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  1. #1
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    Any offroad mountain tourers out there?

    I have been on a few loaded tours in england in the last year, all of which were completely off road.

    Firstly, me and 2 other friends decided to try and complete the 'South Downs Way' in only 2days

    we had ABSOLUTELY no idea what we where doing. 1 of us had a full 80 litre backpack on, another had a flimsy rack piled with camping stove, tent and sleeping bag, (all on the back) and i had another pretty large backpack. my bike had no suspension and the rear derailleur was literally falling apart for the last leg of the journey. we were cramping, we had bone bruising from the backpacks, we were lacking water at some stages. at times it was pure torture but nonetheless we all enjoyed it immensely.

    I am interested to see if there are any other mountain bike tourers out there, it would be great to connect with you! i could definitely do with a few tips as i am planning on doing a whole lot more this summer! any advice on a bike, loading and carrying techniques (obviously i learnt that i should use racks from the first experience) and anything which you think might be helpful for an unexperienced long distance trail rider!

    looking forward to your comments.

  2. #2
    40 yrs bike touring
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Check out these bags.

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=388531

    I plan on using a medium sized seat bag and a handlebag bar with a 30L Ergon BC3 backback for touring with a full suspension bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by willallen88 View Post
    I have been on a few loaded tours in england in the last year, all of which were completely off road.

    Firstly, me and 2 other friends decided to try and complete the 'South Downs Way' in only 2days

    we had ABSOLUTELY no idea what we where doing. 1 of us had a full 80 litre backpack on, another had a flimsy rack piled with camping stove, tent and sleeping bag, (all on the back) and i had another pretty large backpack. my bike had no suspension and the rear derailleur was literally falling apart for the last leg of the journey. we were cramping, we had bone bruising from the backpacks, we were lacking water at some stages. at times it was pure torture but nonetheless we all enjoyed it immensely.

    I am interested to see if there are any other mountain bike tourers out there, it would be great to connect with you! i could definitely do with a few tips as i am planning on doing a whole lot more this summer! any advice on a bike, loading and carrying techniques (obviously i learnt that i should use racks from the first experience) and anything which you think might be helpful for an unexperienced long distance trail rider!

    looking forward to your comments.
    The very first thing to buy is a water purifying kit...everything else is window dressing.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    The very first thing to buy is a water purifying kit...everything else is window dressing.
    +1

    Additionally, get the load off your back! Bikes already have a high center of gravity and putting a load up high makes it worse. I'm not a fan of trailers for on-road touring but I view them as essential for off-road touring. With a hardtail and a front suspension, the trailer is far easier to control then a bike carrying a load on the frame and much, much better then a backpack.

    And quite carrying so much stuff! If you are riding as a group, split the load for items you use in common. Stuff like cooking gear, tent, tools, etc can be shared. If you are out for several days and need to carry food, carry freeze-dried (Ick!) and try to plan food stops every few days if you can.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    +1

    Additionally, get the load off your back! Bikes already have a high center of gravity and putting a load up high makes it worse. I'm not a fan of trailers for on-road touring but I view them as essential for off-road touring. With a hardtail and a front suspension, the trailer is far easier to control then a bike carrying a load on the frame and much, much better then a backpack.

    And quite carrying so much stuff! If you are riding as a group, split the load for items you use in common. Stuff like cooking gear, tent, tools, etc can be shared. If you are out for several days and need to carry food, carry freeze-dried (Ick!) and try to plan food stops every few days if you can.
    Better yet, get the trailer with it's own a suspension system. I have a Bob Ibex, it works great.
    If your bike does not have rear suspension, get a suspension seat post.

  7. #7
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    I've done quite a few trips like that. Long before I ever associated the word "touring" with bicycling. Travel light, yes. I don't have a problem with a day pack. A regular backpack would be far too much of a hassle and very awkward, I imagine. A rear rack is essential for the bulky tent/tarp and sleeping gear. I've never been out for more than four days/three nights and a day pack and rack have been just fine and no problems riding the bike or any discomfort or back problems, but I say again—travel light. I hadn't ever carried a stove or cooking gear. If you can't build a fire then (for me, at least) there's no point in doing it. Camping = fire. I expect if you were going out for a week or more then a trailer makes sense, otherwise, I wouldn't carry enough to warrant it. But that's personal preference. A water filter? Never used one, in fact I've never even seen one. Guess I'm gonna have to start rethinking that part cause everyone seems to be all over it. I've probably just been lucky, but you folks are making me paranoid. Then again, I generally like to see it issuing from the rock or not far from it.
    Last edited by foamy; 02-20-08 at 07:29 AM.
    None.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kbabin's Avatar
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    Here are some journals from crazyguyonabike.com on offroad tours

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/c...ategory_id=191

    Old Man Mountain makes racks that work with disc brakes, rear suspension and front shocks.
    http://www.oldmanmountain.com/ I have the Cold Srings and like it.

    Go to www.sanjuanhuts.com and read the "Biker's Bible". It is very specifc to the tours they offer, but you can pick up some ideas on how to prepare you bikes and equipment

    Read up on through hiking. They are masters at light packing and logistics (ie water drops, bucket drops and mailing general delivery).

    google the following for off road trails that people have done for journals and ideas...

    kokopelli trail
    colorado trail
    great divide

    Kevin
    Last edited by kbabin; 02-20-08 at 07:35 AM. Reason: ms on sanjuanhuts.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    "camping = fire" ???

    Not in California, at least if you are away from developed campgrounds. In many areas even stoves may be banned when the humidity drops and the winds increase. Yes we all like a nice campfire but when they get out of control people die.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

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