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Overland Bicycle Travel Overlanding questions for two wheels, no motor!
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Old 4 Nov 2013
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which bike ?

I realise its a pretty open question, but any info appreciated

I'm in the UK, and looking to replace the mountain bike with something more in tune with touring. The target bike is something that will cope with rough tracks as well as tarmac, so not a 100% road biased bike. I've looked at the usual culprits (Dawes etc) nut was wondering what people had found good / bad / indifferent about the various bikes out there.

I'd be very interested in the views on drop and flat bars for touring, and any experiences people had had


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Old 11 Nov 2013
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try here ?

[url=http://tomsbiketrip.com]Tom's Bike Trip
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Old 11 Nov 2013
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There were some good, interesting ideas in the thread below - I don't suppose it covered every manufacturer of pedal bikes, but there are certainly a few mentioned therein.

And then, there is this thread:-
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Old 17 Nov 2013
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Thorn Raven are a pretty good hybrid bike which are fitted with a Rohloff 14 speed hub gear which I can personally recommend as more reliable and robust than a derailleur. They are assembled to order to your specification so are almost hand made and are popular with long distance travellers and tourists. If you have the money a Roberts Roughstuff is a similar bike but totally made to measure.
The type of handle bar is very much a matter of personal choice, I prefer an upright riding position on both bicycle and motorcycle but many tourists prefer drop bars, it is entirely up to you.

T h o r n C y c l e s L t d.
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
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Old 23 Nov 2013
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which bike

I have dawes super galaxy, great on good roads but.....currently riding Koga signature, 22, 000km so far. Love it. Front suspension, rohloff hub. Been through Nepal on trekking routes and length of Africa.

See bikemind | former career girl embarks on 20,000km cycle
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Old 6 Jan 2014
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If your mountain bike is a hardtail and has attachment points for a rear rack, then I'd just stick on some suitable tyres, get it serviced and be off. People worry too much about the perfect bike, when all it is is simply a bike that works.

You can use all that time you saved deciding which bike to get and think up all the ways you can spend the money you saved

That said, I have a Thorn Raven Tour - and has worked very well for my 40,000km -ish jaunts on various continents. Would happily recommend that too. But If I was choosing a bike to tour on again, I wouldn't have bought it and would have just used my Specialised Rockhopper MTB with different tyres. I do prefer off-tarmac to on...

If you do want to buy a new bike, then you really need to decide how much you're willing to spend... then it's much easier!
Helen's Take On...
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Old 26 Jan 2014
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Any half decent bike will do!

I'm another Thorn owner...........The Sherpa(heavy duty expedition mtb) is tough as old boots and carries an immense load and doesn't look too flash either in satin black.

I've built my 610XL with straight bars front and rear racks and a 36/48 spoke wheelset with 2" Kevlar armoured tyres.

As above you can tour with pretty much any decent bike.......If it has a good rack and mudguards it'll keep you drier when its wet.........A good spread of gears and any tyre width from 28mm up will do.

I've ridden the 1300km Edinburgh-London-Edinburgh in 90 hours on a hand built Dave Yates 24.5" Audax(long distance) bike and a 100km offroad Audax with the same bike although I was a good bit slower than the mtbs.

I owned my first mountain bike in 1985 and could easily tour on my current Trek 6000 hardtail.

I also ride another Dave Yates 25" 'fixed wheel' with a 67" gear and have ridden up to 300km Audaxes with that bike aswell as some rough tracks

I've also owned Dawes Galaxies in the past and toured on them but prefer my Sherpa for the really rough stuff(Iceland!)

Last edited by farmer palmer; 27 Jan 2014 at 13:27.
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Old 26 Jan 2014
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I have a Thorn Audax, a Surly Long Haul Trucker and a Surly Troll (Rohloff). And I've just picked up a 1967 Flying Scot. All suitable for touring. The last trip (Barcelona/Edinburgh) I did notice a significant number of Surly's being ridden.

Dawes are not good value anymore, but you can probably pick up a cheap old one which is. A Thorn (even second hand) is a lot of money to put down if you're not really sure what you're after. A decent 700c wheelset can handle the rough stuff (this pic is the Long Haul Trucker on the Corrieyairack Pass, 28mm tyres).

There's no ideal bike though, as we all find different things good. You learn what you need by trying things out. Thankfully, in cycling, trying things out tends not to be too expensive. So long as your existing bike is comfortable, it's the best place to start. Audax's are quite good events to establish if your bike is comfotable or not.

Once you have a few trips away you'll establish how much stuff you want to carry, and where you want to go. That then determines how strong the bike/luggage needs to be. Then it's just how much cash you want to spend

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Old 27 Jan 2014
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cheap Dawes going here : CTC Forum • View topic - 2012 Dawes galaxy 43cm
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Old 2 Feb 2014
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Why not use what you've got and save your cash for the trip? A Thorn can set you back a lot of money. If you want to lose the suspension on your mountain bike, you could fit Surly or Thorn Mt Tura forks. Both have front rack mounts.

There's a lot of hype surrounding touring bikes these days. Old mountain bikes, especially steel, are excellent for long distance travel.

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Old 11 Feb 2014
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Here's my everyday Trek 6000 hardtail on top of an Icelandic volcano!
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Old 4 Jun 2014
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I admit I have not done any long tours but I did love having my own mountain bike (1996 kona AA) for cycling the Annapurna circuit. My choice would be an old 1990's p7 with a rohloff hub. What I like about using a mountain bike is that the panniers come off and you can have some real fun! One day I will ditch the van and find the balls to turn the pedals long term.
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Old 24 Jun 2014
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I bought a Thorn Nomad MK2 for a trip several years ago and to be honest was a litttle dissapointed in a bike costing £3k. Think I would go with the Surley Long Haul trucker if I where to buy a new touring bike -but I'm not as I have found out I am more suited to motrcycle touring than cycle touring and for me it actually works out less expensive travelling on a motorcycle than bicycle.
I don't have to travel fast but I do need to travel cheap
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