Bike advice

Malk6
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2024 6:38 pm

Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Wed May 29, 2024 6:55 pm

Hi there, new on here, from UK.
I've done some long distance touring in the past, including Australia but been off the bike for a few years.
I've have the beginning of a plan ( early days yet and usually after a few beers!) to start in South Australia or Victoria and cycle up the middle to Darwin and from there ,see if I can work my way back to UK via Indonesia, Malaysia etc.
Rather than lug my current bike (Trek520 which has stood me in good stead), I thought I might buy myself a new, up to date one, in Australia.
So what I'm after, if anyone can help, is advice on reputable bike shops/suppliers in South Australia or Victoria and any recommendations on the best makes and models to suit my planned journey.
Any other advice on ANY aspect of my planned trip would also be gratefully relieved.
Hope someone can help.
TIA and kind regards...Malk

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Leaf T
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Leaf T » Wed May 29, 2024 9:09 pm

Hi Malk and welcome. I imagine prices are going to be a lot less eye watering if you were to buy it in the UK or EU. Even if you have to pay for the bike shop to box it up for a flight I imagine it would be cheaper. There's some excellent UK bikes like Dawes and Thorn (which I have) but I know others who have had Farad Manufaktur and rate them highly. Bike 24 amongst other German shops sell quality touring bikes. Santos is a quality Dutch brand but not cheap. Also consider secondhand and get it upgraded or thoroughly serviced by a bike shop that knows touring bikes.

Some local shops here in Melbourne that sell touring bikes are Abbotsford cycles, Commuter cycles and StKilda cycles. Sure to be others but these come to mind first. Popular touring brands here include Vivente, Surly, Kona and Bombtrack. Another local bike shop worth looking at is Omafiets. I thought they only did cargo bikes etc but it seems not.

https://www.omafiets.com.au/bikes/touring/

I've not done a great deal of cycling outside of Victoria but I have cycled in Malaysia and Thailand and highly recommend it. Crazy guy on a bike website if you don't already know it is a wealth of info. All the best and I hope the plan becomes a reality. You'll love it and hate it at times but you'll always look back at it as one of the best times of your life. Hell I might even join you! :shock: :D

Whatever you do please try to keep us updated.Ask more questions etc. This site often gets similar posts and then we never here from them again. It's like starting a story and stopping before the end. Share the dream!


Cheers, Leafy

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Thu May 30, 2024 8:32 pm

Hi Leafy, thanks for replying.
Its early days yet and as I was thinking of getting a new bike anyway I thought why not just buy it over in Australia. I've flown with bike before and it can be a pain in the proverbial TBH. And sometimes expensive.
I do appreciate what you're saying about prices though. I quite like your suggestion of buying second hand and customing.
I recognise the makes you mentioned...Kona always get a good write up.
The simpler the better as far as I'm concerned. Less things to go wrong mechanically and easy fix if it does.
Still a lot of planning to do and blogs to read. I want to find out as much as possible about the route, accommodation and terrain etc.

I'll be sure to update you as things progress.

Thanks again for your valuable input. Malk

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elantra
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Re: Bike advice

Postby elantra » Fri May 31, 2024 11:52 am

This is also a popular bikepacking bike in Australia
https://www.curvecycling.com

Of course there one potential problem with flying into Melbourne or Adelaide and going to a bike shop to order a bike - it might not be in stock and might take a few weeks before it is available.

I spose the chances of that happening is less in Melbourne than in Adelaide because Melbourne is a lot bigger than Adelaide.

A few other relevant points :

Second hand bikes are quite cheap in Australia these days, some are bargains.
But if you are newly arrived you may find it difficult or impossible to chase all over the city looking at advertised bikes.
Especially in Melbourne, which is huge and spread out.
Some other costs in Australia are very high - especially accommodation.
But it’s usually quite cheap to camp in National Parks, and sometimes the facilities are very good.

Riding up through the centre of Australia is not recommended.
Us Aussies have a saying : Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The same could be said for riding through the middle of Australia.
Most people would find it much more achievable to ride up the East Coast from Melbourne to Cairns and then see if they want to go inland to Darwin.

Hope that helps a little.
Keep us informed !

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Fri May 31, 2024 4:00 pm

Well, I'm not. English...but I am a bit mad, otherwise I wouldn't even be considering this.😄
Seriously though....thanks for the link, it looks a useful site.
I've done the East Coast before and very enjoyable it was, with plenty of accommodation options and no real problems with traffic. Also did the Nullarbor, which gave a small taste of what Adelaide to Darwin might be like.
I'm under no illusions though. Which is why I'm doing as much research as I can.
As I say, very early dayscyet but I'll be sure on keep you updated.
Thank again for the reply.

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Fri May 31, 2024 4:01 pm

Apologies for that giant emoji😊. Don't know how that happened.

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Fri May 31, 2024 4:02 pm

Oops....again LOL!

brumby33
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Re: Bike advice

Postby brumby33 » Fri May 31, 2024 5:23 pm

How much money you want to spend on a bike Malk6?

