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On 22/03/2022 at 13:23, velo army said:

Any of you fowk toured/carried loads on a gravel bike before?

I'm replacing my bike and, while I'm probably going to just build the same bike (Thorn Sherpa, stolen back in January) I'm tempted by the Ribble steel gravel bike. 

Old post, but yeah I have. Mostly for a max of three days. I use a mix of Alpkit and Apidura packs and Salsa Anything cages on the forks rather than panniers. Other than a bit off wobble from the saddle pack if poorly packed it's fine. I'm either carrying a Laser Comp tent or a tarp. 

Stands up to off-road no bother. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Day of the Lords said:

Was that the bit just after Clava Cairns? 

I remember walking that route a while back for a charity event. We left Culloden, took the road your were probably in to reach Tomatin. We got the Aviemore on the second day - assuming you did the same route in reverse, that's a fair amount of climbing

I was out today, standard fare of suffering a brutal headwind west for 22 miles then belting home with a glorious tailwind. 

That's exactly the climb. I stay on that side of Inverness, so it's one I've managed plenty of times before on short local rides (usually immediately followed up with a pitstop at the Keppoch Inn).

The climbing didn't feel too bad until then. There was quite a tough one just past Cartridge, but I was pleasantly surprised when I reached the top of the Slochd without feeling too exhausted.

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1 minute ago, Futureboy said:

Old post, but yeah I have. Mostly for a max of three days. I use a mix of Alpkit and Apidura packs and Salsa Anything cages on the forks rather than panniers. Other than a bit off wobble from the saddle pack if poorly packed it's fine. I'm either carrying a Laser Comp tent or a tarp. 

Stands up to off-road no bother. 

 

Thanks for that. I'm just going to go ahead and buy the same bike I got stolen which was a Thorn Sherpa. I'm feeling the desire to go some proper long touring again.

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2 minutes ago, velo army said:

Thanks for that. I'm just going to go ahead and buy the same bike I got stolen which was a Thorn Sherpa. I'm feeling the desire to go some proper long touring again.

Probably suits your needs better. I like the gravel bike for off road, but not sure i'd fancy it as a long touring bike. 

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2 hours ago, Day of the Lords said:

I was out today, standard fare of suffering a brutal headwind west

They were indeed brutal in exposed areas today.

I did the Tour de Forth earlier and the headwinds got us for about the first 35 miles.........made for a slow slog on what's usually the easy section before the - rather more hilly - second half.

Brilliant organisation, marshalling and snacks !

I will sleep well tonight...........

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19 minutes ago, Leith Green said:

They were indeed brutal in exposed areas today.

I did the Tour de Forth earlier and the headwinds got us for about the first 35 miles.........made for a slow slog on what's usually the easy section before the - rather more hilly - second half.

Brilliant organisation, marshalling and snacks !

I will sleep well tonight...........

A couple of my pals did that as well. Similar stories of pain 😂

Not as bad as the Snow Roads yesterday though. Winds in Glenshee were so bad most riders had to walk DOWN the hill at the ski centre due to 45+mph sideways gusts. One boy was also t-boned by a deer 😂

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8 hours ago, velo army said:

Thanks for that. I'm just going to go ahead and buy the same bike I got stolen which was a Thorn Sherpa. I'm feeling the desire to go some proper long touring again.

Did a 'google' on Thorn Sherpa and this came up, I presume you'll have read this?

https://trailplanner.co.uk/2018/05/28/thoughts-on-the-thorn-sherpa/

Been a while since I loaded up the bike and did some touring. I like heading to somewhere on the train (Berwick or Stranraer) and work my way home visiting certain towns or locations.

I bought an Orange P7 a good few years ago because of the steel frame. Stick on road tyres, rear cycle rack/panniers and it does the road touring OK.

Never included off road on any tours, but thinking I should in future? 🤔

 

 

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3 hours ago, broon-loon said:

Did a 'google' on Thorn Sherpa and this came up, I presume you'll have read this?

https://trailplanner.co.uk/2018/05/28/thoughts-on-the-thorn-sherpa/

Been a while since I loaded up the bike and did some touring. I like heading to somewhere on the train (Berwick or Stranraer) and work my way home visiting certain towns or locations.

I bought an Orange P7 a good few years ago because of the steel frame. Stick on road tyres, rear cycle rack/panniers and it does the road touring OK.

Never included off road on any tours, but thinking I should in future? 🤔

 

 

Nah I hadn't read that. I did now and I found some of his complaints odd. Not being able to find a chain to fit I thought was unlikely, and it's absolutely fine for transmission to wear down after 6k. You're carrying loads in the heat. Wtf kind of riding is he doing that his brake blocks wear out so fast? I managed three months in the states on two sets of blocks. 

Anyway.

What do you mean by off road? I wouldn't mind going on the occasional LR track if necessary. Is it a hard-tail you've got? 

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47 minutes ago, velo army said:

 

What do you mean by off road? I wouldn't mind going on the occasional LR track if necessary. Is it a hard-tail you've got? 

It's an Orange P7 pro hardtail, recommended for it's versatility on and off road. It's on 26 inch wheels as was the norm when I bought it.

