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Old 01-24-09, 10:03 AM   #1
EZ-SportAX Curt
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275 Pound Tourier With Mountain Bike

I just bought a new set of 36h Mavic Xe 729 Dish wheelset with Shimano XT Disk Hubs off of e-bay for my Trek 6700. I took them to my LBS and had the tenson checked on the spokes and the LBS said that they were only 15 gage spokes but very strong rims that downhillers use. I was wondering if they would be strong enought for a 275 rider hauling about 70 to 100 pounds of gear, or maybe just pulling a Bob Yak with most of my gear in it or both. I will be riding rails to trails, roads and un-paved canal paths as well, and a little mountain biking trail riding along the way if I see any. By the way, my LBS said they should be strong enought but I want to ask here too.
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Old 01-24-09, 07:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by EZ-SportAX Curt View Post
I just bought a new set of 36h Mavic Xe 729 Dish wheelset with Shimano XT Disk Hubs off of e-bay for my Trek 6700. I took them to my LBS and had the tenson checked on the spokes and the LBS said that they were only 15 gage spokes but very strong rims that downhillers use. I was wondering if they would be strong enought for a 275 rider hauling about 70 to 100 pounds of gear, or maybe just pulling a Bob Yak with most of my gear in it or both. I will be riding rails to trails, roads and un-paved canal paths as well, and a little mountain biking trail riding along the way if I see any. By the way, my LBS said they should be strong enought but I want to ask here too.
I would doubt that the spokes are 15 gauge (1.8mm). The Xe is a downhiller/freeride rim and I question if someone were silly enough to use that light gauge of spoke on that kind of wheel. The more normal spoke would be a 14 gauge (2.0mm). Alternatively, could they be butted spokes? 14 gauge on the head and thread and 15 gauge in the middle? But people have been known to do silly things

The wheels will probably stand up to your weight while pulling a trailer. Putting that 70 to 100 lbs over the rear wheel in panniers would be asking for trouble. It'd be better to split the load between the front and back if you go the pannier route.

But...about your load: Why so much? 70 lbs is probably 20 lbs more than most people carry at a maximum. 100 lbs of gear is just plain carrying too much. Look at what you are carrying and see what you can trim down.
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Old 01-24-09, 07:31 PM   #3
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I would say most of the weight would be in water and food and cooking gear alone. I like to drink lots of water when I ride, so on a tour I would carry up to 2 gallons at a time, than again maybe my weight would be much lower than 100 pounds. I don't see how I could use panniers on the front with a Rock Shox fork. I guess I need to find my calibers so I can measure the spokes, they look the same size from the hub to the rim.
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Old 01-24-09, 07:53 PM   #4
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Just curious. How long does it take you to drink 2 gallons of water?
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Old 01-25-09, 08:37 AM   #5
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I would say most of the weight would be in water and food and cooking gear alone. I like to drink lots of water when I ride, so on a tour I would carry up to 2 gallons at a time, than again maybe my weight would be much lower than 100 pounds. I don't see how I could use panniers on the front with a Rock Shox fork. I guess I need to find my calibers so I can measure the spokes, they look the same size from the hub to the rim.
Where are you riding that you need to carry that much?

On most tours folks buy their food every day or every few days in those few places that it is necessary. Most days on tour water is filled multiple times through the day. Of course there are exceptions depending on the location. I know that crossing the US the farthest we had to go without a chance to refill water was 80 miles (we had to carry water for the whole day, but we had water in camp).

I consider touring with 50 pounds of gear to be going heavily loaded. Trimming down to 40 isn't hard and 30 is do-able. Some folks manage to go much lower.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:13 AM   #6
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There is almost always water available. I typically carry three water bottles. On a normal stretch between places where I can get water, I only go through 1 to 1 1/2. On long stretches out in the middle of nowhere I fill all three plus a Camelbak. I've rarely needed all that; usually the Camelbak alone is plenty, but I'm a worrier and I'd rather arrive at a water stop with excess than run out and pedal far with none.

Next summer I'm planning a trip where there will be long stretches without services but paralleling rivers. I'm thinking about leaving the Camelbak home and taking a filter.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-25-09, 11:20 AM   #7
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I just bought a new set of 36h Mavic Xe 729 Dish wheelset with Shimano XT Disk Hubs off of e-bay for my Trek 6700. I took them to my LBS and had the tenson checked on the spokes and the LBS said that they were only 15 gage spokes but very strong rims that downhillers use. I was wondering if they would be strong enought for a 275 rider hauling about 70 to 100 pounds of gear, or maybe just pulling a Bob Yak with most of my gear in it or both. I will be riding rails to trails, roads and un-paved canal paths as well, and a little mountain biking trail riding along the way if I see any. By the way, my LBS said they should be strong enought but I want to ask here too.
Why do you need 100 pounds of gear? I did nine days on the C & O/Montour/GAP trails from Pittsburgh to DC and carried about 40 pounds on my Yakima Big Tow. I was about 275. I carried two water bottles on the bike and up to four in the trailer.
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Old 01-25-09, 05:19 PM   #8
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There is almost always water available. I typically carry three water bottles. On a normal stretch between places where I can get water, I only go through 1 to 1 1/2. On long stretches out in the middle of nowhere I fill all three plus a Camelbak. I've rarely needed all that; usually the Camelbak alone is plenty, but I'm a worrier and I'd rather arrive at a water stop with excess than run out and pedal far with none.

