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  • Camping Tour on a hardtail.
  • sevenandnine
    Full Member


    I wanna do a ten day ride in spain, covering about 30 miles a day on a Genesis Core 40.

    This is a really amateur question but are there any modifications I should do to my bike to improve my ride. Its gonna be mostly road riding, so I’m guessing more suitable tyres, bar ends etc.

    Also could anyone recommend any good (and cheapish) panniers and racks, tents etc.

    Any tips or comments would be appreciated.


    Free Member

    dunno about racks and stuff but up the tyre pressure – and if its hot make sure you have plenty of water on board.

    and take spares (mech hanger / bb etc) that are crucial to the working of your bike.

    Free Member

    Bar ends are a good idea – they give you a greater range of hand positions.

    Tyres – what do you have already? Conti Sport Contacts are a nice tyre for road riding.

    As far as panniers are concerned you could check out the dhb panniers on Wiggle.

    If you have disc brakes you might have to look around for a rack that fits – depending on what brakes you have.

    Free Member

    I agree with conti tyres – very good and puncture resistant.

    Take half of what you think need. Put everything you want to take in a pile then remove every second object.

    Racks – Tubus are head and shoulders above any other I have seen but expensive. I break ordinary racks – been thru a few.

    Free Member

    I used schwalbe Big Apple tyres on my last two tours and have never had a puncture with them. The only other concession I’ve made to touring is Ergon grips

    Luggage/ packing /gear wise – minimalism is the trick no matter how hard you try to shave everything back you still take stuff that never gets used.

    Things I’ve found useful are:

    Thermarest 3/4 length camping matts.

    Tents – the smallest packing tent you can find that you can comforably lie in / get in and out of, I’m a lanky **** so I actually roamed far and wide (a 400 mile round trip in the end) to find a tent shop where the tents are out on show for you to try out. It can be handy if a tent packs up short rather than thin. I’ve got a Northface Roadrunner 22 as a result, a 2 person tent that opens on both sides and in long enough for me. The biggest weight saving you can make with a cheaper tent is to replace the steel pegs with alu ones.

    Flatworld / Orikaso folding plates and mugs – weightless, flat and floppy, take up no space and create no voids when you pack, and cheap as chips

    A little topeak bag that attaches to the toptube / stem – keeps useful stuff like your camera to hand so you don’t have to stop and dig around for it.

    The biggest capacity water bottles you can find for the bike and luggage/strapping space for an extra 2 litre shop-bought bottle on hotter days

    Some kind of small bag / hippack or whatever with all your important stuff – wallet passport, etc so that you can easily take the essential stuff with you when you stop for a coffee or a look around. I use an ortleib waterproof bumbag, so not only is all the valuable stuff with me it protected if you get caught in bad weather.

    The clothes you stand up in at the end of the night when its raining and a bit cold are pretty much all the clothes you’ll ever use apart from one or two changes of quick drying socks and pants. By the same measure you need to pack with enough spare space that in hot weather all those layers can be stashed away.

    Those Lifeadventure compact towels are really good but pricy.I’ve used those microfibre cleaning cloths in the past, which are a bit small and a bit rough, but do exactly the same thing otherwise.

    Don’t carry stocks of food with you all day or day to day. I got into the routine of striking camp in the morning and riding to the nearest town/village for breakfast, buying the food I’ll need for the duration of the ride there and buying whatever I was going to eat that night at the last place you pass through before your desination. The only thing this relies on in getting into the rhythm of shop and cafe opening times which are quite different in rural europe to what you’ll be used to here. I’ve never bothered carrying the wearwithall to make hot drinks.

    Finally – i’ve alway found pillows to be a bother when camping – little stash-away camping pillows annoy me and using things like bundles of clothes don’t really do it for me either. What I did in the end was go to ikea and give all their pillows a test scrunch – bought the most scrunchable one and pack it in a spare sleeping bag compressor. ( I compress my clothes in there too) . Sleep much better for it.

    I’m a big fan of using a trailer rather than panniers. Its more of an investment, but towing (the right) trailer is a measurably better than panniers. It doesn’t mean carrying more either, the trailer /bag I use is actually slightly less volume that two rear panniers. And as you’re on holiday and riding a bike is how you’ve chosen to spend it, a more enjoyable ride is money well spent in my opinion

    Finally give all the gear a shakedown run or two – go for a couple of weekend rides and see what essential and whats annoying you – difficult access to your gear, things not staying put – and figure out the solutions before you make the big trip.

    Free Member

    Very good post skidartist. 🙂

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    Blimey didn’t notice how long that was – if this was another popular forum I’d be apologising for ‘girth’

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    Jandd or others from a framebag that uses the space in the diamond. Mine works OK with a side-access bottle cage.

    Full Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Free Member

    Don’t carry stocks of food with you all day or day to day. I got into the routine of striking camp in the morning and riding to the nearest town/village for breakfast, buying the food I’ll need for the duration of the ride there and buying whatever I was going to eat that night at the last place you pass through before your desination.

    It depends a lot on where you go. I’ve travelled in parts of Corsica where you’d have to go for miles to find a food shop or café/bar. Or you might get to the village with the only shop for miles only to find that the shop has just closed and the bar doesn’t serve food. It think that if you are going somewhere remote, it’s always worth carrying a bit of bread and some cheese or tin of paté, or whatever, in case you don’t find anywhere that’s open. Ditto money – don’t assume there’ll always be a cash machine when you need one.

    Tents are a difficult one. I’ve got a nice, light one-person tent which was fine until I got stuck in it waiting out 24 hours or torrential rain – I’ve now gone for something larger but a bit heavier. It’s good advice to go somewhere where you can see the tent already up.

    Full Member

    Good call for a destination. Hills and profusion of roadkill aside, Spain is brilliant for touring, very cyclist-friendly and you’ll never struggle to dry your kit out.

    Depending on where/when you’re going, take extra water. 2 bottles isn’t always enough if you’re riding in a hilly country and it’s nearly 40 degrees.

    Puncture resistant tyres are a must, everything out there is thorny.

    Tents – get a free-standing design as the ground on campsites can be too rocky to get pegs into. My mates had a North Face Tadpole. They aren’t cheap but they are great for hot countries as the flysheet can be rolled back or left off entirely, leaving just the mosquito netting inner.

    Free Member

    Good advice skidartist. Especially agreed re. a trailer rather than panniers. Somehow the handling of your bike is alot less compromised with a trailer IMO. Plus if you can find a trustworthy landlord or camp-site owner it’s alot easier to unhitch a trailer and leave it with them so you can go off and explore on your bike for a bit.

    Gas cannisters for your stove can be hard to get on the continent (seems to be mostly the camping gaz “pierce” ones rather than the self sealing screw on ones) Safest to take an alcohol/meths burner I reckon

    Free Member

    some snippets on kti choice here you may find useful
    sorry about lack of photos, host site borked.

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