So I’ve had the new bike for a while now and I’ve made a few changes to it since then. It’s actually now beginning to look like a touring bike!
A few things I already had lying around and I’ve added these to the bike, others have required a purchase. The changes I’ve made so far are:-
The saddle was the first change – in fairness, I changed this the day after I got the bike as my Charge Spoon is the comfiest saddle I’ve used. I’m sure people say Brooks saddles are good but I’ve never got one and it seems like a pain in the ass (quite figuratively) to wear them in. That, and they aren’t cheap (I paid about £20 for the Charge Spoon!).
The first major change was the addition of the Ergon GP3 Grips. This obviously required the removal of the default (decent enough) grips that have been installed by Halfords and came with the bike. However, I wanted bar ends and the tatty ergonomic grips I’d used on the previous hybrid I owned meant I didn’t really consider anything other than Ergon for the grips – as Ergon grips came with the bar end integrated into the grip and this would mean I could use an ergonomic grip as well.
These took some setting up to actually sort them out and get them about right for my hands but they seem to be in a good position now – I’d installed the right hand one with the bar end too upright and the grip itself too high up so it was uncomfy in comparison to the left hand grip. With that sorted, they feel really nice in the hand and the bar ends give me help getting up hills and an alternative hand position during riding so I shouldn’t get any hand pains.
The rack is a Tortec one I’d picked up one from the local bike shop. Can’t comment much more on it, other than to say that I’d bought another one to fit to this but had issues hitting the bags on the pedal stroke upwards so I moved back to this rack (which was fine, now I’ve found the second supporting rod which had been missing) as this allows me to mount the bags higher up which means the issue doesn’t happen.
After some looking around, I ended up getting an Ortlieb handlebar bag. I’d been toying with one for a while and ended up getting the Ortlieb one after seeing it in the shop compared to the Altura one in the shop. The O bag was far better quality in terms of waterproofing it seemed and in respect to how it worked – the O bar has magnets that allow the bag to remain closed at all times. (Interestingly, I saw that the O bag that Brompton sell doesn’t have magnets but has standard poppers. This seems a bit of a departure from the quality that I expect from Brompton, especially as the Brompton O Bag is more expensive than the non-Brompton specific bag.)
Having used it recently, it’s a decent bag with a sizeable storage amount. Mine is the basic bag, that only contains the bag itself and a carry handle. Ortlieb sell other versions, that includes a divider for the internal space and a map case to put on top of the bag. A detailed review perhaps to follow.
The pannier racks are some Altura ones I’d picked up previously with the rack. They’ve served me well so far but I’m concerned that perhaps with the touring I’m hoping of doing that they might not be able to cope with the amount of kit. They don’t seem to bad in this instance (weekend ride) but I’ve also not got any of the camping gear I’d be using in those.
Under miscellaneous, I’ve added a extension to my handlebars – a Minoura Space Mount. I picked this up in person at Simpson Cycles (and I was very impressed with their service and would be using again, even if the website isn’t fantastic to use). I required this to use my lights alongside the O bag as this covers up the space where the light would normally go, so I required something to sort it. I saw that Ortlieb do their own adapters for the bag but I didn’t see these for sale in the UK and needed a solution sharpish, so was able to nip to Simposon Cycles during my lunch break.
Overall, the bikes beginning to take shape quite nicely and I look forward to use it!