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  1. #1
    Senior Member Peiper1's Avatar
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    What to carry on long-distance ride?

    I have recently (last 5-6 weeks) gotten back into long-distance riding after being away for 20+ years, and I'm wondering what other folks are using to carry all necessary supplies on their treks. I've got a small saddle bag for extra tube, compressed air & tire tools, and 2 bottle racks. Everything else (cell, lock, food, etc.) I'm carrying on my back in a smallish knapsack. I'm finding this to be somewhat uncomfortable after a few hours, and I'm wondering if it is also creating a lot of unnecessary wind resistance as well. Would really appreciate any thoughts and advice, since I'm not familiar yet with the various carrying systems out there. I thought about a bike rack, but it seems pointless to add all the extra weight to a very light (<20lbs. for a 56cm) carbon fibre bike. Thanks for the help !!

  2. #2
    Affable Aberrant G-Whacker's Avatar
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    It really depends on the distance.
    The hard cores here need bar bags and saddle bags, I'll let them tell you what they carry (many of them are in France, being hard core)
    I'm concentrating on centuries right now and in my camera bag turned saddle bag (ain't cable ties great!), I carry;
    -hex set
    -mini leatherman (scissors)
    -two tubes
    -three CO2 charges
    -patches (yes I'm paranoid)
    -plastic baggies for electronics
    -money
    -cable ties
    -gum
    -batteries
    -SPF stuff
    -electronic pressure guage
    -as much candy as I can fit in the little room left.

    Two bottles on the frame, two in my jersey.
    Cell, mp3 player and sometimes beeper on my shorts.
    Some sort of food in the third jersey pocket.

    Wow, that seems like alot when I type it!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Won't you pour me a cuban breeze, Gretchen?

  3. #3
    Genetics have failed me Scummer's Avatar
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    For centuries I carry a camelback stuffed with a 2 liter sack of water. 3 energy bars, a few potato chips, some fig newtons, 2 gels, shot blox, tools, one tube and some other small crap.
    And of course 2 bottles with water on the frame.

    The camelback is very comfortable on my back, I almost don't notice it's there.
    Gelato aficionado.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Peiper1's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for the reply; I'm wondering though if you could describe the "camelback" for me, since I am not familiar with this. Thanks again !!

  5. #5
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Get a bento bag. Sits on your top tube just behind your stem. Fits a couple of energy bars and a cell.
    Water is the big problem. I have 3 bottle holders, I can always find somewhere to refill if Im gone a really long time. If thats not enough you can get a 2 bottle holder that sits behind your seat.
    Stuff jersy pockets with food. Have fun.

  6. #6
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    I use a Carradice Barley bag. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carradice.asp

    This is a lot bigger than the miniature saddle bags many folks keep on their race bikes, but is very small compared to what the tourists are using. It does not require any sort of a rack, but bag loops on the saddle make it a lot easier. As most saddles come without loops, a small fixture attaching to the saddle rails is available.

    In the bag, I keep a small pump, a glueless patch kit, two spare tubes, one spare folding tire, several CO2 cylinders, tire levers, a baggy of energy drink, several Powerbars, a "Cool-tool" type multipurpose tool, a chain breaker, a double-ended cone wrench, and +/- $20 for BigMac attacks, etc. In cold weather, I just have room to add arm and leg warmers, a wool hat, and a rain jacket.

    This prepares me for almost any occurence. About the only mechanical I cannot deal with on the road is cranks or bottom bracket coming loose, and catastrophic part/frame breakage. The racer types occasionally make fun of the bag, but I occasionally bail out a racer type who didn't have enough room to pack what he needed, so I guess it works out.

  7. #7
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    BTW, a Camelback is a backpack combining a water pouch with a few pockets. I personally hate the bloody things, as I can't stand to have weight on my back while riding -- and this is coming from a hardcore backpacker/mountaineer. But many folks have no problems with them, so there you go.

  8. #8
    Genetics have failed me Scummer's Avatar
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    camelback:


    The chest and waist straps keep the camelback secured in place so its not moving around at all and doesn't disturb riding balance.
    Gelato aficionado.

