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  1. #1
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    Ultralight Touring

    First off I'd like to say that I'm a newbie when it comes to bicycle touring but I've done some long distance hiking with ultralight gear. There seems to be a great deal of crossover between these two sports as far as packing lists are concerned. I've been considering going on a cross country bicycle tour next summer (or the summer after that) so I'm thinking of potential packing list strategies to minimize weight and maximize utility. I'm thinking of using a Hennessy Hammock A-Sym with a Gossamer Gear Thin Light Insulation Pad and a Fanatic Fringe 40D Quilt. I'd figure the hammock should be low volume due to the lack of tent poles. The sleeping pad should also reduce volume.

    Food and water seem to be much less of a problem touring rather than hiking. There isn't going to be 3-4 stretches where no food can be bought (assuming I'm touring in the contiental United States let's say and not in a third world country). It seems like I can pull into a gas station at the end of the day and buy the Ramen or Lipton dinners I'll cook up further reducing weight and volume. I have no idea about the water situation, how frequently I can get water, whether the water needs to be treated, the rate at which I'll cosume water, but I'm guessing I'll need to carry at least 1.5L on me.

    As for racks I'm thinking of combining the use of a large saddle pack and front panniers on a steel (or titanium possibly) road bike (I'd like my geometry to be a little tighter. I'd like for this bike to double as a regular road bike that I can train on without the need of buying two bicycles.) Can anyone suggest a lightweight front panniers and rack? Any other suggestions? Thanks alot guys .

  2. #2
    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    I don't mind the idea of only having front panniers. A lightweight and cheap rack would be the delta front loader, which I personally have had a lot of success with:
    http://www.rei.com/OM/style/671312?c...:referralID=NA
    You still need a steel fork and a solid set of wheels. What bike are you thinking of using?

  3. #3
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcnuggets View Post
    First off I'd like to say that I'm a newbie when it comes to bicycle touring but I've done some long distance hiking with ultralight gear. There seems to be a great deal of crossover between these two sports as far as packing lists are concerned. I've been considering going on a cross country bicycle tour next summer (or the summer after that) so I'm thinking of potential packing list strategies to minimize weight and maximize utility. I'm thinking of using a Hennessy Hammock A-Sym with a Gossamer Gear Thin Light Insulation Pad and a Fanatic Fringe 40D Quilt. I'd figure the hammock should be low volume due to the lack of tent poles. The sleeping pad should also reduce volume.

    Food and water seem to be much less of a problem touring rather than hiking. There isn't going to be 3-4 stretches where no food can be bought (assuming I'm touring in the contiental United States let's say and not in a third world country). It seems like I can pull into a gas station at the end of the day and buy the Ramen or Lipton dinners I'll cook up further reducing weight and volume. I have no idea about the water situation, how frequently I can get water, whether the water needs to be treated, the rate at which I'll cosume water, but I'm guessing I'll need to carry at least 1.5L on me.

    As for racks I'm thinking of combining the use of a large saddle pack and front panniers on a steel (or titanium possibly) road bike (I'd like my geometry to be a little tighter. I'd like for this bike to double as a regular road bike that I can train on without the need of buying two bicycles.) Can anyone suggest a lightweight front panniers and rack? Any other suggestions? Thanks alot guys .
    I'm a big fan of ultralight. I use a saddlebag and a small handle bar bag, strap my tent under my saddle and my sleeping pad to a small front rack. two small rear panniers also works well if the laod isn't heavy. Its possible to get everyting down to the about 10kg maybe a bit less, that's tent, stove, bag, sleeping pad, clothes, bike gear etc using products from places like Gossamer Gear, Anti-Gravity Gear, Tarptent and Jacks R' Better. However, this doesn't include food and water. I think the 1.5L you mention is low as I drink way more than that on a hot day. My minimum is 2L which I carry in my regular bottle cages in 1L Smartwater bottles. They fit the cages nicely and are bigger than most cycling bottles. I generally carry another 21oz bottle on the underside of the down tube and if I'm in the wilds I might strap another bottle to my rear rack.

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    Hi there mcnuggets.

