Bike Trekking: two years for newbie to learn all there is to know
We are a family of 4 casual city bikers. However, we have put it in our heads to spend July, 2017 (2 years from now) and do a combination of bikes and trains from Switzerland to Oslo, Norway. We are very stubborn and will do what it takes to make this happen. The kids will be 10 and 12 at that time. My wife’s parents have thankfully volunteered to follow along in our car in case the kids are having troubles on certain days. I envision long ascent days and times when we have to travel on busy roads are when I would prefer the kids hop in the car.
We plan to spend the summer riding are crappy bikes as much as possible and spending a bunch of time researching all we need to know; next summer we will do heavier training and some overnight trips. We also plan to have an indoor trainer either this winter or the next.
Basically, we need to learn all there is about trekking bikes and trekking. There are many questions that we have but the first is concerning bikes. Because we will be staying in hotels and will also have a car, I think we can go with light trekking bikes. From my research the last month I have the most interest in the following bikes for myself and my wife:
• Santos (NL)
• Koga (DE)
• Tour de Suisse (CH)
• Hilite (CH)
For the kids, I’m not sure they need actual trekking bikes as I don’t expect them to haul any gear, but I do need to determine quality bikes that can handle daily grinds and still be comfortable to ride. Since they are still growing, I plan to wait until the winter prior to our trip before buying their bikes. I have no clue on this yet.
For the adult bikes, I think we are comfortable with up to 3,000 chf for a bike (so that likely rules out Santos). Some of the questions I have that will influence price are chain vs belt, suspension forks vs stiff forks, aluminum vs steel. I believe I am leaning towards aluminum since we are only envisioning light trekking on mostly roads and either Europe or US/Canada.
I’ll also have other questions going forward including best indoor trainers, realistic distance per day, routes, reserving hotels in advance vs hoping hotels have vacancies (I’m guessing not a good bet in the Scandinavian countries in July), etc. I’m sure at this point it is clear to you we are clueless; but we have 2 years to get our act together. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If there is some interest, I intend to keep this thread going as we learn, prepare, and ultimately trek to Norway. I know I could learn a lot of this from biking forums but at this point I feel more comfortable with my fellow expats and english speaking swiss.