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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 02-10-08, 06:47 PM   #1
Smen
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Off-Road Touring

So I was informed that after 15 years of riding that I am NOT mountain biking, but rather Off-Road Touring--occording to the bike shop that I currently work in. Taking my bike up in the mountains and riding up to go camping or fishing at a local lake or doing the North Cascades High Way or just going over rockey beaches and back in the hills of Washington and Oregon state, is what I enjoy most about biking. I have always done these trips with a backpack strapped to my back and never for more than a weekend at a time. I would like to do some longer trips, but I realize that if i were to do so that perhaps having a back-pack on wouldn't be as feasable. I am looking for anyone who can help me out with selecting a good rack and panniers that would suit the sort of riding that I like to do. I have used OR and Ortlieb back-packs for years and I like them, so I was looking at ortlieb pans as well. Any suggestions?--I am still kind of a nub when it comes to biking.
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Old 02-10-08, 06:52 PM   #2
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For off-road touring, I am a big proponent of the bob ibex trailer. This model has it's own suspension system and eliminates the need for panniers.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:03 PM   #3
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The Riding the Spine guys are off-road touring with mtn bikes and Xtracycles.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:24 PM   #4
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For panniers, ortleib and arkel make great waterproof panniers. There are a lot of good companies out there, though.

Old Man Mountain and Tubus make some of the best racks, but again, there are a lot of options when it comes to racks too.
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Old 02-10-08, 09:07 PM   #5
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For over twenty years Bruce Gordon front Mtn and rear Cro-Mo racks have served me well for every type of off-road and single track touring. The Beckman Panniers designed for the BG racks continue to maze me with their durability and performance over this long test period.

These racks and bags do not move but become a rigid extension of the bike make for a safe and controllable ride no matter the terrain.

You might try mounting your backpack securely on the rear rack as a first step with modest front panniers mounted higher since the low rider pannier position can lead to hitting brush and rocks along trails causing crashes.

My preferred arrangement is two high mounted front panniers and a rear dry bag stuffer lengthwise on top of the rear rack. This allows the rider to lift the front wheel over obstacles and to allow the rear wheel to avoid bashing into the obstacle by unweighting the seat as you roll over ledge or log or pothole. I rarely have spoke or rim problems even with my clydesdale weight and lots of off road and trail touring.
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Old 02-10-08, 09:27 PM   #6
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I'm sure the Bruce Gordon racks are nice but $210 for a rear rack, heck for the cost of a front and rear rack together, I can buy another LHT bike frame and fork. That must be very nice cro-moly.

Last edited by robow; 02-10-08 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 02-10-08, 10:14 PM   #7
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The Jandd Mountain and Large Mountain panniers, mounted on Jandd Extreme Front and Expedition rear racks are very nice offroad - the racks are beefy, the bags mount securely and are very tough, and they have cinch straps to secure the load. The Extreme front rack also allows high or low mounting of the front pans and has a shelf/fender. The rear Expedition rack is 3" longer than most to allow for heel clearance when the bags are mounted on a mtn bike, which usually has shorter chainstays than a touring bike. Would be a pretty nice setup for what you do, you might want to add the rain covers up there.
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Old 02-11-08, 12:31 AM   #8
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I've done some off road touring and I avoid using racks as they weight the rear wheel and climbing becomes difficult. I use a bar bag, stem bag, a custom frame bag and a large seat bag to carry bulky but light items such as bivy sack and sleeping bag. My usual load is 13-15 lbs + food.
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Old 02-11-08, 01:51 AM   #9
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^ That's the way I would do it too.

Check these out.


http://carouseldesignworks.com/flyer.html

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Old 02-11-08, 11:10 AM   #10
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robow: The BG racks cost a lot less 20+ years ago when I bought them but I would buy them again today. Back then they were the only CroMo /exceptional rack available. Other racks I tried broke at inconvenient times while on tour.

I prefer to patronize and encourage small home grown companies making their products locally rather than in low wage third world countries so that I can get a cheaper price. I can talk directly with the maker for custom adjustments or additions.

My bike frame, fork, racks, cranks, brakes,brake levers and seat post & panniers, tent, bivy and down quilt were all made in small US cottage industries often one man shops. Surly has their frames built in Asia.

There is an old quote: <<Most people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.>>

I prefer to value high quality items that perform well and last a long time rather than opting for a cheap price and multiple replacements over time. Our disposable/throw away social attitudes are destroying the earth that we go on tour to experience. I try not to contribute to that ethic as best I can.
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Old 02-13-08, 04:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimblairo View Post
I've done some off road touring and I avoid using racks as they weight the rear wheel and climbing becomes difficult. I use a bar bag, stem bag, a custom frame bag and a large seat bag to carry bulky but light items such as bivy sack and sleeping bag. My usual load is 13-15 lbs + food.
Hey do you have pics?
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