  9. #9
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I use a Carradice Barley bag. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carradice.asp

    This is a lot bigger than the miniature saddle bags many folks keep on their race bikes, but is very small compared to what the tourists are using. It does not require any sort of a rack, but bag loops on the saddle make it a lot easier. As most saddles come without loops, a small fixture attaching to the saddle rails is available.

    In the bag, I keep a small pump, a glueless patch kit, two spare tubes, one spare folding tire, several CO2 cylinders, tire levers, a baggy of energy drink, several Powerbars, a "Cool-tool" type multipurpose tool, a chain breaker, a double-ended cone wrench, and +/- $20 for BigMac attacks, etc. In cold weather, I just have room to add arm and leg warmers, a wool hat, and a rain jacket.

    This prepares me for almost any occurence. About the only mechanical I cannot deal with on the road is cranks or bottom bracket coming loose, and catastrophic part/frame breakage. The racer types occasionally make fun of the bag, but I occasionally bail out a racer type who didn't have enough room to pack what he needed, so I guess it works out.
    I completely agree that the Barley is just the right size for long distance rides. In fact I keep it on my bike all the time and I'd never leave home without it. I carry a light rain jacket, multitool, power links, brake and gear cables, brake pads, pump, 2x tubes, patch kit, tyre boots, cell phone, wallet, powerbars/sandwiches, chocolate, a very small radio and spare batteries for my lights. For water I will take 2x one litre "Smartwater" bottles one filled with energy drink and one with water. The Smartwater bottles are just the right diameter to fit in a standard cage and hold a full litre.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I do double and triples. My seat pouch is a small wedge with 2 tubes, tire levers, patch kit, 5 CO2's, microflate and a mini tool. In my jersey I carry ID, cell phone, GU and drink mix.
    Make mine a double!

  11. #11
    Live To Ride Another Day! MarkAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteB View Post
    I do double and triples. My seat pouch is a small wedge with 2 tubes, tire levers, patch kit, 5 CO2's, microflate and a mini tool. In my jersey I carry ID, cell phone, GU and drink mix.
    +1
    I am always riding 60-100 miles and I donít carry all the stuff I read about or see others with. On unsupported rides I will carry a banana and PBJ in my jersey pockets. I always carry some money too. One of my riding partners carries so much stuff I tease him all the time. In the early days of riding I told him to stop carry the phone book if he wanted to ride faster. He stopped doing that but he still has a ways to go.

    I donít even pre-ride a route (drive it, etc.). I think of it as an adventure and hope my cell phone works.
    I'm pushing it "High and Wide".
    -Mark

  12. #12
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    seat bag: two tubes, two C02, patch kit, two tire levers, multi tool, a few 1 foot tie wraps, a section of inner tube, a narrow plastic bottle of Hammer "Heed" for bottle refills.

    bottle cages:two water bottles with Hammer "Heed"
    stem mount: garmin 305.
    frame holders: two hammergell containers, air pump (good for slow leaks, unlike CO2)
    jersey pockets , three packages cliff shots or sharkeys, cell phone, drivers license, credit card, cash
    Bento bag: maps (usually from Google), mintyboost for Garmin 305. it only runs 8 hours or so without it
    I refill water as i go, hasn't been a problem yet.
    2009 Custom TI Frame Road Bike, all 2007 Campy Record, Campy Euros Wheelset
    2009 Custom TI Frame touring Bike. S&S couplers, XTR Drivetrain. LOW granny.
    2009 Performance Bicycles TI (by Lynsky) road frame, 7900 DA, 7950 DA Compact Crank, Light Niobium Rim Wheels

  13. #13
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    I am always riding 60-100 miles and I don’t carry all the stuff I read about or see others with...I think of it as an adventure and hope my cell phone works.
    Some of us are capable of bailing ourselves out. And some of us depend upon other people to bail us out. The line dividing the two may well be a cell phone.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." - Blanche DuBois

    Small chamois for glasses, multitool, various tire boot materials, dedicated spoke wrench and chain tool, quick link, spare cables, 2 tubes, patch kit, tire plastics, and 3 film containers: minimal bandages and antiseptic wipe, ibuprofen, sun goo, butt goo. For epics, add spare tire, different lenses, zip ties. For nights add LED headlamp, reflective belt and ankle bands. Also drink powder - quantity depends on event. For weather - skull cap, spare gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers, vest, jacket. All fits in saddle bag or trunk rack, depending on event, except a few weather things may go in jersey pockets.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 08-25-07 at 11:20 AM.

