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  1. #1
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    Touring gear recommendations wanted

    At the beginning of march i'm heading on a tour of europe, planning to ride my bike for a few days then catch a train to my next destination. I'm looking for the following gear but am not sure which way to jump.

    Tyres: The bike is a cheap roadie, but quite comfortable. at the moment it has the 23mm tyres it came with which are crap so i want to replace them with 25's and something which will offer some better puncture protection. I'd prefer slicks (i'm not planning to leave sealed roads), but "all season" type tyres would probably suit.

    Map holder: Not one on a bar-bag as i don't need any more carrying capacity. All the models i have found seem to obscure my computer, which i will need for navigation. are there any which project forward of the bars?

    Elastic thing for my rack: To hold my TARDIS bike bag and jacketto the top of the rear rack. I don't even know what to search for to find something like this but there must be one out there.

    Saddle: I rode 700km in a week last august on a jake the snake which came with a WTB Rocket V and found it very comfortable, but these seem to be out of production. Any suggestions

    I think that's it. Will look forward to any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    The best map holders I've used are ones I've made myself. All you need is one of those plastic sheet protectors, some velcro and duct tape. The advantage here is that you can make them exactly the size you need for your dash. As for projecting forward from the bars, you could certainly rig something to do that.

    You may want to rethink handlebar bags. The point isn't so much to add carrying capacity, but convenience. Whatever you might need while on the bike goes there, as well as wallet and keys, and you can just grab the bag when you leave the bike. It saves you some rooting through yoru panniers.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_mingus View Post
    Elastic thing for my rack: To hold my TARDIS bike bag and jacketto the top of the rear rack. I don't even know what to search for to find something like this but there must be one out there.
    Perhaps you're looking for a bungee cord?

    As for the saddle, I'm surprised you can't find a WTB Rocket V anymore. Either way, they're great saddles. It's on my touring bike as well...

  4. #4
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Ken View Post
    Perhaps you're looking for a bungee cord?

    As for the saddle, I'm surprised you can't find a WTB Rocket V anymore. Either way, they're great saddles. It's on my touring bike as well...
    Just googled it and got a number of hits on places selling it. A few follow:
    Shopping results for WTB Rocket V
    WTB Rocket V Race Saddle $46.50 - Tree Fort Bikes
    WTB Rocket V Race Saddle - Black $39.99 - BikeBling.com
    WTB Rocket V Pro Saddle Black NiCro Rails $72.00 - Alfred E. Bike

  5. #5
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    you can buy a woven bungee cord from any bike shop almost, they have hooks on them, and stretch out as a big square, the motorcycle ones are a little more robust and may be what you want for a tour:
    http://www.thebikerscloset.com/Acc.htm they're 5 bucks

  6. #6
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses guys. You can forget the saddle query, i have managed to find one not only in the UK but at a shop only 5mins walk from my work. could have sworn they didn't have any when i checked last week!

    Randochap, that map holder is brillian. I had vague;y thought of using wire of some sort but didn't think it would be stable enough. will give it a got this weekend. The reason i don't want a bar bag is because i already have plenty other bags, 2 rear panniers and a backpack, which will be mostly empty except when on trains when the panniers will be mostly empty. I'm not camping, but using hostels, guesthouses etc so i'm travelling as light as possible.

    Bungees, thanks. Back to google.

    So, any recommendationis on tyres?

  8. #8
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_mingus View Post
    Thanks for all the responses guys.

    So, any recommendationis on tyres?
    Go for min 28s, if you have clearance. BTW, key to stabilization on map holder is the shock cord and zip ties. Carry zip ties of all sizes in your repair kit, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randochap View Post
    Go for min 28s, if you have clearance. BTW, key to stabilization on map holder is the shock cord and zip ties. Carry zip ties of all sizes in your repair kit, too.
    I think i have room for 28s but it will be difficult getting them on and off with my caliper brakes (cheap ones with no quick release for the cable). On my last tour i managed on 23s, but that was with carbon forks which added a bit of comfort.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    You may want to rethink handlebar bags. The point isn't so much to add carrying capacity, but convenience. Whatever you might need while on the bike goes there, as well as wallet and keys, and you can just grab the bag when you leave the bike. It saves you some rooting through yoru panniers.
    +1

    Gearing up for my first tour, I was adamantly against having a handlebar bag. A couple people managed to convince me to get one, and after just a couple days I was sold. Any time you want to take pictures, the camera's right there in front of you, you can check your map pretty easily and grab other maps out from inside the bag, and being able to just reach in the bag and grab a handful of trail mix or whatever made some of the longer burns far more enjoyable.
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  11. #11
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    If you are going to stick to paved roads, don't sweat the tire size. On many tours I had 23 mm or 25 mm slicks, and if there were problems, I didn't notice. On many occasions, I found myself on gravel roads, grass, and once, a logging road in the mountains. Under these conditions, I rode carefully, and never had a serious problem. (I don't recall ever puncturing a tire on a rough road.)

    I have 32 mm tires now, I prefer them. But I still maintain that tire size, within reason, is not a deal breaker when touring on paved roads.

    On handlebar bags: I don't use one. I carry my wallet, keys, important papers, extra glasses, etc. in a fanny pack. I don't carry a camera on every tour, but when I do, it's slung onto the strap of the fanny pack. When I want a quick snack, I stop for 20 seconds and retrieve one from a pannier.

    There are no right answers to these kinds of questions. Experience will teach you everything you need to know!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Tyrell's Avatar
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    You're looking for a bungee net. They sell them at motorcycle shops for about $5 a piece. It's a little square of bungee webbing with hooks.

    For a map holder, I've been toying with the idea of using an old seatpost clamp for a reflector and JB-Welding a small piece of rigid plastic on it to serve as a backing to hold the map. Fold the map to size and hold it on with small binder clips. If it's raining, put your map in a ziploc bag and then secure with binder clips.

    For tires, I can't speak much to touring-specific ones but I've had excellent luck with Continental Armadillo's. Over 3k miles of riding flat-free. They come in 700x23, 25, and 28.

  13. #13
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    handlebar bag: I like a pretty large bag, your experience may vary.

    for a large one, if you have STI style brifters this might be a problem. you might need bar end shifters (like old school bike, down tube shifters) in order for cable routing not to be an issue
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