I recently joined an expedition wich consists of going through Siberia, from the north of Mongolia to Arctic.
This expedition will be made of 2 parts of 3 months, for visa reasons, the first part (4200 km), the blue trace on the enclosed itinerary image, will be done by bycycle and the second one (1700km), the black trace, will be done with ski and pulka.
For cost reasons we are looking at buying "basic" bikes directly in Mongolia rather than bringing bikes designed for this type of trip from France.
The 4200km should be a road, but we do not know its state and we may have upto 600km between villages.
We intend to attach our backpacks to the bike as best as we can.
I would like to ask to the warmshowers community for some advices, past experiences about :
- buying bikes in Mongolia / Ulan Battor
- doing 3 months / 4200 km of road with a "basic" bike
Thank you a lot,
This post is related to https://fr.warmshowers.org/node/46537 where Caroline, the kind girl behind the "Pieds Libres" project who proposed me to join her, asked for someone who may sell its bike in Mongolia.
She hadn't many reply for now but this post is still uptodate with a small difference, she was looking for one bike and now we are looking for two bikes :-)
For those who may read this post, it seems that bikes can be bought at Ulan Battor at "Mongolia Pro Cycling" : www.mongoliaprocycling.com
If you have any other options, do not hesitate to share!
I'm in the next couple of weeks cycling on a similar stretch from Mongolia to Siberia but I find it rather unprofessional riding on such hard terrain on bikes you have never seen nor sit on before. I have spend hundreds of Euros to get the position on my bike right and just to buy a random frame size with random saddles is pretty crazy. The bike is the most essential part of a bike touring trip. If you cycle only for 7 days/10 hours per day on some crazy bike you can entirely screw up your knees, hips, back. I think you should really reconsider this option - if you want my opinion I think you are saving on the wrong end. I suppose this whole idea is about saving money on shipping your own bikes back and forth or just reselling the "mongolian bikes". But you forget that this is not some motorbike you are sitting on.
I hope you change your mind and bring your own bikes over.
Thank you for your reply ; I of course agree with you that bikes we had tested and adjusted before the trip would be a lot better but I'm not sure that we will be able to do this.
At first, Caroline, the girl with who I will do this trip is already gone again to the next part of her world tour.
And secondly, we cannot spend thousands of euros in our bikes nor in the transport.
I never did bikes for months but I already did several times mountain bike during a week with a bike which wasn't mine and it was not an issue.
Nevertheless I'm intersted in advices to acquire not so costly trek bikes in France ; so if French warmshowers users read this post, do not hesitate to tell where you buy yours.
I would say inner strength and persistence to achieve one's goals is the most essential 'part' of any tour. Providing the chosen parts will not affect one's health whilst on the road then all should fare well.
Providing the selected bike frame is suitable for the rider along with nominal size cranks then the saddle & bars can soon be adjusted 'on-the-road' for best comfort.
Disregarding what the corporate news channels tells us the world has more good than bad people, and most [mechanical] problems encountered on the road can soon be over-come by one of the many good folks.
North part of Chukotka and Yakutiya are specific border zones, as I know.
You need a special permit to travel there. By the way there is nothing that you can buy with money, especially in Russia.
I just want to inform you to check locl regulation for travel those areas.
You're right regarding the special permit for Chukotka ; our initial path was modified because of these restricted zones and the visa duration limit.
In fact it's not me who did the path but Caroline.
Kolyma river should be outside of these zones but if you had other informations or links / contacts with which I should get in touch to be sure, do not hesitate to share!
When you say that there's nothing that we can buy with money in Russia ; can you elaborate it please ?
I think you have better to contact Helen Lloyd. She just has returned from winter cycling to Magadan.
By the way, in some part of Siberia roads existed only in winter time. On summer time only rivers as connection or forest pathways.
You can tour on anything you want! If I unicycled 4200km (Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) off road carrying a backpack, then you can definitely do it on a chinese mountain bike purchased in Mongolia!
I have a friend that cycled 13000km in south america on a small girl's mountain bike with broken shifters. He was just happy to be on the road.
My only advice on the bike is to try and bring some nice parts in your backpack:
1) Brooks saddle
2) Ergon grips
3) Schwalbe marathon style tires
4) a strong rear rack
Best of luck!!!! Don't be discouraged!
Thank you for your encouragement and your advices!
Salut. Tu évoques dans le forum, un départ en Mongolie. Si c'est le cas, j'ai connu, il y a 10 ans l'Aimag d'Huvsgul, ou vivent les derniers Tsatans. Expérience exceptionnelle.
L 'endroit n 'est absolument pas adapté en vélo. Même les chevaux ont du mal... A l'époque, je suis passé au renne! Dis m'en plus sur ton lieu réel de départ.
C est risqué que de miser sur le matos local, sauf si tu achètes a Ulan Baator qui est devenu très développé. Si tu persistes, mon conseil tient en un mot: LEGER. Le vélo sur piste défoncé encaisse mal pas un chargement élevé. Quitte à prendre un gros risque, je réduirais les bagages au minimum, quitte a réduite l'autonomie; et l'idée d'une tente. Je miserais sur l'hospitalité. Les Mongols et donc surement aussi les gens de Sibérie, ne te laisseront jamais seul. On franchit les portes de yourtes en toute simplicité. Bien sur, à toi de savoir leur renvoyer la balle. Cette vision des choses ne tient qu'a moi et c est un gros risque à prendre (ou pas). Le risque du vrai voyage: celui qui va vers les gens.
Nous n'allons pas traverser la Mongolie mais "uniquement" la Russie ; je parle de Mongolie car je vais atterrir à Ulan Battor mais nous ne commencerons à faire du vélo qu'à la frontière à Khyakta. Nous prévoyons de suivre des axes plus carrossables que les pistes Mongoles.
Sinon je suis bien sure d'accord avec toi avec la nécessité de voyager léger et compte bien également rencontrer et échanger au maximum avec les gens au fur et à mesure de notre avancé, ça fait parti intégrante du voyage ; néanmoins nous ne pourrons pas compter que sur leur hospitalité notamment car certaines zones sont à priori trop isolées pour aller d'un village à un autre en une journée.
Merci pour ton message en tout cas,
We're currently at Tynda, on the M56, it's a little rainy today but all is fine :-)
We're looking for people who could host us on the road to Yakutsk and from Yakutsk to Magadan.
If you're interested, don't hesitate to contact us, see you!