Darkside – touring bike cum Winter bike

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  • Darkside – touring bike cum Winter bike
  • Kinases Gran Fondo my choice of winter hack bike, tourer and turbo torture. Braze ons for panniers, handles like a dream and I bought it second hand.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Slow down, I can’t keep up!

    Thank you again for replies, especially vortex with his kind offer. 🙂

    I’m really just pondering at this stage – too much time on my hands following bike accident – but it’s always good to hear opinions of others with experience.

    The real test will be when I get back on the road bike. 😯

    Hi there,

    If you are serious about cycle touring, then forget about using disc brakes. There are a number of good reasons why touring riders don’t use disc brakes, and most of them are listed here:


    The fact that the cycling industry marketing machine is currently trying to sell everybody disc-braked ‘touring bikes’ is largely down to the fact that they want you to part with your money, and new features however pointless, seem sell bikes.

    What is most important in cycle touring is reliability, ease of maintenance, and compatability. Choose components that most small bike shops around the world are likely to stock, so that when you break something out on the road, you are likely to be able to find a replacement locally.

    This mostly means going for rim brakes, and shimano compatible drivetrain components. Now i’m no great fan of the shimano monopoly, but when it comes to availability and compatability, they have it covered.

    If you are looking for a commuting bike that you will do an occasional holiday tour on, then sure go for a shiney new disc-brake model, but for serious touring, stick to rim brakes.


    Premier Icon mustard

    Monstermarrow I’d have to disagree with you there, but anyway it is a bit irrelevant to this post as CG has said

    for touring, maximum trip a week

    I think you’ll see more and more tourers sporting discs. I’ve read several blogs of people wearing through rims on tours and having to take time out to wait for a rim to be posted out to them. It’s a lot easier to pack a spare rotor in your pannier than a rim.

    CG – what size is your road bike? We spent ages trying to find DGOAB a disc braked tourer and thought the Tripster was the one but it’s just too long to get the fit right so a custom build is being drawn as we speak.

    Don’t discount Ally as a material either the Tripster is suprisingly comfortable while still being sharp and fast – I gave myself a shock when I looked down at the computer while sprinting (on the road) with 35mm ‘cross tyres on and seeing just how fast I was moving it.

    Don’t discount Ally as a material either the Tripster is suprisingly comfortable while still being sharp and fast

    This. I commented on my first ride on it how comfortable it was going over rough ground compared to my carbon roadie. Just a thought though…my custom winter road bike/cx/tourer is going to be steel which is a first for me!


    genesis croix de fer and I found mudguards straight forward to fit, much like any other bike.

    when you say touring do you mean riding round the UK/western Europe- or going on serious tours to developing countries

    this dictates whether you need to worry about replaceable parts, brakes- discs v rim replacement, size of tyre, gearing etc.

    bar end shifters are very easy to maintain yourself- and on friction mode will run with virtually any rear mech of the same speed as the cassette- e.g. I ran a campag rear mech, shimano cassette and shimano bar end shifter for a couple of years with no issue

    also- dont worry about the comfort too much- anything is relatively comfy with 28mm or bigger tyres at the right pressure.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    More replies. 8)

    Just to be clear, it would only be for the UK and for a maximum of a week at a time. Just pootling, stopping off to look at old churches, investigate local history etc. so not huge daily mileage.

    I’m an old girl hence comfort is important. My road bike is 52 cm and a seriously good fit. It’s a mens, as are all my bikes. At 5’5″ with short body and both long legs and arms, should be reasonably well-catered for.

    Would need disc brakes, triple chainset and Ultegra. 🙄

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    If you look at 29ers, there’s nothing to stop you fitting dropbars, mudguards, and racks, and there’s tons of room for any size tyre. I use 2.35″ Big Apples for a comfortable ride.

    I think you’ll see more and more tourers sporting discs. I’ve read several blogs of people wearing through rims on tours and having to take time out to wait for a rim to be posted out to them. It’s a lot easier to pack a spare rotor in your pannier than a rim.

    Any touring rim will last 15,000 miles or more, provided you don’t grind your brake blocks down to the metal. The wear strip on the rim tells you if you are approaching replacement time. Is 15,000 miles sufficient notice? A couple of bloggers are not representative of the world, and if they went out touring on worn rims then perhaps they really should have stayed at home. (Unless their tour was more than 15,000 miles long, which would be exceptional, and certainly not the norm). Seriously though, out on the road, away from the internet, no experienced touring riders use disc brakes.