    Sounds like you're visiting from the BPL forums! Glad to see a fellow ultralighter here. Most of the ultralight discussion on this board seems to be be on a different wavelength than the bpl-ers. I've been interested in doing some ultralight bicycle touring as well, but have so far only done 'lightweight' touring. I've been thinking a lot about making my own panniers, but I'm stuck on which fabric to use. Here are a few things I've learned that might help you a bit too:

    Tubus Fly rack. Most serious touring bikes will have something tougher, but from seeing your big 3, I think it will easily hold your packs. It's the lightest I've seen, but people around here might know of another lighter one.

    The term 'ultralight' touring around these parts is often synonymous with credit card touring (eating all meals at restaurants and sleeping at motels), which is not what a BPLer would want to be doing.

    Food and water. While I have not done any extended tours (such as cross country), I have found that water is much much less of an issue when biking than with hiking. A lot of touring specific bikes will have 3 sets of waterbottle bosses, but you can get away with two cages and the biggest waterbottles you can find. I found some monster bottles at sierratradingpost.com. Just pack your food like you were backpacking. If you're like me and your backpacking base weight is around 6 lbs, it shouldn't be too much of a burden to carry cook in a bag meals with an ultralight cook set.

    You can buy hardware from tubus that will convert rear dropouts on racing frames to have eyelets to fit a rack. These are good if you're looking to build a bike on a budget. They're $30. And if you are indeed on a budget, steel frames can be found at very reasonable prices on roadbikereview, ebay or craigslist.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by ling_jd View Post

    Just pack your food like you were backpacking. If you're like me and your backpacking base weight is around 6 lbs, it shouldn't be too much of a burden to carry cook in a bag meals with an ultralight cook set.
    On the bike there are some items that push the weight up a bit, its necessary to have a good repair kit and inner tubes and I always have a lock which weighs about 1lb. Also for extended tours you really have to have a change of cycling gear and a set of off bike clothes. I've looked for ultralight bags, but haven't found any yet so I took the route of using stuff sacks for some stuff and a carradice saddle bag for the rest, still my bags come in at just under 2lbs. My base weight for loaded cross country touring (excluding food and water) is 18 lbs

    CAMPING (5lbs)
    Tent, Contrail
    Summer down Sleeping Bag
    Prolite 3, Sleeping Pad
    Pepsi can stove, pot, cup
    Denatured Alcohol
    Ti Spork
    BIC Lighter
    50' Cord

    CLOTHES CARRIED (5lbs)
    Nylon Shorts
    Convertible Long Pants
    Wool Long Underwear
    Padded cycling Underwear
    Wool Short Sleeve T-Shirt
    Long Sleeve "Adventure" Shirt
    Microporous Rainsuit
    2 x Socks
    Flip Flops
    Gloves
    Windshirt
    Beanie hat

    TOILETRIES (1lb)
    Razors
    Sunscreen
    Microfiber Towel
    Shampoo
    Toothpaste and Brush
    DEET
    Dental Floss
    Toilet Paper

    BIKE STUFF (3lbs)
    Bike Cable Lock
    Multitool
    Leatherman, Juice
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    Chain Lube
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots
    2x Powerlink
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Brake Pads
    Misc Nuts and Bolts
    4x AA batteries
    Plastic Bags
    Duct tape

    MISC (2 lbs)
    Wallet
    Map
    notebook and pen
    First Aid Kit
    Sewing kit
    Cell phone/camera and charger

    BAGS 2lbs

    CLOTHERS WORN, NOT INCLUDED IN WEIGHT
    Padded Underpants
    Long Sleeve T-Shirt
    Cycling Knickers
    Socks
    Cycling Shoes
    Helmet
    Bandana

  6. #6
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    You'll need more than 1.5 litres of water if you're going any distance. Unless you're touring in an incredibly urbanized area, you could find yourself far from a clean drinking water source on a hot day. I normally carry at least three or four litres with me for this reason. I've run out of water once, on a mountain pass on a hot day. It was a frightening experience and I don't ever want to repeat it. I'd also like to suggest you get a small bottle of water purification tablets. They'll pay for themselves if you ever need water but the closest source is suspect.

