Jim, my kind-of relation in Cumbria writes and adds to the bike and GPS tracking debates;
Hello again Andrew
Been a while since I last visited your site and you seem to have been very busy! Couple of things.
The Ridgeback Panorama. I have had the model down from that (the Voyage, steel 520 Reynolds, 8 speed sora) and have done about 7000 miles in 20 months on it as my cycle to work/ hack/ winter bike. Only bad bit has been the wheels. Rims are a bit soft and spokes break on the rear drive side. The sora gruppo with deore rear mech has been bombproof. It is comfortable and shares geometry with the Panorama but not in the same exotic steel. I have found the 8 speed set up O.K. and less trouble than 9 or 10. which was an initial worry as my others are 9 and 10 speed. As always with a bike if you can try before you buy. Mine could probably do with a shorter stem…. It has been my first proper tourer. Like you, hybrids worked well for touring, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one.
GPS. Love hate. Nokia sports tracker! Love, love, hate, love , piece of sh…….t, love. Bloody unreliable. maps. If you lose one it’s a bitch.
Went to see Alistair Humphrys last week. Read his stuff if you haven’t already…..
Best of luck.
Thanks for that Jim. Very useful…..although I haven’t got a clue what a “sora gruppo with deore rear mech” is. I suppose that is why Google was invented. [Pause for an Internet search.] Which gives me this nice picture. Something to do with the mechanism that moves the chain from the little cogs to the big cogs? God! That is horribly untechnical. I need to buy a bike repair manual. Jim: please comment below and put me out of my misery!!