If you can afford AU $6,600 - 6800 pending on on handle and gearing, you can buy a brand new Vivente with 14spd Rohloff Hub and Gates belt drive....these bikes are built in Tasmania but can be ready to be at a destination of your choice before you land here. They'll even send it to the UK.

I reckon when it comes to full on touring bikes, these are hard to go pass.....

For those dollars you get Hydraulic Disc brakes, rarely need looking at......my brake will be bled and new oil changed for the first time in 6 years and still braking great.
You get a Front Dyno Hub and 100 lux lights back and front and a USB port for charging you phone when not using lights.
You get a rear Tubus rack
You get mudguard standard f&R
Steering damper
Tool set to build up bike from scratch....I ain't kidding....it's what you get!!
700c x 40 Schwalbe Tyres front and rear
Front forks can also take front racks....I have Tubus on mine.

Send Noel McFarlane a message and he can have a bike ready for you to go by the time you get here.

https://viventebikes.com/our-bikes/

https://viventebikes.com/our-bikes/diamantina/

So good you'll want to take it back home with you.....these are designed to tour the world and the owner still tours the world on his bikes......the latest version is the Diamantina named after a very famous Australian River.

Don't know what $6,600 is in UK Pounds but still good value for what you get.

Cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR Patagonia 2017
2003 Diamondback Sorrento Sport MTB

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Fri May 31, 2024 8:41 pm

Thanks.
A bit out of my price range. More importantly, I want to keep things simple. I'm aware of how good discbrakes and Rolof gearbox are, but they can't be expensive to repair and not easy if you're in the middle of nowhere.
Discbrakes would be overkill for me ( in my humble opinion) as I just plod along at a steady pace.
Bar end shifters and normal rim brake pads would suit me.
I do appreciate you taking the time.
Many thanks Malk

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Fri May 31, 2024 8:51 pm

Hi again all,
an update on my thoughts(hope it's in the correct place)
Someone mentioned riding up the centre is not a good idea.
I do agree it looks bit a schlep and probably quite tedious.
Does anyone have an opinion on Adelaide to Townsville/ Cairns. Not the costal route,but North skirting past Lake Frome and through Sturt National Park.
That looks like it might be more interesting and also Townsville/Carins might be a more suitable jumping off point if I want to continue through PNG and Indonesia.
Any thoughts??

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elantra
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Location: NSW and QLD

Re: Bike advice

Postby elantra » Fri May 31, 2024 11:33 pm

Malk6 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 8:51 pm
Hi again all,
an update on my thoughts(hope it's in the correct place)
Someone mentioned riding up the centre is not a good idea.
I do agree it looks bit a schlep and probably quite tedious.
Does anyone have an opinion on Adelaide to Townsville/ Cairns. Not the costal route,but North skirting past Lake Frome and through Sturt National Park.
That looks like it might be more interesting and also Townsville/Carins might be a more suitable jumping off point if I want to continue through PNG and Indonesia.
Any thoughts??
I guess it depends on the time of year and the condition of the roads - outback roads that are not bitumen can become impassable for weeks after rain etc.

In a northern direction from Adelaide is the Flinders Ramges. Which are regarded as one of Australia’s most important conservation and scenic areas.
But to be honest I have n never been there - it on the list of places to visit “one day”
(I have been to Kangaroo Island in South Australia which is extraordinary beautiful)

From the Flinders Ranges to Lake Frome does not appear very far - on a map.
Then from Lake Frome is the Strzelecki Track to the Queensland border (Cameron Corner or Innamincka), but I have no idea how that would go on a bicycle.
If you get that far, you can probably get to Dirranbandi, and from there are relatively (by Australian standards) pleasant secondary roads all the way to Brisbane via Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Killarney, etc.

A year or 2 ago there was a young woman who posted a rather inventive route from Brisbane, most of the way to Cairns and Atherton in the far north.

Worth a read (specifically the sections about her ride north through Queensland)

https://wanderingwyatt135121267.wordpre ... bor-part-2

Malk6
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Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:09 am

Hi,
yes I had a look as best I could on Google Street View. It looks interesting to say the least. I suppose I could just stick to the A32/ A7. Reckon it would still be quite interesting.
No doubt I'll end up doing my usual.....point the bike in roughly the right direction and take it day by day. I really hate planned itineraries ( tinnies on the other hand....that's a different story😅)
I'll read at the link you sent......the more info the better.
Cheers

Malk6
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2024 6:38 pm

Re: Bike advice

Postby Malk6 » Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:10 am

Flaming giant emoji again!!!

