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  1. #1
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    MTB drivetrain on Cervélo R3 ?

    Hi,

    I am planning to use a Cervélo R3 with a Burley Nomad trailer for a 20,000 km tour in the US and Canada. My R3 is already set up for long distances but I will need an MTB drivetrain (something like a triple 42/32/24 crank & a 10sp 11-36 cassette) and would prefer to use STI brake/shifters so I can keep my aerobars.

    What do you suggest?

    I currently have 2 Compact 50/34 10sp 11-28T setups for the R3:
    1. DI2 shifters, FD, RD, Rotor Meter & Qrings
    2. 105 shifters, FD, RD, FSA crank

    If I can save by reusing any of these components in the new setup, it would be great.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    IRD has a 110 Triplizer 34t, that lets you bolt another chain ring on,
    but you need to move the other 2 outboard further to make room..

    We see Trailer towing tourists on the Oregon Coast still use the stock 50-34

    I would leave the Di2 stuff at home. outfit the other bike..

  3. #3
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    Thanks fietsbob,

    Yes, I know some people tour with a Compact setup, but i'll be towing around 85 pounds (including the trailer), I'm not a youngster and I can't say I develop very high wattages.

    So if I wanted to keep costs minimal, would it be correct to assume I could get a working 44/34/24 & 11-30T setup with the following components, starting from my existing 105 setup:

    - 44T 110mm BCD chainring
    - IRD 34T Triplizer
    - 24T 74mm BCD chainring
    - FD-5703 since mine is a RD-5700 (maximum capacity=20T so I think 44/34/24 is OK with respect to that, but will it handle a 24T inside chainring ?)
    - ST-5703 shifter (because I assume my ST-5700 won't work with triple chainrings)
    - 11-30T cassette (I have the RD-5700-GS which should handle a 30T, and I wouldn't be going over the 39T chain wrap limit)

    Thanks,
    Last edited by LucF; 03-12-13 at 08:48 AM.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    One option might be to use a ultra-compact double and the rest of the drive train stock. I think there are some made for MTB's that might work well with the 105 stuff. I have gone that route with a triple with only two rings. I used 39-26 rings with a 12-28 cassette and was pretty happy with it on the Southern Tier. I didn't really miss the higher gears even when riding with a fit 19 year old.

    Just some food for thought...
    If it was me, I'd pack super light and ditch the trailer. I know that it isn't for everyone, but low base gear weights are doable. My base gear weight was 14 pounds on the ST and 10.5 pounds in the Colorado Rockies. That still allowed for camping and cooking and I was comfortable. I would add that I did not need to resort to really high dollar gear like Cuben fiber and the like. With loads like that you can get by with a saddle bag if you can't manage a rack on your bike. I used stuff sacks strapped on a rack and a few pounds (< 5) in a back pack.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    Thanks Pete. Can't go super light. The Cervélo is a carbon frame, I'll be gone for 8 months and I do photography (15 lbs of equipment).

    What do you mean by "a triple with only two rings" ?

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    considering what you already have and that you will be pulling a trailer, i'd dump the 50T chainring (completely useless IME) and go with one chainring and the cassette you have. that gives you a range from 25 to 80 something gearinches. plenty low and more than high enough.

    i wouldn't overthink it. there will be plenty of LBSs along the way that will be more than happy to sell you a new chainring and/or a cassette... good luck.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Velo Orange has a good example of a triple with 2 chainrings, the outer is a chainguard, instead,
    the middle a 46, third a 30t..

    Id question a Carbon Race Di2 as a beast of Burden.
    rig up the Wahoo..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Id question a Carbon Race Di2 as a beast of Burden.
    rig up the Wahoo..
    That would be my choice before I would start modifying a lightweight roadbike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    I currently have 2 Compact 50/34 10sp 11-28T setups for the R3:
    1. DI2 shifters, FD, RD, Rotor Meter & Qrings
    2. 105 shifters, FD, RD, FSA crank

    If I can save by reusing any of these components in the new setup, it would be great.
    Here's what I'd suggest: sell the DI2 drive-train, then use the proceeds to buy a bicycle appropriate for an 8-month trip carrying 80lbs of gear.

    I own a Cervelo RS with a SRAM Red drive-train, a PowerTap Pro+ wheel set, and a bunch of other fancy stuff. When I started thinking about touring, I briefly considered using the RS... and then came to my senses. Even if the bike could be made into a decent tourer I'd spend so much time worrying about it getting stolen that I wouldn't enjoy the trip. Instead, I bought a $130 Nashbar aluminum touring frame and fork, threw together a parts-bin drive-train (my bin just happened to be stocked with Ultegra parts ), and built some wheels. The bike rides like a dream on 700x35 tires, looks like nothing special, and I don't spend much time worrying about whether it will be stolen or not.

