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Old 05-30-12, 09:34 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Ultra-light rear bag and rack for a Cyclocross bike

I'm going to use a Cyclocross bike for credit-card touring. I want to be able to carry a change of cycling clothes and summer weather street clothes and shoes. These items are bulky but not all that heavy.

I'll carry a smaller but heavier items in a frame bag that fits under the top-tube.

The bike has attachment points for a rear rack.

What do you suggest?
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Old 05-30-12, 09:43 AM   #2
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On my last CC trip, I used an Ortlieb front bag (427 cu in), and a Topeak "quick lock" rack and rear bag (480 cu in). They make some that are larger, e.g. 750 cu in. No need for a frame bag.

Bringing real shoes will bulk things up a little bit. I'd bring sandals, flip-flops, Vibrams, something like that.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:57 AM   #3
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Rear rack? good .. Tubus makes a couple out of titanium.
... Ortlieb front roller, their Plus fabric is lighter than the 'classic'.

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Old 05-30-12, 10:11 AM   #4
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You could go several different routes. One would be a Carradice bag with their Bagman rack, as some of their bags will carry as much as small panniers. Another approach would be a lightweight rack like a Tubus Fly with relatively light panniers such as Ortlieb Front Roller Classics (other lighter panniers are available but not as waterproof).
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Old 05-30-12, 11:36 AM   #5
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I've been thinking along those lines, but going the route of the ultra-lite bikepacking bags. However, I'm thinking of picking up a Granite Gear sil-nylon compression sack (weight about 3-4 oz). Its waterproof and since its a compression sack will hold everything very tight. Then just a couple of straps around the bag to hang it from the seat rails or loops if you have a Brook's. Since they come in various sizes, you can tailor your capacity to the amount of clothing. This eliminates the rack and panniers. May not be as elegant as the custom bikepacking bags, but for a minimum of gear and road riding I think it would work well for a CC tour. Like I said, I'm going to try this route later this summer.
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Old 05-30-12, 11:37 AM   #6
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If you want Ultra-light, and don't mind some money, the only real thing to do in my mind is buy a Tubus Airy and then contact Chris Zimmer to make you a set of these. His Cuben panniers are ridiculously light and strong. The whole setup weight less than a Carradice with close to twice the volume.

I suppose if you don't need the volume, and don't want the 8 ounces of rack on your bike, you could contact him about doing a Cuben Carradice clone, that could be interesting.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:04 PM   #7
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I'm using this for heavier items: https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...=1&ProductID=5
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Old 05-30-12, 12:23 PM   #8
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I've been thinking along those lines, but going the route of the ultra-lite bikepacking bags. However, I'm thinking of picking up a Granite Gear sil-nylon compression sack (weight about 3-4 oz).
I used two UltraSil Dry sacks from Sea to Summit on the Southern Tier. I strapped them to a rack rather than the seat post though. I will say they were pretty much shot after 30 days on the road. They had a variety of places where they were abraded through to leave small holes and I clumsily made a 6" rip in one. I patched them with duct tape on the road and could have done a better repair, but they still seem a bit too flimsy to me.Not sure if the Granite Gear ones are heavier duty or not. I replaced them with Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sacks which seem much sturdier. The 20 liter Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sack was 3 ounces and the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack was 1.8 ounces. Neither are compression sacks though, but the Evac one compresses pretty well by rolling down the top and letting the breathable bottom let the air out.