Next summer I'm planning a trip where there will be long stretches without services but paralleling rivers. I'm thinking about leaving the Camelbak home and taking a filter.

Thoughts?
I used a filter on two trips where there were rivers and streams and no towns. It worked out well. I prefer not to carry the pump most places though.
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Old 01-25-09, 06:15 PM   #9
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Question about those water filters: Do they take the taste out of swampy, or mineral-laden, water?
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Old 01-25-09, 06:56 PM   #10
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Question about those water filters: Do they take the taste out of swampy, or mineral-laden, water?
The water I have filtered has always tasted good. I am not sure if that would be true for all types of contamination or not though. I have been places where the tap water tasted nasty enough that I would have liked to have the filter along to try it.

Does anyone who has used one more extensively care to pipe up? I'd be curious to know too.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:38 PM   #11
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I would say most of the weight would be in water and food and cooking gear alone. I like to drink lots of water when I ride, so on a tour I would carry up to 2 gallons at a time, than again maybe my weight would be much lower than 100 pounds. I don't see how I could use panniers on the front with a Rock Shox fork. I guess I need to find my calibers so I can measure the spokes, they look the same size from the hub to the rim.
I can see how you might need 8L of water if travelling off-road without reliable water for a day or so. Food, say 1kg per day, say 1 week or so between towns if you're somewhere remote - that's another 10kg give-or-take. So yeah, I can see how you might have 30lb of gear and 30-40lb food and water on a long, remote, dry, off-road trip.

I don't suppose you have a gear list, or some examples, from previous trips? What about the route - any opportunities to re-supply on the way?

If you're really planning to load the bike up with 375 lb = 170 kg (!?!) maybe you should consider something like an xtracycle or big dummy to tour on. That will have both the storage space for all your gear, and strong enough wheels and frame to take the weight - I think they're rated to 180kg.

I think it would be extraordinarily optimistic to try to carry that amount of weight, and that amount of bulk, all on a rear rack on an off-road trip.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:39 PM   #12
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I think old man mountain racks work with suspension forks.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:22 PM   #13
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Why do you need 100 pounds of gear? I did nine days on the C & O/Montour/GAP trails from Pittsburgh to DC and carried about 40 pounds on my Yakima Big Tow. I was about 275. I carried two water bottles on the bike and up to four in the trailer.
Thats the ride I plan on doing. I don't know if I'm going to start from my home town of Dayton, Ohio or have my wife drive me to the Panhandle rail trail in WV and start the trip there. I have a 90oz. Camelbak and 6 32oz polar bear water bottles. I've read on many post on here and crazyguyonabike that the pumps along the way on the gap are not safe drinking from due to people bathing at them and who knows what else. Yes I know a filter will take care of that but why take the extra time filtering the water. I've ran out of water many times during mtb trips and gotten very dehydrated, thats not a good feeling. I think I will be pulling my bob yax for most of my gear, I'll just use the rear panniers for my clothes and the lite food items. Ofcourse I'll be wearing the Camelbak and maybe 2 of the water bottles on the bike. By the way i'm a penny pincher, thats why i'll be carring most of my own food and tent and such. Also I don't have a problem with my weight or all the weight I'll be pulling with the yak, I have very strong legs mountain biking and recumbent riding for the pass 15 years, I enjoy riding hard and fast.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:52 PM   #14
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Thats the ride I plan on doing. I don't know if I'm going to start from my home town of Dayton, Ohio or have my wife drive me to the Panhandle rail trail in WV and start the trip there. I have a 90oz. Camelbak and 6 32oz polar bear water bottles. I've read on many post on here and crazyguyonabike that the pumps along the way on the gap are not safe drinking from due to people bathing at them and who knows what else. Yes I know a filter will take care of that but why take the extra time filtering the water. I've ran out of water many times during mtb trips and gotten very dehydrated, thats not a good feeling. I think I will be pulling my bob yax for most of my gear, I'll just use the rear panniers for my clothes and the lite food items. Ofcourse I'll be wearing the Camelbak and maybe 2 of the water bottles on the bike. By the way i'm a penny pincher, thats why i'll be carring most of my own food and tent and such. Also I don't have a problem with my weight or all the weight I'll be pulling with the yak, I have very strong legs mountain biking and recumbent riding for the pass 15 years, I enjoy riding hard and fast.
I've never heard the water at the pumps on either the Great Allegheny Passage or the C & O Canal Towpath are unsafe to drink from. The pumps on the C & O are checked and tested by the National Park Service weekly; the water is treated with iodine and stored in an underground tank. There are three primitive campsites on the GAP - Dravo Cemetery, Round Bottom, and Cedar Creek - and the water is OK at all of them. The iodine treated water is a little odd-colored at times, and some folks think there's an off-taste, but it's potable.

