Training for bike tour

I’m 78, live in a city condo, and have access to a road bike on weekends. Due to Covid, I have not been spinning at the gym. I’d like to purchase one with enough gears to do some hills, as additional training for a 12 day Italy tour next summer. I’ve done a lot of reading, but would like suggestions about bikes people think would be good for all around rides and additional training.
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
I won’t recommend a particular bike but ask what kind of tour in Italy. Is it a credit card tour , travelling light, and staying in accommodation, or camping? If the former then you can get a road bike and use bike packing luggage for the trip. If the latter you’re likely better off with a touring bike that can fit a pannier rack and panniers for the heavier loads of camping. For Italy I would not worry about mudguards but may be useful if you live somewhere it rains often.
 
A real bike, even a folder will give you saddle time to condition yourself for a tour which an indoor bike may not. If you can ride 30-40 mins /day even doing shopping or errands it is all good saddle time.
Any type of bike that fits is OK and is suitable for your local conditions.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
I suspect this is in the wrong board. Anyway, you can do long rides on a Brompton or other folder. The main drawbacks are that small wheels slow you down a bit and luggage capacity is nowhere near that of a touring bike. On the upside, it makes trains and ferries a lot easier.
 

ExBrit

Well-Known Member
I'm going to disagree with Michael. I ride 30 miles each evening on my trainer while watching Netflix, YouTube, GCN, etc. I don't have your awesome level of life experience, but I hope to one day. I think an indoor trainer is an excellent way to build mileage. If your condo has the room, you can really pile the miles on with one. If you can swing the cost, a Zwift compatible trainer such as the Wahoo Kickr is a great way to gain motivation. There are other similar options. Then jump on the bike weekends for longer training rides.

As for the bike itself you have to ask whether you will need rack and panniers or just a big saddle bag. If you need the rack I recommend a quality steel touring bike. If you just need a big saddle bag then almost any comfortable, light, reliable bicycle will do. From your use of the word "condo" I assume you are state-side so there's Rivendell on the West coast and Peter White and Alex Meade in New England just to mention a few.

If you have your heart set on a folding bike, be aware you will work quite a bit harder on one.
 
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citycyclegal

Member
Thanks everyone! I googled “bike forums” not realizing this is a UK chat group until after I posted. Lol! My bike tours have been independent..where you pick up your bike and maps at first hotel, and luggage is taken to the next one. I was just interested in adding a folding bike to my hybrid and road bikes..It would be more accessible to me since I live in the city and could go an hour’s drive to nice countryside for recreation and add to training. I was just wondering if this would be as beneficial as spinning to train for a summer trip.
 
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citycyclegal

Member
I'm going to disagree with Michael. I ride 30 miles each evening on my trainer while watching Netflix, YouTube, GCN, etc. I don't have your awesome level of life experience, but I hope to one day. I think an indoor trainer is an excellent way to build mileage. If your condo has the room, you can really pile the miles on with one. If you can swing the cost, a Zwift compatible trainer such as the Wahoo Kickr is a great way to gain motivation. There are other similar options. Then jump on the bike weekends for longer training rides.

As for the bike itself you have to ask whether you will need rack and panniers or just a big saddle bag. If you need the rack I recommend a quality steel touring bike. If you just need a big saddle bag then almost any comfortable, light, reliable bicycle will do. From your use of the word "condo" I assume you are state-side so there's Rivendell on the West coast and Peter White and Alex Meade in New England just to mention a few.

If you have your heart set on a folding bike, be aware you will work quite a bit harder on one.
Yes I do want a folding bike, just to get out of the city. Didn’t realize this was a UK chat and I’m in Boston, shouldn’t have googled so quickly! Actually my brother recommended getting an indoor trainer, and uses his all the time. I’m just trying to figure out training and recreation without taking up too much space. Thanks for your suggestions! My first trip was to London/Cotswolds in 1988. I realized touring has 2 meanings..I do independent self guided trips where you pick up maps/bike at first hotel and the luggage is transported. Sorry for the confusion! I posted quickly! Thanks for the response!
 

si_c

Guru
Location
Wirral
Yes I do want a folding bike, just to get out of the city. Didn’t realize this was a UK chat and I’m in Boston, shouldn’t have googled so quickly! Actually my brother recommended getting an indoor trainer, and uses his all the time. I’m just trying to figure out training and recreation without taking up too much space. Thanks for your suggestions! My first trip was to London/Cotswolds in 1988. I realized touring has 2 meanings..I do independent self guided trips where you pick up maps/bike at first hotel and the luggage is transported. Sorry for the confusion! I posted quickly! Thanks for the response!
Sound an awful lot like a professional :whistle::laugh:

Despite being a mostly UK based site we do have quite a lot of US based regulars and aside perhaps from some discussions around legislation or particular retailers most of what is discussed here is entirely applicable in both countries! You'll also find quite a lot of members here do tour themselves so there is a wealth of knowledge for you to tap into.

