With only 6 weeks to go until our big trip I have finally completed building my bike for the summer! I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk you through my 4000 mile setup.
I have chosen a ‘Cotic Escapade’ as my trusty steed for the trip. It is a well respected, well made steel frame suited to touring, commuting and general road riding. Already owning a Cotic mountain bike was great as I knew the sizing would be good. I have a large frame as I am just over 6 foot tall.
I have built it up using a Shimano 105 2 x 10 group set. I have the 50/34 option at the front and I am using the 12-30t option at the back. I have taken it for a number of test rides and the gears seem to be low enough for the steepest hills in my area, although I have not tested the bike with weight yet.
I have fitted TRP HY/RD disc brakes front and rear which are really good. I can use normal Shimano cable operated brake levers but still have the power and performance of a hydraulic brake. They are a great compromise for someone like myself who cannot justify spending hundreds on a proper hydraulic lever system.
I have splashed some cash on the Hope Pro 4 hubs laced to Stans Alpha rims. They are super strong and mega smooth so it was worth it. Obviously for someone who is going to be riding thousands of miles, a Continental Gatorskin tyre was the only option. I have been riding Gatorskin’s for years now and have found them almost completely puncture proof. Fingers crossed I can get most of the way without taking either of them off to patch an innertube.
Lastly, my seat. As with the the frame, I did loads of research when buying a seat. It’s probably the most important part of the bike and can make or break a trip. Every touring forum I looked at recommended a Brooks B17. Mine is still not bedded in and needs quite a bit more time in the saddle to get it nice and soft, but there is plenty of time for that!
Everything on the bike is brand new and most of the group-set will probably need replacing when we get back which is a bit of a bummer but hey-ho, what can you do.
It’s only 6 weeks to go now and preparations are well under way, can’t wait for some much needed time off work.
Were off to the Alpkit store this weekend to stock up on bike luggage.
Keep an eye out for the next post as we get closer to the start line!