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Old 02-21-10, 10:26 AM   #1
John Bailey
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Fully Loaded Trek FX 7.3

I've been adding things to my Trek FX 7.3 for the last couple months in anticipation of my KATY trail ride the first week of April. It's all done and I'm packed and ready to go. I've added front(Jandd) and rear(Bontrager) racks, Trek front and rear panniers, handlebar bag and, most recently, Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders.

This is the bike fully loaded for a camping trip with my present camping equipment. I've got a new tent on the way and a new chair. Both of which I'll be able to put inside the rear panniers, so, there won't be anything strapped on the outside like in the picture now.



I don't know how many may be interested in my packing list, but I've always been interested in other's list, so, here goes:

Left Rear Pannier: Tent, 2 golf type shirts, 7 prs. socks, 2 swim suits, wool sweater, tarp. (lots of room left)

Right Rear Pannier: Cooking pot, skillet, mug, plate, spatula, spoon, dish soap, towel, stove, tarp, plastic bags, lighter, camp chair.

Left Front Pannier: Camp soap, towel, tooth brush, tooth paste, sun screen, toilet paper, knife, flashlight, 3 pr. underwear.

Right Front Pannier: Walking shoes, bicycle shorts, long bike pants, rain coat, rain pants, two long sleeve moisture wicking shirts. (again, lots of room left)

Rear Trunk: 2 inner tubes, pump, 2 plastic tire levers, patch kit, allen wrenches, spoke wrench, multi-tool, lock, long strips of industrial velcro, Swiss army knife, narrow duct tape, spare screws for racks, chain lube, moisture wipes, water bottle, first aid kit, hat, gloves, food.

Handlebar Bag: Sunglasses, map, cash, billfold, phone, i-pod, camera, pen, paper.

Front Rack: Sleeping bag, sleeping pad.

That's it, and I can't wait for my first bike tour. I've done a lot of backpacking and owned a kayak outfitting company in Northern MI and Greece, so I've done a lot of this type camping, but never on a bike. I think the KATY will be a good first tour.

John
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Old 02-21-10, 10:43 AM   #2
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Nice. The 7.3 is a well designed bike very suitable for comfortable touring, especially on light trials.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:10 AM   #3
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I don't think Lewis and Clark carried that much stuff when they went up the Missouri. How long are you planning on taking?
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Old 02-21-10, 11:23 AM   #4
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I don't think Lewis and Clark carried that much stuff when they went up the Missouri. How long are you planning on taking?
I'm doing the whole trail with a two day rest to take in the Thomas Hart Benton artwork in Jefferson City. I'm planning 6 days total right now. I know I'm taking too much stuff, but it's my first tour and I want to see if everything is working properly. If it is, I plan on much longer trips in the future. I've resigned my current position, effective July 1st. I've applied for two other positions and if I don't get either one of those, it's off to the west coast and the TransAmerica during July, August and September. Off course that's the plan right now, and plans can, and do, change.

Also, each bag has extra room right now, so I'll be able to carry more food/clothes if need be.

John

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Old 02-21-10, 11:27 AM   #5
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I'm doing the whole trail with a two day rest to take in the Thomas Hart Benton artwork in Jefferson City. I'm planning 6 days total right now. I know I'm taking too much stuff, but it's my first tour and I want to see if everything is working properly. If it is, I plan on much longer trips in the future. I've resigned my current position, effective July 1st. I've applied for two other positions and if I don't get either one of those, it's off to the west coast and the TransAmerica during July, August and September. Off course that the plan right now, and plans can, and do, change.

Also, each bag has extra room right now, so I'll be able to carry more food/clothes if need be.

John
Nothing wrong with the thinking here. It will give you great insight into what to bring and not to bring on the next great adventure. The only way to figure this out in my book is to figure it out by trial and error. Learning is half the fun.

Enjoy the bike. Looks like it will do a great job for you.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:28 AM   #6
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I don't think Lewis and Clark carried that much stuff when they went up the Missouri. How long are you planning on taking?
+1 That is a LOT of stuff, especially on the front.