  15. #15
    jcm
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    I don't like camel backs, either, but if I go long and into the hinterlands where I'm not sure about water, I use one. I freeze the bag and use it when my three bottles run out. In hot weather it helps keep me cool.

  16. #16
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    I have the following:

    Saddle Bag:
    - Cannondale Fastbag 104 saddle bag/wedge

    In it I carry:
    - one Park tire lever
    - one tube
    - Ascent Bare Bones multi tool
    - Park patch kit
    - Elete Water pure electrolyte drops
    - lip balm with SPF
    - Banana Boat kids formula sunscreen
    - Drivers license
    - Insurance card
    - Debit Card
    - 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 2 nickels
    - sometimes cell phone (I do not like to bring it if at all possible. 1) I have a huge PDA phone 2) I just like knowing that I don't have it with me sometimes)

    Pump:
    I only use pumps, the Topeak Micro Rocket Carbon (45g yeah baby). I don't race so I can use the rest if and when I get a flat, plus throwing away CO2 cartridges doesn't fit with my environmental ethics (that and they are expensive over time).

    Hydration:
    I use two carbon water bottle holders from Performance (yes I felt dirty about myself buying from Performance). I recently purchased a Minoura Double Cage Saddle Mount. I got tired of running out of water between SAGs or didn't want to keep stopping on unsupported rides. I got the Minoura as opposed to the Profile product because it did not require me to remove my seat post to install. I have spent $300 between 2 professional bike fitting to get my bike adjusted to the point that I have no pain during or the day after riding 100+ miles. I'm not about to go and screw with anything. I like the system after one century.

    After purchasing the Minoura I read that people frequently loose bottles with every rear seat bottle carrier. Within the first 20 miles of a century last weekend I lost the one bottle I was carrying behind the seat. Luckily it was about 50 yards back. After that I clamped the water battle holder down so tightly it was impossible to remove the bottle whilst riding. After that I didn't loose the bottle the remaining 80 miles. I was glad I tried the system out as I was able to chug down some water from the saddle bottle whilst stopped at traffic lights and save easily accessible frame water whilst riding.

    As for frame mounted water I carry one large bottle with water and Elete Water only. Some times mid ride I will add some diluted Gatorade or whatever is being supplied during organized rides. I really don't like strong additives to my main liquid source. If drinks have too much citric acid my throat gets raw and that sucks. If things have too much refined sugar I never feel like my thirst is quenched and subsequently drink all my water too quickly.

    In another small bottle I carry three scoops of Hammer Perpetuem. This stuff is amazing. If I get behind on my nutrition I can actually feel the stuff kick in. Between this and Tums, DNFs are a thing of the past. I carry a zip lock bag with three more scoops in my jersey pocket for the second half of a 100 mile ride. Per Hammer's fueling instructions I begin sipping Perpetuem 2 hours into my ride. My goal is to finish 6 scoops before the completion of the 100 mile, 6-7 hour ride. This rarely happens but I try.

    Frame bag:
    On most rides I carry a TNi large Bento Box.


    In it I carry:
    - 2 bags of Cliff Shot Block, I haven't found a favorite flavor. I like the cola and margarita (why because margaritas are good). More often than not I consume Hammer Gel to meet my caloric intake but sometimes you just need something to chew on. I know Hammer says not to mix simple and complex carbs but whatever. Man (and women) cannot survive on gel alone.
    - Route slip (if avail)
    - Tums (to keep the lactic acids at bay, trust me it works even if it's a placebo affect (effect? I can never get that right))
    - If the ride is going to be really long I take an APC USB battery back and travel USB cable to power my GPS

    I am a mountain biker as well (I guess the handle gives that away) and love the freedom of not having something on my back. I love it so much I really want to find a way to free myself from the Camelbak while riding dirt. Don't get me wrong I had the first generation Camelbak and first generation MULE. I've been using them years; however, going without one when riding road has made me rethink the use of hydration packs. Though being an Eagle Scout it will be hard to be in the wilderness without my 10 essentials, but I digress.

