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  1. #1
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    Ultra loaded touring

    I'm in the beginning of stages of trying to move cross country by my beloved KM. I'm just wanting some feedback on what I would be capable of doing. I cycle about 200 miles/week but its in iowa so now mountains

    I am really entertaining the idea of dragging an aluminum trailer with all my belongings with it but i don't know what the weight limits i would have trying to pass through the grand tetons (like 9500 elevation)

    any advice or feedback would be nice.

    Velo Vita

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Goran Kropp (RIP) hauled over 200 pounds of climbing gear and food on a bike from Sweden to Mt. Everest on a trailer prior to his successful solo ascent and then returned to Sweden by bike.

    I think there is going to be some practical limit around that number. I've hauled about that much on a sledge before. A couple of hundred pounds of gear becomes a large, kinetic driven mass that is unwieldy to manhandle when solo hauling.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Hot in China azesty's Avatar
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    Akira, a Japanese guy I met in Kyrgyzstan, 9 years riding, 125,000 km, 145 countries crossed the border from Iran to Turkmenistan with 100 kg of luggage, thats 220 pounds.

    z

  5. #5
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    acreekfur, Welcome to the forum.

    The most important thing I learned while I lived in Connecticut was to have a good set of brakes. I didn't carry nearly as much weight, but learned that going down a hill can be much more exciting than planned. If you're going to have an all up weight of 400+ lbs., I'd modify the trailer to have some sort of drag brake.

    You're completely on your own for the ascents.

    Brad

  6. #6
    oren_hershco
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    OK,
    There are always some nuts who hauled enormous weights over vast distances. So what?
    I think you first need to decide about the character of your trip:

    On one end of the scale, there's the camping and cooking method, which means carrying more stuff, but also cheaper costs and more chances to experience nature (and meet people)

    The other end of the scale is the luxury one - sleeping in hotels/ motels and eating in restaurants. Your bike will be significantly lighter in this option.

    But, even if you choose the first option, I see no reason for carrying more than 55-65lbs. In this weight budget you can include enough spare clothes, camping gear, cooking gear, tools, tablet PC, etc.

    The less you carry, the more milage you'll cover every day. A heavy load will reduce your daily milage, and force you to do more rest days due to fatigue. Packing every morning will also be a noisense, with too much stuff.

    More remarks:

    1. within the continental US, you don't need lots of spare parts. It's not necessary, for example, to carry a spare derailluer or a spare tire (which are heavy and bulky)

    2. Trailer can enable you to carry more, but for the ~60lbs load I mentioned, are not a must.

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    If I understand the question, you'll be moving stuff you don't need on the tour. Look at shipping rates and think about the potential costs of moving that much mass by muscle power. I would box up my belongings and mail them via General Delivery to my destination. Enjoy the ride!

  8. #8
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I've seen folks carry well over 100 pounds. That said, I recommend that you take only what you need for the ride and ship the rest. It will be much more pleasant riding.

  9. #9
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    Ropes are heavy

    First question to a very overloaded bicycle tourist at camp 4 at Yosemite. "are you trying to pull a Goran Kropp"

    I felt old when the 22 year old said no.

    With two front bags a sack on top of the rear rack and the trailer he was at 75+ lbs. "It's the ropes."

    If you are planning to travel heavy think about a trailer

  10. #10
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    This sounds like fun. Admittedly, my idea of fun is a little interesting.
    Anyway, I think your first step is to consider exactly what you want to take, need to take, and shouldn't take. Look at this as a golden opportunity to get rid of a bunch of crap.
    Put everything you don't need on craigslist. Sell it. Donate it. Give it to bums when they ask for change. Just get rid of it!
    Once you are left with the essentials, you'll know what it takes to haul them. A bikes at work trailer or similar would work. Brakes are probably a must. Bring camping gear, because with a load like that you won't always be able to make the mileage you want.
    Plan your trip carefully to avoid mountains when possible.
    Also, maybe you can get an adventurous friend to go with you. Craigslist can help there, too.
    Also,
    http://www.trisled.com.au/flatbed-truck.asp

  11. #11
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    You certainly COULD do this. But, for less than the price of the trailer, you could ship all that crap you don't actually need with you on the road to your new place, and then enjoy your tour a lot more! Also, and this is a minor point, occasionally people to get robbed while on tour. Would you really be comfortable leaving your tent, bike, AND everything you own on Earth at a campground while you go exploring?

  12. #12
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acreekfur View Post
    by my beloved km
    km ?

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You will need Serious Brakes on the trailer..
    unless you are traversing a billiard table flat place.



    There are shipping Pods, some pretty small,

    that you Pack yourself, curbside,
    and then the shipping company picks up the pod,
    trucks it to your new location, then you Unpack It.
    and It cost less than hiring a typical Van And Storage Company,
    or Renting and driving a U Haul Truck.

    you then can enjoy the Bike Tour between the 2 places.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-24-12 at 05:57 PM.

  14. #14
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    km=kilometer, karate monkey, internet country domain abbreviation for comoros

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comoros

  15. #15
    Has opinion, will express
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    A couple of other wise posters have mentioned about how weight in a trailer can become a real liability. If you are intent of climbing the Tetons, it's not so much getting up there safely (just it will take a long time), but getting down safely. A trailer drag brake would be handy.

    Having said that, here are two photos to egg you on. The first is of my bike with all the worldly possession I had at that point (well, almost, I had a small amount of items I left in Canada, but they were in two boxes). I was fruit picking at the time, and I was lugging around work clothes and other stuff. I have no idea of the weight of the bike and gear. The worst hill I climbed was 3km at an average of around 8%. I got off to walk about 100 metres from the top.

