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  1. #1
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    Touring with a racing bike

    Is this feasible with a lightly-loaded trailer or a bad idea ?

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    I wouldn't pull a single-wheeled trailer with a light racing road bike.......2-wheeled trailer should be fine.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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    Masi Gran Corsa pulling a Burley Nomad. What would you do on the tires ?

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    Vehicular orange's Avatar
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    Same question, my road bike has no rack mounts. Did a multi-day ride just using bags and some ugly strapping. For next time, with more stuff, I'm thinking about getting a trailer instead of a whole new bike. Any advice would be appreciated!

  5. #5
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I toured (supported tour) w/Felt F65
    there is a fellow I was referred to (from the ultra-light tour group at yahoo groups) who used a seat post rack and did ultra-light touring w/the same Felt model.

    Personally, altho it is a swell fast bike, I became frustrated with the inability to add racks et al (I know... I can only blame myself for not noting this shortcoming)
    This bike DOES take a 700/28 Conti Gatorskin tire, but that is about it
    The tires had low spoke count (another strike against it being a good tourer)
    after a week on it, my mid-aged body started to get a little cranky (YMMV)

    I have since rectified that by acquiring a bike that will serve my needs of occasional touring and local riding/commuting, and has tons of braze-ons for all sorts of evil weight bearing items

  6. #6
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    A Burley Nomad with a skewer hitch should be fine as far as the strength of the bike is concerned. If you'll be doing some climbing you'll probably want to invest in modifying the gearing. As far as tires some durable trainers should be fine and tires are so compact and light to carry you can have spares on board.

    As to how comfortable you'll be on a racing bike all day that is going to vary by the individual. 20 years ago I would have been fine touring on a racing bike, not today though - not by a long shot.

  7. #7
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I'm building a frankenbike for touring/commuting-- will save my racing bike for racing. Nothing wrong with an old steel frame and downtube friction shifters. It will probably cost less than $200 total when finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phinney
    As to how comfortable you'll be on a racing bike all day that is going to vary by the individual. 20 years ago I would have been fine touring on a racing bike, not today though - not by a long shot.
    Good point. I'll be 50 in two months and haven't ridden much since '87, so I ain't gonna be fine no matter what I ride-not by a long shot. There is a large part of me who thinks getting into the self-contained touring is crazy. I guess it's a poor man's midlife crisis.

  9. #9
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Me?
    I think I will do supported touring and fine with that.I *might* get a large Carradice bag for behind me Brooks saddle and do a semi-loaded tour for a day or two...staying at inns...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    Me?
    I think I will do supported touring and fine with that.I *might* get a large Carradice bag for behind me Brooks saddle and do a semi-loaded tour for a day or two...staying at inns...
    Semi-loaded sounds like a good way to get your touring feet wet. I was thinking about throwing the minimum amount of stuff in a day pack (on my back as opposed to on the bike) and hitting the road, before making the trailer investment.
    Last edited by 1-track-mind; 09-02-05 at 06:29 AM.

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    just recently returned from 2 months touring on a racing bike, self-contained with a trailer.
    I am 21, so there is perhaps a bit of that young spirit in me. My experience was wholly positive. Bike held up well. Trailer works extremely well. life was grand.

    so cast up one vote for feasable.

  12. #12
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Get some sort of seat bag (vs. a a back pack)
    the pack will grow old after awhile.

  13. #13
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    Get some sort of seat bag (vs. a a back pack)
    the pack will grow old after awhile.
    Ditto.

    I use a backpack when commuting on my fixed gear. My fixed gear is a steel track bike, and 15 lbs is tolerable for my short commute (~18miles round trip). When I go up in weight by just a few pounds (say to ~20), my back/shoulders begin to ache. Mind you that's just commuting, not all day riding.