I've only really used it a few times off-road, the people I was with were a bit extreme, most with full suspension. I was totally out of my comfort zone in truth.

Was thinking it would be nice to escape the main road for a bit, but still end up roughly where the road would take me? 

The weight of the panniers on the rear would limit what could be done in fear of punctures and of course the overall handling of the bike. It's probably not a great idea in hindsight?

 

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8 minutes ago, broon-loon said:

It's an Orange P7 pro hardtail, recommended for it's versatility on and off road. It's on 26 inch wheels as was the norm when I bought it.

I've only really used it a few times off-road, the people I was with were a bit extreme, most with full suspension. I was totally out of my comfort zone in truth.

Was thinking it would be nice to escape the main road for a bit, but still end up roughly where the road would take me? 

The weight of the panniers on the rear would limit what could be done in fear of punctures and of course the overall handling of the bike. It's probably not a great idea in hindsight?

 

I actually think that sounds perfect. When people are thinking of getting into touring I always recommend that they buy a hard-tail MTB. 26in wheels are perfect for stability, and also, in an emergency, even the most backwater bike shop will have 26in tyres. For long distance touring comfort is the most important thing, more than fitness. Stick a Brooks saddle on that thing and you're away.

I'd recommend spreading the weight by putting some bags on the front. You can get low-riders for forks without braze-ons, or you can speak to your nearest framebuilder/local bike shop about welding braze-ons to your front fork. You've alluded to bike packing stuff so that's obviously an option too.

Aye if you're wanting off road doing something that hardcore MTB-ers would do sounds no fun at all. I guess if you go off road you may have to accept getting off and wheeling it when things get hairy, but riding through, for instance, Glen Affric on those tracks would be heaven.

E.T.A I da ken far you are, but regarding the braze ons for the front fork I recommend speaking to Alistair at Wheelcraft in Clachan o Campsite (central belt). He's mostly a wheelbuilder but is a general know-all when it comes to bikes. He's a massive blether though so allow for some raconteuring time 😎.

Edited by velo army
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27 minutes ago, velo army said:

I actually think that sounds perfect. When people are thinking of getting into touring I always recommend that they buy a hard-tail MTB. 26in wheels are perfect for stability, and also, in an emergency, even the most backwater bike shop will have 26in tyres. For long distance touring comfort is the most important thing, more than fitness. Stick a Brooks saddle on that thing and you're away.

I'd recommend spreading the weight by putting some bags on the front. You can get low-riders for forks without braze-ons, or you can speak to your nearest framebuilder/local bike shop about welding braze-ons to your front fork. You've alluded to bike packing stuff so that's obviously an option too.

Aye if you're wanting off road doing something that hardcore MTB-ers would do sounds no fun at all. I guess if you go off road you may have to accept getting off and wheeling it when things get hairy, but riding through, for instance, Glen Affric on those tracks would be heaven.

E.T.A I da ken far you are, but regarding the braze ons for the front fork I recommend speaking to Alistair at Wheelcraft in Clachan o Campsite (central belt). He's mostly a wheelbuilder but is a general know-all when it comes to bikes. He's a massive blether though so allow for some raconteuring time 😎.

If I was to put bags on the front I would probably just fit an old pair of forks that suited. Mind you it gets complicated re disc & caliper.

I know you get handlebar bags maybe that's an option?

Maybe should get an old single speed Butcher's bike... that would make any tour a challenge.. 😄

 

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4 minutes ago, broon-loon said:

If I was to put bags on the front I would probably just fit an old pair of forks that suited. Mind you it gets complicated re disc & caliper.

I know you get handlebar bags maybe that's an option?

Maybe should get an old single speed Butcher's bike... that would make any tour a challenge.. 😄

 

Aye you get all sorts of front bags. Bar bags are still quite wee. Ach I managed a month long tour in Spain and France on an old Raleigh Randonneur with all my stuff on the back. A hard tail MTB will handle it just fine 

A butcher's bike? Why stop there? Stick a few bags on a Penny Farthing and you're off!

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1 hour ago, broon-loon said:

 

Maybe should get an old single speed Butcher's bike... that would make any tour a challenge.. 😄

 

A few years ago, a boy did Ride the North on a fully panniered french postie's bike. The thing weighed a ton and I'm sure a three spread hub 🤣

My mountain bike is single speed 🙂

 

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8 hours ago, velo army said:

 Stick a Brooks saddle on that thing and you're away.

 

Saddle sore is for sure an issue. Have tried small saddles, extra padded saddles, added a gel cover over a small saddle and so on but nothing seems to work for me.

Thought about a Brooks some years ago but never took the plunge.

Not everyone likes or suits the same thing, but any suggestions on what type/model?

 

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2 minutes ago, broon-loon said:

Saddle sore is for sure an issue. Have tried small saddles, extra padded saddles, added a gel cover over a small saddle and so on but nothing seems to work for me.

Thought about a Brooks some years ago but never took the plunge.

Not everyone likes or suits the same thing, but any suggestions on what type/model?

