How light, fast and far are you all going? Gear lists would be good too. Thanks.
How light, fast and far are you all going? Gear lists would be good too. Thanks.
I've done one lightweight tour, and have plans for many more in the future. Last year I toured about 2,400 miles averaging 120+ miles a day. I used a road bike with a QR skewer mounted rear rack and waterbottle cages clamped to the fork. I had about 25 lbs of gear which included a 2 lb sleeping bag, 3 lb tent, rain gear, two sets of cycling clothes, one additional layer of warmer stuff (hat, gloves, leg and arm warmers, etc.) tool kit, alcohol stove, etc. I did 7-10 hours in the saddle per day -- more or less dawn to dusk with the requisite stops. The endurance test aspect was very rewarding for me. Not the type of tour for everyone, but I loved it.
I recently finished building a new lightweight touring bike -- a couple of lbs heavier than the road bike, but it will handle much better with a load and be more comfortable overall. Don't know when I'll have another chance to do a tour, but hopefully this fall if not sooner. I'm going to try to pare down the load a little more. I bought a 1 lb synthetic bag (50 deg. rating), and I'm thinking about ways to go tentless -- perhaps a lightweight tarp of some kind. I'd like to do one overnight soon as a loaded test ride and to test/troubleshoot out the camping/sleeping system. I'll try and post some pics of the loaded bike when I do that.
Ultra-light loaded rigs is that like jumbo shrimp?
Sorry, someone had to do it.
it was only for a short 3 day tour but i did anywhere from 110 to just 70 miles a day with this set up. qr mounted omm rack, litespeed classic road bike, 1 pair riding clothes, 1 pair street clothes and then food maps to get me there. I did do the hotel thing so its kinda cheating but still fun none the less.
I've used this setup for a couple of multi-week tours. Fully self contained. However, I did share some of the "communal" weight with my wife.
I don't have a picture but it's the rig I used in late 70's. Italian road bike with blackburn rear rack attached with clamps to seat stays. On the rack was an army surplus poncho, 2/3 length ensolite pad, down bag, jacket or sweater and kung fu slippers held on tight with two or three bungies. On the bars was a small bag holding spare shirt and possibly cap , windbreaker. pair of socks, tooth brush. Two water bottle cages with 20oz bottles. Alternated between wearing bike shorts and pants.
Not what I'd consider ultralight, but at least it still felt like a regular bike and not a luggage truck. The picture is of one of my trips down the coast from SF to Santa Barbara where my daughter went to school. Carried a 2.5 lb tent, 2 lb sleeping bag, Thermarest, 3 changes of bike clothes and one set of normal, jacket, some food & utensils (but no stove). Total luggage was about 20 lbs. on an old Cannondale crit bike.
Also not "ultra-light" but its a lot lighter than my last winter tour. This is from a 2 day camping trip but that was a test run for my upcoming week long tour from Busan to Seoul, South Korea. I liked the setup a lot so I think it will be pretty much the same if not a little smaller because I added a few gadgets! Im packing a 3.5 or so pound two man tent, a 5 degree C down bag, thermorest (korea rip off brand) full length pad, Trangia stove, one pair on the bike cloths and one pair off the bike. Im not a bike shorts kinda guy so that helps a lot with keeping cloths weight/bulk down. A good pair of synthetic undies and a Brooks is all you really need IMHO.
Sorry for double posting this picture on another thread.
Ultralight loaded touring is kind of like "jumbo shrimp", I think a better term is "self contained ultralight". It includes tent, sleeping bag, pad and a cooking set. If you apply ultralight hiking techniques and materials you can get all those big items to come in under 5lbs. The extreme would be a bivy or just a tarp for shelter. My approach is to try to get 95% of the comfort I got with heavier equipment so I use a tarptent with full big screening and a bathtub floor: it still only weighs 1.5lbs. My target weight for bags and gear is 20lbs and for the complete set up of bike, gear, food and water rolling down the road is between 45 and 50 lbs. My set up is good for extended touring of many weeks duration on roads in developed places as I can't carry more than a day's worth of water.
and it works really well. I carry my computer, electronics cables, phone, camera, wallet, snacks, toilet bag and document in it and take it with me whenever I leave the bike.
I'm with you on the clothing thing. I don't do lycra. I wear Andiamo padded underwear and the best touring "shorts" I've found are Rapha fixed knickers.
They are ridiculously expensive, but have great pockets and protect your legs form the sun and rain. Their touring shorts and Stowaway jacket are also great
That Acorn looks great!
The Sackville is working out great though I have only had it for a few months. Initially I had a bit of a dilemma with it. I use it for commuting as well as touring so I could not figure out if I wanted to leave it on the bike when I lock it up or take it with me. Its a huge for a saddle bag so I didnt like lugging it around and it takes a few 1/2 minutes or so to get on and off. I eventually just decided to buy an cable lock for the bottom of it and lash it to the rear rack. I carry an ultralight backpack inside of it if I dont want to leave valuables in it while I am commuting.
For touring I dont really see the advantages of a handle bar bag, though your is very strikingly appealing! The basket can be "overstuffed" using a bungie net to as high as your handle bars if you want. The Sackville also comes with a little pouch that buckles to the top of the bag. The pouch is big enough for the valuables like, wallet, keys, phone, iPod, camera, though definitely not a computer! Most of the time I dont even use it. I ride in cargo shorts and keep on the essential on my person except for my camera which fits in the rider forward facing pockets on the Sackville. I will usually just dig it out and walk into the store rather than use a handle bar bag.
I had a hard time deciding between the Sackville vs. two Ostrich pannier bags. Overall the Sackville won me because it has more volume that two Ostriches together. I have been asked before if having all the weight on the top of the rack effects handling but I have not noticed at all. I think that my gear is light enough that it just doesn't matter all that much where I put it.
What do you use on the rear carrier for touring/commuting? How do you like it?
Those shorts look great! I am really happy to see nickers making a comeback! Those ones are not for me though, I dont like any padding in my britches. I do like the ones from Chrome, though they are almost as pricey!
Last edited by zeppinger; 06-25-09 at 11:30 AM.
The pad inside the Rapha knickers is minimal so you might like them.
I use a Carradice Nelson Longflap saddlebag on the back of my bike. The thing with saddlebags is that they put the weight close to the centre of gravity ie your butt, so they minimize the moment and have little effect on handling.
The volume is 18L which forces me to think about what I carry. The flap can expand to hold items like extra food and water bottles if necessary. The 18L volume means that I can take it off the bike easily and I carry it with a shoulder strap attached to 2 x D rings that I sewed on myself.
Last edited by nun; 06-25-09 at 12:44 PM.
my three or four days are usually really light. No tents, no stoves, no sleeping pad.
The thing here is I need to have two days worth of food and one day worth of water.
3 day tour poll
on my list I didn't bring my camelback, but brought a 3 litre of water which is in my pannier in my above thread, and missed a tire pump.
Here is the same route different trip I cut the weight down some more. Less water and handlebar bag.
I am using the panniers as a shelf for my sleeping bag and there is not much in them.
26 hours in 208 miles plus 8,000 feet of climbing I was happy with my speed.
Last edited by wheel; 06-26-09 at 03:47 AM.
Really good discussion and timely. My son is on route, meandering west to east US. I may opt to connect via a more direct, faster route and need to decide, build up a light (fast) tour bike, use my Easyracer Goldrush or adapt a race, century bike. With your discussion I think I can keep under 20lbs of gear.
Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein