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  1. Paul
  2. Cycle Touring Advice
  3. Tuesday, July 11 2017, 11:30 AM
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I enjoy cycling for leisure and a few weeks ago completed the Devon coast to coast ride (over two days staying in Okehampton Youth Hostel, so travelled light with a single pannier). It was a great ride and has given me a taste for going some more touring. I rode my Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20, which has a 34/32 lowest gear, which I found a little too high on some of the Devon hills (I am a big lad!). I really like the Genesis and find it well geared for general leisure rides (although living next to the Mendips hills I do sometimes wish for a lower gear or to be fitter).

So I am now wondering do I:

(a) Changing the gearing on my Genesis to make it more touring friendly? but this would mean a fairly expensive change from the current compact chainset 105 set-up, and would potentially lose the top gearing
(b) Look to buy a second touring specific bike - I like the idea of something a little more capable of off-road/gravel paths (something like the Specialized AWOL)
(c) Perhaps start by buying a good used hybrid to tour on - these seem to have the right gearing, are a little different to my road bike, and could be used for lots of purposes - shopping, family cycling, forest tracks etc - and probably fairly cost effective.

Any advice on models to consider is welcome - I do like disc brakes though and can't imagine buying a bike without them.

I think that any touring I get to do is likely to be fairly short initially - long weekends/maybe a week - I would like to think that I would camp, but perhaps initially B&B style touring.

I don't cycle as often as I should, but do try to get out most weekends - when I happily cycle 40 - 50 miles (I am riding the GWR the weekend and will end up at about 70 miles!). I am not a great one for structured training and not very competitive, but assume that cycle touring can be as gentle or hard as you make it, and that strength and fitness will develop on longer tours.

I guess any advice on getting started and good initial routes to try are welcome (thinking about Avenue Verte - Dieppe to Paris section sometime soonish)
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  Churchill, Winscombe BS25 5NB, UK
Peter Ashford Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

Noticed your post hadn't had a response, so thought I'd give my view.

a: sounds like you already running a compact 105 on the front. You probably could switch to a triple front and get the granny gear option, but that would mean a new front derailleur too... If you are happy with this bike for touring (is it comfortable), this could be a good choice.

b: you can never have enough bikes :-) If you have the cash and will make good use of your purchase, then a separate touring bike will mean you get something specific to your requirements, and won't need to make adjustments to other bikes. However, there are other ways... For me, I just converted an old MTB and have been happy ever since. A few hundred pound in minor conversions. Check out my post. MTB Conversion for Cycle Touring.

c: I personally think just about any bicycle can be toured on. As long as it is comfortable, mechanically sound and up to the task of carrying any luggage you take. You don't always need to buy a new bicycle.

Hope you are enjoy touring. I live a little further down in Somerset and have experienced the local hills on my road and touring bike. Have stayed in the same YHA in Okehampton after a day enjoying the brutal hills of Dartmoor - the views at the top are well worth the pain though! I'll be organising some mini local tours in Exmoor area over the coming months and will add them to the site for people to come along. https://www.cyclingtouring.org/cycle-touring/join-a-cycle-tour.

Cheers Pete
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