    The bottom line is I personally don't think you need to carry that much stuff (e.g. spare tires, replacement cables, Leathermans, etc.), at least where I ride my road bike in California. I have enough stuff to fix flats and minor mechanical problems. I can carry enough nutrition and water to complete a 100 plus mile ride. I have my identification and insurance card if anything catastrophic happens. And I have my debit card to pay for someone to fit my bike mid-ride should it be necessary (which happened once when a semi kicked up a rock and blew out a drive side spoke on my rear wheel while riding along the 5 freeway through Camp Pendleton) and to purchase more food and water.

    To the OP, welcome back to long distance riding. I find no better way to get away from all of life's troubles and concerns. No phone, no email. Just one singular goal and that is to finish.
    Last edited by MTBMaven; 08-25-07 at 06:28 PM.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  17. #17
    Senior Member Fixedwheelnut's Avatar
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    Here is what I have carried on long Audax rides in my Carradice Longflap;


    But I am getting better at travelling lighter
    Don't stop pedalling

  18. #18
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    i definately store everything in my akrapack (www.akrapack.com) and it works perfect

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Here's my packing list:
    http://www.machka.net/packinglist.htm








    Of course ... that's for a long tour, with a 1200K brevet in the middle. And I use panniers to carry it all.

    In your case, you might go for a trunk bag.

  20. #20
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    You didn't say how far or how long your going. I recently purchased a touring bike but haven't yet outfitted it for touring nor toured on it yet...it's for a later retirement time.

    But I do do (not do do as in #2 or poo poo) 75 to 150 mile 1 day rides, and all I carry is a saddle bag where I have crammed in a ultralight folding 700x23 tire, a tube, 6 glueless patches, tire boot, Park MTB3 mini tool, cheap mini folding pliers, tire irons, QuikStik, batteries for the front and rear flashers plus computer bats, $40.50 (2 quarters for phone), ID, insurance card, phone card, and all but useless firstaid kit, house keys. And this isn't one of those big funky looking Carridice bags, just a standard expandable wedge.

    Then on longer rides since I moved from California to Indiana and weather changes here like a woman changing shoes, I've added a handlebar bag where I stash a rain jacket, rain helmet cover, various food items that use to go into the pockets of my jersey and Camelback to save weight on my back.

    On these longer rides I carry on my back a small Camelback Rogue in addition to 3 24 ounce Polar bottles filled with 50% diluted Gatorade with water only in one bottle. These bottles I do weird stuff to to keep them cool at precise times, if interested let me know. I always run with a mini pump on short rides, but on the longer rides I add a frame pump in case one should fail, I also always carry a presta to schrader converter that's attached to the front stem just in case I need to use a schrader hose.

    I never carry spare chain links since I've never had a chain break, but if one were to break I would just remove the bad link and put the chain back together missing a link or two which would still allow me to get home just fine. I don't carry spare cables because I aways do pretrips and would catch a bad cable before I went, but again never had a cable fail. I don't carry spare spokes because I have 36 spoke wheels and know from experience that if one failed I could still ride home without even having to readjust the rim. I don't use a GPS because I rarely get lost and when I do it's just another adventure. I don't take a cell phone because most areas I ride in have no cell service anyways.

  21. #21
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    just ordered the carradice "cape roll" saddlebag - my "junior" model was too big! i'm starting to think that less is more in terms of what you bring on a brevet.

    i find that the larger the bag, the more stuff you'll end up carrying - sometimes that's the point, but other times you're just adding extra weight.. on some of my brevets i've brought way too much food mostly, and lots of extra clothes that i never used.

    on a 400k brevet over mountains i did a few months ago i decided to pack light and only carried stuff in my jersey pockets and a (small) brooks "challenge" bag. everything else in jersey pockets.

