The Bike

This is “George the Giant”.

George is a Giant Roam 2- 2012 model who I bought new in Oct 2011 for £500.00

If you want the geek spec go on the Giant website, but in a nutshell :

George is a 20″ Hybrid (X road- Sport-Action bike) front suspension, 27 shimano Acera running gear, hydraulic disc brakes , (so good).

There are many experienced cyclists who will disagree when they read that I plan on using a Hybrid for touring , and many who will think yes I see where he is going (probably into the first dyke in Holland) but he’s mine and were a team, besides he has some good attributes as well. one month in the bike”George” has proved to be amazing . It’s carried me and 25-30kg of gear every day over some really rough tracks, roads , forest trails and as yet has not missed a beat 🙂

Since his Birthday he has had some modifications made to him.

First I dumped the saddle and fitted a “Brooks Champion Flyer” , for which the design is older than me, with metal springs and leather seat, but oh so comfortable ,(which will come in very useful after 5 plus hours in the saddle).The good thing with Brooks saddles is because they are leather and you treat them with proofide which conditions the leather the saddle over a few months moulds to your shape making them very comfortable to use. After 5 months mine is breaking in well and is starting to soften too my shape (fat arse shape) so should be just about sorted by the time the trip starts. if not it soon will be.!
saddle is so comfortable it’s getting better every day , highly recommended .
Tyres- Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres x2 . Puncture proof tyres, highly rated amongest cyclist. still puncture free so far

Racks- Front Axion Journey low rider suspension 18 kg limit. In the front panniers will be my “Kitchen” and some of my clothes, bathroom things. On my test run the weight on the front was 3kg each so I have lots more space should I need it, but doubt I will as I will buy fresh produce as Im going.

Rear – Topeak Suspension rack 30 kg limit . I intend to split the weight 60/40 for balance and stress on the bike.

Trip computer- To record my daily milage/kms, Time, Speed, (not that that matters) Average speed, Calories used, fat burned off, etc.

Two water bottles now fitted along with a set of Topeak full mudgaurds , as I don’t want to be covered in crap , should it rain while on my travels!!

Ergon GR2 Large grips.The reason, I broke my right wrist about 10 yrs ago and still get pains in it. Since fitting these , no pain at all, these are so comfortable with a big area for your palms.

X-Mi X Mini 2 SpeakerAs I love to listen to my music while on the go, Ive bought myself one of these . I dont like to see people wearing earphones while riding their bikes( guilty as charged myself) for obvious saftey reasons, so with this little device I can have excellent quality sound direct from my iPhone. The speaker sits nicly on the bar bag side pocket and if I want to hoof up the volume when in the mood then its no problem. Also when I stop for the day I can relax with some fine tunes.great piece of kit really enjoyed using it do far

Strapless toe clips- as I intend to wear my Merrell cross trainers while riding, which will allow me to be comfortable while walking about, sight- seeing as well.

Double Stand- is now fitted on George which makes it so easy to make adjustments with all the gear on. Yes I’m aware that it is a heavy stand , but it makes stopping to do somthing, and not having to find somthing to lean the bike against so much easier, I dont feel the few extra grams with everything else, its one of the most used things on the bike.the stand snapped after 3 weeks . Pile of crap. Dumped it in a bin in Holland ! <;;strong

Weight – I’ve spent many hours reading blogs, and how some people go to extremes to shave off a few grams ,even cutting the labels out of their clothes to save weight, I’m taking the policy of take what I really need, be comfortable, and go steady. Ive double taped the inner rims, with thick rim tape for extra protection for the the spokes with the extra weight/pressure on the bike.

Locks- I’ve got 3 . One big Abus U lock, 1.5 metre 15mm cable, one 1 m combination lock for the panniers.My biggest concern is someone trying to steal the bike, I will be taking every precaution possible about theft, by doing the right things like leaving it where it can be seen, chaining it to a solid object, not leaving gifts! on display, but you can only do so much. The good thing I have found is that bike thiefs are looking for the easy targets and not many touring bikes get stolen as much as every day bikes! if it is stolen then its a claim on the insurance, and a bloody long walk home.!
As far as the bike goes ,Im very happy with it. including the changes i have made to him. the only disappointment has been the stand which I dumped after one leg snapped. Im going to buy a good stand which fits to the rear down tube and bracket. you see a lot of them in Holland and Anton and Jenny both have them fitted.


2 thoughts on “The Bike

  1. You haven’t said anything about tyres . Schwalbe marathon plus are my preferred tyres as we did the nearly 3000 NSCR without any punctures. My new Koga doesn’t have them but I’ll give the Vredesteins a chance to see how they compare.
    I had a Giant Cypress for the NSCR , inexpensive but it did the job and then I wore it out. Got a Scott but snapped e frame on a very cold day when a dog ran into me , decided then to have a steel frame and DS found me the Koga on line.

    • Brenda , Ive got two Schwalbe marathon plus’smart gaurd to fit on the bike 🙂 , the bike has Kendra Kwick tyres fitted as standard. I’ve done 900 mile on them so far with no wear at all , not a single puncture either ,

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