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CrazyHorse
11-29-2007, 09:03 AM
This summer my wife and I are putting together a cycling trip through the Piedmont area of Northern Italy. I have a mountain bike, a hybrid, and my main ride, a Legend ST. Our plans are to go fly to Milan than travel with our bikes by train to our starting point in the Piedmont and then spend 15 days riding from town to town carrying our clothes and possessions on our bikes. My hybrid, a Trek 7.5FX, is already set up with a rear rack and some bags, as I use it as a commuter for work. She thinks I should take the Hybrid to Italy. I want to ride the Legend in Italy. Does anyone see any problems with putting a rear rack and panniers on the Legend. Would there be any problems with the added weight, etc. on the Legend?
Thanks.

weisan
11-29-2007, 09:12 AM
Bring the bike you are more familiar with and set up correctly for the task. The legend is a great bike but it won't necessarily transform into a work horse miraculously. 15 days sound like a a lot of riding, and you want a trustworthy and proven work horse. Avoidance of any interruption to the trip is paramount to its success.

Karin Kirk
11-29-2007, 10:59 AM
Sounds like a great trip, lucky you!

I have some questions -
How much of your riding will be done while carrying your stuff? For example, will you ride all day every day while fully loaded? Or will you do it 'base camp' style, dropping your gear at a hotel and then continuing your ride, then looping back the the hotel at the end of the day?
How much stuff are you going to carry?
What will the rides be like? Will you be meandering along at a mellow pace? Will there be climbs?

The answers to these questions should help sort out which bike to bring.
If it were me, I'd bring the Legend, carry minimal stuff, and ride without the stuff whenever possible. But that's just my preference. Either way, sounds like a terrific adventure in the making!

Kurt
11-29-2007, 12:24 PM
from spending 3 weeks in the region. Can’t comment on what bike to bring because we did more of a lux trip, hitting all the slow food places, etc - personally I would not do it on anything but a road bike with some decent gears, depending where you go its very hilly there. We stayed up in la morra, and went to all the surrounding towns - drop dead amazing area and I have been to a lot of places – you will not believe how beautiful it is there and the food and wine are out of this world. If they get the euro figured out then they will really have something there. We decided that this would be the final trip we would ever fly with our bikes, we like being more mobile and not hassling with it. What really turned the page for me is the guy that runs the company below – we spent a week with him before hitting Barolo – Bill used to be the lead guy for the ICC, he rents campy or shim bikes with std, trips or comp for 25e a day and they bikes are brand new and really nice. That in combination to the area makes it a no-brainer for me, it has to be one of the nicest areas to cycling anywhere – there is not a day that goes by that I don’t thing about cursing through the hills of prosecco or climbing mt grappa. May is a good time over there, not hot and no tourist, except for you of course.

http://yourcyclingitalia.com/

bigbill
11-29-2007, 12:40 PM
I was in Italy from May until October and I can tell you that you will blend in with the hybrid with the rack and bags. Italian and European recreational cyclists in general ride bikes that suit their needs and are rarely flashy. During tourist season, I would head out on afternoon rides on my road bike and see dozens of riders on hybrid or MTBs with panniers. Enjoy the trip, you will never be alone on the road. Have wine with every meal, don't order an expresso after noon, help the big trucks pass you by waving them around, most honks are friendly, wave at the Carabinieri, avoid the local Polizia, have a caprese panino for lunch, gelato helps build strong bones, watch out for gypsies, and don't worry you will get used to the smoke.

CrazyHorse
11-29-2007, 02:00 PM
Sounds like a great trip, lucky you!

I have some questions -
How much of your riding will be done while carrying your stuff? For example, will you ride all day every day while fully loaded? Or will you do it 'base camp' style, dropping your gear at a hotel and then continuing your ride, then looping back the the hotel at the end of the day?
How much stuff are you going to carry?
What will the rides be like? Will you be meandering along at a mellow pace? Will there be climbs?

The answers to these questions should help sort out which bike to bring.
If it were me, I'd bring the Legend, carry minimal stuff, and ride without the stuff whenever possible. But that's just my preference. Either way, sounds like a terrific adventure in the making!

Karin,
We haven't figured out yet if we will HQ at a town(s) and make day rides from there. If so, it would make sense to take the Legend. The other option is to carry everything each day and go from town to town. One thing for sure we don't intend to make this a "workout" cycle trip in that we certainly will find the time to enjoy the great food and wines of the area. The Legend is my workout and distance bike, but I have only done centuries, etc. I have never bike toured and don't know how critical it is to try to get by with the 23 tires. The hybrid has 28 tires. Regardless, I will be going with the minimal stuff.
Thanks!