I did run out of water on my August trip, but that was poor planning on my part. I should have filled all my bottles before stopping for the night - the pump was broken at my campsite, and I didn't discover it until dark. I made out OK, although I was a little grubby the next morning.



The Panhandle Trail starts in Weirton, WV, I believe, and connects to the Montour Trail between the Enlow and National tunnels. Here's the Panhandle as it passes underneath the Montour:



The Montour Trail Council this fall opened a two-mile stretch eliminating the worst of the trail's on-road detours. The MTC is also opening a campsite sometime this summer near National tunnel, I recall reading.

Spinnaker, a poster here, is leading a group of Bike Forums posters on a ride to DC June 13; perhaps you might join us?
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Old 01-25-09, 10:36 PM   #15
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I've never heard the water at the pumps on either the Great Allegheny Passage or the C & O Canal Towpath are unsafe to drink from. The pumps on the C & O are checked and tested by the National Park Service weekly; the water is treated with iodine and stored in an underground tank. There are three primitive campsites on the GAP - Dravo Cemetery, Round Bottom, and Cedar Creek - and the water is OK at all of them. The iodine treated water is a little odd-colored at times, and some folks think there's an off-taste, but it's potable.

I did run out of water on my August trip, but that was poor planning on my part. I should have filled all my bottles before stopping for the night - the pump was broken at my campsite, and I didn't discover it until dark. I made out OK, although I was a little grubby the next morning.



The Panhandle Trail starts in Weirton, WV, I believe, and connects to the Montour Trail between the Enlow and National tunnels. Here's the Panhandle as it passes underneath the Montour:



The Montour Trail Council this fall opened a two-mile stretch eliminating the worst of the trail's on-road detours. The MTC is also opening a campsite sometime this summer near National tunnel, I recall reading.

Spinnaker, a poster here, is leading a group of Bike Forums posters on a ride to DC June 13; perhaps you might join us?
I can't quite get off from work that soon, I'm hoping to do the trip sometime around the first of August or September. That Panhanle trail picture looks like it cuts right through someones property, is there any trouble with dogs along any sections of the trails.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:12 PM   #16
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I can't quite get off from work that soon, I'm hoping to do the trip sometime around the first of August or September. That Panhanle trail picture looks like it cuts right through someones property, is there any trouble with dogs along any sections of the trails.
I can't speak about the Panhandle, but the only dog problem I've heard about is a barker on the road connecting the Western Maryland Rail Trail and the C & O at Big Pool. There's Nola the cat on the GAP near Deal:



... but as you can see she's pretty friendly.

Of greater concern are snakes and snapping turtles. Snakes like to sun themselves on the GAP, and snappers live in watered sections of the C & O Canal, particularly the northern part:



Don't go into the canal, even if the water's clear. Snappers are everywhere. Like snakes, they like to sun themselves on the towpath. Keep an eye out for odd-looking sticks or rocks.

Horses are also a concern. They are allowed on parts of the GAP and C & O. Katie and Sophie rode with me a couple of miles on my final day on the C & O in August. Sophie had been around bikes before, but even so, I was careful around her, for my sake and her rider's.



Other critters I've seen on the trails include deer, rabbits, chickens, and Canada geese. Reportedly someone raises peacocks near Meyersdale, but I've never seen them.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:24 PM   #17
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Question about those water filters: Do they take the taste out of swampy, or mineral-laden, water?
I doubt it. Water filters remove larger biological organisms (viruses may get through) and most have an activated carbon component that will remove some organic materials, ie some smells. However, minerals are a different matter altogether. Those are atomic scale particles and are nearly impossible to remove by use of such a small filtration unit.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:33 AM   #18
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I used a filter on a river which was polluted from heavy minerals from mining. Eagle River CO.
It tasted awful. I also found my filter sucked after about 10 uses.

