The Roux Etape 250 is a thoughtfully specced steel framed tourer that snubs adverse thoughts about its heft with its modest price tag and comfortable confident ride.
Genesis's Croix De Fer hardly needs an introduction. You most likely already know that it's a do-it-all bike, and that its credentials were firmly established in 2010 when Vin Cox got the Guinness World Record for riding it around the world faster than anyone had done before.
Generations have passed, empires have crumbled and George Hincapie's varicose veins have finally retired, but the Dawes Galaxy is still trundling around the globe bringing colourful panniers and expedition beards to grateful villagers in far-flung parts - and if someone hasn't started a travel memoir with the words 'a long time ago and on a Galaxy far, far away' then they jolly well should. The latest iteration continues that noble tradition.
I've long been an admirer of Surly's Long Haul Trucker, so I was well pleased to have a chance to play with the disc equipped version. The downside is that I've got to give it back.
The Trucker is one of those understated 'do-anything' bikes. It's happy hauling rider and luggage on anything from a commute to a round the world tour. The version we tested was the slightly more unusual 26" wheel version, which does make the frame look a little gappy, even in a medium 54cm size. I'll come to that later.