Early in 2010 we were cycle touring in France and stumbled across EuroVelo 6. We then made an impromptu decision to follow it for a few weeks. The official website,, does not provide enough detail to allow good planning.

Maps for the French and Romanian sections are now available. Maps for the central section are being prepared but no release date has been announced.

We found that the maps for the French section were not completely accurate as some sections have been realigned, and do not always show route through the larger cities. Portions of the route are still not marked so there are a few challenges.

The maps do not provide accurate information about what accommodation is available, though there is an accompanying guidebook but we have not seen one for sale. Some of the regional tourist boards do have information about accommodation.

This blog is to share information about EuroVelo 6 so those who had ride part or all of the route can share their experience and advice with those who are planning to undertake a ride all it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wheel Problems

Perhaps the greatest fear a cycle tourist has, after getting hurt, is breaking their bike in some remote area.

The prudent cyclist always prepares their bike before a trip, selects good quality durable components and carries out some preventative maintenance while touring.

Despite the cyclists best efforts things do break or wear out while touring. When things like tyres, bottom brackets or headsets start showing signs of wear the bike is nursed to a large town and the item replaced.

Perhaps the worst problem is buckling a wheel or breaking spokes. For this reason, we carry spare spokes and the tools to replace spokes. Buckled wheels can be straightened sufficiently to get going again but the wheel has to be replaced.

We prefer using bicycles with 700 mm wheels (29”) and as not every bike shop carries spare tyres for touring bikes, we take a spare foldable tyre with us. At least then, we can get to a town to get a replacement tyre. We have fixed buckled wheels and replaced spokes beside the road to get rolling. Rims for 700 mm touring bikes are not common so a rim for a racing bike is used to replace the buckled one. Not ideal but riding is much safer.

A common argument for the selection of mountain bike wheels (650 mm or 26”) is that replacement tyres and rims are much more readily available throughout the world. We have been in bike shops in Europe, Australia and South America and there is always much more mountain bike spares then traditional racing bike spares and only a few, if any, touring bike spares.

Anecdotal advice is that support for 700 mm touring bikes in Hungarian and Romanian portions of EuroVelo 6 is very sparse. However, mountain bike wheels and tyres are readily available.

Has anybody ridden the Hungarian and Romanian portions of EuroVelo 6 or anywhere else in the former Eastern Bloc? What spare tyres and wheels are the most common in these areas?

We carry spare cable, spokes, foldable tyre, brake pads and tubes. What do you carry when on long (i.e. more than an month in duration) cycle tours?

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