In terms of folding bikes, Bromptons are the gold standard I think, they fold really well (some are just a swing arm so "fold" only in half) and are light weight and good to ride so if you have the option to try one go for it! That being said there is a shortage of bikes available at present so you may struggle to find one new so perhaps trawling ebay/facebook market/craigslist might get you a good second hand one.

The other option is to put the road bike in the car - once you've taken the wheels off they tend to fit in easily, we have what would be considered a very small car by US standards and are comfortably able to fit two mountain bikes in the rear with the seats folded down and I've put a road bike on the back seat with the wheels off before now, so that could be an option for you if you are comfortable taking the wheels off.
 
OP
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citycyclegal

Member
Sound an awful lot like a professional :whistle::laugh:

Despite being a mostly UK based site we do have quite a lot of US based regulars and aside perhaps from some discussions around legislation or particular retailers most of what is discussed here is entirely applicable in both countries! You'll also find quite a lot of members here do tour themselves so there is a wealth of knowledge for you to tap into.

In terms of folding bikes, Bromptons are the gold standard I think, they fold really well (some are just a swing arm so "fold" only in half) and are light weight and good to ride so if you have the option to try one go for it! That being said there is a shortage of bikes available at present so you may struggle to find one new so perhaps trawling ebay/facebook market/craigslist might get you a good second hand one.

The other option is to put the road bike in the car - once you've taken the wheels off they tend to fit in easily, we have what would be considered a very small car by US standards and are comfortably able to fit two mountain bikes in the rear with the seats folded down and I've put a road bike on the back seat with the wheels off before now, so that could be an option for you if you are comfortable taking the wheels off.
Yes, I can put a bike in my car, but it’s keeping it in a small space, 3rd floor and narrow curved stairway in order to bring in/out that is the deterrent. I love where I live, fabulous people/neighborhood although moving to a multi unit elevator would solve this. I just read that someone kept their bike in their car, and it was broken into and stolen recently. Yes, definitely a shortage, but will purchase when I can . I’ve definitely been watching listings and a couple of more savvy people keeping watch on prepobikes. Thanks for the suggestion however.
Sound an awful lot like a professional :whistle::laugh:

Despite being a mostly UK based site we do have quite a lot of US based regulars and aside perhaps from some discussions around legislation or particular retailers most of what is discussed here is entirely applicable in both countries! You'll also find quite a lot of members here do tour themselves so there is a wealth of knowledge for you to tap into.

In terms of folding bikes, Bromptons are the gold standard I think, they fold really well (some are just a swing arm so "fold" only in half) and are light weight and good to ride so if you have the option to try one go for it! That being said there is a shortage of bikes available at present so you may struggle to find one new so perhaps trawling ebay/facebook market/craigslist might get you a good second hand one.

The other option is to put the road bike in the car - once you've taken the wheels off they tend to fit in easily, we have what would be considered a very small car by US standards and are comfortably able to fit two mountain bikes in the rear with the seats folded down and I've put a road bike on the back seat with the wheels off before now, so that could be an option for you if you are comfortable taking the wheels off.
 

Kell

Über Member
People can and do do mega mileage on Bromptons (other folders are available).

On a smooth road you don't really lose out too much to another bike that would put you in a similar position as it's the aero (or lack of it) that really slows you down. I lost about 3-5mph compared to my road bike on the same roads, but compared to a full size folder I used to have, I find the Brompton just as quick.

The only downside to Bromptons and indoor trainers is that most will not fit a bike with such small wheels and there are problems mounting one due to the gear chain.

I think some sort of adapter does exist, but from memory I can't recall if it's for a specific brand of trainer.

Someone did post about it here, so it might be worth a forum search.

Good luck.
 
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