World Tour

All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.

World Tour

Postby The Cycle Strongman » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:40 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm new to this forum but thought some of you out there maybe able to help me out. Chances are i'll be reading these forums intently over the next 6 months.

I'm currently planning a cycle touring expedition (google 'cyclestrongman') and in the process of researching the gear i'll need, trawling sites for reviews and have hit a snag.

I'm trying to source a high end touring bike. Something along the lines of the Thorn eXp but made in Australia? So far i've tried a lot of places that promise the earth, and make high quality bikes but i doubt they have expedition style experience to build anything as good as the Thorn. So far i've realised that I'll probably need a custom Rolhoff build and it'll cost around $7000. Anybody know where i could pick up a full kit for around $3000 - $4000? Or of a top notch framebuilder that may equal the quality of the Thorn range?

Thanks,

Chris
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by BNA » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:07 pm

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Postby Wollemi » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:07 pm

Hey - let's formulate an expedition. Hmm... I know! - I'll cycle around the world! Now that my intentions are declared, I'd, I'd, I'd best be buying a bicycle then! And to avoid buyers remorse, I'll ask strangers to make up my mind for me...

It ain't Zero Emissions; your elevated flatulence aside, without food and manufacturing industries, your trip would be dead in the water.
It may be an Odyssey if a very experienced cycle tourist and engineer such as yourself does not realise that a bicycle carefully selected off the shelf in Sydney or Newcastle will be adequate for the job - just ask any of the many people linked to in your own webpage; collectively all of whom have cycled the elongated routes you intend to repeat.
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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:26 pm

Wollemi wrote:Hey - let's formulate an expedition. Hmm... I know! - I'll cycle around the world! Now that my intentions are declared, I'd, I'd, I'd best be buying a bicycle then! And to avoid buyers remorse, I'll ask strangers to make up my mind for me...

It ain't Zero Emissions; your elevated flatulence aside, without food and manufacturing industries, your trip would be dead in the water.
It may be an Odyssey if a very experienced cycle tourist and engineer such as yourself does not realise that a bicycle carefully selected off the shelf in Sydney or Newcastle will be adequate for the job - just ask any of the many people linked to in your own webpage; collectively all of whom have cycled the elongated routes you intend to repeat.



Whooo wieeee wooowaaa!

I post a simple question on a cycle forum looking for some advice from the good guys on the cycle net forum and come back a few weeks later to find some doosh on a high horse kicking me sideways and back to kingdom come!

What gives man? There’s trained people that can help with that contempt.

Just cause it’s well written it doesn’t make you any less of a cantankerous nasty ass!
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Postby il padrone » Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:36 pm

You come on like a newbie, all green around the gills. Then straight away talk about not being able to find anyone who'll sel you a $7000 bike, and need adivice on where to source such a beast.

I don't know about your website and links - it's down for maintenance :?

But if you've done so much initial research and you don't have a decent bike yet you are going about it arse about. There are at least a dozen good bike shops in Melbourne and Sydney that would set you up with a top class bike. For starters, any place that a Vivente World Randonneur can't take you wouldn't be worth going to. But lots of people have travelled the globe, long term, with far more mundane bikes.

The whole approach sounds a bit disingenuous. So Wollemi bit :wink:
Last edited by il padrone on Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:43 pm

Hi Cycle Strongman,

Ultimately only you can answer that question, its a matter of what equipment is right for you.

What exactly do you want out of your bike?
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Postby Tale » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:29 pm

The Cycle Strongman wrote:I post a simple question on a cycle forum looking for some advice from the good guys on the cycle net forum and come back a few weeks later to find some doosh on a high horse kicking me sideways and back to kingdom come!


I'm all for big adventures, so I wish you good luck and happy travels. I read your post weeks ago, but I've no experience with touring at that level, so I couldn't answer your question.

I understand why you're looking for a custom bike in that price range though. As long as you're getting what you pay for, and as long as it's repairable in a remote place, purpose-built expedition equipment is a good idea. I've learnt that from Ortlieb panniers, Scarpa walking boots and um ... Michael Palin documentaries.
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Postby il padrone » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:54 pm

Here's one way to carry plenty of gear (this bike is an Xtracycle conversion, on a high pass in Tibet)

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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:22 pm

You come on like a newbie, all green around the gills. Then straight away talk about not being able to find anyone who'll sel you a $7000 bike, and need adivice on where to source such a beast.

But if you've done so much initial research and you don't have a decent bike yet you are going about it arse about. There are at least a dozen good bike shops in Melbourne and Sydney that would set you up with a top class bike.

The whole approach sounds a bit disingenuous.