    A long decent through the alps, carrying 20kg of luggage, will toast any ‘touring disc-brake’ pads in a single DAY.

    There are also knock-on effects of sticking disc brakes onto ‘touring bikes’. To work effectively a disc brake requires a much stiffer, beefier front fork, that negates the comfort and compliance that a nice cro-mo should fork gives to a touring ride. Just look at that awful fork Kona put on that Sutra earlier pictured in this thread, it just looks like their old Project 2 cyclocross fork to me…

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt

    I agree that rim brakes are better for proper touring with heavy loads over long distances. You do need to choose rims very carefully, though. I used F519s on an MTB tourer I used to ride from London to Ethiopia a few years ago. The rim popped from excessive brake wear in the middle of the Sudanese desert. Not the best place for it to go. So proper touring rims with a wear indicator for me next time.


    I’ve just posted this pic elsewhere on this forum so why not here as well? It’s a Specialized Tricross disc, I’ve fitted mudguards and am enjoying riding it as a winter trainer. It will make a very nice tourer as it’s comfortable and only 8 minutes slower than my carbon roadie over 2 hours and 1750 ft of climbing. The position is excellent and it has overturned my prejudice against aluminium as a frame material – actually the stiffness of the rear triangle makes it an efficient climber.


    …London to Ethiopia…

    BLIMEY! 😯

    I used to work in Port Sudan, and there’s not a lot out there! How the hell did you get hold of a new rim?? (Oh, and wherever you got it from, did they stock AvidBB7 pads as well??) 😉

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    That’s a lovely looking bike, first time I’ve seen the new 2012 Tricross.

    CG, ygm (on facebook) 🙂

    Premier Icon mustard

    Do you get a lot of canty brake pads in Ethiopia? – genuine question.

    My 29er is on the fist set of pads I put in and that was before a mere 1000km mostly offroad km in Spain last year. They’ve managed summer and winter over here since and won’t need replaced in a hurry. I also travel pretyy light when I tour so chucking enough spare pads in to last between westernised countries doesn’t seem like too much of an issue to me. If you are more of a four pannier and the kitchen sink type tourer you may have less spare room… I also didn’t have any comfort or overheating issues in the Sierra Nevada (on road) this year. I won’t count the descent from Pico Veletta as the sleet may have had a hand ion temperature regulation there 🙄

    Anyway this is a discussion for elsehwere as I don’t want CGs thread (where she repeatedly says she will be touring for no more than a week and in the UK) to be derailed by a discussion on the merits of long distance touring with discs.

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt

    monstermarrow, luckily the guy who guides the Sudanese leg of the tour d’afrique gave me his rear wheel – we were actually only a couple of hundred kms away from Khartoum on our way to the Ethiopian border. Cost more in postage for a new wheel for him than the wheel did to buy!

    mustard, I don’t think spares would be easy to come by anywhere in that part of the world. Certainly, everywhere we looked bike bits were completely incompatible with modern technology. We just carried a full set of spare pads each (plus cables, chain links and a few other bits and bobs).

    back on topic, I still don’t think that the Kaff can be beaten for value.

    Premier Icon mustard

    Baldysquirt that was the point I was getting at. I don’t think it matters much if you are on rim or disc brakes as if you need spares that you aren’t carrying they are most likley going to need to be posted out to you anyway.

    I’m going to order a Kaff to replace my Tripster when I can get over the trauma of a 2month old frame having to be binned 😥

    CG if you want you can borrow my Kaff for a few weeks to see how you get on with it

    BTW you will have a email tonight with some pics of the pup



    Ooh – am liking the look of the new tricross!

    DGOAB – who’s doing your custom build? Would love to see pic’s / details when it’s done.


    +1 for a 29er. We met Nina on the Trans Am. She rode a 29er Cube from NYC to Yorktown VA to San Francisco on it. A little more than a week long pootle.

    Its worth keeping an eye out on the CTC classifieds, there are often some nice small custom steel touring frames/bikes on there. Discs are a faff with racks. The Roberts I tour on was an ebay frame only buy. Steel touring frames are super comfy.

    Nearly forgot Crystal and her 650b Rivendell – maybe a niche too far?

    Sue, Shand Cycles are doing it for me. Will be posting up details/process/photos on my blog when I get a chance (link in profile). 🙂


    As I said, just buy a Dawes Galaxy#. Ultra Galaxy in 853 is light and is the cumulation of 70 years of touring know-how. Tourers are the right tool for what you want. Everything else will be some form of compromise.

    #other tourers are available, but for that all important church wall photo, nothing else will do 😉

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