Mechanic Q&A Profiles

Our panel of mechanics, ready to answer your touring questions, includes:

neil on big trike

Neil on a Big Trike

Neil McDonald

Neil helped to set up Common Wheel over 10 years ago. Common Wheel exists to provide meaningful activity for people with mental illness by collecting, rebuilding and selling old bicycles. Neil has done a few tours in Scotland and built up dozens of bikes for touring.



Marten Gerritsen

Marten Gerritsen

Marten started at an early age by taking his scooter apart. However modifying the frame with hacksaw and hose clamps didn’t quite bring the desired results. At 16 years old he cycled to the Mediterranean sea and back. He’s been touring all over Europe since then, but not as much as he would like now that he has given up work to play with bicycles full time.

He distributes bike parts and builds touring and randonneur frames in fillet brazed steel. Marten also gives courses in bike maintenance for touring cyclists, or takes a break as mechanic for road racing teams.

M-gineering is based in a small village in the north of the Netherlands.


Chris Feltham


Chris Feltham of Cycle World

Chris has nearly 2 decades of experience in the bike trade, working in bike shops, for bike suppliers and now running Cycleworld UK, his own bike shop, both online and from a showroom in Scotland. From childhood, Chris was into BMX and mountain bikes but in the last couple of years he’s cycled Lands End to John O’ Groats and taken up road biking. Chris also employs a mechanic, Joe, and between the two of them they’re happy to answer your questions.


Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson

Paul of Ellis Briggs

Paul is mechanic for well known Yorkshire bike shop and custom frame builders Ellis Briggs. Ellis Briggs have been building their own bikes since the 1930s, in fact the shop is now owned by the 3rd generation of Briggs, brothers John and Paul, who are both veterans of the bicycle industry.

Although Ellis Briggs have in the past been better known for their racing bikes, they now specialise in randonneur and touring bikes, both handmade and off the peg.


  1. Raz
    16th February 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Age old question of steel v aluminium?


    I am in İstanbul right now trying to sort out a bike for my first cycle tour to İndia (I thought I would start pretty big). I have a tight budget of €500 for the whole bike set-up. ı have found 2 bianchi bikes, new but low-end and was hoping for any advice. One is the steel frame bianchi esprit (€230) and the other is aluminium frame bianchi timeout(€275). I intend to change the wheels and tyres but would appreciate any thoughts on steel v aluminium for these low-end models.

    Thanks in advance

    Best wishes


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