Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Btwin tourer. Anyone had one?
  • Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    Currently down a touring bike rabbithole, and have come across these online. Have been working non-stop through the pandemic and have decided to give myself a treat. German touring exotica is well out of my price bracket, so these might fit the bill.
    Live absolutely nowhere near a Decathlon branch so would have to be ordered online. Anyone have any real -life experience of how the sizing works on this range?
    Almost definitely wont be using it for World Tours, but the load capability is something I’m looking at for taking fishing gear, allotment produce, etc. Trying to cut back the car use as I feel Im getting too reliant on it.
    Anyway, cut a long story short, anyone tried one?

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member
    Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    Oh yeah, should have really!
    Am very enamoured with the 900 tourer with the 40 kg rated racks, however it seems that is not available until August, so Im guessing nobody has ridden one yet.
    Not knowing much about Btwin bikes, I was just hoping someone would have any real life experience of previous models?
    Also have been looking at a Ridgeback Expedition , but again, no stock . I am 5’11 and rugby player physique, long arms and legs, so I am guessing an L or XL.

    https://www.ridgeback.co.uk/ridgeback-expedition-varrb2152

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/riverside-rt-900-touring-bike/_/R-p-332461

    Premier Icon luv2ride
    Free Member

    New Decathlon adventure/touring bike…

    Think the 900 shares the same frame as the 920, and there are a few online reviews 8f that. A few 920 owners on the post above.

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Why have they skimped out on cable disc brakes for the £1200 RT900, when both the £800 RT520 and £1400 RT920 have proper hydraulic?

    It’s another debacle along the lines of the originally £750 (now £850) RC520 road/gravel bike, that has decent spec 105 7000 components, but “hybrid” cable/hydraulics instead of the proper road hydraulics that have been around for over 5 years now.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    Why have they skimped out on cable disc brakes

    Some people prefer cable discs when touring as they are easier to fix and I get that but then I don’t really understand the price compared to the 920 which is hydraulic drops.

    Although its spec is xt its old 10 speed. I think at £1200 it’s overpriced but if its in stock maybe it isn’t? 😂

    The ridgeback is 26 inch and unless your planning to go to outer Mongolia on it then I wouldn’t bother, you can get spares now in most places or a DHL parcel in 3 to 5 days so I don’t think tourers need to be 26 inch anymore.

    Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    Yeah, the fact its 26″ is part of what I like about it. I always like the smaller wheel compared to ,say, 700c . I dont know if its just a mental thing, but I prefer riding 26″ .
    is a shortage of 26″ tyres a thing, what with the variety of wheel sizes in use now?. Havent really noticed any new bikes rocking the 26″ wheel recently.
    I also plan on running a dynamo hub and lighting system at some point. Am I right in thinking the reduced wheel circumference of 26″ vs 700c gives more revs per unit distance, therefore a higher rpm and a higher voltage generated.?
    Does this matter as much with the newer LED lighting? I m wondering if the electronics involved with the LEDs negate the benefits of the extra voltage generated, ie, it isnt really a benefit to produce more voltage because the electronics take care of it?

    Had cable operated hydraulics and plain cable discs on my CX bike,and in my humble opinion, I had XT vee brakes back in the day which seemed much better stoppers. Obviously full hydraulics kick all their arses, but I didnt notice any real benefit to the non-hydro disc brakes.

    10 or even 9 speed is not a problem to me, as I assume with a heavily laden steel-framed biked, you would be running a triple chainset, thus no need for 11 speed cassette range? We used to cope OK with the 8 and 9 speed systems back in the day. Maybe the thicker chain of a 9 spd system is more suited to the tourer than an 11 spd chain? Havent really used the new 10 and 11 spd systems, all my bikes have been of the older types.

    So, is the wheel size the only reason not to bother with the Ridgeback? Any other problems people know of?

    Premier Icon butcher
    Full Member

    Does this matter as much with the newer LED lighting?

    Lighting isn’t really an issue. Modern dynamo setups are pretty good, you pedal at any speed the lights come on… They might dim very slightly on a climb.

    If you want to charge stuff on the go, that’s another story. It’s a slow process and some setups will have advantages over others.

    On cable discs and 26″ wheels, I suspect that’s very much a conscious thing. The alternatives are not an issue for the vast majority of people, but if you’re on a world tour travelling third world countries it could be in your interest to run a more traditional setup catered for by the local bike shops.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    Dynamo hubs are just another thing to go wrong which are hard to fix when on a tour.

    They are also complicated due to varying currency so you need to charge a power pack that charges your kit and not all power banks are happy with them.

    Personally I prefer a rim dynamo which you can click off for climbs and put back on when yiu get to the top. If it breaks you still have a working bike.

    I like these but have no idea if they are reliable or not.

    https://pedalcell.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw16KFBhCgARIsALB0g8IAfD60kkulDfHn2IUpW9dupLBEdVce2rpNCGide-SKldSsTc8m2eEaAo4EEALw_wcB

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    Dynamo hubs are just another thing to go wrong which are hard to fix when on a tour.

    They are also complicated due to varying currency so you need to charge a power pack that charges your kit and not all power banks are happy with them.

    Not sure I’d agree, a dynamo is an essential part of a tourer for me. I have a B+M USB-Werk and it charges phones, batteries and GPS directly w/o issue as long as you look after the connections (as you have to with a power pack alternative). If I was touring somewhere very remote I’d either go for a SON dynamo (£££) or skip all electronics to simplify things, but for riding across France etc a dynamo with lights and charger runnig off it is great.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    So, is the wheel size the only reason not to bother with the Ridgeback? Any other problems people know of?

