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  1. #1
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    Packing for 2 onto 1 bike?

    Hi all,
    My girlfriend and I are taking off for our first bike tour (SF to LA) in just a couple weeks...excited! Got great advice from here so far...thanks to all! One more question as we get into the details of planning -

    We're both decent riders, but I'm a bit stronger so was thinking I could take all our stuff on my bike (chivalrous, I know) in a big pair of rear panniers . Not bringing stoves or lots of food or that, just sleeping bags/pads, a two person tent, and pretty light on clothes.

    Does this sound reasonable? Looking at these panniers in the hopes we could get it all in (maybe strapping some stuff on top of the rack) - http://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Champlai.../dp/B000IBRK9U

    Big enough?

    THANKS!!!!

  2. #2
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    You can probably get by with putting a rack on her bike to carry the light bulky things like sleeping bags and pads, and maybe a handlebar bag.

  3. #3
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    By the end of the first day, you'll want her to carry her own crap. There are hills in California, right? The weight will slow you down much more than you will anticipate.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
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  4. #4
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Having a rack on her bike will give her the option/choice of what & how much she wants to carry.
    mmmm coffeee!

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    Another factor worth considering is the load on your spokes! I've always made a big deal about that when dividing up the load with my girlfriend...

  6. #6
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Depends on how much weight you're talking about. As mentioned, she can just carry bulk instead of weight, and you should consider the durability of your bicycle - but its possible. I've carried in excess of 200lbs of total weight on touring rides before, and its *slow* going over 80+kms. That was with an Xtracycle and a trailer. Exceeding you and your bicycle's capabilities will only drag the tour down for both of you, could you find a compromise where you're both carrying the right amount of weight to bring your speed and comfort in line with each other?

  7. #7
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    I thought chivalry is old school. Seriously though, if she is strong enough (and she must be to be willing to tour that stretch), off load the bulky items (ie sleeping bags) on her bike. Even something like 10lbs off your load will help you at the end of the day.

    I would also suggest you using front panniers and/or a trailer. The panniers you're thinking of using look voluminous but you'll quickly realize that that's not enough space when you start packing things up.

    It is definitely possible to pack for two on a single. I did it on a tandem bike with simply panniers.

  8. #8
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    normally I carry my stuff independent. So the companion has only to transport his/her own cloths, sleeping bag, etc. If I would reduce my amount of cloths I could carry some cloths additionally.

    So it should work if she carries some volumnous light things. (By the way this also looks better...)

    Thomas
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  9. #9
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Cal,
    I have a set of the Axiom Champlains as they are some of the largest panniers around and I have also done what you are asking in that I have carried everything for two. I think you should listen to what others have suggested here and have your gf make use of a rear rack and carry some stuff. She will come to feel a much greater part of the experience (touring and not just out for a bike ride) and you will appreciate the lighter load, even 10 lbs less will make you smile.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalAaron View Post
    Hi all,
    My girlfriend and I are taking off for our first bike tour (SF to LA) in just a couple weeks...excited! Got great advice from here so far...thanks to all! One more question as we get into the details of planning -

    We're both decent riders, but I'm a bit stronger so was thinking I could take all our stuff on my bike (chivalrous, I know) in a big pair of rear panniers . Not bringing stoves or lots of food or that, just sleeping bags/pads, a two person tent, and pretty light on clothes.

    Does this sound reasonable? Looking at these panniers in the hopes we could get it all in (maybe strapping some stuff on top of the rack) - http://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Champlai.../dp/B000IBRK9U

    Big enough?

    THANKS!!!!
    Big mistake! Not the carrying her stuff but trying to fit it all in one set of rear panniers. The bike will handle like a pig. Go with 4 panniers that are smaller and load most of the weight (60%) on the front wheel with a low rider. The bike will handle much better and you spokes will like you a whole lot more.

    I'd also suggest you let her carry her own clothes in a set of front bags on her bike. Clothes are bulky but relatively light. You can carry all heavier stuff like locks, toiletries, camping stuff, etc.
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
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    Guess it's unanimous!

    Thanks to all for setting this touring newbie straight!! I'll let you know how it goes...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Big mistake! Not the carrying her stuff but trying to fit it all in one set of rear panniers. The bike will handle like a pig. Go with 4 panniers that are smaller and load most of the weight (60%) on the front wheel with a low rider. The bike will handle much better and you spokes will like you a whole lot more.

    I'd also suggest you let her carry her own clothes in a set of front bags on her bike. Clothes are bulky but relatively light. You can carry all heavier stuff like locks, toiletries, camping stuff, etc.
    Agree very much with this comment. I carried a load for a family trip and the bike was no fun at all to ride with just the rear loaded. I have been thinking along the same lines for touring with just my wife. I am going with 3 pairs of panniers, so I have the flexibility to offload what I need to give my wife to even out our pedaling ability. She will have a rack on the front and rear of the bike so we have the option of putting the panniers on the front with some bulkier items on the rear. It's our first trip, so I am looking primarily at flexibility to be able to get things just right, then maybe fine-tune the system in the future.

  13. #13
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
    I've carried in excess of 200lbs of total weight on touring rides before, and its *slow* going over 80+kms.
    200lbs??? Next time leave the dishwasher at home. It is a lot easier to just wash the dishes by hand.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    I carry in excess of 200 lbs. every time I get on my bike. Oh, you were talking about cargo, nevermind.

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