1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Top-notch Tourer

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by JackE, 16 Apr 2008.

  1. JackE

    JackE Über Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    I've managed to get by on various second-hand touring bikes over the years. I'm now in my mid-50's and want to "treat" myself to a top quality tourer that will cope with longer, (lightweight) cycle camping tours (eg Channel to Med). I want to be able to use 28 tyres for normal weekend/audax type rides and 32's when I go touring.
    The Dawes Ultra Galaxy, Hewitt Cheviot SE and Van Nicholas Amazon come to mind but what other bikes do you think I should be considering?
    The titanium route appeals but, apart from magazine reviews, I've not read much about them from "ordinary" owners. Is Ti all it's cracked up to be.
    Thanks.
     
  2. If you're after a tourer which is both classic and classy try the King of Mercia by Mercian. Lovely bikes. The Ultra Galaxy also looks pretty good. I'm not familiar with the others you mention.
     
  3. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'm v happy with my ultra Galaxy but then again I've noticed that most people on here recommend their own bikes! It takes a very objective person to acccept the £1000 they just shelled out was wasted.
     
  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Being biased, I'd go for a Thorn! I just adore mine, and they're British which i also really like. Don't forget you could potentially go the custom built route - try Chas Roberts in London or Paul Hewitt up North! If I was going top notch, I'd go for one of those brands.

    I believe received wisdom says steel is best for tourers as opposed to Ti but I'm not very technially astute. Steel's fun because it bounces over potholes which continues to amuse my husband with his new supergalaxy!!!
     
  5. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    For a light touring and audax mix, I think that titanium has a lot going for it.

    If you book an appointment with Paul Hewitt (preferably mid week), he will take his time to go through all the options. He doesn't push any 'true path' as he has custom and production titanium available, fully custom steel in any number of tube sets, customised standard frames or his Cheviot, (which is his take on the best all round choice at that particular price point).

    But more important than frame material for a touring bike is the size and fitting and then the quality of the wheels. You will be just as uncomfortable on an expensive frame if it doesn't fit, and with a lot of touring bikes, they get wheel reliability by building them heavy, rather than well. For loaded touring this doesn't matter, but when Audax riding they can make every mile feel sluggish and slow. Either think of two sets of wheels as well as tyres, or see if a reputable builder like Hewitt thinks that he could build one pair that truly would do both jobs perfectly.
     
  6. Magna

    Magna New Member

    Well I've just recieved my brand new Dawes SuperGalaxy and I think I'm in love already. Have been commuting on a cheap mountain bike taking about 30mins and losing 1/2 pint of sweat. Today however on it's maiden voyage I flew along effortlessly knocking at least 5mins off my journey. My carradice panniers also meant my back was unladen which was novel.

    I almost felt bad about using my new bike for this commute. Should I abuse such a beautiful creature with a mundane ride or wait for tours only?
     
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Use the beautiful creature! It loves being used. Is yours chocolate brown like the husband's?
     
  8. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Definitely use it - it's built to last!

    Only if there is somewhere secure to lock it up though!

    (I can't imagine why anyone would want a brown bike though):rolleyes::evil::biggrin:
     
  9. Deefex

    Deefex Well-Known Member

    Well, for the record I have a cheapo Revolution Country from the EBC.
    Fine for touring/commuting, but if money was no object I'd plump for
    Thorn Bikes - one with a Rohloff hub.

    http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html

    Heard nothing but good things about Thorn bikes. Outstanding build quality and value for money.
     
  10. Magna

    Magna New Member

    It is indeed. :rolleyes:

    I now have a dilemma; I have an important exam in June but can't wait to get touring, do I go on a mini tour next weekend or risk failing the exam and forever blaming my impatience to get away on the bike as I can only really find the time to study on a weekend.
     
  11. Magna

    Magna New Member

    I have locked it to a radiator in work with a cable lock and then the back wheel to the frame with a D-lock. I figured that brown would be less desirable to the common Sh!thead thief, but must admit it was British racing green that I had initially desired. It looks great though, I am really over the moon with it.
     
  12. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    It's not brown, RichP, it's chocolate coloured. Massive difference!!!

    How important is the exam, Magna? Could you be super disciplined and do some work in the evenings? And what's the weather forecast for next weekend...could all make a difference.

    From my own personal experience this year though...seize the day! Don't let crap excuses put you off. Do something whilst you can!
     
  13. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Ah, chocolate. I see, Cathryn:biggrin:

    seize the day and crap excuses made me think of "crape diem". I'll get my coat.....
     
  14. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Everyone has a Crape Diem sometimes...
     
  15. Magna

    Magna New Member

    Cheers for the encouragement Cathryn. The exam is HUGE for me, could well be the last one ever as I come to the end of my postgraduate training. If I fail I have to wait 6months to resit and failing twice I lose my contract.