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30

The distinctions are often subtle: The touring bike will of course be slightly more heavily built (generally a steel frame). The touring bike will have a longer wheelbase. You will generally notice that the space between the seat tube and the rear wheel is fairly wide. (The longer wheelbase serves 3 purposes: More stable, smoother ride, better fender ...


23

It's more or less a math question. A way from Athen to London without using a ferry if not absolutely necessary (Canal), it is approximately 3200 kilometers. So if you have an average speed of 15 km/h (mountainbike) or maybe 25 km/h (racing bicycle) it would take approximately 214 respectively 128 hours to cycle the route. As always for such rough ...


19

Get a printed map and look for the 'postal roads'... There are 'postal roads' in Switzerland that are closed to normal cars. These go over some high passes that are just not wide enough for regular traffic. They are called 'postal roads' because only the post bus goes on them. What is amazing about them is the descents - you can ride 'TdF' style without ...


13

Doesn't address your question with regard to maps, but I've found it easier to work from turn-by-turn cue sheets instead. I almost always ride a predetermined route, even if it's just something quickly charted up pre ride. Luxury is of course having access to google maps and being able to print out directions. I print out (or write out, sometimes you have to ...


12

I bring enough to dress small cuts and stop bleeding, at least until 911 could get to me. If you're riding in areas you might not be able to be reached by emergency services, or if you have particular medical issues that need specialty supplies, a kit like this would insufficient. Bandages/band-aids of a few different sizes Gauze -- usually a small roll ...


12

Mountain bikes have been pressed into service as touring machines for a long time. Old hardtail mountain bikes make great, bristly touring machines, and they're fun to ride. Tires The first thing you'll want to look at are the tires. Most mountain bikes come with knobby tires for riding on dirt and gravel. A set of slicks or semi-slick tires will decrease ...


11

Probably what you want is a "hybrid" or "commuter" bike. Flat handlebars (like a mountain bike), smooth road tires (but a bit fatter than on a racing bike), usually the right stuff for mounting a rack and fenders. Go down to your Local Bike Shop and look at what they have. Make sure it's a store that basically just does bicycles, not a department store that ...


11

This may depend on what you enjoy doing. For me, the very act of exercise will stop me being bored, and cycling wins on so many fronts. But if you need to actively do stuff, how about: focus on the weather, on a good day feel the breeze watch the scenery talk to others in your group (I'm less keen on this, as I like a quiet cycle) give yourself challenges, ...


10

A recovery ride is a ride where you go at a very easy pace for 90-120 minutes. The idea of it is to give all those over-worked muscles some gentle exercise so that they don't tighten up, while flooding them with nutrients to help them repair. For people in training, it's a day off to just enjoy riding. I ride with a friend on his recovery ride because ...


9

No! Treat yourself to some basic Shimano SPD shoes. Consider getting the pedals too. A popular entry model shoe is the M087 model, shown here with a basic SPD pedal: The Shimano shoes are reasonably wide, the sizes are as per your trainer size, available in EU size increments. The M087 has a ratchet mechanism for doing them up, you can adjust this whilst ...


9

My preference is for SPD clipless pedals and "walkable" clipless shoes. But I still have a pair of lightweight "tennis shoes" in my gear for campsite, days off, etc. Another option, if you can still find them, is the old-fashioned "touring" shoes and regular toe straps. "Touring" shoes are (or were) quite walkable, and it's reasonable to walk miles in ...


9

As I may have given away in the comments, I'm not a fan of sensory deprivation when you're as vulnerable as you are when you're on a bike. I don't think there are many scenarios where not being able to hear as good as you possibly can is safe on a bike — but you may not agree and safety really isn't the point of this answer. My belief is that when you ...


8

If you're doing mostly commuting I'd look for strength above light. Go for something with more spokes and with a 3 cross lacing pattern. You want something that is reliable. Of course you weight is a consideration so there is always a trade off between that and durability. Going with something with radial (straight) lacing up front can save weight and ...


8

I have seen some handlebar bags that have a slot for maps on the top. The map pocket is usually clear plastic designed to keep the map dry. (Hopefully this isn't what you meant by "pannier-attached map things" -- I have never heard of/seen those; maybe you were thinking handlebar bags?) There are lots of bags that have this (Google "handlebar bag map ...


