What Bike?

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

  1. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    Just in case the people I replied to who I thought was slagging off the bike I had bought but we're not (they were slagging off the Cinelli) seen the posts. I've deleted them now
  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    I'd go for at least a 3 season bag, you can always undo the zip if you're too warm but it's a bugger trying to sleep if you're cold in spring/autumn when there's a chance of a bit of frost overnight.
    FishFright and Blue Hills like this.
  3. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Über Member

    The Netherlands
    Well, you've been having an up and down experience!

    That's a pity about the BTW scheme.
    But you're going all out getting your gear! ^_^

    I've an Arkel handlebar bag because I didn't like the Ortlieb. I'd be surprised if you can't mount the Ortlieb on butterfly bars. Remember, you can mount them frontways or backways. In any case, it shouldn't be an issue to change the handlebars to flats. I've done it with mine. I tried Butterflys, didn't like them, so went back to flats.

    As for the tent/sleeping bag.... slow down! :-)

    Issues to consider for the tent: (My own opinions)
    Size. Just how big does it need to be, how big do you want it to be, and what is practical.
    You can get teeny tiny tents ( I call 'em coffin tents) that are really light and have a small profile - really good for wild camping. But anymore than a couple of nights in one & I'd be going crazy! Or a long rainy day.,
    Consider also space for cooking in inclement weather or space for your gear/bike if that's an issue for you.

    Ease of erection (Ooooooh! Missus!!) No good having a tent that's a PITA to try to put up. Or take down. Or only good in certain situations and useless in others.

    Groundsheet/Footprint. A lot of modern tents have thin floors so an extra footprint is advisable. More weight, cost and sometimes complicates the erection process.

    Overall packsize & weight, because you do have carry the thing! (Remember you can split a tent into a couple of bags).

    If you plan on being on the road for 3 months, a good tent choice is important to the success and enjoyment of your tour. Don't rush the purchase.

    Sleeping Bags:
    Down is lighter than synthetic, and supposed to be warmer.
    Down is much less effective than synthetic when wet.
    Down requires more care in terms of laundry/drying.
    Down packs smaller than synthetic, so down gives more warmth value per space taken than synthetic. In theory.
    Of course, there are improvements in tech all the time, so some of those statements are debatable.
    The temp rating on the bag is very personal. If it says comfortable to 0C, that may work for me, but not for you.

    And don't forget a sleeping pad/mat. In cooler temps a good mat will overcome the deficiencies of a poor bag.

    Can you borrow a tent?
    In these temps a sleeping bag may not even be necessary. A couple of nights in a tent will teach you a lot more than a few weeks online.

    I've a 3 season synthetic bag. In winter I supplement that with a merino wool liner. I use a Thermarest pad. Not one of the ultralight ones. It packs a bit big. In winter aluminium foil wrap under the pad.

    My longest tour was in a cheapy Coleman tunnel tent. Heavy, but a delight. Easy to put up, handled everything thrown at it. Tough as nails. I think it cost me about Euro 45.
    I've since splashed out on a far more expensive 4 season tent. And hate it! Way too finnicky.

    Good luck!
    raleighnut, Serge and Blue Hills like this.
  4. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    Good advice thanks. For the tour I am planning on buying a £200ish tent I've got 3 years to get that, but for practicing I think I will only need a cheap £50ish tent (I need to start practicing from this year and don't fancy winter camping so that gives me only 3 or 4 months tops this year).
    The only reason I am buying the extra things with the bike is because I had to make the price up to over £850 to get finance from Tredz but I would have had to get them eventually anyway.
  5. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    Good point, cheers
    raleighnut likes this.
  6. Ticktockmy

    Ticktockmy Veteran

    I use a 3 season down sleeping bag, I know some people will say that one of down's drawbacks is that when they get wet they are a nightmare to dry, I bought mine in 1982, and have used it for cycle touring and backpacking since then. and never had any problems. I know you want to buy cheap to practice, but buy cheap and you can have bad experainces as cheap can fail under poor conditions, buy more expensive gear and it will last a life time and will give you a much better experancie and if cycle touring you find is not for you it has a greater resale value.
  7. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Über Member

    The Netherlands
    ** apologies! The apostrophe seems to have disappeared from my keyboard! ^_^

    Given that you have given yourself lots of time to prepare, Id be wary of setting budgets for your gear at this early stage.
    Id be more focused on what I want in a tent - size, weight, vestibule etc. The difference ( a lot of the time between your 50 tent and your 300 tent is not the design, but the materials used in terms of weight & quality). Any camping shop that has tents on display should be your first place to visit. Second is campsites- to see others tents in the flesh and to talk to people about what they like, dont like etc.

