If you want to cycle from London to Amsterdam you are going to need a bike. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what type of bike you have as long as it has two wheels and propels you forward you can get where you want to go.
People have been riding across our planet for a few hundred years and they managed ok without a super tough specialised touring bike.
Cycling to Amsterdam is a good little tour because it is relatively short in distance and time and once you cross into Europe it’s flat as a pancake. This means you don’t need a super duper bike. Whilst not ideal you could cycle this tour on a folding bike, mountain bike or even a BMX bike if that’s what you have to hand.
Most people who are planning on taking this trip will likely have a road bike or a hybrid bike. Unless you are planning on touring the world on two wheels either of these bikes will be perfect to get you to Amsterdam. However if we had to choose we would suggest a road bike would be better as you will be on tarmac cycle paths or roads the whole way.
You can of course purchase a specialist touring bike. These are designed to be more robust with a stronger frame, wider wheels and have built in luggage racks to hang our panniers from.
Essentially what bike you ride is your own personal preference and comes down to a few factors:
- Your budget
- How fast you want to cycle
- How long do you want to be touring for
- How much weight does the bike need to carry
If you have a bike already, great! It will no doubt do fine if not then you want to make sure that you consider these factors when picking the bike for you:
This is the most important factor to consider when choosing your bike. You will be spending hours each day in the saddle so you want it to be comfortable.
The main things that affect comfort will be the geometry of the frame and size of the frame. So when choosing a bike we suggest that you go to a bike shop and try different styles of bike and sizes. Most bike shops will be able to get you fitted up for a bike and have it customised for you. Something as simple as changing the height of the saddle can make a huge difference to the comfort of cycling on the bike.
You may even be able to persuade the bike shop to let you take the bike out for a few hours for a test cycle. This will give you a chance to work out what you like about it and what needs adjusting.
Budget plays a big part in what type of bike you can get. Obviously if we all had bottomless pockets we would rush out and buy the most expensive bike in the world.
Our recommendation when it comes to budget is buy the most expensive bike you can afford.
This is because time and time again people buy a cheaper or mid-range bike and get hooked on cycling. Then only a couple of months later they find themselves buying a new more expensive bike. Which means instead of the cost for one bike you have to pay for the cost of two bikes – ouch!
However having a super expensive bike does not mean you will avoid mechanical problems. An expensive bike Is just as likely to have things go wrong as a cheap bike. The expensive bike will be also more pricey to fix because the parts cost more-bear this in mind.
To buy the best bike for the smallest amount of money you could all ways buy a second hand bike. Websites such as Gumtree and EBay are great to find bargain bikes which are only a couple of years old. If you buy a second hand bike make sure you check to ensure it’s not stolen and check over the components to be sure they are in good condition.
The type of terrain you will be cycling on will have a big impact on what type of bike you go for. Touring bikes have strong steel frames and large tyres which means you can cycle on all types of terrain.
Riding from London to Amsterdam is on paved roads and cycle paths the whole way. This makes a road bike ideal as its light and is specifically geared up for roads. However if you wanted to cycle London to Amsterdam and then in a few months time along gravel cycle paths in the UK cycle network then a hybrid or touring bike should be on your shopping list.
As we mentioned above you can do this cycle tour on any type of bike, as long as it has two wheels you can cycle on it. As such it makes sense to think long and hard about the type of cycling you will be doing the majority of the time.
If you only want to buy one bike then buy a bike which is tailored for the types of riding you mainly want to do.
Do you want to mainly cycle the UK’s national parks? – Get a mountain bike
Do you want to get out and have a weekend blast down country lanes – go for a road bike
Or are you not sure?- go for a hybrid.
There is nothing worse than heading out and buying a bike to later find it isn’t really what you needed.