    I'd stay far away from having anything on my back all day, except perhaps a full camelback (if need be). Even on a bike with comfy geometry, for all day riding, stuff on your back gets uncomfy fast. It just wouldn't seem fun to me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay_z
    just recently returned from 2 months touring on a racing bike, self-contained with a trailer.
    I am 21, so there is perhaps a bit of that young spirit in me. My experience was wholly positive. Bike held up well. Trailer works extremely well. life was grand.

    so cast up one vote for feasable.
    One wheel or two wheel trailer ? What kind of tires ?

  15. #15
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    for all day riding, stuff on your back gets uncomfy fast. It just wouldn't seem fun to me.
    nicely put...

    in theory, options are easy to examine.
    In application, different issues are revealed.
    IN theory, a backpack seems like a good option.
    Then again, on a long hot day (or long hot week!), with that weight gnawing into your spine and shoulder blades, it suddenly seems like a bad idea
    and when you are miles from home with no other option (short of locating a decently stocked bike shop to re-tool your rig)... well, it just is less FUN

    It's unfortunate that Wallingford is temporarily down under the hurricane.
    They have lots of great bag options -- some of the seat-bags are darn near room enough to cover your semi-loaded tour needs. And sometimes they have a morsel in the used section.
    Rivbike might have carradice bags as well

  16. #16
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    one wheeled bob yak, continental road tires on the bike, and I swapped out the yak's stock knobby tire for something a little slicker. not a true touring configuration by any stretch, but it served us pretty well. we had to steer clear of rougher unpaved bike paths, but when i tour again i will ride pretty much the same setup.

  17. #17
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    I use to tour on a racing bikes...but that was many years ago when I was younger and my younger body did not complain, today though (now I'm over 50) I need a more comfortable bike if I'm going to be touring. The touring I did on my racing bike was called "credit card touring"; I only carried bare necessities in a handlebar bag and seat bag such as tools, food and a jacket and one set of fresh bike clothes, but mostly ate in resturants and slept in motels. However these were mini tours lasting up to 4 days and averaging about 100 miles per day. I still ride a racing bike today and do runs up to 158 miles in one day, but I want to do long touring rides and not by credit card so I need another bike that will take panniers, wider tires, fenders and be comfortable.

  18. #18
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    Fork Swap Option

    Although I am late to the starting line on this topic, it does interest me. I have a ricing bike and I'd like to do a few weekend trips with it. Can I swap the fork for one that will accept a front rack and bags?

    Seems like a cheap option for a quick credit card weekend.

    Thanks,
    Joe O

    PS: First post, but long time lurker.

  19. #19
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    Carbon road bike with a B O B trailer and 30lbs. What is going to break besides your neck, back, wrists, etc. ?

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    4given. Nashbar makes a good touring/cyclocross fork. Unfortunately it doesn't have mid fork braze-ons, which are a fairly recent development on touring bikes anyway. This means that if you need to swap it out for another 1.125", say carbon fork, you can, and you can still mount a rack either fork bands or the type that mounts to the canti studs. I'm going to braze on new custom rack studs, but I will be painting the whole thing from scratch anyway. I'm using the Nashbar on my current build because it comes with a disc brake mount.

    Surly also has a good touring fork with all the rack braze-ons.

  21. #21
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    In theory, you can tour on any bike. In reality, you will be much better off with a bike optimized for touring.

    Compared to a racing bike, a touring bike will have a longer wheelbase, lower gearing (road bikes have a low end around 34", touring 27" or lower), wider tires, a more relaxed geometry, lots of braze-ons. Bike / frame weight is unimportant with a touring bike, whereas "light as possible" is a selling point for racing bikes. You will likely want a moderately upright riding position for touring, whereas the tendency with a racing bike is for a flatter / lower posture.

    You may also want some suspension on the touring bike. Fortunately, that's an easy item to add to almost any bike, with a suspension seatpost like a Thudbuster.

    Another thing to keep in mind with a trailer is that since it's rather capacious, you will be tempted to bring a lot of stuff with you. This may be good (you'll have creature comforts) but it may also be a drag (more stuff + trailer itself = more weight than panniers).

  22. #22
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    Yes, you can get a BOB Yak trailer and pull it behind a moderate racing bike. Nothing carbon mind you but any steel or aluminum racing bike would probably be fine. You have to replace the rear quick-release with the included part and other than that you're fine.