    Oh! And dont knock winter camping until youve tried it! ^_^ I never would have thought Id enjoy it, but its quieter, and the longer nights are very calming. Its a great way to really test your clothing & gear. You should also check out Warmshowers - a touring cyclist mutual hosting site. A good way to go for a mini-tour in the winter without camping and meet similarly minded people (as a guest and a host).

    Good advice on the purchasing. Theres always the conflict between buying good once, or buying crappy several times. The problem is figuring out whats good for you! ^_^

    I went for a synthetic bag because I wanted to be comfortable when away from civilisation for days at a time. For most people who are never far from a town and back at home on a regular basis theres no significant disadvantage to a down bag, and they can enjoy the smaller packsize and greater warmth.
    GmanUK65 and Blue Hills like this.
  8. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    I checked out Snugpak sleeping bags from an online site named Military Kit and found their sleeping bags catered for taller people (I'm 6' 3). The Snugpak Sleeper Light sounds good (2-3 season, 220cm length, £40)

    From same site, they sell plenty other kinds of camping kit. Has anyone had any experience with Snugpak tents? There is one I've got my eyes on, the Snugpak Scorpion. I cannot decide on this or the Burghaus Peak 3.2 Pro, any suggestions?
  9. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Über Member

    The Netherlands
    Personally, I'd go for a better sleeping bag. The specs I've seen for the Sleeper light says 2 season - Spring/Summer. You'll be gone for 3 months, maybe longer, covering a lot of different terrain. It get's cold in the mountains - even in the summertime. Or after a wet day it can be pretty luxurious to warm up inside a warm sleeping bag. You can always cool down in a warm sleeping bag, you can't always warm up in a cold one.

    As for the tent, rather than ask people what they like, how about you tell us what you're looking for, or why you like any of theses particular tents?

    It really, really doesn't matter if I come on here and say, yeah, Snugpak Scorpion 2 is the best tent you can get. If I'm not using my tent in the same way you'll be using yours, then my advice isn't worth diddlysquat.

    Of far more benefit to you will be to get out there and see these tents in the wild! And all the other types there are.

    All the online discussion in the world won't really help you to understand how a tent works in the real world and what is important to you.

    Every tent has its advantages and disadvantages. And they differ from person to person.

    For example, both of the tents you suggested are tunnel type designs with a vestibule at the front. That's where you will store your gear. That's also your only entry and exit point. Is the vestibule big enough to accommodate your gear? is it big enough to let you in and out easily with your gear in it? You're not going to want to be dragging your wet gear into the sleeping area of your tent!
    Normally, these tents are erected facing into the wind. In wet and windy weather then, there is little shelter if you need to cook in your vestibule.
    Maybe neither of these things are important to you.
    Maybe they will be later on (when you're cold after a long wet day on the bike, and you're eating a cold sandwich in your tent because you can't cook or even make a cup of tea without getting soaked and getting ready to climb into a 2 season bag)

    You're going to be using your tent every night for at least 3 months. That is vastly different to the guy or gal who likes to take weekend trips.
    It's pishing rain? Some tourers will take a hotel. I don't think that's in your budget, so you'll have to sit it out.

    I understand that your budget is very tight. But you have at least 2 years to get your tent. A lot of bargains will come and go in that time - if you know what to look for. It could actually be a lot of fun!

    I'd suggest you have a look around online to pick up a 2 man tent second hand and try your hand at that.
    If you paid 40 quid for it and used it for 20 nights that works out at 2 quid per night. That strikes me as a very cheap way of learning.
    Then, when you know what you want you can pay over some more money with confidence.

    You've already learned the perils of buying in bulk from one supplier - buying a barbag that may not fit your handlebars. Don't be narrrowing your tent choice down to the same place that sells the sleeping bag you want.
    There's not a lot of point in saving some money on delivery to get a tent that may not suit you.

    Also, this thread is about "What bike" but we're discussing tents and sleeping bags.
    Maybe it's time to start the mother of all "I'm getting my self ready for a big tour" type thread where all your posts can go. You'll get more answers then.

    Finally, just about every post I make on your threads finishes with something like "just get out there and do it!"
    And this one is no different.
    You don't need the perfect tent or sleeping bag or bike to go away for a day or 2.
    Get out. Feel the weather on your face. Turn your bike in a direction and follow it. Throw up whatever tent you can get your hands on, crawl into whatever sleeping gear you can find and enjoy a night away from everything!
    Let your mind wander to Dutch canals, Rhine castles, to Austrian Alps, to Italian lakes, to French country lanes, to Spanish dusty ones.