8

We can generalize the main areas where one can load weight as such: Front rack vs. Rear Rack High (on top of rack) vs. Low (in panniers) The most commonly accepted points for load distribution are as follows: Keep dense, heavy items low to the ground. The lower you & your bike's center of gravity is, the more easily you can keep yourself upright. ...


7

1st option The best solution: Have a navigator with you, who has a handlebar bag with a map sleeve: Navig^^^^^Stoker cockpit 2nd option Otherwise I almost always ride with a handlebar bag, which has a transparent map sleeve on top. Both options on the same picture: Two maps possible, in case you want to go different routes 3rd option On trips ...


7

I recently flew to Europe with my wife, and we brought along our bicycles. Our solution was to disassemble them the night before and place them into cheap Nashbar bicycle bags. We wrapped pipe insulation foam around just about everything to avoid damage from handling. For extra protection, we then stuffed these into the standard bike boxes provided (at a ...


7

While I many many respects the anti-clipless guy around here, I do recognize that a lot or people love clipless shoes. While this question is not about clipless pedals or cleats, the stiff sole of a bike shoe is exactly what you want when cycling. However, they're not for everybody; I dislike the idea of having to bring extra shoes along on a tour. I ...


7

Give yourself a week to follow the Loire down to the Alps, a couple of weeks to cruise around lake Geneva, through Interlaken, Liechtenstein (to add an extra country to the bedpost), Graz, Vienna and on to Budaspest. Remember that it is one Alp a day unless you are a TdF rider, so be prepared for some astoundingly steep climbs and low mileages if you go the ...


7

i have been using the Supernova e3 Triple for night-time singletrack missions for the past two winters.....all I can say is awesome, completely awesome. 870 Lumens. bright. I used a Shimano Alfine dynamo hub and built a complete 'night wheel' with a DT 4.2d rim, it has rubber and a rotor mounted so swap-over time is very quick. We have months of mud, ice ...


7

The answer to your question depends heavily on the infrastructure that is available to you, and the highest level of mechanical ability in your party. As another pointed out, you will want at least two pumps, multi-tools, etc. My wife and I do pretty challenging mtb tours with BOB trailers. We generally bring the following (subject to modification ...


6

I usually make my map before and upload it on my garmin, i have the same map on my phone via google map in case i need more details (which I keep in my backpocket). If i don't want to go to a certain location but just want to ride, I let my garmin goes and use the "return home" feature when it start to get late.


6

I think that it is generally true that any "all-purpose" tool is less-than-ideal for most purposes. There are trade-offs for everything. If you are just looking for a bike that allows you to ride fast and long while carrying a load, though, I think you are looking for a light touring bike. Get something with drop-bars and road-y geometry. Get a ...


6

That is a reasonable estimate, however there is more to it than that. First of all, you are not going to be cycling the way you would drive, i.e. on the Interstate. For your particular plan you are most likely to be wanting to follow Highway 1 up the coast. This road is bicycle friendly whereas the Interstate is not. This comes at a price - more miles and ...


6

Your bike is definitely fine for this trip. I've ridden further on a cheaper hybrid bike fully loaded, and I saw a few guys who rode the same distance on scavenged department store bikes. For a 10 hour trip, I would try to pack light. You should be able to fit everything in one pannier or a rack-top bag. Make sure you have a few water bottles and food ...


6

I confess, I have not done this kind of ride. But I know a few folks who have done some long ones: Vancouver, BC to San Diego; San Francisco to the Mexican Border; the 999 Ride, and so forth. I will tell you a few things they passed along to me. You can get some really nasty saddle sores from this kind of riding. Make sure you have some really good shorts ...


6

For cycling across China you want a reliable bike that is unlikely to give you trouble, and which can be repaired with "local" resources if it does. Forget about "lighter" wheels -- you want reliable wheels, and a pound less weight (if that) from a lighter wheel will not make any difference. And I'd stay away from a geared hub, unless you can find one that ...


6

The best kind of saddle for touring is one which you find comfortable. The cut-out is intended to relieve pressure from your soft bits leaving most of your weight on your sit-bones. A very wide saddle might start to rub excessively inside your thigh on a long ride, while one with springs may be too bouncy at higher cadences and waste some of your effort. ...



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