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Old 10-19-08, 10:06 AM   #1
CardiacKid
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The Perfect Bike Forums Touring Rig

In the 6 months I have been actively reading this forum, I have noticed there are some standard answers to questions about equipment. Based on these answers, I am trying to figure how to build a bike that almost everyone here would like. I am only doing this as an exercise, since I am pretty happy with what I have. I wonder how many members actually have this setup. It would appear from the threads I have read, this is what the majority of the members have.
Surly LHT bike
Brooks saddle (edit)
Tubus racks and Ortlieb Rollers (purchased from the Touring Store)
MKS touring pedals
Nitto bars
Pasela Tourguard tires
Topeak Road Morph pump
Hennessey Hammock
Have I forgotten anything?

Last edited by CardiacKid; 10-19-08 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 10-19-08, 10:10 AM   #2
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Brooks saddle.
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Old 10-19-08, 10:23 AM   #3
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Gosh, I forgot the most obvious one, fixed.
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Old 10-19-08, 10:29 AM   #4
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How can you forget bar end shifters and a dyno hub?
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Old 10-19-08, 10:43 AM   #5
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Hrm, I haven't seen anyone suggest a dyno hub.

I don't think the Hennesey Hammock is widely recommended (or the tires, never heard of em before), as best I can tell quite a few of us are unconvinced of its virtues. Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 is the only tent/shelter that I see repeatedly recommended.

Also, apparently CGOAB is the only place to post tour adventures, even though the interface is straight out of 1999.
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Old 10-19-08, 10:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
In the 6 months I have been actively reading this forum, I have noticed there are some standard answers to questions about equipment. Based on these answers, I am trying to figure how to build a bike that almost everyone here would like. I am only doing this as an exercise, since I am pretty happy with what I have. I wonder how many members actually have this setup. It would appear from the threads I have read, this is what the majority of the members have.
Surly LHT bike
Brooks saddle (edit)
Tubus racks and Ortlieb Rollers (purchased from the Touring Store)
MKS touring pedals
Nitto bars
Pasela Tourguard tires
Topeak Road Morph pump
Hennessey Hammock
Have I forgotten anything?
I'm glad this is only an exercise, because the idea of such conformity is frightening. The endless series of LHT build threads in particular - I counted a dozen at one point - reminds me of the postings of Bikes Direct.

I have the Road Morph pump from that list, but that's it.

To make your list more complete, you need to specify the tour be so many miles long, the camping be 'stealth', and the journal hosted by an over-puffed site.
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Old 10-19-08, 12:38 PM   #7
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I have some of what's on the list: LHT w/Brooks Saddle, Tubus racks, Ortlieb panniers and Nitto Randonneur bars. I also have a Shimano dynamo hub and B&M Lumotec Lamp.

On the Hennessey Hammock; It used to be on my list but then I met a guy touring in my area who said that he used to have one and hated that it entered from the bottom versus one which enters from the top or side. He suggested that the Hennessey was more complex and that (of course) simpler is better.
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Old 10-19-08, 12:54 PM   #8
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Currently I am looking at the Clark Jungle hammock, in part for this reason, even though it is more expensive. And it is made in USA
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Old 10-19-08, 02:30 PM   #9
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I think I've seen Schwalbe Marathon tires mentioned a lot more than the Paselas. Don't forget that you need full fenders with mudflaps, wool jerseys, a third water bottle mount, and one of those massively heavy Arkel bar bags.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:12 PM   #10
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I think I've seen Schwalbe Marathon tires mentioned a lot more than the Paselas. Don't forget that you need full fenders with mudflaps, wool jerseys, a third water bottle mount, and one of those massively heavy Arkel bar bags.
You may be right on the tire issue. It might just be me projecting on that issue, since I have Paselas, I might notice them more. In fairness I also have a Brooks saddle and a Road Morph, but I don't think there is any question of their place on the list.
I wrestled with the issue of fenders. While they are clearly required, there is no brand that stands out. Same thing with barcons.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:44 PM   #11
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I'm glad this is only an exercise, because the idea of such conformity is frightening....
Why?