    You may not be 100% comfortable (in fact, that's kind of the point!), but it's not going to kill you!
    And you'll learn so much more by doing just a little.
  10. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills ^

    Great post as always Hobbes.

    On Snugpak, they do some higher specced bags than than that one above.And after all they do supply stuff for army types.

    I have a softie 9 hawk - synthetic. Supposed to be 3 seasons I think. Haven't got round to camping in it yet (have been using a quality if bulky Mountain Equipment synthetic for 20 years on and off) but have great hopes for it. Some say their temperature ratings are optimistic, but no matter - I have two liners, often sleep using long johns and even have a snugpak thermal hat :smile:. I got the Snugpak bag for about £55 in one of their factory sales. It's actually a second but only in a cosmetic way.

    IF, and it's an IF as I second your message to the OP to get out there, the OP decides that they like the idea of a free-standing geodesic or semi geodesic tent, I can recommend the Robens Lodge 2.

    Tent sale season is approaching of course.
    GmanUK65 likes this.
  11. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    So, are you saying to buy a cheap tent and a 3 season sleeping bag and cooking stuff and get out?

    There is one problem with these kinds of forums. There is so much differing points of views that it is hard to choose which is the correct one. Somebody stated earlier to buy a decent priced tent because a cheap one would be no good, hence why I was looking at the £200 mark for the tent that was going to take me on the big journey.

    I've got to admit that the advice you have given me makes the most sense. I get paid in just under 2 weeks, so I will buy a cheapish tent, sleeping bag and things to allow me to get out and do it (practice) from the day I get the stuff.

    P.S. The buying of bulk was not a pitfall. To get out and do it I would need Panniers. I changed the handlebar bag which I received yesterday and I am expecting the bike and the rest to be delivered tomorrow (13th Aug).
  12. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills ^

    I'd be pretty confident that after your initial trips when you decide what sort of tent you want you could easily get THE tent for less than £200. Just buy at the right time of year.
  13. OP

    GmanUK65 Senior Member

    I think I've found the tent which I am planning on buying, whether temporary for practice or to take on the big trip - The Coleman Phad X2. RRP £180 - 200, I've found it at £109. Thought I'd mention it here to see what you think of it (You're probably pretty sick of me now LOL). Its more money than what I'd pay for a temporary one and the RRP is around the price that I would pay for the big trip but, as you say I've got 2 years to find that one and I may find a better one by then. At £109 I think it is a bargain.
  14. Ticktockmy

    Ticktockmy Veteran

    Join the Backpackers club facebook page, you will find a lot of good chat on there regarding backpacking equipment, cycle packing uses the same equipment as Backpacking just the differance is panniers rather than a rucsak. I have in the past bought 2 lightwieght tents on ebay, one a vaude hogan which normally would have been over £200.00 and bought of the manufactours for £69.00, the other was a a Terra Nova Laser Competition 1, should have been over £300.00and I paid £75.00. Both tents where brand new, but being a previous years model and style the manafactors were off loading stock. so it well worth checking ebay and see what on offer and ths is coming up the right time of year as next years stock will be arriving in store come November.
    Of course you dont need a tent a 3X3 mtr Tarp is more than adequate , which is mainly what I use during the summer months. https://www.ddhammocks.com/products/tarps.
    raleighnut likes this.
  15. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Über Member

    The Netherlands
    There were a few weeks there that you didn't even need a tent or sleeping bag! ^_^

    I'm saying what I would do if I was in your shoes.

    There are no correct answers!:becool:

    I agreed with the advice to spend your money on a good quality tent. It makes sense - if you know what type of tent you want. If you get a tent that doesn't suit you, then you've just wasted a lot of money.

    All I have been trying to suggest from, I think, my first post, is that it doesn't matter what bike/tent/sleeping bag works for me. You have to know what works for you.
    The best way of figuring that out is to try, in the real world.

    Once you know how you want to travel, then making your gear choices will become easy-peasy.

    If you can borrow some stuff or pick up what you need cheaply, then I think that's a good way to help you figure out what works for you.

    Extreme example
    Her clothes and camping gear weighs less than 3,5 kg!

    Cooking, camping & some clothing come to 13 kg! (for 2)

    Which style of touring suits you best?

    Have you read any journals on CGOAB? There's so much information contained within there that will help you think beyond what bike? What tent? What sleeping bag? It will help you figure out how you want to travel - and I don't mean by bike.

    But not as much as actually climbing on a bike and heading off!^_^

    You don't have to decide anything now! You have no rush.

    In any case, any sleeping bag, any tent will work. All you're trying to figure out is what works best.
    Serge and raleighnut like this.
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