West Highland Way – bike choice?

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  • West Highland Way – bike choice?
  • oldmanmtb
    Member

    Any views on bike choice for WHW? Remember old fat bloke requirements….

    Premier Icon eat_more_cheese
    Subscriber

    Generally I would say it doesn’t matter too much but largely depends on if you’re doing the hike a bike up the side of Loch Lomond. In which case lightweight would win the day for me-I’ve done it on an old Giant anthem full sus and on a Cotic soul, both with 2.35’s. Both were easy/light to carry which made a massive difference to how I felt by the time I got to Crianlarich.

    Brake-neck
    Member

    I did it on a Niner EMD, prefect bike for it IMO. As Cheese says, you need something you can carry easily.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Light full sus with big volume tires that has an easy shaped frame to carry for extended periods.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Cheers shall start slinging bikes over my shoulder in various bike shops

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    The perfect bike for the WHW would be one that could convert into a hovercraft to bypass the **** stupid hike up the side of Loch Lomond.

    (I did it on a Cotic Soul, which was fine, but a light short-travel full-sus 29er mile-muncher type thing would probably be the best option for it.)

    Retromud
    Member

    I’d echo the carrying bit as most important… Route has a bit of everything from uber tech to mile munching forest road, something that climbs well is important too. The descent just after Bridge of Orchy (carn a mhaim I think) was one of the unexpected highlights for me – a lot of people miss this out and follow the road round when faced with the climb from behind the hotel.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Yep 29 full sus looking positive …. May not do the bike hike loch Lomand bit – I no longer need to impress anyone at my age – ferry and Tarmac I think

    gordimhor
    Member

    Depending on the time of year I might go for the hike-a-bike rather than cycle in A82 holiday traffic

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    If you ain’t doing the Loch Lomond bit then I’m sure you could come up with a better route between Glasgow and Fort William.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Did wonder if Tarbet side of loch Lomand had an alternative route but OS map seems to show not much in the way of alternatives? Any suggestions?

    I did it on a trek ex8 full sus 26,just used lighter tyres than normal. My dad at 55 got halfway on a 29 hardtail and had to give up cos it was to rough for him. Oh and you can’t say you’ve done the west Highland way if you don’t do the side of Loch lomond 😉 it does suck though.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Without looking at a map…Drymen, Aberfoyle, Callander, Lochearnhead, Killin, Loch Lyon, Bridge of Orchy.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Cheers will look on OS map and see what we can do

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    When you get to Killin, you can take the wee road up Glen Lochay then the hydro track/road over to Loch Lyon.

    Or head to Innerwick, over the hills to Loch Rannoch and then you can take the old “Road to the Isles” to Rannoch Station, Corrour and out via Glen Nevis.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Cheers scotroutes

    Kunstler
    Member

    I’ve done the hike a bike and have also done the ferry/road (in July – wasn’t too bad but I’m used to riding in traffic). Next time I’ll do the hike a bike.

    The whole Loch Lomond stretch is pretty demanding but also quite entertaining as a ride. A heck of a lot more so than heading up the Rob Roy Way to Killin, however it might just break you towards the end of it.

    Bike? I did it on 456 evo. Lighter would have been nicer but hey ho, it’s what I’ve got. I have a couple of mates who used to do it annually over three days. One on a Lapierre Spicy the other on a rigid singlespeed.

    cbike
    Member

    Another route in that region ideal for summer when WHW is mobbed. – http://www.threelochsway.co.uk/

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    If you ain’t doing the Loch Lomond bit then I’m sure you could come up with a better route between Glasgow and Fort William.

    ^this.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    What bike do you have now? Id suggest using that!

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    26 hardtail – really don’t fancy it on that

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Anyone done the three lochs route?

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Another route in that region ideal for summer when WHW is mobbed. – http://www.threelochsway.co.uk/

    Have only had a quick glance but much of that seems similar to the route that Cameron McNeish walked on ’The Adventure Show’ as he walked The Western Way. Got me thinking what it’d be like by bike…

    Kunstler
    Member

    The Three Lochs Way finishes just about the same place that the ferry lands if you skip the north end of Loch Lomond so you’d still have the same conundrum.

    Premier Icon u02sgb
    Subscriber

    We did the Three Lochs Way as part of a day bikecamping from Glasgow to Arrochar last April. Not for the faint of heart if you’re carrying camping gear. There aren’t any bits as bad as the Loch Lomond side carry though.

    I think it’s the Killouter Escarpment that was a bit of a challenge fairly near the start. A bit of hike a bike here and there too. Still enjoyed it though. Would recommend it if you’re up for a bit of pushing/carrying. Would likely be much less challenging without a loaded bike.

    The next two days were spent going down the Cowal Way to Portavadie. I’ll just describe that as “not for bikecamping”.

    There’s a “Three Lochs Way” app that has some good info in it.

    cbike
    Member

    Improvements ongoing on 3LW as funding becomes available. It’s not single track but good for getting places/bad weather alternative. Keeps my folks and their retired chums off the streets.

    If you have done it please review at tripadvisor and if you have stay with accommodation providers let them know. Some of them helped build it.

    oldmanmtb
    Member

    Thanks to all for input

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