One bottle cage? pump?
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Old 02-21-10, 11:44 AM   #7
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I guess it's good for training. I've ridden the Katy twice and never wanted for food or cooking gear. Except in really remote areas I've found it best to "live off the land" ie restaurants and convenience stores. Something you may consider is a 3rd water bottle as not all trailheads have fountains and those that do may be turned off early in the season.

Pick up a brochure at the trailhead when you start and it should tell you what each town has. Or you can just print this.

http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/services.htm

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:51 AM   #8
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+1 That is a LOT of stuff, especially on the front.

One bottle cage? pump?
The pump is listed for the rear trunk. I have an attachment that I could put it with one of the bottles on a cage. I've been told the KATY trail can be dusty and I thought the pump would be better placed in the trunk bag. I've got a number of bottle cages besides the one that's on the bike now and I'm planning to throw one more bottle, maybe two, in the trunk bag for a total of 3 or 4. I know it looks like a lot of stuff in the trunk bag, but it's all small stuff and hardly fills the 1,100 cu.in. Usually I have my tools in my seat bag. If I do that this time, there's really no need for the trunk bag on the rear rack. Again, with this outfit, I've got lots of extra room right now.

By the way, I love to cook while I'm camping, so I'll probably be bringing more in cooking gear than most.

John
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Old 02-21-10, 11:58 AM   #9
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My wife and I just did about a 5 mi. ride with some fair hills. I was expecting more problems with getting up the hills. That wasn't too bad. There seemed to be a slight wobble in the bike. I suppose with 50-60 lbs. I've got to find out how to spread the weight out.

Right now I've got just about 22 lbs. up front and about 30 lbs on the back. My front Jandd rack is rated for 25 lbs. and the Bontrager rear is rated for 50 lbs. My tires seemed a bit soft, so that may have been the cause of the wobble also.

John

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Old 02-21-10, 12:01 PM   #10
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My wife and I just did about a 5 mi. ride with some fair hills. I was expecting more problems with getting up the hills. That wasn't too bad. There seemed to be a slight wobble in the bike. I supposed with 50-60 lbs. I've got to find out how to spread the weight out.

Right now I've got just about 22 lbs. up front and about 30 lbs on the back. My front Jandd rack is rated for 25 lbs. and the Bontrager rear is rated for 50 lbs. My tires seemed a bit soft, so that may have been the cause of the wobble also.

John
Try and get all heavy items as low as you can... Bottom of your panniers with nothing heavy on top of the rack will help more than anything with regards to the above mentioned wobble.
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Old 02-21-10, 12:05 PM   #11
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I guess it's good for training. I've ridden the Katy twice and never wanted for food or cooking gear. Except in really remote areas I've found it best to "live off the land" ie restaurants and convenience stores. Something you may consider is a 3rd water bottle as not all trailheads have fountains and those that do may be turned off early in the season.

Pick up a brochure at the trailhead when you start and it should tell you what each town has. Or you can just print this.

http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/services.htm

Good luck.
I'll have two water bottles in cages and one, and possibly two more in bags.

I've been reading up quite a bit. I've kept up with the KATY trail website and have read Brett Dufur's "The Complete KATY Trail Guidebook" more than once. Since I like to cook, I plan on cooking my breakfasts and dinners and buying lunch at the local establishments. That'll give me a chance to meet a few local folks also.

John
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Old 02-21-10, 12:07 PM   #12
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Try and get all heavy items as low as you can... Bottom of your panniers with nothing heavy on top of the rack will help more than anything with regards to the above mentioned wobble.
That's just the kind of advice I need. I've got two levels of attachment on the Jandd front rack and I had the bags on the top level. I'll put it down to the lower level and give it a try.

