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  1. #1
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    Loaded touring bike on a mountain descent?

    Being a roadie, I'm looking at various pictures and seeing so much stuffs are being strapped on the touring bikes. So how does the bike handle mountain descent? It looks scary with that all of that weights on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Great if the load is balanced and you have the proper bike. My Long Haul Trucker is rock solid on fast loaded descents. Other non touring bikes I've used had a bit of speed wobble.
    My 2010-2011 tour from Argentina to Ecuador:
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  3. #3
    It's true, man.
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    Yep, a lot depends on how you load. The rest is bike construction and sheer weight.

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    It's a little faster with the added weight, but otherwise about the same as unloaded. The luggage weight is still pretty small compared to my own.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    My Bike? Fine. but It is a solid rig. racks and bags fit each other
    with out any loose motion.
    gear on top of the back rack strapped down solid, too.
    pretty much, like a Truck, it's about how you secure your load.

    But As often as not, I am liable to stop on the down slope, and enjoy the view..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-09-11 at 12:59 PM.

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    Agree with above posters - depends on the bike and how it's loaded. I let my Trek 520 get up to 45 mph coming down Cottonwood Pass, but other times I've been much more timid. Trailers on the other hand... are scary as hell.
    ...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Simon Cowbell's Avatar
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    My Salsa seems more stable at speed when loaded. It took awhile to re-adjust to riding it unloaded.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    If properly loaded, should not be a problem. Braking needs careful management to minimize heat build up, even with discs.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  9. #9
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    hyhuu, Because the geometry is more lax and there's generally more trail on a touring frame than a road frame the touring frame is pretty stable at speed, including sweepers.

    Brad

  10. #10
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    Both my touring bikes, when loaded, feel extremely stable on descents, but braking on very long slopes is not so easy. My hands get tired from squeezing or modulating the levers, and the extra mass of the stuff I carry -- generally between 8 and 14 kg -- means that the bike is only too happy to accelerate. Both bikes have cantilever brakes. Not sure if disk or V brakes would make a difference.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    rock solid, my LHT rides like its on rails when loaded.

    this video going 40mph on my loaded touring bike was shot one handed. I've lifted both my hands off the bars doing 50mph.

    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
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    Dropping down the side of mountain on road with four bags is fine, just let the breaks cool.

    Off tar with four bags stinks. With two bags and two stuff sacks I was able to shift things around to optimize up and down. I'm --suspecting-- a trailer may work better when carrying a bunch of gear?
    Last edited by escii_35; 12-08-11 at 08:58 PM.

  13. #13
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    The bike has lots of trail and a long wheel base to help keep it stable. When loaded properly (tight, weight inside the axles and low), then loaded touring bikes do indeed ride like they are on rails and even off-road descents are easy. The only problem is when you are faced with a grade that requires extensive braking (heat), but even that isn't too difficult to manage.

  14. #14
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
    Great if the load is balanced and you have the proper bike. My Long Haul Trucker is rock solid on fast loaded descents.
    My loaded LHT was on rails descending off of Coal Bank Pass (Silverton-Durango, CO) in a heavy rain thunderstorm with lightning all around. I felt about as safe as one can in that situation.
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  15. #15
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    I've lifted both my hands off the bars doing 50mph.
    Bek, I am very comfortable at that speed and higher on a bicycle, and more than triple that on a motorcycle, but I have to say that taking both hands off the bars at 80k has never crossed my mind.
    Your bike is very stable. Must give the LHT its due for that.

    ps, OP, are you from Virginia?
    Last edited by djb; 12-08-11 at 11:56 PM.

  16. #16
    djb
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    this is hilarious, over in the roadie section, this fellow posted a thread about "stuffs and craps" and they gave no end of hell about poops and such...here its "weights and stuffs" and every damn one of us is just so damn polite--it makes me laugh but also why I like the touring section...

    and no, with judicious and ample bungee cord use, the dumbbells don't budge at all on descents.

  17. #17
    Senior Member aggri1's Avatar
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    Yeah I've never had a worry about stability, just occasionally the brakes getting hot - mainly on steep(ish) dirt roads where you can't just let it roll and manage speed aerodynamically (sit up, bend low, sit up...). Then again, the fastest I've had my Surly (bit over 70km/h) was on a straight, steep, dirt road - well, my little brother was ahead of me and so what was I _supposed_ to do? ;-)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    this is hilarious, over in the roadie section, this fellow posted a thread about "stuffs and craps" and they gave no end of hell about poops and such...here its "weights and stuffs" and every damn one of us is just so damn polite--it makes me laugh but also why I like the touring section...
    That is a funny thread on the roadie section. I particularly like the guy who wrote that he's spent $10,000 this year and ridden about 200 miles.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lou Skannon's Avatar
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    I toured on a disc-brake bike for the first time this year and was amazed by the smell when descending long zig-zag hills, fully loaded. Thankfully there was no fading due to heat and i didn't have to resort to putting my right foot on the front tyre.
    My biggest worry on high-speed descents is aways the back tyre and whether I would walk away from a blow-out.

  20. #20
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    Roadie section is purely for entertainment only. Anyway, I realized that my question was incomplete. When I asked about descending, I also meant to ask how well do touring bikes when loaded corner at high speed. Thanks.

  21. #21
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    Handles fine if the load's packed right and everything on the bike is adjusted. I once had a slight shimmy (coming down Lost Trail Pass), so I kept it down to about 35 mph on that one. Couple days later in Missoula I had the true touched up by a very good mechanic.

    I suspect tourists may be more conservative that roadies on descents:
    - Some tourists modulate speeds a bit to avoid blowouts from braking too hard
    - Tourists may be a long way from civilization, and don't want an ambulance ride to disturb that
    - Can't lean the bike over too far because of bags
    - After it takes a few hours to climb a pass, who cares if it takes another 2 minutes to get down?

  22. #22
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    If things are set up well,it's just like a normal bike......but faster downhill.You just have to watch your speed in the mountains,not because of handling,but because of the brakes.You can build speed fast but I only have so much tire on the ground for braking.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Trailers on the other hand... are scary as hell.
    Don't be such a girl.

  24. #24
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    Decending on my tourer is much more fun than going down the same road when racing. I could certainly get round the bends faster on my road bike, but the extra weight makes the straight faster and the bike feel more planted. More importantly though, a decent when racing is about how fast you can go, how much risk you are prepared to take, how scared you are willing to be. Coming back down the the hill on a tour is about... WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! if you want to slow down you can. If you want to stop and take a photo, all you have to look forward to is more WEEEEEEEE!!!

    I love going down hill when I tour. When I used to race? Not so much.

  25. #25
    Senior Member aggri1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat tabby View Post
    ...Coming back down the the hill on a tour is about... WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!...
    Oh dude, that's awesome! Laugh of my day! Thanks!

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