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  1. #1
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    Weekend Bicycle Camping Tech questions

    Hello.

    I am currently building up a steel road bike for Spring here in NYC but would also like to do some weekend bike camping in upstate NYC. The frame I am building up doesn't have any mounts for racks and is pretty light for a steel frameset. You can see the build in progress here : http://velospace.org/forums/discussi...ity-212-build/

    I am 165 pounds and wondering if i'll be able to use this bike. I've never done any touring but would love to do some 1 - 3 day adventures starting this spring.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. I haven't bought much for the frame set yet so there is still room to add some strength I hope. Maybe the wheels?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I like my racks and fenders. They're what change my bike from a toy to a real, useful part of my touring and my daily moving around town. I have a hard time imagining building up a bike that wasn't going to cargo-ready in some fashion once it went into service. But that's me. And there are other options.

    More and more people are touring using an "ultralight" set-up, which involves minimal, compact, lightweight gear, usually carried in some kind of handlebar attachment, a saddlebag under the seat, and maybe a frame bag and/or backpack. With that set up, it looks to me like you still have a lot of carrying capacity, but you have no extra hardware to deal with when you're not touring.

    Also, a lack of braze-ons doesn't always rule out racks. Sometimes you can use clamps, and some racks can attach to the axle. I have an Old Man Mountain rack that I love that goes on the front and uses the quick release axle and the brakes as attachment points. I don't even use the braze-ons that I have.

    So if you like the bike, there are probably options. The only other issue would be how that particular bike would handle loaded up the way you want it, and that I couldn't guess.

  3. #3
    Senior Member stayfed's Avatar
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    Thanks Rob.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    Check out The Touring Store. Wayne, the owner, set my wife's steel bike up, with no braze-ons, with a Tubus Fly and all the fittings to attach it to the bike.

  5. #5
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    You can also consider using a trailer. It adds more weight and rolling resistance than panniers, but has its advantages, too. Depending on what trailer you get, it's really easy to just toss your stuff in and go. It's convenient to have when you have to buy your firewood and hot dogs/ s'mores/beer/etc. a couple of miles down the road. I have one that I've used for overnights from time to time that's basically a Rubbermaid bin on a spine with one wheel, and it has the added benefit of being lockable. That makes it a really handy place to stash all the food and stuff at night where the critters can't get it.

    Depending on the trailer, it may also have utilitarian uses from time to time. Some things are easier to get home by bike in a trailer than in panniers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    That's a pretty frame! A trailer would be easy. If you'd rather do raccks and panniers, check out Old Man Mountain. They make racks for bikes with no eyelets.

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    That's a pretty frame! A trailer would be easy. If you'd rather do raccks and panniers, check out Old Man Mountain. They make racks for bikes with no eyelets.
    Yes those are good options depending on how much you want/need to carry.

    Not for everyone, but another option would be to pack in a minimalist manner. By applying some ultralight backpacking techniques it is pretty easy to get gear weights down to 15-20 pounds or so and with some effort half that is possible. That is possible without resorting to a lot of crazy expensive and fragile ultralight gear.

  8. #8
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    I'll suggest that a 2-3 day adventure in your own state really won't require a 'loaded touring' situation. If you approach this from the other direction - decide exactly where you want to go and how you plan on spending your time. That should determine what you need to bring, what you're likely to run into for supplies and accomodations, and let you estimate costs.

    Upper New York State is a popular tourist destination - so campsites, motels, restaurants and convenience stores will be easy to find. Unless you plan on staying in one place - you'd really need to bring a minimum of supplies - maybe just enough to serve as a backup in case you get hungry between pit-stops. LOL During busy weekends - finding a place to stay might be a bigger issue - finding something to eat should be easy!

    Aside from clothing suitable for the weather - you'd really only need a small tent to keep the bugs from chewing you up while you sleep. Have you been to the Finger Lakes area before?

  9. #9
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    It seems a shame to pollute that frame with P-clamps. I would suggest an ultralight approach using Carradice saddlebag+barbag type of luggage. A trailer is overkill and would weight more than your luggage.

    If you have trees, then a hammock style shelter is light and easy to carry.

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