I'm going to be riding in the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) in June. It'll be a week long ride from one side of the state to the other. I've never made a trip like this, so I'm wondering how I should set up my bike. My first instinct is not to load it at all, just carry a pump and an extra tube. We're only going about 60 miles per day, and they have trucks that will carry 40 pounds per person from one stop to the next, so I should be OK. However, I would like to take a camera with me to save some memories from the trip. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could set up my bike to carry a little bit extra without slowing me down too much? I really only want to carry enough to make the trip more enjoyable.
What style of bike do you have. Does it have threaded eyelets for a luggage rack?, what style of bars and controls are you using?
There are 2 recomended ways of carrying a light day-touring load:
On the front using a bar bag. Modern bar bags should have a quick-release catch. Dont overload these. Dont use a wide one with Shimano shifter, the gear cables acan interfere.
On the rear using a saddlebag. These can take much heavier loads without upsetting the bike response. Carradice make decent sized saddlebags and the SQR clip-on system.
The most common way is to use a seat-post mounted luggage rack and a top bag. This will work but the load/weight ratio is poor, the weight is cantelevered at the end of a pole and is easily dislodged and they can damage lighter seat posts.
Check out the Carradice website for some ideas.
Sorry John, I don't really mean to destroy your allusions, but you should be doing a ride like this to enjoy, rather than thinking about speed.
You must take what you think will make yourself comfortable. I'd suggest, at the least, TWO tubes, plus 5 patches and a fresh tube of cement; a multitool of some sort, plus or inclusive of tyre levers; protection from cold and rain (a jacket?), and at least a handlebar bag, or a trunk bag mounted on a rear rack, and at least something for the inevitable sustenance you will require (ranging from banana to various packages of gel or powder or bar).
I tell you what. Weight your bike. Then add the weight of a handlebar bag, or a trunk bag and rear rack. Maybe 5lbs? Then the stuff you might put in it... maybe another 5lbs? Probably means your bike will weigh, what, 22, 25, maybe even 30lbs, plus the 10lbs of additional stuff.
Now weigh yourself. Factor that in as the TOTAL weight you will be pushing. It's probable than any increase in TOTAL weight by adding a bag and rack and bar bag and the stuff inside will be a small percentage of the weight you're already pushing.
You are showing symptoms of weight-weeniness! If so, you should be racing instead of doing a tour.
I think your first instinct might be right - don't load it! Or, how about a camel back or small backpack? I've seen a lot of riders on supported tours with the seatpost rack & trunk combo - I've never used that, though, so no comment. I guess it really depends on the weather - how much extra clothes will you need during the day, over and above the options you stuff in your pockets on your local rides. Oh yeah, and how big your camera is.
Rowan... I really don't see where your speed/weight-weenie comment came from in the original post... or maybe my humor-detector isn't working?
If you've got bag and sag support, I'd go light. A tube, a patch kit, a pump, a multi-tool, a jacket, sun glasses, two water bottles, trail mix, bananna, cell phone, camera, and wallet. Might need a rear rack and bag for all that. Maybe just a seat bag and one of those triangle bags is enough.