Touring is a fairly small niche; lots of tourers are agreeing that a handful of products will work for most of us; plenty of alternate options (new and old) are in use and are often recommended. Unless you're doing something really foolish (e.g. clamping a rack to a Trek Madone 6.9 with a 53/39, 16-spoke carbon-rim wheelset and declaring it as the World's Greatest Touring Bike), you'll likely get good advice & support.

I mean, what are you going to do, buy a Zune specifically because everyone else has an iPod? Non-conformity has no intrinsic value, once you're out of junior high school.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:53 PM   #12
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+1 for Schwalbe Marathon's. I have the Schwalbe Marathon Racers and love them. A happy medium between heavier tour tires and lighter faster road tires.

Also as for the conformity issue; I neither try or try not to conform, my motto is "whatever works." If a bunch of people use it then something about it must be right.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:23 PM   #13
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Yeah, I got Schwalbe Marathons based on recommendations in this forum. Never heard of the tires mentioned. I wonder what the best price one could get on all that stuff is.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
I'm glad this is only an exercise, because the idea of such conformity is frightening. The endless series of LHT build threads in particular
+1 - I remember when this forum was actually about touring.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
How can you forget bar end shifters and a dyno hub?
I use a bottle type dynamo on my touring bike. Dynamo hubs have drag even with the light off. I know it's slight but it's still there. A bottle type dynamo is mechanically disengaged so no drag at all when it's not used. Dynamo hubs are expensive and desirable. I've seen a few stolen with the thief cutting the spokes to remove it leaving the rim chained to the rack. Bottle dynamos are so cheap no one is going to bother. When touring the only reason you would need a light is when your running late for the next scheduled stop. This requires you be prepared for that situation but it's not going to happen often, unless your doing it wrong. A simple bottle dynamo and light fits that requirement but a hub dynamo IMHO is overkill.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:54 PM   #16
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How many of the items on the list are there because they are affordable rather then being the best possible and out of the price range of most users? In my last serious camping trip I used a sheet of Visqueen plastic rolled into a tube for a tent and a long piece of nylon cord to support it. Very Franken-campish but cheap. Of the things on the list I have a Brooks saddle and the Road Morph pump.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bit View Post
I think I've seen Schwalbe Marathon tires mentioned a lot more than the Paselas. Don't forget that you need full fenders with mudflaps, wool jerseys, a third water bottle mount, and one of those massively heavy Arkel bar bags.
+1 on the Schwalbe Marathons. And of course full fenders.

I'm still debating on the hammock, so keep discussing. I'm still a tent-guy at this point.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:33 PM   #18
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+1 - I remember when this forum was actually about touring.
When was that?
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Old 10-19-08, 05:33 PM   #19
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How many of the items on the list are there because they are affordable rather then being the best possible and out of the price range of most users?
None, IMO. Pump, tires, saddle, bars are all typical prices. Ortlieb & Tubus are officially Not Cheap.

The LHT is $1100ish, which some people would call "affordable" (or "dirt cheap") while others think of it as a princely sum. There are also more affordable options, like the Jamis Aurora ($825 or so) or a plethora of hybrids or used bikes in the $300 - $500 range. I.e. it isn't just the price tag that drives that particular recommendation.

By the way, if you can enlighten me as to why the Co-Motion Pangea is worth 3 times as much as the LHT, or why a Seven Vacanza is worth $5000 - $8000 more, please do so.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:48 PM   #20
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Why?

Touring is a fairly small niche; lots of tourers are agreeing that a handful of products will work for most of us; plenty of alternate options (new and old) are in use and are often recommended. Unless you're doing something really foolish (e.g. clamping a rack to a Trek Madone 6.9 with a 53/39, 16-spoke carbon-rim wheelset and declaring it as the World's Greatest Touring Bike), you'll likely get good advice & support.