    The second is of a trailer I built, loaded with smaller boxes of books and larger boxes of household items. I was moving out of my flat at the time (well before the date of the first picture). Some of the route to the storage unit was up some low inclines, but with a tough but short climb on a bike path. I coped, but ran out of enthusiasm after three weeks of shuttling back and forth with various sized loads.

    The thing is, would you be ready to meet the mountains? Riding on the flats is OK, because once you get rolling, the weight helps keep you moving. But even a 1% incline can become old very fast. A 9% grade might be very, very tough.

    And will your bike handle the load you are contemplating? The only way to find out is with dummy runs -- fill your bike panniers and trailer with gear or bottles of water, and go for it.

    However... ensure the extension on the trailer attached to the bike is steel, not aluminium. Also expect the hitch to be the weakest point in your system, because of the extra weight.

    The guys in the Utility Cycling Forum might also offer some advice. Even building up an Extra-Cycle type of bike might be an option, and they can help you there, too.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Where are you in Iowa? I too am from the corn state (near Atlantic).

    I'm with several on here. Ship your junk and then enjoy the trip. I use a BOB and have toured from here to New Orleans, have done several RAGBRAI's and many 3 day trips with it. LOVE IT! My biggest trip was pulling about 50 lbs including all my kitchen and food.
    Dan in SW Iowa...
    life is lethal; none of us gets out alive!

  17. #17
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    km ?
    i thought at first it was his koga miyata.

    but on second thought, considering his plan,
    it's more likely his personal version of the infamous kobayashi maru.

  18. #18
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    Man, awesome feedback at this point so some more details about the trip. I live in ames iowa, and part of the appeal of this ride is to camp/move/tour all in the same adventure. I plan on selling the majority of my goods but bringing all the extra bicycle parts with me is kind of the point; they're the only thing of value I own I already have a heavy duty trailer from bikes at work and the karate monkey is well suited to handle the load. The wheels on the trailer are plastic so I'm wondering how I could manufacture a drag brake for it. I thi nk I can keep my total weight under 350, so I perhaps the 160mm mechanical disc brakes will suffice? Or should I invest in hydraulic solely for the better modulation (on the longer descents). Enough rambling I suppose.

    Thanks for all the legitimate input and concern.

    ps I'm intensely determined to do this ride (tetons and all)

  19. #19
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    acreekfur, The bike's brakes are probably okay and since they're disks, there will be no overheating the rims with extended braking (invest in some extra pads). Still try to fab a drag brake for safety's sake. May seem stupid, but this is an over the top trek you're planning, but you may even consider a small drag 'chute on the rear of the trailer. There are some that sprinters and runners use for training.

    Brad

  20. #20
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acreekfur View Post
    I think I can keep my total weight under 350, so I perhaps the 160mm mechanical disc brakes will suffice?
    What does the 350 pounds include? Bike, trailer, load, and rider? Everything but rider? Something else?

    People ride tandems with two 200 pound riders and rim brakes in the mountains so your load may be reasonable enough from a braking standpoint with disk brakes.

    I don't get the attraction to hauling a bunch of heavy stuff that far on a bike, especially over the mountains, but it undoubtedly is possible. I would just ship the stuff and travel light, but it is your trip so do what makes you happy.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    i thought at first it was his koga miyata.

    but on second thought, considering his plan,
    it's more likely his personal version of the infamous kobayashi maru.
    karate monkey?

  22. #22
    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    i can tell you this being a parent, but 120lbs in a trailer behind any bike significantly alters the handling and stopping ability.

    disc brakes make a huge difference.

  23. #23
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    the 350lbs would be me the bike trailer and load. and its probably going to be closer to 400. I have a lot of experience riding with a trailer, its one of my jobs to recycle around town pushing 500 lbs on the trailer itself and up to 30 miles. Soo i have a pretty good feel for the loaded trailer/scariness that ensues with lack of control. I'm completely aware that it is not an ideal scenario and far from what a lot of people consider "fun" but i think i can really get down on the idea of uhaul tour (literally you haul lol) and theres only so much crazy **** i can do while i'm healthy and young . aside from the weight, another potential issue is gearing. right now my karate monkey is 1x9 with a 12x32 cassete but i'm thinking i can get away with running a low geared 2x9 as opposed to getting a mountain triple. The rd i have is only a medium cage length so i dont think it will accommodate going full triple in the front. but who knows...i just really don't want to have to buy an entire new drive train to manage the voyage.

  24. #24
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I have met tourists on the road that were probably at the bike + rider + gear weight you propose who were doing OK. I also hosted a couple that were doing about the same thing, but they were both struggling pretty badly. One settled into the pace and did OK, ultimately crossing the US. The other stopped and bought a ticket to his destination after a couple days in moderately hilly country.

    I would think that if you need to go lower on the gearing just going with a smaller front ring on your 1x9 would be fine. Carrying that load wouldn't be my choice, but if you know what you are getting in to and still want to that is fine. Also walking a bit isn't the end of the world especially if you have plenty of time. If you get under way and all is well, great. If not you can always stop at a UPS store and ship some of the load ahead.

  25. #25
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    A few years back I was driving from the Grand Canyon back home to Colorado. I stopped at a quickie mart in Cameron, AZ and I saw a man and a woman with touring bikes and loaded 2 wheeled trailers. I went over to say hello. Thet explained that they were loaded rather heavy (although it didn't look excessively heavy to me, I didn't ask how much weight) because they had sold all their stuff (3 br house in Flagstaff, cars, everything that wouldn't fit on their bikes) and were moving to Montana by bike. I wished them well!
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