    For food, you can do better than Ramen noodles or Lipton dinners. Those things will get you by in a pinch, but they're not all that good nutritionally. If you're carring a small stove, then carry some dry foods such as rice, pasta or lentils to cook up. These don't take a lot of room or a lot of weight. Dried fruit or trail mix is also a good idea if you need a quick refuel stop. Although you'll probably be relatively close to communities where you can buy food for most of the trip, it's a good idea to have at least a day's supply with you, just in case. There are areas, even in the United States, where settlements are few and far between.
    Life is good.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    I'd also like to suggest you get a small bottle of water purification tablets. They'll pay for themselves if you ever need water but the closest source is suspect.
    Aqua Mira solution is a great option too. There are lots of reviews of the product if you think it's suspicious. It's what I used in a high desert wilderness area where cows were permitted to graze. I didn't have any bacterial issues.

    If you're not already familiar with backpackinglight.com, it's an incredible resource for ways to cut weight on base weight and clothing. I'm not sure about repair kits and tools, but it sounds like nun knows what he's talking about. My 6 lbs base weight is for 2-5 day trips. I'm sure if I were biking across the country it would be closer to 10 before bike repair supplies and rack. I would carry my montbell down inner jacket for sure.

    Nun, what are the padded cycling unders you use? Also, what would your ideal UL panniers be like? I'm trying to brainstorm for a MYOG project. Thanks!

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    I've thru-hiked the AT, and cross-country biked.

    I'd say that the biggest difference between the two is that a long distance bike tour is much easier to find food. We followed ACA maps, and seldom carryed much more than lunch.

    We also camped in more places where it's hard to hammock, expecially in the west.

    We refilled water bottles several times a day, usually in small towns along the way. We did carry some chemicals just in case we needed to treat water, but didn't use them. As I recall, we did carry a collapsible canteen, and occassionaly filled it, but not too often. Again, the ACA maps will tell you when there is a long stretch between towns.

  9. #9
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by ling_jd View Post
    Aqua Mira solution is a great option too. There are lots of reviews of the product if you think it's suspicious. It's what I used in a high desert wilderness area where cows were permitted to graze. I didn't have any bacterial issues.

    If you're not already familiar with backpackinglight.com, it's an incredible resource for ways to cut weight on base weight and clothing. I'm not sure about repair kits and tools, but it sounds like nun knows what he's talking about. My 6 lbs base weight is for 2-5 day trips. I'm sure if I were biking across the country it would be closer to 10 before bike repair supplies and rack. I would carry my montbell down inner jacket for sure.

    Nun, what are the padded cycling unders you use? Also, what would your ideal UL panniers be like? I'm trying to brainstorm for a MYOG project. Thanks!
    If I was looking at late fall or winter touring I'd include a Montbel thermawrap, but for the summer I just use a Marmot Driclimb jacket as it has enough insulation when combined with a couple of layers for summer temps even up high.

    I use Andiamo padded underwear with light weight shorts that see double use as swimming trunks. I'm not big on using lycra shorts as I like to have pockets while on tour and look reasonably normal in a shop or restaurant.

    The saddlebag and handlebar bag I use now are made from cotton duck so they are super tough and water proof too, but a bit heavy. Something made with the same material as ultralight packs would be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    The saddlebag and handlebar bag I use now are made from cotton duck so they are super tough and water proof too, but a bit heavy. Something made with the same material as ultralight packs would be interesting.
    I frequent backpackinglight.com forums, as you can probably tell. I just started a post about designing a set of ultralight panniers over there. Many of the folks at BPL are extremely knowledgeable about performance fabrics, and I hope they can give me some good ideas. I wouldn't be designing panniers for extended touring, more like up to 10 days or 2 weeks tops.



    mcnuggets, I hope you find this discussion useful. I feel like we're in the same boat trying to extend our ultralight backpacking knowledge onto our bikes. I'm sure we have a lot of the same questions. Here's one:

    What is the bare minimum for a bike repair kit (think 2-week trip within the US on a recently tuned machine)?

  11. #11
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by ling_jd View Post
    I frequent backpackinglight.com forums, as you can probably tell. I just started a post about designing a set of ultralight panniers over there. Many of the folks at BPL are extremely knowledgeable about performance fabrics, and I hope they can give me some good ideas. I wouldn't be designing panniers for extended touring, more like up to 10 days or 2 weeks tops.



    mcnuggets, I hope you find this discussion useful. I feel like we're in the same boat trying to extend our ultralight backpacking knowledge onto our bikes. I'm sure we have a lot of the same questions. Here's one:

    What is the bare minimum for a bike repair kit (think 2-week trip within the US on a recently tuned machine)?
    Bare minimum must cover cables, chain and tyres so I'd suggest

    Multitool
    Leatherman, Juice (for the pliers mostly)
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots
    2x Powerlink
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Brake Pads
    Misc Nuts and Bolts

    This is pretty light and covers most stuff apart from bottom bracket, frame and hub issues.

