Watch the first part of this conversation here ►

This is the second part of the Skype session between Darren Alff of Bicycle Touring Pro and his reader, David. Listen as the two discuss what it’s like to go cycling in South Korea, whether or not disc brakes are a good idea for touring bicycles, and how to plan a bike tour on the Northern Tier bicycle route in North America.




Bicycle Touring Pro (official website):

The Bicycle Touring Blueprint (a book that teaches you how to conduct your own bicycle touring adventures all around the world):

The Essential Guide to Touring Bicycles:

Free $25 Travel Credit with AirBNB:

GoBicycleTouring (700+ guided bike tours all around the world):

Bicycle Touring Pro’s Free Bike Tour Starter Guide:


  1. Great interview Darren, it's good to hear a discussion between you and someone that hasn't done as much riding as you have. Keep it coming!!

  2. Great interview and I hope David finds his bike in the "woods" of bicycles out there.
    If I'm allowed to chime in on the disc brake and seat topics discussed…
    Yes disc brakes – get them! My entry level, "non-series" (as they call them), Shimano BR-M355 has done absolutely great over the 4500 km's I have done since I got the bike. I had to change the resin pads for the first time just a week ago. The only "flaw" so to speak is that resin pads on 160mm rotors can feel a little bit weak sometimes, when you're on a fully loaded touring bike and going down steep hills. Other than that, absolutely GREAT stopping power! My guess is that 180mm rotors would be better. I wouldn't worry too much about bending the rotor, because it will be protected by panniers and of course, good old common sense.

    I love my Brooks B17 Imperial (with a cut-out). It lets me forget that I'm on bicycle seat and think on other things instead of the infamous butthurt. I am going padless and can easily do so for for 30 miles without taking a rest. Ladies should probably go for the Standard type since there are some stories about women "destroying" their nether parts on (or, in) the Imperial. No idea how true that is, though.

  3. The Magura disk brakes spring can leak and the your are screwed,you got to replace the kit or better the brake unit it self!
    you got to pump the air out and new brake pads!

  4. I'm having bad experience with hydraulic disk brakes. The rear one started to leak pretty much immediately when I purchased the bike in 2016. Luckily the front one is still working good. I wasn't even pushing the limit with them. I live on the plains, I'm light weight and my bike barely ever got loaded… I wish I did more research before I made the purchase! Buy cable disk breaks you all.

  5. Enjoyed listening to your conversation. Don't know if he has made his trip to Korea yet. Just would like to add that Korea has great roads as well just as long as you are willing to climb. Over the last 20 years Korea has done a great job of building expressways leaving the old roads available for riding. They are really great as long as you don't mind 10% grades.


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