    Good bikes ime.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    a dynamo is an essential part of a tourer for me


    @jameso
    . Maybe it’s me but my friends and I have had some average experiences with dynamo hubs. Perhaps we didn’t spend enough? I agree they are essential but I like the rim dynamo linked above as an alternative.

    I’ve also had mixed success with solar panels strapped to the top of my bag but not in the uk

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    Yeah, the fact its 26″ is part of what I like about it. I always like the smaller wheel compared to ,say, 700c .

    How about buying a 700c bike, sell the wheels and run 650b wheels with wider tyres on? I think alpkit might even offer this as a build option.

    https://alpkit.com/products/sonder-camino-al-v3-apex1-flat

    700 x 50mm or 650b x 2.1 tyre clearance

    12 mm front and rear bolt through axles

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    @damascus – I had one hub last under about 7,000km I think, the others have been ok for longer. SON and SP. XTs seems to have a good rep. Interested in which rim dynamo you have though?

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    Almost definitely wont be using it for World Tours, but the load capability is something I’m looking at for taking fishing gear, allotment produce, etc. Trying to cut back the car use as I feel Im getting too reliant on it.

    I’d be using my Dutch utility/town/cargo bike for that (Batavus Personal)

    Such bikes carry huge loads in panniers/buckets/baskets/on racks, are massively stable under load , big kick stand and largely maintenance-free. Just slow and heavy. But I find that also of benefit for use as is smooth and relaxing/laid back for cargo, carry the weight low and are more than happy to be ‘benevolently neglected’ and treated like the work bike that they are!

    Maybe would also use the Longitude for similar jobs at a push. Definitely not my road tourer (if I didn’t have to) but my first choice for carrying stuff locally (since discovering them) are used IGH Dutch utes – ie Gazelle, Sparta, Batavus etc

    Any reasons, OP, you’re looking specifically for a tourer rather than utility/town/cargo?

    Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    @p7eaven
    Funnily enough, I have been looking at Batavus bikes, especially the quip . It looks ike it would suit all my needs, as you describe, except for one thing, and thats gearing. I live around the Afan area, so you can get an idea of the kind of hills I have to deal with. As soon as you come inland from the coast, you hit big hills in either direction, unless youre following river valleys.
    If the collective mind of Singletrack can give me an alternative with gearing that could take me up Bryn hill , Im very interested.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    you describe, except for one thing, and thats gearing. I live around the Afan area, so you can get an idea of the kind of hills I have to deal with. As soon as you come inland from the coast, you hit big hills in either direction, unless youre following river valleys.

    When I bought the Batavus I lived among coastal valleys in North Devon/Cornwall and now live on the side of a big hill above a wide plain. Most journeys therefore have been plummet then winch or vice versa. The extra weight of the bike doesn’t seem an issue for me* when carrying big loads, it just adds stability. The stepthru frame assists in loading and setting off, easy dismounts etc. *I am an avid cycle-climber of yore, albeit now ageing with unrelated injuries, yet can still climb on this.

    My Batavus Personal is the 3spd Nexus version. I had to lose the chainguard in order to fit another crankset that had a few less teeth. Also sorted the rear cog by swapping for one with a few more teeth. In 1st it can now carry four shopping bags of groceries up most any hill, climbs like a sherpa with me honking and gurning over the bars. Have had it like this since 2013 and the chain never snapped, nor the hub cause me any problems. Impressive. ymmv

    Just a steady winch. Third gear is still OK for shorter flat distances, with a ratio that feels somewhat like my singlespeed. I wouldn’t wish to ride it for scores of miles on the flat tho unless I had a lot of time on my hands to watch the roses 😆. I’ll happily do a 20 mile round trip at most. Any more and I’d pull out the old tourer or the ‘Tude.

    For winch, plummet, semi-rural bimbling about and town use it’s do-able IME, while being mindful that for a lot of people it’s counterintuitive to have a Dutch bike for hills as the geo is meant for laid-back riding. The brakes are the only setback for my use. Don’t get me wrong, I like my roller brakes, on the flat or gentle. But the mad hills can do them in/boil the grease in short order. My front brake is currently afflicted and tends to slow me down a little rather than pull to a stop 😅

    The Quip Extra looks useful tho. Hmmm (thinks, can ditch my old rusting Batavus + the Longitude and replace with one)

    Especially with those disc brakes. Or a Quip E-Go Extra would be even better for mad hills. Then I’d have to sell three of my bikes to afford that one.

    Might not be a bad idea tbh. Damn you, STW threads!

    OP, what about this

    Premier Icon johnnymarone
    Free Member

    Bit of an update, in case anyone was interested.
    In the end, managed to find a Ridgeback Expedition, in my size, in stock. But in Yorkshire.
    Turns out the shop who had it were top people though and sorted it all out painlessly and quickly, so top marks to Blazing Saddles in , i think, Hebden Bridge.
    Love this bike. So comfy, geometry suits me perfectly. Instead of havi n g to get out of the saddle and mash up hills, i just lean my arsebone into the saddle , spin the pedals and plod up the hills .
    The mechanical disc brakes are waaay better than the last set of non -hydro disc brakes I had before, cant see there being a problem with them.
    Overall am very happy with it, glad I went with it, would still love a Dutchie at some point though.

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