Planning a long distance cycle-tour? Make sure your bike is ready for it with these simple steps
As with any long trip prior preparation is best. You might have got yourself into shape but you should also give your bike a check to make sure it will cope with the long days and miles you are about to put it through. Here is a basic list of checks you should carry out on your bike before you start (and don’t leave it until the night before!) If you are in any doubt then take your bike to a local bike shop for servicing.
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You can tackle this route on either a mountain, hybrid or touring bike. Whatever type of bike you choose, a ‘marathon’ type tyre is advisable for some of the rough, flinty paths you will encounter. You will also need panniers, carrying a heavy rucksack is not comfortable over long distances.
Make sure that the blocks are not rubbing on the tyre when you apply your brakes. Check that the blocks are not overly worn and that they connect with the rim cleanly.
Check that neither the gear nor brake cables are frayed. If they are get them replaced.
The tyres should be inflated correctly to manufacturers recommendations and check the amount of tread left, if in doubt replace them.
It will be best to have two bottle cages on your bike as you will get through plenty of fluids – there will be long periods where there are no shops available.
Always take a spare inner tube a tear lever and a pump! A bike multi-tool is a must. A chain tool is a good idea, as is a ‘missing link’.