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  1. #1
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    touring with a road bike?

    Has anyone done any touring, carrying front and back panniers, with a road bike?
    I realize this is not the ideal situation, but such is life...any advice or possible concerns to consider would be welcome. the weight of the bike, the ability to put front racks on without eyelets, etc.
    thanks

  2. #2
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    People can and do ride regular bicycles on tour. I think it depends on your weight and the how much weight you are carrying. You can add a back rack and front racks without eyelets. However, you can not add a front rack if your front fork is carbon. Many people on tour break spokes even with a touring bike. Climbing with a load and poor road surfaces are hard on road bike wheels. You might be better off buying a cheap mountain bike.

  3. #3
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    You can do hostel touring and perhaps some ultralight camping. If you need front panniers then you are carrying too much for a std road bike.
    If you want to do an expedition on a roadbike then consider a trailer.

  4. #4
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    Also the chainstays are too short on most road bikes to mount rear panniers without your heels hiting the panniers. Some racks, i.e. tubus have adapters to help with this problem a bit.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
    2000 Trek 7500FX

  5. #5
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    is there a rack that works best for a road bike without eyelets on the seat stays? or do they generally come with the rubber clamps?

  6. #6
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    Old Man Mountain racks. The Sherpa and Cold Springs mount at the wheel skewers, and just add d-clamps to the seatstays...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  7. #7
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    A roadbike becomes much more comfortable once you load it up. The frame, wheels, and tires flex and absorb a lot more bumps and vibrations. I just rode from FL to CA on an aluminum bike with a carbon fork, 23 mm front tire, 28 mm back with 60 lb of gear on the back and it was comfortable to ride all day.

  8. #8
    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    Some road bikes w/ carbon forks have eyelets for a front rack. My Spec Sequoia Elite has mounting points for a front rack, a rear rack, and a third bottle cage. I haven't used the front rack, but I doubt they would have put it there if it wasn't supposed to be used.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    get_nuts
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    I tour on an old lugged steel triathlon bike with 36 spoke high-performance wheels, just a rear rack, and minimal camping equipment. Works great! For carrying heavy loads, I would definately suggest having some easier gearing, however.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    This fall, once the heat breaks, I'm going to be using (see below, and with different panniers) on long stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tubus makes racks that mount quite well to road frames.

    --A


  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Before you get buy any racks or bags, please take a look at www.thetouringstore.com.

    This is my first tour, I made the huge mistake of buying inexpensive an rack and panniers. I just fitted the bags last night, after reading this thread, since I will be touring with a road bike. To my horror, I was not getting the needed heel clearance.

    The next morning, I went to work so I was unable to take another look at the bag. With only 6 weeks till tour, I called Wayne in a panic. We was more interested in helping me work with what I had instead of trying to sell me all new equipment. He looked at the bag I had from a picture found on line. He made no comments as to the quality of my choice. He simply looked at the picture and made some suggestions. If they didn't work then he would be happy to fit me with a new set of panniers which he felt was the source of my problem. He even offered to look at pictures of my bike and track. It turns out it did not have to go that far. I am happy to say his original suggestion worked. But I do feel bad for him.

    The hard fact that I learned is that you will probably be able to buy cheaper brands elsewhere that might work OK. Wayne sells quality gear , but the most valuable part of dealing with Wayne is his expertise. That alone is worth the small price difference of what you will pay for the cheaper brands.

    Just give him a call and I am sure he will be able to fit you with what you need. As far as prices for the brands that he carries, I think it would be hard to find a better deal elsewhere.

  12. #12
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    Hi fleckacheck,

    I have just done my 3 weeks touring in New Zealand north island in Feb 2006 with my Fuji road bike. The bike doesn't has any eyelet on front or rear. So I just installed rear rack which clamped to the seatpost. Just carry rear pannier, with lightweight soloTent, sleeping mat,sleeping bag and a handlebarbag at front, and myself carry a small backpack too. I have changed the tyre from 23mm to Michellin Axial Sport 25mm, no flat at all during the 3 weeks.
    If you ask me whether can tour using road bike, I would say yes but depends on the situation. The place you going shall be sealed road mot of the time. It was once I almost fall when cycling through a rough road(unselaed) and other mountain bike cyclist just cycling through steadily. After that incident, i come down from the bike and push it passing through the rough unsealed road.
    Also, if your budget permits, change the gearing to touring type, at least a triple crank, else your brain got to be very strong when facing the mountain. haha. I have cycled and passed the toughest Coromandel Penisula, never give up and push the bike, just cycled and rest. Mental control is important. Yeah, you must get a clipless shoes to help you to climb.
    Finally, pack your stuff as light as possibe, a solo tent, light weight sleeping bag... I guess the total weight plus the food and bike are about 30++ kg.
    So enjoy~!

  13. #13
    get_nuts
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    For sleeping, a simple bivy sac & self-inflating ultralight pad work fine. A bivy is basically smaller than a tent and simply provides minimalist but adaquate shelter from bugs and water for sleeping. Virtually no setup, very light. You can go without a sleeping bag in hot weather as well. The gear for cooking also adds some weight/volume. I guess what I'm saying is that the less you carry, the better.

    Oh yeah, you're going to need some strong wheels and wider tires. Wouldn't recommend anything less than 36 spoke. Road bikes don't permit very wide tires but you should get a pair of 28mm wide tires which are usually as wide as a road racing bicycle will permit. Durable tires like Specialized Armadillos or Continental Gatorskins come in that size and are very durable and flat-resistant.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bronskcloosper's Avatar
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    it worked out just great with me and my friend. but we were both carrying 30 pounds or less of equipment, I was just carrying 15 (we still camped every night). I used a seat post rack with pannier support which I wasn't too happy about at first but it worked great. we just got done with a seattle to San francisco tour.

  15. #15
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    On topic, check out the last submission to the Fully Loaded Touring Bike Photo Gallery

    Aside from what is listed and seen, I know the bike is equipped with a custom front fork from these folks:

    Hunter Cycles , of which I have no experience with.

    Cheers,
    Ron - Colorado
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Touring bikes: Novara Safari, Cannondale T800, Rocky Mountain Sherpa, Pivot Mach 429 and BOB trailer. Past: Waterford Adventure Cycle, Co-Motion Cappuccino, Thorn Nomad, Trek 520, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Klein Attitude & BOB trailer.

  16. #16
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    Not quite on thread topic, but I want to add a +1 for Wayne at The Touring Store. I've recently bought a Tubus Cargo with adaptors that move the rack up and back and a pair of Ortlieb panniers. The combination works on my bike,a Surly Crosscheck, just fine despite having shortish chainstays and me having big feet. Wayne has been incredibly patient with all my questions and his expertise and knowledge is evident. Talk with Wayne--if anyone can get you setup it's him.
    -----------------
    My 2005 Surly Cross-check & some thoughts on riding

    "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous" --David Hume A Treatise on Human Nature

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