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I fancied a bit of a ride today, not too far as I hope to go on the Team MK ride tomorrow, weather permitting.  I hit on the idea of biking over to visit my friend Cyril in Wellingborough.  A Dual purpose ride,  a) to get a few more miles in and b) to try out the set up on the Claud Butler touring bike that I have been messing about with recently.

I have the Ribble bike now which is good for Audax and long day rides and maybe more than a day if required.  So I hit on the idea of converting the Claud Butler into a more heavy duty touring/expedition/camping bike.  Its quite a weighty thing, just over the 30lb mark with all tools and bottles on board so to counteract that I put a mountain bike triple chainset on it so that it has some very low gears.  It has the facility for a saddlebag for which I have already mounted the bag support.  The support is not being used at the moment though and I am actually doubting whether it will be required so I might take it off.  The bike also has the mounting points for a pannier racks, both front and rear.

I already have a nice large traditional Carradice saddlebag sitting in the garage, its not new now, although I have had it from new but its hardly used.  The flap is folded back in normal conditions but it can be unfolded to increase the capacity should it be required.  It has a capacity of 18 Litres.  The model of bag is called a ‘Nelson Longflap, the clue is in the title!  I can use it on both the Ribble and this bike.

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I also have a pannier rack in the garage that I could use plus a couple of old pannier bags should the need arise.  However I don’t see it doing so in the near future, but should it do so I will be ready.

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I found the ride OK today.  I didn’t hear any rattles or scraping noises and everything worked fine so no need for any adjustments when I got home.  The bike rolled along very well and the lower gears meant I could handle such hills as there were quite easily.   The hills on the route are mostly of  short, sharp, steep variety.  The return journey was a little tougher as I soon realised my outward trip had the benefit of a tailwind.

I’m not sure when I will ride the Claud Butler again but if we get some snow It will come in useful for sure with its 28mm heavily treaded Schwalbe Marathon Tyres.

The route is the same as I always use but if anybody is interested just click this link.

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