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  1. #1
    Velophile Epicus07's Avatar
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    Touring with Specialized Allez Sport

    I know the geometry is going to be a PITA for any serious touring due to its race like design but how would it do with a light tent, sleeping bag etc on a rear rack for a few days?

    My only concern is the Aluminum tubing and the carbon fork. I loaded up a 70's aluminum track bike with camping gear and it handled like a squirrely possessed demon from hell. Will the newer aluminum (2006) be more capable of holding a load without losing its shape?

    Will the carbon fork be dangerous?

    I will buy a trailer if its necessary but want to hear what you guys think.

    Thanks!
    2009 Specialized Roubaix - Long Distance Bike
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    My wife did about six weeks of loaded touring on her Allez. It did OK, and with the loads you are talking about you should do fine. However, If you are on the heavier side it may get a little marginal. We did put 25mm tires on it.

    She is a lightweight and rides a 50 cm frame, which is pretty stable. She carries about 30 lbs in her panniers (rear only). I was behind her on a down- hill and she was pulling ahead of me when I started breaking at 40 mph.

  3. #3
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    My buddy has ridden an early-this decade Allez (not sure the exact model such as Sport) on loaded rides from Atlanta to Louisville and Louisville to Grand Junction, CO.

    I just looked at some pictures. The bike has a carbon front fork, aluminum frame. HE runs rear panniers and a medium-sized handlebar bag.

    Judging from his blog entries and talking to him, I don't think he has had any problems.

    His load does look light and the panniers are on the small side. If you can find small panniers and a rack that allows them to sit further back (to prevent heel strike), you should be fine. Always could change to stronger wheels if need be, although I do think my buddy did his rides on the stock tires.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I have an Allez with 32-spoke wheels (25mm tires). I wouldn't hesitate to load it with a sleeping bag and tent and a foam pad on the back and take off. Maybe even a small backpack with some clothes. I weigh 200 lbs. myself. However, for my normal touring load - clothes, tools, cooking gear, camera, book, etc. - I wouldn't consider it.

    What kind of wheels does your Allez have? The drive-side spokes in the rear wheel are often the first to break if something's going to.

  5. #5
    Bok
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    bigbluetoe,
    What kind of rear rack are you using for the Allez? Id like to do some light touring (200-500 mi) on my 2006 Alllez Comp. Seems like the only rack that would work is the bontrager backrack lightweight (Bontrager: BackRack Lightweight (Model #08214)). Any feedback or suggestions would be helpful.

  6. #6
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    Axiom racks should also work, either the Streamliner or Unifit models. Most are rated at 50KG, which I don't believe, and they carry a lifetime warranty.
    http://www.axiomgear.com/manuals/str...r-road-dlx.pdf

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    It will help if you manage to pack very light. I did the Southern Tier from San Diego to Pensacola on an older aluminum crit bike with a carbon fork and 32 spoke wheels. It was a fairly similar setup to what you propose. I liked it better than touring on my "real" touring bike. I was packing 14 pounds of gear. The lighter you go the more sense the Allez will make. I figure that I actually start to prefer a bike like that at around 20 pounds base gear weight.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea just dont put anything on that carbon fork , handle bar bag, rear panniers . keep the load small and Light ..


    people have just towed BoB trailers with Road bikes .. we see many on the OR coast every year. It Works too ..

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  10. #10
    Bok
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    Thanks a ton for your quick responses! Sounds like some light touring shouldn't be a problem with the proper setups mentioned above. I am probably going to try out a 2 day ride from San Francisco down to Monterrey CA with a later goal of riding from SF to LA.

