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Old 08-03-10, 12:48 AM   #1
chrischan
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Touring on a road bike?

Hi all,

Last year I did a credit card tour of the Pacific Coast on my 2008 Cannondale Synapse 6 (http://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng...pse-6-(triple) ) road bike. Next year, I'm thinking of taking this bike on a fully-loaded self-supported tour of around 14 days. I know, I know.. it's obviously not the brightest thing in the world to do. Fully loaded touring on a road bike?! But because I'm on a very tight budget, I won't be able to purchase a sturdy touring bike.

The Synapse 6 doesn't have any eyelets to mount a rear rack, but I'm thinking about buying some Tubus stay mounting clamps (similar to "P" clamps) that will allow me to mount one. My main concern however is how the bike frame will hold up with the weight (40 lbs.+). After all, I don't think it was crafted to hold so much weight in that area.

As for everything else other than the rack issue, I feel that my bike is pretty suited for a tour. Some things I swapped out in exchange for: Continental Gatorskins (700 x 28) , Brooks Saddle, and extra bottle cages. I already have a Lonepeak handlebar bag which I used for my last credit card tour, and I'm thinking of purchasing a set of Ortlieb panniers and rack pack for the rear rack.

I'm leaning more to the rack+panniers concept, but as a back-up I think I will go for the BOB trailer as a last resort.

So what are your thoughts on touring fully loaded on a Cannondale Synapse 6 road bike? Does anybody have any experience with this? Please note that yes.. I am fully aware of the disadvantages of using a road bike on a tour. Advice is MUCH appreciated!
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Old 08-03-10, 12:58 AM   #2
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I'd go on a sag tour. What's the problem. Makes climbing easier too. Oregon has lots of sag tours.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:03 AM   #3
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I'd go on a sag tour. What's the problem. Makes climbing easier too. Oregon has lots of sag tours.
Meh. I thought of doing that.. but I'd prefer to haul my own gear.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:46 AM   #4
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We found an easy and inexpensive way to do sag. The non cycling spouses went on ahead carrying our stuff in the car.. We met up with them later.. They had their silly day of shopping, etc. While we rode.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:56 AM   #5
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We found an easy and inexpensive way to do sag. The non cycling spouses went on ahead carrying our stuff in the car.. We met up with them later.. They had their silly day of shopping, etc. While we rode.

Sag is lame. OP I see no problem at all, its not like its some elite 8 lb carbon racing bike or something. If you are careful to load the bike properly it should be fine for that short tour. Of course you could just pull a trailer like you said. Its not like you are going into the antarctic or patagonia... (well you make it sound like you are going in the US). Get some wheels more suited to touring.

If you aren't going till next year just get your panniers set up and test it out and work out any bugs.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:59 AM   #6
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Not a problem. About 1000 miles from Copenhagen to Switzerland with a loaded full carbon road bike. I got three flat tires (28mm Gatorskins with too low pressure) but that was all, nothing broke.

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Old 08-03-10, 03:05 AM   #7
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Not a problem. About 1000 miles from Copenhagen to Switzerland with a loaded full carbon road bike. I got three flat tires (28mm Gatorskins with too low pressure) but that was all, nothing broke.


Nice, is that a chinese frame ? (no decals). I like how you match
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Old 08-03-10, 04:40 AM   #8
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Nice, is that a chinese frame ? (no decals). I like how you match
Thanks. Yes, that is one of those "ebay carbon frames". 2000 miles on it and still going strong.

The rear rack was installed with a DIY-quick release adapter, similar to Tubus.

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Old 08-03-10, 04:47 AM   #9
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Not a problem. About 1000 miles from Copenhagen to Switzerland with a loaded full carbon road bike. I got three flat tires (28mm Gatorskins with too low pressure) but that was all, nothing broke.

How much were you carrying? It looks like a nice setup as long as the wheels are up to the load.
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Old 08-03-10, 05:03 AM   #10
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How much were you carrying? It looks like a nice setup as long as the wheels are up to the load.
Bike weighs 7,8kg and the gear was about 10kg, including tent. I did carry spare spokes for those wheels (Mavic Aksium) but they were fine and still perfectly true.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:48 AM   #11
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While pundits advise against touring on a bike like yours, I've seen people on tour with similar ones, and they seemed to be doing fine. If you want to, go for it. I would, however, advise going as light as possible. I've also seen lots of people touring with really small loads - about what I have in one pannier! (Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's possible to travel pretty light - much lighter than me.)
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Old 08-03-10, 01:21 PM   #12
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You might want to swap the inner ring on your crank for a 26 or 24... Oregon has some serious mountains, and with the extra load, you'll find it much more pleasant for your knees.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:22 PM   #13
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H'm, touring on a road bike question? Must be Tuesday

Since the frame is alloy, you can use p-clamps to secure a rack. A trailer is probably overkill for 40 lbs. However, the bike is probably going to handle very poorly with 40 lbs on the back. I'd look into front and rear racks that secures to the brake bosses (e.g. Old Man Mountain) or other alternatives to distribute the weight.

Next issue is gearing. You're guaranteed to face some pretty serious climbing -- iirc the stretch from Big Sur to San Simeon has around 6000 feet of climbing. If you haven't done it already, I'd make sure you have the lowest gearing you can fit on your bike.

Otherwise 14 days, I say no problem as long as the bike is comfy enough.

Oh, and no bikes allowed on the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
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