Brought to you by Going Going Bike…
What type of bicycle do you need for long distance, multi-day cycle rides, such as Lands End to John o’Groats or London to Edinburgh?
In our view there are three types of bikes to consider for a cycling tour: hybrid, road bike or a specialist touring bike. To date we have always ridden converted road bikes on these sorts of rides but there are other things you must remember to consider too…
Is your ride supported?
If not then you will need a bike that can carry panniers (take it from us that carrying a rucksack get tiring very quickly). For this your bike needs eyelets on the seat-stay (seebikepedia to bust the cycling jargon) and at the rear drop outs. I have cycled for over a month using only rear panniers. However, if you require front panniers then you will also need the appropriate fastenings on your fork! If your ride has support that will carry your kit then you won’t need a bike that can carry panniers.
Many days riding demands a comfortable saddle. Soft does not necessarily mean comfortable. You can get measured for a good fitting saddle and can “ride it in” to get used to your new saddle.
It’s not worth getting all macho about your bike’s gearing. If you expect your route to be anything other than pancake flat then you should consider getting a triple chainring fitted on your bike. A compact chainring gives you a good range of gearing but (especially if you are carrying your own kit) you may be grateful for a triple when the road heads up.
When I converted my road bike for touring I did not contemplate fastening a kickstand. Given that I was carrying two panniers and the amount of time I was getting on and off the bike it would have been very useful and I recommend getting one attached.
Tarmac or also gravel?
If you are heading onto gravel at some stage of your ride then you need appropriate tyres. A road bike usually has 23mm or 25mm tyres. This is fine for tarmac but might not withstand the rigours of gravel. Consider getting some 28mm or 32mm tyres fitted.
And now you’ve got all the gear, check out these training tips to get you ready for your long distance ride…
Here comes the science bit…
All Global Cool articles highlight one of four ways (the one in bold below) to start living greener. Click the links to find out more…
1. Be a winner, not a binner (aka recycling and reusing stuff)
2. Turn up the style, not the heat (aka not charging electrical devices 24/7)
3. Love the trend, not the spend (aka buying stuff that doesn’t harm the planet)
4. Do it in public (aka ditching the car and plane when you can)
Pic: PA Images