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Overland Bicycle Travel Overlanding questions for two wheels, no motor!
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  #1  
Old 7 Jul 2008
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Cheap expo bike

Hi all, thinking of a 2500 mile haul on a cycle. I will be travelling light, i need a sensibly priced bike that will do this mileage and more with reliabilty and most of all comfort. Does anybody have any idea's. I'm 5'10 medium build. Price, frame size, type, gears,tyres, you know what i mean, many thanks Floyd
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Old 7 Jul 2008
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what's cheap to you?

what terrain?
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Old 7 Jul 2008
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Mostly roadwork, £400
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Old 7 Jul 2008
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If new, Edinburgh Bicycle (http://www.edinburghbicycle.com) Country Traveller tourers get good reviews, and come pretty much built to go. they are cheaper and better spec'd than the larger brands (specialized, cannondale, etc), for the money. their '07 bike currently has £100 off, and is now £299. You'd have to check sizes. I've ridden one and it was good comfort-wise, but I chose to go off-road so an MTB.

Ortleib dry bags are about £70, and the front bar bag is about £50.

If second hand (and I've just been through this) you need to be un-fussy about the bike. But I've since found that some bike shops carry old/sh road-frames for sale cheap. If buying second-hand you're probably looking at an additional £30 for a pannier rack, chain (£15), brake blocks (£10), tyres (£20), etc, etc. it adds up quickly. I gave up on my second-hand search as I couldn't find something my size (6'), and you really have to be prepared to strip and rebuild with the cost of cables and seized parts.

at that price though it's not going to be particularly light. I have a road frame (raleigh R100) which is light-ish (steel), but can't take touring tyres and a rear rack is a pain to fit and isn't all together stable.

I have an EB Cuillin Sport (£280), plus panniers (£70), plus rack (£30), plus bar bag (£50) and tyres (£20). It's heavy, but have done a few 50 mile rides and it's fine. doing three weeks road riding in france from friday to try it out.

the Kona Smoke has also been suggested here.
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Old 7 Jul 2008
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Thanks Dougie, looks a good buy.
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Old 10 Jul 2008
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by the way, Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres appear to be the Michelin Deserts of the cycle world. They have a pretty good anti-puncture construction.

I ordered some about four weeks ago, and they're only just being sent out by the dealer. Typical... I leave tomorrow on a cycle trip, and they will likely arrive the day after! So if you want to get some, order them in plenty of time as apparently the delay has been with the manufacturer. Many shops/online were out of stock.

cheers,
Doug
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Old 10 Jul 2008
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Frame size is very personal. It has much to to do with your inside leg, back length, arm length, what position you like to sit in whilst riding, how much wind your ears catch etc. etc. A decent bike shop will let you test ride any bikes you might want to buy. I agree with dougie that EBC are a good source of cheap bikes. Their touring ones look excellent. They make a lot of no-nonsense stuff used by couriers etc.

Ortlieb dry bags do seem to be the panniers of choice for most tourers. Have some of their drybags for canoeing and motorcycling. Very tough and well made. A bike in that price range should have Shimano gears, which are pretty good even in their cheapest form. A good upgrade you might like to make is to go for 'cartridge' type brake blocks (assuming your bike has rim brakes). These make the whole process of replacing blocks much easier and the little replacement pads weigh sod all, so you can carry lots.

If you are trying to save money a good way to think about upgrades is 'contact points'. i.e. where you meet the bike and the bike meets the ground. The most useful upgrades you can make are a good saddle, comfy grips, good shorts and gloves and good tyres. From a lightness point of view your wheels are the best place to lose weight as 'rotating mass' is far more useful to get rid of than static mass. The easiest way to do this is buy kevlar beaded tyres. Another advantage of these is that spares can be folded away.

Damn, all this bike chat has got me hankering for pedal power again!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!

Last edited by Matt Cartney; 10 Jul 2008 at 16:51.
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