    If you're still crazy enough to try to tour with the R3, think about switching to SRAM components. Unlike Shimano, SRAM's DoubleTap shifters will, apparently, work with mountain bike front and rear derailleurs. Bikes like the Salsa Fargo pair Apex shifters with X.7 or X.9 derailleurs, cranks and cassettes. DoubleTap limits you to a double crank, but it looks like they're now offering some reasonably low options (ex: 22/36 in X.7 and X.9).

    You can get wide-range gearing with Shimano components, but it involves more headaches. It's especially important to be aware that none of Shimano's 10-speed MTB rear derailleurs are compatible with STI shifters. The older 9-speed MTB derailleurs should work, however.

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    It would be cheaper and easier and more enjoyable to just buy an aluminum or steel bike with a triple setup already on there and then you can carry the heavy equipment on the bike instead of towing a trailer and not worry about the cervelo getting damaged/stolen. If you're going slow enough to want a 24 front 36 rear, then the 2 pounds you save with the cervelo frameset won't matter.

    I have a cheap steel bike I bought of craigslist with 9 speed tiagra sti's and a 48-36-26 crankset and a deore long cage rear derailleur that I could probably stuff a 34 or larger rear cassette on. Something like that would probably do exactly what you need. I don't know the the front derailleur (9 speed tiagra on my bike) could handle a mountain crank, but a 48-36-26 with a 12-36 should be plenty of gear.

    I don't know if it would work with 10 speed, but getting the 9 speed stuff to work with the mountain stuff should be easy.
    Last edited by aramis; 03-13-13 at 02:13 AM.

  11. #11
    nun
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    I've toured on a cervelo RS and the only change I made to the gearing was swapping the 50t ring for a 46t. If you want to go the whole hog I'd use a mountain double, forget the triple, and pair it with a 11/36 cassette and new rear derailleur.

    http://wheelsofchance.org/2013/01/15...touring-gears/

  12. #12
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the good ideas. The main reason I want to use the Cervélo R3 is that it is already all set up for long distance riding (wheels, dynamo+lights, Brooks, Thudbuster, water system, seat post bag, aeros, etc.), it's very comfortable (300km-in-a-day comfortable) and I've invested quite a bit to get it there. I put together detailed numbers and if I were to get a touring bike (would be a Disc Trucker), it would add 3K $ w. taxes to my pre-trip costs since I don't have racks & panniers and don't want to go the second hand route. No way I'm selling the Di2 setup as that's part of my normal setup and what's going back on the bike after my trip. But, somewhere in the planning stages, I figured if I went with a trailer instead of the panniers, I could use my R3 instead of getting a third bike.

    As aramis mentioned, not getting the bike stolen is going to be my biggest worry. Will get a Lock Alarm cable to help, and leave the Di2 parts behind.

    Rigging up the Wahoo for touring with a trailer is an interesting thought, I'll look into the costs.

    As to changing the RD on the R3, given the fact that my medium cage 105 RD should work with as high as a 32T cog, I'm inclined to use the 105 RD. The way I see it, I need to resolve the question of the front setup if I want to use the Cervélo.

    Thanks to all who made suggestions. I have more research to do. Will report on my findings,
    Last edited by LucF; 03-13-13 at 12:43 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Several thoughts:
    As to changing the RD on the R3, given the fact that my medium cage 105 RD should work with as high as a 32T cog, I'm inclined to use the 105 RD
    I'm not sure that this assumption is correct. I could not get my long cage 105 (triple) RD to work to my satisfaction with a 30 tooth cassette, and I've swapped a lot of components. Also swapping cranks, especially from road to mountain, can involve chainline issues in some cases.

    nun
    I've toured on a cervelo RS and the only change I made to the gearing was swapping the 50t ring for a 46t. If you want to go the whole hog I'd use a mountain double, forget the triple, and pair it with a 11/36 cassette and new rear derailleur
    If I read nun's past posts correctly, he goes ultra light, and modified CC tours. I know the beating our touring bikes have taken, and I'd be a little leery of using a carbon frame bike. Not that it couldn't work, I'd just feel it has to be babied too much. I would not consider even light touring on my "good" road bike, and it has an aluminum frame.

