Update: Friday 26th March 2010
I took delivery of a Ridgeback Panorama earlier this week….
Following some footwork on 30th January, it is likely that I will invest in a Ridgeback Panoramic from AW Cycles in Caversham, Reading. You can see the details on the Ridgeback website. The price of the machine is £1,199 but with the salary sacrifice scheme that the government runs, I will get 40% off the first £1,000 of that price which will bring down my outlay to about £800. It has pre-fitted and very sturdy pannier racks on both the front and the back. This will hopefully provide a more balanced solution of carrying kit than I had last summer while cycling the Pennine Cycleway where everything was loaded on the back of the bike. The kit I will need for cycling the Eurovelo 5 will be increased by things like a tent, sleeping bag and some basic cooking equipment so the extra storage space will be appreciated.
My current bike is a Trek 7500, just under a year old. Here is a picture of what it looked like prior to the arduous commuting it has had to endure over the last 12 months… It doesn’t look anywhere near as sleek as the one shown here. Both tyres have been replaced and the black is somehow less black. That said, it’s a decent bike. It’s light and strong and comfortable.
I had set my sights on a a Bianchi…. Below is the picture I took the first time I saw it at The Bike Show last October. What a beauty! But it is difficult to attach panniers so I’m afraid it is out of the running.
Update: 14th February
As found in a back copy of The Bicycle Buyer (April / May 2009), a list of touring bikes:
Raleigh Royal £459 www.raleigh.co.uk
Dawes Galaxy £899 www.dawescycles.com – this one gets a whole page but it doesn’t say it is a “best buy” or anything like that, just a bigger picture and more detail so reading between the lines I suppose they are recommending it. But then again, they don’t give you the website which is what they do for the rest of them…
Ridgeback Panorama £1,099 www.ridgeback.co.uk
Cannondale Touring Classic £1,249 www.cannondale.com
Thorn Raven Tour £1,349 www.thorncycles.co.uk
Condor Heritage £BeSpoke www.condorcycles.com