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    I'm currently on a trip, my third trip in the 39000 miles I've put on my Allez Comp in the past two years. It handles 35 pounds in a backpack with 3 pounds in the handlebar bag fine. The only trouble I ever notice is getting stinkin' bottom bracket noise. I just replaced the bottom bracket last Friday a couple of days before I left with a new Shimano 105 BB and the darn thing started making noise on me the first evening out. It's pathetic. I can't keep that darn noise gone at all. I had 3 BB on it and hope upgrading to a real BB versus the junk the bike came with would take care of the noise. No such luck. It doesn't appear to have any cracks in the frame from what I saw when I looked as I changed the BB but the noise just loves to come and go. Fortunately it isn't too frequent right now.

    Heck I've even been riding the each of the past three days part of the time in an aerobar fashion without aerobar on the bike. It feels and just seems so much easier than riding all the time with the hands on the bars. I just padded out the handlebar bag since the 'rib' for it sticks up above the bars and it works great as a nice arm rest. It helps to keep the head up more and I actually see a lot more in the aero position than I do in the more upright position. My head doesn't hit the backpack...so why not.

  12. #12
    Bok
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    Hi Bikenh!
    I saw one of your posts the other day. What kind of backpack and handlebar pack do you use? At some point, I want to take my bike over to Japan and ride from Tokyo to Osaka and I think having a backpack rather than a rear rack would make for easier packing/transport of the bike for international flying.

    edit PS: do you have a journal or blog (maybe on crazyguyonabike.com)? Concept of touring is new to me and I love reading about other people experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    I'm currently on a trip, my third trip in the 39000 miles I've put on my Allez Comp in the past two years. It handles 35 pounds in a backpack with 3 pounds in the handlebar bag fine. The only trouble I ever notice is getting stinkin' bottom bracket noise. I just replaced the bottom bracket last Friday a couple of days before I left with a new Shimano 105 BB and the darn thing started making noise on me the first evening out. It's pathetic. I can't keep that darn noise gone at all. I had 3 BB on it and hope upgrading to a real BB versus the junk the bike came with would take care of the noise. No such luck. It doesn't appear to have any cracks in the frame from what I saw when I looked as I changed the BB but the noise just loves to come and go. Fortunately it isn't too frequent right now.

    Heck I've even been riding the each of the past three days part of the time in an aerobar fashion without aerobar on the bike. It feels and just seems so much easier than riding all the time with the hands on the bars. I just padded out the handlebar bag since the 'rib' for it sticks up above the bars and it works great as a nice arm rest. It helps to keep the head up more and I actually see a lot more in the aero position than I do in the more upright position. My head doesn't hit the backpack...so why not.
    Last edited by Bok; 06-18-14 at 11:09 PM.

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    I'm using the same backpack I used when I thruhiked the AT back in 1997, a Mountainsmtih ???. I forget what the model name is...it's been 1997. The pack is sitting outside right now and I don't remember if it even has the model name on it or not. I'll check and if I can find the name on it I'll post it later this evening when I get into wherever I end up spending the night.

    The handlebar bag is new to me. One of the guys I ride with gave it to me a couple of weeks ago. I think it is something like a BikeRag or something like that. Until he gave it to me I has been using an old fanny pack that I could wrap right around the stem and keep it tightly in place. The only problem is zippers and me don't get along good together at all and the zippers on it had crapped out so I couldn't keep any of the pockets closed. Stuff was starting to fall out on me quite frequently so I was glad when I got the new bag handed to me.

    I haven't been keeping anything online for a journal. I have been sending out emails to a few friends of mine/family but otherwise I haven't did anything else online toward keeping a journal. I got to finish up yesterdays write up right now and then get out of here. I'm definitely doing 144 miles of not 180-190 miles today. Today is the make or break day toward reaching the goal I'm hoping to hit 12-3PM on Saturday. I really don't want to be getting into town late on Saturday...UGH!!! Fortunately I have 27 miles of the 144 already out of the way...plus a couple of other miles from the screw up I knew I was making when I made it.

