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Old 12-08-11, 02:17 PM   #1
hyhuu
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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.
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Old 12-08-11, 02:21 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-08-11, 02:38 PM   #3
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Yep, a lot depends on how you load. The rest is bike construction and sheer weight.
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Old 12-08-11, 02:44 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-08-11, 02:45 PM   #5
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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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Old 12-08-11, 04:06 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-08-11, 04:09 PM   #7
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My Salsa seems more stable at speed when loaded. It took awhile to re-adjust to riding it unloaded.
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Old 12-08-11, 06:58 PM   #8
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If properly loaded, should not be a problem. Braking needs careful management to minimize heat build up, even with discs.
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Old 12-08-11, 08:32 PM   #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.

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Old 12-08-11, 08:46 PM   #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.
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Old 12-08-11, 08:48 PM   #11
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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.

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Old 12-08-11, 08:55 PM   #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?

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Old 12-08-11, 09:15 PM   #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.
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Old 12-08-11, 10:26 PM   #14
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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.
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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Old 12-08-11, 11:52 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 12-09-11, 12:34 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-09-11, 04:54 AM   #17
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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? ;-)
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Old 12-09-11, 09:10 AM   #18
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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...
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.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:37 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:49 AM   #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.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:57 AM   #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?
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Old 12-09-11, 01:17 PM   #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.
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Old 12-09-11, 03:12 PM   #23
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Trailers on the other hand... are scary as hell.
Don't be such a girl.
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Old 12-09-11, 03:35 PM   #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.
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Old 12-09-11, 04:36 PM   #25
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...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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