    hueyhoolihan
    considering what you already have and that you will be pulling a trailer, i'd dump the 50T chainring (completely useless IME) and go with one chainring and the cassette you have. that gives you a range from 25 to 80 something gearinches. plenty low and more than high enough.
    I agree that the 50 T chainring is useless when pulling an 80 lb. trailer. However, I disagree that the 25 inch low gear is low enough. I run a 44/32/22 with an 11/34 which gives me a 17 inch low. I don't tour with a trailer but I use a Bike Friday trailer a lot to haul groceries and other items. With 60 lbs. of groceries I am really glad for the lower granny gear when I'm pulling that trailer up a short steep hill on the way home. I prefer panniers, but my loads seldom exceed 35 lbs. I've also used that granny gear often with my normal loads. However, I don't generate much wattage either

    "other items"


    I put together detailed numbers and if I were to get a touring bike (would be a Disc Trucker), it would add 3K $ w. taxes to my pre-trip costs since I don't have racks & panniers and don't want to go the second hand route
    For a one time shot, you may get away with a regular LHT. I run a good set of cantilever brakes on mine and it stops just fine. A stock LHT is about $1200 (U.S.), and can be sold after the trip for 75-80% of the original price.

    A Surly LHT or Cross Check (or any number of other bikes) would haul your trailer very nicely.

    I've done lightly loaded, 20-25 lbs, tours on my "not so good" road bike, and it works just fine. But it seems like you are trying to rig a Mazda Miata to pull an 18 foot travel trailer.


    P.S. Something I didn't think about until a few minutes ago on my way back from the post office with some freshly pumped up 28 mm tires @ 100 psi rattling my fillings. The R3 may not be able to take a tire size larger than a 25 mm. I've toured a few times, nothing longer than 3 weeks, on 25 mm tires, and again it is doable. However, the comfort of a little larger tire on a long tour is something I appreciate. I have used 28 mm tires a lot, but have recently tried 32 mm tires for an extended trip. I'm still vacillating between the 28 and 32's. A good compromise seems to be the light weight Conti 32 mm Ultra Gatorskins which definitely won't fit your R3.
    Last edited by Doug64; 03-13-13 at 07:13 PM.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You going to have resources to replace the carbon bike in case of accidents and failures on the road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    I've done lightly loaded, 20-25 lbs, tours on my "not so good" road bike, and it works just fine. But it seems like you are trying to rig a Mazda Miata to pull a 18 foot travel trailer.
    Couldn't have said it better, and I even have a Miata. It's a great car and I could go on a long roadtrip with my wife in it if we packed light, but I'm not going to use it to move cross country. I would think it would take less time and cost about the same to modify your cervelo than it would to swap handlebars/seats/dynamos all that crap onto a new touring bike. Heck you could walk into performance bike and buy a $500 sora eqipped road bike with a triple and swap the rear cassette and maybe the derailleur and transfer all your other stuff and it would work fine and you could give it away when you're done if you wanted.

    I also wonder why you need a disc touring bike when you were content to use rim brakes on your Cervelo?

    But if you really want to put touring gearing on your cervelo and tour with it, go ahead, but there's nothing magic or unheard of having super low gearing and a triple with STI's on a road bike.. just buy the parts and go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    Hi,

    I am planning to use a Cervélo R3 with a Burley Nomad trailer for a 20,000 km tour in the US and Canada. My R3 is already set up for long distances but I will need an MTB drivetrain (something like a triple 42/32/24 crank & a 10sp 11-36 cassette) and would prefer to use STI brake/shifters so I can keep my aerobars.

    What do you suggest?

    I currently have 2 Compact 50/34 10sp 11-28T setups for the R3:
    1. DI2 shifters, FD, RD, Rotor Meter & Qrings
    2. 105 shifters, FD, RD, FSA crank

    If I can save by reusing any of these components in the new setup, it would be great.

    Thanks in advance,
    You'll must have a 11-36 period, because towing a trailer isn't as easy without lower gears. And you need a mountain double like in the ranges of 36/24 rather than 50/34. Again, the trailer is an S.O.B to pull especially uphill because you are pulling mass, unless you are planning to walk or unless you are a CAT 1 or 2 racer than a 11-28 or 32 is fine. SRAM system is easy to setup the mountain double because the Salsa Vaya is setup that way (40/28) and rear 11-36.

    105 rear derailleur can not accommodate larger than 32T, but it wasn't meant to stay at 32T for long. It's meant as a temporary bailout gear, but because you are towing a trailer you will be using the 32 very often putting a lot of strain on the derailleur when climbing a lot hills. You can easily rip it if you're not careful. It has happened, at least one of our buddies on tour. Too bad, he was SOL needing a car for a ride home cause rear wheel spokes gone as well as the RD hanger.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
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  17. #17
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    What do you mean by "a triple with only two rings" ?
    I used a triple with the outer ring removed as an ultra-compact double. It worked quite well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    The main reason I want to use the Cervélo R3 is that it is already all set up for long distance riding (wheels, dynamo+lights, Brooks, Thudbuster, water system, seat post bag, aeros, etc.), it's very comfortable (300km-in-a-day comfortable) and I've invested quite a bit to get it there.
    A Cervelo R3 with DuraAce Di2 drive-train, Brooks saddle, Thudbuster, dynamo hub and lights? You're either the King of all Freds, or a troll. Either way: well played!