I would go with the tablets which remove bacteria. Much lighter.
a quick example.
http://www.nitro-pak.com/product_inf...roducts_id=616

Weight = less miles.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:51 AM   #19
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For your water purification, I'd suggest you look at a SteriPEN - it uses ultraviolet light to sterilize water. Very quick, very lightweight, very effective. The only thing that equals it in killing microbes (like Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella and E. coli) is boiling -- and who wants to wait for boiled water to cool down? There's even a solar carry case to charge the batteries.
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Old 01-26-09, 06:58 AM   #20
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I've never heard the water at the pumps on either the Great Allegheny Passage or the C & O Canal Towpath are unsafe to drink from. The pumps on the C & O are checked and tested by the National Park Service weekly; the water is treated with iodine and stored in an underground tank. There are three primitive campsites on the GAP - Dravo Cemetery, Round Bottom, and Cedar Creek - and the water is OK at all of them. The iodine treated water is a little odd-colored at times, and some folks think there's an off-taste, but it's potable.
I would add that I thought the water at some of the pumps while safe tasted awful. I would suggest taking some gatorade powder or something to mask the taste.

Also food is available fairly frequently along the towpath. Just be sure to know in advance what is where as all sources are not obvious from the towpath. If you haven't already, check out http://bikewashington.org/canal/

FWIW: Nothing about the GAP and C&O suggests the need to carry particularly heavy loads. On the contrary pumps are frequent enough on the C&O that you could conceivably get by without a water bottle at all (I am not suggesting that you do that).
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Old 01-26-09, 07:29 AM   #21
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I would add that I thought the water at some of the pumps while safe tasted awful. I would suggest taking some gatorade powder or something to mask the taste.

Also food is available fairly frequently along the towpath. Just be sure to know in advance what is where as all sources are not obvious from the towpath. If you haven't already, check out http://bikewashington.org/canal/

FWIW: Nothing about the GAP and C&O suggests the need to carry particularly heavy loads. On the contrary pumps are frequent enough on the C&O that you could conceivably get by without a water bottle at all (I am not suggesting that you do that).
I don't suggest he do that either, since you never know when a pump will have the handle removed.

Here's my Big Tow, formerly your Big Tow, fully loaded on the third day of my tour. Carrying food, a pot, and a stove would have increased my load a bit, but not to 70 or a 100 pounds.

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Old 01-26-09, 09:19 AM   #22
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I don't suggest he do that either, since you never know when a pump will have the handle removed.

Here's my Big Tow, formerly your Big Tow, fully loaded on the third day of my tour. Carrying food, a pot, and a stove would have increased my load a bit, but not to 70 or a 100 pounds.

So I take it that those paired spoked wheels didn't give you any trouble. I don't think I would trust rims like that with my weight of 275 pounds. I hope to be back down around 250 pounds before my trip. I always put on too much weight during the winter months, too much fast food I guess. LOL
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Old 01-26-09, 09:25 AM   #23
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So I take it that those paired spoked wheels didn't give you any trouble. I don't think I would trust rims like that with my weight of 275 pounds. I hope to be back down around 250 pounds before my trip. I always put on too much weight during the winter months, too much fast food I guess. LOL
The rear wheel was a 32 spoke problem. It was defective, blowing six spokes in about two weeks. Ironically, it was allegedly an improvement on the stock 28 spoke rear wheel, which I had toured on with loaded panniers with no problems. This week I'm having my shop build me a 36 spoke rear.

In 3000 miles of riding on the bike I've never had a problem with the front wheel.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:55 AM   #24
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I don't see how I could use panniers on the front with a Rock Shox fork.
Racks for Suspension Forks:

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=28

http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/FrontRacks.html

http://www.tubus.com/index/lang/en/rubrik/Suspension%20Carriers/

http://www.faiv.de/english/lowrider_gb.htm

http://www.axiomgear.com/product/racks/front_suspension_racks/product.php?id=156 (this rack mightn't work on some forks if they have valves, adjusters or footnuts at the base of the fork near the dropouts/fork ends or if the base or the fork is lower than the height of the dropouts/fork ends)

Last edited by cobba; 01-26-09 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:24 AM   #25
EZ-SportAX Curt
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Originally Posted by cobba View Post
Racks for Suspension Forks:

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=28

http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/FrontRacks.html

http://www.tubus.com/index/lang/en/rubrik/Suspension%20Carriers/

http://www.faiv.de/english/lowrider_gb.htm

http://www.axiomgear.com/product/racks/front_suspension_racks/product.php?id=156 (this rack mightn't work on some forks if they have valves, adjusters or footnuts at the base of the fork near the dropouts/fork ends or if the base or the fork is lower than the height of the dropouts/fork ends)
Thanks for all the links for the front racks. The last one look like the only one that will work with my disk brake set up. I think I would rather pull my Bob Yak, that way I can lock it up somewheres when I find MTB trails to ride on. I hear Ohio Pyle has some sweet single track.
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