  12. #12
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Bare minimum must cover cables, chain and tyres so I'd suggest

    Multitool
    Leatherman, Juice (for the pliers mostly)
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots
    2x Powerlink
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Brake Pads
    Misc Nuts and Bolts

    This is pretty light and covers most stuff apart from bottom bracket, frame and hub issues.
    FYI check out these websites

    http://milly.org/rambouillet/index.htm
    http://www2.arnes.si/~ikovse/weight.htm
    http://pompinos.blogspot.com/
    http://web.archive.org/web/200412110...tup.net/crane/

  13. #13
    del dot
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    I would also bring chain lube, a chain tool (if there's not one on the multitool), lots of zip ties, and duct tape.

    Edit: ah, and tire levers. Even if you can usually take the tires on and off without levers, they come in handy if you're caught in a freezing rain or something, trying to change a slick tire with half-frozen hands.

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    The problem with designing ultralight panniers is that you will still need a heavy rack which is not ideal with a road bike.Check out the ultralightbiking yahoogoup (though sometimes dormant it has been active of late and always quickly becomes active when questions are asked). http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/ultralightbiking/

    It is an offshoot of the popular backpackinglight yahoogroup so many if not most there are also wanting to adapt ultralight backpacking techniques to onroad(usually using a roadbike) or offroad touring.Many are forgoing racks and panniers altogether often using stuffsacks mounted on the seatpost/stays and handlebars.A few cottage startups are producing such ultralight custom bags but are mostly geared to mtn bikes so far(but may give you some ideas for road bike adaption).Carousel Designs is one that was recently discussed on the ultralightbiking list.

    I use a touring bike onroad so am able to easily use a rear rack and comfortably go light but not ultralight .On my mtn bike ,for offroad use ,however I strap my sleeping bag to the seatpost/stays and my tent to the handlebars and use a light backpack for most everything else.As I continue to lighten up my gear the backpack will eventually be unnecessary with the use of stuffsacks and all true ultralight gear.

    One individual on that list,who tends to push the limit, last year rode crosscountry unsupported on a roadbike basically carrying everything in his three rear jersey pockets and two water bottle cages attached behind the seatpost. A total weight of around 30 lbs(about 2/3rds of which was his roadbike weight)allowed him to average 122 mile days finishing in 22days.
    http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...essage/942?l=1
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1143825...7601443259551/

    More recently he just posted about his recently completed thruhike of the Sierra High Crest Trail w/o resupply(apparently a first) using a 2.7 oz. Zilch pack and finishing in 11days less than half the time most allot.

    There have been discussions of ultralight tools and tool lists several times so you can pick up some tips on that as well(or perhaps start a new discussion).Most topics have been discussed at least several times which is why the list sometimes goes dormant unless someone posts a trip report or someone new posts a question.
    Last edited by RWTD; 08-27-07 at 06:30 PM.

  15. #15
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by divergence View Post
    I would also bring chain lube, a chain tool (if there's not one on the multitool), lots of zip ties, and duct tape.

    Edit: ah, and tire levers. Even if you can usually take the tires on and off without levers, they come in handy if you're caught in a freezing rain or something, trying to change a slick tire with half-frozen hands.
    A good multitool should have a chain tool and tyre levers on it. I agree that zip ties and duct tape are useful, but I was going for the minimum. I don't think chain lube is strictly necessary as in a pinch you can use the oil left in the bottles people discard in gass stations.