    * spare spokes, pump in jersey pocket
    * chain tool, mini screw driver, spoke wrench, allen set in saddlebag
    * tube, patches, tire boot, tire levers in saddlebag
    * spare parts for dynohub lights: bulb, wire in saddlebag
    * backup battery-operated lights, w/ batteries
    * three water bottles, one on handlebars
    * snacks, home made burrito in jersey pocket
    * keys, id, brevet card, etc in jersey pocket

    my pockets were pretty stuffed, and had one of them burst i would have been out of luck. but it worked for that brevet! granted, the weather was nice so i didn't even need to bring a jacket, just some arm warmers.
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peiper1 View Post
    I have recently (last 5-6 weeks) gotten back into long-distance riding after being away for 20+ years, and I'm wondering what other folks are using to carry all necessary supplies on their treks. I've got a small saddle bag for extra tube, compressed air & tire tools, and 2 bottle racks. Everything else (cell, lock, food, etc.) I'm carrying on my back in a smallish knapsack. I'm finding this to be somewhat uncomfortable after a few hours, and I'm wondering if it is also creating a lot of unnecessary wind resistance as well. Would really appreciate any thoughts and advice, since I'm not familiar yet with the various carrying systems out there. I thought about a bike rack, but it seems pointless to add all the extra weight to a very light (<20lbs. for a 56cm) carbon fibre bike. Thanks for the help !!
    I have with me:

    Bento Box:
    * Cell phone
    * Salt tablets
    * Ride map
    * Perhaps a few snacks for longer rides
    * Newtons

    Seat Bag:
    * Spare Tube
    * Patch kit
    * CO2 inflater & extra cartridge
    * Multi-tool
    * 2 emergency gels
    * Keys
    * Wallet
    * Pump (mounted underneath)

    On bike:
    * Two big bottles

    On me (centuries or doubles)
    * Some food (bagels, jerky, etc.)
    * Powdered accelerade
    * arm/leg warmers/hat.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
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    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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  23. #23
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    just ordered the carradice "cape roll" saddlebag - my "junior" model was too big! i'm starting to think that less is more in terms of what you bring on a brevet.

    i find that the larger the bag, the more stuff you'll end up carrying - sometimes that's the point, but other times you're just adding extra weight.. on some of my brevets i've brought way too much food mostly, and lots of extra clothes that i never used.

    been there too... but i just went the other way... i upgraded to a larger carradice. i'm currently far away from a local brevet series and my 'training' has me sometimes riding solo or with just a few friends. i usually bring along the kitchen sink - but in the winter or shoulder seasons this is a good thing. on an organized ride or brevet it might not be - as there are outs and others along the way. getting caught in the cold rain in the mountains taught me a good lesson on what / when to carry.

    i did the pockets, small saddlebag, bento box system for a full series and then several centuries - it is effective for sure - especially when you narrow and perfect your system - but throw in an odd repair, a long section between controls, or variable weather - and i found i didn't like the weight in my pockets and would rather them be in the bag.

    guilty here though of carrying extra weight - i keep the same gear on my bike most days - so i'm used to it - and its comforting to know that most things are always where i packed them or left them - be it a run to town or a run to the next state.

  24. #24
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    I would definitely get a Bento Box.

    I use a pack (no Camelback):
    Cell phone
    Garmin 60CSX
    extra AA Batteries
    (3) Spare Road Tubes
    CO2 inflater & extra 5 cartridges
    Full Leatherman Multi-tool
    Small hex tool
    Chain Tool
    Tire levers
    4 gels
    Keys
    Wallet
    Lube
    Pressure guage
    Presta/Schraeder adapter
    Flashlight
    Eyeglasses

    Pills:
    taken periodically:
    Potassium (great recommendation Henria86 - this saved me last trip)
    Ginseng

    for emergencies:
    Anti-inflammatory
    Muscle relaxant
    Pain reliever Tyl3 Codeine

    On bike:
    Two Polar bottles

  25. #25
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    here is my cycling kit list.

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