I have not yet toured with the eVAC Dry Sack, but think it will be worth the extra 1.2 ounces. For my use the flatter shape works out better too, but that may or may not be the case the way you plan to use it.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:29 PM   #9
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BTW, if you want a fairly light rack and don't want to spring for a Tubus Airy I am pretty happy with the Axiom Streamliner. It is light, narrow, sturdy, and inexpensive.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:02 PM   #10
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Consider the Arkel Tailrider- Rack top bag or the new Tailrider Expedition - Rack top bag with drop down dry bag panniers. The original has worked well for over eight years. Overbuilt as usual for Arkel. The Expedition version looks promising although pricey.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:04 PM   #11
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I used to use a Tubus Fly on my cyclocross bike with a pair of small panniers. The rack is super light and stable. No mounts on my current bike so I'm going the Revelate route.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:44 AM   #12
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Get one of their seat bags to match.
Pika is likely plenty big enough for short tours.
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Old 06-04-12, 02:05 AM   #13
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Carradice saddlebags have one of the best load/weight ratios. No rack required for loads up to about 25l
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Old 06-04-12, 03:12 AM   #14
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Carradice saddlebags have one of the best load/weight ratios. No rack required for loads up to about 25l
I'm fairly certain that isn't the case. A Camper Longflap, without the bagman, is 24 liters/ 920 grams, or 0.026 liters per gram. The Relevate bags (seat and frame) gets you 20 liters of carrying capacity for 650 grams, or .03 liters per gram.

now that I've found this new metric, I'm going to try some other stuff.

Starting with everyone's favorite light rack, the Tubus Airy, and adding to it a pair of Ortlieb backroller classics, you get 0.018 liters/ gram, far less than either ultra-light set-up.

The Pros do better, at 0.022 l/g, close to the Carradice, with a lot more volume.

An Arkel Tailrider Expedition comes in at .026 g/l, when paired with an Airy. The normal is just .02 g/l.

A Bob Ibex with their drybag comes in at a paltry 0.015.

A VO Champagne handlebar bag with rack and decauleur is 0.008. Pretty poor for how pretty it looks.
The Ortleib large, by comparison is 0.012. It looks like handlebar bags are just an inefficient way to carry stuff.

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Old 06-04-12, 05:08 AM   #15
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I'm fairly certain that isn't the case. A Camper Longflap, without the bagman, is 24 liters/ 920 grams, or 0.026 liters per gram. The Relevate bags (seat and frame) gets you 20 liters of carrying capacity for 650 grams, or .03 liters per gram.
+1 on the Carradice not being the lightest per volume. They are not even close. They do have some advantages though. For one the bag can be moved to pretty much any bike with little fuss.

BTW, a light-ish rack like the Axiom Streamliner (or lighter yet the Tubus Fly) with some light dry bags can come in lighter on a volume per gram comparison, depending on the volume you need. My Streamliner, eVac Dry Sacks, and all the attachment stuff weighs 710g and can adjust between <20 liters and 40 liters depending on how far you roll the closures down. This system came in cheaper that either a Carradice or Relevate bags.

Each system has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Which one works best depends on the tour and the rider's preferences.
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Old 06-04-12, 08:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
BTW, a light-ish rack like the Axiom Streamliner (or lighter yet the Tubus Fly) with some light dry bags can come in lighter on a volume per gram comparison, depending on the volume you need. My Streamliner, eVac Dry Sacks, and all the attachment stuff weighs 710g and can adjust between <20 liters and 40 liters depending on how far you roll the closures down. This system came in cheaper that either a Carradice or Relevate bags.
Hi staehpj1,

This combination sounds good to me, but I'm having a hard time imaging how the eVac Dry Sack is secured to the rack.

I'm a taller rider on a size 59cm frame, I'll have plenty of room just behind the seatpost and under the saddle.

Do you have a picture or a discription of the rack, bag and meathod of attachment?

Michael
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Old 06-04-12, 08:40 AM   #17
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Hi staehpj1,

This combination sounds good to me, but I'm having a hard time imaging how the eVac Dry Sack is secured to the rack.

I'm a taller rider on a size 59cm frame, I'll have plenty of room just behind the seatpost and under the saddle.

Do you have a picture or a discription of the rack, bag and meathod of attachment?

Michael
On my last tour (San Diego to Sarasota) I did this:

The bags are attached with straps like those used to carry a tent or sleeping bag on a backpack.

On my next trip the following gives a rough idea of what I plan although the bungees are probably not ideally placed.