  16. #16
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD View Post

    One individual on that list,who tends to push the limit, last year rode crosscountry unsupported on a roadbike basically carrying everything in his three rear jersey pockets and two water bottle cages attached behind the seatpost. A total weight of around 30 lbs(about 2/3rds of which was his roadbike weight)allowed him to average 122 mile days finishing in 22days.
    http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...essage/942?l=1
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1143825...7601443259551/
    That's a great achievement, but not one I could, or would want to, emulate. He only has one set of clothes and I definitely need a change of clothes and something to wear off the bike. But he was going for pure speed, 122 miles a day average.... My approach is to maintain all the capability and safety of "fully loaded" touring, but using ultralight gear. My bike is steel and with racks weighs 25lbs, my gear, food and water is 24lbs, so 49lbs total. After looking at "Mr Speedy's" gear list I might be able to shave off a few more pounds, but I carn't hope to survive as minimally as he can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    That's a great achievement, but not one I could, or would want to, emulate. He only has one set of clothes and I definitely need a change of clothes and something to wear off the bike. But he was going for pure speed, 122 miles a day average.... My approach is to maintain all the capability and safety of "fully loaded" touring, but using ultralight gear. My bike is steel and with racks weighs 25lbs, my gear, food and water is 24lbs, so 49lbs total. After looking at "Mr Speedy's" gear list I might be able to shave off a few more pounds, but I carn't hope to survive as minimally as he can.
    Agreed ,that is pushing the limited beyond where I would feel comfortable and in fact I think he even conceded he was uncomfortable at times and would do some things slightly different next time.But those going rackless onroad tend to be adapting their aluminum racing styled bikes for touring versus the steel touring style bike crowd(such as myself)who are usually content light(with ultralight gear) but not necessarily as ultralight as those on racing bikes.But with a backpacking background I am definitely much more weight conscious than the average fully loaded tourer.Also some with a randonneuring background converted to touring(check Kent Peterson's blog from that list) tend to push the limit as they are use to traveling extremely light and catching some sleep almost anywhere.

    This spring I did a three week tour around north and central Florida spending about half of the time backpacking in the Apalachicola and Ocala N.F.'s so I just attached my backpack directly to my rear rack with no panniers which made it easy to switch back and forth from backpacking to biking mode.This fall I am planning a similar trip up to the southern Appalachians.

  18. #18
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    Ultralight, hah.. I tried it. I still err to the lighter side (my setup looks kind of close to nun's), but let me give some experience with ultralight tarptents/sleeping bags: its a game of diminishing returns.

    My ultralight bag and tarptent (contrail), alone, are really only good for 55+ nights. Anything colder and you are freezing, even wearing your nasty set of camp clothes which you only brought 1 pair of because you wanted to go ultralight And if you're sunburned its worse, as your body can't regulate heat well. Suddenly you're bringing "heavy" wool thermal underwear to compensate, and/or a sleeping bag liner. That fancy 1lb tent and bag are now, in reality, 2-3 pounds more--about equal to a conventionally light tent. At least the liner and the thermal underwear can do double duty around the campsite.
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  19. #19
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    Earlier posts on subject for your consideration as well:
    Lightweight Camping Equipment Thread
    I read the following this past weekend. Nice job nun!
    I did it, gear is under 20lbs

    For those using alcohol stoves I'd consider looking at the Trail Designs Caldera Cone set up on Anti Gravity Gear. It is a little confusing at first but pretty straight forward. I have been following a few threads on the Cone on Backpacking Lite. Basically the Caldera Cone is a heat shield with vents that also holds the pot above the flame. Cones are designed to work with specific pots. The Caldera Kitchen is a nicely packaged combo organized by Anti Gravity Gear.
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  20. #20
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    light is right, but pushing the ultralight envelope limit while bicycle touring is obsessive in its own pursuit.

    The 1.5 liters is definetly a bit sparse, mcnuggets. water is NOT that easy to come by, especially in the great basin and great plains. you can pour thru a liter and a half in two hours on a hot day.


    a bike weighted with 28 pounds of gear rolls almost as easily as a bike loaded with 22 pounds of gear. And definetly bring chain lube.

    there is less compelling NEED to reduce all the weight as in ultralight backpacking. a bicycle is a great weight equalizer.

    That being said, I have a 1&1/4 pound sleeping bag, and use a tarp for most trips.
    Sometimes, a 48 ounce tent.

    Here's an ultralight load on a Trek 520, mini front rack & stuffsacks strapped to rear rack. (I was going thru 3 miles of rails/trails tunnels, so had a halogen battery pack headlamp)

    notice, however, I did have over 4 liters of water strapped to the bike.
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  21. #21
    Beko = Touring God. Warblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    light is right, but pushing the ultralight envelope limit while bicycle touring is obsessive in its own pursuit.

