Cycle touring in Oman, which bike do I take? Anyone ridden there?

  • This topic has 11 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by  5lab.
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  • Cycle touring in Oman, which bike do I take? Anyone ridden there?
  • Premier Icon Chipko Andolan
    Subscriber

    I haven’t ridden in Oman, but I have ridden the Atlas in Morroco. Here follows a hugely sweeping generalisation for the region of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, but I think they’re probably similar enough in terms of infrastructure development and terrain.
    I rode a rigid mtb (a Commencal Supernormal) and was quite comfortable on that. There were a few rock-strewn descents and that’s when you appreciate having a bit of give in the tyres and riser handlebars for comfort and control. I’ve ridden similar trails in northern Europe on a crosser and been nervous of the twanging noise from the front end as the wheel deflects over sharp rocks. The thought of having any kind of time-consuming mechanical in a remote desert is not appealing!

    So I’m off for a 10 day cycle tour in Oman and I’m struggling with bike choice.

    Has anyone ridden in Oman?

    I’m keen to get into the Hajar mountains and do a bit of bikepacking. Is it rough enough to justify bringing the rigid mountainbike or should I ride the crossbike?

    I have heard it’s like Mars and they do a bigish XC race there so I would suspect a short travel full sus 29er orientated towards trail riding would be your best bet. Also some DH casing tyres with a tubeless setup. I’ll ask my mate about the terrain.

    edit: thinking about it some really reliable parts like Shimano M615 with 160mm rotors and some heat fins for cooling and possibly single speed but I don’t know if replacement parts are available there if you want to run gears. And a metal frame and metal rims along with some solid reliable suspension.

    stevew
    Member

    Not ridden there but toured the mountains, awesome place.

    Many of the roads in the mountains and into the wadi’s are well packed dirt tracks, some rockier than others but should be good riding. We had a hired Shogun and needed it.

    A good hard tail or short travel full sus should be good enough.

    Very jealous.

    whitestone
    Member

    I’ve worked out there but not biked. The rock is (from memory) Oolitic Limestone and the resulting scree is very sharp, I’ve still scars on my legs 20 years later from various falls/scrapes. I’ve driven through the Hajar and they are pretty rough. Once you get off the blacktop the tracks can be soft going, a cross bike would be very hard work IMO.

    I’d definitely go during the winter months as it will be stiflingly hot at any other time – it got to 55C one day when I was there 😯

    Rigid mtb it is then. Thanks all.

    shermer75
    Member

    Report back with pictures!!! Very jealous 🙂

    bhill22
    Member

    Was working near Nizwa earlier this year, but I took my road bike, did some long rides including the road up to Jebel Akhdar, you need a police permit to get past the checkpoint, and Jebel Shams. Was on the top of the Akhdar not seen a car or person in 2 hours and in the opposite direction was another cyclist we almost collided in shock!

    If you do road work be careful I was going to cycle from Muscat to Nizwa but would not advise, it is too dangerous due to other traffic, they dont see cyclist nor ride a bike so they dont give you much clearance, stay off the main drags

    H1ghland3r
    Member

    I’ve worked out there but not biked. The rock is (from memory) Oolitic Limestone and the resulting scree is very sharp, I’ve still scars on my legs 20 years later from various falls/scrapes. I’ve driven through the Hajar and they are pretty rough. Once you get off the blacktop the tracks can be soft going, a cross bike would be very hard work IMO.

    I’d definitely go during the winter months as it will be stiflingly hot at any other time – it got to 55C one day when I was there

    Yep, agree with all of this. Similarly haven’t biked out there but spent several months working out there in my youth. Think once you get off the roads a crosser would be very hard work.

    Premier Icon Hanky
    Subscriber

    I’ve ridden in Oman and raced Trans Hajar on a short travel XC bike. Would definitely take the MTB as lots of rocky off-road stuff but there’s also plenty of gravel. It can get very remote, so carry lots of water, emergency kit etc. It’s still hot out here compared to the UK so may take a few days to acclimatize. I’m going back in Feb to race this: http://bikingman.com/en/bikingman-oman/ on a Mason Bokeh…

    mrmoofo
    Member

    It is like Mars, it will be very hot ( maybe not so in the mountains) and the standard of driving is awful …

    5lab
    Member

    Posting this from the shangri-la Barr in Oman, it’s still very hot (33c) in the lowlands but was in the mountains yesterday and the day before and it was around 25c, so much more manageable. You need a 4wd to be allowed on the road up there though

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