What Bike?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by GmanUK65, 15 Jul 2018.

  1. GmanUK65

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    So this idea is a bit of a way off but I am planning on doing a 3 month tour around some of Europe in a couple years time. I know its a long way off but better to be planning early than later. First I need a bike, something I am planning to buy in about a years time to give me about a year in learning the skills and gaining the experience before the big one. I've noticed that there is quite a variety of bikes used for touring such as Steel bikes, aluminium bikes; bikes with drop bars, butterfly bars, hybrid style bars etc.

    The type of bicycle I am looking for is one with drop bars (I have been riding road bikes for a few years, and still am). I have never used disc brakes but have heard they work well with touring bikes (I suppose better stopping power for 30+ kg than rim brakes) so I want one with those. 27+ gears is also a big option. I've been told steel is better, don't know why, maybe someone can tell me. I also would prefer one that comes with a rear rack.

    So far I've looked at a number of bikes but don't know which to choose, or if there are better ones which I may not have seen. The bikes I have seen are:
    Kona Sutra
    Genesis Tour De Fer 10
    Dawes Ultra Galaxy
    (this has no disc brakes, so unless there is good reason to get one, probably not)
    Ridgeback Panorama

    The best one in my view is Genesis Tour De Fer 10, but I could be wrong.
    What views do people have on the above bikes?

    In next several months I will in no doubt be asking other questions about touring which I may need assisting with.
    Do you know of any other bikes I should consider
  2. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    The Kona and Genesis are great bikes.

    Can I chuck in a spanner to your well thought out works?

    Surly Dusc Trucker or Long Haul Trucker?
    Gravity Aided likes this.
  3. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Ridgeback, but a Steel un. :bicycle:
    Blue Hills likes this.
  4. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    Yeah I've seen them, and its something to think about though they don't come with rear racks and mudguards. Something I did not mention was I would be trying to stick to a budget in bike buying. the Kona Sutra and Genesis cost about the same and come with rear racks and mudguards. The Surly's cost more and are without the rear rack and mudguards but I suppose the added cost of these items would not make much of a distance so might be worth looking into. I will compare them to the Genesis to see which I prefer. You could give me a head start and advise me on what you think the advantages are of the Surly's over the Genesis?
  5. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    The Ridgeback Panorama is Steel. Something I'm not too sure of is that it uses Reynolds 725 tubing. I've read that this can use smaller diameter tubing than the 631 but the 631 is stronger. The Dawes Galaxy uses this tubing but not disc brakes. I suppose a perfect bike would be one that uses 631 tubing with disc brakes.
  6. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    Another thing I forgot to mention was the wheels. As I am used to 27" wheels I would prefer these. I think the Surly's use 26"
  7. Vantage

    Vantage The dogs chew toy

    I don't think anyone does bikes with 27" wheels anymore. The closest to that would be 27.5" aka 650b and even that size is rare. I don't know of any personally.
    Next up would be 700c. Surly use that size in their bigger frame sizes as do others. You'd be limited to a max tyre size of probably 45mm though.
    If I can recommend Spa's steel tourer if you can live without disc brakes. Comes fitted with mudguards and pretty decent racks. The base model is a little under a grand but as it's built up by Spa themselves, parts you're not happy with can be swapped over before it's delivered or picked up. Even the wheels are handbuilt and you get a choice of colours to pick from.
    My recommendation is basically because for the last month or so, I've owned one :biggrin:
    But I can honestly say that in the 30+ years I've been cycling, it's the most comfortable bike I've owned. I can't knock it.
    Blue Hills likes this.
  8. Tigerbiten

    Tigerbiten Veteran

    Out of the four bikes .....
    The one you picked has the highest gears due to the triple being a 50/39/30.
    The other three use a 48/36/26 triple.
    I think a 50/34 compact double is even worse on a tourer, if you want to run a double then look at something like a 42/26 so you can also get very low gears with it.
    Remember that a fair few cyclist come here and ask how to get lower gear but it's very rare for someone to ask how to get higher ones.
    For a beginner cyclist, higher gears sound better so more bikes get sold, even if they are basically unusable.
    So have a hard think on what range of gears you want/need.

    I think the main advantage of steel tourer vs other material is that it's possible to bodge some type of a repair to a damaged frame in a third world country.
    I don't think you'll need to do something like that but then again YMMV ..... ^_^
  9. Vantage

    Vantage The dogs chew toy

    +1 for what he said ^^^
    A steel frame is easier to weld in the event of a cracked or snapped tube. But then you have to ask yourself if you'd be comfortable letting Daves mate Nick from round the corner loose with a welder on your quite likely very expensive frame or is it better to wait and send it to a reputable frame builder?
  10. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Thorn are touring bike specialists. Suggest you take a gander on the options they offer.
    What's your budget?
  11. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    TBH my Ridgeback is Tange CrMo (similar to 725) but uses V-Brakes.
  12. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    I look into that thanks. 700c is what I was meant to say so it those kind I am still after
  13. F70100

    F70100 Who, me ?

    Not sure whether this information from Reynolds website will clear up, or add to, your confusion...

    Reynolds are just one of the tubeset manufacturers. I don't know who supplies the tubeset for the Genesis bike.

    For what its worth, 3 years ago I was in a similar position to the one you describe. It took me a while to sort out the bike that I wanted, and even now, I'm not 100% sure that I got it but I'm not far off. I got a bike with 631 tubing, drop bars with STI levers, cable operated disc brakes, 32mm "touring" wheels and tyres, mudguards and a rear rack. It also has provision for a front rack which I fit when I need it.

    I wanted a good quality tubeset so that the frame would be up to carrying a load on roughish bridleways and canal towpaths and the like. Likewise the racks are made by Tubus for the same reason. I also wanted wheels with 36 spokes per wheel, again for strength.

    I wanted STI levers because that's what I am used to. More specifically, I also wanted ones which hide all the gear and brake cables under the handlebar tape so I can easily fit a handlebar bag.

    I wanted disc brakes because having had a lighter road bike which is fitted with them, I found them to be so much easier to keep in good adjustment than the cantilever and caliper type brakes that I had used in the past. Your mechanical skills may well be better than mine. Some much more experienced tourers than me are of the opinion (as expressed on the Cycling UK Forum) that strengthening forks to accommodate disc brakes negatively impacts on the ride quality, and therefore comfort of the subsequent bike.

    One thing that I have changed on the bike I bought is the gearing. I thought that 26 front / 30 rear would give me a sufficiently low gear for the hills. I struggled with it and to get the 34 rear cog that I wanted, I had to change the rear derailleur and STI levers. I now "only' have 27 gears instead of 30 but the range is wider. Have a look at a gear ratio calculator to check what your chosen bike gives you. Something under 25 gear inches is usually recommended for the low ratio on a loaded tourer.

    It may well be that an off the shelf bike that meets your specification is not available. Don't worry if its not. My advice would be to go for the one with the frame which meets your needs. Virtually everything else can be changed later (albeit with a negative impact on the budget) if required.

    So what bike did I get? Dawes Super Galaxy. I got it in 2015. Specs change from year to year with all the manufacturers and models. What's available now might not be next year, for better, or for worse.

    Have fun!
    Vantage likes this.
  14. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    My budget would be around £1000 to 1400 but I would need to get it on finance. I know Tredz and Evans do finance so it is these that I have been looking at.
  15. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    When I got your post it was within a pop up, I don't trust popups
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