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baabaa
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Re: Bike advice

Postby baabaa » Sat Jun 01, 2024 7:26 am

Oh, and interesting trip and one I have pondered for a while - well the other parts than the Aust part, think I have done enough of that and going up the middle is not for me...
Highly recommend this site for all the handy hints on biking in Aust for a someone from another country

https://bike-a-way.com/equipment/

https://bike-a-way.com/2020/02/14/austr ... -the-tips/

The Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide seems to be popular with a lot of cyclists. Although I rode only a small part of it south and north of Alice Springs, I think this road is totally unsuitable for bicycle touring due to the amount of traffic, no shoulder and the attitude of the drivers. Same goes for the Lasseter Highway going to Uluru.
It’s a nightmare. Avoid it.



https://bike-a-way.com/2019/05/11/austr ... -to-laura/

Also re getting to Townsville agree and while these are qld coast these are rather good series of vids on biking from Euro to Asia (they are just in Aust.... now)
https://www.youtube.com/@the-sunday-ride

The inland from Adel and into western NSW or Qld is far more engaging and to be honest on a bike you will find better support from the locals / farmers if things go a little side ways and you need some sort of support even if it is just water

As far as bikes go – bring your bike from Europe, way better value and you will need to go by boat or plane on some parts of the way back anyway so getting something suitable and bike box friendly from the start will be helpful
If you have time keep a look out at bike 24 and Hi bikes for the big % discount run outs on the trekking bikes they have

Maybe go the full blown world tourer if doing the whole way as the Indian Sub continent then western asia really need solid bikes?

The other option is a light touring/ adventure type bike with framebags that you just ride some parts and overland travel other parts FWIW I bought a ritchey breakaway frame and built it up.
Makes a huge difference having a bike that you can halve in size and put in a bag for when you need or want to use trains, buses and planes, or store in hotel store rooms during off the bike side trips.
https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a2 ... breakaway/

I use one of these and throw in the panniers and /or frame bags. Bit chunky but also works as a ground sheet
https://www.groundeffect.co.nz/collecti ... t-bike-bag

Also suggest send Tom a message – he has toured East coast Aust and may have some buying tips

https://tomsbiketrip.com/which-touring- ... uld-i-buy/

warthog1
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Re: Bike advice

Postby warthog1 » Sat Jun 01, 2024 7:58 am

Malk6 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:10 am
Flaming giant emoji again!!!
The forum emojis are the only ones that dont come out huge ime. It is a peculiarity of this forum. Something to do with the hosting software maybe? I am no IT guru so know no more than that.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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V17L
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Re: Bike advice

Postby V17L » Sun Jun 02, 2024 2:03 pm

Hi Malk6, have a squiz at https://cycletrailsaustralia.com/
Giant Defy 1, 2013 Vivente curly handlebars, Trek FX7.3

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V17L
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Re: Bike advice

Postby V17L » Sun Jun 02, 2024 2:05 pm

Giant Defy 1, 2013 Vivente curly handlebars, Trek FX7.3

brumby33
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Location: Albury NSW on the mighty Murray River

Re: Bike advice

Postby brumby33 » Sun Jun 02, 2024 2:52 pm

Malk6 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2024 8:41 pm
Thanks.
A bit out of my price range. More importantly, I want to keep things simple. I'm aware of how good discbrakes and Rolof gearbox are, but they can't be expensive to repair and not easy if you're in the middle of nowhere.
Discbrakes would be overkill for me ( in my humble opinion) as I just plod along at a steady pace.
Bar end shifters and normal rim brake pads would suit me.
I do appreciate you taking the time.
Many thanks Malk
I really don't think you'd have much to worry about, almost every bike shop knows how to service Hydro brakes these days and they are self-adjusting, the only time you would have an issue is if you took your wheels off and forget to put the little plastic thing in between the pads in case the brake is pressed without disc in place, then it could be tricky to play them apart. These Bikes are designed to be out in the middle of no-where and I doubt Vivente would put Hydraulic brakes on their touring bikes in the first place if they didn't think durable and you don't even have to adjust them like Mechanical brakes and as far as the Rohloff is concerned, again, designed to do tens of thousands of Kms before you even need to look at it. The only report I've ever read with these gear hubs is that over time, like 50,000kms or so, they might start to seep a bit of oil, apparently seals can be changed without having to send it back to Germany....it's not a common thing. It'd be a bike that you could keep forever really. If I was a bit younger and able to tour long distance, I'd have the Rohloff version with Gates drive in a heartbeat. I have the derailer version of the same bike and it's as good as new and about 6 years old....great commuter bike too. Depending on how tall you are and your usual bike size, you can pick up good used Vivente derailer Touring bikes for between $1,000 to 2,300 depends of extras that come with it and because the derailer models aren't made anymore due to bulk parts availability, means it was better for Vivente to go the Rohloff path. There'll be some good used Surlys and Kona Sutras on the used market as well. Any British Tourers here are usually vintage models but yeah, you can be lucky.
Can't be too hard to pack up your UK touring bike in a box and bring it over by plane as part of your luggage....that way at least you'll know how your bike feels.

cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR Patagonia 2017
2003 Diamondback Sorrento Sport MTB

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