John
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Old 02-21-10, 03:57 PM   #13
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definitely move the front panniers lower. There will be wobbliness compared to unloaded no matter how well it's packed but the more front weight that's placed lower the better. I'm wondering if you need a rear rack trunk. Most of those basic tube replacement and tool items can be crammed into a small seat bag and strapped into the triangle under the seat cluster between seat tube/seatstays and fender with the rest of the items in a side pocket. I'll put a tube in a nytrile/latex glove and the tools in another glove. That way when the bike has been through multiple downpours the tools don't sit in a wet pile and the gloves can be useful if you don't want to have black hands changing a tire. Tire/tube changing isn't, hopefully, a daily occurence so there's no reason to use up pack space for it when the bike has that space on it. Besides you can strip the bike of it's bags and go riding without remembering "oh yeah, gotta put that stuff back on".
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Old 02-22-10, 08:37 AM   #14
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Here goes my standard advice: bring a notebook (or an mp3 player that records your voice.) During your trip, make notes about the items you brought and what you wish you'd brought. I find that no matter how thoroughly I think through my packing list, my thinking is only truly dialed in when I'm out on tour. Notes to yourself about what you brought that you could do without, what you brought that was invaluable, and what you didn't bring but wish you had, will be so helpful the next time you plan a tour. I keep refining my list, and I go back and forth on certain items. It's nice to have notes to myself that I can refer to so I will remember why or why not a certain item was valuable.

By the way, if you are a few days into your tour and decide you're tired of carrying around surplus stuff you can go to a post office, buy a box, and send it home. I've done it a couple of times, and I've read about lots of others doing it also.

Have a great trip! You look ready.
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Old 02-23-10, 12:40 AM   #15
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The fx series is a good line of hybrids, but they do tend to wobble a bit when heavily loaded. That's one reason I went with a trailer for mine.

BTW, what's with seven pairs of socks?
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Old 02-23-10, 12:51 AM   #16
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nice, this is encouraging, I'm planning a 2 month tour on my 7.3 soon.

What tires are you running? I bought Schwalbe Smart Sam's 700x35c for $30 each. They are lighter than the stock bontrager tires and I haven't gotten a puncture yet. I find the Smart Sam's a nice balance between road quickness and off road tread. Definitely an improvement over the stock tires.
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Old 02-23-10, 03:01 PM   #17
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The fx series is a good line of hybrids, but they do tend to wobble a bit when heavily loaded. That's one reason I went with a trailer for mine.

BTW, what's with seven pairs of socks?
Oh, it's just what was recommended on some website. I do like dry feet however!

The wobble was not bad at all, but I did notice it. I've not been able to try it out again with the front panniers down low. Hope that works.

John
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Old 02-23-10, 03:08 PM   #18
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nice, this is encouraging, I'm planning a 2 month tour on my 7.3 soon.

What tires are you running? I bought Schwalbe Smart Sam's 700x35c for $30 each. They are lighter than the stock bontrager tires and I haven't gotten a puncture yet. I find the Smart Sam's a nice balance between road quickness and off road tread. Definitely an improvement over the stock tires.
I've switched from the OEM Bontragers to Kenda Pro 35's TPI 60 with nobbies. When I bought a road bike, I put the Kenda's on to use the Trek FX 7.3 for a trail bike. It's sort of like a cyclocross with flat bars and works very well for that purpose. I've found the FX to be a great all round bike. With the lower pressure Kenda's (75 psi) the ride is very nice. I've thought about changing the tires for the trip, but I think the Kendas will be fine for the crushed limestone.

John
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Old 02-23-10, 08:07 PM   #19
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Touring on a Trek FX? Hmmm. My wife bought a Trek FX 7.5 Women's specific late last fall. She is just getting back into riding and had some old knee issues back in the 80's. So far the new Trek has treated her well and she is excited about biking again.

But touring on it? I would love if that could happen. She could carry some light things and I the rest in the BOB. Is this a reasonable idea?
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Old 02-23-10, 09:18 PM   #20
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RepWI, yea it will work. This is my wife's 7.5 and although I'm carrying the lion's share of the heavier stuff (so what's new), it works just fine. We've also used an Old Man Mountain rack on the front on other occasions but most of the time we try to travel as light as possible. I should add that my wife weighs in at less than 120 lbs, so the low spoke count rear wheel is not much of an issue.


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Old 02-23-10, 10:09 PM   #21
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RepWI, yea it will work. This is my wife's 7.5 and although I'm carrying the lion's share of the heavier stuff (so what's new), it works just fine. We've also used an Old Man Mountain rack on the front on other occasions but most of the time we try to travel as light as possible. I should add that my wife weighs in at less than 120 lbs, so the low spoke count rear wheel is not much of an issue.

TY, This is great to hear and see. My wife also comes in at around 120 and I also will carry the lion's share.
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