    I would change my tires to the 28 mm Continental touring tires if I had enough room. If not I'd go for the Avocet wire bead 25. If you don't have enough room for that I'd cancel my trip until I could get a touring bike.

    You MUST have low gears. If you can't get a triple on that the best you can do is compact cranks and an MTB cluster in the back. 34-34 would be the minimum if you're plannoing on any hills.

    As you see, in order to GET a racing bike to work it will cost you about the same as getting a decent touring bike already.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Burley-Hudson-To...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/SCHWINN-VOYAGEUR...QQcmdZViewItem
    Last edited by cyclintom; 11-19-06 at 05:26 PM.

  23. #23
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    Four tips for lighter but comfortable touring irrespective of the bike:

    1. Bike fit -- butt, hands and feet must be well accommodated with good frame geometry. A race bike doesn't really fit those criteria if you are 50 or over... your neck will give it up before anything else, followed by butt, hands and feet.

    2. Brooks saddle -- some may argue and that is their right. But many touring cyclists find either the Pro for bars lower than the seat, or the B17 when the bars are level or above the seat, to be the most comfortable option (after the break-in). Check Brooks in the search function for several very long threads where doubting people have bought Brooks.

    3. A large saddle bag, a-la- Carradice, if you are lightweight touring with a credit card. It gets over the rack problems with not braze-ons or drop-out lugs. Goes nicely with the Brooks B17, too! (well, it really only goes with the B17 because it has the hardware for hanging the bag off it) A handlebar bag would take care of essential/valuable items.

    4. Reliability counts for everything. Check crazyguyonabike for weblogs that probably fit your scenario. Many a tour has been spoilt by collapsed wheels, hubs and the like. Are you sure your race bike with low-spoke wheels is able to sustain the day-in/day-out rigours of touring (come to think of it, can YOU?)?

    Tyres are a matter of choice. I currently use Conti Gator Skins in 25 profile on my touring-specific bike. The deciding factor will be the space in between the chainstays and the top of the front fork. But wider is more comfortable because of the lower pressures. Hard tyres can hurt the butt a lot, Brooks or no Brooks.

    On the whole, though, a "new" bike might be a better proposition, as suggested by others. There have been discussions here recently about the cheap "recyle" option with 80s to early 90s steel-framed mountain bikes that have many of the required features.

    cyclintom's point about gearing is spot on, and if you have a corn-cob on the back of your race bike, climbing with a load of any sort will be a chore at least, and a clear and imminent danger to your knees.

    By the way, how much flex does your frame have at the BB and in the rear triangle? Any weight on the frame might make it worse if you have some already, and it could translate into speed wobbles. And bear in mind that BoB Trailers have two strong recommendations -- using one of their trailers depends on the rigidity of the rear triangle, and the top speed is 25mph.

    I agree with others about a heavy backpack and not using one for any more than commuting or day rides. A light one with rain clothing, however, migth be acceptable.

    Really, the only way to satisfy your curiosity is to experiment with what you have for several day and overnight tours, conjuring up whatever you can. Certainly, if you put in a couple of back-to-back metric centuries or longer, you will start to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  24. #24
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    4Given

    after about 3 days on a Felt F70, I was starting to get a bit cramped
    Racers are optimized for short and fast... maybe even a day fast
    after several days, my body was hurting and it was not so much fun anymore

    also, as you have found out, attaching gear to the bike is a trick

    almost better to go with a dedicated rider for touring
    you could even reach into the not too distant past, find a decent steel tour type bike from the 80's for not too much money, trick it up, and go

  25. #25
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    I rode part of the way on Trans-Pyrenees coast to coast w/ couple of Austrian guys
    who had racing bike and a pretty significant-size backpack each.
    With no special gear or a triple. And finished the crossing in six days.
    I asked them if they wouldn't be better off w/ panniers or trailers, both answered
    they feel much better w/ back-packs. That is some serious riding.

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