The bungees are made up from high quality 1/4" shock cord and ends bought from the local marina.


Prussik knots used as the lower anchor points.

This setup has not been proven yet, but I am confident it will do fine on my August tour of the Colorado Rockies. You can find a bunch more info by following the link in my sig line to my articles and journals.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:03 AM   #18
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The Camper Longflap has a lot of overloading capacity. You can stuff things under the long flap (eg your lunch) and strap bits (waterproofs, tarps etc) to the top rings. I thing the Relevate bags are pretty much full to capacity at their spec.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:16 AM   #19
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I'm a taller rider on a size 59cm frame, I'll have plenty of room just behind the seatpost and under the saddle.
Just a thought, Barret....
If you happen to have canti brakes on your bike, what about a Nashbar front platform with a stuffed dry bag sitting "upside down" on the rack? If you sewed in a small loop the "bottom" end, you`d be able to buckle the wrapped part around the rack and tie the added loop to a saddle rail to keep the load from bouncing/tipping to the rear or to either side. Something similar was done by a couple of Brompton tourists (but using backpacks) in the "Road Less Pedalled" blog.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:24 AM   #20
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Just a thought, Barret....
If you happen to have canti brakes on your bike, what about a Nashbar front platform with a stuffed dry bag sitting "upside down" on the rack? If you sewed in a small loop the "bottom" end, you`d be able to buckle the wrapped part around the rack and tie the added loop to a saddle rail to keep the load from bouncing/tipping to the rear or to either side. Something similar was done by a couple of Brompton tourists (but using backpacks) in the "Road Less Pedalled" blog.
FWIW, that rack isn't too hard to adapt to bikes lacking canti bosses.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:40 AM   #21
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seems to me between what's available on a small mini front rack, and the revelate frame bag you could do just fine with the Revelate Pika seat bag. Oh, street clothes as in regular slacks and a shirt, gotcha. Still if you adjusted your street clothes to what can be rolled up in a compression bag mounted on the front rack you've pretty much eliminated the need for a rear rack.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:51 AM   #22
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Staeph, what size Event SeatoSummit bag are you showing on your rear rack? The Big River bags seem like an ideal bag for that application since they have the lash loops on the sides. I lashed some heavy waxed sail thread between the struts on my front VeloOrange rack so the bags can't press between the struts. Maybe 1/2" webbing with clips instead of or with bungies?
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Old 06-04-12, 10:06 AM   #23
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Carradice?
The Carridura saddle bag is Cordura type nylon..
so lighter than their cotton canvas line..

mine has a pocket for a mini-rack that was included ..
the rack slides in the pocket under the bag..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-04-12 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 06-04-12, 10:35 AM   #24
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Can't get much smaller and lighter than a Tobus Fly rack

Click on the pic to enlarge

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Old 06-04-12, 10:45 AM   #25
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Staeph, what size Event SeatoSummit bag are you showing on your rear rack? The Big River bags seem like an ideal bag for that application since they have the lash loops on the sides. I lashed some heavy waxed sail thread between the struts on my front VeloOrange rack so the bags can't press between the struts. Maybe 1/2" webbing with clips instead of or with bungies?
They are 20 liters, but it is rolled down to maybe 12 liters or so and I expect it to be most of the time. I figure it will be nice to have an extra 16 liters or so of emergency capacity for short term needs. Also I liked the breathable bottom to allow air to escape when rolling down the closure and compressing the load.

I decided against the Big River bag because I figured that the upper most anchor would be rolled up in the closure most of the time. That and the fact that it weighs 6 ounces per bag vs 3 ounces per bag. Not knocking the Big River as a choice. I can see where it might work great. If I do not find the eVac bags durable enough I may yet go with the Big River in the future. I don't expect that to be the case though.

Any pictures of the lashing on your front racks? I was planning to avoid the need for that by either using a piece of coroplast or a bag liner made from a windshield sun protector. The former is pretty light and the latter is very light, but the lashing may be lighter yet.
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