 

Kinda have to sit on them, but my Brooks B17 narrow is the most comfy of all my saddles.

I have had it for years, used to commute every day on it - so it is on my single speed.

They "mould" to your erse shape over the years as well.

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9 minutes ago, broon-loon said:

Saddle sore is for sure an issue. Have tried small saddles, extra padded saddles, added a gel cover over a small saddle and so on but nothing seems to work for me.

Thought about a Brooks some years ago but never took the plunge.

Not everyone likes or suits the same thing, but any suggestions on what type/model?

 

 

4 minutes ago, Leith Green said:

Kinda have to sit on them, but my Brooks B17 narrow is the most comfy of all my saddles.

I have had it for years, used to commute every day on it - so it is on my single speed.

They "mould" to your erse shape over the years as well.

Exactly as above. I've met dozens of touring cyclists in my life and every single one of them had a Brooks B17. I had the same one and it's perfect. It moulds to your bahook. You just have to get the nose angle right, so have the nose of the saddle slightly raised which makes the saddle level. That may not make much sense, but the rear bit is on a slope.

Gel saddles/covers offer no support. People think they need padding on a saddle. They don't, they need support and a bit of flex. Brooks B17s (as with all Brooks leather saddles) will take about 200miles or so to break in, but once they do it's heaven. 

Brooks brought out a rubber saddle called the Cambium. I have no idea about this one, but I haven't seen any tourers with one and I don't personally fancy that it'll be as comfy as the B17. They're expensive these days due to cycling taking off in the last 10 years or so. I bought my first one in 2007 for £30, they're now £100. You need to take care of it by tightening it every so often, covering it when it's rainy (£15 for a brooks cover or a poly bag) and giving it a wee polish with proofide now and again. They'll last fine without doing that but you'll have it for life if you do. 

In terms of saddle sores, they happen even when you're wearing Rapha shorts and riding a B17 as touring means long days in the saddle (I wore those shorts on my 3 month USA trip). What you need is Haemorrhoid cream. When you feel the saddle sore beginning stick a wee bit of pile cream on it when you go to bed, it'll be gone by morning.  I had to do this once on my Spain/France trip and twice in the USA. No problem.

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Interesting article about a driver fined and given license points for passing a cyclist too close.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-61815609

No doubt this will have anti-cyclist types frothing at the mouth, but I think it's quite right there should be penalties for overtaking very close to cyclists.  Even for experienced cyclists the air pressure change from a vehicle passing very close can cause an accident and in any case a cyclist may have to serve out by 0.5m or so with no notice due to potholes / debris. 

I'm lucky enough never to have come off my bike due to a vehicle passing too close to me, but I know riders who have and the large majority of the time there's no come back on the driver.

Then there's less experienced and more reticent riders who are completely put off by the prospect of cycling with the standard of drivers on the road.

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23 minutes ago, Gnash said:

Interesting article about a driver fined and given license points for passing a cyclist too close.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-61815609

No doubt this will have anti-cyclist types frothing at the mouth, but I think it's quite right there should be penalties for overtaking very close to cyclists.  Even for experienced cyclists the air pressure change from a vehicle passing very close can cause an accident and in any case a cyclist may have to serve out by 0.5m or so with no notice due to potholes / debris. 

The key piece of information being "Mr Humphreys ... had refused to attend a course or pay a fixed penalty notice." - could've got away with a fine but was silly enough to take it to court. (also argued it 1.2m was enough - FFS you're already over the centre line, just keep going into the other lane!)

And he said: "The fine is absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago. Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years."

Is there any other walk of life where you can operate lethal machinery without being retested for 60 years? (and that allows you to close pass other people three times before you could lose your licence) 

Sadly up here we have Police Scotland living in the dark ages without an online submission portal to report these crimes.

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13 hours ago, Ginaro said:

The key piece of information being "Mr Humphreys ... had refused to attend a course or pay a fixed penalty notice." - could've got away with a fine but was silly enough to take it to court. (also argued it 1.2m was enough - FFS you're already over the centre line, just keep going into the other lane!)

And he said: "The fine is absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago. Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years."

Is there any other walk of life where you can operate lethal machinery without being retested for 60 years? (and that allows you to close pass other people three times before you could lose your licence) 

Sadly up here we have Police Scotland living in the dark ages without an online submission portal to report these crimes.

Standard thick, arrogant old duffer with bonus hilarity points for driving an Audi. As you say he was offered a driving awareness course, was probably offended at the mere suggestion and refused. I like that he was so convinced he'd left enough room that he and his son went to measure the gap left and still don't understand that 1.2m is less than 1.5m. The footage suggests that 1.2m is a somewhat generous estimate. I hope he appeals and ends up losing even more money tbh

On a wider note, we should absolutely be re-testing drivers periodically. At a minimum when you are old enough to get your bus pass you should also have to resit the driving test, with set criteria for permanent removal of a licence if the person repeatedly fails the most important parts of the test such as sight, ability to react etc. Letting old duffers continue to drive unsafely because "awwww it's a shame cos he's been driving since 1947" isn't really on. 

Edited by Day of the Lords
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