  14. #14
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    Don't plan on carrying too much in a back pack. For one it's unwieldy, for another adding 15, 20, 30lbs to your weight is going to hurt your ass, and lastly it restricts your respiration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paddybogman View Post
    Don't plan on carrying too much in a back pack. For one it's unwieldy, for another adding 15, 20, 30lbs to your weight is going to hurt your ass, and lastly it restricts your respiration.
    I've been on two full trips, 2700 miles in 2012 and 1700 miles last year and I'm right now 400+ miles into this years trip, 150+ miles today alone. I haven't noticed any problems with the butt hurting. or it restricting my breathing. The only thing I notice, which I would no matter how I'm carrying the weight is the fact of having the extra weight I'm carrying. It takes a lot more energy to move an extra 35 pounds than it does when you don't have the extra weight...and how you're carrying that weight doesn't matter any at all.

    Actually, the one benefit I have been noticing this year is the better balance I have with the pack than I have without the pack. The weight helps to keep me more balanced when I get to a stoplight and don't want to unclip...always. I can move a lot slower, for a longer time and still have no balance troubles. I fess I can pretty much trackstand, at least as far as I think I would be able to without being on a bike where pedaling backwards lets me go backwards.

    I've also been spending a lot time when I'm not climbing or on crappy pavement riding in an aero position, with invisible aerobars. I don't any trouble with the head hitting the pack when I get down into an aerobar position as long as I have the pack put on correctly. Sometimes it take a second time putting it on in the morning to get it on correctly so the top of the pack doesn't hit the head when I get down in the aero position. Actually I'm not so sure it might not be how I have the top pocket packed that might actually be causing that problem. I'm going to try to do things a bit differently tomorrow and see what happens.

  16. #16
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bok View Post
    Hi Bikenh!
    I saw one of your posts the other day. What kind of backpack and handlebar pack do you use? At some point, I want to take my bike over to Japan and ride from Tokyo to Osaka and I think having a backpack rather than a rear rack would make for easier packing/transport of the bike for international flying.

    edit PS: do you have a journal or blog (maybe on crazyguyonabike.com)? Concept of touring is new to me and I love reading about other people experiences
    There's no need to use a backpack or a rear rack. If you pack sensibly you can actually carry all your gear onto the plane in two bags, but it's often a good idea to use some of it as padding for you packed bike. There are several approaches, saddlebags, bikepacking etc.

    Lightweight Touring Gear List Redux. | The Wheels of Chance

  17. #17
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    I've been on two full trips, 2700 miles in 2012 and 1700 miles last year and I'm right now 400+ miles into this years trip, 150+ miles today alone. I haven't noticed any problems with the butt hurting. or it restricting my breathing...Actually, the one benefit I have been noticing this year is the better balance I have with the pack than I have without the pack.
    What your saying is pretty impressive but I think perhaps your prowess might be masking some losses in efficiency that less seasoned riders would experience. Put on a 20 - 30 pound back pack that weight is transmitted to your hands and seat. You can change your hand position quite a bit but your sits bones are the primary interface on the saddle.

    While you may have found a way to carry a pack and improve your balance many people will find carrying the weight high on their back rather than a few inches above their axles will require more work to establish a balanced state.

    A large pack can also restrict your breathing. When you breathe you rib cage expands. leaning over handlebars can restrict some of that expansion in the chest add to that shoulder straps, a sternum strap and weight on your back and you are restricting your breathing even more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paddybogman View Post
    What your saying is pretty impressive but I think perhaps your prowess might be masking some losses in efficiency that less seasoned riders would experience. Put on a 20 - 30 pound back pack that weight is transmitted to your hands and seat. You can change your hand position quite a bit but your sits bones are the primary interface on the saddle.

    While you may have found a way to carry a pack and improve your balance many people will find carrying the weight high on their back rather than a few inches above their axles will require more work to establish a balanced state.

    A large pack can also restrict your breathing. When you breathe you rib cage expands. leaning over handlebars can restrict some of that expansion in the chest add to that shoulder straps, a sternum strap and weight on your back and you are restricting your breathing even more.
    Maybe so but I've haven't noticed any problems with the breathing or the butt.

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