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Old 06-27-10, 07:34 AM   #1
georgesv
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touring with a surly pacer

I am thinking about touring for 2 weeks with my pacer and am unsure as to how to carry my load. does anyone have any ideas? im thinking either a bob-yak trailer or a tubus fly.

any advice appreciated!
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Old 06-27-10, 08:37 AM   #2
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I've done some touring on regular road bikes, a Schwinn Tempo back in the day and more recently a giant road bike. On the Tempo I tried using racks and just lashing stuff to it, the wheels weren't meant for that and I broke spokes. By the time i got the giant I had bought a trailer, a yakima Big tow, which was a Bob clone. That worked much better in my opinion. Also looking at the specs for the Pacer, I think you would have heel strike issues with panniers due to the shorter chainstays than are found on a touring bike, they aren't as short as some road bikes, but still a potential problem.

btw if money for a trailer becomes an issue, drop me a PM, my big tow is old and much beat up but still hauls and I haven't used it since getting my Long Haul Trucker. Maybe we can work a deal.
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Old 06-27-10, 09:38 AM   #3
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Tubus Fly rack and rear specific panniers with a cutout for heel clearance.

Or P clips and whatever racks you would like front and rear.

You could add a handlebar bag.

The Pacer is a decent light touring bicycle.
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Old 06-27-10, 05:41 PM   #4
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I agree with the tubus fly and some panniers with a heal cut out. A lot of the cheaper brands have heal cut outs and would be more than fine for a two week tour. Do you have any light weight camping gear? Just try and keep the overall weight down and you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 06-27-10, 06:34 PM   #5
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As long as you have strong wheels and you can avoid heel-strike somehow, the Pacer should do you well. I certainly would prefer a rack/panniers setup to pulling a third wheel and a bulky trailer behind me on tour.

You'll likely have heel-strike problems on the pacer with the Tubus Fly, especially if you have feet bigger than size 9. Furthermore, unless you're carrying a very, very light load for your two week tour, the fly will likely be wobbly under the load of two full panniers. This will affect your handling and stress your braze-ons.

The Tubus Logo has a second pannier mounting rail that is further back to allow for more heel clearance. You'll have to get some sort of rubberized p-clamps to make up for the lack of rack braze-ons on the seat stays. I recommend doing business with "The Touring Store".
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Old 06-28-10, 07:57 AM   #6
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or bags and minimal kit:



tubus fly is a great rack. depending on pannier size you may have heel strike. i used one on my LeMond Zurich a few years ago for lite loads - I made some aluminum standoffs that pushed the rack back a bit...
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Old 06-28-10, 11:29 AM   #7
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I believe Tubus makes rack extender hardware to help move their racks back a smidge.
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Old 06-28-10, 11:54 AM   #8
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Thats funny I actually put a rack on my pacer this weekend (Jandd Expedition with P clamps), funny timing. After putting it on though I did notice that the braze ons seem a little weak in that theres not a lot of steel between the circular braze on and the dropouts. Im not sure how strong it really is.
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Old 06-28-10, 03:20 PM   #9
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thanks everyone. could anyone recommend some panniers with a heel cut-out?
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Old 06-28-10, 04:12 PM   #10
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bmike: Nice ride!
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Old 06-28-10, 06:06 PM   #11
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bmike: Nice ride!
thanks. kind of a mongrel.
campy carbon bits, shimano brakes, TA cranks, leather saddle, lots of luggage, dyno lights.
first time it went to the local shop they didn't know what to make of it...
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Old 06-28-10, 06:25 PM   #12
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first time it went to the local shop they didn't know what to make of it...
That's because most bike shops are way off track.
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Old 08-28-10, 06:35 AM   #13
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I'm probably a bit late but I just found this thread and hoped my experience might help.

I toured Ireland on a Pacer in April 2010, using a Tubus Vega (Fly with platform) and Ortlieb back roller plus panniers. I am 6'4", 210lbs with EU size 46 feet, using a 60cm frame and had no problem with heel strike. I do ride to work with panniers every single day (Lemond Fillmore with fly rack) though so perhaps my technique will have helped with this. I also used an Ortlieb bar bag.

I carried light but complete camping kit (sleeping bag, stoves, tent, thermarest etc.) as well as cycling gear, wet weather and general stuff. I also fitted in a spare Conti 4 Season in case the terrible Irish roads got the better of me! But the combination of my strong Exal rims and the 4 seasons was bombproof. The Vega was a fair choice as it can take a reasonable balanced load but offers more flexibility than the Fly as you can bungee a tent neatly on top, between the panniers.

I used rubberised p-clamps on the seat stays as suggested above (Tubus do a kit which also includes the aluminium spacers to set the rack further back if you wish - I did not do this), and while there was a bit of movement/wobble I covered around 800km and only had to tighten the bolts once. Impossible to say how much stress I put through the braze-ons as there are no visible signs of weakening, but I'm still riding it and I'll keep going as long as it does! It's a good point though.

I think the Pacer is a great choice for light touring and would recommend it to anyone. By no means do I think it necessary to tow a trailer. If a rear rack does not provide enough space or you feel cannot take enough weight I would consider swapping out the fork for one with braze-ons for a front rack. This would allow the heaviest items to be carried forward. I have almost done this myself a couple of times but have resisted the urge to tinker any further!

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 08-28-10, 06:46 AM   #14
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I've had a Fly for years, 4 or 5 at least. I've lost track.

There are a number of good pannier brands out there. We use Deuter,
mostly because they were on sale at the time we got them. Although
they are good, and easy to use.

http://commutebybike.com/2007/05/03/...ck-i-panniers/
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