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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-03-10, 02:14 PM   #1
duffymcpatzer
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Bike Gear for Brevets & Centuries?

Hello all, I've been thinking more and more of doing a Brevet Series this year since I like the idea of long distance cycling. That said, I'm fairly new to this sort of thing and was wondering what do people pack with them for say a century or a 200K and then is it different for a 300K?

I have more of a racing setup but i have relaxed it (Wilier Izoard and Aero rims but spacered up the head tube/fork to relax the riding position and moving to 25mm tires) It rides beautifully, but i was thinking-- Should I get a seatpost bag like a topeak RX and maybe a handlebar bag for the long rides to store a bunch of stuff? Is there anything I'm leaving out?

I usually ride about 50 milers so I tend to pack ultra light. Let me know what you all do!
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Old 04-03-10, 03:57 PM   #2
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I'm a packrat, so I tend to be one of those "everything and the kitchen sink" guys, even on the short rides. The one day I left my Leatherman tool behind was the one time I could have used a pair of pliers to fix a rubbing fender, and I had to mooch a multitool at the next control.
It's all about what you're comfortable carrying, and how you carry it. I see some of our crew (Seattle Randonneurs) head out on a warm 300k with a large seat wedge and some food in their jersey pockets. Some show up for a 200k with luggage like they're heading out on a 600k.

For me, the difference from a 200 to 300k+ and what I bring is significant because of the temperature differences. For a 200k, I'll suffer the first hour or two a little on the cold side to not deal with hauling around excess clothing by the end of the afternoon. On a 300k, I know I'll need it again before the end of the ride so I don't mind having a mostly empty saddlebag that I'll load up when it warms up, and then empty out when the sun drops again. Up in the PNW even the summer nights can dip below 50 degrees, especially if we're in the mountains; not much sucks more than a night descent when you're underdressed.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:12 PM   #3
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I have the largest Ortleib saddle bag, which is quite large. A lot of people use a carridice, but I don't like the looks of those bouncing around. I can't imagine needing both a decent size saddle bag and a handlebar bag. The only reason I have such a big bag is that I carry a spare tire, spare food, and a rain jacket. I have a multi-tool with most of the tools I need to keep moving, a couple spare tubes, and a patch kit. I also have a couple of master links for the chain. In the winter, I carry spare sets of gloves and hand warmers. Nothing like changing out wet gloves for new ones.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:17 PM   #4
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I have the largest Ortleib saddle bag, which is quite large. A lot of people use a carridice, but I don't like the looks of those bouncing around. I can't imagine needing both a decent size saddle bag and a handlebar bag. The only reason I have such a big bag is that I carry a spare tire, spare food, and a rain jacket. I have a multi-tool with most of the tools I need to keep moving, a couple spare tubes, and a patch kit. I also have a couple of master links for the chain. In the winter, I carry spare sets of gloves and hand warmers. Nothing like changing out wet gloves for new ones.
Small handlebar bag for stuff you know you'll need and small/med/large saddle bag for stuff you hope you don't need.
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Old 04-03-10, 06:43 PM   #5
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Old 04-03-10, 06:45 PM   #6
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Old 04-03-10, 11:16 PM   #7
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I've got a home-rigged trunk bag on my rear rack and carry a small handlebar bag as well. Just doing 200's so far.
What I find is that the major item taking up space is clothing layers. When it gets hotter, I won't have that, but may be toting extra liquids.

Here's two of our illustrious riders, about to set off on a 400k. Not sure what they carry, but it's not a lot:


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Old 04-04-10, 03:23 AM   #8
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... I'm fairly new to this sort of thing and was wondering what do people pack with them for say a century or a 200K and then is it different for a 300K?

I have more of a racing setup...
You might want to add an extra bottle mount or two, as many racing bikes only have one. You'll need good lights on the longer rides, too.

I tend to pack heavy, in a trunk bag. You can't have too many tubes (I've used 3 in one brevet before). Unless you're certain the weather will stay nice, extra clothing will be worth carrying. And, it's nice to have extra supplements, pain releivers, bandaids and such.

The big difference between a century and a brevet is support, or lack of it. On the century, you could leave out with nothing and get by. On the brevet, you may have to go much further between checkpoints, and they are less likely to be well stocked with gatorade, snacks and such. You can often find a gas station or something, but, sometimes you're on your own for a few hours.
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Old 04-04-10, 09:17 PM   #9
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You can do a 200k fast enough to not need any headlights, but I don't know if you can ride a 300k without it getting dark. Read the Rusa site for requirements such as tail lights, reflective gear, etc.

I pack the following in a tail bag:
two tubes
patch kit
tire lever
multi tool with chain tool
Spare chain connector
zip ties
two C02 cartridges and inflator thingy
Tire boot

On the bike I also carry a hand pump

I use a school pencil case zip tied to the handlebars for my cue sheets/brevet cards. (I use cardboard to stiffen it)

I run Gatorskinz tires

We had a brevet in December in the rain where a group of 4 guys had 9 flats between them. They ran out of tubes and were running low on patches!
I haven't had one during a Brevet yet, but I've helped someone who also needed a tire boot. You don't wanna flat out to the point you can't ride at least to a checkpoint. Some guys carry a spare tire, and I've seen where they actually needed a whole tire.

I have a small pack thing on the top tube (its miniature saddlebags and holds more than a bento box) that hold my nutrition.

Our cue sheets identify where convenience stores/services are so I know what I have to carry with me. I usually carry more than I need to food-wise because I can buy it cheaper before-hand.

You can't really carry too much, but you can carry too little.

I have a front headlight but only had to use it my first brevet which was in December.
As a disclaimer - I've only run 200k's so far. For a 300k, you can calculate and assume how much time you will need a light (and give plenty of room for additional time)
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Old 04-04-10, 09:22 PM   #10
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I'm a bit of a take it all sort of guy. I probably take the same for a 200km as I do for a 400km. Raincoat, tubes (used 3 on a wet 200 last weekend ), gels, some sort of energy powder to put in Bidon, spare batteries for the lights, spare chain link, flexible spoke, often a space blanket... For a 600km I usually take a change of knicks and riding jersey!

There's a long way between towns where we ride and if a store is closed I figure you still need something to eat. Though in reality some of my energy bars have done many many km's. Some of my mates ride with just the bare essentials and it if backfires, there's always a mobile phone!

One thing about randonneuring/brevets is that there is no one way to do it, everyone is slightly different Over time you'll work out what works for you.
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Old 04-04-10, 10:10 PM   #11
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the problem with riding without headlights is that you never know when you are going to have a bad day. A lot of RBAs start 300k in the dark so you'll be ready for the 400k and 600k which are going to require lights.
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