you think the gears are good for any luggage you're going to take along? It has a compact crank set, but most tourers use a triple. If those two factors check out for you, I guess it will probably hold together for a week surely. I don't actually see any brazes for racks, so fitting all that water to the bike could be a problem.

One advice I have regarding Morocco: don't go in July. It's dangerously hot. October or march are good months.
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Old 06-15-12, 05:12 AM
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Sounds like fun! Congratulations on beating the big "C".

I agree with Jonathandavid. Ths heat will be intense. I'd take it a little slower if I were you.

Where are you planning to cross the Spanish-Portuguese border?
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Old 06-15-12, 08:56 PM
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Hi, Congratulations on your "all clear", and what a neat way to celebrate it.

Apparently it's a speedy road bike designed for trails, so will be able to handle the ****ty roads I'll have to be dealing with, plus it's made to have racks and such attached, so can carry the vast amounts of water i'll need in the Moroccan July sun!
Are you camping? How much do you weigh?

I see three items that may or may not be issues for the tour you outlined:
Fragile wheels
Lack of low gearing
Carbon fork

The CK1 pictured has wheels laced exactly like my road bike. It has 20 spoke radial lacing on the front and 24 cross laced on one side in the back. IMO those wheels are not up to the task of a loaded tour over rough roads. They may be OK for CX racing, but too fragile for the rigors of a rough tour. My son races cyclocross on a bike with a lot of carbon components which are relatively fragile. If something breaks he is generally only a short distance from the staging area. You most likely will not be that fortunate if something happens.

While a carbon fork may not be a liability, carbon forks are more prone to breakage than either aluminum or steel. I think there are some other bikes in that price point that would be more suitable for the trip you described. Folks that have actually toured on a carbon fork can answer this question. I've only had experience with carbon forks on road bikes.

Gearing might be an issue. The bike has a lot of Campy components, which is good. However, Campy does not provide as many options as Shimano for switching to lower gearing. If you are a strong rider this may not be a problem, but it is something to think about.

Having said all that, the CK1 may be the best bike for the kind of tour you envision that you can get from that supplier.

I'm going to be cycling from Casablanca to Lisbon, 730 miles in 7 days! I currently have a Univega hybrid, but my work has just signed up to Bike2Work scheme, so I can get any bike under 1000 from Halfords (I know, but it's the only option we have)
Cycling long days in hot weather can be a real challenge. It also depends what you call hot, but we hit 110 F in southern Spain in Late June, early July. We consider that hot. If you have never cycled100 mile days back to back, especially in the heat, you might want to try a few test runs to see how you do. When I was relatively young, I did an 1100 mile loaded tour in 11 days. I was racing at the time, and in excellent shape. Actually my bike had gearing similar to the bike you are considering, so it can be done. But not easily!

Good luck on your venture:

Last edited by Doug64; 06-15-12 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 06-16-12, 09:47 AM
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unfortunately I can't get any more time off work, so I don't have a choice in the time I have to complete the journey!

I'm 25, in pretty good fitness, though I've been attempting to improve that for the last two months and have moved to swimming or gym every day for the next 3 weeks. One question in regards to physique, the front of my knee seems to hurt after long distances, but my bike seat is at the correct height, is there anything I can do to work the pain out of it? I don't know what combo of elevating, keeping off, or some sort of stretch is the best...

I've decided to stick with my bike, I've has a few people tell me the cyclocross is a bad idea, so no point in arguing with people who know more then I! I'm getting a stem extension for my handlebars so I don't have to be so leaned over all the time, and spending the next 3 weeks watching youtube videos on bike repair so I can be prepared for any incidents....

3 weeks to go, I've never done anything like this before, so a bit nervous, very excited

in regards to the heat, I'm aware I've chosen a stupid time of year, but it's been done now so I just need to prepare for the worst. My plan is to get up every morning at 4, set off by 5am, ride till noon and hang about in the shade/have a nap/eat all the food/drink all the water for a couple hours, then finish off my 100 in the afternoon and be in bed for 9-10. I haven't drunk any alcohol or smoked in almost a month now, put myself on a detox to prepare for the journey

I'm getting some people telling me I'm going to die and I'm an idiot, others telling me I'll be fine, I'm semi-conifdent at this point!
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Old 06-16-12, 11:17 AM
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What method did you use for setting the height of your saddle? I'm a modest proponent of what Sheldon Brown described on his website - which implies that many people have set their saddle too low.

Adjusting the saddle is often a remedy for knee problems, but an internet forum is not the best place to look for solutions concerning anything physical.
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Old 06-16-12, 01:36 PM
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it's as high as it can go so the ball of my foot can still reach the pedal...
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Old 06-16-12, 10:32 PM
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Adjusting the saddle is often a remedy for knee problems, but an internet forum is not the best place to look for solutions concerning anything physical.
Jonathandavid is correct, but there are resources on the net that talk about bike fitting. However, from your saddle height position description, and with no other information, I'd hazard a guess that your saddle is too high. When you are at the bottom of your pedal stroke there should be about a 25 degree bend at the knee. The basic bike fit is not very difficult and information can be found at several sites.

https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

https://www.coloradocyclist.com/BikeF...saddleheight-b
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