I mean, what are you going to do, buy a Zune specifically because everyone else has an iPod? Non-conformity has no intrinsic value, once you're out of junior high school.
I don't see "perfection" in the list of items, particularly in the case of the LHT - there are lots of other good touring bikes. Nor do I see the agreement among "lots of tourers" you claim. Each bicycle tourist has a different set of needs and desires, and no set equipment list will satisfy them all. Putting up such a list and claiming its perfection is as silly as stating the Cannondale CAAD9 with Speedplay pedals is the "perfect" roadie bike because a couple dozen posters in the Road forum ride it.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:59 PM   #21
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I didn't say it was the perfect touring bike, I said it was the perfect touring forum bike. There is a huge difference. It was intended to be silly.
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Old 10-19-08, 08:20 PM   #22
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So much for being silly.


Quote:
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I don't see "perfection" in the list of items, particularly in the case of the LHT - there are lots of other good touring bikes. Nor do I see the agreement among "lots of tourers" you claim.
I'm not arguing for "perfection," only that there is nothing wrong with a consensus of informed opinions.

You are clearly aware that the LHT is a frequently recommended and used bike; you're even decrying the "conformity" of their presence. Other items, particularly Brooks and the Road Morph, are practically de rigeur. How does that not somehow indicate a consensus....?

(You somehow missed the bit on how I clearly indicated that other bikes are regularly recommended, by the way. And even the most die-hard Brooks fanatic knows that they don't work for everyone.)

I'd also say that the "unique circumstances" are overblown; price and maybe availability are the most substantial of the lot. You don't need a thousand different bikes for a thousand different tourers. In fact, numerous bikes are highly similar -- e.g. a Soma Double Cross, Bianchi Volpe, Surly Cross-Check and the Jamis Aurora are all built off of cross geometries and are made for general use rather than cyclocross racing (or just marketed for touring).

With a few exceptions, touring bikes will fall into 3 classes: full-on touring (e.g. LHT, Trek 520, Cdale Touring), sport or light touring (cross bikes, audax bikes), and cheapo hybrid / 80s MTB / flat-bar. The LHT just happens to hit a lot of good points for tourers: low gearing, robust frame, semi-upright position, rack mounts, tire/fender clearance, 26" wheels, barcons, water bottle mounts, decent components, decent price.

So, I don't see anything wrong with using The Silly Perfection List as a starting point for most of the generic "what touring bike / pump / saddle / etc should I get" questions. Heck, it's just gonna happen anyway, so learn to love it....
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Old 10-19-08, 09:20 PM   #23
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Since this was just for fun, let me add, good list!

If you boiled down all the posts on BF (hey, that's not a bad idea...) you might very well end up with the list you posted.

Face it, there are folks who just want to "get the gear" and get going - and don't want to sweat all the little pros/cons of different options. If someone came up to you and asked, quick, in 30 seconds, tell me the essentials I need for a bike tour - the list above would do it. You could do a lot worse.

I like the way you pointed out the racks were "from the Touring Store."

Similarly, I think the consensus BF opinion on the Brooks Saddle would be "from Wallingford Bicycle"

(BTW, the only things on the list above that I own are the Brooks saddle, and pump....)

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Old 10-19-08, 10:00 PM   #24
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... I've moved TO a Long Haul Trucker as a great touring bike..

What is wrong with distilling characteristics of the best gear into consumer choices in a field of relatively few variables in equipment and design?

out of maybe 100 choices - of which only about 10 are a real solid choice, and consumers the world over resoundingly endorse a product because it meets and exceeds all the criterea for effectiveness? (ortlieb panniers)



so, checking the list...

LHT? check.
Brooks? Check...... heck, i've got all of that stuff! (MKS Lambda pedals as soon as they are back in stock....)
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Old 10-19-08, 11:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
Surly LHT bike
Brooks saddle (edit)
Tubus racks and Ortlieb Rollers (purchased from the Touring Store)

MKS touring pedals
Nitto bars
Pasela Tourguard tires
Topeak Road Morph pump
Hennessey Hammock
Yep, I admit I've been persuaded by these forums, and I don't regret it! My LHT is a do-everything beast, the Brooks Champion Flyer is pretty comfortable, my tubus racks and lonepeaks from the touring store are great, and my Hennessy Hammock is light and comfortable.

And aren't we bike tourists unique and crazy enough to never be labeled as conformists?
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