CrazyHorse
11-29-2007, 02:03 PM
from spending 3 weeks in the region. Can’t comment on what bike to bring because we did more of a lux trip, hitting all the slow food places, etc - personally I would not do it on anything but a road bike with some decent gears, depending where you go its very hilly there. We stayed up in la morra, and went to all the surrounding towns - drop dead amazing area and I have been to a lot of places – you will not believe how beautiful it is there and the food and wine are out of this world. If they get the euro figured out then they will really have something there. We decided that this would be the final trip we would ever fly with our bikes, we like being more mobile and not hassling with it. What really turned the page for me is the guy that runs the company below – we spent a week with him before hitting Barolo – Bill used to be the lead guy for the ICC, he rents campy or shim bikes with std, trips or comp for 25e a day and they bikes are brand new and really nice. That in combination to the area makes it a no-brainer for me, it has to be one of the nicest areas to cycling anywhere – there is not a day that goes by that I don’t thing about cursing through the hills of prosecco or climbing mt grappa. May is a good time over there, not hot and no tourist, except for you of course.

http://yourcyclingitalia.com/

Kurt,
Thanks for the info. Good idea about the renting bikes. Would save some hassle. We plan the lux version to enjoy the food, wine, people, and sights. We are planning for early June.

saab2000
11-29-2007, 02:03 PM
If you're carrying stuff, bring a bike made for carrying stuff. If you're not carrying stuff, bring the Legend.

CrazyHorse
11-29-2007, 02:04 PM
I was in Italy from May until October and I can tell you that you will blend in with the hybrid with the rack and bags. Italian and European recreational cyclists in general ride bikes that suit their needs and are rarely flashy. During tourist season, I would head out on afternoon rides on my road bike and see dozens of riders on hybrid or MTBs with panniers. Enjoy the trip, you will never be alone on the road. Have wine with every meal, don't order an expresso after noon, help the big trucks pass you by waving them around, most honks are friendly, wave at the Carabinieri, avoid the local Polizia, have a caprese panino for lunch, gelato helps build strong bones, watch out for gypsies, and don't worry you will get used to the smoke.
Wow, May until October. Sounds like a great time. I appreciate the good advice.

Fixed
11-29-2007, 02:13 PM
bro listen to your wife they have good view better than us sometimes
and if something happens to the legend you'll have ... I told you not to bring your best bike thing .
cheers I'm with her on this
imho

lemonlaug
11-29-2007, 02:30 PM
don't order an expresso after noon

WHAT!? Espresso is fair game any time (unless it's drinking time). This means Espresso though, you're allotted ONE cappuccino per day, in the morning, and that's it. After that it's all espresso for you. After lunch at about 2, 2:30? prime espresso time.

sg8357
11-29-2007, 02:56 PM
What ever you plan, set the bikes up ahead of time with the weight
and baggage you are planning on and try riding them.
Find some hills, descents loaded can be interesting depending on the bike.

For Italy, do you want to ride the Strada Bianca ?
Loaded + gravel, you may want bigger tires.

For light touring Carradice saddle bags are good alternative to racks
and panniers. They tend not to mess with the handling as much
as panniers when using non-touring bikes.

Swiss Rail has baggage forwarding, you might want to check if the Italians
can do the same.

Scott G.
ps. How about a visit to Mr. Pegoretti, order a bike etc. ?

Kurt
11-29-2007, 03:06 PM
Kurt,
Thanks for the info. Good idea about the renting bikes. Would save some hassle. We plan the lux version to enjoy the food, wine, people, and sights. We are planning for early June.

have a great time. btw, BA does not charge for bike at this time and they have a ton of flights into milan and they are less $ - check out cheaptickets.com, they have a great what-if interface. re the food, do yourself a big *** favor and pick up the slow food book Osterie & Locande D'Italia - A Guide to Traditional Places to Eat and Stay in Italy, its amazing and make sure to hit the place in Bra where the movement got started. The touring club of italy has the bible on wine travels through the region. At this time Barolo's from 96, 97 are around 40-60e pretty amazing. if you can wait until early sept I will join you.

Nick H.
11-29-2007, 04:03 PM
I don't think you can fix a rear rack to a bike with an ST rear triangle. But I would still take the Legend. It will take the weight easily if you distribute it well and don't pack too much. I would use a Carradice Camper Longflap (24 litres) with a saddlebag support (less movement than the SQR bracket) plus a Carradry handlebar bag (9 litres) and a Jandd frame pack (3 litres). Total luggage capacity of 36 litres - and you can still fix other stuff to the outside of the Camper.

Forget about blending in - Americans can't do it in Europe! You will find the Italians very hospitable - it'll be a great trip on any bike.

If you need more luggage capacity, get some small front panniers and one of those Old Man Mountain lowriders which attaches to the front axle. It's a good place to have the weight. And front panniers are much more aero than rear ones.

Fixed
11-29-2007, 04:12 PM
nick i been practicing my john cleese accent cheers bro

mosca
11-29-2007, 04:34 PM
WHAT!? Espresso is fair game any time (unless it's drinking time). This means Espresso though, you're allotted ONE cappuccino per day, in the morning, and that's it. After that it's all espresso for you. After lunch at about 2, 2:30? prime espresso time.A friend of mine once ordered a cappuccino in Italy, in the afternoon. The waiter muttered something in Italian about waking up the cow, then ambled off.

CrazyHorse
11-29-2007, 04:36 PM
All,
I appreciate the great advice, especially on the various gear bags, the book to read, and the great food and wine to expect. I look forward to sitting on a stone wall, picking olives off the trees and drinking good Italian wine.
Ciao