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    djb
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    a second opinion on getting your gear inches down to at least 20 g.i.
    Im a semi old fart and as Doug suggests with real world experience, 85lbs of schlepp up a steep hill will be a bear if you dont have low enough gearing.

    Another thing to consider is how the push pull force of 85lbs on the attachment area to a carbon framed bike not designed with this force in mind is going to be. I strongly suspect you will not get any official answers to this, but I would be concerned about it, especially given how much you love the bike. I dunno, but the "buy a tough low geared bike and sell it afterwards" idea seems pretty attractive.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    A Cervelo R3 with DuraAce Di2 drive-train, Brooks saddle, Thudbuster, dynamo hub and lights? You're either the King of all Freds, or a troll. Either way: well played!
    Oh, and I have fenders too! I mentioned that I do long distance cycling (randonneuring, more precisely). Riding an unsupported 600 km brevet for 30 straight hours in the cold rain requires a different setup than riding a criterium where you can take a warm shower after 2 hours of hard work.

    Now, to get on with the suggestions from other members. First of all, I'm really grateful for all your contributions. I can't believe the experience and know-how of the people here.

    I've abandoned the thought of rigging the Wahoo to pull a trailer. Too much trouble and not enough cost benefits.

    As for getting a touring bike and reselling it, my problem is that I'll be doing other tours after this one, so reselling the bike isn't practical. And I'd rather have a tour drivetrain for the R3 sleeping in my locker than a 3rd bike. I wanted the discs on the Trucker so I had the option of using it as my 4-season bike after the trip, replacing the Wahoo, but I really like the Wahoo's suspension in the city and on Montréal's third-worldly pavement.

    I'm not afraid of the carbon frame not being strong enough to ride with the trailer. Carbon is strong, and it doesn't look like the really well designed Burley hitch will apply any weird directional forces to the frame. As to carbon needing to be babied, I'm not the babying type. As long as the structural integrity of my frame isn't in jeopardy, I don't care about scratches or wear. I ride my bike more than I look at it. I think the R3 can handle the 20,000 km with a trailer without a problem (no scientific data to back this up; just my gut feeling). If I need repairs--or a new frame--, so be it. I have lots of time. Worst case scenario, I buy a LHT on the road and send the R3 (or what's left of it!) back home.

    PMDoug64: As far as tires go, I'm limited to 25 mm tires on the R3. Can't go wider but that's OK. I'm using 25 mm tubeless tires @ 90 PSI, and while not as comfortable as my Wahoo's 2.1's @ 40 psi, for paved-road-only touring they should be fine.

    Back to the gearing issue.

    I'm glad to see others cautioning about getting low enough gears to pull 85 pounds. Many of the people I'd spoken to outside this forum would say I was fine with my existing gears, which I didn't believe. I'm not a Cat 1 or 2 rider at all. I'm 52 and more like a 225 watt diesel. I like slow and steady, hate getting off the bike and don't want to route around hills.

    pacificcyclist: Your warning about the 32T with a 105 GS RD not being reliable under constant stress makes sense and worries me. I thought I had the RD issue resolved but it looks like it's not. Don't know what to do, but since I won't be using the 105 RD, I'll go up to a 36T granny cog.

    I think what looks like the best suggestion yet for the RD would be to get a 9sp MTB RD which would work with my ST-5700 control and allow me to go 12-36T.

    As for the FD, I'm still in limbo. Have to find a setup that will work on the Cervélo's wider than normal BB and I wonder if a triple will be too wide for comfort.

    aramis: You say "there's nothing magic or unheard of having super low gearing and a triple with STI's on a road bike.. just buy the parts and go for it".
    Then my question is:

    If I wanted a 44/34/24 & 11-36T setup, exactly which parts would I need, taking into consideration the Cervélo BB, my existing 105 parts and FSA crank?

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by LucF; 03-13-13 at 09:34 PM.

