Touring New Zealand -Which bike?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by trampola, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. trampola

    trampola New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All,

    I am in the market for a touring/hybrid bike that will suit me on a mth long cycling trip in NZ. I'd also get plenty of use out of it here in Australia.

    One that I have had my eye on is the Giant Elwood... My budget is $500 AUD. Is that enough to spend on a suitable bike?

    Paul
     
    Tags:


  2. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    0
    No No No. In it's original setup the Elwood is far too upright for any long distance cycling. Get something like the Giant CRX series or the Avanti Blade, but regardless of brand, make sure that any bike you get has eyelets for panniers and mudguards, and thicker than normal wheels (700 x 28C should be ok for roads, some of the back country has really bad ones).

    $500AU is enough for the bike but remember you need to get bike shorts, front and rear panniers, lights, misc clothing, locks, etc. Budget another $300 at least for those to be on the safe side.
     
  3. athoma00

    athoma00 New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the Elwood would be OK. The stem is adjustable in angle so you can't have an aggressive or relaxed position, and can also adjust as your fitness/experience increases. As well there's plenty of spacers so you can lower the stem if you wish. Also the wheels are 36 spoke and the smallest gear is 28/32, which isn't too bad. NZ can get quite hilly in places. The only thing that could be better would be 8 speed instead of 7, and there is no rack mountings on the fork. IMO the Blade and CRX are both OK choices but are oriented more towards faster paced riding without as much load carrying capability, i.e. lower spoke counts, and a smaller range of gearing.
     
  4. Garyh_GONP07

    Garyh_GONP07 New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a little doubtful about a $500 off-the-shelf bike.

    Apart from the basic bike set up, you'll need to pay some special attention to gearing and—note this— heel clearance with panniers. Many hybrids and off-shelf MTBs have short wheelbases which make them suitable for carrying only small rear panniers.

    In New Zealand, particularly the South Island (but the North is a bugger, too), it's not so much the size of the hills, but their frequency, and low gears (eg. 11-34T) would be mandatory with a front+rear touring load. You may have to switch the rings on the front triple (a common touring set up is 26-36-46) and freewheel (11-14L / 28-32-34L). Brakes will also require looking at: don't skimp on these! NZ downhills are a big thrill (after you get up to the top!) eg. the fantastic long descent from the Crown Range to Wanaka, the long and twisty descent to Milford Sound or heading west through the beautiful Haast Pass. If heading to the top of the South Isle you'll be up amongst the birds (and the light planes :p ) descending Takaka Hill (an inappropriate name for a bloody huge mountain!!) Disc brakes are ideal but tend to wear down quickly with touring loads.

    Another important thing: look at a super-comfy saddle and a relaxed forward position for the (obviously) long hours. Clipless pedals are now the standard for touring, though some people I've seen are more comfortable with toe clips and straps. Wide MTB handlebars with a marked upward "rise" are favoured over "randonneur" bars for better directional grip with a handlebar bag and/or front low panniers. Then invest in clothes (including wet weather gear: you will need it!) lights and panniers, tools and spares; as the others say in the thread, you'll need to look at a much higher budget than $500. I recommend you double the budget. :)

    Get the low down on cycling in NZ with the Lonely Planet guide, "New Zealand" 12th edition.
     
  5. trampola

    trampola New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the helpful words guys.

    In terms of all the extras, they are not a worry and a consideration for the $500 budget. That amount is what I'd like to spend now for a bike, which I will use for commuting and recreation over the spring. When it comes to going to NZ in the new year that's when I'll look at purchasing the extras with a fresh budget...
     
Loading...
Loading...