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  1. #1
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    backpack touring

    OK just curious if anyone has ever toured on a bare bones road bike with only a backpack, and a small bivy. Myself and a couple buddies are thinking of doing a short 2 day trip, buying food as we go, carrying the bare minimum. Is this feasable?

  2. #2
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    Going downhill fast!

  3. #3
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    My first overnight trip was with a handlebar bag, daypack and sleeping bag strapped on the rear rack. It was ok. The difficulties came from an inadequate saddle and my inexperience of long rides, but that's also when I decided I'd never wear a backpack again while riding.

    It's feasible but I wouldn't reccommend it, and certainly not for any significant load.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  4. #4
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    I met a crazy Aussie touring Patagonia wearing a big pack. Claimed it was perfectly comfortable. We thought he was nuts He was on a MTB though.

  5. #5
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    It was not quite a barebones hybred, I have a rear rack on it, but I started off a tour wearing a very small back pack, I don't know the size but a bit bagger than the college book kind. That lasted for almost 40 km then I strapped to the back rack for the next 810 km, which worked much better. If you do use a back pack make sure the waist strap works well, mine did not, and all the weight was on my shoulders.

    My back pack tour story: www.mtl3.crazyguyonabike.com

  6. #6
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    It's feasable.

    But if you invest 20 bucks on a rear rack from Target and use the backpack for lighter things, you'll be better off. It's not the weight of a backpack that probably will bother you but the sweat and heat it generates against your back. Made my back itchy for a bit until I got used to it. I used a rear rack only and a backpack when I toured this spring from SC to TX.

    PS - if you get a rear rack, get one that attaches to the frame, not just the seat post.

    Have a nice trip

    Cheers,
    http://biketour.ne1.net

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Backpack = OUCH!!

    Use a trunk bag and/or panniers.

  8. #8
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    I don't like carrying backpacks myself, but I have a friend that I tour with sometimes and he uses one. If you keep the backpack light it is feasible, but you want a good backpack that distributes the weight well--preferably with a waist strap.

    Since you're only doing two days you don't have to worry about the ideal set-up. Your body can tolerate many things for two days that it wouldn't over a long trip.

  9. #9
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    A small day pack is not too bad. I do about 11 miles a day with a North Face Recon pack with about 10 pounds of assorted junk in it because I ride a MTB. I would not want to carry more. I use the chest strap and the waist strap to keep it from shifting around. It keeps the air from flowing across my back some. If I were do do much more I would get real bike gear to carry stuff in. Also there is the center of gravity thing going on as well that panniers help out.
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
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  10. #10
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    It can certainly be done. Saw a Dutch guy in Alberta about ten years ago who was riding from somewhere in California to Banff with a huge backpack on a bike he had liberated from a pawn shop. He looked damned uncomfortable, but he seemed to think it was fine.

    Since I was trying to fix a flat and my tire pump was broken, I had hoped when I saw him that he would have a pump, but he had chosen not to add items like that to his load. He seemed really underprepared and uncomfortable, but, I was the one sitting by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere because the plastic nozzle on my lightweight pump had succumbed to ultraviolet rays. To each his own.

  11. #11
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    My first tour was a 2 day out and back of about 200km. I had a small duffell bag, with a pup tent and a change of clothes slung over my back. Man did it ever rain that night, not just a little pitter patter, but a real nice thunder storm. The worst part was the water running under the tent, it felt terrible. That was a very miserable time for me. Shortly after that I realized I was hooked.

    Funny, some of my worst expiriences were bike touring, but it is one of the things I enjoy the most.

  12. #12
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    I know that weight is not as critical with cycling as it is with hiking, but it still seems to matter. I expect to be carrying under 10 pounds of gear and it seems that the lightest rack and pannier set up will be a substantial percentage of that. Osprey packs have come out with a new design for the back that is a tight sheet of mesh. The smaller volume pack is on sale at Altreck.com

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