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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 02-25-08, 01:39 PM   #1
vince hilaire
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Of all the things i've bought since i took up cycling...

..my tights (Nike Dri Fit thermals) have made the most difference to my riding. Closely followed by some Ergon grips. And i've bought practically everything (including a new bike to replace my stolen one) since i took it up a few months back.

Whats the best item you've purchased?
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Old 02-25-08, 01:46 PM   #2
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For touring...I was glad I got a mini speaker set for my ipod so I could relax in the evenings, listen to music and hanging out. also beer helps.
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Old 02-25-08, 01:49 PM   #3
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The Terry Fly saddle and Pearl Izumi Zeypher jacket.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:37 PM   #4
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I couldn't tour without a basket of some kind...
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Old 02-25-08, 03:03 PM   #5
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Butterfly trekking bars with double wrapped Cinelli cork tape - lovely.

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Old 02-25-08, 03:10 PM   #6
RalphP
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green tail light
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Old 02-25-08, 03:33 PM   #7
Ken Wind
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Crank Bros. Eggbeater pedals
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Old 02-25-08, 03:52 PM   #8
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- my $3 Nashbar bento box (stem/frame bag), now being sold by Performance for $14.99...
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Old 02-25-08, 05:10 PM   #9
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ralphp what's the story with this green tail light
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Old 02-25-08, 05:28 PM   #10
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For touring it was definitely the petzl tikka headlamp or topeak road morph g. For biking I'd say the good ol' Brooks B-17.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:41 PM   #11
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Stronglight 99 crankset for my '69 Magneet, my main touring bikes. Pics to follow in a couple of weeks once I finish the changes.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:43 PM   #12
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The extra large rack bags for my bottle returns

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Old 02-25-08, 07:17 PM   #13
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I think about this question frequently while I am touring! Which item or items help me really enjoy my trips?

- Aerobars.
- A rear view mirror that does not slip around (too much).
- Brooks saddle.
- Padded cycling shorts.
- Synthetic, long-sleeve cycling jersey.
- Synthetic bandanna to keep the sun off the back of my neck.
- A pen and a few sheets of paper.
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Old 12-13-08, 02:10 AM   #14
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-- Brooks saddle
-- Bento bag
-- Axiom panniers
-- Merino wool top
-- MEC rain jacket
-- MEC rain booties
-- Sarong


... just to name a few good choices!
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Old 12-13-08, 02:38 AM   #15
Erick L
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The Brooks B17 saddle.
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Old 12-13-08, 03:33 AM   #16
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I've got to go with my Windstopper brand jacket. Other than that, my cycling glasses with prescription lens inserts are great.
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Old 12-13-08, 04:06 AM   #17
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Arm warmers.
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Old 12-13-08, 04:47 AM   #18
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North Road Bars
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Old 12-13-08, 06:30 AM   #19
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Functioning brakes...

It has been a while, but one of my first bike tours was an overnight from Boston to tip of Cape Cod. We were a group of six college students and I was the leader who had organized the trip. My bike maintenance wasn't 100% and the brakes really didn't stop well. However, I could mostly drag my feet as necessary to stop myself.

The ride started well and ~8 miles in our ride the route followed a path through a small park. The path wound back and forth a little bit and there was one spot where it went over a very small hill and then around a bend. I missed the bend. My bike rode off the path and stopped on something sending me over the handle bars. I flipped over and landed on my back. Mostly ok, but my right lower back landed on a rock or something. There was a bit of a gash and it hurt but not so severely we couldn't put a large 2x2 bandage on it. The wise thing would probably have been to turn around and go home and perhaps even have it checked out. But, I was young, male and invincible. I was also the trip leader and headstrong so there wasn't anyone to tell me better.

That day was tough. It was hot and sweat got into the wound and stung. Not so severe that I couldn't continue and I toughed it out. My friends helped change the bandage and tape things up again when we camped that night in a church yard on the Cape. We made it to the tip of the Cape and had a good ride back on the boat. Other than that injury the trip was a great shared experience. I still have a scar on my back from the crash.

Afterwards I did get the brakes fixed and repaired. I organized multiple other trips throughout New England with my friends and also did a lot of my own touring in college with a particular fondness for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. That started a passion (addiction?) for cycle touring that has continued since then. Hence, I would say that getting functioning brakes made some of the biggest difference in my touring.

Much more recently, I would also provide honorable mentions to a few pieces of equipment:
- panniers (Ortlieb)
- tires (Schwalbe Marathon XR)
- thermarest mattress

Last edited by mev; 12-13-08 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 12-13-08, 06:58 AM   #20
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Has made the most difference to my cycling? Sounds like the ravings of a lunatic, but I'll say my trainer.
Having taken up cycling well past my youthful prime, the ability to stay spinning through our extended winters has made a big difference in my ability. I feel a little sad and twisted admitting that, so I'll add Brooks saddle for sanity.
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Old 12-13-08, 07:01 AM   #21
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I know the feeling... My Winter cycling jacket might very well be the most expensive single garment I own..
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Old 12-13-08, 09:50 AM   #22
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Leg warmers, much more convenient than tights when you want to remove after warming up. Although standing by the side of the road in your bare undies was a nice attention getter.
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Old 12-13-08, 11:27 AM   #23
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Sette Rival II shoes. Stiff sole and walkable.

Helmet light. Doubles as a night-light in the tent.
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Old 12-13-08, 11:29 AM   #24
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easily a rear rack. wool socks are also a must.
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Old 12-13-08, 11:41 AM   #25
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So many things..... but I have a soft spot for my $22 Nashbar mtb shoes. Thousands and thousands of miles on them, off road and on. Even though they are a little heavy, they make excellent touring shoes as well and are still in pretty good condition! When I cyclo commute, I use them as well.

Another thing: my Vetta C-15 cyclocomputer I got for about $10 from Nashbar back in the 1990's. Actually I bought about 4 of them and they are all still working. I really wish I'd bought a couple more. There just doesn't seem to be a correlation between reliability and expense when it comes to cyclocomputers.
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