    The 1.5 liters is definetly a bit sparse, mcnuggets. water is NOT that easy to come by, especially in the great basin and great plains. you can pour thru a liter and a half in two hours on a hot day.


    a bike weighted with 28 pounds of gear rolls almost as easily as a bike loaded with 22 pounds of gear. And definetly bring chain lube.

    there is less compelling NEED to reduce all the weight as in ultralight backpacking. a bicycle is a great weight equalizer.

    That being said, I have a 1&1/4 pound sleeping bag, and use a tarp for most trips.
    Sometimes, a 48 ounce tent.

    Here's an ultralight load on a Trek 520, mini front rack & stuffsacks strapped to rear rack. (I was going thru 3 miles of rails/trails tunnels, so had a halogen battery pack headlamp)

    notice, however, I did have over 4 liters of water strapped to the bike.

    Ahh yes. That picture. I love that picture. Beko, we need that on the computer screen at work. Pronto! As for light touring, I won't even start because light in my mind is a 15lb bike!

    Oh and BTW you should see the saddle I'm tuning!
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  22. #22
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Have you ever slept with a hammock? I would nix that idea. One of the worst nights I ever spent was trying to sleep on a hammock. First, you body is bent in a curve rather than straight. Second, it gets much colder with air circulating all around you. So you would need a warmer sleeping bag, which would negate any weight savings from the hammock. Third, you can't always find a tree or post to hang a hammock from (ever driven across the Great Plains?).

    I've also done a lot of backpacking. As others mentioned, you don't have to worry about carrying much food on your bicycle. But you do have to carry adequate supplies of water. A CamelBak may be an option in addition to water bottles, although I don't think I would want something on my back if riding all day, day after day.

    Look for lightweight clothing that can be easily washed and dried. That will really save you a lot of bulk.
    Last edited by tarwheel; 08-28-07 at 08:15 AM.

  23. #23
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    Are there different categories of ultralight?

    We are admittedly carrying a lot, but then on our trip we have to cater for various seasons and terrains and our budget doesn't stretch to hotels unless we are really desperate, so we want to have enough camping gear to make us comfortable in all weather (carrying a tarp for example so we have space to cook and move in pouring rain).

    It seems to me that "ultralight" for someone doing a 1-2 week summer tour is not the same as "ultralight" for a RTW tour. Whenever someone talks about "ultralight" I am never really sure what kind of weight they are aiming to reach.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Bare minimum must cover cables, chain and tyres so I'd suggest

    Multitool
    Leatherman, Juice (for the pliers mostly)
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots
    2x Powerlink
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Brake Pads
    Misc Nuts and Bolts

    This is pretty light and covers most stuff apart from bottom bracket, frame and hub issues.
    I'd ditch the multitool for 4,5,6 allen wrenches, 2 tire levers and a chain tool. The Juice, which I have as well, has the screw drivers. I'd also ditch the tire boots, brake pads and misc. nuts and bolts unless I was going on a tour for over a month. Use loctite on all bolts and they won't go anywhere.

    About the spare cables, do you cut them to length (one for front and one for rear) before the tour? I think that would be a good idea. I usually bring my cable cutters but I'd rather not. If you don't cut them pre-tour, what do you do with the excess cable that comes from, let's say, replacing the front brake cable?

  25. #25
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Have you ever slept with a hammock? I would nix that idea. One of the worst nights I ever spent was trying to sleep on a hammock. First, you body is bent in a curve rather than straight. Second, it gets much colder with air circulating all around you. So you would need a warmer sleeping bag, which would negate any weight savings from the hammock. Third, you can't always find a tree or post to hang a hammock from (ever driven across the Great Plains?).

    I've also done a lot of backpacking. As others mentioned, you don't have to worry about carrying much food on your bicycle. But you do have to carry adequate supplies of water. A CamelBak may be an option in addition to water bottles, although I don't think I would want something on my back if riding all day, day after day.

    Look for lightweight clothing that can be easily washed and dried. That will really save you a lot of bulk.
    Apparently you didn't use a Hennessey Hammock. These have a very loyal following and are actually quite comfortable. You lay flat in one, not bent. There are products to help with cool temperatures that don't come close to tent+sleeping bag+sleeping pad weights. Besides, in summer months, the cooling effect can be beneficial.

    Hammocks aren't perfect and have their drawbacks, but they are a viable alternative to the traditional tent.

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