Perhaps the initial advice/discussion I was after wasn't made that clear - granted. I've since found out that Cheeky Monkey in Sydney can import some Thorn frames and can supply the rolhoff hub that i was after. There's also a guy (google velosmith) in Melbourne that can supplying expedition style touring bikes (quite expensive though). Maybe someone has had experience with him?

It's not going at it arse about, you've gotta start somewhere. Most of the links I have on my site (to be updated this week) are overseas based. There's plenty of people that will sell someone a $7000 bike but is it really going to be that better? (... I guess that's the million dollar question.)

Newbie or not? There's still a certain amount of respect that I’d give a total stranger (inside or outside the forum) even if they were 'green'.

To be honest there may be one fair criticism about the whole zero emission thing. but ultimately you can't be responsible for emissions that other people profit from. (lets save that debate for another time).

il padrone: Thanks for your help on the other discussion posts I’ve made. It's really appreciated.

Ultimately only you can answer that question, its a matter of what equipment is right for you. What exactly do you want out of your bike?


mikesbytes: think you hit the nail on the head there... after talking with a few cycle shops and reading some reviews/discussions I've got a much better idea about what I’m after. Have you had any experience with the specifying geometries of a custom built touring bike?[/quote]
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Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:14 pm

The Cycle Strongman wrote:There's also a guy (google velosmith) in Melbourne that can supplying expedition style touring bikes (quite expensive though). Maybe someone has had experience with him?

If you are in Melbourne try St Kilda Cycles. They have a guy associated with the shop who makes Saints frames and can put together a very nice touring frame. A friend of mine had a 26" fully kitted tourer made up, with Tubus racks, drop bars, V-brakes, all on a top class Reynolds frame. They also deal with Rohloff hubs.

Another good shop to try is Abbotsford Cycles. They don't sell bikes but have a great range of all the touring components, racks, bags, Brooks saddles etc that you could wish for.

Another mate of mine had an excellent Rohloff tourer made up using the Surly Long Haul Trucker frame. Not sure which shop did it for him but I think it may have been Abbotsford Cycles.
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Postby Fr33domRid3r » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:55 pm

I think the site is still down...? :idea: :?: Any idea of when it will be up again CST??
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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:57 pm

The site will be down for a few weeks while content is being updated. It's a one man show so it's taking ages.

I came across this german touring cyclists site and saw this neat custom front rack to carry extra water. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the pics.

www[dot]bicycletraveller[dot]de/equip[dot]htm
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Postby Fr33domRid3r » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:12 pm

^lol CST! Ingenious way of bypassing the automated blocker!!! why didn't i think of that - seriously, spent like 15min trying to bypass that thing the other day, and to no avail!
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Postby Fr33domRid3r » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm

The Cycle Strongman wrote:The site will be down for a few weeks while content is being updated. It's a one man show so it's taking ages.

I came across this german touring cyclists site and saw this neat custom front rack to carry extra water. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the pics.

www[dot]bicycletraveller[dot]de/equip[dot]htm


Genious!!! I would paint the bottles with sun reflective paint - as to keep the water cool, wouldn't that make it better? :D
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:02 pm

The Cycle Strongman wrote:Have you had any experience with the specifying geometries of a custom built touring bike?


No
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Postby il padrone » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:26 pm

Although it is an American site, Ken Kifer's Bike Pages are an excellent touring resource. Ken was tragically killed by a drunk driver a couple of years ago, but his web-site is being maintained as a legacy to cyclists.
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Postby Tale » Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:55 am

il padrone wrote:Although it is an American site, Ken Kifer's Bike Pages are an excellent touring resource. Ken was tragically killed by a drunk driver a couple of years ago, but his web-site is being maintained as a legacy to cyclists.

The text under "Why Go Touring By Bicycle?" is great.
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Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:06 pm

G'day

Have you checked out http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/ ? Lots of touring information there.

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Postby BikingMarco » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:23 pm

I know it's not an Aussi Brand but there is a bike manufacturer in Germany still doing their own frames and costum made bikes. That's VELOTRAUM (just google for it). A friend of mine got one of their bikes for around $4500 (bought it in Germany though) incl. Rohloff Speedhub, and Magura brakes etc. He cycled all the way from Germany to Australia with it with no problems at all (apart from 3 replaced spokes and a few puntures). Might be worth a look if you happen to get to Europe somehow...
When will you start your tour anyway???
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Postby dct » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:00 am

Are you sure you want a $7,000+ bike for touring the world? Wouldn't you be terrified of it being stolen?