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    djb
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    Re triples or whatever, I wonder as you do about the bb (not that I know anything about Cervelo bb's)

    re gearing, as you have referred to, there are lots and lots of folks out there who havent toured with X lbs of baggage up steep stuff or med steep but long stuff, and they will gladly tell you that X gearing is fine....I hear it all the time.
    I guess all I can offer is my experience. My first fully loaded trip was around the Gaspe penn. you may know the 132 out there, and I prob had 50lbs of stuff, and the 25 gear inches just wasnt low enough for the tough sections. Subsequent trips with less weight (40 maybe) and 21.5 gear inches (about the equivalent of a gear shift lower than before) made all the diff, and there were times on steep steep hills that it would have been nice to have had lower.

    Im about your age, and being in Montreal, we have the advantage of being able to do Camilien Houde, or better yet, some of the upper Westmount hills, to really see how a given amount of baggage weight is with a given gear inch. (if you dont know about gear inches, its really worth knowing how to calculate them, as a reference)

    I cant imagine lugging 85lbs, but if you really plan to do this, I really do recommend heading over to Westmount and humping up some of the steeper ones to see if your knees are going to explode--you'll find out damn quickly if the recommendations by others are full of it or not. Id even start with some panniers if you have them on your other bike perhaps, fill em with bags of rice or something and see what a given weight feels like. If you have the trailer, go at it with that.
    --I see now that you dont own panniers, could you borrow a bike with low gearing and four full panniers just to get an idea of things before you begin buying parts for the Cervie project?

    re the Wahoo, I use an old Rockhopper as an all around bike and it works quite well. I realize its not the same as your Rando setup, but dont forget, lugging 85lbs will mean your avg speeds will probably be in the 15km/h range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    aramis: You say "there's nothing magic or unheard of having super low gearing and a triple with STI's on a road bike.. just buy the parts and go for it".
    Then my question is:

    If I wanted a 44/34/24 & 11-36T setup, exactly which parts would I need, taking into consideration the Cervélo BB, my existing 105 parts and FSA crank?

    Thanks in advance,
    Just get a 10 speed mountain bike cassette you want and you can use a 9 speed shimano mountain derailleur like a deore XT 771 9 speed but not a 10 shimano speed mountain derailleur. You'll need a new chain too obviously. Since you already have the crankset like you said just use the BB you have and the normal triple fd you have since if you've use. Make sure your chainline is correct.

  23. #23
    Senior Member LucF's Avatar
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    djb: I know our hills pretty well. Aren't we lucky to have them? My Wahoo has a 42/34/24 11-34 setup and I go up Atwater from Sherbrooke with it quite often. Must be 25%. Hope I don't get too many of those when I tour. I've ordered the trailer so should be able to test it loaded on the Wahoo soon, but I'm pretty sure a 24/36 granny gear (18") should be OK for most of the normal highway hills. And 15 km/h is exactly the average speed I was aiming for.

    aramis: thanks for the info. I don't have a triple. I have a compact. My LBS does mostly road and TT setups, so I guess we'll just have to experiment, see how we can fit the MTB triple on the Cervélo, and see if I need an ST-5703 control for the triple. Hope the experiments don't cost too much. Thanks for the info on the RD part.

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucF View Post
    Thanks Pete. Can't go super light. The Cervélo is a carbon frame, I'll be gone for 8 months and I do photography (15 lbs of equipment).

    What do you mean by "a triple with only two rings" ?
    Is there some scope to carry lighter weight photographic gear? I know there's an inevitable downgrade in image quality but some of the hyperzooms can be light, compact and produce images that are surprisingly good given their low price. Throw in a relatively small SLR body (In Canon terms I'm thinking of the xxD rather than a 1D, for example) and you lose a bit more weight, and with a lighter body/lens combo you can use a lighter tripod. If you're gone for 8 months I guess you'll also need some pretty heavy duty storage with backups as well.

    If "I do photography" means it's a hobby rather than a profession then seriously consider taking a high-end compact camera. When I'm looking to take quality pictures with a view to potentially selling them I haul the big heavy stuff around; if I'm hiking or cycling and just want to be able to take a few snapshots as a record I'll leave the heavy stuff behind and put my old Canon G11 in the saddlebag. In anything less than ideal conditions it's clearly not as good as the DSLR but if conditions are OK it can produce perfectly useable pictures.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

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    Member arbitrage's Avatar
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    LucF--just ride the R3 and don't worry about it! It's a beautiful bike and stronger than most here will admit. A light, stiff bike is inspiring to ride and will keep you turning the pedals with a smile on your face.

    Don't stress about your bike being stolen. If you're riding with 15lb of camera gear, you're already going to have to be careful with your equipment.

    Don't stress about the frame failing you. It won't.

    This is the wrong forum for seeking advice on out-of-the-box ideas. Check out weight weenies for performance oriented outlooks and positive attitudes. http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...wforum.php?f=4
    Last edited by arbitrage; 03-14-13 at 06:46 AM.

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