Argon 18 to be transformed into a cross country machine!
I Need Help With Cross Country Road Bike Trip!! Please!
I am planning to ride from California to New York next summer alone. I have so many questions and would really appreciate any help I can get.
1. Not too sure if the bike I have will do the trick. I will attach a picture: This bike is a full carbon 2008 Argon 18 Krypton medium frame (54/56cm) and it has a full Shimano Ultegra Groupo. The wheelset is Ksyrium Equipe with Armadillo Tires(Not in Picture). The saddle, seat stem and handlebar stem are Ritchey and the handlebars are Scott 44 cm out to out. If it will do the trick, what do i need to change to make it work? If I need to sell and buy a different bike overall, any suggestions on what to purchase?
2.Any advice on planning the trip in general. I'm putting money aside and trying to find my route.
3. How will I load the bike? Trailer, Panniers? I plan on just sleeping wherever maybe the occasional hotel to clean up.
4. What shape should I be in prior? I really don't think any training could prepare me for that much riding.. I plan on 60-100 miles per day.
5. What kind of riding gear should I be looking for? weather proof? any suggestions?
6. And what kind of things will i need to bring to survive? budget? food to bring? how much water/nutrition? Grill or how to prepare food?
Thanks for reading, and any help or suggestions will benefit me on this crazy idea.
Not sure if you have mounting lugs for racks/panniers on a full carbon bike. If you don't, mounting one using almost any type of mounting system is liable to put stresses that the bike isn't designed for.
How much support are you willing to accept? If you're going to ride, eat at local restaurants, travel mostly during the day, have access to bike shops along the way, your requirements will be different than if you're planning to be completely independent. Depending on which of those situations you're in will also change the load that you need to handle on your bike.
You'll want lights - whether you intend to ride at night or not. You'll want spare equipment and tools so that you're not stranded miles away from the nearest help. Make sure you're able to do basic repairs and make sure you have enough ability to fix things when they go even worse. Do you understand a derailleur, are you able to figure out how to tie a broken cable up to keep it in a fixed gear or adjust the screws enough to put you in a workable gear? Carry tubes, patch kits, a folding tire or two, spoke wrench, chain tool, tire change kit, pump, etc.
As for your gear, I prefer rear panniers, some prefer front panniers. Figure out what you're going to carry which will be based on how self sufficient you want to be. Emergency blanket, rain gear, enough water to get to various destinations plus extra (you can fill up at convenience stores, restaurants, shopping centers) and food/energy/snacks. 150-250 calories per hour is the guideline I've heard and tracks with the riding I've been doing. However, you can always stop and restock along the way, so, clothing, tent, raingear, clothing layers, tools, parts, enough food/water to make it to points where you can restock.
Minimally, you're probably looking at rear panniers and perhaps a handlebar bag to allow you to eat and read your cue sheets while on the road.
Are you able to ride 60-100 miles a day for 7-10 days now? If so, how do you feel afterwards?
As for your bike, I think that you might find that frame to be a bit aggressive and not as comfortable for long rides, day after day. Might want to take a look at the Surly Long Haul Trucker or bikes with similar geometries to get an idea of what you want to find. Many will have mount holes for panniers both front and rear already built in. You'll have a bit more of an upright ride, you might consider aero bars as you're going to find a lot of long stretches and it gives you multiple hand positions to avoid fatigue.
How many long trips have you done already? If you haven't done any, you might consider riding a few brevets which are 'solo' group rides. Since you're unable to get support from anyone else except at checkpoints, and are riding without a support crew, it'll give you a good idea of what you're going to run into. Even if you get a DNF because of an equipment issue, you've learned a bit about what it is going to take for short rides. You're going to do less than a 200k each day, so, try running a few 200ks and see how you do.