And why new? I picked up a lovely Raleigh Randonneur for about $500 a while back; it had seen very little use. Bikes such as the Trek 520 come up regularly on eBay and would make a sound bike.

The Rohloff hub looks fantastic and seems very reliable, but if anything does go wrong (perhaps with the proprietary shifter rather than the hub itself) how will you fix it if you're somewhere obscure? Derailleurs and simple (non STI) shifters are cheap, easy to fix but do require a little more maintenance.

Personally I'd go old, conventional with good quality racks and panniers. Will save a fortune...
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Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:41 am

dct wrote:The Rohloff hub looks fantastic and seems very reliable, but if anything does go wrong (perhaps with the proprietary shifter rather than the hub itself) how will you fix it if you're somewhere obscure?

People who use Rohloff hubs regularly get in excess of 50,000 kms between servicing, in all sorts of world touring conditions, with no problems. All they need is an oil change about once a year. Some people have tried to test them out fully, and reported on it. I believe that Rohloff has a pretty good backup service, but as the link says, they haven't seen one fail (at the time that was written).

The shifter for the Rohloff is a very simple cable-control mechanism, much like the old friction shift levers. All the indexing for the Rohloff is inside the hub.
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Postby dct » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:23 am

Anything mechanical can fail. I'm sure the Rohloff is fantastic, but it WILL fail eventually. Knowing that it should last 50,000km will be small compensation if you're touring, and it breaks in some place obscure.

I'm going to buy a Rohloff based bike as I like frittering money away of bike related kit, but I've not read anything that convinces me that there is a compelling case for touring on them.

On the other hand, if you can afford it, why not.
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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:55 pm

BikingMarco wrote:...Might be worth a look if you happen to get to Europe somehow... When will you start your tour anyway???


About 6-9 months back i started seriously looking into what i'd need for the trip and found the Thorn and the Koga Myiata as a good starting point (hence the first post). If i had the money to throw around i'd probably get a custon frame. But now that the dollar dived, and I’ve since found out the shipping + import taxes it's not really worth importing when, like others have suggested, there's plenty of off the shelf frames, if built correctly, will do the same job. The $$$ took a bit of a hit lately and so i've since ruled out a custom frame. Leaning towards a Surly frame and customising it at the moment. The plan is to leave late march. I’m hoping that will avoid most of the wet season and monsoon season through Asia. :)
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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:58 pm

dct wrote: Wouldn't you be terrified of it being stolen? ... Personally I'd go old, conventional with good quality racks and panniers. Will save a fortune...


Yep! That would really showtime me if it go stolen! I was reading the other day about a Brit who was camping at night while touring in Mongolia. Some thief tied a rope around his bike and a saddle and rode off on the horse with the bike in tow - in the dead of the night! It made the papers in England and a whole bunch of companies pitched in to organise a replacement. That was pretty unlucky tho! :)

I’d rather spend the little extra, know that it’s going to get me where I want and enjoying the ride, rather than constantly fixing and replacing parts. But i totally agree, if I can find an older good quality, steel frame bike with decent racks and panniers i'd be all over it. I saw a LHT kitted out with racks, Rohloff and panniers on Gumtree the other day. Unfortunately I was 6 weeks too late! :( It was a decent setup tho and it went for only $1500. Bargin!) Haven’t managed to find one of those since.
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Postby The Cycle Strongman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:01 pm

il padrone wrote: ... People who use Rohloff hubs regularly get in excess of 50,000 kms between servicing, in all sorts of world touring conditions, with no problems.


Il Padrone - I had a look on that Ken kifer's Bike Pages - tragic story. I found the info there really useful tho and it is a nice tribute.

Rohloff recently said that they'd help out with the tour, which was really nice of them at an early stage so I don’t mean to sound bias. But from what i can tell, and what i've read to date, the company seems very keen to back up their product with a replacement service. You can just about post anything anywhere these days. Of course, this isn't much consolation if your out in the middle of know where, but reassuring none the less. No doubt the hub will fail eventually. The logic for the choice was if you can get 100,000 km out of the hub then it’s definitely on par (at least financially) with a derailer setup. Not the mention: it keeps the drive out of the weather/mud, reduce the wear and tear/cost and time looking for spares on the road, keeps the derailer from hanging down and getting knocked… for this trip at least it’s well worth it! .. and I especially like the idea of not having to pedal when changing gears! :D

Honestly speaking, for the fine piece of gear it is, (german engineering at it’s finest) I think it’s pretty cheap! (I saw one sold on ebay on Sunday for $1250 just last Sunday). I’ve never ridden with a Rohloff hub before, and keen to find out for myself how they do!
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