Bike type


New Member
Hi all,

I am planning on cycling the Via Francigena in June 2020.
I don’t own a bike and so will have to buy one. What type of bike is recommended , road bike, mountain bike or a hybrid ? Has anyone used puncture resistant tyres ? I haven’t changed a tyre or repaired a puncture in years ! I would appreciate any tips people might have.
There are different official VF routes. This is the cycling one You can use any form of bike as it is point to point rather than sticking to a proscribed track. You would just vary your route to suit the type of bike you are using.

I used an inexpensive MTB from Decathlon as I had intended to leave it in Rome. For most of the time a RB would have been better as my progress was slow due to gearing limits. There were some parts in Tuscany (google 'strade bianche') when the MTB came into its own.

As regards tyre changes, you don't really have an issue as they are far simpler now. Had two punctures - one I did myself and the other was done by a bike shop. Lots of mapping apps with cycle shops indicated on them. Where I did come unstuck was a shattered derailleur and had scrap the first bike and buy another. So a spare derailleur may be a better bet than an extra tube or two.


New Member
Thank you Galloglaigh for your very informative reply. Could you recxomend a good GPS app for the route please ?
RidewithGPS (paid version @ $6 per month). You can plan routes, uploads GPX files and amend, trim, split etc. Then you download them to your phone and use it for by turn instructions for offline use. Very sensitive as you rarely get more than 10m off route.

Downside is that there is no route recalculation with using Google maps etc. But that comes with a data cost.

If you have an all-you-can-eat data plan, then Google maps for route recalculation.

There are loads of apps and others will be along with their favourites.

Matthew King

New Member
I cycled the VF from Canterbury to Rome in June 2017 over 27 days. Total distance 1817 km. I used a Surly Ogre hard tail 29er on Schwalbe Marathon Supreme semi slick but very puncture resistant tyres. Probably the most important part of the bike was the gear ratio with chainring of 40-30-22 and the cassette of 11-41. This gave an impressive ability to cope with the GSB fully loaded with relative ease. I needed to change my disc brake pads 7 times (next time I'd change from resin/organic to sintered for longevity)
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