Bicycle tours Ireland guides John, Paddy and Joe



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I feel its important to show you the equipment you will be using and the vehicles we have at our disposal to support the tour.The maintenance, upkeep and replacement of this equipment accounts for a large proportion of the tour cost.


The Bikes: Trek 4300 Disc

Undoubtedly the most important piece of equipment is the bike you will be riding for the duration of the tour. Its all very well rattling on about lovely countryside and idyllic country roads, but its equally important to have the right bike for the job. Starting with the basics you will need a bike that is the appropriate size. To facilitate this we have chosen a bike that comes in 7 different frame sizes.

The Trek 4300 comes in 13" 16" 18" 19.5" 21" 22.5" and 24" frames. We keep a stock of over 40 bikes so there's always a good selection of the various sizes to choose from. Do not underestimate the importance of an appropriately fitted bike. While there are various ways of adjusting handlebars and saddle to imitate the appropriate size there is no substitute for having the proper size and using handlebar and saddle adjustment to optimize that perfect fit.

The bikes are fitted with disc brakes. The disc brakes give you a positive and consistent braking action. You will find very little variation in breaking pressure requited to stop in wet or dry conditions.

Shimano Alivio shifters ensure first time gear selection across the entire 24 gear range. We replace the original gear and break cabling with Jagwire stainless steel cabling to ensure perfect break and gear operation. Much of the tour is based on the Atlantic coastline. Its a salty environment and plays havoc with regular cabling, hence the refitting with stainless steel cables.

The bikes are also equipped with adjustable suspension forks. While you wont be going off road during the tour you will appreciate the cushioning effect the suspension forks will afford your wrists and shoulders during the week. The handlebar stems are also adjustable, so you can achieve an upright sitting position or a lowered position if you wish. The bikes are refitted with Schwalbe Marathon plus puncture proof tires which run at 90 psi. This substantially reduces rolling resistance and virtually eliminates flats.

We stock a large selection of saddles of various shapes and sizes. However if you have a particular saddle that works well for you I would suggest bringing it with you for the tour. We also have tons of gender specific gel seat covers. Remember to bring a good quality pair of cycling shorts.



Support vehicles:

The tours are supported with two Ford transit mini busses. Each bus is capable of accommodation 14 passengers and up to 20 bikes can be securely fitted to the custom designed roof racks in a few minutes. We never have to use the full capacity available as we limit group sizes. However it is comforting to know if bad weather threatened to disrupt a days cycling we can just load up the busses and head off to visit a few castles. The countryside is dotted with some fine examples of Norman castles and Tower houses.

The castle in the background of the photo on the right is Ashford Castle in Cong County Mayo. We were due to ride from Clifden to Maaum Cross that morning. Unfortunately it was a particularly windy morning so the group elected to visit this fine castle that morning. After a 40 minute sightseeing ride in the busses we had lunch in the castle and then proceeded to cycle a good 25 miles that afternoon when calmer conditions prevailed. We rarely loose even half a day to bad weather but its nice to know we have sufficient capacity to transport the entire group if necessary. We also have a luggage trailer with lots of capacity, so bring the kitchen sink if you think you may need it.

Supporting the group with a motorcycle allows us to have lots of contact with everyone, even though the group spreads throughout the day. This is particularly reassuring on the first day of the tour, as you are coming to terms with cycling in a different country, and getting accustomed to looking for the arrows painted at the junctions to guide you.

We've tried supporting the group with a guide on a bicycle (as all guided tours do) and found we just couldn't provide a similar level of contact for everyone in the group.

The chap could ride a century in just over 5 hours, and would cycle back and forth all day, he was still unable to achieve quarter of the contact with all of the participants as we now can with the motorcycle. You are also provided with a cell phone which allows you to contact the guides at any time.















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Cycle Holidays Ireland - Bike Tours
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